Summit Briefing: Week of 3/1/21

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) attends a rally to introduce the Equality Act in 2019.

Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., attends a rally at the Capitol to introduce the Equality Act in 2019. Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

 

By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal

Recipe from Keith Dinh

 

 Disclaimer: Though the Weekly Briefings are no longer tagged in the Opinions section of Summit News and we try to remain as unbiased as possible, our opinions may show through in this article, especially in the “Actions” section.  

 

1. Summit: Reopenings

Even before Governor Gavin Newsom released plans to reopen some schools in counties below a certain case count, Summit schools began planning for a potential return to in-person schooling at certain locations. A video by Lia Bhas, Jovani Contreras and Giselle Sanchez documents the reactions of Prep students to these plans. It appears that Prep’s current multi-phase plan is to remain virtual through the end of the 2020-21 school year, then slowly bring students back into in-person school next August. In contrast, a survey sent to Summit K2 students and parents asked the question “If given the choice, would you and your student want to return to the building for Virtual School or continue to engage in Virtual School at home for the remainder of this school year?” It should be noted that K2 does not have any impending reopening plans, as the county in which it is located remains in the purple tear. Regardless of these different approaches, Governor Newsom’s aforementioned plans focus on elementary schools, in particular children in transitional kindergarten to second grade. Additionally, many Summit schools (including K2) are located in counties that fall within the purple tier of case counts and have no plans to open because of this factor. 

 

2. General News: The Equality Act

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to contain clauses protecting against discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. The bill, which first passed the House in 2019, would explicitly protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination within the contexts of housing, employment and “public accomidations”, which include stadiums and retail stores. It would also extend protections of already covered groups to online retailers and transportation providers (such as Uber or Lyft), thereby making it explicitly illegal to deny such services to individuals based on race and/or religion. 

 

Currently, LGBTQ+ individuals have no statutory protections in 27 states and few explicit protections under federal law. Though the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County in June 2020 that discrimination in the workplace based on sexuality or gender identity would be in violation of the Civil Rights Act, with the reasoning being that, for example, a cisgender* woman would not face firing for being married to a man, the Equality Act could be incredibly important in garunteeing the rights gained in the decision would continue to be covered, and not just under the umbrella terms of “sex” and “employment.”

 

Will the bill pass the Senate? It is not yet clear. While it almost certainly garners the simple majority necessary within the totality of Senate Democrats plus Vice President Kamala Harris as a tiebreaking vote, it is unlikely that the ten Republicans would vote to end a potential filibuster, as many see elements of the bill as lacking protections for or in violation of religious freedoms or as dangerous to cisgender women and girls

 

If you have concerns on the safety of cisgender women and girls should trans women be allowed to use the facilities that match their gender identity, I’d highly recommend this Vox article, which will likely put those fears at rest. To summarize: men dressing up as women to take advantage of transgender protections and attack cisgender women and girls, which is often misrepresented as a rampant issue by conservative lawmakers, simply does not happen. On a more personal note, I myself am very involved in the transgender community and have yet to meet a trans feminine person that puts up with the near constant harrasment and violence that comes from peers, strangers, family and doctors simply to spy on women in the locker rooms. 

 

*Cisgender is defined as identifying with the gender one was assigned at birth. 

 

3. Covid-19: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The vaccine advisors for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all voted to allow the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be distributed and administered to Americans 18 and older, and it was given emergency authorization by the US Food and Drug  Administration. This vaccine only requires one dose, making it even more revolutionary, and is the third overall approved COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine has been shown to have lower efficiency in preventing serious illness, at 72% in the U.S., but it does provide quicker protection, with data showing no hospitalization or death after four weeks of administration. The Johnson & JOhnson vaccine is also easier to store, as it can be kept in a simple refrigerator unlike the other vaccines. Distribution of the vaccine beginning the night of February 28, with them being delivered as early as Tuesday morning. This vaccine will be less available in supply in the coming weeks during March after the first distribution, however. 

 

Dr. Esther Choo has said that the vaccine only having one required is a “game-changer”, saying, “It’s been such a challenge to get even a single dose to many people,” she said. “Signing up for a second one, keeping track of that, getting transportation, it’s just a huge barrier for many Americans and then of course in harder-to-reach places, including rural America, it’s just been a huge logistical challenge.”

 

Dr. Macaya Douoguih, head of clinical development and medical affairs with J&J’s vaccine arm, Janssen, reports that the The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also start testing on children. A study should start next week, with a study of pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems following after. Moderna and Pfizer have also started trials on children with their respective vaccines. 

 

While more and more vaccines are coming out, and case numbers are at an all time low since November, you should not ditch all the safety measures you have been told to follow. There are still many foreign and homegrown variants popping up and still ten of thousands of hospitalizations happening due to COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci advises, “Just look historically at the … early spring of 2020 or the summer of 2020, when we started to pull back prematurely. We saw the rebound.” We can, however, stay hopeful for the end of the pandemic, as more vaccines come out and are administered to the public. 

 

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.

 

4. Politics: Biden’s relief bill, Calif. indoor worship

The House voted late last week to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill. The vote was a close one, with 219 Democrats voting for and all 210 Republicans, joined by 2 Democrats, voting against. Because of this split, it is likely that certain elements of the original bill will be removed, such as its $15 minimum wage guarantee (in fact, the minimum wage segment has already been declared a violation of the Byrd rule). Senate Republicans have expressed disappointment that bipartisan agreement was not sought in the original drafting of the bill and hesitation at package with what they view as a high price tag so soon after a $900 billion relief plan was released under then-president Donald Trump in December. Others argue that the cost is necessary to stimulate the economy and aid in a return to normalcy as vaccines roll out. The bill in its current form includes $1,400 stimulus checks, money for states, schools and the unemployed as well as money for vaccine rollout. Find the entirety of what is funded under the bill here.

 

In this section of our February 8th Briefing, we discussed the Supreme Court Case South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, in which newest justice Amy Coney Barrett penned her first signed opinion. The ruling, handed down in an unsigned opinion, stated that religious institutions could open for indoor, in-person services, but California could limit attendance to 25% capacity and ban singing as well as chanting in the buildings. However, while the ruling struck down state bans on indoor worship, county bans could remain in place. This was the case in Santa Clara County, where a ban on all indoor gatherings included, according to CNN, “political events, weddings, funerals, movie showings and worship services.” Last Friday the 26th, the Supreme Court ruled that churches in Santa Clara County must allow in-person, indoor services at 20% capacity per the South Bay v. Newsom ruling. Santa Clara County argued that, because its ban on indoor gatherings applied to all establishments, it should not have to be rescinded. However, many establishments in the county (including churches) are allowed to operate at 20% capacity as long as patrons are not explicitly gathering in a single spot for extended periods of time (for example, a bookstore would be allowed to sell books but not host a book reading event). The five suing churches therefore argued that the ban on indoor worship was unconstitutional, as they were technically allowed to operate at 20% capacity but could not hold services. The decision may set the tone for  more pro-religion rulings in the future. 

5. Sports: J.J Watt Signs With Cardinals

Free agent and former Houston Texan J.J Watt was on the lookout for many prospective teams, and the decision to sign with the Arizona Cardinals was announced on Watt’s twitter on March 1. The 31 year old NFL player signed a two year, $31 million contract with the Cardinals. His past records prove that he is worth that amount, the only thing holding him back from bigger contracts being that he is injury prone. Despite that, Watt’s decision to sign with the Cardinals is seen by many as a good thing. Many consider it a steal, and think that the Texans once again failed in making a good decision like the time they traded wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. 

 

The Texans disappointing and messy last season probably caused Watt to want to be released, with him even apologizing to Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson for wasting a year of his prime after their final game. However, Watt still did have this to say about the Texans and their community in a Twitter video: “The connection I have with the people of Houston is special, and I will never take that for granted because I know how rare it is. I just want you to know that I love you and I appreciate you,” said Watt via a message to fans via social media. “I want to thank the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL. Thank you, Houston.”

 

The Arizona Cardinals have a promising future ahead of them with this recent signing. One of the many reasons is because Watt has already worked with the current lead handler of the Cardinals’ defense, Vance Joseph, during his tenure with the Texans. The Texans also have another great defensive player in Chandler Jones, and both Watt and Jones combined will be a strong force to be dealt with, both having over 95 sacks (when the quarterback is tackled to the ground before they can throw a pass) since 2012. 

 

6. Entertainment: Golden Globes 2021

The 78th Annual Golden Globes was held on Sunday, February 28th, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The Golden Globes is an event that recognizes excellence in film and television, and 27 awards were given in 2021. Celebrities such as Tiffany Haddish (“Night School”, “Girls trip”), Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey”, “The Wolf of Wall Street), and Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”, “Gladiator”) presented awards, along with 31 other household names, including Fey and Poehler. 

 

Streaming platforms won many awards, with Netflix winning ten, two going to its limited series “The Queen’s Gambit”, and other platforms such as HBO Max and Hulu also winning awards. Director Chloé Zhao became the first woman to win a Golden Globe in 37 years, and the first Asian-American woman to ever win one for her movie “Nomdadland”. Other notable films and shows that won awards were “The Crown” “Schitt’s Creek” “Borat Subsequent Movie Film”, “Soul”, and more! Notable actors and actresses like Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah), Gillian Anderson (“The Crown), Anya-Taylor Joy(“The Queen’s Gambit”), and Mark Ruffalo (“I know This Much Is True”) also received awards. Now passed-away star Chadwick Boseman also won an award for his final movie, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” The show was presented from many different locations through technology, with some technical glitches along the way.

 

Many celebrities such as Kerry Washington are speaking out about the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, (HFPA), a group of journalists that covers events such as the Golden Globes, has no black members. Fey and Poehler both highlighted the fact during the event, saying that this needs to be changed, along with more Black-led projects being recognized. Vice president of the HFPA Helen Hoehne released a statement saying, “Like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

 

7. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle) and Sierra (Seattle)*: This week’s highs will slowly rise, then peak in the middle of the week with today’s being 47℉, Weds’ up to 54℉, 58℉ Thurs, then down to 51℉ Fri-Sat and 49-50℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will follow a similar pattern with today-Weds’ being 36-37℉, up to 45℉ Thurs, back down to 40-41℉ Fri-Sat and finally 37-38℉ Sun-Mon. The week will also be a cloudy one: today-Weds will see partial clouds, Thurs-Fri rain and Sat-Mon showers. Wear a mask, stay dry, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs ranging in the high 40’s and low 50’s with the exception of some high 50’s, lows in high 30’s-mid 40’s, partial clouds, rain and showers. 

 

*Temperatures in West Seattle and Seattle varied by only a degree if at all this week. As such, I have decided to combine them. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will rise from the low 50’s, peak midweek and eventually fall back down, with today’s high being 50℉, Weds’ 55℉, Thurs up to 59℉, then back down to 51-52℉ Fri-Sat and 49℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will range throughout the low 30’s and 40’s, today-Weds’ being 34-35℉, Thurs 45℉, Fri-Sat 40-41℉, 38℉ Sun and 35℉ Mon. This week will not be a sunny one, with today-Weds being partially cloudy, Thurs seeing showers, Fri rain and Sat-Mon showers again. Wear a mask, stay dry, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the low 50’s to high 40’s with some exceptions midweek, lows in the low 30’s to mid 40’s, clouds, rain and showers. 

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): This week’s highs will start in the high 60’s and slowly fall, with today-Weds’ being 69℉, 65℉ Thurs, 68℉ Fri, down to 58℉ Sat and 59-60℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain in the mid to low 40’s, with today’s being 45℉, 41-42℉ Weds-Thurs, 44-45℉ Fri-Sat and 43-42℉ Sun-Mon. This week will see majority partial clouds with the exceptions of showers Sat and scattered showers Mon. Enjoy that warm weather, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the high 60’s and falling to high 50’s, lows in the mid to low 40’s, mostly partial clouds with some showers and scattered showers. 

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): This week’s highs will range from the mid 60’s to high 50’s with today-Weds’ being 66℉, 63℉ Thurs, back up to 65℉ Fri and finally down to 57-58℉ Sat-Mon. Lows will range from the low to mid 40’s: today-Weds’ will be 43-44℉, 41℉ Thurs, up to 45-46℉ Fri-Sat and down again to 43-44℉ Sun-Mon. The week will hold mostly partial clouds, with the exception of showers Sat and scattered showers Mon. Soak up that sun when you can, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

 

K2 (El Cerrito): This week’s highs will range from the mid 60’s to low 50’s with today-Weds’ being 64-65℉, 61℉ Thurs, back up to 65℉ Fri and finally down to 59℉ Sat, 61℉ Sun and 59℉ Mon. Lows will sit in the mid to low 40’s with today-Weds’ being 44-45℉, Thurs 42℉, Fri 46℉ and Sat-Mon 43-44℉. Partial clouds will be the theme of the beginning of the week, then on Sat that will transition to scattered showers, Sun full sun and partial showers Mon again. Enjoy that day of sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s to high 50’s, lows in the low to mid 40’s, partial clouds, sun and partial showers at the end of the week. 

 

Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will range from the mid 60’s to high 50’s with today’s being 66℉, Weds 64℉, Thurs down to 62℉, Fri back up to 65℉, Sat down again to 59℉, 61℉ Sun and 59℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the low to mid 40’s range with today-Weds’ being 44-45℉, Thurs 43℉, Fri 46℉, Sat-Sun 43-44℉ and Mon 42℉. The week will be almost entirely partially cloudy with the exception of partial showers Sat. Avoid that rain, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s to high 50’s, lows in the mid to low 40’s, partial clouds and one day of partial showers Sat. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range from the mid to high 50’s with today’s being 58℉, 56℉ Weds, 57-58℉ Thurs-Fri and 55-56℉ Sat-Mon. Lows will stay pretty similar with today’s being 43℉, Weds-Thurs 45℉ and 46-47℉ the rest of the week. Partial clouds will be the theme of the week with the exceptions of scattered showers Sat and Mon and full sun on Sun. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the mid to high 50’s, lows in the mid 40’s, partial clouds, scattered showers and full sun at the end of the week.

 

Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will start in the 70’s then fall to the high 50’s with today-Weds’ being 70℉, 68℉ Thurs, 71℉ Fri and 59-60℉ Sat-Sun. Lows will stay in the mid to low 40’s with today-Weds’ being 43-44℉, Thurs 41℉, Fri-Sat 45-46℉ and Sun-Mon back to 41℉. Partial clouds will be the theme of the week with the exception of showers Sat. Avoid that rain, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the 70’s and falling to the high 50’s, lows in the mid to low 40’s, partial clouds with the exception of showers Sat. 

 

8. Cooking

Enjoy this banana bread recipe for a single loaf! For a large family or gathering, this recipe can be doubled or tripled. For best results, use completely brown, ripened bananas, or thawed, frozen bananas. 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • ½ cup softened butter 
  • ¾ cup brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅓ cups mashed overripe bananas

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

  1. Mix together all dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl 
  2. In a large mixing bowl: cream butter and sugar together and add in eggs
  3. Cream wet ingredients together 
  4. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and add it to the wet mixture 
  5. Mix well 
  6. Add dry ingredients ½ at a time to wet ingredients and mix just to combine 
  7. Separate dough into a 9×5” bread pan and bake for 60-65 min (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean 
  8. Leave on a rack to cool and remove from pan after 10 min
  1. Leave on wrack to cool completely 

Editor’s note: A half cup of roughly chopped walnuts and/or a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon can be added to the recipe prior to mixing/baking for a variety of flavors. 

By Keith Dinh

 

9. Actions:

Editor’s note: The “Actions” section includes petitions to sign, prompts and scripts to write officials with as well as other opportunities to engage in your local, national and global communities.

 

  1. Sign this petition to urge Senate Democrats to pass a bill setting a standard $15 minimum wage nationwide. 
  2. Sign this petition to demand a more humane immigration and detention system.

 

  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.

 

  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category

 

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