TRAUMATIZED RESIDENTS DESCRIBE LIVING CONDITIONS AT HOUSING COMPLEX
March 22, 2018 Five members of Women’s Voices joined dozens of others who crammed into the crowded board room when members of the Board of Commissioners of the St. Louis Housing Authority met on March 22. The topic of discussion: an intractable infestation of mice, which has plagued the residents of the Clinton-Peabody housing complex for more than a year.
Residents took to the microphone to describe intolerable living conditions. Mice, bedbugs and roaches force residents to keep their lights on all the time; foul odors force them to open their windows even in the winter. “Our living conditions are embarrassing and dangerous and traumatizing. I hate living at Clinton-Peabody,” one woman said, as she burst into tears. Another resident challenged board members to “spend one night in an apartment at the complex.”
While most board members listened impassively to the residents concerns, one commissioner, Regina Stewart, was moved by their heartfelt pleas for help. “I will not spend the night in a mice-infested apartment, but I do promise you that we will come up with a plan to help you,” she said, to a standing ovation. “I hear your pain, and we must do something about it.”
Women’s Voices members who attended to support residents were Jeanne Bubb, Mary Clemons, Barbara Finch, Karon Hatchett and Barbara Richter. State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and State Representative Bruce Franks Jr. attended the event, along with TV, radio and print news reporters.
The ACLU Sues Administration to Stop Family Separation
March 10, 2018 “The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Diego, asks a judge to declare family separation unlawful and says hundreds of families have been split by immigration authorities.” Read more here
Where Do We Stand On DACA?
March 5 , 218 The court battle (see article below) removes some of the urgency for meeting the March 5 deadline to renew DACA. “DACA advocates are using the Monday deadline to intensify pressure on the White House and Congress for permanent protection.” Where do the Courts stand? Where does congress stand? Is the March 5 deadline meaningful? Read the answers to the questions here.
Supreme Court Declines to Decide Fate of DACA
February 26, 2018
The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s highly unusual bid to bypass a federal appeals court and get the justices to intervene in the fate of a program that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The announcement means the case affecting “Dreamers” will have to work its way through the lower courts before any Supreme Court ruling is possible. The case could also become moot if Congress takes action in the meantime. Right now, however, efforts to address the issue in Congress have hit a stalemate.
Travel Ban Heads to the Supreme Court
January 23, 2018 “Travel ban 3.0 tweaks the details and reshuffles the list of banned countries (removing Sudan and adding Chad, North Korea and Venezuela). On October 17th, the same federal judge in Hawaii who blocked the second ban wrote a decision freezing the third.” To read the latest news about the ban and the courts click here.
Suing for workplace, housing discrimination in Missouri tougher under new law
Facts About the New Workplace, Housing Discrimination Bill
- Harder to sue your employer when you are discriminated against
- Could put federal housing funding at risk
- MO NAACP called this type of legislation “Jim Crow,” a regression to a time before civil rights legislation
- Removes some whistleblower protections making us all less safe.
- Removes ability to sue a specific employee, creating a devastating result for survivors of sexual harassment and potential future victims.
Missouri would be the first state to roll back civil rights protections – rights in employment and housing that were won through decades of struggle.
Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council Statement on Bomb Threats
February 22, 2017 – New York –This past weekend, 11 Jewish Community Centers across the country were victims of bomb threats, bringing the total to 69 hate crimes targeting 54 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states since January, according to news reports. We call on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state and local law enforcement to aggressively pursue investigations of these crimes and provide the public with updates on the status of their investigations. “The bomb threats to the Jewish Community Centers add to a disturbing trend in similar crimes against people of faith, and it is a grave concern for all Americans,” said Council Co-Chair Farooq Kathwari.
On Monday, more than 100 headstones were overturned at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St Louis. Last month, a mosque in Victoria, Texas, was burned and an Islamic Center in Davis, California, was vandalized. “These crimes against cemeteries and houses of worship cannot be tolerated and we expect them to be investigated and prosecuted,” said Council Co-Chair Stanley M. Bergman.
Standing with the LGBT Community: Hate Has No Place
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice joins with many other organizations and individuals in the St. Louis community and across the country in condemning the brutal act of violence that took 49 lives and injured 53 others in Orlando FL on June 12. This massacre, motivated by hate and bigotry, can not and must not go unanswered.
We will continue our commitment to common sense gun regulation, including a ban on military style assault weapons. We will continue to speak out against discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, race, religion or gender. We will come together in solidarity with the majority of Americans who believe in the founding principles of our country, that everyone has the right to live in a free and democratic society where the rights and liberties of all are valued and protected.
In Missouri You Can Be Fired For Being Gay
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District denied James Pittman’s claim against his employer for creating a hostile work environment – and eventually firing him – because he is a gay man. In his opinion Judge James Welch writes:
Unlike many other states, Missouri has not enacted legislation prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals by adding sexual orientation as a protected status in the Missouri Human Rights Act. If the Missouri legislature had desired to include sexual orientation in the Missouri Human Rights Act’s protections, it could have done so. No matter how compelling Pittman’s argument may be and no matter how sympathetic this court or the trial court may be to Pittman’s situation, we are bound by the state of the law as it currently exists. Without the legislative addition of “sexual orientation” to the statutory list of protected statuses, the Missouri Human Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based upon a person’s sexual orientation.
Women’s Voices calls on the Missouri Legislature to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. MONA would simply extend the existing Missouri Human Rights Statute to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and allied people.
Supreme Court Rules for Marriage Equality
June 26, 2015
The majority bases its conclusion that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right on “four principles and traditions”: (1) right to person choice in marriage is “inherent in the concept of individual autonomy”; (2) “two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals”; (3) marriage safeguards children and families; (4) marriage is a keystone to our social order.
Justice Kennedy wrote: No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.