Second Judge Throws Out WI Voter Suppression Bill; Chicago Youth Fight Back Against Gang Violence
Second Federal Judge Blocks Vote Suppressing Bill in Wisconsin.A Wisconsin county judge threw out the state’s Voter ID law on Tuesday for the second time in the past year. Dane County Judge David Flanagan ruled that the temporary injunction barring the law, in place since March should be made permanent citing concern over the ease in which state residents can get the IDs needed in order to vote under the law. Flanagan, who is the second Dane County judge to block the law, stated the bill would be “unlikely to protect the electoral process,” and seemed to be one of the most restrictive Voter ID law’s in the nation. According to testimony given by University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Kenneth Mayer, an estimated 301,000 Wisconsin residents--or 9.3 percent of all registered voters--do not have driver’s licenses or a state ID card. [The Huffington Post]
Maryland DREAMers Launch Campaign to Uphold Law. A group of Hispanic rights activists gathered yesterday in support of upholding the state’s DREAM Act, which will go on the ballot this fall. The bill, which was passed by the legislature in 2011, would provide in-state tuition rates to DREAMers, or undocumented college students. “Vote yes for education! Vote yes for Maryland students!” exclaimed Katrina, a 22-year-old DREAMer from Montgomery County, who said the legislation should be put into effect this fall. The Maryland DREAM Act would provide in-state tuition rates to DREAMers if they have attended a Maryland high school and have a family member filed a state tax return. The students would also have to attend two years of community college before applying to a four-year school in order to qualify for the discounted rate. If the referendum passes Maryland is set to become the 13th state to allow such a rate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The president at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Freeman A. Hrabrowski stated his support for the proposal, saying that young people should not be punished for the actions of their parents. “We believe in the importance of education,” he said. “It is the best of the American way.” [The Baltimore Sun]
Youth of Chicago Fight Back Against Violence with Social Networking. A group of young Chicagoans has started a program to reach out to over 3 million people via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, with the eventual goal of quelling the increased violence seen on the streets of the city. Public Allies, kick-started by current first Lady and Chicago resident Michelle Obama, aims to promote violence prevention and environmental awareness for the city’s youth. The group created a “faux ipad campaign,” in which they hope to get 30,000 people to donate $1 online through the fake ipad application. “We get three million people to see or tweet this faux ipad, we then get 30,000 of them to donate a dollar,” said Aaron Byrd, an alumnus of the group and current CEO of Agape Media Productions, which produced the application for the group. The group’s current efforts initiated in March, after the city of Chicago was hit with a vast increase in homicides.“[The group wanted to support] youth artists’ whose positive message was drowned out by the increase in violence,” Byrd said. “We hope what we are doing is enough so youth understand the power of technology, being environmentally-friendly and community activists.” [The Huffington Post]
Christopher Boan is a journalism intern with Campus Progress.
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