The Democrats' successes in Kentucky and Virginia this week gives us some hope for protecting Roe v Wade and standing up to the NRA. But that hope is tempered with concern and caution following Jeff Session's decision to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
In The News
The courts this week took an important step toward protecting women's reproductive rights with two key rulings.
Judge Myron Thompson, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, blocked Alabama's extreme abortion ban saying it "defies the United States Constitution." Alabama's law is the strictest in the nation. It contains no exception for rape and incest.
What did the Democrats do this week?
On Tuesday, the House passed the Corporate Transparency Act, which will shine a light on dark money in our democracy. The bill will require companies to disclose their true owners. It will prevent Russian oligarchs and foreign dictators from using shell companies in the U.S. to launder their illicit wealth.
Democracy lost a friend with the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). He was a passionate protector of JAC's issues throughout his time in Congress and we were proud to support him over the years.
JAC member June Rogul, who met with Cummings during the 2018 campaign cycle, recalled how impressed she was with him.
The House of Representatives is doing its job. Members passed more than 560 bills so far this year ranging from gun safety to raising the minimum wage, and from protecting women to domestic violence. These were then sent to the Senate where the Majority Leader decides when and if they get a floor vote.
Donald Trump is waging a war on our country with words, not just deeds.
His constant overuse of certain words has become cemented into voters' minds. These phrases, for example, "crooked Hillary," "fake news," and "invasion" to describe undocumented immigrants, and calling the Ukraine investigation a "sham," have helped shape the political debate and bolster his supporters.
There will be much to discuss at our Rosh Hashanah tables Sunday night. The High Holidays are time of reflection. We reflect as individuals and as a community.
The Jewish community has certainly faced its sets of challenges this year. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. We saw another shooting at a synagogue in California which killed one and wounded three. The President has questioned the Jewish community's loyalty and anti-Semitic tropes are a theme he and others use regularly.
There are certain historical moments that are seared into our memories. These moments recede into our subconsciousness, but rise again on the anniversaries of those events. This week on September 11th, we were flooded with emotions as we recalled that tragic day that redefined our lives as Americans.
We were all united as a country in our suffering that day. People felt the need to do something. There was a surge in patriotism in response to the fall of the towers. Volunteerism and charitable giving increased.
Lawmakers will return to Washington on Monday after their August recess. During that time there were three more mass shootings with 30 people killed.
The total number of deadly mass shootings in the United States in 2019 comes out to an average of one every 13 days. Most of those have been committed with assault weapons. Ending gun violence should be the first issue Congress acts on next week.
After 70 long years, the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote was adopted and incorporated into the Constitution on August 26, 1920. Today we mark that moment as National Women's Equality Day, which was Monday.
Women have made significant gains since that time in many areas of our society. Nearly 20 percent of all startups today have at least one female founder. Women serve in every part of our armed services in a wide variety of jobs and positions, including as a four-star general. We now have three women on the Supreme Court.