Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Recent reports indicate that Pompeo will not be voted out of the committee favorably. This would be historic, but not in the way Pompeo hopes. He would become the “first secretary of state nominee not to receive an endorsement from the committee since the 19th century.”
If the Senate Foreign Relations Committee fails to endorse Pompeo, it would indicate a massive rebuttal of Trump’s homophobic, Islamophobic, war-mongering agenda. Pompeo is made from the same mold as Trump. He has been an extremist on LGBTQ rights; denies climate change is caused by human activity; has pushed for regime change in North Korea; opposes the Iran Deal; and has acted as Trump’s loyal lapdog when it comes to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He even has contributed to the culture of corruption that is so prevalent in the Trump administration, by failing to disclose his ownership of a Kansas company that “imported oilfield equipment from a company owned by the Chinese government.”
These extreme views make it clear that Pompeo is not the person we need to lead the State Department, especially after Tillerson’s dismantling of the department for the past year. Call your senators today at 202-224-3121, and demand they vote “no” on his confirmation.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Our Environment. Yesterday was Earth Day, and it was a good reminder that everyone is impacted by the environment—by the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the outdoor areas we enjoy. But President Trump and his congressional allies are putting all that at risk, putting the interests of corporate polluters above our communities’ health and safety. Have you been affected by the actions of this administration or Congress? Want to share your story? Head to OurEnvironment.org, and let us know what’s at stake for you and your loved ones.
Waffle House Shooting. Another mass shooting occurred in the U.S. this weekend, this time affecting Nashville, Tennessee. A white gunman opened fire in a Waffle House early Sunday morning, killing four people and injuring others. Like many other mass shooters, the attacker used an AR-15. When the shooter stopped to reload his weapon, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, who was unarmed, grabbed the gun, stopped the attacker, and prevented any other fatalities. The gunman remains at large, putting residents of the Nashville community on edge. The latest tragedy highlights the need for gun reform at the state and national level, particularly the banning of automatic weapons and limiting large magazines. Check out these 6 ways to reduce gun violence in America.
Making the U.S. More Unwelcoming. Over the weekend, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to stop using “thank you” and “we regret to inform you” in any decision letters for immigration applications. Although a seemingly inconsequential change, the move is part of a broader strategy to make this country less welcoming to immigrants. Just two months ago, USCIS changed its mission statement, removing the phrase “a nation of immigrants” from its description of the U.S. To be clear, the Trump administration is doing more than just changing language. A new report by the New York Times finds that “more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4.”
Arizona’s 8th. Tomorrow, voters in Arizona will choose Representative Trent Franks’ replacement in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District’s special election. The district has been a Republican stronghold for years—Trump won it by a 21-percentage point margin. But tomorrow’s race is poised to be much closer, with recent polling finding the two candidates within 3 points of each other. With November just 7 months away, this race—and the final winning margin—could foretell what’s to come.
UNDER THE RADAR
Asking for Utensils While Black. Early Sunday morning, 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons was ordering food from a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama when she asked for plastic cutlery. When the employee told her that would cost an additional 50 cents, Clemons protested, arguing that she had not been charged for silverware the day before. Clemons asked to speak to the manager—and before she knew it, the employee had called the police. Clemons was violently wrestled to the ground, which caused her shirt to be partially removed, arrested, and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Video footage has since been released of the incident, and it has sparked protests and sit-ins in the community. This comes just weeks after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for their friend to arrive. While Starbucks has since announced that it will close 8,000+ stores for mandatory racial bias training on May 25th, Waffle House’s CEO has yet to make a statement on this matter. While we wait, go ahead and add “asking for plastic cutlery” to the list of things black people cannot do in America.