Action this Week – September 20, 2019

ClimateStrike! events TODAY starting at noon in Utica

The climate is in crisis, and area activists will draw attention to the calamity faced by future generations today from noon to 1:00 pm with a visual call for action. Indivisible Mohawk Valley will join with thousands of other communities across the world in the Youth Climate Strike by spelling out #CLIMATE STRIKE from the pedestrian bridge over Utica’s North-South Arterial.

Those wishing to participate in the local event may park on either the east or west side of the pedestrian bridge.  Then, at 1:30 pm, all are invited to rally on the Clinton Village Green in the Town of Kirlkand. Please join either or both events, and feel free to bring your own signs.  

Millions of young people around the world are organizing strikes to bring attention to the impacts of the climate crisis. We are standing up against the fossil fuel industry and major corporations who are responsible for most of the world’s pollution, yet refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

The School Strikes movement began in August 2018 when Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg went on strike, and since then the movement has spread across the globe. Further, those rallying demand that governments stop their denials and inaction, and take decisive and significant action now.

The next step that you can take for the ClimateStrike week of action is to join in a webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8:00 pm.  The discussion with youth leaders will be about strategies to ensure that the power built by the Global Climate Strikes continues to transform global climate policy.

If you want to follow the exciting Climate Action Summit at the UN in NYC throughout the coming week, you can do that here.

IMV’s Climate Crisis Group Meets Monday

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.  Please carpool if you can. Fred Price from Citizen Climate Lobby talking about the Carbon Tax and JB Riffle will be talking about local CSA’s.

The meeting is being held during the international ClimateStrike! week of action. IMV’s Climate Crisis Working Group took the lead role in our #ClimateStrike activities, and continues to work on national campaigns, NY State legislative efforts, and local initiatives for change.

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.

Boots on the Ground: Are you ready to canvass for local candidates?

It’s time to knock on doors and get our progressive candidates elected!  Here are some upcoming opportunities. More will be coming as as we get closer to October.

Shelley Gardner for Rome City Council Ward 2.  Canvassing shifts this Saturday and Sunday 12 to 2:00 and 3 to 5:00.  Meet at Gardner’s Farm to Table Restaurant at 401 W. Dominick St, Rome, NY 13440

Re-elect Cam Tien to Rome City Council Ward 1.  Canvassing shift Sunday beginning at 1:00. Meet at Cam’s house 820 Floyd Ave., Rome, NY.

We have active members canvassing for many more local candidates, (and some of those candidates are also IMVers.)  Stay tuned for more opportunities to support many other wonderful local Democratic candidates, many of them fresh faces challenging do-nothing entrenched seat sitters.

Thinking of Running for Office?

Jordan Karp will conduct a Democratic candidate training session Wednesday, Sept. 25th, 5:30-7:30 pm at the CNY Labor Council Office, 287 Genesee Street, Utica, Come if you are running for office now, or are thinking about possibly doing so in the future, or if you are considering managing a local candidate’s campaign. Park behind the building and enter on the second floor.  Let’s build the bench!

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.

One Week of Action After Another…

Thank you to everyone who made calls, did office visits, and rallied for the #DefundHate Week of Action!   It was a big week for Indivisible, and Members of Congress heard from us loud and clear. We listened to some powerful stories at our rally from Rev. Tamara Razzano, who shared accounts of the people she met in El Paso directly impacted by Trump’s hateful policies.  Sonia Martinez and Dr. Emmie Pizarro also implored us all to take action and not stop calling Rep. Brindisi to remind him of our values and the importance of immigration in our community.

Locking up desperate human beings who seek asylum, putting kids in cages, separating children from their parents–these actions are abhorrent to our values, but it’s not enough for our representatives to just wring their hands when ICE and CBP implement these Trump policies.  We must make sure that our representatives in Washington are not writing blank checks using our money to pay for these atrocities. Congress’s power of the purse if the best tool we have right now.  

We had a wonderful meeting on Sunday, thanks to IMV members Betsy Briggs, Bonnie Zweifel, and Diane Berry who provided an insightful overview of George Lakoff’s work on values-framing. We all realize, however, that we need more practice at this if we are going to overcome the decades of framing expertise by those on the right who have so influenced American language and thinking on public policy.

So, by consensus, attendees at the September meeting asked for more practice with framing at our October 20 meeting.  At that point everyone will be knocking doors and preparing for GOTV, but we hope that our agenda for our October meeting will justify a couple hours off from the weather conditions to help equip us all for front porch conversations in the 2019 elections, and get us ready for 2020.

Finally, today, let us see what the planet’s young people have to show us about their expectations for action in the current climate crisis. We are no longer talking about the future.  We are talking about THEIR SURVIVAL.  If anything teaches us that we must stop sitting around watching TV and get politically active, (and not just on a day in November), it is this. 

Once we take back the White House and the Senate in 2020 and 2022, we can enact health care for everyone, get money out of politics, repair the damage to immigration, civil, women’s and human rights, and create a more just economic system–#DoAllTheThings.

But, there will be no “fixing” the devastation to the planet that the current administration and its corporate allies in fossil fuels are doing right now.  The temperature is rising. That’s why many people, including so many young people in countries around the world, believe that it is worth putting their own individual futures at risk (by skipping school) in order to call attention to the climate crisis.

If nothing else teaches us the lesson we must learn, then the Climate Crisis does. The lesson is this: 

Democracy is not a spectator sport.