ISSUE 11 | April 10, 2017
Get Your Town Hall On
With the House and the Senate on recess for the next two weeks, now is the time to attend a town hall. The Town Hall Project offers a searchable calendar of town hall meetings across the country.
Our friends at Indivisible have tips for attending town halls with topics suggested by Robert Reich and a toolkit for crafting questions during the April recess. Is your Member of Congress (MoC) MIA? Indivisible also has a guide to make MoCs more accessible.
Protect Immigrant Children
Recently, Wall-of-Us suggested blue-staters contact local school districts and ask them “to stand with our immigrant families.” Showing support could keep these students in school. Samuel Molina, state director of a California grassroots immigrant rights group, reports that “some children are afraid to go to school, or have stopped attending altogether, out of fear of being deported."
Wall-of-Us lists specific steps you can take to talk with your school system.
Tell City Officials to Divest from the Wall
While we’re talking about Wall-of-Us actions, here’s another recent recommendation: convince your city to divest from Trump’s wasteful wall. Follow the city of Berkeley’s lead and commit city officials to refuse investment in companies that will work on the border wall. Wall-of-Us provides the tools to get you started.
Help Those Beyond Our Borders
One of the pitfalls of fighting this administration is that sometimes we spend so much time fighting the wrongs in our country that we isolate ourselves from the troubles of the rest of the world. This week famine was declared in the South Sudan and the U.N. warned of high risk of famine in parts of Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria. It can be prevented. Donate to one of these organizations this week and also spread the word about this humanitarian disaster.
After recent chemical warfare against Syrian civilians, Teen Vogue continues its status as a source of vital information, providing this list of organizations aiding Syria’s most vulnerable citizens and victims from recent chemical warfare. If you have the financial resources—even $10 will make a difference—please donate and encourage friends to do the same.
Flip Georgia’s 6th District
Help Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for Georgia's 6th District, win on April 18th by donating to his campaign or volunteering for a phone bank. This is a “jungle primary,” meaning that if no single candidate wins over 50% in the first round of voting, the top two advance to the run-off regardless of party. Ossoff must be in the top two in initial voting to have a chance at turning the seat—formerly held by Trump’s appointment to Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tom Price—blue. Dems need 24 more winning candidates to take back the majority in the House.
Volunteer at a Local School
Reach out to a local school or school district and see how you can help. Can you read books to a classroom? Do you have a special skill you can share with a class? Take a few moments out of your week to make a classroom full of children feel good about themselves. It will make you feel good too!
Being an activist—and especially being one as a volunteer on top of your day job—can burn you out. Shaun King, writer, civil rights activist, and master Twitterer, says, “Taking care of yourself takes true intention.” Read more.
Make a Toast to the Resistance
If you’re visiting or living in NYC, be sure to stop by Coup, opening this week. The cocktail bar is devoted to all things anti-Trump. Owner Ravi DeRossi explained to the New York Times, “One-hundred percent of the profits are going to organizations that are either being defunded by the current administration or need money to fight the current administration, like Planned Parenthood and the A.C.L.U.”
Open Your Eyes on the 13th Amendment
The rise of mass incarceration is inextricably tied to the criminalization of African-Americans, going back to the passage of the 13th Amendment. In 13th, the blistering documentary by Ava DuVernay that appears on Netflix, those unfamiliar with the unrelenting assault on black lives through the American justice system will find how slavery really never ended. Watch it and afterwards share about it with someone.
Plant Some Therapeutic Seeds
April can be the cruelest month, but it is also the start of planting season in many parts of the country. According to a 2012 story on NPR, “scientists…(know) that gardening reduces stress and calms the nerves. It decreases cortisol, a hormone that plays a role in stress response.” Don’t have a yard? Look into joining a community garden or digging into container gardens for patios.
Take a Day Trip To Bird Watch
If you’ve never tried it before, bird watching is a bit meditative, forcing you to focus on sounds and the slightest movement in trees, while blocking out the rest of the world. You get up early in the morning, hike into a birding spot, grab your binocs, and check off your list for each new warbler or waterfowl you spy. You may find yourself addicted to the challenge, kinda like collecting cats in Neko Atsume, only real. Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for sites, tips, and more.