Action this Week – Sept. 13, 2019

Rally for Immigrants TODAY, 5 pm in Utica

IMV is joining with Mohawk Valley Latino Association, the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica, and several other faith communities today from 5-6:30 pm for our #DefundHate rally at Oneida Square Roundabout in Utica.  Please bring signs that reflect your values on the issue, and park on the street, not at Dunkin Donuts.  How about: “Stop caging children!” “Seeking asylum is a human right!” “No separating families!” and “Congress: Stop financing Trump’s Cruelty”

Since we planned our #DefundHate Week of Action, Trump has only made things worse for immigrants.  ICE and CBP have continued to separate families and put people in inhumane detention centers unnecessarily. He has reiterated his intention to shut down America’s much cherished program for settling well vetted refugees in American communities.

Then, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld the administration’s decision to deny asylum requests from migrants at the southern border who have traveled through Mexico or another country without seeking protection there.  This flies in the face of many decades of American commitment to hear the case of anyone who shows up at one of our borders seeking asylum.  It violated laws passed by Congress, and Congress does nothing except give Trump more billions to enact this plan. 

From caging children and families at the border and refusing them access to basic necessities like showers and toothbrushes to attempting to illegally block asylum, this administration has focused its resources on maximizing trauma on immigrant communities. Fueled by racism, hatred, and fear, the Trump administration has continued to pursue these unpopular and harmful policies, and Congress has continued to fund each and every one.

What Trump has demonstrated time and time again is that he will use every dollar he can to detain, separate, and deport families. Instead of using its power of the purse to put a stop to the abuses, Congress has chosen to give Trump more resources. That makes them complicit. 

If you’re outraged about Trump’s attacks on immigrants, the most effective way to fight back is to demand cuts to DHS and ICE funding.   Want to understand #DefundHate better?  Check out this helpful talking points guide. Then:

1. Call Rep. Brindisi’s office.  1-844-909-0232 is the number where you’ll receive a script and get connected to his office.  Ask him to #DefundHate!

2.  Attend our Defund Hate Rally on Friday, Sept. 13, 5:00 pm, Oneida Square Roundabout in Utica.

IMV Meeting September Sunday:  Framing Progressive Values

We will meet at 1 Cherrywood Circle in Clinton, just off Route 5, from 2-4 pm for our September IMV meeting.  All are welcome, whether it is your first meeting, or you’ve been coming every month for two and a half years.

Our main presentation will be on framing (think George Lakoff).  If you haven’t read his books or blogs, don’t worry.  This workshop will cover the basics, and give you the tools to speak from your progressive values.  How do we take back the language and mental framework from the people on FOX news, the extreme religious right, and the Trump supporters?

You will learn about how to express your values affirmatively on a variety of policy issues. Framing effectively can help with everything from Thanksgiving dinners with Trump loving relatives to canvassing for Anthony Brindisi, from talking with co-workers to writing letters to the editor.

Following our framing discussion, we’ll have a brief Letter to the Editor workshop and talk about how we can organize an IMV letter writing effort to get more letters published in our local newspapers. There are some excellent models coming out of some of our partner groups in NY22 and across the state.  If we all work together, we can make sure that there are letters in our local papers every day that articulate progressive values on a host of critical issues, and when we hit election season, express strong support Democratic and progressive candidates.

Please join us on Sunday, for a meeting you won’t want to miss focused on progressive values and how we can advance them in our communities and electoral politics.

#ClimateStrike Planned for September 20th

We’re just a week away from the massive, youth-led, global #ClimateStrike, created by young student Greta Thunberg.  For more information:  https://www.climatestrike.net/.  The recommendation of our IMV Climate Crisis Working Group is that every person do something on September 20th to educate another person about climate change.

In addition, IMV’s Working Group plans a small action for the day at the footbridge over the N-S Arterial in Utica between 12 noon and 1 pm.  Anyone who wants to join is welcome to bring a sign.  If you want to help prepare the big letters for the action, the group will be working on September 17th at the Kirkland Town Library from 11-3 pm.

The Climate Crisis Working Group’s next regular meeting will be on Monday, September 23rd at 6:30 pm at the Quaker House in Clinton, 2981 Austin Road,  If people are attending then carpooling is requested since we are to leave no trace.

Note the name change for the working group?  “Climate Change” is so yesterday.  We’re in a CLIMATE CRISIS.  So after you #ClimateStrike on Sept. 20, join the regular meeting of the group on Sept. 23rd to work on ways to produce policy change at every level of government to deal with this global crisis.  

IMV Women’s Issues Group Hosts Planned Parenthood Speaker

Please join IMV’s Women’s Issues Group on Monday, Sept. 23rd at 6:30 pm at the UU Church, 10 Higby Road in Utica.  Kaylee May, Public Affairs Community Organizer at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, will be speaking about the Title X Domestic Gag Rule, which recently forced Planned Parenthood out of the Title X family planning program.

According to this new rule, health clinics can’t receive certain funding if they provide abortions or even if they refer patients to other health centers where they can receive abortions. The federal funding we’re talking about here is Title X funding, which makes family planning and other preventive health services more affordable and accessible but has never been used to directly fund abortion.

Kaylee will also discuss the work that she does within the Utica Action Council, if people want to become more involved in Planned Parenthood advocacy.  All are welcome to learn more about the continuing assault on a woman’s bodily autonomy and how you can help in the fight for reproductive rights.

Mark Your Calendar for the Notary Exam Oct 22, then Start Studying!

We need more people to take the Notary Public Exam.  One of the most important steps for candidates to win elections is to get more party lines than just the Democratic line.  Getting on to the Independence Party line gave Anthony Brindisi access to all kinds of voters who wanted to vote for him on an alternative line. However, only Notaries can collect signatures for a party in which they are not a member.  So we will need a bunch of Notaries who can carry petitions next March.

If you want to help, and you’re not a Notary yet, your next step is to take the exam.  In Oneida County there is one on a Tuesday each month at 9 am and 10:30 am.   The upcoming dates are: Oct. 22, Nov. 26, and Dec. 17.  The exam is held at the State Office Building, 207 Genesee Street, 1st floor room 107 in Utica.

See you at the rally today and at our meeting on Sunday!

IMV makes progressive politics local, bite-sized, and fun.  We do that by connecting regularly for events and activities, joining together to write postcards, knock doors, phone bank, and work on issues like health care, the climate crisis, and democracy reform.

We are working on the campaigns of local progressive candidates  in 2019, and we will knock as many doors as it takes to keep #NY22 blue, just as we did  in 2018 to flip the district.  We work with partners in the community and around the district, and we lift up the voices of allies who are directly impacted by this administration’s corrupt, cruel, and anti-democratic policies.

This week, please take action by calling Rep. Brindisi, who is now back in Congress after the August recess, representing NY22.  Ask him to #DefundHate by bringing ICE and CBP funding back down to 2016 levels.

Ask him to support his courageous colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee which yesterday voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. 

Tell his staff what is on your mind.  They hear every day from people in NY22 who want to build a wall, and who don’t care at all about those who are poor or fleeing violence, people who want to see NO restrictions on guns whatsoever, but lots of restrictions on access to health care, especially for women.  So ask yourself: have they heard from me today about my values and the policies that matter to me? 

We believe that together we have moved the country to a better place than it was on Nov. 9, 2016, and we still have a long way to go.  But together we can build a movement for change that will defeat the hatred and cruelty, the corruption and the graft, the fact-free and destructive policies that are coming out of the White House and Senate right now.  We can only do it together, though, so we all need to get involved.  If not us, then who?  If not now, when?  If not here, in the Mohawk Valley, then where?

Join us for the rally today, and for our meeting Sunday.  Because…

Democracy is not a spectator sport.