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DAGA Download – May 28

May 28, 2021

ON THE TRAIL

VA ENDORSEMENT CORNER
The Washington Post Editorial Board gave a glowing endorsement to Virginia AG Mark Herring for re-election. The Post said, “No Virginia attorney general in recent memory has made such a positive difference in the lives of ordinary people.” The Post went on to say AG Herring’s “bold progressive record has been instrumental in reversing the state’s hidebound opposition to abortion rights, same-sex marriage and access to affordable education at state-supported colleges for undocumented students who grow up in the commonwealth.” Read the full endorsement here.

 

MULTISTATE MOMENTS

ENDING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE
Michigan AG Dana Nessel led a coalition of 23 Democratic AGs supporting equitable student discipline in school. The Dem AGs sent a letter pointing out that “[e]xclusionary discipline remains prevalent across the country and continues to disproportionally impact students of color.” AG Nessel said, “We must get back to making this a priority to show we’re committed to addressing and correcting the systemic disparities that exist. We owe it to our country’s next generation of leaders.” Read more about this effort here.

SEEKING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
A coalition of Democratic AGs led by New York AG Tish James sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking it to “thoroughly evaluate the adverse impacts of Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley.’” Dem AGs wrote, “Such comprehensive analysis furthers the Biden administration’s important environmental justice policies.” Read more about this effort, applauded by local activists here.

CONTINUING TO PROTECT SENIOR CITIZENS
New York AG Tish James led a bipartisan coalition of 47 Attorneys General in a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. “It is vital that we make every effort to protect the elderly against fraud and irreversible harm, which is why our bipartisan coalition is calling on Congress to immediately pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. We must protect the elderly and ensure we minimize the opportunities for them to become victims in the future.” Read more here.
 

AG SPOTLIGHT

TRANSFORMING POLICING
Over the past year since George Floyd was murdered (read DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford statement here), Dem AGs have made critical progress on reforming the justice system and transforming policing in America in an effort to bring accountability and work towards a more equitable and just system.
  • DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford supported two bills signed into law by the Governor. The first gives his office the ability to initiate pattern and practice investigations and the second limits no-knock warrants. Read more here.
  • New York AG Tish James introduced legislation that creates a “last resort” standard for the use of police force and makes excessive police force by an officer a criminal offense. The legislation was praised by editorial boards across the state. Read more here.
  • New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal outlined his reforms in an op-ed writing, “It is my mission, here in New Jersey, to restore community trust in police. Our work began long before Mr. Floyd’s death and has only accelerated in the year since. Here in New Jersey, we are reimagining the profession of policing.” Read more here.
FIGHTING FOR CONSUMERS
District of Columbia AG Karl Racine announced a new antitrust lawsuit to hold Amazon accountable. AG Racine said, “We filed this antitrust lawsuit to put an end to Amazon’s illegal control of prices across the online retail market. We need a fair online marketplace that expands options available to District residents and promotes competition, innovation, and choice.” AG Racine talked to PeacockTV’s Mehdi Hasan and BloombergTV’s Emily Chang about this latest effort to protect Main Street consumers. Watch the PeacockTV segment here and the BloombergTV segment here.

GETTING TO KNOW THE RI AG
In a three-part series, ConvergenceRI gets to know Rhode Island AG Peter Neronha. Part one focused on AG Neronha’s role as a public health advocate, part two focused on AG Neronha’s actions to hold opioid manufacturers accountable and fighting gun violence, and part three focused on AG Neronha’s role as a “legal activist” challenging the status quo on environmental issues. “Imagine the point where everything converges: gun violence, health care, hospital mergers, the opioid epidemic, racial justice, and a legislative call to arms. In Rhode Island, that point of intersection and convergence resides today at the offices of R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha.” Read it all here.
 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford celebrated his birthday this week.

 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Former Democratic AG, Vice President Kamala Harris, swore in Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke. DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford said, “Clarke’s proven success in advocating and protecting the rights of communities of color reflects her experience and commitment to serve. Clarke’s service is what this country needs now.”

 

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

As AAPI Heritage month comes to a close, DAGA released another short clip of New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal talking about growing up as a child of immigrants.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes spent a portion of his show Wednesday night highlighting the far right turn the Republican Attorneys General Association has taken and their deep ties to both January 6 and the “Big Lie.”