Building Power Together @ NY State Indivisible Convening
It's not too late to sign up for New York State's Indivisible Convening! We know people are too zoomed out for long meetings on the weekends. So this year's NYS Convening is broken up into manageable bites on Saturday night (for an energizing, social kickoff, Sunday afternoon, and Monday evening. Join in for as little or as much as your schedule allows.
We have some key mover and shaker speakers like NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, but we'll also be doing a lot of connecting and collaborating with Indivisibles from across the state to figure out the most effective ways we can lead given Sen. Schumer's role in DC, and the new balance of power in Albany.
Here's the scoop on this amazing event that our statewide organizer, Sarah Reeske, has planned:
Happy Hour on Saturday, December 12th at 7-8pm!
Day 1 - Sunday, December 13th at 2-4pm
- “The Power of NY in the Senate”
- “Indivisible OneNYS: Build & Use Our Power”
- “Day of Action - The People Lead - 1/13/21”
Day 2 - Monday, December 14th at 6-8pm
- “State Legislature”
- “2021 Readiness Trainings”
- “Regional Breakouts”
You’ll receive a confirmation email that will have the one Zoom link we’ll use for all three events. This is for all Indivisibles in New York. Please sign up now.
IMV Connecting & Building Democracy
IMV holds our final meeting of 2020 on Sunday, Dec. 20 3-4 pm. Please don't miss this one. We'll cover what democracy action looks like in 2021, and then use breakout rooms to connect and talk about the issues and strategies that matter most to us.
It's been a long, hard year, but what we have heard the most from you in the past months is that you are grateful for the political action community that we have built in the past four years, and want to keep the relationships, the energy, and progress going. Community matters, and so does solidarity around shared values of humanity, social justice, and love. 2021, here we come!
NY Renews Coalition Victory on Disinvestment
Have you heard the good news about fossil fuels divestment? Here's what a widely respected climate activist has to say about the announcement from NYS. Most importantly, check out this statement from Mona Perrotti and the IMV Climate Crisis Workgroup, which was part of a press release this past week:
"Indivisible Mohawk Valley celebrates a huge victory for the climate! We congratulate NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on the announcement of his plan to effectively divest the NYS Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuels and achieve a net zero portfolio by 2040. It has taken years of hard work by many climate activists and state legislators to help achieve this plan. With bold climate action so desperately needed to combat the climate emergency, this news comes not a moment too soon. Thanks to the leadership of Comptroller DiNapoli and Senator Liz Krueger on the divestment issue, New York will again be at the leading edge of climate action and will provide a critical boost to the fossil fuel divestment movement nationally and worldwide!"
In our view, there are two reasons for this groundbreaking win: 1) People powered pressure on NYS elected leaders. The Divest NY Coalition is broad, brought so many groups to the table, and spoke with such a loud and unified voice that it could not be ignored; 2) Electoral work that led to a Democratic State Senate in 2019 and now, a super majority in Albany. Votes and elections have consequences. This tremendous win validates our approach of working both to flip seats at the local, state, and national level, and to pressure elected officials to enact progressive policy. Congratulations to everyone who attended a meeting, made a phone call, worked a phonebank, and sent an email. This one's for you!
Holiday Cards for Healthcare Heroes
Want an easy way to spread some holiday cheer this season? Write a holiday card to some healthcare workers today! You write the cards, drop them off at Celeste Friend's front porch at 37 Emerson Ave in Utica, and she will work with local unions to distribute them to local healthcare workers in Utica and Rome.
Call for Website Feedback
Are you willing to participate in a short term project to review and provide feedback on our website? We now have a new Biden administration, a supermajority in Albany, and some viable avenues to push our progressive values in politics. What should our IMV website look like? How can we use it to reach more people and to provide the people who find it with the tools they need to connect with our political activism?
Please email IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.
Rep. Brindisi: Still in the Running
The #NY22 race continues, as reported in both the Washington Post and the Daly Kos, and Anthony Brindisi is still in the running, because the judge has said that every vote that can legally be counted should be counted. That means that the Boards of Elections in NY22 have some backtracking to do. They need to recount some ballots that were counted, and they need to review and possibly count some others that were not previously counted. This is good for Rep. Brindisi in general, because the more absentee and provisional ballots that were counted following the Election Day totals, the more votes were added to his column as compared to Tenney. Still, it is clear that the gap between them is going to remain close, and there could be more legal battles ahead.
If there is nothing else to learn from this 2020 NY22 election, it is that every vote counts. And for activists like us, that means every postcard, every door knock, every text message, every phone call, and every conversation with a neighbor, COUNTS.
How to Citizen: A Recommendation from the Editor
Nothing has fired me up in the past couple of weeks like a podcast I only recently discovered called How to Citizen with Baratunde Thurston, "a podcast that reimagines 'citizen' as a verb and helps reclaim our collective power." According to Thurston, to citizen (v.) is to:
1) participate--show up for the civic and political work;
2) value the collective--work for outcomes that benefit the many, not just the few;
3) understand power and the ways we can build it and use it;
4) invest in relationships with others and recognize our connectedness.
This is what we in IMV have been doing and what we will keep doing. But if your tank is running a little on empty as we near the waning days of 2020, then this podcast might give you some fresh inspiration, energy, and hope. If you give it a try, I recommend starting with the first two episodes with Valarie Kaur (Revolutionary Love is How to Citizen) and Eric Liu (Democracy Means People Power, Literally). You can also check out some of the key moments in the podcast season, which were featured on a recent edition of the TED Radio Hour.
I can't even count the number of times in the past four years that I have Valarie Kaur's question: "What if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born?" And then reminded myself of her guidance: "What does the midwife tell us to do? Breathe. And then? Push. Because if we don’t push we will die. If we don’t push our nation will die."
Our nation has passed through a critical moment in labor with the 2020 election, but the new nation is not yet born.
Will we be a nation that caters to those who rig the system to the advantage of the very few or one that ensures health care, housing, quality education, decent paying jobs, and a future for the planet so that the many can stay healthy and thrive?
Will we be a nation where a few small, mostly white states and a few super wealthy individuals and corporations control outcomes, or one where every voice and every vote counts just the same as the next?
Will we be nation that cages children and incarcerates Brown and Black populations excessively and inequitably or one that treats refugees and immigrants with dignity and respect and works to create racially just systems, laws, and policies?
Let's work out the answers to those questions by "citizening" together: See you at the Convening this Sunday and Monday, and at the December IMV meeting on Dec. 20th.
Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate the Festival of Lights.
May we all know light and peace, and for now, social solidarity through physical distancing. --Jen DeWeerth