Things That Matter

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Nailed A Vogue Feature And We’ve Been Waiting For This Kind Of Chingona Mood For Too Long

A lot has happened in the past year. The revolution against President Donald Trump began during the primary elections — when an overwhelmingly amount of minority women ran for office, many for the very first time. The change might not be drastically different (Trump is still in office), but a revolution never happens overnight, even though it sort of did with just one candidate.

Recently, the congresswoman was spotlighted in a piece by Vogue “36 Hours With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” wherein she was called “America’s freshman class president.” The piece took readers on a ride, detailing the politician’s daily schedule and what her life has been like in the year since her election.

One year ago, voters in the Bronx and Queens voted to elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the youngest Latina to ever serve in Congress.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez changed the game. She was able to oust a ten-term incumbent Congressman, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. With that historic win, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, AOC as so many of her fans call her, became a household name.

In a year, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has done more on Capitol Hill than many veterans in the House. Why is that you ask? She’s fearless, plain and simple.

Her very vocal nature has gotten Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a lot of flack from her Republican counterparts and also from some Dems, but that’s mainly because they’re not used to hearing a brown woman speak her mind and create change with a couple of tweets.

Here’s a quick list of things she’s taking on in the months since her election:

  1. Bring the Green New Deal to the forefront of our climate change concerns.
  2. Hasn’t backed down from her #AbolishIce stance
  3. Pays her staff equal pay and implemented paternity leave as well.
  4. Kicked out Amazon out of New York City because it would be devastating to the local community.
  5. Showed her millions of followers what being a congresswoman is all about thanks to her incredible Insta-stories.
  6. Continues to fight for the welfare of Puerto Ricans who still haven’t gotten their relief funds.
  7. Put the spotlight on another young Latina trying to make a difference in the community as the first Queer Latina to run for Queens District Attorney.
  8. Her presence alone has shown the rich white politicians that Latinx need to be recognized and that they’re capable of creating positive change.
  9. She doesn’t back down to those trying to intimidate her.
  10. She’s also fighting vigorously for the rights of minorities, women, and the LGTBQ community.

We can go on and on.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez attributes her staying power to her bold demeanor.

I do think that when I first got here, almost everyone thought I was a lightweight,” she said in an interview with Vogue. “Republicans really tried to fuck with me, for lack of a better term.”

“I let them have it, then it probably happened three or four times before they stopped interrupting me ever again,” she added. “Polling shows that affluent women don’t like that. I need to be a gentlelady, and, I mean, I can if I want to be. But I don’t want to be.”

A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

Things That Matter

A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

@astoldbymelly/ Twitter

We’re now almost halfway through 2020 and the statistics tallying the number of murders that have occurred this year in the trans community are alarming. Sadly when it came to the sacred month of Pride the trans community did not receive a break in these numbers, unfortunately.

A community in Dallas, Texas is currently coming to terms with the death of 22-year-old Merci Mack a Black transg woman whose body was discovered in Dallas on the final day of Pride.

Mack, whose body was discovered in a parking lot, is at least the 18th trans person to be killed in 2020.

According to reports, Mack’s body was discovered at 6:15 a.m and had sustained gunshot wounds. She was found in a parking lot of the Rosemont Apartments located in South Dallas. After her body was discovered, residents at the apartment claimed to police that they heard shots fired an hour beforehand. According to the Dallas Police Department, they never received a 911 about the incident. By the time an emergency response team came to the scene, Mack was dead.

Despite being an openly trans woman, reports by law enforcement and the local media deadnamed her.

The lack of support in using the deadnames of trans people has earned the ire of The Associated Press Stylebook  GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). AP urges reporters to use “use the name by which a transgender person now lives” and HRC has published trans reporting guidelines for police and members of the media. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the department has said that their “hearts go out to the grieving family who are trying to cope with the loss of their love one… Our detectives, as with all murders, are working diligently to find the perpetrator to this horrible crime.”

In response to Mack’s tragic death, LGBTQ+ groups have released statements honoring her life and legacy.

“Another Black transgender woman has had her life stolen from her,” Tori Cooper, a director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative stated an interview. “We cannot become numb to the fact that our community has learned of more killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past few weeks than HRC has ever tracked in the past seven years.”

Mack is at least the 11th trans person to die since 2017 in Texas because of violence. Almost all of them have been Black women. Most recently, in May of this year, Helle Jae O’Regan was stabbed to death while at a barbershop in San Antonio.

A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Entertainment

A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Spencer Platt / Getty

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein might be in prison but his legal woes continue.

The former film producer and convicted sex offender who founded the entertainment company Miramax and was toppled by allegations of sexual assault amid the early days of the #MeToo movement is still paying big time for his depraved acts of sexual assault and harassment. This week, Weinstein was successfully sued for sexual misconduct by a group of women and reached a nearly $19 million tentative settlement.

Late Tuesday evening, New York Attorney General Leticia James announced that the settlement, which is part of a class-action lawsuit against, meant the women would also be released from confidentiality and NDA agreements.

Speaking about the suit which was filed two years ago, Caitlin Dulaney one of the plaintiffs involved described the lead up to the decision as a “long and grueling battle.”

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” she said in a statement. “Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.”

If the lawsuit is approved by bankruptcy and US district courts, the settlement will give Weinstein victims between $7,500 and $750,000 each.

The suit also accuses Harvey Weinstein’s brother Robert Weinstein who co-founded the entertainment company Miramax with him as well as and other administrators of the Weinstein company of failing to prevent predatory sexual misconduct.

According to reports, the suit says Weinstein “created a hostile work environment by repeatedly and persistently sexually harassing female employees, including frequently remarking on female employees’ physical appearances, berating female employees, and requiring female employees to perform work while he was naked or only partially dressed.”

The suit also says Weinstein made employees help him with his erectile dysfunction injection. On top of this, women employees were also often forced to engage in sex to continue working for him or advance their careers. Some were even made to clean up for him after he had sex.

In 2017, The New York Times reported the first allegations of misconduct against Weinstein which ultimately helped spark the #MeToo movement. As a result, dozens upon dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of rape and harassment.

The announcement comes three months after Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for raping Jessica Mann.

He was also charged with engaging in a criminal sexual act against Mimi Haley. Currently, he is being held in prison at the Wende Correctional Facility in Buffalo, New York.

Still, not everyone involved thinks the settlement is enough. Attorneys for six other women who have sued Weinstein for misconduct have called it a “complete sellout.” They also underlined that the settlement does not hold Weinstein accountable.

Speaking about the decision, Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, two lawyers in a case against Weinstein said in a statement that they “are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels. While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons. We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court.”