Action this Week – Feb. 14, 2020

Show Some Love for Schools: Join the Press Conference 10am Today

This Friday, February 14, please join teachers, school board members, and education justice activists at a press conference at 10 am outside the State Office Building (207 Genesee St.) in Utica and then help deliver Valentines for Public Education to  local Assembly representative, Marianne Buttenschon. The more people we have standing in solidarity with the schoolchildren of Utica and Rome, the stronger and more powerful the message will be.

Citizen Action has been collecting valentines from students, parents, teachers, and IMV members, calling on our state legislators to “Have a Heart, Fund Our Schools.” With Utica City School District owed $44 million in Foundation Aid and Rome City Schools owed another $13 million, this is a critical issue for our communities. Please show up if you can!

Even if you can’t make it the event at 10 am today, please call your Assembly member today.  Marianne Buttonschon, whose district covers both the Utica and Rome school districts, is at 315-732-1055 (Utica office) or 518-455-5454 (Albany office).  Call today, and tell her to fight harder for our schools to get the money they deserve. 

Show the Planet Some Love

It’s going to be cold today, so the Fridays for Future rally in Utica will NOT be held at 3pm.

Instead, please call Gov. Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 and ask that he put $1 Billion in his budget to push NY past the status quo on addressing the Climate Crisis.  Everyone can do this today–you’re inside escaping from the cold, so just pick up the phone!

For more information, please see this statement from our Coalition group, NY Renews.  The content of the statement would also make excellent background for a letter to the editor that can move people from hopelessness and paralysis to an awareness that there are practical, realistic, big steps that our state can take to address the Climate Crisis. Please consider writing one!

Tonight: We Love Democracy Potluck Party

We believe strongly in democracy, so what’s more patriotic on a day to celebrate love than to attend IMV’s  We ♥ Democracy Potluck Party organized by Sarah Reeske?

If you love Democracy, then you’re invited to join IMVers for a We Love Democracy Potluck tonight 6-8 pm, at St. James Church (9 Williams Street) in Clinton.  Skip the long wait times at restaurants, and instead come have good food and fun at this family friendly event.  Sarah will start setting up at 5:30. Street and village parking available. See you there!

Rep. Brindisi Town Hall in NY Mills on Wednesday

It’s time to show up for another one of Rep. Brindisi’s Town Halls. He’s been to every county multiple times, and he’s coming back to Oneida County for a Town Hall in New York Mills (NY Mills Jr-Sr High School) on Wednesday, February 19th, 5:30- 7:30 pm.  Bring your questions, and .be ready to show some support for our Member of Congress who voted to impeach Trump and is keeping the House BLUE!

Then, after you attend, please send your local newspaper a Letter to the Editor, and talk about what it meant to you to have the chance to ask an unscreened question, or to listen to such a thoughtful Congressional representative. Share what you learned about one of his successful bills, or how he is working across the aisle to strengthen central New York.  Here’s a really good example of such a letter that was published in the Utica OD yesterday by one of our Indivisible Binghamton friends.

The more we “soften the ground” by educating our neighbors in the media, the more they will already know when we knock on their doors!

The IMV Postcard Party Is Back

IMV is joining a statewide effort to send 10,000 postcards to NY27 voters so they vote on April 28th for Nate McMurray in their special congressional election. Nate McMurray lost by only 1087 votes in 2018 against now indicted incumbent Chris Collins, who resigned from Congress in Sept 2019.

Join IMV’s Postcard Party on Friday mornings starting February 28 at 9 am to write postcards, talk politics, and make an impact on voters.  

Save the Date for IMV’s March 8th Meeting

We have a great meeting planned for Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 pm at MVCC’s Utica Campus.  Join us and bring a friend! We’ll have a whole new topic in March, as we learn about the state budget and what we can do to get the budget that we need to accomplish our priorities.  Guest speaker Ricky Silver, our friend from Empire State Indivisible, will talk all things #BudgetJustice.

Plus, take a look at the calendar below and make a note so you don’t miss anything.  Also, we hope everyone will check out Indivisible’s Post-Impeachment Payback Project.  If you haven’t heard about it, here’s some background from Ezra Levin who discussed it with Chris Hayes.  even though we don’t live in one of those states, we can still get inspired to help with peer to peer texting.

Finally, the best thing we heard all week on podcasts was this Hidden Brain interview with political scientist Eitan Hersh.  He says says there’s been a rise in “political hobbyism” in the United States. We’ve started to treat politics like entertainment, following the latest incidents or Tweets like we follow our favorite sports teams. Instead, he says, “we should think of politics as a way to acquire power and persuade our neighbors to back the issues we support.”  In political hobbyism, the emotion is the goal—feeling connected to something without actually doing anything.  In real politics, the emotion is what you leverage to create actual change.

Hersh suggests some practical changes we can make so that we are actually participating in politics.  It includes all the things that we do in IMV–like joining political party committees, organizing people and events face to face, registering voters, attending local government (town, city, school board) meetings, knocking doors even for local and odd-year electoral races, and mobilizing people on local concerns like school funding, flood mitigation, or zoning.

Yep, Hersh’s message was the same as ours:

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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