Skimm'd with a few of our favorite things

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Skimm'd with a few of our favorite things

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Quote of the Day

"Racism" – What's being redefined by Merriam-Webster to include systemic oppression after a Missouri woman called for change.

State of the Unions

The Story

The Minneapolis Police Department is reviewing its relationship with its police union.

What happened?

Yesterday, the city's police said the dept is cutting ongoing contract negotiations with its union while it holds a review. It'll examine things like use of force and protocols for discipline as part of a larger effort towards "transformational" reforms. This comes after four Minneapolis police officers were fired and charged following George Floyd's death – which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and calls to defund the police. And after a majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to disband the police department. We explain the difference between defunding and disbanding the police here.

Ok, what does that have to do with police unions?

Hundreds of thousands of officers across the country belong to some kind of police union, including more than 800 members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Officers can benefit from unions which negotiate contracts for things like salaries, workplace conditions, and protections. And like any labor union, police unions work to fight for their members. But some say those protections go too far.


When an officer faces a problem – whether it be complaints from citizens or criminal charges – the union can provide legal representation. But they can also set the terms of internal investigations within the department. Experts say that can include how long police leadership must wait before they begin an investigation, how an officer can be questioned, but also how quickly the dept has to wrap up its investigation. They say these terms have often left police chiefs with little power to fire or discipline an officer, even in cases of brutality and racism. Unions have also reportedly been criticized for being complicit in allowing racism and discrimination among the force.

Is this nationwide?

Police unions have strength in numbers, despite a drop in membership in other labor unions. And that means a lot of income in the way of union dues. Money that can be used to support political candidates or lobby against legislation that impacts officers...which can affect a city's efforts for reform.

What are police unions saying?

The union in Minneapolis hasn't commented. But in response to protests, the president of the country's largest police union – Fraternal Order of Police – said it doesn't want "bad cops" and supports reform (but apparently not dismantling and defunding police). This comes as congressional Democrats introduced a sweeping bill on police reform earlier this week.


Cities like Minneapolis are grappling with how to reform their departments in a way that meaningfully addresses the concerns of protesters. But for years, police departments have gone up against powerful entities that have limited reforms and protected officers.

And Also...This

What's lending a helping hand…

The Federal Reserve. Yesterday, it voted to keep interest rates near zero. And suggested they'll stay there through at least 2022. It also plans to keep buying bonds as part of its effort to prop up the economy amid the pandemic. (Psst…a bond is a loan to a gov or business that gets paid back with interest.) This would help increase the amount of money in the market. On the jobs front, the Fed predicts the unemployment rate will be on the higher end but will drop from nearly 13% to around 9% by the end of this year. It's expected to then drop to 6.5% by the end of 2021. This all comes as the US surpassed 2 million cases of COVID-19. And since all 50 states have reopened, at least 19 have reportedly seen an increase in the number of infections.'s what a low federal funds rate could mean for your big money goals.

Who's making Capitol Hill listen…

Philonise Floyd. Yesterday, George Floyd's brother testified before the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on racial profiling and police brutality. In his testimony, Floyd pleaded for police reforms and for Congress to listen to the calls around the world to "stop the pain." He also said he wanted justice for his brother, calling his death a "modern-day lynching in broad daylight." While congressional Democrats have already introduced police reform legislation, Republicans are working on a proposal of their own.

What's (still) not over…

Michael Flynn's case. Yesterday, a former judge said the Justice Department was in the wrong. Specifically, when it filed a request to drop the charges against the former national security adviser. Reminder: Flynn was facing up to five years in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat during the Trump transition. But the DOJ said the convo was "appropriate" and that the FBI was out of bounds for interviewing him in the first place. Cue the judge calling for backup and asking a retired judge to weigh in on what to do here. Yesterday, the retired judge did just that. He accused the DOJ of "gross abuse of prosecutorial power" by pushing to drop the case. And urged the court to deny the request. Next up: an appeals panel holds a hearing tomorrow on whether to drop the case.

While some are eyeing taking down Confederate statues...

NASCAR is banning Confederate flags.

What should be viewed

Shaun Leonardo's art.


There's a lot going on in the world right now. That might be weighing on you. If you need to talk to someone, start by checking out your insurance company's list of in-network providers. There's a good chance your policy covers some mental health services. Bonus: lots of insurers are expanding telehealth benefits in response to the pandemic. So your policy could cover virtual sessions, too. Maybe even without a copay. Call the number on the back of your insurance card to check.


Here are our recs to help you take a break this week…

1. Nine books on LGBTQ+ identity. This year, Pride looks a little different. But it's as important as ever to amplify marginalized voices. This list has personal memoirs, a funny essay collection, and more.

2. Yoga poses you need to know. Together, these simple poses make up one complete yoga workout. Don't worry, headstands not included.

3. 10 easy dinner recipes. The time for complicated, multi-step dishes has passed. Here are delicious dinner ideas, minus extreme effort. Yes, please.

PS: Want a list of things we love to your inbox every week? Sign up here.


For when you've come to appreciate dad's jokes...

You hate to admit it. Show him some love with a Shutterfly Photo Book. They're the perfect way to say 'love ya' to dad on Father's Day. Even if you can't be with him to celebrate. PS: Skimm'rs get up to 40% off. Create your book by June 12th for delivery on his special day.*

For when you need some WFH morning motivation…

Do breakfast, better. This new zero-sugar cereal has you covered. It tastes just like your favorite childhood breakfasts, but with fewer carbs and more protein. Oh, and Skimm'rs get $5 off. Grab a spoon.*

For when you wanna hang with friends but keep a safe distance apart…

Enter the socially-distant picnic. This list has things like an insulated tote, reusable utensils, and lawn chairs you can actually carry to make your next meetup that much easier. Dig in.

*PS This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Skimm'r of the Week...Lindi D (NY). She's the executive director and VP of DMF Youth, a nonprofit that gives underserved youth access to dance, fitness, and life skill development. The org also provides free high quality after-school and summer programming in NYC. Learn more here.

Packing smiles...Lauren B (NM). She volunteers for ABQ Mutual Aid, a youth-led org raising money for at-risk families who have lost their jobs amid the pandemic or can't afford basic necessities. Lauren has helped deliver food and other packages to over 9,000 people in need. Learn more here.

(Some) Birthdays...Darrell Ross (FL), Alex Tehranian (NY), Ethan Stern (NY), Marilyn Taylor (KS), Sarah Hegemann (WI), Missy Walker (MS), Peyton DeLeon (TX), Ashley Mueller (CA), Jenna Luck (CA), Tasha Orange (FL), Elizabeth Perry (CA), Jacquelyn Anderson (CO), Lauren Kerr (GA), Stephanie Berger (NY), Sarah McCann (MA)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.