The Supreme Court Did Something Good


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The Supreme Court Issued Two Decisions That Will Protect Individual’s Rights

In the midst of a congressional budget battle where the GOP has offered proposals that make it harder for most American families to get ahead, the Supreme Court took important actions to protect rights. Yesterday, the Court issued opinions on two important cases: one that involved workplace discrimination, and the other, the disenfranchisement of minority voters. In the first, Young v. UPS, the justices ruled that a young mother, who sued the United Parcel Service (UPS) for forcing her to choose between working a labor-intensive job while pregnant or go on unpaid leave, could have her day in court. The second case, Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, brought a small victory for voting rights when the justices rejected a lower court’s approval of Alabama’s redistricting plan. Here’s what you need to know:

Peggy Young Will Have Her Day In Court
In Young v. UPS, the Court granted the plaintiff, Peggy Young, the chance to fully make the case in court that UPS’s policies were significantly unfair to pregnant women, an opportunity she was not given in the lower courts. At her job, Young was forced to lift 70 pound boxes and when she got pregnant, her midwife recommended she not lift more than 20 pounds. Despite a note from her midwife, UPS only offered her unpaid leave without medical benefits. Had Young been written a similar note due to injury or disability, UPS would have put her on what is known as “light duty.” This ruling:

  • Highlights the importance of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Instead of siding with either party in the case, the court decided that if Young can show UPS’s policy was significantly burdensome for pregnant workers, then she can get to a jury. Because the court did not endorse either side’s reading of the law, this case shoes how important the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is at ensuring pregnant workers are not unfairly burdened by workplace policies.
  • Sides with the opinion of a majority of Americans. Across all demographic breakdowns—age, race, gender, political party—at least 73 percent of respondents said the court should rule in favor of Young.

A Small Victory For Access To The Ballot
At issue in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama is the state’s legislative maps, which have minimized minority voters’ influence by packing these voters into a small number of districts. It’s important to note that:

  • This ruling does not strike down the maps. The court’s decision does not guarantee that Alabama’s maps will be struck down, but like in Young, it ensures that they will get another day in court by rejecting the lower court’s reasoning for upholding them.
  • More elections will take place before Alabama’s maps are fixed. Because the court did not officially strike down the maps, it is likely that more elections will be held before Alabama’s maps become fair.
  • This casing highlights the importance of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court gutted in its Shelby v. Holder decision. The VRA served as a check against state officials’ ability to draw discriminatory maps like Alabama’s.

BOTTOM LINE: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said the court has a “blind spot” when it comes to women’s issues, and its recent legacy on civil rights issues has been less than perfect. So while these decisions are rather narrow in scope, they still show an important step in the right direction toward giving less powerful interests a voice.

Basic Tips for saving water in Washington …from USA.gov


Saving Water Partnership

Seattle and participating water utilities

Many people think that having an environmentally friendly house means spending thousands of dollars on solar panels or planting a garden on the roof to keep the house cool during the summer time.
That’s not really the case. There are many things you can do to help the environment without having to transform your home, or even spend too much money. In fact, you might end up saving hundreds of dollars per year in the process.

For more information click on the link below
http://www.USA.gov

http://www.savingwater.org

chief victims of global warming are women

women walk miles for water and gather the firewood … and women grow the food

 

Mayor Murray and the LED Program


Seattle City Light offers rebates for lighting to help make your 5+ unit property more energy efficient. City Light Program Coordinators will assist you with all aspects of the program. You can use any qualified installer to do the work, or choose from a list of contractors who have worked with City Light before.


 

Powerful Neighborhoods Program for multifamily building ownersSeattle City Light now offers free efficient LED bulbs, showerheads, and faucet aerators to owners or managers of residential buildings with five or more units. In addition, installation of all the bulbs at your property is also provided at no cost.

The Powerful Neighborhoods program provides:

Free efficient LED lighting installed within units:

  • A variety of LED bulb types are available to fit most applications.
  • Inefficient bulbs will be removed; appropriate efficient bulbs will be installed.
    These bulbs save you maintenance costs and save your tenants money.

Efficient water fixtures for buildings with electric water heat:

  • Watersense® showerheads for each shower.
  • Efficient bathroom faucet aerators.
    These fixtures will save on water, sewer and electricity costs.

Free energy saving advanced powerstrips:

  • Advanced powerstrip with sensors and automatic shut-off available for residents who request them
To Qualify

  • Building must be an apartment building, condominium, retirement community, or cooperative with 5+ units located in the Seattle City Light service area. Condominiums and cooperatives must have permission of the entire Association before a building survey is scheduled
  • Building owner or manager must be present at time of installation
  • Schedule an installation

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Meet our InstallersOur installers have undergone background checks and drug screening. All installers will carry City of Seattle
issued identification. Click here to learn more about our experienced efficiency team and see their photos.

clean bandit … New Song


Countdown: 30 Days Until Earth Day


45th Anniversary of Earth Day and this year “It’s Our Turn to Lead.”  Earth Day is only 30 days away – so join 1 billion people to take action!  With Earth Day rapidly approaching, we are reaching out to people like you who are committed to protecting and preserving our planet to help us lead the fight against climate change. We need you to host an event on Earth Day or during Earth Week (April 18-25) to promote awareness of environmental issues and more importantly, to take concrete actions to create a sustainable planet and solve climate change.

Earth Day Network has developed toolkits to help you create change:

1. Government Officials: We call on all government officials to host town halls and Earth Day events to engage constituents and community members in a dialogue about environmental challenges and solutions to those challenges.

2. Universities: University students and activists are one of the most effective vehicles for social action. Host a  Climate Communication Forums on your college campuses this year. Students can translate their education and knowledge into tangible action promoting sustainability within their school and larger community.

3. Schools or K-12 Education: We invite educators to participate in Climate Education Week, April 18-25th. Earth Day Network will soon be releasing an easy-to-use, ready-to-go online toolkit on Climate Education that educators can utilize throughout the week.

4. Faith: Faith leaders have been a driving force behind the most important and successful social movements. We encourage all people of faith across the globe to join us on Earth Day this April as we show the world that it’s our turn to lead.

5. Let’s commit 100%: We are calling on cities and municipalities to commit to using 100% renewable energy sources by 2050.  Cities and municipalities face difficult challenges such as disaster relief, food and water shortages, and providing clean transportation to residents.  Committing to be 100% renewable is fundamental to addressing these challenges.

6. Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day:  Marking the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network and Global Poverty Project present Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. This comes during a pivotal time to protect the planet and ensure that world leaders end global poverty and solve climate change. Add your voice to 250,000 other leaders and stars on the National Mall, April 18.

With only 30 days until Earth Day, don’t miss your opportunity to make a lasting impact in your community and on our planet.  Commit to hosting an Earth Day event and register your event here.

— The Earth Day Network Team