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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Rallies across CA, U.S. planned for anniversary of Ukraine invasion

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Friday, February 23, 2024   

Pro-Ukraine rallies are planned in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco as well as cities across the United States this weekend, marking the second anniversary of the Russian invasion. Advocates are pressing Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to relent and allow a vote on aid to Ukraine.

"It's extremely unfortunate and self-serving of the Speaker and members to hold Ukraine's international aid hostage as a political tool," said Alex Cornell du Houx, a former Maine state representative and Marine combat veteran who co-founded and now is president of Elected Officials to Protect America, a nonprofit that fights climate change. "If they truly cared about democracy and protecting our climate, they would be passing aid for Ukraine."

Johnson has said he's holding up the $61 billion weapons aid package because it doesn't address security on the U.S. border. However, he rejected just such a deal in recent weeks. Pro-Ukraine advocates argue that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will threaten other democracies if this invasion succeeds.

Ukrainian American Igor Tregub, a former Berkeley Rent Board commissioner and a member of Elected Officials to Protect America, said the world can weaken Russia by refusing to buy its oil and gas.

"It is our moral obligation to ensure that authoritarian, despotic states like Russia become failed petro-states," he said. "The way to do that is to divest from life-destroying fossil fuels and invest in sources of renewable energy."

EOPA is calling for a so-called "Energy Security Marshall Plan" that would help Ukraine rebuild its economy with clean energy technologies.

Disclosure: Elected Officials to Protect America contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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