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June 12, 2020 
WEEK IN REVIEW
All eyes were on Georgia's primary election last Tuesday. The Peach State was seen as a barometer of what we can expect in terms of voting this November. Georgia had purchased new voting machines and mailed out ballots to voters. However the election was a mess and Georgia lived up to its reputation for voter suppression.

Absentee ballots were never delivered. Extremely long waits at polling sites forced people to wait for hours, made even more dangerous during the Coronavirus pandemic. Some voters, frustrated from waiting while poll workers struggled to fix the new equipment, gave up and left without casting their ballot. It was no coincidence that most of the trouble occurred in minority areas.

The Secretary of State wants an investigation. This does not give voters confidence, especially since Georgia's Governor, Brian Kemp, and the Secretary of State are both Republicans. Kemp was the architect of 2018 voter suppression in his state.

In addition, the voting machines were purchased from a company whose former top lobbyist is now Kemp's Chief of Staff. That staffer attended a Las Vegas junket sponsored by the voting machine company right before Kemp approved the purchase.

But the Georgia election did prove one positive thing - vote-by-mail works. It increases participation dramatically. Fewer than 40,000 people typically vote by absentee ballot in Georgia. This election 1.2 million absentee ballots were received setting a record. But it also furthered hindered the state, which was ill prepared for the influx.

States need more resources for equipment and increased training for poll workers. The voting equipment must be secure and tested out before election day. We need to expand vote-by-mail and early voting, and to improve the safety, accessibility, and efficiency of in-person voting during elections. 

Call Congress. Tell your Representative and Senators to support the Vote Safe Act of 2020. Congress must act quickly. Time is running out.

The future of our democracy rests on safe, accessible elections.

(JAC-endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff won his primary for Georgia's Senate seat. The Dems have a good chance now to pick-up this seat as we head toward a Democratic Senate majority.)
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UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS

Sunday, June 14
Sit at JAC's 'Table'
Women for Brad in support of
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
11:30 am CT
 
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Thursday, June 18 
Update on Israel with
Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)
3:30 pm CT | 4:30 pm ET
(Rescheduled)
 
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Tuesday, June 23
Virtual Conversation with
Gina Ortiz Jones
Candidate for TX-23
3:00 pm CT |4:00 pm ET | 1:00 pm PT
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Monday, July 20 
Rep. Jan Schakowsky's 19th Annual
Ultimate Women's Power Lunch
12:30 pm
Note invited by JACPAC in the RSVP box
 
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Virtual Events to Support Joe Biden for President
 
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Sunday, June 14
Joe-ga: Virtual Yoga Class Fundraiser for all levels
1:00 pm ET | 12:00 pm CT | 10:00 am PT
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Monday, June 15
Virtual Reception with VP Joe Biden & 
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Time TBA
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Wednesday, June 17
Fireside Chat about National Security & Defense Policy
featuring
Leon Panetta, Michele Flournoy, & Colin Kahl
6:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm CT | 3:00 pm PT
Details here
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Wednesday, June 17
Fireside Chat about the
Future of American Foreign Policy
with
Sec. John Kerry, Sec. Madeleine Albright, & Sen. Chris Coons
7:00 pm ET
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Tuesday, June 30
Virtual Conversation about Hope & Democracy
with Vice President Joe Biden
moderated by Mark Hamill
Time TBA
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Please note: Login links for Biden for President events are sent out directly by the campaign. 
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Watch your inbox for more online events.
ISRAEL
Israel's Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Legalizing Settlements on Private Palestinian Land

Israel's Supreme Court struck down a law that had retroactively legalized about 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank.  A nine-judge panel voted to repeal the 2017 measure, under which settlers could remain on land if they built there without prior knowledge of Palestinian ownership, or if homes were built at the state's direction. Eight voted in favor and one against. Rights groups say the measure, which was frozen soon after passage while the court heard petitions against it, had legalized more than 50 settler outposts built without government approval.
Continued Reading

ANTI-SEMITISM & BDS
Has Black Lives Matter Alienated Pro-Israel Voices?

The massive protests in the US have sought to confront police brutality and have tapped into growing anger among many young people over a variety of issues. In many ways the mass protests are unprecedented, as is the crackdown. However, like many protests there are always attempts to hijack the original agenda and steer it in a new direction. In the US this sometimes intersects with groups that embrace a radical anti-Israel dogma while trying to connect it to a  "Black Lives Matter" slogan. It is important here to separate out the dogmatic aspect of those hard core official Black Lives Matter activists who may be anti-Israel, and the vast majority of people who say "black lives matter."
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CHOICE
Here's What to Know About the Birth Control Case at the Supreme Court, Because It's a Big Deal
 
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) first became law in 2010, nearly 63 million people across the country have been able to access birth control through their employer-provided health insurance. But now, a case before the Supreme Court is threatening that access. On May 6, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the ACA's contraception mandate for the third time since it became law, this time as part of  Trump v. Pennsylvania. Here's what to know about the birth control case at the Supreme Court, where advocates for religious freedom and reproductive justice are clashing once again.
Continued Reading

SEPARATION
 
The Quiet Demise of the Separation of Church and State

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion." This has long been thought to prohibit direct government support for religion. The contours of that idea have been contested, and they have contracted over time. But the commitment to some form of separation of church and state has endured.  Yet in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress has approved a huge payout to small businesses and nonprofits that allows funding for clergy salaries  - a direct payment of tax dollars for a core religious use that would have been unthinkable in previous eras.
BEYOND THE CORE
Democrats Unveiled New Legislation to Overhaul US Police Policy and Add Accountability. Here's What's in the Bill.

Democrats in Congress unveiled legislation Monday in response to widespread protests over police brutality.  The bill, known as the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, would ban choke holds, create a misconduct registry, and mandate training against racial profiling, among other changes to national policy.  The bill was sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass of California, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, in the House. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California sponsored the bill in the Senate.
Continued Reading


POLITICAL BYTE
Can Jews and African Americans Rebuild Their 1960s Alliance?

For months in the early 60s, demonstrators poured into streets  of Birmingham, Montgomery, Jacksonville, Jackson, They marched to demand justice and were beaten by police and set upon by dogs. Most were black, but some were white, and two-thirds of those whites were Jews, often coming down south from the North. Their persistence and courage riveted the country, moved the Democratic Party to the left, and led to the passage of the Civil Rights act of 1964  and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 .   Yet two years after those triumphs, blacks and Jews were often at each other's throats. 
Continued Reading

BIDEN ROUNDUP
Biden: We Must Urgently Root out Systemic Racism, From Policing to Housing to Opportunity 
 
From the moment I launched my campaign, I have said that we are in the battle for the  soul of this nation. And after two weeks of daily protests, with thousands of people coming out to march for racial justice in the midst of a pandemic, with gatherings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and in communities of every size, the American people have shown the world exactly where we stand in this battle.  We know the nation we want to be. Now we have to deliver on this moment to achieve fundamental changes that address racial inequalities and white supremacy in our country.
Continued Reading



CORONAVIRUS
Finding a Coronavirus Vaccine Is Hard. Getting It to People Is a Whole Other Problem
 
Drugmakers are racing to develop a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus -- a complex feat in itself -- but what might be even trickier is getting it to the public.  The quest to combat a deadly pandemic is exposing bottlenecks  in the pharmaceutical supply chain . The world has neither enough glass vials to house the vaccine nor the facility capacity to fill and package them, experts say. 
Continued Reading

FYI
These Jewish Celebrities Are Stepping up to Say Black Lives Matter    
 
At a time when so many in our nation have to take to the streets to protest police brutality, our focus should be on amplifying Black voices.  So, yes, at first glance, it may seem a bit weird to elevate those who already have a huge platform - namely, celebrities. But it's worth examining what celebrities - Jewish and otherwise - are doing.
Continued Reading

JAC II
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
 
Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.
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Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.

The Last Word
" They (the protesters) are showing us the path forward. It's a path that requires us to be courageous. It requires us to be humble. It requires us to be uncomfortable. But it is a path rooted in love, and trust and hope. "

-- Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible.  Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.