LIFE & WORK
A Proclamation on Bill Of Rights Day, 2022
With three simple words — “We the People” — the United States Constitution set in motion the most extraordinary experiment in self-governance that the world has ever known. The Bill of Rights made this possible, ensuring ratification by every State then in our new Nation. On Bill of Rights Day, we celebrate the fundamental American freedoms enshrined in those first 10 Amendments to our Constitution and recommit to making the full promise of America real for all Americans.
The Bill of Rights embodies a core American strength: the capacity for compromise and self-improvement. By codifying fundamental freedoms, it won over States skeptical of a Federal Government at the time of our founding and proved our Constitution to be a living document, capable of evolving to perfect our Union. The basic rights it guarantees — to religion, speech, press, privacy, and more — have come to define our Nation. And in the over two centuries since their enumeration, 17 other Amendments have been ratified — ending slavery, ensuring equal protection under the law, giving women the right to vote, banning poll taxes, and more — opening the door of opportunity a little wider with each generation.
But freedom is not free — it requires constant vigilance. And nothing about our democracy is guaranteed. Every generation has had to defend our Constitution, including ours today. The right to choose — grounded in the 14th Amendment, enshrined in a half-century of precedent, and relied on for generations — is now under assault. A wave of anti-LGBTQI+ bills is attacking Americans’ freedom to be themselves. In recent years, at least 20 States have passed laws that make it harder to vote. And we have seen new threats to the rule of law that disregard the will of the people.
At the same time, we have also seen tens of millions of Americans stand up to protect our rights and stand against any of these attempts to take our country backwards. I am determined to be a partner in that work. My Administration has taken immediate action to protect reproductive health care, access to contraception, the privacy of sensitive health information, and more; and we will keep fighting to pass a Federal law restoring every woman’s right to choose. I was also proud to sign the Respect for Marriage Act this month and will keep working to advance equality for LGBTQI+ communities, fighting to pass the Equality Act, and building on Executive Orders tackling discrimination in health care, foster care, housing, schools, and more. And because voting is democracy’s threshold liberty — a sacred right on which all our other freedoms rely — I am pushing for new investments to secure voting sites and equipment and to recruit and train election workers. I issued an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to expand access to voter registration. I appointed top civil rights advocates to the Department of Justice, which has separately doubled its own voting rights staff. And I will keep pushing to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement and Freedom to Vote Acts, as well as the Electoral Count Reform Act, to make voting easier and our democracy more secure.
The Bill of Rights consecrates twin American ideals of equality and democracy. They are the rock on which our Nation is built and the reasons why America has long been a beacon to the world. Our democracy will be preserved not just in courts of law but also in people’s habits of heart. It lives in our national character, courage, and optimism and in the fundamental empathy that underlies our system of government — a willingness to see each other not as enemies but as fellow citizens with equal rights. Today, we recommit to defending and extending that promise to everyone.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 15, 2022, as Bill of Rights Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.
LIFE & WORK
Mississippi River crest reaches historic proportions as Iowans cope with yet another flood
As a slow-moving crest works its way down the Mississippi River this week, flood-weary Iowans living along the water were doing their best to cope with the rising water.
In Davenport on Sunday, River Drive lived up to its name: The street looked like a river, but residents said their sandbagging efforts are working.
James Perez, who was helping a local business owner fill sandbags Thursday night outside Mary’s Bar in downtown Davenport, estimated about 180,000 pounds of sand encircled the business they were trying to protect.
About a block away, the barrier outside the bar kept water from entering the business, which remained open Sunday evening.
Perez recalled the 2019 flood, when the Mississippi River broke through a temporary barrier, covering streets and surrounding homes and businesses.
“This time around, we knew ahead of time what to do so I kind of took charge,” Perez said. “I took all the volunteers who were not sure what to do and organized them into a team.”
Some are making the best of a bad situation. With music playing on a portable speaker, Joseph Anderson and Jimi Williams spent a recent afternoon in their kayaks floating down River Drive.
Anderson, a longtime resident of Davenport, said people who call the place home know what to expect.
“Checking out the view and enjoying life. Watching it under water and getting a different perspective of the same thing,” Anderson told . “It’s a beautiful day. We get to see the city. Not everyone gets this view. This is a locals-only tour.”
The flooding caused by snow melt this year does not compare to the 2019 flood, Anderson said.
“You start to get used to it. This one isn’t as bad. Last time we had some levies break and there was a little more damage. It’s not too bad,” Anderson told CNN. “Everyone was prepared. They’ve been through this before, and if you are local you know what to expect.”
Claudia Anderson, the manager of The Phoenix, a large downtown Davenport restaurant, said Monday the barriers seemed to be holding water out of the business, and sump pumps are taking out the little water that does get it.
But the restaurant cannot open, and it’s losing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, she said. She has had to temporarily lay off about two dozen employees, including some who have no other income.
“It is what it is, we’ve gone through this, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone through the flood,” Anderson said.
The crest in the Quad Cities area in Iowa ranked in the top 10 historic crests Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
The river gauge at Rock Island, near Davenport, was cresting with water levels fairly steady around 21.4 feet Monday morning, placing it as the eighth-highest recorded at that spot.
Flood warnings continue along a long stretch of the Mississippi River from St Paul, Minnesota, to just north of St Louis, Missouri, as snow melts from a phenomenal winter season.
The recent flooding comes after areas of the Upper Midwest saw extraordinary snowfall this winter. Duluth, Minnesota, broke its highest seasonal snowfall last month, and Minneapolis recorded its third-highest season.
As the snow in the region melts, the swell of water is making its way south.
Upstream from Davenport in Dubuque, Iowa, officials closed all of its floodgates along the river last week, only the third time the gates have been closed since they were installed in 1973. Pumping stations were operating around the clock.
And farther upstream, North Buena Vista area residents were living in flooded homes, CNN affiliate KCRG reported Sunday, taking “canoes back and forth or we wade through the water,” resident Scott Blum told the station.
The Mississippi will continue cresting further south on Tuesday and Wednesday, but major flooding is not forecast for locations farther south.
A levee breach causes more flood damage
Sixty miles north of Davenport, in Green Island, Iowa, a levee breach flooded roughly 4,000 acres of a wildlife refuge and damaged nine properties, according to Jackson County Emergency Management Director Lyn Medinger.
Officials were not yet able to investigate the cause of the breach due to weather, Medinger told CNN Monday, adding authorities will likely reach the area Tuesday morning.
The region has seen powerful winds, making air transport to the area difficult
No injuries were reported and no evacuations have been made, Medinger said.
“The one breach is affecting the low-lying areas in that region,” the director added.
Just a few miles south, in the city of Sabula, the flood wall was eroded by the high winds but officials were able to stabilize the situation with sandbags and avoid flooding, Medinger said.
LIFE & WORK
Edu Vertikal: A journey from painting to tattooing
LIFE & WORK
International Journalism Festival 2023: the events you shouldn’t miss in Perugia
Here is a curated list of panels on topics such as Ukrainian media, membership and funding models, solutions journalism and more.
April journalists from all over the world will be gathering for the International Journalism Festival in Perugia once again. Many voices from the Reuters Institute will speak at the festival. Here’s a selection of some of the highlights this year, which include panels on reader revenue models, the media in Ukraine, press freedom, equity and inclusion in journalism and AI. All the panels will be live-streamed on the festival’s IJF YouTube channel. See you in Perugia or online.
Investigating the crimes of war
Anna Babinets from Slidstvo.Info | Sam Dubberley from HRW | Sarah El Deeb from AP | Anne Koch from GIJN
12.00. Sala delle Colonne, Palazzo Graziani.
How to support the Ukrainian media system in the long run
Joanna Krawczyk from the German Marshall Fund of the United States | Jakub Parusinski from The Fix | David Schraven from CORRECTIV | Penelope Winterhager from the JX Fund | Eugene Zaslavsky from the Media Development Foundation
14.00. Sala della Vaccara, Palazzo dei Priori.
Membership models: all you need to know about running a member-centric newsroom
Leon Fryszer from Krautreporter | Richard Hoechner from Republik | Lea Korsgaard from Zetland | Eduardo Suárez from RISJ
14.00. Sala dei Notari, Palazzo dei Priori.
Gender, leadership and surviving authoritarian regimes and cultures: women leading independent Arab media speak up
Rawan Damen from ARIJ | Fatemah Farag from Welad Elbalad Media | Diana Moukalled from Daraj | Nora Younis from AlManassa News
15.00. Sala della Vaccara, Palazzo dei Priori.
Solutions journalism: a means to achieve equity and inclusion
Dina Aboughazala from Egab | Caleb Okereke from Minority Africa | Dora Santos Silva from Obi.Media | Holly Wise from the Solutions Journalism Network
16.00. Sala Brugnoli, Palazzo Cesaroni.
Two to tango: a closer look at the relationship between independent investigative teams and legacy media
Cecilia Anesi from IRPI | Nikolas Leontopoulos from Reporters United | Geoffrey Livolsi from Disclose | Elisa Simantke from Investigate Europe | Bastian Obermayer
16.00. Auditorium San Francesco al Prato.
How the far right is going global
Luke O’Brien from the Shorenstein Center | Andrea Dip from Agência Pública | Natalia Viana from Agência Pública | Jamil Chade
17.00. Sala dei Notari, Palazzo dei Priori.
Legal threats hampering media freedom
Lina Attalah from Mada Masr | Will Church from TRF | Chile Eboe-Osuji from Toronto Metropolitan University | Jodie Ginsberg from CPJ | Joel Simon from the Journalism Protection Initiative | Antonio Zappulla from TRF
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