City council passes resolution requiring supervisors to grant leave to ‘resist Trump’
The Seattle City Council passed a unanimous resolution this week which declares May 1 a “day of action” on which city employees are encouraged to attend planned anti-Trump protests instead of going to work.
The resolution—drafted by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party—instructs supervisors of city government departments to remind their workers that they are entitled to take two days of unpaid leave for “days of faith and conscience,” and that attending Monday’s protests is a legitimate use of this leave.
Sawant’s resolution goes on to stress to Seattleites that through strikes and civil disobedience they “have the power to defeat Trump’s attacks, because without workers’ mental and physical labor no business can make profits and none of the productive forces of the world can be harnessed.”
Seattle city rules require supervisors to grant request for these unpaid days off, unless doing so would jeopardize public safety or cause undue hardship.
Somewhat ironically, the Socialist-drafted resolution tacitly admits that a mass of government workers not showing up to do their jobs on Monday would not be an undue hardship for the city. Unfortunately, undue hardship seems to be exactly what Sawant wants to impose on the good citizens of Seattle.
“If we truly want to build a summer of resistance against Trump and the billionaire class,” Sawant said in a Tuesday interview on King5, an NBC affiliate, “then we will need disruptive action like shutting down airports, and shutting down highways.”
Other Seattle government officials, while eager to sign on to this “day of action,” are less keen about Sawant’s call for “disruptive action.” Mayor Ed Murray provided some rather impotent pushback saying, “We need to keep our freeways and our on and off ramps…the state, of course, needs to keep our on and off ramps open.”
Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead had harsher words for Sawant, calling her rhetoric “reckless and irresponsible.”
“It’s unsafe for both protesters and motorists alike, and we are simply not going to tolerate that unlawful behavior of trying to shut down the interstate or state highway systems,” he told local radio station KIRO.
Mead called it “reckless and irresponsible” for an elected official to encourage city workers and residents to engage in illegal behavior and police confrontations. It also seems decidedly pointless as an act of anti-Trump resistance. On Election Day 2016, only 8 percent of Seattleites cast a ballot for Donald Trump, who won a total of zero precincts in the city. Only Washington, D.C., and Detroit were harsher to the current president.
George W. Bush, by comparison, still managed to come away with 20 percent of votes from the city in 2004, suggesting that Trump is particularly anathema to Seattle voters. Given that, it’s hard to understand what exactly anti-Trump protesters blocking anti-Trump commuters will do to thwart the president’s agenda, or to conjure up a “summer of resistance.”
But who knows? Maybe the Trump administration truly is just one traffic jam away from crumbling.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj slammed President Donald Trump and members of his administration Saturday night during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner (WHCA) in Washington, D.C.
The Daily Show correspondent called Trump the “liar-in-chief,” ripped the president’s immigration policy, and fired off several personal insults at Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” Minhaj’s politically-charged monologue began.
“The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow,” Minhaj said to applause from the crowd of celebrities, politicians, and journalists, many of them from the country’s largest media organizations.
President Trump was headlining a first 100 days rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — his absence from the WHCD marks the first time in 36 years that a sitting president has missed the event.
“I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke” Minhaj said of the commander-in-chief.
“This event is about celebrating the first amendment and free speech,” Minhaj said.
“Donald Trump doesn’t care about free speech,” he added.
Minhaj said he was asked not to mock the Trump White House in the president’s absence from the event, but he wasted no time taking aim at Pence, saying the Vice President’s wife wouldn’t let him attend the annual event “because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating.”
“He tweets at 3 a.m. sober. Who is tweeting at 3 a.m. sober?” Minhaj said of the president. “Donald Trump – because it’s 10 a.m. in Russia. Those are business hours.”
The crowd of journalists cringed as Minhaj turned his scorn toward Sessions.
“Jeff Sessions could not be here tonight. He is doing a pre-civil war enactment. On his RSVP he wrote, ‘No.’ Just ‘no’ — Which happens to be his second favorite n-word,” Minhaj said to an audible groan from the crowd.
Minhaj also called White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon a Nazi.
“Now a lot of people think that Steve Bannon is the reason Donald Trump is a racist,” he said. “That is not true. Is he here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do not see Steve Bannon. Not see. Nazi Steve Bannon. Nazi Steve Bannon.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was also slammed during Minhaj’s screed.
“Spicer isn’t here tonight because I think he’s at home Googling how to fake his own death,” he said.
Minhaj, who is a Muslim, opened his monologue with a joke about the speculation that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
“Who would have thought with everything going on in the country right now that a Muslim would be standing on this stage for a ninth year in a row, baby,” Minhaj joked.
“Only in America can a first generation Indian Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president — the orange man behind the Muslim ban,” he added.
The Comedy Central star also roasted Fox News and slammed the network’s former primetime anchor Bill O’Reilly.
“I’m amazed Fox News even showed up—It’s hard to trust you guys when you backed a man like Bill O’Reilly for years,” Minhaj said to audible boos from the audience. “You gave O’Reilly a $25M severance package — only package he won’t force a woman to touch.”
By Pam Key
Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” while discussing her canceled speech at the University of California-Berkeley, conservative author Ann Coulter said, “people ought to be looking at,” taxpayers supporting the universities that have been taken over by leftist “thugs.”
Coulter said, “Universities ought to be places where I’m not the only conservative most students will hear in four years of college. What this shows, this whole incident show, it shows again this radical insulated left on the college campus, and the entire left wing, including President Obama and Bill Maher on the other side and what useless institutions our universities are. The prices have gone up 3,000% since the ’70s. is the education better? No. It’s worse. The lefties are on the side of the thugs. They have taken over the universities. I don’t think anyone learns anything about college anymore. It’s a four-year vacation. I think that is what people ought to be looking at that. The taxpayers are supporting the universities. Not just the University of California but with federal grants every university in America.”
By Louis Freedberg
Posing significant challenges for educators, about 1 in 8 students in California schools has at least one parent who is undocumented, according to a new brief from the Education Trust-West.
Undocumented children as well as U.S. citizen children with undocumented relatives have experienced heightened anxieties for several years as a result of deportation policies begun under President George W. Bush and tightened ones under President Barack Obama.
But according to school officials, those anxieties have reached new heights since Donald Trump’s inauguration, with possible consequences on their ability to focus on school work, the willingness of parents to attend school events, or even to bring their children to school.
Education Trust-West, an advocacy organization in Oakland, estimates that 750,000 students in California’s preK-12 schools have an undocumented parent, out of a total enrollment of 6.2 million. Some of these students may be undocumented themselves, but the vast majority of K-12 children with undocumented parents are U.S. citizens.
According to the Ed-Trust West brief, only 240,000 children between 3 and 17-year-olds are undocumented.
These figures do not include most of the teenagers and young adults who have received temporary protection from deportation through the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program. By far the majority of the 214,000 young people who were approved are of college-going age.
Last week in an interview with The Associated Press, Trump said undocumented students who have received temporary relief from deportation through the DACA program could “rest easy.” “We are not after the Dreamers, we are after the criminals,” he said. “That is our policy.” The term “Dreamers” is used colloquially to refer to DACA students, who must be 15 years or older to qualify.
Over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly also said that his department won’t target DACA recipients. These assurances, however, were undercut when Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ was asked on ABC’s This Week on Sunday whether Dreamers could “rest easy.” “Well, we’ll see. I believe that everyone who enters the country illegally is subject to being deported,” he responded.
In any case, DACA recipients make up a small proportion of undocumented immigrants, and anxieties among immigrant families and students are still running very high, according to several participants in the One Voice Assembly in Sacramento last week sponsored by the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. David Verdugo, the organization’s executive director, said the anxieties many Latino students are experiencing “is taking away from the academic focus we want to maintain throughout our respective districts.”
Other figures suggest that the number of public school students with undocumented parents could be even higher than those in the Ed Trust-West brief. A report issued last month by the Center for American Progress, in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, estimated that over 1.9 million children under 18 years old in California live in a household with at least one undocumented family member. (These estimates are based on U.S. Census figures gathered through the American Community Survey between 2010 and 2014.)
Nearly 70 percent, or 1.3 million, of these children are likely to be of school-going age (between 5 and 17). But because some of their unauthorized household members may be relatives other than parents, such as siblings or aunts or uncles, it is hard to determine exactly how many of the 1.3 million children under these estimates have an undocumented parent.
But even deportation of family members other than parents, or the threat of deportation, is likely to raise a child’s anxieties, and have an impact on a child’s mental health and school performance.
“Deporting a family member, especially a parent, has serious detrimental impacts on children,” the Center for American Progress report stated.
“In addition to the loss of a parent and the immeasurable security that comes with having a stable family, deportations often leave children in the foster care system,” the authors of the report wrote. “Fathers, in many immigrant families, are often the bread winners and are more often detained or deported. Removals can, therefore, result in a large number of single mothers left behind to care and provide for the family.”
The report also pointed to research showing that “when their parents have been deported, children go through multiple negative experiences: They suffer from psychological trauma, especially when they witness a parent’s arrest; their family is separated; and they are likely to experience housing insecurity and economic instability.”
As a state, California provides a wide range of supports for undocumented students, but mostly for those attending, or wishing to attend, college. These include students being eligible for Cal-Grants to cover tuition costs, receiving fee waivers at the California Community Colleges, and having access to counseling and other services at Undocumented Student Centers at all UC campuses and some CSU and community college campuses.
But there are far fewer formal supports for undocumented children attending preK-12 public schools, or for U.S. citizen children with undocumented parents. That is in part because school officials may not even know who these children are. School districts are not required to collect information on a student’s immigration status, according to the Association of California School Administrators.
In fact, the California School Boards Association encourages them not to do so. “Any such inquiry may violate federal law, and may put the school in a position of being challenged by federal agents to release such information if collected,” the association wrote in a legal guide it issued earlier this year. As a result of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe U.S. Supreme Court ruling, undocumented children have a constitutional right to attend U.S. schools. School districts that do anything to discourage them from doing so could run afoul of the law, Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, told EdSource last week.
In recent months, a growing number of school districts have declared themselves “safe havens” for immigrant students or passed other resolutions to reassure immigrant students. But so far only about 60 districts and county offices of education, out of more than 1,000 statewide, have adopted such resolutions, according to the California Department of Education.
The San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center says that schools can do a lot to help children and families in immigrant communities cope with immigration fears bordering on “panic.” “As a trusted institution in immigrant families’ lives, schools can play a critical role in ensuring immigrant families have access to important information and resources,” the center wrote in its “guidance for schools” brief.
The organization said schools should go out of their way to reassure students and families that undocumented children have the right to attend public schools, encourage families to find out about their rights and options, host community events at schools and at the same time encourage families to prepare for the worst.
“Without creating panic, it is important that immigrant families prepare for potentially harsh new immigration policies,” the center advised. “They should have child care and an emergency plan in place if parents are taken into immigration custody.”