guidry

Louisiana declares public health emergency in St. Joseph

Each week for months, Janet Thornton has spent $20 to buy drinking water for her husband and herself.

“We don’t have a lot of money,” she said, “so we just boil the water on the stove for our dogs. No one has told us if that’s OK.”

This past spring, the town of St. Joseph was dealing with “not aesthetically pleasing” brown water running through residents’ faucets. State health officials said then it was not dangerous.

Now, a few months later, water in this Louisiana town of about 1,000 shows high amounts of lead in some samples, and it may be dangerous.

On December 16th, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a public health emergency in the town after two of 13 site samples the day before showed elevated levels of lead, which was absent from water samples at the start of the year.

Keep reading

11 Awesome Things That Happened Because You Stood With Texas Women

By guest author: Planned Parenthood Votes President Cecile Richards

24 years ago, my mom, Ann Richards, ran for governor because she wanted to open up the doors of government and let the people in. Last summer, thousands of Texans took her up on that offer.

1. Wendy Davis gave a voice to folks who have been shut out of the political process for too long.

2. Leticia Van de Putte raised the point of order heard ‘round the world.

3. They tried to end the filibuster and force a vote — but the voices of hundreds of people standing shoulder to shoulder in the rotunda shook the Capitol to its foundation and stopped the bill in the “people’s filibuster.”

4. They tried to cheat in plain sight—changing the official record to say that the bill had passed just in time—to try to ignore our voices…

5. …instead, they got fact-checked by thousands of people watching and tweeting online.

6. Orange really was the new black.

7. And meanwhile, in the rest of the country, thousands more folks rose up in places like North Carolina and Missouri to make their voices heard by their legislators.

8. Every day since, folks in Texas have shown what it means to be “in for the long run.”

9. We met a new generation of activists – including plenty of folks who weren’t even old enough to vote yet, like then-9-year-old Beau Guidry who not only watched every minute of the filibuster, he live-tweeted it.

But the best part: He was so inspired by what he saw in the Capitol that last fall, he ran for school president – and won!

10. Today Texans are still standing, organizing, and fighting for women’s health — and we’re stronger than ever!

11. And the best thing to come out of the filibuster hasn’t happened yet – it’s when we make Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte the next governor and lieutenant governor of Texas!