Action this Week – Dec. 20, 2019

200 Activists Rally at Impeachment Event in Utica!

Thank you to all who supported and attended our Not Above the Law event on Tuesday!  In spite of the snowy day, we had a high turnout, and good media coverage as well, showing the Mohawk Valley that we believe no one is above the law.  Our Utica rally was featured in a MoveOn Impeach Coalition slideshow sent to hundreds of thousands of RSVPs across the country (if you were an RSVP you received that email on Wednesday and can check out the slideshow.)

Locally, we had coverage by WKTV and the Utica OD, and although Spectrum filmed for about 20 minutes, we have no indication that they broadcast a story (Boo, Spectrum!)  Our light up letterboards spelling IMPEACH were a powerful visual along with the crowd and the many creative signs.  Chants and songs filled the air, drowned out only by enthusiastic honking by passing cars.

Our local rally was one of several in NY22 and more than 600 across the country with more than 200,000 people participating.  Take a look at the photos and video at #ImpeachmentEve and #NotAbovetheLaw to get a sense of the passion of our groups, whether the tens of thousands marching through Times Square or the small towns with faithful activists standing strong in Midwestern snow storms.

Now Trump has been impeached, and our efforts turn to the Senate trial. Now is the time to call our NY Senators and urge them to fight hard. Trump will remain in office, but we should press our Members of Congress to remain vigilant in their efforts to check Trump’s power grabs, investigate the wrongdoing of his administration, and continue to make sure that they are doing everything in their power to stop the interference in our 2020 elections.  More and more national media are calling attention to the work that Indivisible and other progressive activists are doing to save our democracy.  Ezra Levin’s appearance on Rachel Maddow is a good example. Let’s keep it up!

Help Anthony with Letters to the Editor

We need to write more Letters to the Editor of our local newspapers about the hard work Anthony Brindisi has been doing in Washington and in the district, especially all the legislation he has written, supported, and gotten passed.  And by “We,” we mean YOU.  Not sure where to start?  We’ve put a helpful document on the Get Involved page of our website to get you started.  Remember, letters don’t have to be long or prove policy expertise.  Just talk about your values and how Anthony is positively impacted your life and your community.

Until it’s time to knock doors, writing letters and donating to his campaign are the two most meaningful ways you can express your thanks to Anthony for his recent vote on impeachment, and ensure that NY22 stays BLUE.

If you are willing to send in a letter but just don’t know how to go about writing one, there’s one other choice. A few members (who have already sent in their allowed letter each month) have volunteered to draft additional letters and provide them to someone else as needed. You could edit (or not) to personalize and then send it to your local paper under your signature. If that sounds like a good option for you, then just email IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.  We’ll hook you up with a letter ready to go.

Fridays for the Future Public Demonstrations

There’s one more chance to rally before the upcoming holidays, and that is our Climate Crisis group’s weekly FridaysForFuture rally at Genesee Street and Memorial Parkway. TODAY, Friday 20th, 3-4 pm.  Think globally, act locally!   The rally will also occur on Friday, Dec. 27.  If you’re tired of shopping and all the “stuff” of commercialism, what better way to take a break than joining the global youth movement for climate change by standing in solidarity for an hour per week?

IMV Lobbies Assemblywoman Buttenschon on Climate and Environment

On December 16th, a subset of the IMV Marianne Buttenschon liaison group visited Assemblywoman Buttenschon in coordination with statewide visits by NY Renews, to ask that $1 Billion be assigned to start the CLCPA in the state budget, that Governor Cuomo sign the Environmental Justice Bill, and that the House and Senate leaders quickly appoint the CLCPA Advisory Council.

The Assemblywoman was very receptive to taking action regarding climate change. She agreed with Maggie Reilly (IMV Climate Crisis chair) that our local flooding problems are a result of Climate Change and need to be analyzed with a holistic view and on a regional scale. She was happy to accept Maggie’s offer to go with her to help analyze future local flooding. In addition, Maggie will join her Environmental Advisory committee, currently made up of Aaron Strong and several local farmers.

Our liaison group also requested that the state budget include a plan for a three year repayment of foundation aid owed by the state to local districts (approximately $44 million to Utica and $13 million to Rome).  It was a positive meeting, and we appreciated that the Assemblywoman, who was out sick, called in by phone to meet with us.

However, with a state budget gap predicted, we are aware that IMV will need to continue to lobby for our priorities, including CLCPA money, education funding, and preventing medicaid cuts. The IMV group also has a meeting scheduled with Senator Griffo in late January. 
 

IMV Climate Crisis Working Group Engages NY Assemblyman Blankenbush on CLCPA

Six members of IMV’s Climate Crisis Working Group met with Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, and his Chief of Staff, at the Kirkland Town Library recently as well.  “We had a good discussion about the CLCPA and made the request that he support one billion dollars in the 2020 NYS budget to begin funding CLCPA work.” reported Mona Perrotti, a member of the delegation.  “Although Blankenbush is a Republican, elected the same year that Claudia Tenney was elected, he seems a Republican of a different stripe. We had a good discussion about the CLCPA, unfunded mandates, flooding, his 117th district, his support for wind power, his view of the budget process, and other issues.  All in all, a productive meeting, and we told him that we will follow-up with him, and will see him in Albany!”

As we head into the new year and the 2020 state legislative session begins, all of our IMV working groups will be prioritizing their agendas, aided by statewide coalition groups, and taking action.  Do you want to work on advancing the climate protection legislation passed last year in Albany? Interested in education funding?  The New York Health Act and protecting Medicaid funding?  Want to push Albany to take the next steps on voter, campaign finance, and election reform?  We have a group for that!  Email IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com to get connected or follow our calendar in January when our working groups start up their monthly meetings in 2020.  

Save Jan. 12th for our first IMV meeting of the year

When we meet in January we’ll be mapping out a plan for 2020. It’s a big year to build our membership and engage more people to win elections and win on the issues at the state and federal level.  We’re meeting monthly on Sunday afternoons in the winter, starting at Cherrywood in Clinton in January.  Please mark your calendar for Jan. 12th, 1:30-4:00 pm, at Cherrywood for IMV’s January meeting.  

Our monthly meeting is organized, as always, by IMV’s Steering Committee.  Currently, one of our members is rotating off, and we have a new member coming on.  We want to thank experienced activist Mona Perrotti for her wisdom, positive affirmations, and valuable service and welcome Maggie Reilly, who is currently also co-chair of the Climate Crisis group, to the committee.  She joins Betsy Briggs, Jen DeWeertth, Jennifer Geiger, Sarah Reeske, Joelle Taylor, and Deborah Willson-Allam as we move into 2020.  Deborah has recently done a lot of work on IndivisibleMV.org to improve our website.  Check it out, and find more information there about how to get involved.  

Enjoy your holidays!

There will be no email next Friday, Dec. 27th, but we continue to encourage everyone to rally on Fridays at 3 pm at Genesee Street and the Parkway to call attention to the climate crisis.  Two IMV members, Celeste Friend and Delvin Moody, were elected to the Utica Common Council, and you can attend their swearing in on New Year’s Eve (see calendar below).  Let’s show them our support: remember, all politics is local!

Most importantly, take some time in the coming weeks to make your resolutions for 2020. What will you do participate actively in democracy?  What actions will you take?  Where will you put your time and energy?  We hope you’ll join us at our Indivisible Mohawk Valley meeting in January.  We make political activism local, bite-sized, and fun.  Here’s to a 2020 blue wave, progressive legislation, successful coalitions, and lots of campaign volunteering!  

Peace and justice, health and happiness be to you and yours. See you in 2020!

Democracy is not a spectator sport.