Action this Week – August 9, 2019

IMV’s August Meeting Wednesday @ 6:30 pm

We have a full agenda for our August 14th member meeting at Cherrywood (1 Cherrywood Circle, Clinton).  Our Education and Racial Justice Committee has invited our partner, Central New York Citizen Action, to share their efforts to organize parents and challenge the Utica School District to improve transparency, racial justice, equity, and inclusion.

That’s not all.  We also have a report from Rev. Tamara Razzano of Little Falls who recently returned from a Moral Monday at a detention center in El Paso, TX with Rev. William Barber of Repairers of the Breach. She will share what she witnessed near the border including the inhumane conditions occurring in those centers.

Also on the agenda:  A summary of the results of our recent IMV survey about Rep. Brindisi, what is happening in Congress right now, and how it affects the activism of our individual members. Thank you to all who completed it!

There will also be some very brief reports about NY State Indivisible’s Convening in Albany last month, as well as the first ever Indivisible National Campaigns Network gathering in Arlington, DC scheduled for this weekend, plus work happening through Knit the District, where we work with other NY 22 progressive groups to resist the GOP-Trump agenda at every level of government and spread the blue wave from Oswego County to Broome County.

Our August meeting will be the main chance for everyone to learn about one of the biggest Indivisible National Action Days we’ve ever attempted.  “Defund Hate” is planned for Sept. 13th.  Every asylum seeker, every migrant at the border, every undocumented immigrant, and every separated family, is depending US  to press Congress to stop funding the cruel, racist, and inhumane tactics currently used by ICE and CBP (Customs to and Border Patrol) as directed by this administration.

Finally, in conjunction with our Education and Schools theme this month, we are requesting that everyone please bring donations of boxed cereal and pantry items for the Rome Community Schools, which runs a food pantry at two schools, open to the community. They are running a food drive right now as requests are high in the summer, when kids don’t have access to school lunches, and donations low.

We hope we see you all on August 14th–and please bring a food pantry donation

Citizen Action Community BBQ tomorrow at Kopernik Park in Utica

It’s not too late to get tickets, or make a contribution if you can’t attend. IMV has had a very close relationship with CNY Citizen Action since our founding days. We’ve participated together in protests, rallies and other actions.  We have gained skills by attending their political education workshops.  Most of all, we know that the way we advance our shared values around social, economic,racial, and climate justice is through a strong ally relationship.  Whether we live in rural Herkimer county, suburban New Hartford or Clinton, or in the cities of Utica or Rome, our liberation is bound together. 

Working for racial, economic, and social justice takes energy, resources, training and time, especially when the model is to empower people at the community level with the skills they need to gain political power. Please support the work in the city of Utica with a contribution, and by all means, show up for hamburgers, hotdogs, and community building!

Weekly Vigil for the Migrants Detained, Separated

IMV has joined with Pax Christi to hold a weekly vigil for the families separated at the border.  We will not hold the vigil on Wednesday, Aug. 14th because of the conflict with our monthly meeting, but we will gather again on Wednesday, August 21st.  We will meet at Oneida Square Roundabout (new location) for maximum visibility on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm.  Please bring your posters.

We will hold the vigil at least until the Sept. 13th Defund Hate National Day of Action.  Let’s not let anyone forget the people trapped in detention centers with inadequate food, water, space, hygiene, and medical care, many of them children.

Cam Tien: Rome Progressive Official Seeking Re-election

We have another fundraiser for a local candidate!  Cam Tien has been doing an amazing job providing progressive leadership on the Rome Common Council since he was elected in 2017.  He’s up for re-election and needs our support.  You can attend his fundraiser on Monday, August 19th at 6:30 pm at Coppercino’s in Rome or make a contribution here. He has also asked that people consider bringing donations for the Rome Community Schools Food Bank, which is running low on stock at this point in the summer.

IMV Book Club To Read George Lakoff 

The IMV book group is reading  “Don’t Think of an Elephant!” (“The All New” 2014 edition) by George Lakoff. This best selling book on framing is good background for our September meeting topic on messaging and communicating with people who are less progressive than we are. Date is TBD. If you have any questions, feel free to email Jennifer atjgeiger777@gmail.com.

Immigration, White Nationalism, and Guns, Oh MY.

There’s no doubt about this.  This has been one of the tougher weeks we’ve experienced as progressive activists. We’ve been marching, rallying, door knocking, calling, picketing, and more for years now, trying to fight growing white nationalism across the country and in the White House.  We have seen mass shooting events, one after another, and we have  and pushed our representative to take action, to no avail.  We have seen the man in the White House encourage his supporters to acts of violence against Mexican Americans, immigrants, and people of color, over and over and over again.

Our members have felt angry, hopeless, and helpless, demoralized, and also super motivated, in turn.  We’ve heard from you.  We are waiting on the lead of national leader groups on the key issues, who are working now to agree on shared actions that we can across the country.  We will keep you informed of what is planned.

We encourage all of our members to share their views with Rep. Brindisi’s Office.  He needs to hear from us on the issues that matter the most to us. We know that some of our number are very frustrated with the ways that Rep. Brindisi has voted on bills, or with the affinity groups he has joined  in the House (Problem Solvers) or with his statements or lack of a statement on some issues.

Don’t give up; keep calling. We can’t lose our NY 22 seat to another Claudia Tenney.  But we must try to use our progressive power to influence our Representative, especially when lives are stake, as they certainly are on issues of guns, white nationalism, and immigration.

Whether you took the August IMV survey or not, you may be struggling to put things in perspective, wondering if your campaign volunteerism or contributions were wasted when Anthony doesn’t do what you hope he will do.  Here’s a document that you mind find informative regarding Anthony’s progressive votes.

It’s not all every one of us might want, but it’s more than we would have gotten from Tenney or any Republican, by a long shot.  And we are going to push hard for Rep. Brindisi to cut off ICE and CBP at the knees during the September budget battle for the way the White House is using them now.

Thank you for all you do, for whatever part you play in our citizen activism. See you at the meeting on Wednesday!  We show up and we work together because…

Democracy is not a spectator sport.