Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry – The Chronicle of Higher Education
This is IMPORTANT here in OREGON! Republican Sec. of State Richardson has a Task Force that is working on the way Oregon redistricts. There are several bills before the Oregon Legislature right now that deal with our method of redistricting. The League of Women Voters commented on it in their newsletter sent out this week.
Moon Duchin has helped create a program to train mathematicians to be expert witnesses in court cases over redrawn electoral districts. She explains why it’s “the right moment” to pursue this new approach.
Gerrymandering is the biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United States. So why is no one protesting? – The Washington Post
Here are some positive results from the events of the last two weeks. Copy and pasted from a friend.
For everyone who DID something, small or big, your efforts have been successful. Because of you:
Federal hiring freeze is reversed for VA (Veteran Affairs).
2. Court order partial stay of the immigration ban for those with valid visas.
3. Green card holders can get back in country.
4. Uber pledges $3M and immigration lawyers for its drivers after#DeleteUbertrends on Twitter.
5. Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) enrollment ads are still going to air.
6. The ACLU raised 24M over the weekend (normally 3-4Mil/year).
7. HHS, EPA, USDA gag order lifted.
8. EPA climate data no longer scrubbed from website.
9. More people of different career/religious/economic/race backgrounds are considering running for political office than ever before.
10. MOST importantly, since we live in a participatory democracy, the people are engaged.
While more is needed, sometimes you have to celebrate your wins. Stay vigilant, but also take self-care seriously. Activist burnout is a thing. Marathon, don’t sprint. #resist
(Feel free to copy and paste to share)
Could not resist republishing this. Please read through to the end; it will make you feel better!
Apologies to Dr. Seuss
HOW THE TRUMP STOLE AMERICA
This wonderful poem was written by John Pavlovitz
In a land where the states are united, they claim,
in a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,
lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,
the bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.
This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,
with the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,
and a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,
and a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.
He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear,
and he thought, “I could steal the election this year!
It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,
I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!
Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,
and I’ll be Jerk Messiah and their souls they will sell.
And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,
but I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof.
I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such,
They’re so raised on fake news that it won’t matter much!
They won’t question the how to, the what, why, or when,
I will make their America great once again!”
The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,
“They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.
You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,
every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.”
And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,
He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folk need.
And celebrity preachers they all crowned him as king,
Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.
And he spoke only lies just as if they were true,
Until they believed all of those lies were true too.
He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,
And he mislead and fibbed—and he just made up sh*t.
And the media laughed but they printed each line,
thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”
So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,
‘Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.
And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,
Yes, they ate it all up every word that they heard,
petrified that their freedom was under attack,
trusting Trump he would take their America back.
From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,
Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.
And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,
all his lies about making America great.
Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,
she was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,
no they cared not to see all the work that she’d done,
or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.
They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,
because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.
And the Pant-suited One she was slandered no end,
and a lie became truth she could never defend.
And the Trump watched it all go according to plan—
a strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.
And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,
like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.
And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,
And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true,
With millions of non-voters still in their beds,
Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.
And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,
All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones,
they crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,
they came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.
With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,
with death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street.
And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,
while the Trump he said zilch—for the first time in years.
But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,
And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,
and he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,
thinking this is what Presidents actually did,
thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,
terrified to learn he had to actually work,
work for every American, not just for a few,
not just for the white ones—there was much more to do.
He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,
for the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.
They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,
and those nasty pant-suited ones were here to stay.
And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win,
He had gotten the thing—and the thing now had him.
And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,
for America was already more than quite great,
not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,
It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,
It’s straight, gay, and female—it’s Gentile and Jew,
It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.
It’s Asians, Caucasians of every kind,
The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind,
It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees,
It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.
And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,
and we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.
And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,
be the greatness that makes our America great.
And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure,
over two million more of us—voted for her.
What is the Women’s March on Washington?
According to the main Facebook event page, the march is meant to be a celebration of women’s rights and a statement to the incoming president “that women’s rights are human rights.” The march draws its name from the 1963 March on Washington that featured Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Organizers plan to bring demonstrators to D.C. on Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.
More than 200,000 people have indicated they are interested in participating in the national event on Facebook — 140,000 more than those protesting Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1973 and more than those who protested George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001, according to Vox. Thousands more have said they are interested in participating in individual state events on Facebook.
For those who cannot make it to Washington, D.C., the main Facebook event has links to events in individual states (New York alone has three different events) as well as some outside the United States, in Canada, London and Zurich.
Where is it happening? What will they do?
The Women’s March on Washington is happening in D.C. and cities across the country — but none of those events will be protests, organizers insist.
Those participating in the free march in D.C. plan to appear at the Lincoln Memorial at 10 a.m. Jan. 21, to respond to Trump’s inauguration the day before. Though the march is not explicitly opposed to the new president, its description criticizes the election cycle’s language for having “insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault.”
The march — given its name — welcomes women, but others are encouraged to join too. Bob Bland, who is named as one of the organizers of the march on the main Facebook page, told the Washington Post that the event will “welcome our male allies.”
“We want this to be as inclusive as possible while acknowledging that it’s okay to have a women-centered march,” she added.
How did it start? Who is involved?
The idea for the march, according to organizers, stemmed from participation in another election-focused Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation.
That secret Facebook group, which started as a nod to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s iconic suits and grew to include more than 3.7 million members, was where Hawaiian grandmother Teresa Shook suggested marching on Washington the day after Trump won the presidency according to the march’s description. She invited her friends, who invited more friends, and eventually drew the attention of organizers including Bland, Evvie Harmon, Fontaine Pearson, and Breanne Butler.
They decided to consolidate several similar Washington marches into the Women’s March on Washington effort, which has become the primary march event since.
How are participants getting to the march? Where are they staying?
Though organizers for the march are soliciting volunteers, including those who might host participants from out of town, the national group is not arranging for transportation. Some individual state pages, like California’s, have local committees that are arranging travel discounts, though the arrangements vary from state to state.
But the timing of the march on inauguration weekend might also complicate travel plans for those who cannot afford to fly in on such a demand-heavy weekend. Organizer Breanne Butler told the New York Times that leaders of the march effort are considering how to aid would-be participants who cannot otherwise pay to come to the march.
“We don’t want only an upper-middle class of people at this march because no one else can afford to go,” she told the Times.
What happened to the Million Woman March name, and why are participants so concerned about what the march is called?
The Women’s March on Washington was originally named the Million Woman March, which alluded to the 1997 march of the same name in Philadelphia that reportedly drew hundreds of thousands of African American women, according to CNN. But the march changed its name when concerns arose that some might think it was appropriating that march’s name or that of the Million Man March, which in 1995 drew African American men to the nation’s capital to advocate for economic and social rights.
The new name has also drawn criticism, since it derives from the 1963 March on Washington. It also echoes an ongoing complaint that the march effort, organized largely by white women, has failed to be inclusive of other races or orientations by erasing the history of the original names. Rosie Campos, a former organizer for the Pennsylvania chapter of the march, stepped down Monday for those reasons, citing the march’s “acute lack of transparency” as an indication the effort was not sufficiently representative.
On Sunday, the march’s organizers addressed concerns “that some do not feel adequately represented in the Women’s March on Washington,” and acknowledged that organizers were working to address both representation and inclusion.
“It is important to all of us that the white women who are engaged in this effort understand their privilege, and acknowledge the struggle that women of color face,” they wrote.
These unprecedented irregularities put our democracy at risk. A thoughtful transfer of power is a defining characteristic of our nation, and we must handle this new intelligence with due care.
Our electors need time to review all relevant evidence and think deeply about their votes. Dozens of the electors have already signed on to a letter calling for an intelligence briefing before they cast their ballots–and NOW fully supports their request for accurate information.
Allowing the Electoral College vote to proceed while our electors lack critical information would be a grave error. NOW calls for a postponement of the December 19 vote, to allow time for electors to be fully briefed on the Russian government’s interference.
M.E. Ficarra , email@example.com , 951-547-1241