News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.

Welcome to your weekly roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama (with a few special guests) to make you smile.

Idaho activists secure enough signatures to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot

Since they couldn’t rely on their Republican-controlled legislature to do it, activists in Idaho took Medicaid expansion into their own hands.

They set out to gather enough signatures to get expansion on the ballot and to put the people in control of their health care. And they did it: Led by grassroots group Reclaim Idaho, volunteers collected more than 60,000 signatures, well over the 56,000 required to put the question before voters.

Stephanie Hanson, one of nearly 900 volunteers, says she’s optimistic the voters will approve the expansion. “It’s so nice to be doing something in this day and age where you can see the good results that will come,” she told Rewire.News.

Nearly 78,000 Idahoans fall into the “coverage gap” and would thus benefit from the Medicaid expansion their GOP government refused to accept. And it ought not to be a political division.

“Cancer doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, independent, or nonpolitical,” noted Yvonne Sandmire, Ada County co-chair with Reclaim Idaho.

California State Assembly advances crucial gun safety measure

The California State Assembly passed a measure that would bolster the state’s regulations for concealed carry permits, establishing new and stronger training standards before a permit is issued.

AB 2103, authored by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and co-sponsored by Everytown For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, now heads to the state Senate.

“This isn’t complicated. If you’re going to walk around in public carrying a loaded gun, you should know how to handle it,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), a co-author of the bill.

“We require people to have training before they can drive a car. We should do the same for people who want to carry a lethal weapon in public.”

ACTION ALERT: Demand ICE release 54 detainees!

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is holding 54 Tennesseans in detention after a massive raid on a meatpacking plant.

Sign the petition to demand that they be released and allowed to go home to their families.

Major outdoors company to stop manufacturing firearms

Vista Outdoor recently announced that it would stop manufacturing guns, and that it would seek to sell off its firearms product lines.

The firm had faced pressure from major outdoor equipment retailers like REI in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. REI actually suspended all orders from Vista when the firm was continuing to produce guns.

Vista joins multiple other companies and retailers in curtailing production and sales of guns since the Parkland shooting.

Giffords launches digital ad campaign against NRA-aligned Republican lawmakers

Gun safety group Giffords is ready to put NRA-tied Republicans in Congress on notice.

The organization, co-founded by shooting survivor and former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, launched a digital ad campaign aimed at unseating one Republican senator and 10 Republican House members.

And the group makes it clear what these members of Congress are being held to account for.

The ads note how much money each lawmaker has received from the NRA, and the apparent quid pro quo.

“How does he vote?” the narrator asks in an ad aimed at New York Rep. John Faso. “You guessed it — just like the NRA tells him.”

With these ads, Giffords is “putting gun-lobby-backed politicians on notice that they can’t hide from their record any longer,” executive director Peter Ambler declared.

ACTION ALERT: Be a Hero!

Your vote is your voice — and by exercising it, you can be a hero.

The Be A Hero Fund wants you to commit to vote on Nov. 6 to protect health care access for all — especially the most vulnerable among us.

South Carolina Democrats kill abortion ban with days-long filibuster

Senate Democrats in South Carolina talked a good game — and won. They held a days-long filibuster to fend off an abhorrent attack on abortion rights from their Republican colleagues.

And the bill failed.

“A bill that would have outlawed virtually all abortions in South Carolina was killed Friday morning after the Senate’s GOP majority failed — on a fourth try — to sit down the Democrats who were keeping it from getting a final vote,” The State reported.

The bill would have banned abortion in all circumstances, except for cases of rape, incest, or serious medical emergencies.

Republicans hoped they could simply extend the debate until Democrats gave up and left. But none of them did.

California and 17 other states sue Trump administration over climate rules for vehicles

The state of California, along with 17 others, is suing the Trump administration over its push to “reconsider” greenhouse gas emissions rules for vehicles.

The rules were a major effort by President Barack Obama to address climate change. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has said he would revisit the rules, which he claimed “may be too stringent.”

The lawsuit says that Pruitt acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in making this move. And the states are ready to fight back.

“This phalanx of states will defend the nation’s clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution,” California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement announcing the suit.

Senate Democrats to force net neutrality vote on May 9

Frustrated with the Trump administration’s attacks on net neutrality regulations, Senate Democrats plan to force a vote on May 9 to restore the protections.

As Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey noted, “We have the signatures.”

ACTION ALERT: Visit your lawmakers and stand up for Mueller!

Stand Up America has launched a new tool to help you make a plan to visit your elected officials and express your concerns about the need to protect special counsel Robert Mueller.

Visit StandUpCongress.com to get started!

National group aims to train 50,000 Democrats across the country in 2018

November is getting closer every day. And progressive voters and candidates are getting ready.

The National Democratic Training Committee is doing some serious work, with the goal to train 50,000 Democratic candidates around the country this year. The group is working with state parties and other grassroots organizations to try to reach every Democrat in every race.

In states like Indiana, Idaho, and Montana, the group is making sure candidates are ready and prepared to see their campaigns from beginning to victorious end.

Offering free online training as well as in-person training on the ground, NDTC is ensuring that all candidates, especially first-timers, have the tools they need.

‘RBG’ film showcases the awesomeness of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Notorious RBG is on screens in a theater near you. Check out the trailer for “RBG” and then head to the ticket window!

ACTION ALERT: Save SNAP!

Republicans in Congress are trying to limit food assistance for needy Americans by hijacking the Farm Bill to sneak in massive cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Indivisible has the info you need to contact your lawmakers and demand that they resist this cruel move.

Hillary Clinton’s beautiful tribute to Cecile Richards

Hillary Clinton tweeted a lovely tribute to outgoing Planned Parenthood Federation of American President Cecile Richards.

And the picture was EVERYTHING.


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