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D.C. Memo: Slow the Memo down, please

The Justice in Policing Act gets a vote; Klobuchar will not be vice president; and all about proxy voting.

At a rally, President Donald Trump said he told his administration to slow down testing for COVID-19. He later clarified that he wasn’t joking.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week from Washington, the Justice in Policing Act gets a vote; Klobuchar will not be vice president; and all about proxy voting. Let’s get on with this.

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Thursday, the House voted on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, legislation written by the Congressional Black Caucus over the last few weeks. With a Democratic majority, the bill is likely to pass the House.

“His death will not just be another Black man dead at the hands of the police,” CBC Chair Karen Bass of California said at a press conference before the vote. “Sadly, people around the world are marching for human rights in America.”

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House Republicans say the bill goes too far, and are deferring to the Senate Republican bill, which offers significantly weaker provisions and is sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber of Minnesota’s Eighth District in the House.

The bill passed the House on a 236-181 vote, but its prospects in the Senate look dim.

Klobuchar will not be vice president

After dropping out of the race and endorsing Joe Biden for president, Sen. Amy Klobuchar was considered by Biden for the role of vice president. Last Thursday night, she ended speculation that that might be possible.

“America must seize on this moment, and I truly believe, as I told the vice president last night, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on the ticket,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC.

You can read more here from The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon.

To mark the moment, here are a few MinnPost Klobuchar stories from back when she was running.

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Last weekend, I talked to three DACA recipients, who are also three organizers, about what comes after the recent Supreme Court decision blocking the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program. You can read more at MinnPost, but here are a few thoughts from them:

Eliphaz Omote, 27, on how policy will be made: “I don’t think that work stops at any point until our permanent solutions are actually passed and, unfortunately, those decisions have to come from the White House and from Congress.”

Angelica Bello Ayapantecatl, 18, on making policy: “What really needs to be done is legalization for all. And as crazy as that sounds to people, that’s just what needs to happen because first we are in stolen land. This is a humanitarian issue and I’m just thinking about the children in cages. I’m not just thinking about our Dreamers, you know? I just feel like legalization for all summarizes it all.”

Edwin Torres, 27, on November elections:  “For a lot of us who don’t have many privileges, it’s everything. It’s everything from the local level to the state level to the national level. We have to be engaged more than ever now.”

Life is short

Caribou Coffee’s long-time slogan is “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” When around 100 people showed up outside of Caribou Coffee’s Roseville location at the end of April, one protester’s sign had a different take: “Life is short. Stay alive for it.”

Caribou Coffee workers currently want better COVID-19 protections, among other things. But while the effort to prod Caribou has involved hundreds of local workers, the campaign is also part of a national movement to demand better wages, better benefits and better safety precautions for thousands of restaurant workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Behind many of those efforts, including the one targeting Caribou, is the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. It is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that was founded in 2001 to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce.

Read more at MinnPost.

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By the numbers

Proxy voting

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate for COVID-19 for people in their 20s is around 0.1 percent. For people in their 50s, it increases to 2.4 percent. For people in their 60s, it is 6.7 percent. The average age of House members at the beginning of the 116th Congress was 57.6 years.

In the interest of protecting members’ health, the U.S. House recently implemented a proxy voting system — where a member could cast another member’s vote for them on the floor — over strong objections of Republicans. So far, though, not many people have used proxy voting.

Read more at MinnPost. 

In other news

Quote of the week

“I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please,’” said President Donald Trump, who has clarified that he was not joking. 

What I’m reading

Kendra Pierre-Louis for NiemanLab: It’s time to change the way the media reports on protests. Here are some ideas.

This week I’m again reading about how we’ve done journalism in the past and how it can be better. For NiemanLab, Pierre-Louis writes about the research behind protests and how media framing can shape opinion.

Wesley Lowery for The New York Times: A Reckoning Over Objectivity, Led by Black Journalists

For the New York Times, Wesley Lowery deconstructs how “objectivity” in newsrooms has been used to silence employees who don’t look a certain way. He writes: “The views and inclinations of whiteness are accepted as the objective neutral. When black and brown reporters and editors challenge those conventions, it’s not uncommon for them to be pushed out, reprimanded or robbed of new opportunities.”

That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.