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WeekiWater

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Member since: Thu Sep 20, 2018, 10:12 PM
Number of posts: 3,259

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JPMorgan Chase Is Done With Private Prisons

We will no longer bank the private-prison industry” —JPMorgan Chase representative

After years of targeted actions by everyday activists and concerned shareholders, JPMorgan Chase announced early this morning that they will stop financing GEO Group and CoreCivic — the largest operators of private prisons and immigrant detention centers in the U.S. This is a big win for the world of corporate accountability; one that many believe wouldn’t have been possible without hundreds of thousands of people nationally demanding change in the wake of growing concern over family detention. It also calls into question the financial viability of the private prison industry, which has come under fire both by activists and financial analysts.

As explored in “What Do Big Banks Have to Do With Private Prisons,” GEO Group and CoreCivic have a long history of profiting from mass incarceration: they make money when beds are filled, justly or unjustly, which is why they've spent $25M on lobbying over the past three decades to push for harsher criminal justice and immigration laws. Interestingly, while only 10% of prisons and jails nationwide are for-profit, a third of all immigrant detention centers are privately owned… receiving over $1B a year in contracts from ICE (almost $5.5M a day of taxpayer money).

Since news of family separation at the southern border began shedding more light on the abuses inside such private facilities, activists across the country have been paying careful attention to who actually enables private prison companies in their day to day operations. In other words, they’ve been meticulously following the money story behind the story — and found that brand-name banks like Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have provided billions in financing to private prisons over the past decade.

Over the past few years, there’s been a steady drumbeat of actions from civil society addressing this relationship. In May of 2017, Make the Road New York, the Center for Popular Democracy, and allies began their #BackersOfHate campaign with civil disobedience at Chase’s Manhattan headquarters, followed by rallies outside of shareholder meetings in Texas and Delaware to call out the abuses immigrants face in private prisons and detention centers. Then in 2018, united under the hashtag #FamiliesBelongTogether, 80+ organizations — from immigrant rights nonprofits to social investing firms — came together to form a corporate accountability committee targeting big banks through both insider conversations and consumer-facing strategies (in full disclosure, the author’s firm, Candide Group, and its project Real Money Moves, are members of this committee).


Forbes

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Sues U.S. Soccer for Gender Discrimination

Twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team significantly escalated their long-running fight with the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on Friday.

The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France. In their filing and a statement released by the team, the 28 players described “institutionalized gender discrimination” that they say has existed for years.

The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.


NYT

Amy Klobuchar suggests taxing companies making money off user data

Minnesota senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has floated the idea of taxing tech companies when they exploit user data. Platforms like Facebook “use us, and we’re their commodity, and we’re not getting anything out of it,” Klobuchar said today during a SXSW interview with Recode co-founder Kara Swisher. “When they sell our data to someone else, well, maybe they’re going to have to tell us so we can put some kind of a tax on it.”

Klobuchar acknowledged that she was simply floating an option, not putting forward a detailed policy prescription. And the idea isn’t nearly as mainstream as passing privacy legislation or toughening antitrust policies, two areas Klobuchar also emphasized — saying she wanted to scrutinize whether companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google had suppressed competition. But she said a major problem with the tech landscape was that “we just thought ‘Oh, we can just put our stuff on there and it’s fine,’ and they’re making money off of us.”


The Verge

CNN to host Elizabeth Warren at 2020 town hall

Washington (CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren will answer questions at a town hall moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper in Mississippi next Monday.

The town hall will take place at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and air at 9 p.m. ET.

Warren declared over the weekend that she is not a Democratic socialist, differentiating herself from her 2020 opponent, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. The senator said she believes "there is an enormous amount to be gained from markets" and that "markets create opportunities."

Warren officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign in February at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts — joining a number of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate in the race for the White House. The presidential hopeful issued a call to action against wealthy power brokers who "have been waging class warfare against hardworking people for decades," and kicked off her campaign at Everett Mills, the site of a historic 1912 labor strike led by women and immigrants.


CNN

Cory Booker: It's time for the next step in criminal justice reform (WP Opinion piece by Booker)

Edward Douglas woke up on Jan. 10, 2019, in a federal penitentiary in Pekin, Ill., where he had spent every morning of the past 15 years of his life. He was serving a lifetime sentence for selling 140 grams of crack cocaine — an amount about the size of a baseball.

It seemed like any other day until, at 10:30 a.m., a guard came into Douglas’s cell and told him he needed to call his lawyer. A few minutes later, he reached his lawyer, who informed him that, thanks to a new law, he would be a free man in a matter of hours. Douglas started sobbing.

“I don’t know what to say,” Douglas said through tears. “I’ll be glad to see my mom and my kids.”

The new law — the First Step Act — was the most sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system in a decade, and included a provision making retroactive a 2010 law that reduced the egregious discrepancies between sentences for crack and powder cocaine. These discrepancies imposed such harsh, unbalanced penalties for crack cocaine relative to powder cocaine, that someone caught with an amount of crack the size of a candy bar would get roughly the same sentence as someone caught with a briefcase full of powder.


Washington Post

Well worth the read.

Can Bernie Sanders make reparations? His personal reboot on racial justice may not be enough

Bernie Sanders’ presidential reboot features some notable changes from his 2016 run.

This time around, Sanders has elevated a new, more diverse senior campaign staff and has incorporated more of his personal narrative into his policy-driven stump speech. After holding his first official campaign rally of this cycle in front of a diverse crowd of Brooklyn supporters, alongside at least three featured African-American speakers, Sanders traveled Sunday to Selma, Alabama, to take part in commemorations for the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the 1965 demonstration on the Edmund Pettus Bridge where civil rights activists were beaten by Alabama state troopers.

He then went to the University of Chicago, where he noted that as a student activist he took part in civil rights protests. But on one particular issue of racial justice, Bernie Sanders’ personalized reboot is still lacking.

Generations of leaders have called for a national conversation on race as necessary for true racial justice and equity in this country. (That didn't start with Barack Obama.) But an unwillingness to discuss reparations -- at least as a general avenue for redress to historic and systemic racism -- is a way to shut down that conversation. Bernie Sanders needs a better answer on reparations for the black descendants of slavery in the United States, and he needs it soon.


Salon

Ivanka, Donald Trump donated to Kamala Harris' campaign for California attorney general

However, as the Bee now reports, Harris' spokesperson Ian Sams says Harris didn't use Trump's donation. Rather, in 2015 — a year after she had already been reelected and was working toward a Senate run — she gave the $6,000 to a nonprofit that works to secure civil rights for Central Americans.


Chron

Kamala Harris - 2020 Vision

Mixed-race and female. A couple of presidential elections ago, that would have been enough to ensure Kamala Harris was a non-starter. Today, it makes her the ideal candidate to beat Donald Trump.

In 2008 she would not have had a shot, but the American political landscape has changed markedly in the last decade, and in the last two years especially. The Oakland native is the early favorite to win the democratic nomination, having emerged as the candidate with the best chance of beating Donald Trump to the White House in 2020.

She comes onto the national scene with the Democratic party still smarting from Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 and an electorate largely exasperated with the events of the last two years. Now, aspects that would have hindered her had she gone up against, say, George W. Bush in 2004 (being a woman, of mixed race, with immigrants for parents) are suddenly viewed as advantages. She is being tipped as the natural successor to Barrack Obama, and the one who can turn Trump into a one-term president.

An open, modern figure with broad appeal, Harris is sufficiently charismatic to win over a large section of voters and sufficiently battle-hardened to go toe to toe with the outgoing president – able to give as good as she gets when it comes to the sort of verbal jousting he relishes.


Leadership League

Elizabeth Warren: What to know about the 2020 candidate's wealth tax proposal

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) opened her 2020 campaign with a wealth tax policy proposal that was inspired by University of California-Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. The plan would tax the wealthiest Americans on their assets.


Read key details here: Axios

Tlaib to offer impeachment articles against Trump by end of month

The Democratic drumbeat toward impeaching President Trump grew louder Wednesday morning when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) announced she will soon introduce legislation to oust the president.

Democratic leaders have sought to deter members of the caucus from pressing the impeachment issue, arguing the need for further investigations into Trump's actions in office. They're concerned that without more evidence of presidential wrongdoing — and more public support for impeachment — the issue could backfire on the Democrats at the polls next year.


The Hill
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