Let’s Close the Background Check Loophole in Washington!

Hey (you!)  Let’s Close the Background Check Loophole in Washington! Watch the videoHelp Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility pass I-594 in Washington to ensure criminal background checks. Sign up today to volunteer and Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility will contact you with more information. Sign up here. Curious what the latest news is on this issue? Here’s a recent write up from the Seattle P-I.

(Description of photo above: Cheryl Stumbo, a survivor of the Jewish Federation shootings, has become a leader in the campaign for Initiative 594.  If passed by voters, the initiative will expand background checks to all gun sales.  Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seattle – Indigenous People’s Day replaces Columbus Day

CITY HALL – 21 Progress staffers James To and Dante Garcia observed Seattle’s signing ceremony renaming Columbus Day, a holiday recognizing the accidental rediscovery of the Americas by a callous Italian explorer, to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, promoting the celebration of the many cultures and people who have called Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the Americas home since long before any European explorers arrived.

This change represents more than a new name, but also a new message.  While Christopher Columbus is a symbol of Italian heritage in the U.S., to some, he is also a painful representation of the brutal oppression he inflicted on the peoples of the new world.  This renaming allows the second Monday of October to call forward the respect, community, and revitalization of those who have suffered.  With that in mind, may we be respectful of those who are different from us, strengthen the communities to which we belong, and lift up those who are less fortunate.
For more on this story, here is Indian Country Today Media Network’s coverage of the recent changes.
Below are more photos from the event:

The Supremes Did the Right Thing!

On Monday, October 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand appeals court rulings which allow same-sex marriages. Five states – Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin now will be able to join Washington and 24 other states that allow same-sex marriages. New challenges will likely surface, but this is a real victory for the civil rights of all Americans. Here’s more coverage from the New York Times. (Photo: Sarah Cherin and Jen Strus wedding, 2010…and new addition to their family)