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People's Climate March on September 21

Putting a Face on Climate Change

by Barbara Lerman-Golomb

Fourteen years ago I was a coordinator for the national Million Mom March for sensible gun legislation. At a Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) conference a few months later in Washington, DC, I addressed the group saying that what we needed was a march to protect the planet.

At the Million Mom March we invited families who had lost a loved one to gun violence up to the stage on the Washington Mall. One by one they shared their stories about a parent, a brother, a child who had been killed. Over time, we’ve come to understand that gun violence is an issue of public health. Similarly, I thought at an eco march, we could have individuals whose lives and health had been impacted by environmental degradation and assaults on their air, land and water, tell their stories—all in an effort to put a face on climate change.

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Celebrating a Milestone for VAWA

By Debbie Rabinovich

This week marks a major milestone for me: I am turning 18. The Big One-Eight. I love the number 18. The number 18 means that I get to vote. I can donate blood. I can go on Birthright. In Hebrew, the number 18 is the gematria for the word chai, or life.

One thing I like to do on birthdays is look up the date to see what else happened on that day in history. On my own birthday, September 13th, plenty of bad things happened. The first fatal automobile accident. The death of critically acclaimed rap artist Tupac Shakur. However, one really good thing happened: the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed. VAWA is just a little bit older than me; in fact, the Act reaches a major milestone this week as well: its 20th anniversary. I am lucky to have lived my whole life in a world where our government recognizes that domestic violence is a moral abhorrence all too prevalent in our society.

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Not Just GOTV: Getting DC The Right To Vote and Have Elected Representation

During election season, a time when all 50 states are choosing elected officials to represent them on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, we cannot forget about the constituency denied access to this fundamental right: residents of the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital. The citizens of the District of Columbia lack full representation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

However, we have reason to hope for change.  For the first time in twenty years, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will be having a full committee hearing on DC Statehood, “Equality for the District of Columbia: Discussing the Implications of S. 132, The New Columbia Admission Act of 2013” on Monday at 3 pm.

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Radio Kol Barama Offices

Updates from IRAC: We Won!

Great news in our struggle against the exclusion of women in Israel!

We won our first class action suit! This is the first class action suit dealing with gender exclusion in Israel.

The Jerusalem District Court approved our claim against the ultra-Orthodox Kol BaRama radio station for excluding women from the station’s broadcasts. The court also ruled that our client, Kolech, can claim damages, as can all women who have been discriminated by this practice. The court made it very clear that the station’s policy was blatantly discriminatory and that regardless of the station’s target audience, the exclusion of women cannot be justified.

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Remembering 9/11 banner resources for you and your community

Remembering 9/11: Civil Liberties and National Security

Today marks thirteen years since the day a plane flew into the Twin Towers and destroyed the Manhattan skyline, as I had known it for the first nine years of my life.

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This School Year Not Another Shooting

The beginning of the school year for me has always been filled with the comfort of the early September winds and the coming High Holy Days. With the first day of classes brings with it new teachers, classrooms, and friends. Dipping apples in honey, smelling the musty reticence of the shofar, and walking along the beach throwing breadcrumbs give me the sense of clean slate, a new start and a new year.

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Jordan: I support CRPD because disability rights are human rights.

#ISupportCRPD – Take Action to Support Disability Inclusion!

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) was written in order to empower persons with disabilities across the globe to be independent and productive citizens. Yet, despite the fact that CRPD is based on the ideals of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the United States still has not ratified the treaty. You can help make a difference and raise awareness of the importance of ratifying CRPD. Write why you support CRPD on a piece of paper and take a picture of yourself holding the sign. Then post the picture to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtags #CRPD and #ISupportCRPD. By sharing your support on Facebook and Twitter you can help spread the word about an important convention and increase the pressure on the Senate to act.

Sarah: I support CRPD because we are all created in the Divine image.

Senior LA Sarah Greenberg supports #CRPD

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Sign Repeal Death Penalty

Getting Rid of the Green Mile

Leading up to my first day at the RAC, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the issues I wanted to work on. When our issue selection day finally came, I was thrilled to have the civil rights issue area in my portfolio. I had written my senior thesis about voting rights and been struggling with the criminal justice system ever since my binge-watching of The Wire. However, I never expected to spend so much time and energy engaging with the question of the death penalty. That same day, two half-brothers with mental disabilities in North Carolina, one of whom was on death row and the other of whom was serving a life sentence, were exonerated after over 30 years in prison. I was shocked and outraged. I could not even begin to imagine what it must be like to spend more than three decades in prison, waiting to be executed for a crime you did not commit. I soon found that this story is not uncommon. In fact, since 1973, over 140 people have been exonerated and freed from death row, and even more people have been executed despite serious doubts that they are innocent. The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Law School studied 86 exonerations and found that the most common reason behind wrongful convictions were eyewitness error and government misconduct by both the police and the prosecution.

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