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Trump’s First 100 Days Marked by Utter Contempt for Civil Rights. Today marks 100 days since President Trump took office, and he’s wasted no time showing his utter contempt for the protection of civil rights and civil liberties – especially for marginalized communities. “He has acted with a total disregard for the rule of law while displaying a woeful naiveté for how our government works. Rather than use this period to bring our country together to address our challenges and build a better future, Trump has governed as divisively as he campaigned. Enabled by a Republican Congress, Trump has filled key posts with people like Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos who are intent on undoing much of the progress we’ve made. His Supreme Court nominee had a clear record of ruling against women, working people, students with disabilities, victims of discrimination, and other disadvantaged communities,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “We take heart that multiple federal courts have served as an appropriate check on this administration, and we continue to advocate for a strong, independent judiciary. Congress must also do its duty as a co-equal branch and conduct proper oversight on this executive. The Leadership Conference will remain vigilant and continue to hold President Trump and his administration accountable on the issues that affect our communities while working to achieve equal justice and opportunity for all Americans. We hope that the President will reflect on the many failures of his first 100 days and recalibrate his governing to truly serve all Americans.” Read more about Trump’s first 100 days here.
Groups Urge DeVos to Nominate Civil Rights Head. Civil rights and education groups this week sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing deep concern about the department’s commitment to protecting all students’ civil rights in the wake of Candice Jackson’s recent appointment to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Acting Assistant Secretary. Groups also sent a letter to Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander, R. Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D. Wash., urging the committee to conduct public hearings and thoroughly vet any nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to ensure a record of support for civil rights law. “In selecting an individual to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, you and the president have the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to core American values of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and diversity as well as a respect for the rule of law,” the letter to DeVos states. Read the full letter to DeVos here, and the full letter to Alexander and Murray here.
Leadership Conference Slams Trump’s Tax Plan, Education EO. The Leadership Conference on Thursday responded to Trump’s tax plan announcement by calling it a giveaway for the wealthy and big corporations. “President Trump’s tax announcement today was light on details but one thing is clear – it’s about tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of working families, especially communities of color,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference. “A more equitable tax system, where the wealthy pay their fair share, would help ensure that our nation can make the necessary investments to grow our economy and create jobs. With his budget and tax proposals, President Trump has shown that he’s more interested in supporting the powerful, and not the middle class and those aspiring to join the middle class.” The same day, The Leadership Conference responded to Trump’s executive order directing Secretary DeVos to conduct a study on the federal government’s role in education. “President Trump’s executive order may be presented as a ‘study,’ but this executive order is dangerous and wrongheaded. State and local primacy without federal oversight in America’s schools has never worked for all children and will not work now,” Henderson said. “Despite real gains, we have failed to guarantee the promise of Brown. History makes clear that reducing the federal role will make realizing that promise even more elusive. States’ and districts’ power to make most education decisions has never been in jeopardy. But millions of children’s futures will be at risk if the federal government chooses to abdicate its duty to protect students’ civil rights.”
In the News
Voting Rights on Trial on the Bayou – The Atlantic
US Commission Dings Trump Admin for Immigrant Arrests at Courthouses – CNN
Va. Gov. McAuliffe Says He Has Broken U.S. Record for Restoring Voting Rights – The Washington Post
This Week’s Statements & Press Releases
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Airbnb Anti-Discrimination Agreement with State of California – 4/27/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition: Trump’s First 100 Days Marked by Utter Contempt for Civil Rights – 4/27/17
Civil Rights Coalition Slams Trump Executive Order to Abdicate Federal Responsibility in Educational Opportunity – 4/26/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Denounces Misnamed ‘Working Families Flexibility Act’ – 4/26/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Lauds Effort to Support Working Families by Raising Federal Minimum Wage to $15 by 2024 – 4/26/17
25 Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Do Not Rubber Stamp ESSA State Plans – 4/26/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Slams Trump’s Tax Plan – 4/26/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Illinois State Legislators to Pass Commonsense Justice System Reform – 4/25/17
Civil Rights Groups Urge DeVos to Nominate Civil Rights Head and Call for Hearing on Nominee – 4/24/17
This Week’s Policy Letters
Oppose the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” (H.R. 620) – 4/27/17
Oppose H.R. 115, the Thin Blue Line Act of 2017 – 4/27/17
Leadership Conference letter to the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services – 4/26/17
The Leadership Conference Urges You Not to Support the Confirmation of Alex Acosta: Vote No – 4/26/17
Oppose Ending Parity between Defense and NDD Spending and Oppose Any Ideological Policy Riders – 4/26/17
Oppose H.R. 1039, the Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 – 4/26/17
Letter to Secretary DeVos Re: ESSA State Plan Review – 4/26/17
Support Illinois H.B. 2373 – 4/25/17
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Expresses Serious Concerns About Nomination of Amul Thapar – 4/25/17
Oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act of 2017” – 4/25/17
Letter to Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray Re: the Office for Civil Rights – 4/24/17
Letter to Secretary DeVos Re: the Office for Civil Rights – 4/24/17
Oppose H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act – 4/24/17
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Democratic Lawmakers Announce Bill to Raise Minimum Wage
Congressional Democrats this week announced that they will introduce the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which will incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. The bill – which will be introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I. Vt., and Patty Murray, D. Wash., and Reps. Bobby Scott, D. Va., and Keith Ellison, D. Minn. – will also gradually eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped working people, which has been frozen at $2.13 an hour for more than a quarter century. “It is unconscionable that our federal minimum wage is so low that it denies working people who put in an honest day’s work the ability to sustain themselves and their families. The ‘Fight for 15’ movement has been leading the way to gain state minimum wage increases in cities and states across the nation, helping to lift people out of poverty, particularly women, African Americans, Latinos, and other historically underserved populations,” Henderson said. “The Raise the Wage Act is an important step in redressing the growing inequality in our nation.” Learn more about the bill here.
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