Your Weekly Dose of Sanity Saving Good News! – “Taking Down the Tree” Edition

 

Strength in Numbers

(From SmallDeedsDone) “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
– Andrew Carnegie 
Leaf cutter ants are peculiar, fascinating little creatures. They use their buzzsaw-like jaws to cut up leaves that they then carry back to their massive nests. They are impressively strong, being able to lift and carry 30-50 times their own weight.
That’s one powerful animal – no question about it.
But their true strength – their real power – lies in their ability to work as a team, with each individual ant’s actions feeding into the larger group’s objectives.
On its own, one ant can cut up plenty of leaves. But working together, a large nest can strip a tree of its leaves overnight.
Just imagine that for a second. Thousands upon thousands of tiny creatures can strip an entire tree of its leaves – because each one takes a teeny tiny bite.
So let’s bring the analogy back to ourselves…

Remember who we are.

Remember what we’ve done.

As members of the Resistance, we’re all powerful on our own. Each of us has our own focus, after all. Some might spend more time on the budget, while others spend more energy on climate change, reproductive rights, or healthcare. So action sites (like this one) seek to provide a variety of actions for Resistors to choose from. You could think of it as giving ants a choice of taking a bite of a number of tasty trees.
But sometimes we all need to join back together as part of one big army.

That’s what we need to do right now.

This week, our MOC need to see a unity of purpose and a strength in numbers. So the actions this week aren’t unique. They’re not particularly clever.
In fact, they echo the action items that you’re likely seeing from other action sites this week. We’re talking health care, and budget, and the search for the truth about Russia.
Because just like leaf cutter ants,
if we all work together…
and we each take a teeny tiny bite…

We can take down the entire tree.

We’re building communities.

On Sunday, June 25th, the Movement For Black Lives is asking that we participate in the Day of Dinners. This potluck dinner event will take place to help us connect with our communities and build deeper relationships with those around us, to ensure that as we move forward, everyone’s needs are taken care of. Here’s how to sign up.

We’re building a better planet…

Hawaii has become the first state to pass legislation to honor the “commitments and goals” of the Paris climate agreement

France’s president offers American climate scientists 4-year resident grants to do research there.

13 states, 4 tribes, and lots of US cities commit to honoring the Paris Accord.

Coal use in the US is on the decline thanks to efficiency and natural gas-burning plants.

In Flint, MI, lead pipes to 1,300 homes have been replaced, with 6,000 pipes to go.

After ruling that the Trump administration had not adequately examined the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a federal judge called for an additional environmental review, which could end up halting construction until a full assessment has been completed.

We’re building a kinder country…

Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a bill in support of universal basic income.

Breitbart advertisers dropped 90 percent from 242 in March to 26 in May.

The Ford Foundation launches a post-incarceration internship program.

Kansas’ trickle-down experiment fails as Republicans vote to raise taxes for schools. Yes: The GOP voted to raise taxes.

A Rhode Island church opens its doors to a Jewish congregation.

A Portland community comes together to house 16 women.

Kindness signs are popping up around McMinnville and Newberg, Oregon

An art collector sells a Lictenstein painting for $165 million to fund criminal justice reform.

Parents stood up to support their kids during Pride Week.

Our kids are showing us how to do it.

wonderwoman

Remember the recent story of the middle school soccer team in Nebraska who were allegedly cut from a tournament because one of their female players wears her hair short and was “accused” of being a boy? Guess what the team did next?

Russia has erupted in wide-scale protests – and teenage girls were on the front lines.

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Photo_BY_Georgiy_Markov

We’re making things more equitable

Illinois House and Senate pass automatic voter registration.

Standing Rock Sioux receive $1M renewable energy grant and $250,000 Wallace prize

Tennessee just announced free community college for adults without college degrees, expanding a program that previously offered free tuition only to recent college graduates.

Vermont is creating a “racial justice oversight board” and updating their policing policies statewide in a move to combat racial bias and decrease incarceration rates.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law an equal pay bill, and Nevada’s largely female state legislature passed a ton of women’s rights laws. While not every woman politician works for women’s rights (Karen Handel, we’re looking at you…), studies show that the more women in office, the better chance women’s rights policies will be passed. #proofisinthepudding

We’re doing the right thing

The #OhioHandmaids protested an anti-reproductive rights bill in their state Senate.

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Leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention finally passed a statement condemning the alt-right

Governor John Carney (D-DE) signed a law that will keep abortion legal in Delaware.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) has introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act, which would amend the Presidential Records Act to include “social media.” Now his twitter rants are a record which can add to the investigations as well as to the legal cases filed against him. Let’s call our reps and support this legislation.

Following the Forbes article on the topic, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is examining the Eric Trump Foundation for possible malfeasance. 

Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards (D) campaigned on reducing the prison population. Now he’s signed legislation which promises to do just that, and support the formerly incarcerated with rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

New York pension fund will back out of investments tied to private prisons.

New York will no longer prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Massachusetts is closer to banning Native American mascots.

Thanks to the work of a strong grassroots campaign and the Nevada teachers’ union, the Nevada state government rejected a bill to divert $60 million in public education funding to unconstitutional school vouchers.

Both Democrats and Republicans (!) gave Betsy DeVos’s terrifying education budget a big fat F; a court ruled against her plan to delay student loan relief; and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey already said she will file a lawsuit over DeVos’ decision to delay Obama-era rulings protecting students from predatory for-profit colleges.

When Islamophobic groups held anti-Muslim protests across the country this week, they were outnumbered by counter-protesters, including #NYCLovesMuslims rally attendees.

Thank-yous!

(Here are some great postcards to download if you’ve run out…)
Thanks to Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who keeps making these hilarious educational videos to help our leader… 

Thank Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for her clear criticism of the lack of debate over the Senate healthcare bill. We appreciate your advocacy for an open democratic process for deciding on such an important bill.
Address: 28 N. 8th St., Ste. 500, Columbia, Missouri 65201

Thank Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for being the only Republican to support consumer protections and safer financial institutions by voting against repealing Dodd-Frank.
Address: 1105-C Corporate Drive, Greenville, NC 27858

Thank State Representative Scott Sanford (R-TX) for his work in recognizing Armenian genocide, honoring its 1.5 million victims, and advocating for the Armenian community.
Address: Texas House of Representatives, PO Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768

Thank London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not being afraid of the bully across the pond and saying what needed to be said. ℅ British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (or send an email)

Thank the Capitol Police officers who saved the lives of so many at the Congressional baseball practice this week.   These heroes also just happen to be a gay married black woman, a black man, and a Hispanic man.  Let’s thank Special Agent David Bailey, Special Agent Crystal Griner, and Officer Henry Cabrera:  United States Capitol Police, 119 D Street, NE, Washington, DC 20510

Send a note that the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church is not forgotten
June 17 will mark the two year anniversary of the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. Send them a message of solidarity and support on this painful anniversary.  (from Postcarder Libby Jones)
Address: Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401
Emanuel AME Church

Project Update

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The deadline has been extended to September 5th.  One of the pussyhat co-founders has a new project (There’s a great immigration video included) for the knitters among us!  “The goal is to knit blankets from 2,000 miles of yarn — the projected length of the border wall — over the next three months.”  Click here for more info on how we can participate.

Book Club

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The resistance organization Daily Action, made popular through its daily action text alerts, has launched a Daily Action Book Club to help educate and inspire us to keep going. Each month, participants can discuss readings with the author and learn how each selection relates to our current political climate. 

 Readings:

I am no longer calling myself part of the resistance.

Our new Poet Laureate Tracy K Smith. Poem to read here.

(Thanks to Rogan’s List, Jen Hofmann, Libby Jones, SmallDeedsDone, Alison and Stephanie and other resources from all over the still-free internet)

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