VICTORY: Ole Miss protects LGBTQ equality

During a performance of “The Laramie Project” at Ole Miss — a play describing the life, the brutal beating, and the death of Matthew Shepard — audience members began booing, calling out derogatory slurs, and harassing the actors. Ole Miss has a non-discrimination policy in place that covers sexual orientation in faculty employment procedures, but it’s clearly not enough to institute a more accepting university culture. 

After activists presented almost 500 signatures, Ole Miss agreed to review all university policies to ensure that LGBTQ folks are protected from discrimination.

VICTORY: Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopts new standards

The EPA designated nine Colorado counties as violating federal air pollution standards. Oil and gas activity continues unabated in Colorado with thousands of new wells drilled each year, compounding the impacts already felt from the 51,000 wells in production today. Oil and gas operators are polluting the Rocky Mountain air, but the impending new air pollution standards present the governor-appointed Air Quality Control Commission with the opportunity to reduce pollution and protect our health. 

In their deliberations, commissioners cited the overwhelming support for strong rules from people across the state, including 3,000 signatures, as a reason to pass strong protections for Colorado.

VICTORY: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity removes coal-related educational sections from its website.

Illinois is in the process of revamping its widely denounced coal education program for schools, but it still hasn’t taken down its pro-coal propaganda website. The website is problematic for several reasons. With a mounting health care crisis from reckless increases in coal mining, the site fails to acknowledge the dangers of coal slurry impoundment sites, coal ash, mercury pollution and the documented environmental impacts of coal mining and burning. The site also fails to acknowledge the continual battle to guarantee the health and safety of all coal miners, especially for non-union operations, as the industry fails to deal with the rising incidence of black lung disease.

The IDCEO removed coal-related educational sections from its website less than two weeks after the launch of a grassroots campaign that included 3,400 CREDO signatures demanding that the pages be taken down.

VICTORY: Gov. Brown signs S.B. 27, the bill to force dark money non-profits to reveal their funders in California elections

Nonprofits linked to the Koch brothers funneled $15 million of secret money into California last election. S.B. 27 makes sure billionaires and other special interests can’t hide behind secretive nonprofits by requiring any group spending $50,000 in California elections to reveal exactly who gave the money.

After activism including 15,000 signatures from CREDO members, the bill passed in the California Senate by a margin of 28-7 and Gov. Brown signed it into law.

VICTORY: Gov Jerry Brown signs Early Abortion Access Bill (A.B. 154)

A.B. 154 provides California with the opportunity to lead the nation by removing barriers to abortion care. By authorizing trained health professionals to provide early abortions, this bill improves access to care and allows women to obtain services from providers in their community that they already know and trust. It ensures that women in rural and urban areas of California have access to early abortion care.

Thousands of CREDO members signed a petition, and Gov. Brown signed A.B. 154 into law.

VICTORY: Deborah Brown Community School apologizes to Tiana Parker and changes dress code

Tiana Parker, a 7-year-old straight-A student, was sent home in tears from her Tulsa, Oklahoma charter school after being told that, according to news reports, her short and tidy dreadlocks didn’t look presentable.

Over 20,000 CREDO activists signed Wagatwe’s petition and sent the school a powerful message: Telling a 7-year-old girl that her natural hair is “not presentable” is discriminatory and unacceptable. Her petition struck a major nerve and generated local, national and international media attention in outlets like the Tulsa World, MSNBC, Huffington Post and United Press International. The independent governing board for Deborah Brown Community School unanimously voted to remove language prohibiting dreadlocks, afros, and other “faddish styles” of hair from its dress code.

VICTORY: Attorney General Eric Holder stops North Carolina Republicans from disenfranchising voters

CREDO fight for the right to vote

The federal Voting Rights Act used to protect the right to vote for millions of minorities, students and seniors in North Carolina. But after the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of that federal law in June of this year, North Carolina Republicans immediately voted to turn back the clock on progress.

If House Bill 589 were to take effect, thousands of voters in North Carolina would have been disenfranchised. About 318,000 registered North Carolina voters lacked the limited forms of ID that would be accepted. The legislation cut back on early voting hours and dates that were used by 70 percent of Black voters in 2012 and gave many working class people access to the ballot box. Same-day voter registration, often used by students and voters who move soon before Election Day, would have been eliminated. Eligible voters who are given incorrect information by election officials and vote in the wrong location can have their entire ballots thrown out. And if that wasn’t bad enough, voters who actually follow all the rules will have to face “challengers” who will be allowed to intimidate voters at their polling place.


CREDO members numbering 6,553 signed a petition against this. On Monday, September 30, Attorney General Holder announced that he would sue North Carolina to block a wide array of voting restrictions contained in House Bill 589 from taking effect.

VICTORY: Iowa Department of Natural Resources signs Clean Water Act

The federal Clean Water Act had never been enforced for factory farms in Iowa, which meant that runoff from factory farms was rampant. As a result, Iowa’s water quality was ranked 49th in the nation with 628 polluted waterway. The federal EPA stepped in due to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ inaction on Clean Water Act enforcement. Under the direction of Governor Terry Branstad and other corporate agriculture industry insiders, the Iowa DNR refused to sign the workplan to make Iowa comply with the Clean Water Act.

In response to the campaign and the organizing efforts of groups like Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, who got 1,700 signatures on a CREDO petition, the EPA and Iowa DNR signed a far-reaching Clean Water Act work plan agreement that will significantly change the way the state of Iowa enforces, inspects and permits factory farms

VICTORY: Clear Channel to reinstates South Wind Women’s Center’s ads

South Wind Women’s Center, a full-spectrum women’s reproductive health clinic that provides abortions in Wichita, Kansas, had its ads taken off the air by Clear Channel for being “divisive.” After 3,000 signatures, Clear Channel met with South Wind Women’s Center and reinstated the Center’s ads.

VICTORY: President Obama nominates Jeh Johnson instead of Ray Kelly to lead DHS

NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is responsible for “stop and frisk,” the NYPD program that has stopped people nearly 5 million times. The program doesn’t work: 88 percent of the people stopped are not arrested or ticketed, guns are almost never recovered, and the practice has really harmed the relationship between the police and the community.

Instead of Kelly, President Obama announced on October 17 that he was nominating former Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson to run the Department of Homeland Security. Thank you to 17,479 CREDO activists who took action by signing the petition.