6 years. That’s how long it took for Michigan to compensate the people of Flint for contaminating their water supply with lead back in 2014. The $600M payout will be the largest in the state’s history. Children who were 18 and under from the time of exposure are expected to receive 80% of the settlement funds without needing to show proof of personal injury. Adults will receive the other 20%, but must produce evidence that they were directly impacted by the city’s negligence. The reason for this distinction is because while lead can have harmful long-term impacts on an adult’s health, exposure for young children can cause significant damage to their brains and nervous systems.
Outside of this settlement, the city has replaced 85% of its pipes and checked over 25K service lines. Tests show the water is suitable to drink in most areas, but the damage has already been done for many residents. FYI, 57% of Flint’s population is Black.
If we ever needed more evidence that this country be on that bullshit, here’s some. Tennessee passed a bill that would charge protestors with a felony if they are determined to be camping on federal property. The decision comes after demonstrators planted themselves firmly outside the state’s Capitol building following the killing of George Floyd. If convicted of a felony, a person in Tennessee loses their voting rights. For protesting. Why do we have the feeling that the definition of “camping” will become abstract and like this law won’t apply equally to all protestors?? Sigh... Anyway, the bill has a provision that requires law enforcement to notify protestors if they are at risk of being arrested and charged, but critics cite its violation of our rights to free speech and to peaceful protest as reasons why it should be vetoed immediately.
This Week in Trump Land
If Donald Trump was hoping for his friends and family to help him look good this week, they failed. Take a look at what they did instead:
His sister revealed that she can’t stand him
His buddy Steve Bannon was arrested for stealing money raised under the guise of building the wall at the Mexican border
Kellyanne Conway, one of his die or rides (s/o to The Game on Netflix), is leaving his administration
Having now surpassed 175K deaths nationwide, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily is dropping. Public health officials are questioning the validity of the decline though as the country continues to experience reduced testing and/or the delay of results.
Congress, What’s Good?
Nancy and the House came off recess early and got to work. They passed a bill to give $25B in funding to the USPS and banned their recent operational changes until after the end of the pandemic. In response, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says the bill, while well meaning, will hamper its efforts to improve efficiency. The Senate is unlikely to pass this on their end despite 26 GOP Representatives supporting the House’s bill.
(Oh yeah, we should probably mention here that DeJoy did say that he’d pause all changes until after the election at least.)
It’s extra light, but here’s what the House is meeting on this week:
Protecting the delivery of mail
Safely voting during the pandemic
Coordinating transition resources for veterans
Weeks til Congress is back from Recess: 3.
Did you catch the Democratic National Convention last week? Get a load of these key takeaways.
The Republican National Committee starts tonight and judging by the partial list of speakers, it’s everything you’d expect from a reality TV president. The event will be held in Charlotte, NC, but is available for live stream as well.
Around the Diaspora
Haiti, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Cuba are all under tropical storm watch.
Kenyans are protesting over the misuse of COVID-19 funds.
Afro-Italian designer Stella Jean is working hard to make sure Black lives matter in Italy.
Black feminists in Chile are done with being blamed for the spread of the Coronavirus in their country.
Getting to the Money
Are you free tonight at 8pm EST? If so, tune into “B®anded: The How To Guide to Hustling.” In this chat, two entrepreneurs will detail the blueprint they followed to become their own bosses.
Want to get into podcasting? Take your talents to Anchored Media. They’ll work with you to make sure your podcast makes an impact while also bringing in income.
Black Business Highlight: Still eating Goya beans on the low low? If you are, don’t tell nobody. Just switch over to A Dozen Cousins in silence. The brand provides a variety of pre-cooked beans inspired by Caribbean, Latin American and Creole flavors.
Culture that Pops
Pharrell and Jay Z released a new video (and song) titled “Entrepreneur” that highlights the accomplishments of Black folks around the world breaking barriers in their respective fields.
The Motown Museum in Detroit just scored a $3M grant from Microsoft’s former CEO. The funding will be used as part of the center’s expansion project.
Black-owned music distributor United Masters just signed a deal with TikTok. The partnership would allow musicians who’ve gone viral on TikTok to distribute their content to streaming platforms directly through United Masters. Record labels everywhere are probably salty.