on this day … 2/15 U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before SCOTUS

World1758 – Mustard was advertised for the first time in America.

1764 – The city of St. Louis was established.

1799 – Printed ballots were authorized for use in elections in the state of Pennsylvania.

1842 – Adhesive postage stamps were used for the first time by the City Dispatch Post (Office) in New York City.

1879 – U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1898 – The USS Maine sank when it exploded in Havana Harbor for unknown reasons. More than 260 crew members were killed.

1900 – The British threaten to use natives in their war with the Boers.

1903 – Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, introduced the first teddy bear in America.

1932 – George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on “The Guy Lombardo Show” on CBS radio.

1933 – U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assination attempt in Miami. Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak was killed in the attack.

1942 – During World War II, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.

1943 – “My True Story” was heard for the first time on ABC radio.

1946 – Edith Houghton, at age 33, was signed as a baseball scout by the Philadelphia Phillies becoming the first female scout in the major leagues.

1953 – The first American to win the women’s world figure skating championship was 17-year-old Tenley Albright.

1961 – A Boeing 707 crashed in Belgium killing 73 people.

1962 – CBS-TV bought the exclusive rights to college football games from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a figure of $10,200,000.

1965 – Canada displayed its new red and white maple leaf flag. The flag was to replace the old Red Ensign standard.

1982 – During a storm, the Ocean Ranger, a drilling rig, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. 84 men were killed.

1985 – The Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of all nine-year-olds in the U.S. showed no sign of tooth decay.

1989 – After nine years of intervention, the Soviet Union announced that the remainder of its troops had left Afghanistan.

1991 – The leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland signed the Visegard agreement, in which they pledged to cooperate in transforming thier countties to free-market economies.

1995 – The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick and charged him with cracking security in some of the nation’s most protected computers. He served five years in jail.

2002 – U.S. President George W. Bush approved Nevada’s Yucca Mountain as a site for long-term disposal of radioactive nuclear waste.

Headlines from the Front lines — February 2017

Launching ABB’s Federal Watch
On January 21, ABB staff joined hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and Nashville, TN, to send a clear message of unity in defense of our core values. In Nashville, post-march, we lead a teach-in focused on the legal rights of Tennessee women and caregivers, particularly low-wage workers and other marginalized groups, and how those rights might be threatened or bolstered in the future. As part of our response to the new Administration, we have launched a Federal Watch blog series where we will respond to developments in Washington, D.C. that seek to roll back women’s rights, workers’ rights, and threaten our core values of fairness and economic security for all families. Check out our latest on the nomination of Senator Sessions to lead the Department of Justice. We are committed to defending federal laws and policies that have opened doors to opportunity for millions as we continue to push for more family-friendly reforms at the state and local level.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Efforts Push Ahead
Despite the dramatic shifts in Washington, D.C., we continue to push ahead to advance paid leave at the state and local level. In December, the District of Columbia passed a paid family and medical leave law, which will provide private sector workers there with wage replacement for up to eight weeks to bond with a new child, up to six weeks to care for a loved one with a serious health condition, and up to two weeks for the worker’s own serious health condition. In New York, where paid family leave will go into effect in January 2018, we are employing roundtable discussions among health professionals, workers advocates, and veterans groups, among others, to educate the public about the new law and gather feedback for effective implementation. Our first fact sheet for New Yorkers looking to take paid family leave is now available on our website in English and en Espanol. We anticipate a busy year as we work with allies in more than eight other states on paid leave legislation that will be introduced in 2017. Stay tuned!
Empowering Women in the South
On January 27th, we presented a successful community public education event, “Women in the Workplace: Know Your Rights!” This event, held in Nashville, TN, was coordinated with our partners at the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor. It included an introduction to the status of working women in the South as well as presentations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. Elizabeth Gedmark, Director of the Southern Office of A Better Balance, presented on pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. Speakers particularly focused on the rights of vulnerable populations, such as undocumented workers. The event drew a diverse and engaged crowd, and provided an opportunity to learn, to ask questions, and to network and make personal connections.
Voices from the Clinic
“I’ve been working at my job for two years. I told my employer I was pregnant and his response to me was that I have to resign my job if I’m going full term with my pregnancy and I was given 48 hours to let him know my decision. I cried cause I didn’t want to lose my job so I started to research the laws of pregnancy in the workplace and I found a pamphlet on the A Better Balance website that was really helpful. I called the number on the pamphlet, explained my situation and that was the best decision I ever made. I was represented by ABB, I get to keep my job, I got a workplace accommodation, and I kept my work hours. Help was there every step of the way — it’s like I was never in this alone. Now I feel confident and more comfortable than ever in my workplace.”
— Saana
A Better Balance

This Week In Review – Saturday, 2/11/2017


This was a big week in national and Washington politics – but we’ll  help you stay up to date on what’s going on, and what you can do to help out and advance the cause of progressive policies and politics.

This is a week to be PROUD to be a Washington State Democrat! Washington is leading the national resistance to Trump, fighting back against his radical and unconstitutional policies. We were even recognized by the Washington Post as the “epicenter of resistance to Trump’s agenda”!

1. 9th Circuit Court Rules Against Trump!

This week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Trump in the State of Washington v Donald Trump lawsuit challenging Trump’s travel ban on Muslims. This means that the restraining order preventing Trump’s ban from being implemented will stay in place – a big win for human rights. Thank you Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson for your leadership in this effort, and to all those who have marched in the streets in support!

And in big news, it appears that the Trump administration is considering NOT appealing the decision to the Supreme Court. While our fight for justice for our Muslim brothers and sisters is far from over, this shows the solid legal ground upon which our side stands.

2. Democrats Leading On Education

Democrats in the state House of Representatives held a hearing on their education funding plan this week – a comprehensive plan to fully fund education, raise teacher salaries, lower local property taxes, and invest in proven support for students like career & technical education, bilingual education, guidance counselors in schools and others. You can watch the hearing on the bill, HB 1843, on TVW here.

3. Republicans Under Pressure At Town Halls

At town hall events across the country, Republicans are under major pressure from the public on issues like health care coverage and the Affordable Care Act. In Spokane, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers heard loud and clear from her constituents about the importance of health care just a few weeks ago.

Our Washington State Republican delegation hasn’t yet announced a schedule of town hall events for the Congressional recess week of February 20th. It’s important that we take the opportunity to go to these events and remind Republican lawmakers of the importance of laws like the Affordable Care Act, which ensures insurance coverage for 32 million Americans and more than 750,000 Washingtonians.

If you live in a Republican Congressional District, call and ask them to hold a public town hall meeting

Rep. Jaime Herrera-Butler – (202) 225-3536 – (360) 695-6292

Rep. Dan Newhouse – (202) 225-5816 – (509) 452-3243

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers – 202-225-2006 – 509-353-2374

Rep. Dave Reichert – 202-225-7761 or 425-677-7414

What you can do

1. Support the Voting Rights Act!

The Washington Voting Rights Act will be voted on by an important committee in our state legislature next week, and legislators need to hear that the public supports this important policy! Our elections are too important to allow voices to be silenced, and the Voting Rights Act would help local governments reform their elections so that all votes count in elections and all voices can be fairly represented in government. 

You can call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to be connected with the offices of your legislators, and say something like this:

“Hello, my name is _________. As your constituent, I urge you to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act. It’s past time that we pass this bill and make sure that every vote is counted in every election across our state. Thank you.”


2. Education Funding Moving Forward

Now that the state House of Representatives has passed their education funding plan out of committee, we need to let legislators know that the people of Washington support HB 1843, the Democratic plan to fully funding education!

You can call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to be connected with the offices of your legislators, and say something like this:

“Hello, my name is _________. We need to pass a plan to fully fund education in Washington state, and HB 1843 is the right approach. The Democrat plan provides the resources that students and teachers need to succeed and at the hearing, it’s clearly the plan that Washingtonians support. Thank you!”


3. Help fund our grassroots organizing – join the DEM club!

We’re looking to expand our communications program and hire organizers to help the grassroots activate against Donald Trump and the Republicans. Joining our Democrats Every Month club (the DEM club!) is a great way to make a small monthly commitment to support Democratic organizing and progressive politics.

If you’ve already signed up for the DEM club, send this link or forward this email to a friend and encourage them to join us! This is the most important thing we can do to build our Party and the progressive movement.

Thank you for your support!