DAGA Download – April 9
April 9, 2021
ON THE TRAIL
VA ENDORSEMENT CORNER
Virginia AG Mark Herring was endorsed by CASA in Action, a progressive immigrant rights organization. CASA in Action highlighted AG Herring’s legacy of advocating for “the safety, security, and prosperity of Virginia’s immigrant communities.” CASA in Action’s Executive Director Alonzo Washington said, “He fought for college affordability for DACA recipients, advocated for protections for TPS holders, and continues to be a champion for healthcare accessibility in the commonwealth.” Following the endorsement, AG Herring said, “I’m proud to have their support. With their support we will continue to guarantee protections for our immigrant communities, and ensure that Virginia stays an environment where immigrants can come start businesses, feel safe, and live with dignity.”
BONUS: Just last month, AG Herring demonstrated his commitment to protecting immigrant rights by filing a brief in support of nearly of 400,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in the U.S.
VA CANDIDATE PROFILE
As the Democratic primary election for Attorney General approaches, Virginia AG Mark Herring shares his victories and agenda in support of his re-election. In a newly released candidate profile, AG Herring outlines his views on racial justice, policing reform, worker’s rights, and health, safety, and wellbeing for Virginians. In the profile, AG Herring says, “I believe that the Office of the Attorney General and the law can be a tool to take on powerful special interests and protect equal rights and opportunities for all Virginians, and I’ve been fighting for justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians since I first took office.” Read the full profile here.
FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE
DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford and New York AG Tish James co-led a coalition of 11 Democratic AGs urging the U.S. Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. The Act would reform law enforcement agencies nationwide and give state attorneys general clear statutory authority to investigate patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing. AG Ford said, “[a]s Nevada’s attorney general, my focus is on justice, and the passage of this Act is critical to bringing justice on behalf of those who have been victimized and mistreated. The killing of George Floyd and several other individuals has sparked outrage and sadness from millions of Americans, and I’m urging the Senate to pass this police reform legislation as quickly as possible so that attorneys general like me can help pursue justice.” Read the full letter here.
North Carolina AG Josh Stein co-led a bipartisan coalition of 45 Attorneys General calling on companies to act immediately to prevent people from selling fraudulent Center for Disease Control (CDC) vaccination cards on their platforms. In the letter, the Attorneys General ask CEOs to monitor platforms for ads or links about selling fraudulent vaccination cards, to remove false ads or links to cards, and to preserve records about who is selling the ads or links. AG Stein said, “People selling fake vaccine cards are putting us all at risk and making it harder for us to end this pandemic that’s lasted more than a year.” To read the full letter, click here.
SUPPORTING ABORTION PROVIDERS
Illinois AG Kwame Raoul led a coalition of 20 Democratic AGs filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, supporting a group of Tennessee abortion providers. The providers are challenging a law requiring women seeking abortions to attend two in-person appointments with physicians no fewer than 48 hours apart. AG James said, “Time and again, various states have passed laws that seek to limit reproductive choices and control women’s bodies. This latest law by Tennessee not only does that, but does so while placing women’s health at risk. Our coalition will continue to fight to protect women’s bodies, their freedoms, and their choices.” Read the full brief here.
New York AG Tish James and Connecticut AG William Tong wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post highlighting Democratic AGs effort to fight online disinformation around COVID-19 vaccines. They write, the “solution is not complicated. It’s time … to turn off this toxic tap and completely remove the small handful of individuals spreading this fraudulent misinformation.” Read the full Washington Post op-ed here.
UPDATE: ADDRESSING GUN VIOLENCE
President Biden and Vice President Harris announced a half-dozen executive actions focused on curbing gun violence, including regulations on home-assembled firearms – “ghost guns” – and the nomination of a gun control advocate to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The initiatives come after Democratic AGs called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last month to close the loophole in the ATF’s interpretation of the federal Gun Control Act. The letter specifically focused on the sale of “ghost guns.” Democratic AGs have always led efforts on gun violence prevention, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s response to the push from Democratic AGs demonstrates the importance of electing Democratic AGs across the country.
North Carolina AG Josh Stein announced that all North Carolinians, 16 years old and older, can sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. In the video, AG Stein ensures that the vaccines are safe, effective, free, and available to anyone regardless of whether they have health insurance. AG Stein also warned of potential scams when signing up for a vaccine appointment. Democratic AGs have been vocal in their support for the vaccines and have taken action to prevent and curb vaccine hesitancy. Watch the full video here.
WORKING TOWARDS REFORM
Virginia AG Mark Herring announced that he is working with the state’s NAACP to identify and help implement reforms in officer-involved shooting deaths. The goal is to bring more transparency, impartiality, and public confidence to the way police shootings are investigated. AG Herring said, “[t]he way police-involved shootings in the past have been investigated has not been instilling confidence” and proposed possible solutions, including creating a special unit within his office to investigate police shootings.
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
Vermont AG T.J. Donovan has joined several organizations in the state to create the People’s Law School. The People’s Law School is a series of free, virtual presentations on a range of topics such as tenants’ rights, understanding state benefits, family law, and small claims court. The School aims to help Vermonters navigate and better understand the legal and criminal justice system and is targeted towards immigrant communities. To learn more about the People’s Law School watch this video.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
While March Madness may have ended, the basketball banter between our Democratic AGs did not. Full conversation can be viewed here.