Sunshine Week: Shine A Light On The Government
The fight for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment means that we must know what our government is up to -- and that means calling out corrupt corporate giveaways and conflict of interests. After all, they say that sunshine is the best disinfectant.
A lot happens behind closed doors in this administration -- and we all need to let the sunlight shine in. That’s why we’re suing Donald Trump, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce, and Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation.
Lawsuit #1: The Fight to Stop the Trump Administration from Stealing Our Water
Public infrastructure: It may not be the sexiest topic for conversation, but it’s a conversation that needs to be had.
The United States desperately needs investment in its infrastructure. Funding for public water infrastructure has plunged, even though our some of it was built over a hundred years ago. People are unable to afford water service. People are getting bad water service -- sometimes, as in Flint Michigan, deadly water service. And we’ve found that selling off our roads, bridges and water systems to the highest bidder just makes things worse. Corporations are accountable to their bottom lines, not to people, and prices just get higher.
So what did Trump do to make water -- a human right -- safer and more affordable? Worse than nothing.
So what did Trump do to make water -- a human right -- safer and more affordable? Worse than nothing: he created a shady “infrastructure council” that (behind closed doors) cooked up plans to make themselves richer by selling our water utilities to their friends on Wall Street.
So we filed a lawsuit in federal court, which is ongoing. If you believe that everyone deserves safe, affordable water, you can chip in to help here.
Lawsuit #2: The Fight to Stop Jared Kushner From Stealing Our Water
Big corporations have (unlike most of us) heard Jared Kushner’s voice, and the public should know exactly who he’s speaking to and what he’s promising them. Sometimes lost in the din of Trump’s extreme tweet-proclamations and widely-publicized and regressive policies is all that happens more quietly, behind closed doors. Often, these actions are just as dangerous.
Among the many other jobs that he holds, despite being uniquely unqualified to do so, Jared Kushner is stealthily leading the secretive “Office of American Innovation.”
This little-known office’s power is extremely broad, and it has directed the development of a number of key administration policies and initiatives. For one, it has developed the administration’s “infrastructure plan” -- you know, the one that:
- Gives money to wealthy communities;
- Ignores communities like Flint;
- Brings oil & gas drilling to our National Parks; and
- Sells our water, roads and bridges to Wall Street.
We filed a Freedom of Information Act request to figure out just what was going on -- and Kushner & co. completely failed to respond. So, we had to file another lawsuit to shine the light on this agency.
By Shining a Light On Corruption, We Gain the Tools to Win
With hard work and support, we’re going to get to the bottom of these secret, closed-door meetings of rich campaign donors. Anything illegal will be stopped. Tactics that rely on secrecy will be undermined. And we can make this administration accountable to actual people instead of corporate interests.
We’ll never stop defending your right to safe food, clean water and a transparent democracy. If you can help us out by chipping in or spreading the word, it would be much appreciated!