Action this Week – April 10, 2020

Political Pop-Ins Continue. Stay Connected.

Join us again for our third  IMV Political Pop-In this Sunday afternoon, April 12, from 3-4 pm.  You can pop in whenever it’s convenient for you.  We want more people to get comfortable using Zoom for our monthly meeting and other political activism including upcoming training sessions and meetings.

It’s fun to see each other and connect on all the activities our members are doing to help their neighbors and health providerstake care of their families and communities, and advocate for just and equitable public policies and budgets.  

We had 31 members, two Brindisi campaign staff, and two guest speakers (Hamilton College student leaders of the Sunrise Movement) at our April meeting held over Zoom.  However, we’re used to getting 60 to 70 people at our monthly meetings, so we know there are more people out there who are not using Zoom yet.  Even if you don’t have a lap top or tablet and internet, you can call in on your phoneJust stay connected.  

Please mark you calendar now for our May 3rd Meeting (2-4 pm) and join the political pops in April to get used to using Zoom.  And if you need help getting started, here is the short guide. 

Your activism matters now more than it ever did.   Please read on for a very long list of opportunities to serve, volunteer, contribute, engage, learn, act, and connect.  Remember, no one can do everything.  But everyone can do something, and that’s how we make a difference together. 

Brindisi Campaign Volunteer Training Sessions

Jacob Bezner (bezner@dccc.org) is the new Field Manager for NY22.  He’s hard at work connecting with former Brindisi campaign volunteers and setting up training sessions for both experienced hands and newbies.

The first week of training is next week, (Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday) and features a virtual training on how to write an effective letter to the editor.  Tenney’s letter writing army has been out there in force in recent weeks, and we need to have lots of people presenting the actual reality and facts about how bad it was under #OneTermTenney, and what a good job Rep. Brindisi has been doing in comparison, or just sharing their stories of how Anthony has represented their values.  Please sign up here.

Then be on the lookout for the next rounds of training on phone banking and text banking, both of which will be all the more critical during this time of social distancing.

Can You Provide a Bed this Summer or Fall?

Supporter housing will be a great need for the Brindisi for Congress campaign in 2020. Between staff needing a roof over their heads for a few months and out-of-district canvassers knocking on doors, a free, nice sleeping space goes a long way.

Do you have a sleeping space in your home to offer? If yes, please fill out this form. Your local grassroots group or the Brindisi for Congress campaign will follow up with you as requests for supporting housing arise. Thanks for being part of this awesome grassroots network!

Preventing Homelessness in Utica: Sign the Petition, Write a Letter

So many people in our community have lost jobs or wages as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown and will not be able to pay this month’s rent or the next. Half of Utica’s residents were one emergency away from homelessness before this pandemic. While there is a temporary freeze on evictions and mortgage payments in New York State, we must also provide a safety net for renters who are experiencing financial hardship so that homelessness doesn’t increase when the ban is lifted.\

Here are your three action steps.  We need you to take action on this!

1. Watch or read more about this local issue here.
2. Sign Citizen Action’s Petition here.  
3. Write a letter and submit it ASAP to the Utica OD in support of the resolution on this matter written by Common Councilors Delvin Moody and Celeste Friend.  Urge support from the Mayor and the Common Council for using Utica’s COVID -19 federal funding for the emergency rental voucher program proposed by Delvin and Celeste.

IMV Letters Urge Action

IMV recently sent a letter to Rep. Brindisi’s office urging him to make sure that our top concerns are prioritized in the next COVID-19 funding bill.  Those include voter access in the 2020 election, and funding for workers, health care and Medicaid, immigrants, and renters.

The letter has been shared with many of our partners in the Mohawk Valley and across NY22 who are also joining their voices.  We need to keep up the pressure, so call and email to let his office know that you want those areas to receive funding attention.  

The IMV Steering Committee also wrote a letter to the editor of the Utica OD in support of SEIU1199, our partner in the fight for health care for all, Medicaid, and worker protections. The letter was published the next day in the Utica OD, and you can read it here.  We urge all of our members to write letters to the editor that express support for essential workers and their safety in this time. Our elected representatives and the wider public need to hear those messages!

If You Can Donate Now…

Not everyone is in a position to make a donation at this time, and we know there are many worthy community needs.  If you have a small amount that you can contribute, please consider donating to IMV’s Act Blue account.

Indivisible is doing their annual distributed fundraising match this month through May 31st. All contributions we receive will be matched up to total of $500. Last year, because of the response to this appeal, we were able to purchase a speaker and microphones that we use at our meetings and rallies. We are an all volunteer organization but we do have some expenses including our zoom account, occasional room rental, stamps and postcards, and other supplies.  Thanks for your support!

New York State of Mind

Feeling stressed out and anxious? We know many people who recommend the Headspace app for daily or occasional use, and so we were interested to hear about this special feature on Headspace: NY State of Mind. The idea is to generate enough peace of mind that we can be present for ourselves and those around us today and in the days ahead. Give it a try!

Earth Day: Coming Soon

Remember to use your 30 Actions to Celebrate Earth Day April Calendar.  Next week we’ll post the three days of actions that our Climate Crisis Work Group has developed for April 22-24.  We have another crisis happening now, but we can’t forget the much bigger one looming in the future.  In the meantime, take a walk if you can, and notice the signs of spring.

Mask Coordinator Needed

Many of our members are sewing masks to donate and to share with neighbors and those in need.  We have amazing, generous, talented members!

We also have received some requests from local social service agencies who need larger numbers of masks (20+) to protect the populations they serve and their workers.

What we don’t have is a volunteer Mask Coordinator.  A mask coordinator does not need to know how to sew or make masks, but does need to be willing to help connect mask makers with the resources to make more masks (monetary and material donations) and connect masks with the agencies in need of them.

If that sounds like something you could do, please email IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Reframing the Conversation on COVID-19

It is critical that we use this shared crisis to re-frame around our values of community, equity, inclusion, and the role of government.  Join Citizen Action’s webinar training tomorrow to prepare yourself with the skills to do that (in the calendar below).

We recommend that you use this helpful guide as well. We’ve written about the power of the “race-class narrative” before, and how it transformed the political landscape and led to major electoral midterm victories in Minnesota in 2018.  This messaging can help you in social media posts, letters to the editor, and conversations with families and friends.

Here are just a couple of the examples from the document that use the “race-class” narrative rooted in values of interdependence, mutual solidarity, shared purpose, and collective action in order to frame the challenge of COVID-19 and the commitment to work together to address it: 

“No matter what we look like, where we live, or what’s in our wallets, getting sick reminds us that at our core we’re all just human. But for too long, we’ve let a powerful few divide us to pad their own profits by making life and health a product for sale and blocking our efforts to ensure paid time to care for our loved ones and recover ourselves. We must rewrite the rules to ensure everyone can access the care that we need without fearing we’ll go bankrupt to do it. This is a moment that we must stand with and for each other across our differences and against anything and anyone who seeks to divide us.”

“Now more than ever, this virus has shown us that we are dependent on each other and whether we’re Black or white, Latino or Asian, native or newcomer, we know it’s time to pull together to demand the testing, treatment and time off we all need to get or stay well. Only by standing united can we ensure our own well-being through this outbreak and rewrite the rules to ensure better health for us all for generations to come.”

We need to take precautions and care for one another.  But this crisis, and all this virus has cost us, will be wasted if that’s all we do.  We need to change the political landscape to build more racially and economically just systems and policies that benefit all of us now and in the future.
We must.  We can.  We will.  

See you on Sunday via Zoom, and check out the calendar below for full listing of training sessions, virtual events, and group meetings.  

Follow us on Twitter using @indivisiblemv and of course our Facebook page and IMV Activism Group.

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