Good News This Week: June 17, 2023 - Oceans, Innovation, & Trans Rights

A photo collage of Morely Kert pushing a table, a spreadsheet screenshot, Rep. Brianna Titone posing for the camera, Felicia Jackson holding her CPR Wrap, and a nurse attending to a patient

Every day the Good Good Good team collects the best good news in the world and shares it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

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The Best Positive News We’re Celebrating This Week —

Offering free 3D-printed repairs, a Toronto man is on a mission to extend the lifespan of everyday objects

For those of us who want to be more sustainable with the items we use on a daily basis, one of the best places to start is by repairing our things rather than replacing them when they break. And Morely Kert is here to help with that worthy pursuit.

Kert is a maker, fixer, and content creator who takes viewers along on his various projects and designs, all from his tiny apartment workshop. And now he’s taking his beloved 3D printer on a field trip to offer free printed repairs in public spaces.

The first time he offered his services at a Toronto cafe last summer, he helped rejuvenate a pair of sunglasses with a simple, perfectly-carved piece of filament, fix a water bottle lid that no longer snapped shut with a new clasp, and more.

Why is this good news? If you aren’t savvy with a sewing machine, or some tools aren’t accessible to you, it can be intimidating — and sometimes impossible — to make simple fixes and extend the lifespan of some of these random goods. Kert is helping add a level of accessibility to repairing our things!

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The first openly transgender judge in state history was just appointed in New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced 15 new judicial appointments in the state, and one of them made state and U.S. history. With his appointment, Seth Marnin became the first openly transgender judge in the state of New York, and the first transgender man in U.S. history to serve as a judge.

Marnin’s appointment is a significant milestone both in representation and in building trust in our political systems. His history-making appointment builds on the progress made by transgender women who have been appointed and elected judges in the U.S.

And it's especially exciting news to celebrate during Pride Month.

“It was not so long ago that a trans person becoming a judge was unimaginable,” Marnin wrote in a statement to Gay City News on Wednesday. “I hope my nomination and service inspires young trans people and that I can serve as a role model.”

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‘The Little Mermaid’ fan activists created a campaign to support and protect the ocean and trans youth

Contrary to the very loud (and racist) criticism of Disney’s casting of Black actress Halle Bailey in its remake of “The Little Mermaid” — one group of fans, led by the fan activist nonprofit Fandom Forward, is using the drama surrounding the film to make real change off the screen.

The organization launched the Protect Ariel’s Home campaign during Earth Month in April, to train Disney fans to become eco-activists, learning how to take collective action to protect water — especially for BIPOC communities.

And as the movie entered theaters just ahead of June’s Pride Month festivities, fans wanted to take it a step further. Organizers launched a campaign called Protect the Water, Protect the Mermaids to support two urgent causes: defending the planet and transgender youth.

Why is this good news? It can be challenging to know where to channel our frustration at issues like climate injustice, racism, and transphobia — and through this campaign, Fandom Forward gives folks an outlet (through trainings, trackable action steps, and more) to take action.

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Specifically to celebrate park employees, drag queen Pattie Gonia hosted her third-consecutive Pride celebration in Yosemite National Park

Over the weekend, eco-drag queen Pattie Gonia shared a now-viral TikTok highlighting her Pride celebrations at Yosemite National Park. This was Pattie’s third-consecutive Pride celebration in Yosemite, and it wasn’t just a Pride party for visitors of Yosemite Valley — but an event specifically for park employees.

While these celebrations are cause for contagious queer joy, they also speak to Pattie’s larger mission of intersectional environmentalism: making the outdoors a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.

One attendee at an earlier stop on Pattie’s summer tour told us, “Having spaces like this where you can really see and feel the sense of community helps you realize that together we are stronger and can make amazing things happen, but we also need to care for ourselves and one another along the way.”

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LGBTQ+ legislators all across the U.S. are working tirelessly to fight anti-trans legislation

All across the U.S., hundreds of pieces of harmful legislation are putting trans folks of all ages at risk of life-threatening violence, persecution, and mental health crises. It’s a tragic and heartbreaking reality — one that LGBTQ+ legislators in statehouses are working hard to combat.

Nebraska’s first openly LGBTQ+ senator and mother to a transgender son, Megan Hunt helped filibuster the senate for nine weeks over a bill that would ban gender-affirming care. In Montana, transgender Representative Zooey Zephyr was silenced and barred from the House floor for advocating for trans rights.

Alongside Senator John Fredrickson, the first openly gay man elected to Nebraska’s legislature, Hunt and Senator Machaela Cavanaugh created the Don’t Legislate Hate PAC to help put a stop to these discriminatory bills.

Meanwhile in states like Colorado, legislators like Representative Brianna Titone, the state’s first-ever transgender legislator, have helped solidify trans rights into the very fabric of their constitutions.

In Senator Hunt’s words: “We are united in our commitment to upholding the values of equality, fairness, and respect for all individuals, and we will not back down in the face of bigotry and intolerance.”

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A mom invented a foolproof tool to help people perform CPR in emergencies — and it just went viral

In traumatic or crisis situations, many folks lose sight of information they might have otherwise committed to memory. Felicia Jackson has decades of medical experience and was certified in CPR — but froze in panic when her toddler son stopped breathing in the back seat of her car.

Her husband quickly stepped in to save the day, but she came away with a valuable realization: Performing CPR needs to be less intimidating — and more accessible.

So, she founded CPR Wrap, a simple and straightforward tool that reminds people how to perform CPR in an emergency situation. The device does not require any certifications to use, and she made it “so easy a child could do it,” she said in a now-viral TikTok video.

Why is this good news? In a crisis, sometimes even highly trained professionals need a little help to jump into action. And in the comments of that viral TikTok video, veteran paramedics, certified instructors, and folks long-trained in CPR confirmed the CPR Wrap’s value — it will save lives.

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A first-of-its-kind neonatal nursing program is improving infant and maternal mortality rates in Sierra Leone

The people of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, are at a severely high risk of death or debilitating illness, due to inadequate healthcare practices and facilities. But there is hope, and health outcomes are turning around thanks to the health and humanitarian nonprofit Project HOPE.

Project HOPE first began supporting the nation’s health initiatives with emergency aid during the Ebola epidemic, and when working with the country's health ministry, experts saw an opportunity to intervene in another major health crisis: maternal and infant care.

So, they began developing maternal and newborn-focused programs in Sierra Leone in 2015, with the intention of building the capacity of healthcare workers, and in turn, strengthening both facilities and communities. Project HOPE’s many volunteers have helped develop curriculum, facilitate technical support, and serve as mentors to Sierra Leone’s up-and-coming neonatal nurses.

Why is this good news? Sierra Leone experiences extreme rates of poverty, has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world (one in 20 women dies as a result of pregnancy or childbirth), and has a significantly high infant mortality rate (78 deaths per 1,000 live births).

Everyone deserves equitable healthcare, and Project HOPE’s investment in these communities is already making such a huge difference.

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More good news of the week —

California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out a plan to make the 28th Amendment to the Constitution about gun reform. Though it faces an uphill battle, it would raise the minimum age to buy a firearm, mandate universal background checks, institute a waiting period on all gun sales, and ban assault rifles.

After 27 years, the British Museum just ended its sponsorship deal with BP. The museum confirmed that no current or future exhibitions or other activities will be sponsored by BP, and environmental activists are celebrating the “massive victory.”

The Department of the Interior is investing $161 million into ecosystem restoration and resilience on public lands. The money will be used to restore wildlife habitat, recreate wetland meadows, repair watersheds, and more.

Starting as soon as October, residents in New York City will be required to compost their food scraps. The measure was just passed by city council, and mandatory composting will be rolled out to all five boroughs by next year.

For the first time, a pilot program in England will give people a universal basic income of £1,600 a month. The program will run in two places for two years and participants will be monitored for its impact on their mental and physical health.

Rescue workers found four missing children alive after 40 days in the Colombian jungle. Workers had been searching for the children, who were between the ages of 1 and 13, ever since their plane crashed, killing 3 adults on board.

Illinois just became the first state to pass legislation against banning books in public libraries. Book bans have seen a sharp increase in recent years across the U.S., especially books dealing with race, history, and LGBTQ+ topics.

Australia is planning to triple the size of an ecologically important and protected marine park. The country announced plans to close off an area larger than Germany to fishing and mining, protecting millions of vulnerable seabirds and animals.

A tiny home community just hosted the “world’s smallest” Pride march to “celebrate love in all its forms.” Around 80 people attended the event in Warwickshire, started by residents to support the LGBTQ+ community.

A new analysis found a “sharp and broad decline” in the U.S. murder rate in the first five months of 2023. While murder rates have increased in certain cities, overall a study of 90 U.S. cities showed a 12.2% drop — and in certain cities, it’s over 30%.

Garth Brooks said that Bud Light will be served and trans people will be safe at his new bar in Nashville. Responding to backlash in a Facebook Live, Brooks said, “Everybody’s got their opinions. But inclusiveness is always going to be me.”

New York City announced a new minimum wage of $17.96 an hour for food app delivery workers. Right now, Manhattan’s 60,000 food delivery workers make on average about $7.09 an hour, and the minimum wage will increase again to $19.96 in April 2025.

The American Medical Association is asking doctors to pay less attention to BMI in determining a patient’s health. Body mass index has long been used to define a “healthy” weight, despite mounting evidence that it's an inaccurate predictor of individual health risks.

The U.S. Supreme Court just upheld protections for Native American children. The Indian Child Welfare Act gives preference for Native tribes when American Indian children are adopted, preserving tribes’ ability to govern themselves.

The top science group in Europe announced their support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining. The practice extracts minerals like copper, zinc, and manganese from the seabed for commercial use — and harms marine ecosystems and wildlife.

Article Details

June 17, 2023 5:00 AM
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