It's "harvest time" in Uzbekistan again -- which means the Uzbek government conscripts its good citizens to work the cotton fields, regardless of whether they're already nurses, business owners, teachers, or college students. And of course folks who monitor and document "harvest time" risk detainment, deportation, and assault, almost as if Uzbekistan has something to hide. Now, if Uzbekistan's cotton-harvesting scheme sounds remotely like "everyone coming together for the common good" to you, please remember that you can't force people to work for the common good (though you can restrain people who work against the common good), and remember, also, that when good Uzbeks toil in cotton fields, they don't really work for "the common good" so much as the good of the government's crony cotton industry CEOs. So, at the very least, it's well past time to shame actors who pump money into Uzbekistan's cotton trade, hence the Action Network helps you tell the World Bank to support freedom in Uzbekistan by withdrawing its funding from Uzbekistan's forced labor scheme.
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration's Department of the Interior has finally let slip which of our national monuments it would like to "modify," either by shrinking their size or by opening them up to commercial mining, drilling, logging, and fishing. Naturally Bears Ears in Utah is at the top of the list -- Mr. Trump's obsession with undoing specific Obama works has become quite annoying -- but the Trump Administration would also allow commercial fishing in the Pacific Remote Islands, designated by George W. Bush in one of his last acts in office in 2009 and expanded by Mr. Obama in 2014, and in another Bush-designated monument, the Rose Atoll. But opening up national monuments to activities like drilling and mining is not exactly a way of protecting those monuments. Fortunately for us, President Trump doesn't actually have the authority to alter national monuments -- only Congress can do that. So both the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club help you tell your Reps and Senators to stand against the Trump Administration's plan to hand over some of our public lands to corporate cronies.
Finally, Pennsylvania state legislative leaders still haven't considered anti-gerrymandering bills HB 722 and SB 22 despite actual bipartisan support. If I were less (or more?) spiritually-advanced, I'd find that comic -- a leadership structure protecting its power by refusing to hear bills that would challenge that power! HB 722 and SB 22 would take the redistricting power out of the legislature and put it in the hands of an independent commission, comprised of the Majority and Minority leaders of both parties in both houses plus a chairman selected by the other four. And that's going to be a damn sight better than letting legislators draw their own districts to their own interest -- or, perhaps more precisely, to the interest of their biggest donors. Passing HB 722/SB 22 would give you a fighting chance of getting legislators who might actually respond to your will. And all I ask for is a fighting chance! PA Common Cause helps you tell your Pennsylvania state legislative leader to give the anti-gerrymandering bills BH 722 and SB 22 a fair hearing.