Friday, July 17, 2020

In the News: MA State flag to be redesigned; Re-opening plans in other states being rolled back

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"In a moment that spoke to the political charge permeating throughout the state amid debate over racial justice and pandemic impacts, three distinct rallies entangled into a mass group of advocates on the State House steps Thursday with one group calling for a redesign of the state’s flag and motto out of respect for Native Americans. 
The movement to replace the state’s motto and images on the flag seems to be growing as conversations on policing have also engulfed Beacon Hill. Indigenous people, advocates, and lawmakers took to the steps of the capitol to urge the Legislature to consider three bills that would replace the state flag and motto, ban Native American mascots, and refine laws around repatriation and disposition of Native American human remains. 
United American Indians of New England and the North American Indian Center of Boston helped organize Thursday’s event where Sens. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) and Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) paid tribute to the state’s Native American tribes and supported the bills. 
Lewis said Senate Democrats planned at a midday caucus to discuss bills “to replace the seal and flag and to prohibit [Native American] images and mascots in our high schools.”
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"A week after the United States surpassed 3,000,000 coronavirus cases — around a quarter of the world’s cases and deaths — the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated. Nearly half of all states, per a USA TODAY study, are facing a more rapid spike in cases than in the spring. 
Governors and other leaders in states including California, Texas and Michigan continue to grapple with plans to reopen their economies – or slow them down again – amid this severe uptick in cases. Among measures on the table: shutting down high-capacity businesses such as bars and gyms, halting elective surgeries and requiring people to wear masks."
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