Action this Week – July 12, 2019

TONIGHT: Lights for Liberty Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps 

We will join more than 600 events in all 50 states and across the world with our local vigil at New Hartford’s Consumer Square on Commercial Drive tonight, Friday, July 12th. Meet along Commercial Drive in front of Applebee’s at 8 pm for a rally.  Bring posters. Park throughout the shopping area lots so we are not impacting any single storefront.

At 9 pm we will light candles and hold electric tea lights (your preference) for migrants imprisoned at the border  We will demand an end to human concentration camps.  It’s not complicated, and it shouldn’t even be controversial.  Show up.  Take a stand.  Here is an excerpt from the Lights for Liberty page:

“Across this country, we have witnessed acts against people fleeing persecution many of us thought we would never see in modern times.

At Trump’s concentration camps, teen mothers and babies are held outdoors in “dog pounds.” We have witnessed the sick and elderly confined to “icebox” rooms for weeks at a time. Unbelievably, children as young as 4 months are taken from their parents, medicine is confiscated, and medical care withheld, and LGBTQ and disabled individuals are held in solitary confinement.

‘The Trump administration’s immigration policies and detention camps meet the United Nations’ definition of genocide and crimes against humanity,’ said Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, lawyer, activist and organizer. ‘Congress is refusing to stop the president and his policies. We cannot allow these atrocities to be perpetrated in our name.’

Perhaps most terrifying, refugees are beginning to be moved onto military grounds, where there will be a lack of oversight from the media, lawyers, and human rights monitors.

‘Now is the time for every person to stand up and say, ‘We will not accept this!’ No more hesitating. No more denial. No more fear. We need to be bold, and loud, and unrelenting. That’s the only way we can stop this,’ said Kristin Mink, activist and organizer.”

Stand up.  Show up.  Bring your friends.  Our IMV rally and vigil are co-sponsored by 1199 SEIU (healthcare workers), Interfaith Matters and the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica, and CNY Citizen Action.

Ask Rep. Brindisi to Take a Stand Too 

If you oppose inhumane conditions at border camps, does your Member of Congress know where stand?  Today is our monthly Friday Lobby Hour visit to Rep. Brindisi’s Utica office on Court Street.  Join us at 4 pm.  Just ask to fill out a constituent concern form available from the staff, and socialize in the lobby of his offices with fellow progressives for a while.

Sometimes when the office closes at 5 pm, a group will head for a drink, or perhaps, this week, grab a bite to eat between the lobbying and the vigil in New Hartford.  This is a good opportunity to connect with each other as well as to make our views known to the Brindisi staff.

Keep calling our reps in Congress and tell them to end these inhumane camps NOW.

Rep. Brindisi (Utica) (315) 724-2472
Rep. Brindisi (DC) (202) 225-3665
Sen. Gillibrand (Syracuse) (315) 448-0470
Sen. Gillibrand (DC) (202) 224-4451
Sen. Schumer (Syracuse) (315) 423-5471
Sen. Schumer (DC) (202) 224-6542

Ask Rep. Brindisi to Co-Sponsor on Minimum Wage

It’s been 12 years since Congress raised the minimum wage―the longest stretch in history.  The Raise the Wage Act is expected to receive a vote in the U.S. House next week. And with 205 cosponsors, just 14 more supporters are needed to pass a $15 minimum wage and raise the wages of tens of millions of U.S. workers. Anthony Brindisi has not yet signed on.

This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report assessing the economic impact of a $15 minimum wage. They found that 1.3 million people would be lifted out of poverty and that some 27.3 million low-wage workers would see annual earnings increase by $44 billion―an average $1,500 increase for affected low-wage workers.

Over the last decade, a $7.25 minimum wage has lost purchasing power to the tune of 17 percent, which translates to a loss of more than $3,000 in annual earnings for a full-time, year-round minimum wage worker.

Working people need a raise and that starts by raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.  Call Anthony Brindisi and ask him to raise the wages of all working people in America. 

Progressive Picnic a Success! 

IMV’s July picnic was a huge success, with a full pavilion, lots of food, and a bunch of terrific progressive candidates.  We have real movers and shakers to support during the fall campaign season, and every last one, a fighter for change.

We heard about what it’s like to be a woman running for a seat on an all white, male, Republican board.  We heard about how candidates can support each other by running as a slate because 1 +1 is more than 2: it’s an amplified voice and a power block in a sea of status quo.  We heard about how asking questions in meetings can reveal insider corruption or good old fashioned stagnation.

We heard about the work that could be done locally on environmental issues and zoning, education funding, housing and transportation, and more if we could elect Democrats to these offices. We heard about the need for transparency and public scrutiny, and most of all, about how our candidates need us to knock doors.  Keep checking here in the next few months for opportunities to help.

Have You Seen the New Website?

IMV has a new website, and it looks terrific whether on your laptop or on your mobile phone.  Please share IndivisibleMV with your friends. You’ll find am event calendar there as well, helpful for people not on Facebook.  Thanks to Deborah Wilson-Allam and the rest of the website group who did the work!

Sign Up NOW for Indivisible New York’s Convening in July

Sarah Reeske and her NY Indivisible leader colleagues are holding a Convening for Indivisible groups across the state on Albany on July 27 and 28.  The goal of the convening is strengthening relationships among Indivisible activists. During this Convening, activists and organizers will be laying the framework to collaborate and build collective power in New York and prepare for 2020.  IMV wants to be well represented at this event, so please sign up now.

https://indivisible.org/register-new-york-state-indivisible-convening

Mark Your Calendar for IMV’s August Meeting (It’s on a Wednesday!)

IMV’s August meeting will be held at Cherrywood on Wednesday, August 14th at 6:30 pm  Our focus will be on racial and education justice, and we’ll be hearing from our allies in Citizen Action who have been working with parents in the Utica School District to raise issues of equity, inclusion, and justice. The work group also encourages IMV members to attend the Utica School Board’s meeting on July 23rd (see calendar below) and hear a presentation from the district on their suspension data.) Plus we’ll be getting organized for our efforts to impact 2019 elections for county legislature and city and town boards.

Whose Campaign Are You Going to Work On?

IMV members and friends are strongly encouraged to become active in a local 2019 campaign this summer and fall.  Making calls and knocking on doors keeps our skills sharp for the 2020 elections when we will need to hit the pavement to keep NY22 blue.

Plus, it builds power from the bottom up.  When we run Democratic candidates in every election it forces Republicans in even the reddest districts to work harder for their wins, and sometimes also leads to flipping seats from red to blue.  At other time we can move the needle on progressive policies when we replace a Dem like IDC Dave Valesky with one like Sen. Rachel May.

Republicans didn’t gain control of the vast majority of statehouses and state legislatures (and then Congress and the White House) by starting at the top.  They did it over 30 years by winning school boards and county offices and town boards, and they then kept running those officials for the next level and building power one ballot and one seat at a time.  That’s how we are going to do it too.

But it means we all have to do our part. Canvass for Celeste Friend this summer to get some practice. Or talk to her campaign team about how you can duplicate her engagement model for a candidate in your community that you want to support.  Make your canvassing volunteer plan now so you know how you are going to make a difference in the November 2019 elections.  And make sure you block off Nov. 5th Election Day (and the prior weekend!) on your calendar for Get Out the Vote and poll-watching activities. Because…

Democracy is not a spectator sport.