More

Oregon's governor just did a thing that could change everything for voters if other states copy it.

Just because it's been a confusing headache in the past doesn't mean it has to stay that way. At least according to visionary Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Oregon's governor just did a thing that could change everything for voters if other states copy it.

Low voter turnout is a big problem.

Across the U.S., only 36.4% of eligible people voted in 2014.


That is the lowest number seen since WWII.

Some people are cool with that. They like it when only super-engaged people vote because it cements their interests instead of what's good for the broader public.

But those who want to see democracy work for ALL of us recognize that the key to a truly representative government is getting as many citizens as possible to participate.

Being able to vote is KIND OF A BIG DEAL!

Back in 2013, Oregon's then-secretary of state, Kate Brown, introduced what some deemed a radical bill to make registering to vote super easy. Here's the gist of it:

Instead of having to register yourself BEFORE the day of voting — thereby reducing the likelihood of people doing it — you're just automatically registered to vote in Oregon when you get a driver's license or ID.

So now in Oregon, instead of having to schlep to a registration site to opt in, you're automatically in the in-club. Which sure beats waiting in line!

Not to mention the unreasonable burden separate registration puts on the elderly and the disabled.

Such a simple reversal changes the game.

Fast-forward two years. That secretary of state is now Oregon's GOVERNOR. The bill passed the House and Senate and came across her desk for her official sign-off. Which, of course, she DID.

Oregon is now the first state to implement Awesome Automatic Voter Registration (just a branding suggestion I have), but Minnesota almost did in 2009 before then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed it. Let's all chant a little chant that Minnesota revisits it now, and that this begins a wave of automatic registration in every state.

Could automatic voter registration, if used across the U.S., create a chart that looks more like this in 2018?


Democracy works best when more people get in the game.

Go, Oregon!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
via Beto el Curioso / YouTube

It must be terribly unnerving to wake up one day and realize the government thinks you're dead, even though you're alive and kicking. You'd figure that if you were declared dead and weren't, you'd have some say in the matter.

However, for a woman in France, things haven't been that easy.

Jeanne Pouchain, 58, who lives in the village of St. Joseph, near Lyon, had a rude awakening three years ago when she received a letter from the Lyon court of appeals declaring that her family members need to pay the money she allegedly owed.

Because, according to state records, she was deceased.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.