Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Oregon sex workers and strippers can apply for grants to help them through the pandemic … CDC says masks protect wearers from others … Texas rolls out mobile pollution monitoring.
State election officials contacted by The New York Times all said they have found no evidence of fraud or irregularities that would affect the legitimacy of the presidential election, rejecting President Trump’s narrative that he was defeated by former Vice President Joe Biden because the election was rigged. The Times found unanimity on this point, speaking with officials in secretaries of state offices run by both Republicans and Democrats. The Texas office refused to respond to inquiries. “I don’t know of a single case where someone argued that a vote counted when it shouldn’t have or didn’t count when it should. There was no fraud,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat. Frank LaRose, the Republican secretary of state in Ohio, made similar comments. “There’s a great human capacity for inventing things that aren’t true about elections. The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology," he said. [New York Times]
SEX WORKER AID | Oregon strippers and sex workers who have been experiecing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for assistance from a $600,000 grant fund. The program, paid for by federal Covid assistance and administered by the Haymarket Pole Collective, will help people with rent and utilities. Priority will be given to people of color, transgender applicants, people with dependents and those who are homeless. [The Oregonian]
MASK GUIDANCE | Masks don’t just protect the people around you if you have the coronavirus, they can also protect you from sick people, new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Previously, the CDC had emphasized only that masks worn by ill people prevent spread of the disease. "Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene and adequate ventilation," the CDC wrote. [Philly Voice; New York Times]
MOBILE POLLUTION MONITORING | Texas’ environmental agency said it has spent more than $2 million on mobile vans, drones and other technology that can monitor for pollution after natural disasters. After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the state struggled to get its monitoring stations back online even as plants released air pollutants. [Texas Tribune]
WISCONSIN UNEMPLOYMENT | People who’ve waited months to get unemployment benefits in Wisconsin described slipping into deep depression, with crisis centers describing an increase in calls. As of Nov. 7, there were 74,000 people on the Wisconsin backlog, waiting for an answer about whether their claims would be processed. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty.