Week of June 27, 2021

Announcement about IGSV Leadership: Thank you to all who voted in our Leadership Council election. There were 16 votes, unanimous for Catherine Riihimaki for Chair, Sarah Morgan for Vice Chair, and Barbara Chilmonik for Secretary/Administrator. We appreciate the (literal) votes of confidence!

1)Voting Rights: Despite the predictable filibuster by the Senate GOP on the For the People Act, there are reasons for optimism. You can read two takes here: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/for-the-people-act-filibuster-1188589/ and https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/24/voting-rights-bill-for-the-people-act-senate-manchin. Contact our three Members of Congress to let them know that we continue to support efforts to ensure all voters have easy and secure access to voting, and that our representatives actually represent public opinions.

2) Infrastructure: The collapse of a Florida condominium building is the latest indication that our infrastructure needs resources and regulations quickly. There is a bipartisan deal to provide over $1 trillion in funding for physical infrastructure. While this is insufficient, for now it’s a good sign that our parties can work together to accomplish meaningful policies that will better our lives today and into the future. Contact our three Members of Congress to encourage them to support the compromise while continuing their efforts for the parts of the original Biden plan that were removed from this compromise (e.g., human infrastructure). You can read the White House statement on the compromise here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-support-for-the-bipartisan-infrastructure-framework/. Note that this bill will provide critical funding for the Gateway Tunnel, Congressman Malinowski’s priority policy goal.

3) Climate change: Climate change impacts us all year, but the increased heat is most noticeable in the summer during heat waves, droughts, and extreme rainfall. As we move into a particularly hot several days in New Jersey and the Western US endures extreme heat and drought, contact our three Members of Congress to let them know that we support federal efforts to combat climate change. Also let our State legislators know that effort is needed on the State level. The NY Times has had some nice coverage recently, as summarized here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/briefing/climate-change-drought-us-heat-wave.html.

4) Pride: In these last few days of LGBTQ+ Pride month, contact our three Members of Congress to let them know that you support equality for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For our three MoCs, thank them for their support of the Equality Act (https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act) and let them know that we hope passage in the Senate will occur soon (it has passed the House already).

Quote of the week: “An atmosphere of that gas [i.e., carbon dioxide] would give to our earth a high temperature; and if as some suppose, at one period of its history the air had mixed with it a larger proportion than as present, an increased temperature from its own action as well as from increased weight must have necessarily resulted.” – Eunice Foote, 1856 (https://www.davidmorrow.net/eunice-foote)