Week in Review 3/4/2017

Central Park Five Screening

What: As a wrap-up to Black History Month, we will be hosting a screening of the 2012 documentary “The Central Park Five.” This documentary tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice. You can RSVP here.

Where: Hodge Hall room 3055

When: Monday, March 6 at 7PM

Call to Action

What: In 2011 Indiana took a major step towards becoming a part of the thriving sector of solar energy by enacting a policy which allowed customers of solar energy to take advantage of a program called net metering. Net metering reimburses self-generators of renewable energy that they feed back onto the grid, at the retail rate of electricity.   Customer-generators not only help advance such societal goals as environmental stewardship, but reduce distribution & transmission costs, and can improve electrical grid stability.  SB 309‘s amended bill would generally create significant roadblocks to those homes, businesses, places of worship, community centers, and factories seeking to install solar panels and small wind turbines as it forbids new net metering by the year 2022. It is also relevant to note that the amended SB 309 would effectively discourage companies from investing jobs and money into the state.  We are urging all of our members to call their state senator and urge them to vote “no” on SB 309. *There is an attached flier with more information about SB 309, if you are curious.

Who: Find your Indiana state senator here​.

How: “Hello, my name is [NAME] and I live in [ZIP CODE]. I was calling to let [STATE SENATOR] know that I do not approve of SB 309 and I would like them to vote no. SB 309 is bad for homeowners, businesses, and the economy of Indiana. Thank you.”

Bad News

  1. ​Jeff Sessions met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during President Trump’s 2016 campaign, and did not disclose the fact that he had such meetings (WaPo) when asked during his confirmation hearing. The attorney general has  recused himself of any involvement with the federal probe of Russian meddling in the election (NBC). Sessions has defended himself in saying that while he met with the ambassador in July and September, they did not discuss “issues of the campaign” (TIME).
  2. The Trump administration released a budget blueprint on Monday which details a 25% budget cut to the EPA (CNN). No worries though, we’ll be able to protect our devastated environment with a $54 billion boost to defense spending. As part of the proposed budget cuts the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (Detroit Free Press), which is responsible for the protection and conservation of the Great Likes, could see a 97% decrease in funding (Chicago Tribune).
  3. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that HBCUs were pioneers of school choice (CNN) because they noticed the “absence of an opportunity” for black students and took it upon themselves to “provide a solution.” While the intention behind her words was good, DeVos failed to acknowledge the fact that HBCUs were created in response to the racist Jim Crow laws in the south that enforced segregation (NYT).
  4. It came out that Vice President Pence used a personal AOL email to conduct official business while he was governor of Indiana (IndyStar). Of course he did, of course he did. The account was hacked last summer but emails were not released to the press until this week when the Indy Star broke the story with a public records request. But Hillary! Gov. Holcomb’s office released 29 of the emails, but an unspecified number not being disclosed because the office considers them confidential (IndyStar). This contradicts with the statement Vice President Pence’s office put out saying that he complied with Indiana law (Politico) and never discussed sensitive information using his personal email.

Good News

  1. ​Indianapolis Public Schools school board voted unanimously to approve a resolution expressing support for immigrant students, regardless of documentation (IPS). The resolution details policies of not cooperating with ICE and not requiring information about immigration status during a time where many students’ families are scared (IndyStar).
  2. The woman who is the plaintiff in the ACLU’s case against the Defense Department in the matter of women serving in combat released a book (NPR).

We look forward to seeing you on Monday. Have a good weekend!

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