Compiled by Laura Lenz
Laura Lenz reported that Senator Raphael Warnock challenged Republican-backed legislation that would make it more difficult to cast a ballot around the country in a speech on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, according to NPR.
In his 20 minute address to the Senate, Warnock pushed his colleagues to support strengthening voting rights with the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. These acts would expand voting registration to include same-day voter registrations, weekend hours during early voting periods and federal approval before states could further limit voting rights, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Lenz explained that the senator was critical of current efforts to restrict voting that target minorities and low-income groups. Warnock stated, “we are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights, unlike anything we’ve ever seen since the Jim Crow era.”
Currently, he said voting rights are “under attack” in Georgia and other states. In Georgia, proposed legislation aims to restrict weekend voting, require identification to vote absentee and prohibit food distribution to those waiting in long voting lines.
Lenz reported that the Athens-Clarke County Commission is set to expand alternative trash collection methods in downtown Athens. The plan would create around half a dozen trash collection hubs for businesses, called “eco-stations,” on Clayton Street. The commission is set to vote on this proposal during a meeting on April 6.
Currently, businesses leave their bagged waste on the sidewalks. According to Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste officials, eco-stations would increase safety for sanitation workers by decreasing the amount of pedestrian and sanitation worker injuries from broken glass and debris in waste. The stations could also improve the presentation of downtown, with less leaking trash bags and sidewalk stains, as well as provide bike racks and charging stations for the community.
Thomas Ehlers reported that Kasey Carpenter, an entrepreneur and Georgia state representative, is under fire after a joke he made on the House floor about singer Cardi B following her Grammy performance.
Carpenter said, “is it not true that this bill will provide safety measures to ensure that Cardi B’s backside implants will be safe and ensure a lifetime of effectiveness?”
Ehlers explained that according to the Dalton Daily Citizen, several democratic representatives are filing sexual harassment complaints. All representatives must complete harassment training, and it is unclear if Carpenter will face any punishment.
“I can assure you I never wanted to come across that way, and I apologize if my words offended you in any way, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me,” said Carpenter.
Ehlers reported that Goldman Sachs pledged $500 million to help businesses owned by people of color and women on March 18, according to Yahoo Finance. Last week, the bank disclosed plans within the next ten years to invest $10 billion in healthcare, job creation and education for Black women. According to Yahoo Finance, these moves are under the company’s “Launch with GS” program which aims to close the gender investing gap.
Ehlers also explained that a US Department of Labor report revealed a rise in new jobless claims. 770,000 Americans filed first time jobless claims, increasing 45,000 from the last number. Experts predicted a lower number with the warmer weather and changing social distancing restrictions. Continued jobless claims fell this week to 4.1 million, according to Yahoo finance.
Ehlers reported that an Illinois woman faces charges after trying to steal COVID-19 vaccines. Saeedeh Elahi, a registered nurse working at the TCF Center mass vaccination site, was arrested on one count of larceny in a building after another nurse watched her pocket two Moderna vaccine syringes and two vaccination cards. She entered a non-guilty plea and was given a $20,000 bond.
Mariah Rose reported that Kanye West has become the single wealthiest Black man in US history, in large part due to his Yeezy brand, with a net worth of $6.6 billion.
Other sources of income for West include his music catalog and his investments, which include Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line, Skims. Just four years ago, Kanye was $53 million in debt.
Kanye has had a wild year including a presidential run, a grammy award winning Gospel album and a recently announced divorce from Kim Kardashian.
Rose gave the sports update with news that Deshaun Watson has been accused of sexually assaulting a massage therapist. Watson, who plays for the Houston Texans, refutes the claims. This news comes a few weeks after Watson has requested a trade from the team.
In NBA news, Steph Curry has a tailbone contusion after landing on a bench during a game against the Houston Rockets on March 17. The Warriors point guard was unable to return to the game following his injury.