Action this Week – Jan. 3, 2020

Start the New Year Right with Activism, Bring a Friend


Happy New Year!

Whether you are new to receiving this email or have seen it in your mailbox every week for three years, you know it as the source of our Mohawk Valley progressive politics calendar and abundant resources on how to take action in person, on the phone, and online on the political issues you care about and the elections that matter. 

We have one key “ask” of you in the next nine days, and that is to connect with someone who is not part of this community of democracy advocates yet, and bring them with you to our January 12th IMV meeting. 

Our January meeting is one of the most important of the year, and especially so as we head into 2020.  We all need to understand the election calendar and the legislative issues, and be ready to call, write, knock, drive, host, contribute, organize, and show up for the change we want to see this year.  

Indivisible Mohawk Valley’s January 2020 Meeting
Sunday, Jan. 12th
1:30-4:00 pm
1 Cherrywood Circle
Clinton, NY (just off Route 5 past New Hartford)
Bring a friend. 


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 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, 1) writing letters and 2) 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 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 newspaper under your signature. If that sounds like a good option for you, then just email IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.  We’ll provide you with a letter ready to go. 


Fridays for the Future Public Demonstrations


Did your New Year’s Resolution involve a commitment to do something to address the climate crisis?  Whether it’s eating less meat, driving fewer miles, or reducing your Amazon purchases, complement your personal consumption changes with some public awareness raising.  Our IMV Climate Crisis group’s weekly FridaysForFuture rally is at Genesee Street and Memorial Parkway. TODAY, Friday January 3rd at, 3-4 pm.  This location has a high visibility, and every week we’ve had people stop by to ask questions about what we’re doing there.  Around the globe millions of young people are taking up this fight. Let’s be in solidarity with them. 

Then, since you’re already out and about, warm up for a few minutes at Rep. Brindisi’s office during our monthly Lobby Hour, 4-5 pm.  So far, Rep. Brindisi has not shown much interest in fighting climate change in Congress.  Let him know directly on a constituent concern form why the issue matters to you, and should matter to everyone in his district.  


We need a big crowd at the Utica Common Council Meeting Jan. 15th, 7 pm


As you probably know, two IMV members, Celeste Friend and Delvin Moody, were elected to the Utica Common Council in November, and they were sworn in on New Year’s Eve. Now, our job is to show up so that their power comes from an activist base pushing for democracy and justice.  Here’s what they face in their new roles. and what we face as people who live and work in Utica and the surrounding communities:

1) The Council’s attorney recently tried to introduce a resolution eliminating the long standing public comment period from the Common Council meeting. This anti-democratic (small d) action must not be allowed to succeed.  Utica is the largest municipality in NY22 and we all have a stake in fighting for the public comment period. In fact, if you are aware of a school board, town board, or city council that does not have a public comment period, let IMV know, and we’ll strategize with you about how to work for that to change.  The people must have a voice!  They must be able to address their local elected officials in a public setting.  

2) Just days after the attempted dissolution of the public comment period, the public learned about an egregious violation of New York State’s Open Meeting law by at least five of Utica’s Common Council members.  Open Meeting Law is not fun and games. It’s a bedrock of accountability and checks and balances in local government.  Council members can not get together in private–not in person, not on the phone, not over email–to scheme and plot and make decisions to which either the public or other members of the Council are not privy.

The best and most effective way to ensure that elected bodies remain in compliance with Open Meeting Law is for the public to monitor their behavior and publicly call out violations. And the most important way to preserve our rights to address councils in public comment periods is to use that public comment period and refuse to allow elected officials to dissolve that right.  That’s what we need to do in this case.  

So, here’s the plan. At the Council’s first regular meeting of 2020, we will show up and be heard. 

Wednesday, Jan. 15th.  7:00 pm.  Utica City Hall, 1 Kennedy Plaza, Utica.     We will gather with chants and signs “Open Meetings is the LAW,”  “Don’t Silence Us,” and “We demand Public Comment. Period” outside at 6:45 pm, 
and then proceed inside to observe the meeting, and let them know that we are watching them.  We encourage anyone who wishes to do so to speak out during the public comment period about these issues.  Best thing about this night of activism? It’s safely and comfortably INDOORS!  


IMV Logo Contest:  Deadline Jan. 15th for $250 Prize  


Please, please, spread the word to your talented graphic design friends, family members, students, and co-workers: We’re offering a $250 prize to the winner of our new logo contest.  Here are the specs:   1) Use Indivisible.org colors.  2) Convey action and togetherness, 3) Incorporate the full name of Indivisible Mohawk Valley into the design. We will use on web, print, t-shirts, letterhead, and banners.  Email your finished design in TIFF Format to IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.  Thanks for spreading the word so we can see the best designs to represent our progressive political action group.  

Utica Women’s March Jan. 18

Three years of resistance. Three years of training. Three years of building power.  On Jan. 18, 2020 we will flood the streets right here in Utica and show our neighbors in the Mohawk Valley that women are rising up. Our march in Utica is led by women and girls of color but all people of any gender who support women’s rights and power are invited to participate in the march! 

Mark your calendars and convince all your friends and family to join you on Saturday, March 18th at 12:00 pm.  We meet up at the YWCA Mohawk Valley (7 Rutger Park, on Rutger Street in Utica, and march to Utica City Hall for speakers and a rally in the plaza (1 Kennedy Plaza).  There will be an indoor location in case of extreme weather (blizzard or sub zero temps) but as in the past, the most likely scenario is that everyone just dresses warmly. See you at the fourth annual Utica Women’s March on Jan. 18th!Save Jan. 12th for our first IMV meeting of the year

Our meeting is going to be packed with information we will all need in order to plan for a busy election year and also keep our sanity.  We have a lot of work to do together, but we absolutely can not forget IMV’s commitment to make grassroots political activism local, bite-sized and fun. 

If you attend the January meeting you will have the opportunity to meet and hear from Rep. Brindisi’s brand new campaign manager.  Plus we’ll talk about the 2020 legislative session in Albany, and how our issue Working Groups are going to be involved. We’ll hear from our very active Climate Crisis Working Group, and find out what other races we will work on in 2020 besides the Presidential and Congressional campaigns.  

See you on Sunday, Jan. 12th at Cherrywood, 1:30-4:00 pm.  We meet, we organize, and we do the work, because…

Democracy is not a spectator sport.