Two weeks after major protests and demonstrations began in Philadelphia, the city has not seen a large spike in COVID-19 cases. Other parts of the country, though, are seeing worrying upticks in cases, with indicators pointing to reopening business, restaurants, and other public places, according to a New York Times report. The Philadelphia region began decreasing coronavirus-related restrictions earlier this month and New Jersey took a major step yesterday.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that it’s illegal for an employer to fire someone for being gay or transgender. This will have a major impact in Pennsylvania, one of about two dozen states that didn’t have a law protecting LGBTQ workers from employment discrimination.
So, what happens next? An advocate told my colleague Anna Orso that Pennsylvania’s General Assembly should expand on the Supreme Court’s decision by passing legislation that implements and enforces those now-nationwide civil rights protections.
In the weeks following the killing of George Floyd, images of tens of thousands of people marching in cities across the country flooded social media feeds. But protests also sprouted up in small towns, where demonstrations rarely, if ever, happen. In Pennsylvania, protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have occurred in at least 56 of the state’s 67 counties.
Of the towns in those counties that had demonstrations, at least 40 of them were towns that President Trump won in 2016. Experts who study protests and politics told my colleagues Andrew Seidman and Jonathan Lai the antiracism protests in deeply conservative areas could have an impact on this November’s presidential election.
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“We cannot expect police to act consistently with constitutional guarantees of equality, fairness, and integrity, without a system that is built on full transparency, oversight, and accountability. The failure of government and the courts to mandate and implement policies that would ensure democratic controls on the police, leaves them with a broad immunity from even the most harmful abuses and does little to incentivize good policing.” — writes David Rudovsky, a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, about the difference between “actions” and “commissions” when it comes to police reform.