Executive Orders Aplenty
Tell Us Something We Don’t Know
The State of Michigan has joined Colorado, Wisconsin, and local governments across 19 states in declaring racism a public health crisis. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order also includes a mandate to create an advisory council centered on Black leadership and requires all state employees to take implicit bias training.
This feels a little light, but what does more effective policy around this look like?? If this is your area of expertise, reply to this email and let us know.
They Done Made Oprah Mad
After placing Breonna Taylor on the first cover of O Magazine to not feature Oprah herself, the media mogul is done with the inaction. She placed 26 billboards across the state of Kentucky demanding that Attorney General Daniel Cameron arrest those responsible for the 26 year old’s murder. We’ve now been waiting 150 days.
Big Gains in Small States
Iowa’s governor signed an executive order to restore voting rights to felons last week. Of the 60K men and women impacted, 1 in 10 of those with the newly restored rights are Black.
The Latest with Coronavirus
Last week, the US officially reported over 5M positive cases of COVID-19, accounting for roughly 25% of all cases globally.
Also, over 97K children contracted the virus in the last 2 weeks of July and Georgia officially lost its youngest victim to the virus at 7 years old. This is especially critical to note since 45 claimed on social media that children are “almost immune” to the virus. Facebook and Twitter both snatched down that particular post, citing fake news.
Trump’s Executive Order
Because Congress was unable to find middle ground on another relief package, Trump took matters into his own hands and signed 4 executive orders for the people...or maybe for his reelection campaign. Anyway, here are the deets:
An extension of federal unemployment with a $400 weekly payout. It’s unclear as to when the payments would start and who will provide the money. There’s also a HUGE question on whether he can legally make this decision without Congress’ involvement.
Eviction protection. Congress included this in the first CARES Act, but it expired last month. The recent executive order only requires government officials to consider policies to help stop evictions and to find funding for those struggling. No word on how soon those policies or funding will be ready to go.
Payroll tax cut for those making under $100K. This would retroactively be in force from August 1 and last through December. BTW, the money that you’d be saving via this tax cut is not free money. You’ll have to pay the money back next year.
Student loan payments. Currently, payments and interest are deferred up until September 30. 45’s order extends that to the end of the year.
Congress, What’s Good?
Well we know what they didn’t do (see above if you forgot that quickly).
Outside of playing the blame game, here’s what else they’re planning to do this week:
Absolutely nothing. Both houses are in recess until September 7, though they could be called back to Washington for a vote.
After catching some side-eyes for saying police should get more funding to employ social workers and psychologists within their ranks, Joe Biden also offended some when he said Latinos are more diverse than Black people. He reeeeally should just stop talking until after we begrudgingly vote for him on November 3.
Also, Joe is launching a $280M ad campaign targeting African Americans.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Kanye’s "campaign" is being fueled by Republicans who hope to split the Democratic vote.
Guess who’s most likely to have their mail-in ballots count? You guessed it: older white voters.
Around the Diaspora
Giving money to its colonizers’ children is a big deal, but Zimbabwe has bigger problems than last week’s headline. The country has been rocked by protests as citizens battle inflation, disputed elections, hunger, and police violence against dissenters.
Barbados implemented a ‘Travel Bubble’ policy, which means residents from Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, and St. Lucia do not have to adhere to the country’s COVID-19 isolation rules upon entry into the island unless they’ve been to high- or medium-risk country in the month prior.
The Cayman Islands have pushed back their border reopening from September to October. The island has not had any new cases in more than 3 weeks and wants to keep it that way.
Getting to the Money
We were yesterday years old when we learned that August is National Black Business month. To celebrate the month, Facebook is partnering with the US Black Chambers, Inc. to provide free webinars & training sessions to educate & empower Black business owners. If this is you, you know what to do.
Black Business Highlight: UltraKosmic9 is a bamboo toilet paper brand that aims to save trees and the planet. The product is 100% biodegradable and is made from bamboo grass, which requires no pesticides. Oh, and it’s not the same bamboo as what pandas eat, so we don’t have to worry about them going hungry.
Culture that Pops
Zendaya covers InStyle Magazine while rocking only Black clothing and shoe designers and using an all-Black creative team.
RocNation is partnering with Long Island University to launch a new undergraduate school for music, entrepreneurship, and sports management. The school will give 25% of its students scholarships and will help all who attend graduate debt-free.
Keke Palmer will host the 2020 VMAs.