The Good News

After months of campaigning by housing rights activists, Boston City Council approved the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act, which will inform tenants facing evictions of their rights and protections under state law. This is a huge win for local activism!


The Mass. Senate is poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants.


The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, a coalition of 17 insurance providers, has backed the ACCESS bill for comprehensive contraceptive access. They’d previously opposed the bill.


The Cambridge City Council unanimously passed an order to create a fund that would reimburse DACA application costs for Cambridge residents.


Judges keep ruling that the Trump team’s attempts to wipe out significant chunks of the Obama environmental legacy violate federal law. This week, a federal court ruled that the administration broke the law when it tried to delay compliance with rules curbing so-called flaring, a technique oil and gas companies use to burn off leaking methane.


Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were close to being charged with felony fraud in 2012 over misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo. When Trump’s attorney intervened, the charges magically disappeared. This story came to light as the result of intensive investigative reporting by ProPublica, WNYC, and The New Yorker—and that in itself is good news.


In a sharp rebuke to President Trump’s expanded deportation orders, California Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation vastly limiting whom state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.


Ben & Jerry’s has signed an agreement with farmworker leaders from Migrant Justice ensuring that all dairy farms that supply them with milk provide humane conditions and fair wages for their workers and creating an enforcement strategy that encourages workers to speak up about violations.


36-year-old progressive Democratic candidate and Morehouse alum Randall Woodfin became the youngest mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, this week, defeating the two-term Republican incumbent by a near 20-point margin.


An Interior Department executive turned whistleblower who claimed the Trump administration reassigned him for disclosing how climate change affects Alaska Native communities resigned this week. Dozens of other senior executive service personnel were suddenly reassigned in June, and the department’s inspector general is probing whether those reassignments were legal.


The inspector general for the Interior Department has opened an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travel during seven months in office, from his use of taxpayer-funded charter and military planes to his mixing of official trips with political appearances.


The EPA inspector general’s office announced that it planned to expand a preliminary investigation into Scott Pruitt’s air travel.


Four organizations—the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women's Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State—announced lawsuits against the Trump administration’s new rules allowing employers to drop insurance coverage for contraception, less than two hours after they implemented the changes.


And Maura Healey announced that day that she’ll immediately sue the Trump administration over the new regulation.


Massachusetts’ only Confederate memorial, which has been boarded up for four months, will be removed from Georges Island after Columbus Day weekend.


A Texas judge ruled against Trump's voter fraud commission, saying state officials would violate state privacy laws if they provided voters’ personal information to commission members.


An attorney for the state of Hawaii said in a letter to the Supreme Court that the state is planning to challenge President Trump’s new travel ban. The ACLU and other advocacy organizations have also announced they’ll challenge the ban.


Global organization Oxfam criticized the U.S. government's “slow and inadequate response” to the crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The organization will pursue a two-pronged approach to help the island, advocating for an overall improved response to the disaster and supporting local affiliates who are on site in Puerto Rico and can provide relief.


Puerto Rico’s governor has proposed switching the island over to a microgrid system that would localize the production of electricity to smaller regions, each of which would be powered by a small-scale power plant, such as a compact solar array or a few wind turbines.


A German provider of energy-storage systems will install microgrids to provide electricity for at least 15 emergency relief centers in Puerto Rico.


Two charities cleaning thousands of bikes left behind at Burning Man plan to donate them to hurricane victims.


While Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch spoke patronizingly about gerrymandering, trying to make the argument that the Supreme Court couldn’t involve itself in issues of redistricting on a state level, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg shut him down with just eight words: ““Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” Her response invoked previous court precedents that made it clear that the court could tell states how to run their elections to ensure fairness and equality. And Justice Sotomayor grilled Wisconsin’s attorneys with tough and pointed questions.


Two former officials who worked on the sign-up campaigns for ACA health insurance exchanges when Barack Obama was president launched an initiative called Get America Covered to stand in for the administration's dramatically scaled-back efforts and get the word out about enrollment season. You'll want to follow them on Twitter.


Congress passed the bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act making it a core priority for U.S. diplomatic, development, and military personnel to include women in preventing and resolving conflicts.


People stood in lines hundreds deep across Nevada to donate blood for victims of the Las Vegas shooting.


Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) plans to introduce bipartisan legislation to ban the device the Las Vegas shooter used to make semi-automatic weapons fire more rapidly. Legislation to ban bump stocks has gathered bipartisan support rapidly over the past few days.


Rex Tillerson called Trump a "fucking moron" and nearly resigned this summer, according to NBC News. In response to the story, Tillerson denied considering resignation but did not deny the moron comment.


Representative Tim Murphy, a leading abortion opponent, announced he won’t run again after a story surfaced that the married Republican had asked a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to get an abortion.


Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who sits on the Senate Budget Committee, said he will not vote for a tax plan “adding one penny to the deficit.” This could be a major obstacle for the GOP tax plan.


Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized the Trump tax-reform framework after a think tank issued a report finding that many middle-class taxpayers could see their taxes go up.


A transgender woman who was beaten and threatened with death when she refused to collect extortion money for a Guatemalan drug cartel, was raped and tortured by Guatemalan police, and received death threats from coworkers because of her gender identity gained asylum in the U.S. this week after advocacy by the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Hundreds of conservative grassroots supporters streamed into Washington, D.C. to rally for renewable energy and tell Congress why it’s critical to the county’s future.


TransCanada killed its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline proposal.


The Justice Department plans to unveil a new initiative to increase protections for women facing sexual harassment by landlords, security guards and other rental property staff


The City of San Francisco expanded its recycling program for the first time in 15 years so that residents can now put empty paper cups, paper cartons, plastic bags and bubble wrap into their blue bins.


The dean of Harvard Medical School (HMS) sent an email saying that HMS will now be recognizing "Columbus Day" as Indigenous Peoples' Day.


Saying he can “no longer stay silent” about police brutality, Michael Jordan donated $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations.


State Street Corporation, parent company of the investment firm behind Wall Street’s Fearless Girl statue, agreed to pay a combined $5 million to more than 300 women and 15 black employees who were paid less than their white, male counterparts. Looks like the statue is inspiring them as well!


General Electric announced it’s working toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future, with two new fully electric models next year and at least 18 more by 2023.


The Senate Judiciary Chairman said there’s no way to avoid a public hearing for Donald Trump Jr., and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said, "Before this is over with, we will know everything about the Don Jr. meeting.”


Robert Mueller's investigators met with the author of the Trump dossier, Christopher Steele, this past summer as part of an effort to learn if people associated with the Trump campaign and suspected Russian operatives broke any laws.


Trump's associates had two more previously undisclosed contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign, according to documents turned over to congressional committees and the special counsel. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was invited to a conference in Russia that would be attended by Putin and he received a second proposal for a Trump-branded Moscow project during the campaign. Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, low-level foreign policy advisers, and now Cohen were all contacted by Russians with interests in business and politics in the weeks before or after Trump accepted the nomination.

Compiled with much help, and even more inspiration, from the amazing Abby Brockman.