Good things are happening! Biden is under growing pressure to stop fighting student debtors in bankruptcy court, following The Daily Poster’s ongoing reporting on the issue. Baby boomers, meanwhile, are pulling their money out of the banks financing the climate crisis. And the Virginia state senate just blocked Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin from appointing a Trump EPA administrator to oversee the state's environmental and resource agencies.

Groups Call On Biden To Stop Fighting Beleaguered Debtors:

In the past two weeks, the Biden administration has dropped two appeals of legal victories for student debtors in bankruptcy court, after The Daily Poster reported on the cases. But the administration still hasn’t said it will stop fighting the dozens of other struggling student loan borrowers trying to have their debt discharged through bankruptcy.

So on Thursday, 17 advocacy organizations sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, demanding the Education Department drop its cases against these borrowers. “We ask the Department to immediately cease its practice of opposing borrowers seeking student loan relief in the bankruptcy process,” the letter said. “We also ask the Department to review all positions taken in such cases during your Administration, and work with borrowers to assure a just outcome… Through it all, the Department should be a leading voice for students, and should refrain from taking legal positions that raise the bar for distressed borrowers.”

At a Friday press conference on student debt cancellation, The Daily Poster asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) if he supported these organizations’ demand. “Yes, absolutely,” he said, adding, “It’s outrageous that other people get to declare bankruptcy but students can’t,” referring to the carve-out for student debt in bankruptcy that makes it very challenging for people declaring bankruptcy to have their student loans discharged.

Congress Might Have To Stop Insider Trading:

While we’re on the topic of top Democrats facing pressure to do good things, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this week that she supports a law that bans lawmakers from trading stocks. By nature of their jobs, lawmakers have access to inside information that might allow them to beat the stock market in their trades. Indeed, they almost always do. Meanwhile, very few of them actually are held accountable for insider trading. Pelosi had said in December that she did not support such a ban because lawmakers should be able to participate in the “free market economy.” (Her husband has made millions on lucrative stock market bets over the past couple of years.) But, under pressure from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and even vulnerable conservative Democrats, she seems to have caved.

Starbucks Workers Could Unionize The Whole Supply Chain:

Despite going up against the best union-busting efforts of the company, the Starbucks unionization drive is growing with stunning speed. (You can support Starbucks workers fired for working on union drives here.) This week, Starbucks Workers United, which is organizing these union efforts, announced that a roastery and manufacturer in New York were filing for union elections. “It’s hard to understate how important this is,” tweeted Strikewave editor and union activist C.M. Lewis. “The same union organizing the supply chain provides enormous added bargaining power.”

Boomers Want Banks To Divest:

“What really should scare the corporate and political bad actors is the prospect of old and young people connecting, because there is real power if we work across generations,” wrote Bill McKibben and Akaya Windwood, founder and lead advisor of the new advocacy organization Third Act in the New York Times this week. Their new organization is working to organize people over the age of 60 “on issues of climate change, racial equity, and the protection of democracy.” The organization’s first major campaign, “Banking On Our Future,” is encouraging customers of the banks financing the climate crisis — including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo — to close their accounts and move their money elsewhere. (If you aren’t a customer of those banks, you can pressure them in other ways.) If you are over 60, read about the campaign here and sign the pledge to stop banks from funding climate destruction!

In New York, retirees are already divesting. This week, the New York state pension fund divested from 21 fracking companies, as part of the state’s broader fossil fuel divestment push.

And more…

  • The Virginia state senate voted to reject Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s nominee to oversee the state’s environmental and resource agencies. His nominee, Andrew Wheeler, served in the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, and played a key role in the president’s efforts to dismantle the agency. He was the first gubernatorial appointee the state senate has rejected since 2006.
  • Here’s a fun headline: “Senate Candidate Who Smoked Blunt In Ad Burns Confederate Flag In Latest Spot.” Read more in The Hill and watch the new ad here.
  • A California utility has been ordered to return $10 million in customer money it spent to fight climate action.

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