true toll that gun violence takes


In the first six months of 2017, how many gun violence incidents were reported in the U.S.? 23,549; 27,967; or 30,776?

It’s astonishing to learn that the odds of dying from a gun homicide in Japan are approximately one in 10 million, roughly the same likelihood of an American being killed by a lightning strike. This fact is so surprising because here at home, gun violence is a constant. It’s relentless. It’s an everyday nightmare made all the more heartbreaking – because we know it’s preventable if we take the proper steps.

Last year alone, there were more than 58,000 gun violence incidents in the U.S. – and nearly 3,800 of them involved a child or teenager being injured or killed. More than 40% of Americans know someone who has been shot – that’s 128 million people with firsthand experience of this ongoing crisis. The gun lobby’s response to numbers like these? Deny and downplay them, because that’s the best way to push their agenda in Washington, D.C.

The gun lobby wants us in the dark when it comes to understanding the true toll that gun violence takes on our communities nationwide. But we can’t let them control the conversation. Will you take our quick quiz below to see how much you know about the extent of the gun violence crisis in the U.S.?

International Election Digest: New French president wins big legislative majority to advance agenda


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The Daily Kos International Elections Digest is compiled by Stephen Wolf and David Beard, with additional contributions from James Lambert, Daniel Nichanian, Daniel Donner, and Julia van Hoogstraten, and is edited by David Nir.

LEADING OFF

• France—legislature (June 11 & 18)

La République en Marche! (“The Republic Onwards!,” or REM), the new centrist political party created by recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron, secured a solid majority in France’s powerful lower house of parliament in last month’s runoffs. That follows REM’s dominant first-round result, which we previously covered in detail. Although many polls predicted a more lopsided result, REM fell somewhat short of expectations, winning 53 percent of all seats in the National Assembly. However, another centrist party called MoDem won seven percent, giving the two allies a combined three-fifths majority.

MoDem leader Francois Bayrou and other members of his party quit Macron’s cabinet shortly after the election over an investigation into party funding, but MoDem is still likely to support the president’s legislative agenda. Consequently, Macron should have little trouble getting many of his proposals passed.

This legislative dominance unfortunately leaves France without an effective opposition leadership for the time being, since both the center-left Socialist-led bloc and the center-right Republicans have each fractured between those who oppose and support Macron, making his working majority even larger than the election results would indicate. The broader left is deeply fragmented between several parties, while many on the center-right are likely to agree with with Macron’s proposal to weaken labor laws and his tax cut plan, which a recent study found would provide 46 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest top 10 percent of French households.

Having secured a firm grip on the reins of power, Macron has proposed a wide array of political reforms, including reducing the number of members of the National Assembly by roughly one-third, while also introducing an unspecified “dose” of proportional representation. Some of these reforms could improve democratic outcomes, but others, such as term limits, are part of an effort to shift power away from parliament and toward the presidency. Indeed, Macron is planning on using executive powers to push through his labor reforms by decree and sidestep parliament entirely.

As for the other major parties, the Socialist-led bloc won just eight percent of seats in parliament after many of its voters defected en masse to REM, costing the center-left its previous governing majority. However, the Republicans and their allies also tumbled, from 40 percent in the last election to just 24 percent in June. Meanwhile, the number of women in parliament surged from 27 percent to 39 percent, thanks to the fact that nearly half of REM’s slate of candidates consisted of women.

Even though populist fringe parties won over 40 percent of the vote in the first round of voting in April’s presidential race, that didn’t translate into gains in the subsequent elections for the National Assembly. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front did quadruple its seat count, but that just meant an increase from two seats to eight—just one percent of the 577-member chamber. Similarly, radical-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise (“Unsubmissive France”) and the far-left Communist Partytogether hold just four percent of seats, in part because they ran competing slates of parliamentary candidates even though the two parties had united behind Mélenchon’s failed presidential bid in the spring.

Asia

• East Timor—parliament (July 22)

East Timor elected president Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo in March and now returns to the polls for parliamentary elections. There are four parties worth watching: the left-wing FRETILIN; the center-left National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT); the small center-left Democratic Party (PD); and the new People’s Liberation Party (PLP). FRETILIN and CNRT are the traditional major parties in the country, but they formed a coalition in the previous parliament, and jointly supported Lú-Olo’s presidential bid.

The PD, which had previously served in coalitions with CNRT, hopes to grow into the main opposition party. But they may get quickly surpassed by the new PLP, formed by former president Taur Matan Ruak in the wake of the FRETILIN/CNRT coalition.

• Mongolia—president (June 26 & July 7)

Following a tumultuous campaign and the country’s first-ever runoff election, Mongolia has finally chosen a new president after businessman and former world champion martial artist Khaltmaa Battugla comfortably defeated legislative speaker Miyeegombyn Enkhbold by a 51-41 margin. Battugla’s victory means the opposition center-right Democratic Party will retain control over the presidency, and with it, the power to veto laws and appoint judges. However, Enkhbold’s center-left Mongolian People’s Party(MPP) will continue running the government thanks to its veto-proof majority in parliament.

Battugla’s win follows a divisive first round where he earned a plurality of 38 percent, while the MPP secured the other runoff spot over the center-left Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) by just 30.3 percent to 30.2 percent. MPRP’s upstart populist candidate Sainkhüügiin Ganbaatar decried those results as fraudulent, and many of his supporters likely spoiled their ballots in protest in the low-turnout second round, in an unsuccessful effort to deny anyone a majority and force a new election. All three candidates faced allegations of rampant corruption.

A major issues for the incoming president is how Mongolia’s economy will deal with the sharp drop in the value of natural resource exports to its much larger neighbor China, which has caused its growth rate to plummet from the world’s highest to nearly nonexistent. The MPP-led government agreed to unpopular fiscal austerity measures earlier in 2017 in exchange for an International Monetary Fund-led bailout. While its decisive defeat could spell trouble in the next legislative elections, the MPP is fortunate that those aren’t until 2020.

Middle East/North Africa

• Israel—Labor Party leadership election (July 4 & 10)

Earlier this month, Israel’s center-left opposition Labor Party elected Avi Gabbay as their new party leader. Gabbay is a telecom executive who had recently been a part of the centrist Kulanu party, which supports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing governing coalition. As a previously unknown outsider who made millions in the business world but lacks high-level security experience, Gabbay is a sharp break with past Labor leaders. That helped Gabbay in the race, as the Labor Party has not won power in an Israeli election since 1999 and, both many adherents and critics have long asserted, is in desperate need of a change.

• Iraq: Kurdistan—independence referendum (Sept. 25)

The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has announced that an independence referendum will be held on Sept. 25, after having been delayed several times since 2014. The referendum will take place both within the autonomous Kurdistan Region in the country’s far north and in disputed areas adjacent to it (some of which Kurdish fighters have taken in the war with ISIS), including the diverse oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Iraq’s central government strongly opposes the referendum and any move to split up the Iraqi state, but from a practical standpoint, it can’t prevent the referendum from moving forward. Meanwhile, Kurdish officials have said that the referendum will not automatically lead to a declaration of independence, but rather argue that a vote in favor would strengthen the Kurds’ hand in negotiating with Baghdad.

• Lebanon—parliament (May 2018)

Lebanon last elected its parliament in 2009, and new elections have been overdue since 2013. The major political factions in this deeply divided country had been unable to reach an agreement on how to conduct elections, leading parliament to twice extend its term despite public outcry. Although elections were supposed to be held this summer, parliament once again extended its term for another year. However, the parties appear to have finally resolved their longstanding issues after lawmakers approved a new electoral law in June, paving the way for fresh elections at long last by May of 2018.

As we explained back in January, Lebanon’s political system is architected around power-sharing between the country’s many sectarian groups, chief among them Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Shia Muslims. But this system has long been deeply unpopular and has helped produce political paralysis, although it’s possible that it has also forestalled a return to the violence that marked Lebanon’s devastating civil war that ran from 1975 to 1990.

The country’s new electoral system will allocate parliamentary seats using proportional representation in multi-member seats, replacing a more majoritarian system that favored entrenched major parties at the expense of outsiders and independents. However, the electoral districts are drawn largely along sectarian lines, which, at least to some degree, will still ensure that Lebanon’s major religious groups will be able to elect their preferred candidates.

Europe

• Albania—parliament (June 25)

The incumbent center-left Socialist Party won Albania’s parliamentary elections with an increased margin last month, gaining an absolute majorityof parliament and allowing it to govern without a coalition. The Socialists won 74 of 140 sets while the center-right Democratic Party came in a distant second with 43 seats. (The Democrats had threatened to boycott the election, but an agreement resolved the crisis and the contest went relatively smoothly.) Despite gaining ground to win 19 seats, the splinter center-left Socialist Movement for Integration will return to the opposition after previously participating in the last governing coalition.

The Socialists’ majority now gives the party an opportunity to tackle corruption in the country’s judicial system, a key step in European Union accession talks that the Democratic Party has resisted. The previous coalition between the two Socialist parties had become strained, making governing difficult, but all three major parties strongly support entering the European Union.

• Kosovo—parliament (June 11)

Despite losing seats in last month’s elections, a coalition led by Kosovo’s center-right Democratic Party (PDK) still managed to come in first place with 39 of 120 seats. The big winner, though, was the radical-left nationalist party Vetëvendosje (VV), which doubled both its vote share and seat count (up to 32), putting it in second place. VV’s success was largely due to its strong anti-corruption stance. An alliance headed by the right-wing Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), which had governed in partnership with the PDK until losing a no-confidence in May, did slightly worse, losing one seat to drop to 29.

PDK leader Ramush Haradinaj has said that he has the votes to form the next government, which would include his 39 seats, the 20 seats reserved for Serbs and other ethnic minorities, and a handful of members of the LDK’s coalition.

• Spain: Catalonia—independence referendum (Oct. 1)

The regional government in Catalonia, a relatively wealthy corner of northeastern Spain that’s home to Barcelona and one-sixth of the country’s population, has set an official date of Oct. 1 to hold a binding referendum on secession. Catalonia has long had a distinct regional identity and its own language (called Catalan), but though its government is autonomous, it lacks key powers in Spain’s non-federal system. Polls show the public deeply divided over the question of independence.

However, the national government in Madrid has steadfastly opposed the planned referendum as illegal and vows to use all legal means available to prevent it from taking place. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government is very unpopular in the region, and both the Catalan government’s attempt to press forward with the referendum and Rajoy’s promise to thwart it could further inflame political tensions.

Sub-Saharan Africa

• Senegal—parliament (July 30)

President Macky Sall’s United in Hope coalition holds an overwhelming majority of seats in Senegal’s unicameral parliament, but economic frustrations have grown over his presidency, potentially giving the opposition an opening. However, several opposition parties were unable to form a joint coalition, raising the risk that their fracture will help Sall’s allies maintain power thanks to Senegal’s strongly majoritarian variant of mixed-member proportional representation.

Former President Abdoulaye Wade, a 91-year-old Democratic Party leader who lost his attempt for a constitutionally dubious third term against Sall in a landslide in 2012, has returned from living abroad to lead the biggest opposition faction. Meanwhile, Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, who runs the country’s capital and largest city (but is no relation to the current president), is leading another opposition bloc despite being jailed on embezzlement charges. However, he has not been convicted and contends that the charges against him are politically motivated.

North America

• Canada: British Columbia—government formation

The government led by British Columbia’s center-right Liberal Party has officially been defeated after winning a bare plurality of seats in the provincial legislature in May’s elections. In one of the narrowest wins in Canadian history, the Liberals won 43 seats to the center-left New Democratic Party’s 41, with the eco-centrist Green Party claiming the remaining three, a historic achievement for the tiny Greens. But despite finishing with a plurality of seats and votes, Premier Christy Clark’s hope of extending the Liberals’ 16-year streak in power was dashed when the NDP and the Greens brokered a deal to allow NDP leader John Horgan to become the province’s next premier based on their combined numerical majority in the legislature.

Nevertheless, the NDP had to overcome an initial hurdle, since according to tradition, the speaker of the Legislative Assembly—who has to be selected before any other action can proceed—takes on a largely nonpartisan, non-voting role, even though he or she is an elected member of the body just like any other. Consequently, if the NDP had been forced to choose a speaker from its own ranks, there would have been an effective 43-43 tie, producing a stalemate that could have allowed Clark to remain on as a caretaker premier.

Indeed, for a time, the Liberals resisted putting one of their own forward as speaker, precisely in order to foment this deadlock. The Liberals ultimately blinked, though, and elected veteran Liberal MLA Steve Thomson as speaker. While the reasons for this move are somewhat unclear, it may have been part of an effort to convince Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon to dissolve the legislature and call a new election. (Clark rather absurdly claimed to Guichon that an NDP-Green government would involve “bending the rules of democracy.”)

Fortunately for the NDP and Greens, that ploy was unsuccessful: After Clark lost the confidence vote in the legislature on June 29, Guichon rebuffed her desperate pleas, clearing the way for Horgan to become the province’s first NDP premier since 2001. However, Thomson consequently resigned as speaker to force the NDP to fill the role, and it’s likely that a new NDP speaker will indeed have to break tradition in order to get bills passed. Even then, Horgan will be relying on an extremely precarious balance of power, so it would not be surprising to see another election take place before 2021, when the next legally mandated elections are scheduled.

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GOP faces tough maps in Maryland, one of the rare state legislatures Democrats drew


The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.

LEADING OFF

• Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections’ project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation comes to Maryland, one of the few states where Democrats controlled the redistricting process this decade. You can find our master list of states here, which we’ll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.

Maryland is usually a reliably blue state, and Democrats have controlled both the state House and state Senate for close to a century. Maryland’s legislature is only up in midterm cycles, and members were elected under the Democratic-drawn map for the first time in 2014. However, Team Blue got a nasty surprise that year when Republican Larry Hogan won the governorship. It takes three-fifths of each house to override a governor’s veto, and Democrats still won a 33-14 Senate supermajority and a 91-50 edge in the state House, both above the minimum numbers. However, Republicans hope that if Hogan is re-elected in 2018, he’ll help elect enough Republicans to the legislature to break the Democratic supermajority in at least one chamber and keep his vetoes intact.

Maryland has 47 state Senate districts, with one senator per seat. However, the state House is quite complicated. Each of the 47 state Senate seats gets three state delegates. In some cases, the state Senate seat is divided into three smaller House seats, which are lettered A, B, and C. In other cases, parties can nominate up to three people for a state House seat, and general election voters can vote up to three times. A few places have a hybrid approach. For example, House seat 03B has just one delegate, while 03A has two.

Before we drill into the numbers, note that we don’t have 2012 presidential numbers to compare 2016 to. Unfortunately, Maryland redrew many of its election precincts between 2012 and 2014. As a result, matching 2012 precincts with the current legislative seats is incredibly difficult, and it’s even tougher in cases where the 2012 precincts fall into one or more districts.

We’ll start with the state Senate. Clinton carried Maryland 61-34 and won 33 of the 47 seats. Even though the Senate was last up during the 2014 GOP wave year rather than in 2016, Democrats hold all but one of the Clinton seats, while the GOP lost just one Trump district. The one Republican on blue turf is Gail Bates, whose Howard County-based SD-09 backed Clinton 51-44. Bates won a promotion from the House to the Senate 66-34 in 2014. Her Democratic counterpart is state Sen. James Mathias, Jr. Mathias’ SD-38, which is on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore, backed Trump 59-38. In 2014, Mathias won a second term 52-48.

One way to illustrate how much the map favors Democrats is to sort each seat in each chamber by Clinton’s margin of victory over Trump and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. In Maryland, the median Senate seat backed Clinton 65-31, about 7 points to the left of her statewide win.

Perhaps the better question to ask is what seats the GOP would need in 2014 to take the Democrats down to a 28-19 majority, which would allow a united GOP minority to sustain a veto. Assuming Team Red unseated Mathias and held Bates’ seat, they’d need to take four more districts. If they went on to win the four Democratic-held seats where Clinton’s margin over Trump was the weakest, that magic fourth seat would be SD-03 in Frederick County. Clinton won the district 56-38, while Democratic incumbent Ronald Young won his second term 51-49.

We’ll turn to the state House, where 141 members are stuffed into 67 districts. Ninety-eight members represent Clinton seats, while 43 delegates are on Trump turf. No Democrats represent Trump seats, while seven Republicans are in Clinton districts. The Republican with the bluest seat is Bob Flanagan, the sole delegate from HB-09B; not surprisingly, his seat makes up a portion of Bates’ Senate seat. HD-09B backed Clinton 64-30. The median point in the state House backed Clinton 67-27, a daunting 13 points to the left of the state.

If the GOP wants to sustain a veto without Democratic help, they’ll need a minimum of 57 seats, seven more than they currently hold. Trump’s 57th-best seat in the chamber is HD-30A, which has two members. And as it so happens, this 60-35 Clinton Anne Arundel County seat has one Democratic representative and one Republican. However, the Democrat is Michael Busch, who has been speaker of the House since 2003. If the GOP wants to break the Democratic House supermajority under this map, they’ll need to win some very blue turf.

2Q Fundraising

Be sure to check out our second quarter Senate fundraising chart, which we’ll be updating as new numbers come in. We’re also including the totals for House members who are publicly or reportedly considering Senate bids.

• AZ-Sen, AZ-09Kyrsten Sinema (D): $633,000 raised, $3.2 million cash-on-hand

• IN-Sen, IN-06Luke Messer (R): $600,000 raised

• MD-SenBen Cardin (D-inc): $910,000 raised, $1.7 million cash-on-hand

• MI-SenLena Epstein (R): $460,000 raised (in five weeks), $455,000 cash-on-hand

• NV-SenJacky Rosen (D): $300,000 raised, $416,000 cash-on-hand

• TN-SenJames Mackler (D): $451,000 raised

• CO-GovVictor Mitchell (R): $13,000 raised, $2.65 million cash-on-hand

• TN-GovBill Lee (R): $1.4 million raised, $1.4 million self-funded, $2.5 million cash-on-hand

Senate

• MO-Sen: On behalf of the hardline conservative group Club for Growth, Fabrizio Lee is the latest GOP pollster to find Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill trailing a prospective Republican opponent. Their first released survey argues state Attorney General Josh Hawley beats McCaskill 46-42, which is relatively similar to a recent Remington Research poll that also had McCaskill losing to several other Missouri Republicans by modest margins. However, with no recent independent polling, it’s hard to say just exactly where this contest stands.

No noteworthy Republicans have launched a Senate bid yet, including Hawley, who only just won his first term as attorney general last November. However, top state and national Republicans have been recruiting him to do so in recent months, an effort that increased in intensity following Rep. Ann Wagner’s recent surprise decision not to run for Senate. Polls like this one are likely geared toward pushing Hawley to run by showing him a path to victory, but there’s still a long way to Election Day. Even if this poll has an accurate read on the race right now, it wouldn’t be the first time that McCaskill has overcome seemingly tough odds early in the cycle to ultimately prevail.

• WI-Sen: Republican Kevin Nicholson hasn’t yet joined the Senate race against Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin, but if he does, he won’t be lacking for early funding. Republican mega-donor Richard Uihlein, who founded the industrial-supply company Uline, has given a whopping $3.5 million this year to a super PAC devoted to backing Nicholson if he runs. Nicholson, who is a businessman and Marine veteran, is one of several noteworthy Republicans who have expressed interest in running for Senate, but none has formally taken the plunge yet by declaring a campaign.

Gubernatorial

• AL-Gov: State Sen. Paul Sanford is the latest Republican to say that he’s considering running for Alabama governor next year, noting that his family is encouraging him to mount a campaign. However, Sanford also said he probably won’t ultimately go through with it while he’s starting up a new business, despite “wrestling with the idea” of a campaign.

Regardless of whether Sanford gets in or not, Yellowhammer State Republicans already have a crowded primary to deal with. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, state Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington, and a few others are already running, while recently elevated Gov. Kay Ivey may run for a full term too.

• GA-Gov: Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson, who represents the suburban 4th District east of Atlanta, has weighed in on Georgia’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary by throwing his support to state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who faces fellow state Rep. Stacey Evans in next year’s contest. For her part, Abrams recently stepped down from her role as state House minority leader to focus on her campaign, but she is not resigning her seat.

• ME-Gov: Former state House Speaker Mark Eves, a Democrat, kicked off his campaign on Thursday for Maine’s open gubernatorial race next year. Eves served as speaker from 2012 to until term limits forced him to retire from the legislature in 2016, and he’ll be seeking to succeed the man who was his arch-nemesis during his time leading the state House: term-limited Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

Back in 2015, LePage had sparked a firestorm after threatening to cut off funding for a charter school if it didn’t withdraw its job offer to Eves to serve as its president (Maine legislators only work part-time). Legislators consequently contemplated impeaching LePage over this attempted blackmail, but ultimately backed off, in part because getting a conviction in the Republican-run state Senate would’ve been challenging. Eves filed a civil suit against LePage, but a judge dismissed it last year.

Eves is the latest big name to join the Democratic primary, which recently saw the addition of state Attorney General Janet Mills, while a few other lesser-known Democrats are also in the running. Several more prominent Democratic candidates have previously expressed interest in a campaign, and next year’s primary will be the first in state history to use instant-runoff voting following a 2016 ballot measure (although subsequent legal action likely means that system won’t be used for the general election).

• NM-Gov: Businessman Alan Webber, who took second place in the crowded 2014 Democratic primary for governor, had previously been considering another bid next year. However, he announced on Thursdaythat he won’t run and instead will back Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who appears to be the early frontrunner for Team Blue. However, Lujan Grisham does not have a clear path to the nomination, and she still faces a primary with wealthy state Sen. Joe Cervantes and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca.

• RI-Gov: State Rep. Patricia Morgan, who leads the Rhode Island GOP’s tiny state House caucus, had previously expressed interest in running for governor next year, and she announced on Thursday that she was forming an exploratory committee while she considers it. A handful of other Republican candidates have mentioned before that they’re also thinking about running against Democratic incumbent Gina Raimondo, including Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who was the GOP’s 2014 nominee.

• TN-Gov: State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a Republican, had previously said he was considering running for the open governor’s office next year. However, we can probably cross him off the list of potential candidates after Donald Trump nominated him to become a federal district court judge on Thursday—of course, that’s assuming he faces no confirmation problems like fellow Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green, who himself had been running for governor until Trump nominated him for Army secretary, only to see his nomination run aground over his past disparaging remarks against LGBTQ people and Muslims.

House

• CO-02: Boulder County Democratic Party chairman Mark Williams recently indicated he will take a leave of absence from his county party position while he considers whether to run for House next year to succeed Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, who is running for governor in 2018. Williams, who is also the CEO of a consulting business, says his leave will last through Aug. 31, by which point he’ll have reached a decision on whether to run or not. This Boulder-area seat favored Hillary Clinton 56-35and will likely remain securely blue next year, which has helped entice several other Democrats into running or thinking about doing so.

• MI-11: Fayrouz Saad, who is Detroit’s former director of immigration affairs, kicked off her campaign for the Democratic nomination on Thursdayin Michigan’s 11th District, which includes Detroit’s affluent northwestern suburbs. Saad’s résumé includes working for the Department of Homeland Security and as the district director for a late state legislator from Dearborn. While she has previously organized for Democratic presidential campaigns in Michigan, this is her first time as a candidate herself. The Detroit Newsalso recently reported that state Rep. Tim Greimel is considering running, but there’s no word from Greimel himself.

Saad will first have to get past former Obama administration official Haley Stevens to win the Democratic nomination to take on Republican Rep. Dave Trott here. Trott won his second term 53-40 last year in this heavily gerrymandered seat, which backed Trump 50-45 and Romney 52-47. However, it’s far and away the best-educated of Michigan’s 14 congressional districts, which could give Democrats an opening next year if the brewing backlash against Trump among college-educated voters translates into pain for downballot Republicans.

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the Schedules That Work Act


We are Working Washington

Secure scheduling just might go national: More than 100 members of Congress have signed on to sponsor the Schedules That Work Act, which would provide more stable and predictable schedules to workers across the country. Click here to ask your members of Congress to support the bill — or thank them for their support if they’ve already signed on. 

Get this: there’s actually a positive development out of Washington, D.C.   Several key senators and representatives have introduced the Schedules That Work Act, a proposed federal law that looks a lot like the breakthrough secure scheduling ordinance we passed in Seattle last year. It recognizes a basic fact that’s been overlooked for far too long: workers are people, we have lives, and our time counts, too.

The Schedules That Work Act would provide more stable and predictable schedules to workers across the country by ensuring:

  • Two weeks’ notice of your schedule
  • Minimum “report pay” if you’re sent home early from a scheduled shift
  • Right to request input into your schedule
  • And more…

Tell your members of Congress to support stable & predictable schedules for workers across the country by signing on to co-sponsor the Schedules That Work Act. 

Look, I get it. The balance of power at the moment doesn’t seem all too friendly to advancing workers’ rights.

But that’s not forever.

And workers have made progress before in situations that probably didn’t look all that promising either. The Americans with Disabilities Act passed Congress in 1990 with a near-unanimous vote from members of both parties. The last federal minimum wage increase was passed by a Democratic Congress and then signed into law by a Republican president. Here in Washington State we just passed paid family leavethrough a sharply divided legislature.

We can make secure scheduling happen too.

I’m not going to pretend that it’s a slam dunk. And I’m not going to pretend that this one email on its own is going to make it happen. It’s obviously just a first step, and you’re obviously smart enough to know that.

But it is a step forward. And we do have momentum on our side. Since we passed the landmark Seattle secure scheduling law last year, we’ve seen movements spark up across the nation. New York City workers won a similar law earlier this year. Oregon just passed a statewide version this summer. A new proposal was just introduced in Chicago. And more.

We can harness this momentum and grow the movement by pushing to advance secure scheduling laws at every level, from cities and states to the halls of Congress — because every worker has a right to know when they’re going to work and how many hours they’re going to get.

Your message to Congress keeps us moving forward.

Click here to send a message today.

Thanks for your support,
Sage, Working Washington

on this day 7/17 1945 – U.S. President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II. During the meeting Stalin made the comment that “Hitler had escaped.” 


1212 – The Moslems were crushed in the Spanish crusade.

1453 – France defeated England at Castillon, France, which ended the 100 Years’ War.

1785 – France limited the importation of goods from Britain.

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to the British at Rochefort, France.

1821 – Spain ceded Florida to the U.S.

1862 – National cemeteries were authorized by the U.S. government.

1866 – Authorization was given to build a tunnel beneath the Chicago River. The three-year project cost $512,709.

1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine was established in Boston, MA. It was the first dental school in the U.S.

1898 – U.S. troops under General William R. Shafter took Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

1917 – The British royal family adopted the Windsor name.

1920 – Sinclair Lewis finished his novel “Main Street.”

1941 – The longest hitting streak in baseball history ended when the Cleveland Indians pitchers held New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio hitless for the first time in 57 games.

1941 – Brigadier General Soervell directed Architect G. Edwin Bergstrom to have basic plans and architectural perspectives for an office building that could house 40,000 War Department employees on his desk by the following Monday morning. The building became known as the Pentagon.

1945 – U.S. President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II. During the meeting Stalin made the comment that “Hitler had escaped.” 

1946 – Chinese communists opened a drive against the Nationalist army on the Yangtze River.

1950 – The television show “The Colgate Comedy Hour” debuted featuring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

1954 – The Brooklyn Dodgers made history as the first team with a majority of black players.

1955 – Disneyland opened in Anaheim, CA.

1960 – Francis Gary Powers pled guilty to spying charges in a Moscow court after his U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.

1966 – Ho Chi Minh ordered a partial mobilization of North Vietnam forces to defend against American air strikes.

1975 – An Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit. It was the first link up between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

1979 – Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza resigned and fled to Miami in exile. (Florida)

1986 – The largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history took place when LTV Corporation asked for court protection from more than 20,000 creditors. LTV Corp. had debts in excess of $4 billion.

1987 – Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and rear Admiral John Poindexter begin testifying to Congress at the “Iran-Contra” hearings.

1995 – The Nasdaq composite stock index rose above 1,000 for the first time.

1997 – After 117 years, the Woolworth Corp. closed its last 400 stores.

1998 – Biologists reported that they had deciphered the genome (genetic map) of the syphilis bacterium.

2008 – In China, construction of the Shanghai World Financial Center was completed.