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Historic LGBTQ Presence on Ballots; Colorado Forgives Unemployment Error; and More

Record number of LGBTQ candidates on 2020 election ballots.

If 2018 was known for bringing about the pink wave, where a record number of women were elected into office, then 2020 could be shaping up to have its own rainbow wave. According to data from the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a record 574 LGBTQ candidates will appear on general election voting ballots this November — a 33% increase over the last election. Another notable trend this year is the spike in the number of LGBTQ candidates of color, NBC News reports. Nearly a third of the LGBTQ candidates who ran this year are people of color, compared to 10 percent of all candidates — LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ — who ran in 2018. “While LGBTQ candidates are significantly more diverse than U.S. candidates overall, we must continue to break down the barriers LGBTQ people of color, women and trans people face when considering a run for office,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said in a statement. “Our government must reflect the diversity of America.”

 

Colorado to write off $1.4 million in overpaid unemployment benefits.

As unemployment claims began to rise in Colorado at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many newly unemployed complained about a lack of clarity in income questions the state’s unemployment forms posed. According to reports from the Colorado Sun, it wasn’t clear whether the state wanted a person’s gross income or adjusted income after taxes. As a result of this confusion, many people provided the wrong figure, accidentally increasing the amount of unemployment benefits they received on a weekly basis. An estimated 9,000 were therefore overpaid by as much as $10,000 or more by the state. When the error was finally caught, the state sent out letters telling those impacted that they would have to repay the money they’d been sent. However, the state has since reconsidered, deciding instead to simply write off the mistake and make sure its forms were clearer and easier to follow for future unemployment claimants.

 

More than 50 disability groups reject Amy Coney Barrett.

With Senate confirmation hearings on the potential new Supreme Court Justice starting on Oct. 12, 2020, more than 50 disability advocacy groups have written to the Senate, encouraging members to reject Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination, DisabilityScoop reports. In a letter signed by groups including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the National Council on Independent Living, disability advocates voice concern over the heightened speed of the nomination process, Judge Barrett’s view that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, her approval of a ruling that would make it harder for disabled immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship, as well as her record on a number of other disability rights cases.

 

ICE raids scaring Latinx, queer and trans men from HIV treatment.

ViiV Healthcare and the Latino Commission on AIDS spoke with 760 Latinx, queer and trans men living with or affected by HIV and found that the increasing frequency and severity of Immigration Control and Enforcement raids during the Trump era has had a severe impact on their access to HIV treatment, Forbes reports. Fear was the primary reason for most of these individuals to stop visiting places that they’d previously considered safe, like clinics, churches and study groups. Combine that increased distrust of the government with existing language barriers, harassment and the threat of violence within their community and it’s easy to see why individuals might forego treatment, risking their own health and likely continuing the unsafe practices that further contribute to the spread of HIV.

 

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