THIS DAY IN HISTORY June 23, 1988: James Hansen Testified to Congress about Climate Change

Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet. …the dirtiest trick that governments play on their citizens is that they are working for ‘clean coal.’ …The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. — James Hansen

On June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified to Congress stating the greenhouse effect had been detected, indicating that the climate was in fact changing.

Hansen was also arrested on this day in 2009 during a protest against mountaintop removal mining at Massey Energy Company.

Here are resources for teaching about coal and climate justice.



THIS MONTH IN HISTORYJune 2010: Haitian Farmers Burn “Gift” of Monsanto Seeds

#ThisMonthinHistory June, 2010: Not long after the devastating 2010 earthquake, farmers in Haiti burned 400 tons of Monsanto “gift” seeds in a protest led by groups affiliated with La Via Campesina. Why? Read ⬇️ and find a free classroom lesson on La Via Campesina.

Opinion by Thomas C. Pedroni: Whitmer misguided in Benton Harbor crisis

Benton Harbor High School students gather in front of the high school in Benton Harbor, Mich., Tuesday, June 11, 2019, during an annual Peace Walk held at the end of the school year.  A southwestern Michigan school board has released a plan aimed at keeping the district's high school open and avoiding a state-threatened shutdown of the struggling district.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is in over her head in Benton Harbor Area Schools. Suddenly, though, our fledgling governor is waking up to the reality that she is alienating the very demographic — black and progressive voters — who just seven months ago propelled her to the state’s highest office.

Earlier this month community educational advocates from predominately black districts across the state gathered in Benton Harbor to express support for the district’s families, encouraging the BHAS elected board to remain steadfast in its refusal to endorse the governor’s “proposal.” They highlighted the harm inflicted by previous state strong-arming in Inkster, Buena Vista, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Saginaw, Detroit and Albion. Many reserved special animus for a governor who had campaigned on a promise to buoy education and protect local communities from the type of state meddling engaged in by her gubernatorial predecessors.


Why is Common Core’s Phonics Missing in Reading and Dyslexia Discussions?

by Nancy Bailey

Those who claim teachers and their education schools have focused on the wrong way to teach reading never mention Common Core State Standards. But, since 2010, Common Core has figured prominently in the reading curriculum teachers have been forced to teach. If students are showing increased reading problems, shouldn’t the English Language Arts standards be […]

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via Why is Common Core’s Phonics Missing in Reading and Dyslexia Discussions?

Backing Gov. Tony Evers’ Education Budget Priorities, Wisconsin Protesters Will Walk 60 Miles to Madison


Parents, teachers, and concerned citizens from all over Wisconsin will walk 60 miles to Madison beginning tomorrow. They’ll be demonstrating all weekend to protest the Republican-dominated Wisconsin Legislature’s state education budget and to support Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ effort to overcome years of Scott Walker’s budget cuts to the state’s public schools.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Annysa Johnson reports: “Public school advocates from across the state will embark on a 60-mile march to Madison… hoping to persuade Republican lawmakers to boost funding for K-12 education…. The goal, organizers say, is for the lawmakers to reinstate key components of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ education budget, particularly his nearly $600 million boost to cover special education costs, $58 million more for mental health services, and $40 million more for bilingual-bicultural programs.”

Gov. Evers, formerly Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, knows about the needs of public schools.  After the Legislature—still dominated…

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How DeVos & Co. Use Special Ed. to Privatize Public Schools and End Student Services


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her corporate friends are about dumping civil rights protections regarding IDEA. Special education has become a means to transform public education into choice and charter schools while ending student services. This is done by defunding special education and convincing parents that services don’t matter. Dismantling services in public schools shouldn’t be allowed. […]

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A High School Allegedly Banned Students From Covering A Classmate’s Arrest

At the beginning of the school year, one of Kyra Howard’s high school classmates abruptly stopped showing up for classes.

Nobody at Plainfield High School in Indiana knew what had happened to the student, Levi Stewart, and school administrators weren’t talking. Some kids guessed he’d been suspended. Among a suburban high school of 1,600 students, his absence was noticed because he was active on campus and a drum major in the state champion school marching band. “He was a prominent kid around school,” said Howard, who as a student journalist may have been more curious than others.

Learn more about this here…

January 31, 2019

Dear Mr. Salisbury,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent government shutdown. I share your frustration over the dysfunction in Washington at this time and continue to be committed to find bipartisan solutions to keep our government funded.

There are no winners in a government shutdown and it has a very real impact in Southwest Michigan. The shutdown jeopardized critical federal services such as food stamps, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs, including Section 8 vouchers, and various public safety functions carried out by workers that were furloughed or working without pay, like the Coast Guard. This is unacceptable.That is why I joined 234 Democrats and 6 Republicans to pass H.R. 21, a six bill spending package that would fund nearly all of the government agencies that were unnecessarily shuttered in the recent 35-day shutdown. The government has currently been funded through February 15, 2019.

You may also be interested to know, I joined a group of my colleagues in introducing H.R. 2221, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act. If passed, would prevent a shutdown by providing automatically continued funding for any federal appropriation that is not completed before the end of the fiscal year.

Rest assured, I will continue to work with all my Republican and Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that the government is fully funded.

Thank you again for contacting me. As always, I appreciate hearing from you and it’s of the utmost importance to me that your voice is heard. Due to the highly charged political atmosphere, my office is experiencing an unprecedented amount of mail and it may take several weeks for a response to get back to you. Sometimes you may receive a “form letter,” but please know these letters accurately reflect my position.

Many of you reach out regarding the dysfunction back in Washington. As Vice Chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of representatives, I was pleased to join my colleagues in introducing the Break the Gridlock” proposal. This effort would force consideration of bipartisan amendments and make Washington actually fix problems. If we had these rules in place, just in recent weeks, I believe important bipartisan legislation would have been adopted on immigration, the environment as it relates to PFAS and water quality, health care, agriculture, and other spending issues. We will insist on these proposed changes in the 116th Congress.

As we continue our work in Congress, please do not hesitate to contact my team in Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761), Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), or St. Joseph (269-982-1986) or visit to share your thoughts on legislation or issues of importance to you. In addition, I encourage you to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on what I’m working on each week in Congress and back home in Southwest Michigan. To see my official position on more than 70 issues and policy concerns and to view my official voting record, please click here.


Fred Upton
Member of Congress