“My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.” Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
This is a weekly update detailing social action oriented events/actions/meetings that you can plug into in Madison, WI.
Voces Solidarity Challenge: We’re Halfway There!
We have raised more than half of our $60,000 goal. We still have a ways to go, but news is spreading and we've had several great fundraisers. At this point we want to move beyond our community's circles and reach further into the larger Madison community. Do you have friends or colleagues in other congregations? Know an organization that's looking for a great project to take on? Helping us make those connections is really helpful. Questions or suggestions? Please email Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll direct you to the right person.
May 20: Friends of State Street Family Meal
Can you Help Provide a Meal for Madison's Homeless Community – Or Pay for Part of the Meal? We are looking for people who can cook a dish, make some sandwiches, or do some shopping. If you are interested, please sign up online or contact Laura at email@example.com. Each meal costs about $400, so we are also seeking financial donations. Please consider making a donation online or mailing a check to the office. We feed over 150 people through Friends of the State Street Family each month. You can donate any time from the link, prepare food ahead of time or help serve between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Located at Philosopher's Stone Park on the corner of State Street and N. Carroll Street.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
May 18: DSA/Our Revolution/Indivisible Social Mixer
From 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. these groups are meeting up at Lakeside St. Coffee house to meet with other political organizers and talk about resisting, etc.
May 21: Q & A Session about FUS Offering Sanctuary in its Building
Members of the FUS sanctuary taskforce are hosting a Q & A section about offering sanctuary. This session is open to FUS and CSS members and will be held in the Landmark auditorium from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., 900 University Bay Drive.
May 21: Town hall Meeting with Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson will be at the Root River Center in Franklin at 3:00 p.m. Click here for more details. About two weeks ago he was at Madison East High school. Here is an Isthmus article about the questions and answers from that meeting.
June 2 – June 4: Where do we go from here? Understanding the Current Crisis & Building Social Justice in the Midwest
This is an annual gathering of Forward -- community activists, students, and educators committed to social justice. It is at Edgewood College and more details are here. This year’s gathering will devote substantial attention to understanding the outcome of the 2016 elections and their implications for the struggle for social justice in the Midwest, including Wisconsin. The central goal is to foster collaboration among organizers, activists, educators, and students interested in problem-solving on a range of crucial issues that reflect the present crisis, including immigration, mass incarceration and policing, resource and water defense, labor rights, and women’s rights, among others. For more information click here.
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.
Email Marian at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get a biweekly update on JSS’s refugee program.
Click here to sign up to donate to the newly arrived families. You can also use this link to donate toward helping pay two months of rent for each family.
Also, JSS has many clients, that aren’t refugees that are in need of support. Click here for additional volunteer opportunities at JSS.
Oppose Wisconsin Drug Testing and Forcing People off of BadgerCare
This week Governor Walker is proposing a plan to drug test and force people off BadgerCare (Wisconsin’s Medicaid program). This will require federal approval. There are 30 days to submit public comment to this proposal. Citizen Action of Wisconsin put together this comment form since the state has not provided one. Click here for more information.
Advocate for Refugees:
JSS is looking for volunteers to help with their advocacy work which includes local efforts such as getting Arabic materials at the DMV and also pressure on legislatures on all levels. Please email Rabbi Bauer at email@example.com if you are interested in helping with this. You can also call your senators and representatives to show your support for the federal refugee program. See details here on how to stand up for refugees.
Don’t Resurrect the War on Drugs
On May 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions distributed a memo to all Federal prosecutors requiring they pursue mandatory minimum sentences, following a reshuffling of DOJ priorities to emphasize prosecution of drug, gun, and gang violence crime. According to the ACLU, “Jeff Sessions is pushing federal prosecutors to reverse progress and repeat a failed experiment — the War on Drugs — that has devastated the lives and rights of millions of Americans, ripping apart families and communities and setting millions, particularly Black people and other people of color, on a vicious cycle of incarceration.”
The Brennan Center put out a Federal Agenda to Reduce Mass Incarceration. And they fact check Sessions here and here.
Click here for more information and for the phone numbers of the Wisconsin Attorney General and US Dept. of Justice.
Don’t Give Up on Health Care
If you are wondering ‘now what’ since Trump’s health insurance plan passed the house – check out this guide by Indivisible. If you are wondering how each representative voted in the house check out this article. If you want a user friendly script for calling your representative check out this link.
If you haven't yet seen 13TH, I highly recommend it. With Jeff Sessions as AG, it remains critical viewing.
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.