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This edition of OptOut's weekly news roundups covers labor progress, the Christian right, juvenile justice, the history of oil in Russia, and lots more.

But first, congrats to The Marshall Project for winning two Sigma Awards for data journalism! One of the awards went to reporters Nicole Lewis and Andrew R. Calderón for their investigation of voter registration rates of formerly incarcerated people.

The Marshall Project Wins Two Sigma Awards for Data Journalism
The Sigma Awards honor our work as some of the best data-driven projects from around the globe
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Your Weekly Independent News Roundup


The American labor movement keeps winning.

The Amazon Labor Union at a Staten Island Amazon facility broke many of the traditional rules of labor organizing and won a landmark victory, reports New York Focus.

Labor Experts Dismissed the Quixotic Amazon Union Drive on Staten Island. Then They Won. - New York Focus
“I told the workers beforehand that they would lose based on the ‘numbers.’ They said they knew the workers. They were right!”
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Undergraduate labor unions are taking off, reports Jacobin.

Undergraduate Worker Unions Are Taking Off
At colleges around the US, undergraduate workers are unionizing. The growing movement not only builds worker power on campuses but can help make university students into lifelong trade unionists.
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The strikewave continues in Los Angeles as strippers demonstrate for better labor conditions. Knock LA reports:

Strippers in North Hollywood Are Twerking for Their Rights - Knock LA
Strippers at the Star Garden club in North Hollywood are on strike protesting unfair labor practices by management.
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Also in CALIFORNIA: Defector has a proposal for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Oakland A's play—and where dozens of feral cats have settled.

Oakland Coliseum Trying To Figure Out What To Do About The 30–40 Feral Cats That Have Taken Over | Defector
A modest proposal: Since the Athletics don’t want to play in the Coliseum anymore, and the Raiders already peaced, we should give the stadium over to a group that actually appreciates it and wants to stay. That’s right, I’m talking about the enormous cat colony that has moved in and gotten comfortab…
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Also about BASEBALL: Capital & Main interviews politics professor Peter Dreier about baseball great Jackie Robinson's civil rights advocacy.

The Jackie Robinson We Didn’t Get to Know
More than a ground-breaking Dodger star, Jackie Robinson had a radical side, too.
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In case you needed a reminder of how extreme the U.S. right is (you don't, I know, sorry), Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk recycled the central white nationalist "great replacement" theory on his podcast. Kirk has become a major figure in the political right, raking in tens of millions of dollars a year from GOP megadonors, palling around with his friend Donald Trump, Jr., and joining the influential Council for National Policy.

Emma Vigeland of The Majority Report breaks it down.

More on the right: Skipped History critiques a New York Times article about Christian worship rituals infusing GOP political rallies that somehow "barely mentions race" and provides hardly any historical context.

White Evangelicals ❤️ Toxic Men
Good morning, subscriber! And welcome to the end of another week. I hope spring is springing wherever you may be! As usual this time of year, I’m spending my free time searching for winged migrants gracious enough to bless me with their feathery presence.
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And one more related article: Exposed by CMD used a leaked recording from a Council for National Policy meeting to expose the Christian right's election plans this year, based on tactics used in the successful 2021 campaign of Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. CNP members plan to rile up parents, continue attacking transgender people, and discourage Black residents from voting.

Christian Right to Redeploy Astroturf Strategy Used in Virginia to Win Midterms - EXPOSEDbyCMD
At the February meeting of the Council for National Policy, Christian Right activists and donors got a gloating tutorial in astroturfing from rightwing operatives in Virginia who helped Republicans make big political gains there in the 2021 election.
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Race and the Justice System

On Making Contact, host Monica Lopez addresses racism in the juvenile justice system.

Nearly two thirds of all children in the U.S. juvenile justice system are kids of color. That’s according to a recent report by the Children’s Defense Fund. In this episode of Making Contact, we’ll hear from Dr. Kris Henning on the disparities faced by Black youth in the juvenile justice system.
Unequal Justice: the Criminalization of Black Youth - Making Contact Radio
Nearly two thirds of all children in the U.S. juvenile justice system are kids of color. That’s according to a recent report by the Children’s Defense Fund. In this episode of Making Contact, we’ll hear from Dr. Kris Henning on the disparities faced by Black youth in the juvenile justice system. Dr.…
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Tim Black discusses the controversy over a central Black Lives Matter organization and its finances.

The War in Ukraine

WhoWhatWhy profiles several Ukrainians who have returned home even as the war with Russia continues.

The War Isn’t Over, But Ukrainians Are Heading Home - WhoWhatWhy
While Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to create refugees, some Ukrainians are starting to return home… but to what?
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Spencer Snyder, in partnership with Ankur Shah, takes us through more than 200 years of Russian oil history. In a follow-up video, Snyder and Shah bring this history into the present, explaining the climate impacts and describing its relevance in today's war.

In Other News

CT Mirror reports that hundreds of Connecticut physicians are making the case to expand Medicaid to undocumented kids over eight years old. (The program will already be available to undocumented children eight and under starting next year.)

“As health care providers, we recognize our responsibility to care for all patients, regardless of race, income or immigration status. Unfortunately, our state laws do not reflect that same commitment. While the uninsured rate in Connecticut is roughly 5.9%, an estimated 52% of undocumented immigrants in our state are uninsured.”
CT physicians call for Medicaid expansion for undocumented children
Expanding access to health care, particularly for children, has been a priority for majority Democrats in the legislature.
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On the Your Call show this week, host Rose Aguilar speaks with guests about Keystone, a new documentary about the land, humans, flora, and fauna, with a focus on bison.

The near extinction of bison has altered North America's delicate eco system, affecting all of its inhabitants. Replacing bison with cattle has further thrown the ecosystem out of sync and accelerated the collapse of the American prairie. What happens when bison are restored to tribal lands?
The documentary Keystone explores the importance of bison to the land, ecosystem & Native tribes
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Thanks as always for keeping up with the OptOut news network! See you soon.

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