Apple pledges $2.5bn to address US’s California housing crisis!

Apple pledges $2.5bn to address US’s California housing crisis

As homelessness reaches chronic levels in California, Apple and other tech companies pledge funds to fix the problem.


Technology giant Apple says it will set aside $2.5bn to provide affordable homes in California which has more homeless people in the state than anywhere else in the United States.

Tech companies have been blamed for contributing to the state’s housing crisis as they set up shop there, pushing house prices up beyond the reach of many residents.

Portland votes ‘no’ on guaranteed paid sick leave

The decision affects over 19,000 employees in the city.
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PORTLAND, Maine — Portland’s City Council voted ‘no’ on Monday to guaranteeing paid sick leave for workers.

Cameron O’Brien


BREAKING: Portland earned paid sick time ordinance FAILS.

The May 6 decision affects over 19,000 employees in the city. The 5-4 vote comes after a debate that has been ongoing in the City Council for a year and a half.

In February, the Portland City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee voted to adopt the measure, which then went to the full City Council for consideration.

Those in favor of the bill were upset by Monday night’s decision.

“We have fought incredibly, incredibly hard for the Portland community,” said Drew Christopher Joy of the Southern Maine Workers Center. “We will not stop fighting for working class people and for people of color and for women and for trans and queer folks in this city.”

RELATED: Portland votes to support paid sick days for workers

RELATED: New push for paid sick leave statewide

The proposal would have allowed most workers in Portland one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours, or five days of sick time.

It would have applied to all workers, including part-time, seasonal, and per-diem employees.

Opponents of the ordinance, including small business owners, were worried about cost, saying it may have affected already-existing benefit packages.

This vote comes after Gov. Janet Mills amended a state paid sick leave bill to block local municipalities from creating their own sick leave laws.

That bill has undergone several amendments and is expected to be voted on within the next couple of days.

Pope donates $500,000 for migrants stranded in Mexico

Central American migrants board train wagons in an attempt to make their way to the US border, in the municipality of Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, 25 April 2019Thousands of people from Central America are using any means necessary to reach the US

Pope Francis has donated $500,000 (£387,000) to help migrants stranded in Mexico as they try to reach the US border, the Vatican said.

The money comes from the Catholic Church’s Peter’s Pence fund, from church collections around the world.

A statement said vital aid for the migrants was falling as global media coverage of the crisis decreased.

The Pope has previously criticised US President Donald Trump’s aim of building a wall to keep migrants out.

The US has put pressure on Mexico’s government to stem the so-called caravans of people from Central America heading north.

“In 2018, six migrant caravans entered Mexico, for a total of 75,000 people. The arrival of other groups was announced,” the Peter’s Pence office said.

“All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in the hotels within dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.”

Pope Francis looks on as he addresses reporters aboard the plane bringing him back following a two-day trip to Morocco March 31, 2019Pope Francis has encouraged governments to help those fleeing poverty and violence

Many of the migrants say they are fleeing persecution, violence and poverty in their home countries.

Last week officials detained nearly 400 migrants travelling through Mexico’s southern Chiapas state trying to reach the US.

“Media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased,” the fund added.

“In this context, Pope Francis donated US $500,000 to assist migrants in Mexico. This amount will be distributed among 27 projects in 16 dioceses and among Mexican religious congregations that have asked for help in order to continue providing housing, food and basic necessities to these our brothers and sisters.”

In March, the Pope criticised political leaders who tried to erect barriers to keep migrants out.

“Builders of walls, be they made of razor wire or bricks, will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build,” he said.

Right-Wing Vigilantes Hold Migrants Hostage on U.S. Border. Did Border Patrol Give Tacit Approval?

APRIL 23, 2019
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The FBI has arrested the head of an armed vigilante group that has repeatedly filmed itself detaining migrant border crossers at gunpoint. Sixty-nine-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins is the leader of the far-right, pro-Trump group calling itself United Constitutional Patriots, which the American Civil Liberties Union described as an “armed fascist militia organization.” His arrest came just days after the ACLU accused the vigilantes of illegally detaining 300 migrants, including young children, near Sunland Park, New Mexico, last week. We speak to Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico.

Announcing Official Launch of Changing Maine Directory – Jacqui Voltaire

Hello All, For those who do not know of the Changing Maine Directory, it is the most important directory you will ever have in Maine if you are an activist. The work that goes into this is amazing. Larry Dansinger has been the person behind if for so many years and now as you will read both Sass and Jason Linneken have taken it on. Some of you may have already received this, but I wanted to make sure you all had it.  Please share widely. Love,jacqui

The Changing Maine Directory (CMD), in its 23rd year of publication and previously known as the Maine Yellow & Green Pages, has officially launched at, packed with new, interactive, call-to-action and community-building tools, all of which are free to use.
The CMD, which provides directory listings with detailed descriptions and contact information for over 1,500 nonprofit, grassroots, social change and social service organizations working in Maine, now gives organizers, activists and people working in the nonprofit field the ability to publish calls-to-action, news articles, press releases and event announcements on the interactive Newsreel and Public Events Calendar. Users can also add new listings for organizations or grassroots groups they see missing, or can update listings for groups they are affiliated with.
Listings in the Directory can be searched by region, alphabetical order, or by category, and users will now be able to email organizations directly using the Contact tab within listings, without needing to take the extra step of leaving the site.
“The Changing Maine Directory is an amazing resource! Maine has such a vibrant, progressive, civil society, and there’s no better way to navigate it than this directory. When I moved to Maine, I knew almost no one, but wanted to be involved with social justice work. The first resource I found was the Changing Maine Directory and it helped me connect to so many different amazing organizations across the state. It’s so well organized and easy to use,” says Portland organizer, Lizzie Handschy.
 “The Changing Maine Directory is heart work for me that keeps me optimistic,” says Jason Linneken, Project Manager for the CMD. “It truly is a one-stop-shop for people interested in social change because it offers a hub for change makers to announce concrete actions people can take, volunteer opportunities, and generally a way to learn more about the landscape of social change and social service offerings in our local communities. We hope it will empower people and strengthen cross-issue movement building,” Linneken says.
“There are amazing grassroots nonprofits all over Maine, but it’s hard to find out about them. When I got tired of telling people about the groups I knew, the first directory was born. This is the seventh edition, and it’s still an incredible resource for the state,” says Larry Dansinger, founder of the CMD.
The Changing Maine Directory is sponsored and published by Resources for Organizing and Social Change (, whose mission is to build and support a movement for nonviolent social change that will educate, activate, & empower all Maine people through grassroots community organizing.
Sass Linneken

Program Director

Pronouns: they/them

Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC)

PO Box 2444
Augusta, ME 04338-2444

Help support our work! Click here!

Maine students take part in a global strike

Chimpanzees go into retirement as US relaxes animal testing

From laboratory to sanctuary, we meet the chimpanzees getting a new lease on life.

The United States was the last major nation to perform invasive testing on chimpanzees, infecting them with HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases.

It stopped in 2015 because of animal cruelty concerns. Now, instead of living out their days in a lab, the chimps have gone into retirement in a new home.

Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports from Keithville in Louisiana.

The Montana Goose that protected the puppy – Jacqui Voltaire

I am sharing this as it always amazes me how much animals are so far ahead of humans in their instinct to protect and love each other. Something to celebrate and share.
Image may contain: birdImage may contain: bird

A man finds a goose that was shaking with cold stuck to a pole in Montana. As he got closer he realized, wrapped up in her wings, was a tiny puppy she was shielding from the freezing temperatures. We have so much to learn from the animals. Beautiful. (Both the goose and the puppy have recovered, were adopted together, and are doing well.) ??