“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” Walt Whitman
This is a weekly update detailing social action oriented events/actions/meetings that you can plug into in Madison, WI.
Take the Voces Solidarity Challenge
CSS is in the middle of our Voces Solidarity Challenge. Our goal is to raise $60,000 so that Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin’s leading immigrant rights organization, can hire an organizer for their Madison chapter. During these turbulent times it’s more important than ever to stand with vulnerable communities.
We’ve had a great response so far – our members have been holding lots of events like Soup for Solidarity, May Clothing Swap, Storytelling and Cocktails, a Passover fundraiser, and an East side lemonade stand. So far we have raised $22,040. But we still have a ways to go to reach our goal. Please consider 1) joining the fundraising crew; 2) creating a fundraising page to post on Facebook; 3) sharing the project on Facebook or with your networks that might be interested in donating or 4) making a donation yourself. We can help you get started! Contact Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more on our website.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
May 1: Day Without Immigrants and Refugees
Option 1: Held at Brittingham Park (401 W. Shore Drive) from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Rally and march for International Workers Day. You can gather at Brittingham Park at 11:00 or at the Capitol at noon. Visit 'Day without Immigrants and Refugees - Madison WI' on Facebook for more information.
Option 2: Voces de la Frontera is organizing a Day without Latinxs, Immigrants and Refugees at noon. Visit their Facebook page for more details.
May 3: Mass Incarceration and Wisconsin Sentencing Policy
WUD Society, along with some other groups, is sponsoring a talk and discussion on mass incarceration in Wisconsin. See this link for more details.
Jewish Social Services is resettling several Syrian families
JSS has four families in Madison already, and it now looks like there will be more on the way. With the newest executive order on hold, the State Department is picking up the pace of moving refugees to the United States.
They need help in the following areas to be ready:
· Transportation Management Volunteer Lead - help schedule rides and lessons about biking, bussing and walking in Madison
· Housing Volunteer Lead - help to find affordable, safe apartments with access to public transportation and services
· Employment/Education Volunteer Lead - help our families find appropriate employment and education for long-term success.
Contact Becca or Paul if you are interested in helping with this effort.
Stay Vigilant on the Affordable Care Act
If you are only going to make one call I suggest you call about the health care act. It is reported that the Freedom Caucus has reached a deal about healthcare and now the American Health Care Act (AHCA) looks even worse. The new bill guts coverage of pre-existing conditions. Health care plans will no longer be required to cover mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment or maternity care.
Lifetime and annual limits are re-imposed so we will be bringing back bankruptcy due to medical problems. The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities has a good breakdownabout this. 5 Calls has talking points and phone numbers here.
And I suppose in an effort to see if anyone is paying attention the bill allows states to drop coverage of pre-exisiting conditions, except for the Senators or Congress representatives, they would be guaranteed coverage regardless. Seems too craven to be true – but as of today (4/26) it is true.
Keep Wisconsin Safe for Immigrants
Two bills in the Wisconsin legislature, Assembly Bills 127 and 190, would financially punish cities and towns whose police departments do not join aggressive federal immigration enforcement.
Trying to force law enforcement to serve as immigration agents makes our communities less safe. Using local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws also invites officers to engage in racial and ethnic profiling, and to treat people they perceive to be “foreign” differently. The ACLU has talking points about these bills and contact information here.
What about Russia?
The question of whether Russia interfered with the 2016 Presidential Election is still very much an open question. The Senate Intelligence committee still has not investigated the Russian ties to the election. If this is near the top of your list of things that upset you with our politics in 2017 consider contacting the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and tell them you would like a well-staffed and credible investigation. 5 Calls has the phone number and talking points here.
Defend the financial reform law:
House Republicans have introduced legislation known as the Financial CHOICE Act which would repeal the Volcker rule and strip the Consumer Financial Bureau of its power. It’s like no one in charge of our government saw the Jenga scene in the movie, The Big Short. Five Calls has the phone number of the House Financial Services committee and talking points here.
Using the 5 Calls App:
If you are uncomfortable making calls or want a tutorial on using the 5 Calls App – watch this video on the 5 Calls YouTube channel.
Join a local committee:
State and national politics getting you down? Consider getting involved in local government. Apply to fill a vacancy on one of Madison’s city committees. There are vacancies on more than 30 committees, such as Sustainable Madison Committee, Affirmative Action Commission, etc. Learn more here.
Government Shutdown video clips:
It seems like while President Trump flirted with the idea of shutting down the government over the budget, it isn’t going to happen. It did remind me of two great scenes in my favorite political TV show, the West Wing. If you want to briefly imagine a better alternative reality, watch these two clips. First ‘then shut it down’ and then ‘President Bartlet walks the hill’.
Social Action email
I am the social action committee chair for Congregation Shaarei Shamayim (CSS) and send out social action updates by email most weeks.