Action this Week – Sept. 6, 2019

#DefundHate Week of Action starts NOW

Indivisible has joined a coalition of activist groups from across the country led by directed impacted communities to protect immigrants across the country and migrants at the border from the harmful actions of ICE and CBP.  Every one of us can do something in the coming week to make a difference.

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.

Congress has appropriated billions of dollars for immigration enforcement with almost no restrictions, giving Trump a blank check to attack immigrants. In fact, just a few weeks ago, 129 Democrats (including Rep. Anthony Brindisi) voted to pass a bill to give Donald Trump billions more for detention and enforcement, including millions of additional funding for ICE, withno oversight, guardrails, or safeguards. The bill was approved with majority Republican support. 

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 funding.

Here’s what you need to know, and how you can participate in the coming week:

1. Text Defund Hate to 977-79 so you receive information about the week of action. You can do this right now!

2. Join IMV at Rep. Brindisi’s office today 4-5 pm for Friday Lobby Hour andlet the staff your views about how our Member of Congress should vote to defund hate by slashing ICE and CBP funding.  See you at Rep. Brindisi’s Utica District Office (430 Court Street, Suite 102).  If you can’t make 4 pm, then stop anytime during  the week of Sept. 9-13.  Take a copy of this District Office leave behind sheet with you.

3. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper.  Why is it important to you that Rep. Brindisi vote to defund hate in September?  Needs facts and figures and help making your points?  Check out this helpful talking points guide.

4. Call Rep. Brindisi’s office. Mark your calendar for next week, and call every day. The week of action is Monday-Friday. Sept. 9-13, and your five calls next week an make a difference.

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

There are lots of other ways to become involved.  How about organizing a group of artistic friends to chalk public sidewalks in high traffic areas to let people know about the Defund Hate week of action an express your support for immigrants in our community?  Are you on Twitter?  Follow #DefundHate and spread messages all week in support of the directly impacted communities leading the Defund Hate Coalition.

Remember, text Defund Hate to 977-79 to learn more.  Let’s make this an epic week of action and #DefundHate!

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.

#ClimateStrike Planned for September 20th

Mark your calendar now for the global #ClimateStrike, created by young student Greta Thunberg.  The recommendation of our IMV Climate Change 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 Change 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.

Local Workers Strike Too

You may have seen workers picketing Special Metals across from the Presbyterian Home in New Hartford.  Union workers at Special Metals are on strike 24/7 not because of pay, but because of too much overtime and mandated overtime. It is not an informational picket, but a strike with no pay.

As you pass by, be sure to give a thumbs up or honk in support. IMVers who were on the #OneTermTenney Picket on Fridays for two years, know what it means to have the enthusiastic encouragement of motorists.   Please also consider stopping by to drop off coffee, food, and snacks.  Let’s let unionized workers know that we support them!

IMV Book Club Monday, Sept. 9th: “Don’t Think of an Elephant”

The IMV book group is reading  “Don’t Think of an Elephant!” (“The All New” 2014 edition) by George Lakoff. If you haven’t read it yet, you still have a few weeks to pick up the book and get started!  This best selling book on framing is good background for our September meeting topic on messaging and communicating with people who are less progressive than we are. We will have a discussion on Monday, September 9th, 7-9 pm at the Kirkland Town Library (History room). If you have any questions, feel free to email Jennifer at

Those who’ve been reading the book report that it is changing how they think about conversations they have even with friends and family, and offers great tips on how to talk about progressive values.  Join the conversation, or just pick up the book and start reading.

Notary Exam This Tuesday, Sept. 10th

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: Sept. 10, 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.

IMV’s Sunday, September 13th Meeting: Framing Progressive Values

We will meet at 1 Cherrywood Circle in Clinton, off Route 5 from 2-4 pm.  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.

You will be able to use your new framing skills 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 at our meeting on Sept. 15, 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.

Organizing and Energizing People for 2019 & 2020 Elections

Looking ahead, IMV wants to keep our energy level high, and make sure we all have the skills to do the work that needs to be done in 2019 and 2020 to win electoral contests.  Why?  Because we believe that people win elections.  In other words, (and as Joy Cushman says it so well in this NY Times piece), elections are not won because of big ad buys and data analytics, but because people just like us canvass, call, organize our friends and neighbors, and get out the vote.  Not because we vote, although we do, but because we do the work over many months to get hundreds if not thousands of other people to vote, every election, every year.  

The work we do includes writing letters to the editor, knocking on doors, making cold calls in phone banks, registering voters, and holding postcard parties, volunteer training, and campaign workers in our homes.  It’s time to start thinking about what we are going to do to win seats this November, and what we will do to keep NY22 blue and with the White House in 2020.  So here is a question for your reflection: If you believe that people who organize and do the work are the reason elections are won, what are you willing to do?

In the meantime, remember that we hold our Members of Congress accountable, we resist the agenda of Trump and his GOP enablers in Congress, and we advance our progressive values in politics.

So call Rep. Brindisi and tell him about why your values mean that Trump’s domestic terror organizations, ICE and CBP, should be starved of funds so they can’t do all the harm they are currently doing to weary, scared, and innocent asylum seekers and migrants.

Ask him to #DefundHate in the House’s 2020 appropriation this month.  

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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