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Situational Analysis - February 1, 2021
Good Monday morning to you! It's the beginning of a new month. That's a good thing, right? Today's newsletter is long, so buckle up.
Shout-out to David Zook who won the special election to replace Craig Buttars as the Cache County Executive on Saturday. Congratulations!
February is National Black History month. It began in 1926 as "Negro History Week" and became a month-long commemoration 50 years later. This year's theme is "The Black family: Representation, identity and diversity. Today is National Freedom (From Slavery) Day. The day honors the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865. It was not ratified by the states, however, until December 18, 1865.
If you only have time for one thing today, read this piece about 5 Black Utah pastors for whom racism is not hypothetical - they've lived it. "Racism in Utah is not as "aggressive as in Chicago - it's more passive aggressive," says Rev. Oscar Moses. "The Lord put me in places to help [others] deal with diversity...You see, racism is not born into children, It has to be taught to them," says Bishop Bobby Allen.
32 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
72 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
88 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyUtah bills, no chill and hunting Bigfoot
By Holly Richardson
Respite care for Utah's homeless - Rep. Jim Dunnigan is sponsoring HB34, "Medical Respite Care Program" which would create a respite care program for homeless Utahns who need additional care after visiting the emergency room. "The idea is that they'll stay there for maybe up to two weeks to get stable, and then [the respite care center will] try to get them into either one of our new research shelters for the homeless or some other type of housing or treatment...It will give them a chance for a better life." The bill passed the House Health and Human Services committee on Jan. 21 and is likely to be heard by the full House this week.
A news round-up as we begin Black History Month
By Holly Richardson
Today, I wanted to give you a taste of the kind of disaparities experienced by many members of the Black community. It's sobering to realize that COVID-19 has hit communities of color harder than White communities and yet the communities of color are disproportionately left out of vaccination efforts. Community members weighed in with Salt Lake City's new racial equity commission, experience discrimination because of their hair, where they live and the health care they receive. There is some good news too, including a focus on diversity and inclusion from Governor Spencer Cox and Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson. Here we go:
Tweets of the weekend: A round-up
By Holly Richardson
Quick round-up of news from the weekend: Trump's legal team woes, Marjorie Taylor Greene, some COVID-19 news and a coup, this time in Myanmar.
- The fight against suicide starts in the classroom - The question everyone in our state should be asking is "What can I do now to help parents and struggling kids and to prevent other families from experiencing this same tragedy?"
- Matt Sandgren: Utah leads on innovative solutions to mental health crisis - New 988 emergency number connects people with mental health services.
- Would child tax credit help more if paid monthly? Disagreement rages - Policymakers don't want children to be poor. But how to help is a complicated question. Biden favors the tax credit delivered as a monthly payment. Republicans in Congress are expected to oppose the measure, although the article noted that "similar plans have garnered pockets of Republican support, however, with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, among the GOP lawmakers who have pushed for dramatically increasing the Child Tax Credit."
- Pandemic's 'learning loss': It's gonna take 'astronomical' investment in Utah students to make up for the toll - State School Board seeks $260M to help students make up for what they didn't learn during pandemic's disrupted school schedule.
- Why Dixie State students support a name change - "The word Dixie has a national meaning that ties it to the South and the confederacy, which we recognize is vastly different from the local understanding of the term. We understand and value the history of DSU and St. George, and will continue to fight to preserve it. Our heritage is important to us, but the future of the students should not be jeopardized by the university's name."
- Pandemic changes the way officials count Utah's homeless population - The Point-in-Time Count happens every year. But like most things, pandemic precautions forced officials to find new, safer ways to count those living without housing. Instead of three days and extensive interviews, the count was held on a single day and volunteers didn't make direct contact with anyone.
- Mitt Romney among 10 senators offering alternative relief package in letter to Biden - "In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support," the senators wrote in a Sunday letter to President Joe Biden.
- Need a mental health day? It would be an excused school absence if this bill passes - The House Education Committee voted unanimously to send HB81 to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Other states that have made this allowance have experienced a reduction in youth suicide, according to HB81's sponsor, Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City.
- High-risk, low-income and almost out of options, a Utah couple is evicted in pandemic - Doug Henderson knows his odds of surviving the coronavirus are slim. He and his wife Pam believe they are being evicted as 'punishment' for reporting pests and other problems.
- PPP lending going a lot smoother this time around, Utah banks and grateful businesses say - This week, small businesses will begin receiving much-anticipated forgivable loans through the latest round of Paycheck Protection Program approved by Congress. Money that could be the difference between metaphorical "life and death" for some struggling to keep their doors open.
- What happened to America's 'loyal opposition'? - Our extreme partisanship has turned fellow Americans into enemies.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Teen who beat rare cancer three times passes away from COVID-19 (ABC4) - Kansas City teen Aspen Deke went through four years of chemo and a bone marrow transplant, but her parents said COVID-19 was much worse than cancer.
- Single Covid case in Western Australia leads to 5-day lockdown for 2 million (CNN) - The drastic measures come after a man in his twenties who worked as a security guard at the Sheraton Four Points, a hotel quarantine facility, tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Why Some Who Are Vaccinated Still Get Coronavirus (The New York Times) - Vaccines don't work instantly. They don't work retroactively. And, the vaccines prevent illness, but maybe not infection.
- L.A. County reports decline in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, but warns public to be vigilant (Los Angeles Times) - "Although some restrictions were just lifted in our County, we are still in a very dangerous period in terms of cases, hospitalizations and deaths," Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said in a statement. There were 5,925 new cases of the coronavirus and 124 related deaths on Sunday.
- Resist the urge to share a picture of your vaccine card (FOX 4 KC) - There is self-identifying information on the card. If you aren't careful, it could make it easier for people to steal your identity, or help scammers create fake versions of the vaccine card.
- This couple got COVID-19 in November. They're still sick (My Fox 8) - They're COVID long-haulers. Eventually, the major symptoms cleared up for the Doughertys. But two months after first catching the virus, they still feel sick sometimes.
- Essential workers get lost in the vaccine scrum as states prioritize the elderly (Washington Post) - Many states are trying to speed up a delayed and often chaotic rollout of coronavirus vaccines by adding people 65 and older to near the front of the line. But that approach is pushing others back in the queue, especially because retired residents are more likely to have the time and resources to pursue hard-to-get appointments. As a result, workers who often face the highest risk of exposure to the virus will be waiting longer to get protected, according to experts, union officials and workers.
- Anxiety Grows as Long-Term Care Awaits COVID-19 Vaccines (Newsmax) - Frustration is building over the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations at long-term care sites, where some homes still await first shots while fending off a virus that can devastate their residents.
- 'That hurricane is coming': expert warns US to brace for virulent Covid strain (The Guardian) - A leading infectious disease expert predicted on Sunday that the deadlier British variant of Covid-19 will become the dominant strain of the virus in the US and could hit the country like a hurricane.
- I tried watching a documentary on COVID-19. It made me sick to my stomach (Deseret News) - It got too real, too quick. To put it simply, it's too early for a documentary like this.
- Trump stocks new PAC with tens of millions as he bids to retain control of GOP (Politico) - Save America, a leadership PAC created in the aftermath of the 2020 election, is set to play a key role in Trump's plans to keep a strong hand in party politics - both to boost loyalists and also to seek retribution against Republicans he believes have wronged him.
- Kinzinger launching PAC to challenge GOP's embrace of Trump (The Hill) - "This is no time for silence, not after the last month, not after the past few years. Someone needs to tell the truth. Someone needs to say what history needs to hear. So here I am. The Republican Party has lost its way," Kinzinger said in a video posted on country1st.com, the website for his new PAC.
- Trump Names Two Members of Impeachment Defense Team (New York Times) - The lawyers will be deployed immediately: Mr. Trump is due to file a response to the House charges by Tuesday, and the trial is scheduled to start next week.
- Trump names two new lawyers for impeachment trial a day after his defense team collapsed (CNN) - David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will now head the legal team for his second impeachment trial.
- Sanders dismisses Biden 'unity' pledge to push COVID relief bill (Fox News) - Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suggested Sunday that the push to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill without Republican support takes precedence over Biden's pledge for "unity" and bipartisan lawmaking.
- Parkland victim's mother says she spoke with Marjorie Taylor Greene about school shooting conspiracies (NBC News) - Victim's mother, Linda Schulman said Greene declined to join her to publicly disavow them on MSNBC. "It's wrong. It's just wrong. She should not be telling lies," Schulman added.
- Trump's impeachment defense team leaves less than two weeks before trial (CNN) - It was a dramatic development in the second impeachment trial for Trump, who has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case. And now, with legal briefs due next week and a trial set to begin only days later, Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation.
- 10 Senate Republicans Outline $600B Counteroffer To Biden's COVID-19 Relief Bill (NPR) - The outreach from more moderate GOP lawmakers, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, came as many Democrats look to a process called budget reconciliation, which would potentially enable Democrats to approve the president's plan without any Republican support.
- Biden meeting with GOP senators Monday on coronavirus relief (The Hill) - "We appreciate the President's quick response to our letter, and we are pleased to accept his invitation to the White House tomorrow afternoon to discuss the path forward for the sixth bipartisan Covid-19 relief package," the GOP senators said in a joint statement. Utah's Mitt Romney is one of the 10 GOP Senators pushing a compromise bill.
- White House plans to bypass national media (Axios) - Biden officials plan to create more of their own content and revive a version of the "West Wing Week," a behind-the-scenes video series produced by the Obama White House. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has already answered questions submitted by the public and was trailed by a crew from "The Circus," a cable program popular with politicos. There are additional plans for outreach through Skype, YouTube and Twitter.
- After Trump's election loss, Republicans across the US are racing to enact new voting restrictions (Business Insider) - Republican leaders contend that the proposals are about maintaining voter integrity, though fraud is a rare occurrence.
Policy NewsBehind the Scenes: SB49 - Mobile voting pilot project
SB49 is being proposed in the 2021 legislative session as a pilot project to expand access to more voters. Senator Curt Bramble is the sponsor. Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner joined me for a deeper dive into the legislation.
Podcast: Ultimate confidence
Deseret News editor, Boyd Matheson, recently joined Mark Gerson on his show "The Rabbi's Husband" to discuss the nature of true confidence. He and Mark also talk humility, the crisis in confidence in today's world, 'light kindlers', and servant leadership. "True confidence comes when you have respect for the challenge....It comes from doing the hard work and heavy lifting that happens in our homes and it happens in our communities."
Guest opinion: In criminal justice reform, accountability is true compassion
The success of justice reform must be measured by whether it changes lives, not just lightening sentences. We should know. Arresting us changed our lives.We, the undersigned, are a group of former longtime felons and drug addicts. Collectively we have been arrested over 400 times. Between us we've been incarcerated for well over 150 years. And that was the best thing you could have done for us.
Sen. Lee's comments on DHS Secretary Mayorkas vote
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Thursday after voting against Alejandro Mayorkas's nomination to become Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security:"Not only is Mr. Mayorkas the chief architect of the illegal and unconstitutional DACA and DAPA programs, but he also was found by the DHS Inspector General to have given special access to wealthy Democratic donors for the corrupt EB-5 visa program.
Darren Parry tells the story of the Bear River Massacre
Darren Parry learned from his grandmother Mae Timbimboo Parry the importance of sharing stories and making sure the truth is told. Mae worked for decades to ensure that the real story of what happened at the Bear River Massacre (not a "battle" - a slaughter) and her grandson Darren is carrying on that legacy.
- The Worst Mistake GameStop Investors Can Make Right Now (Motley Fool) - Assuming the party will continue. It very likely won't, and those who invest believing it will are the ones in line to get hurt the worst when it all comes crashing down.
- Robinhood narrows stock trade restrictions (Fox Business) - Robinhood narrowed its stock trade restrictions from 50 to 8 companies on Sunday, including GameStop, Koss Corporation, AMC Entertainment Holdings, Express Inc., Naked Brands Group, Genius Brands International, BlackBerry Limited, and Nokia Corp.
- Walmart donates $14 million as part of broader pledge to advance racial equity (CNBC) - The money will go to 16 nonprofit organizations that are tackling racial inequities in various ways, such as educating communities of color about the Covid-19 vaccines, reducing debt for students at historically Black colleges and universities and providing internet access and technology to children who are attending school remotely.
On This Day In History
- 1790 - First session of the U.S. Supreme Court
- 1861 - Texas becomes the 7th state to secede from the Union
- 1865 - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins his march through South Carolina.
- 1865 - John S. Rock becomes the first Black lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- 1871 - Jefferson Franklin Long becomes the first Black member to speak on the floor of the US House of Representatives. He only spoke on the floor one time, opposing a bill that would remove voting restrictions on ex-Confederate political leaders. The bill passed.
- 1884 - First Oxford dictionary debuts
- 1896 - Puccini's "La Boheme" premieres in Turin, Italy.
- 1901 - Clark Gable is born.
- 1902 - China's empress Tzu-hsi forbids binding woman's feet
- 1926 - Negro History Week begins. It became a month-long commemoration 50 years later in 1976.
- 1931 - Boris Yeltsin is born.
- 1948 - "Cry the Beloved Country" by author and anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton is published in the U.S.
- 1960 - Black college students stage sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.
- 1965 - More than 700 demonstrators are arrested in Selma.
- 1968 - Richard Nixon announces his candidacy for president.
- 1968 - Lisa Marie Presly is born.
- 1972 - The 1st scientific, hand-held calculator (HP-35) is introduced, with a price tag of $395 (equal to $2,469.70 in 2020).
- 1978 - Harriet Tubman becomes the first Black woman honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
- 1979 - Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran.
- 1982 - "Late Night with David Letterman" premieres on NBC. His first guest is BIll Murray.
- 1990 - Ida B. Wells postage stamp issued.
- 1991 - South African president, F.W. de Klerk says he will repeal all apartheid laws.
- 1995 - Utah Jazz guard John Stockton passes Magic Johnson's all-time NBA assists mark of 9,221 in a win over the Denver Nuggets.
- 1998 - Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first Black woman to become a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
- 2003 - The space shuttle Columbia breaks up while entering the atmosphere over Texas, killing all seven crew members.
- 2004 - Wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl.
- 2013 - "House of Cards," Netflix's first original series, starts streaming.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
"My father, a Navy man, had the good fortune to be stationed in Hawaii -- but the bad fortune to have fair skin.
One day, after spending many hours under the hot sun, he reported back to duty with a terrible sunburn.
Expecting sympathy, he was, instead, reprimanded by his superiors and then written up for "destruction of government property."
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