By now you've heard about the Columbia, South Carolina police officer who body-slammed a Black girl to the ground in a high school, for not getting out of her chair when told to. Infuriating, to be sure, but here's the big question: what on Earth was a police officer doing in school in the first place? Yeah, I know this happens all the time now, but why? Because Kids Today Don't Respect Authority, a tune every generation plays? (Every generation also plays its follow-up, No This Generation Is Really Different.) If kids don't respect your authority in the classroom, that's almost certainly because you don't respect your authority, either, and they're certainly not going to respect it if they know a police officer is in the building ready to hand out beatdowns. Hence the ACLU helps you tell Richland County Authorities to enact common-sense reforms when having police interact with children -- like, don't have police there in the first place unless it's actually a very serious problem. I turned out all right without police patrolling my school's halls, and so can today's kids.
Pennsylvania residents, take note: SB 484 would amend Pennsylvania's constitution to allow the legislature to appoint an 11-member commission -- four each from the Commonwealth's two largest political parties, plus three more whom are registered with neither party -- to redraw state and federal districts every 10 years. Typically the legislature itself redraws the districts, but we've seen all too well how that turns out: the party in charge of the legislature tends to, ah, favor itself in the redrawing of districts, creating those hysterical "gerrymandered" districts that legislators now have the technology to draw to exclude individual houses, districts that look like no amoeba or Rorshach blot ever created. I'm always saying that when representatives don't do the people's will, the people should throw them out. But, in practice, that's hard, and it shouldn't be -- no representative is entitled to a job representing the people. So Common Cause helps you tell your Pennsylvania state rep to support SB 484, and thus support more power for the people of the Commonwealth.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell President Obama to mandate, via executive order, that all federal contractors disclose their campaign financing, then Sign for Good still helps you do that. If you hear from right-wingers that such an order would violate those contractors' free speech rights, here's how to answer them: if you take the taxpayer's money, as federal contractors do by definition, you have to follow the taxpayer's rules, which would (in this instance) be set by the President with the authority Congress granted him. And since you're the taxpayer, it's your money these contractors spend to influence elections and issues. Just as you never hand over your gun to someone who might use it against you, we really shouldn't hand over our money to corporations who'll then use it to influence our representatives to get more unearned goodies from us. But, as long as we have federal contractors, we ought to at least be able to know what they're doing with our money, so that we can at least wield The Big Stick of Bad PR against them. Bad PR is still quite powerful.
UPDATE. I erred in failing to point out that SB 484 in Pennsylvania covers state-level redistricting as well as federal; error corrected above.