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Roundup: The State of the Union, the Grassroots’ 2020 Agenda, and the Houses’ Latest Bills

We’re celebrating the first full week of Black History Month with a reality check on the biggest news stories this week.

This week was the first full week of Black History Month. At Demos, we are celebrating by lifting up the achievements of those making history and building power for the movement. And as always, we ground ourselves in what these leaders are working for—a more just and inclusive democracy and economy. More to come this month!

  1. This year’s State of the Union was full of myths and mistruths.
    Our experts weighed in on what is fact vs. fiction under this administration when it comes to consumer protections, student debt, the health of our democracy, the climate crisis, and more.
He's not being subtle. Trump invoked manifest destiny -- the 19th century idea that it was the white man's right to conquer all of North America, used to justify the killing and removal of Native peoples -- to explain why he's going to plant a flag on Mars. #SOTU

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  1. In 2020, the traditional gatekeepers of what’s possible can step aside. The grassroots sets the agenda.

    In Politico, Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman writes of how the grassroots has centered progressive issues like the climate crisis, mass incarceration, student debt, and health care. Their work is the reason policymakers are finally taking positions on the issues that most affect Black and brown communities.

  2. The denial of voting rights to pretrial jail detainees is one of the most hidden and racially disparate forms of voter disenfranchisement.

    On any given day—including Election Day—over half a million people who are innocent until proven guilty sit in jail awaiting trial. Although they are eligible and often registered to vote, citizens detained pretrial cannot get to the polls and often have no way of voting by absentee ballot. Read how Demos is working to change this systemic problem.

  3. Pay attention: the House of Representatives is advancing economic justice.

    Our economy is systematically tilted against Black and brown families in so many ways. The House of Representatives just passed bills that will promote equity in 2 key areas: on the job and in trying to get credit. Demos looks at why the PRO Act and the Comprehensive CREDIT Act represent major advances.

  4. With this week’s (and every future) political debate, a reminder to always consider racial wealth inequality and the urgent need to address structural racism.

    Contrary to popular belief:

    Simply put, so-called “personal responsibility” is no match for how past racial injustices are carried forward. We need to change policy to disrupt cycles of inequality.

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