“Senator; you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” Joseph Welch, US Army Attorney, to Joseph McCarthy, June 9, 1954.
CSS has a lot of events happening in the next month.
November 17: Getting Involved in Social Justice Change Work: Choosing Where to Put Your Energy
Join us for our monthly social action potluck. Our panel will speak about how they decide what kind of organizations and projects to commit to when so many vital issues need to be addressed. With overlapping interests and limited time, how do we decide? How do we pace ourselves? Which actions are most crucial? Please bring a vegetarian dish to share. Located at Laurel Mark’s home at 3404 Cross Street. *Please note there is a flight of stairs to get in to the home. Panel members:
November 18: Friends of State Street Meal
Shaarei Shamayim’s next meal for the homeless through Friends of the State Street Family is on Sunday from 12:00-1:00 p.m. If you would like to help serve nourishing food to our neighbors, please consider signing up here for our next meal. If you would like to support this cause with a financial gift, click here. Located at The Beacon, 615 E. Washington Ave.
December 3: Becoming a Trans-Inclusive Community: Stories and Reflections
A Conversation with Dawn Berney, Kris Glodoski Wolf, Matt Banks, and Levi Sable
Join us for our Adult Education Series on Diversity and Inclusion on Sunday from 9:50-11:30 a.m. at the Center for Families, 2120 Fordem Avenue with a panel of community members. They will reflect on diversity and inclusivity in our congregation, specifically on transgender issues. Each will tell their own stories and then discuss how we can be more inclusive of our transgender members and how we can take stronger positions on justice issues facing the trans community. Facilitated by Lesley Wolf.
December 5: Rabbi Arik Ascherman: A Torah of Justice for Israel
Located at the First Unitarian Society, Landmark Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Rabbi Arik Ascherman has dedicated his life to upholding the Jewish tradition of universal human rights, winning victories for Palestinians and unemployed Israelis alike, and sometimes placing himself in physical danger. After leading Rabbis For Human Rights for 21 years, Rabbi Ascherman recently founded Torat Tzedek-Torah of Justice. In addition to speaking generally about Torat Tzedek, he will focus on some of the communities in Israel and Palestine that are in immediate danger, and reflect more broadly on the challenge of power, and whether Israel can still be called a democracy. Admission to this event is free of charge. However, Rabbi Ascherman will graciously accept donations to Torat Tzedek from attendees to support his work. This event is co-sponsored by Shaarei Shamayim, First Unitarian Society, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ: Bethlehem Project, J Street Madison, Jewish Voice for Peace - Madison Chapter.
December 17: Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Jewish Community
Join us for our Adult Education Series on Diversity and Inclusion on Sunday from 9:50-11:30 a.m. at the Center for Families, 2120 Fordem Avenue. In this session we will discuss Jewish diversity in Madison and beyond – with a focus on racial and ethnic diversity – and will use the Haas Institute's Othering and Belonging Framework as a springboard for thinking together about fostering and promoting belonging in Jewish spaces. Shahanna McKinney Baldon is a former classroom teacher in urban high school and Jewish day school settings. She currently serves as Director of Professional Learning for the Minority Student Achievement Network at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and is the chair of Shaarei Shamayim children’s education committee.
Donate to the newly arrived families in the JSS Refugee Resettlement Program
Click here for current needs. You can also use this link to donate toward helping pay two months of rent for each family. From JSS: “The JSS team and board have decided that we want to raise funds to help the families a bit longer while they get acclimated. As part of this, we plan to cover two months rent for each refugee family that we resettle. The donations that we receive from the community will help us to reach our goals.”
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
Well it is no secret that this world, our country, Wisconsin and sometimes Madison can be a depressing place to live and be part of. So, in addition to organizing events and action oriented events happening in Madison I will try to be a bit more intentional about mentioning events that I think are part of actively making Madison a better, more inclusive and equitable community.
November 16: Social Mixer OWR/DSA/Indivisible Madison/Progressive Dane
On November 16 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Lakeside Coffee House on 402 W Lakeside Street. Organizers from DSA Madison, Indivisible Madison, Progressive Dane and Our Wisconsin Revolution will be there. More details here.
November 18: Puerto Rico Relief Fundraiser
On November 18 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the High Noon Saloon, 701 E Washington Ave. "Come help out our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico who are still without drinking water or electricity. Performances by the bands The Low Czars and Gold Dust Women. Storyslam performance by Cynthia Marie. Members of the local group Unidos will talk about the contact they've made with groups on the ground in Puerto Rico. Suggested donation $10-$15 sliding scale for individuals. $20 for families. Donations go towards the Puerto Rico Relief Fund of South Central Wisconsin and will be disbursed directly to vetted organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico." Details here.
November 19: Fair Trade Fair
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Orchard Ridge UCC, 1501 Gilbert Rd, Madison, WI 53711. For more info call (608) 271-7212
November 24: Black Friday Black Business Expo
From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Madison College South, 2238 S Park Street.
December 2: Solutions & Strategies 2017
This is from10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Madison College, Truax Campus, Room D1630, 1701 Wright St. From the organizers, "Join us as we discuss the most important events and issues facing communities of color over the past year, and the priorities for Madison's communities of color for 2018. Our panel, moderated by Madison365 Publisher and CEO Henry Sanders, includes Madison's most dynamic leaders of color. We'll set aside plenty of time for a robust Q&A, too. Admission is free, but donations in support of community journalism will be gratefully accepted -- and matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation.” Click here for more information.
The Trump Tax Bill
It is not a perfect metaphor to say that we are all Sisyphus, condemned to rolling a boulder uphill and then watching it roll back down, but it feels a little close. The Senate Republicans continue to be tenacious in their quest to repeal ObamaCare and added a provision to their tax bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. In order to be protected from a Democratic filibuster, the tax bill can't add more than $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade. The CBO said that repealing the mandate would free up more than $300 billion in funding over the next decade while also causing 13 million fewer people to have health insurance. Mitch McConnell said Republicans are "optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful." Info here and here.
Keep calling and writing your legislator, write letters to the editor about it, etc. Indivisible’s information on the tax plan status and action steps here. Here are the talking points and phone numbers from 5 Calls.
Wisconsin Voting Information. So if you or someone you know has moved within Wisconsin – this is good information to have. The WI Elections Commission will send a postcard to anyone who moved (that informed a government agency such as DMV) and asks recipients whether they want to remain active on the state’s voter list. To remain active, voters have one month to mail a return postcard to their municipal clerk. Voters who do not respond will be deactivated. See more details here and here.
--I know it has been a week already since last week’s election and this week we are thinking about how Trump is reshaping the judiciary and that we share this country with people who would rather have a person who molests teenagers than a Democrat represent them. But we did have some good news in last week’s election. This piece of data made me happy and would like to be part of any effort to do the same in Wisconsin.
--I really enjoyed learning about this internship at the Madison public library over the summer and the ‘read song’ that James and Jalen wrote.
--This is the best podcast episode I have listened to in awhile. It is called Sporkful – and I am talking about both parts of the Aleppo sandwich episodes.
--There is a new podcast starting next week that sounds interesting. It is called Majority54 with Jason Kander and the idea is to help the 54% of us who didn't vote for Trump talk to those who did about the most divisive issues in our country. Jason Kander is the guy who ran for Senate in Missouri and took apart his gun while blindfolded in his commercial ads.
--Check out the work of Flippable if you haven’t already. They are targeting races in states around the country where it seems possible to flip some seats from R to D. They are targeting states with histories of gerrymandering or voter suppression. So of course Wisconsin is on that list. They put effort into the elections in Virginia, Washington and Florida last week.
--For several years I co-wrote the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide report for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. We wrote the story of every person who was killed by an abuser each year – which included people who were the primary targets and bystanders. And we looked for examples where a policy change could have made a difference. There were plenty of cases where a rural judge would not require a man to surrender his gun even though the restraining order required it – because it was hunting season. The link between men who get away with beating their partners and mass shooting is not new and it is known.
--Community Immigration Law Center: I know there is no end to the great organizations and groups doing important work in this town/state/country/world and could use financial support. I am sharing this email from a Madison friend of mine doing pro bono legal work for immigrants Dane County. Click here if you want to contribute. He had this to say:
“This new administration has dramatically increased deportations across the country and even in the Madison area. Did you know that if you are threatened with deportation you are not provided with a lawyer to help defend you? And did you also know that people without lawyers are significantly more likely to get deported simply because they don't have a lawyer?
We can actually DO something about this situation and make a difference. After 9 years of providing immigration guidance and lawyer referrals, those of us involved in the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) have decided we have to do more. We committed to hiring a full-time lawyer to work on a pro bono basis to defend our community members from deportation. Aissa Olivarez is a graduate of the UW Law School who went to work in Texas defending unaccompanied children who were facing deportation. Now we talked her into coming back to provide pro bono legal deportation defense services for immigrants who don't have the money to pay for it.
Now we have to show that this is important to us. Fortunately Dane County has provided some seed money and we (CILC) have been selected by a national institute to become part of a network of 15 cities across the country who are stepping up to do this same thing. Providing a lawyer to people in deportation proceedings will increase their chances of winning. I'm so tired of yelling at the news and wondering why things have gotten so bad. So come join me and others who are using our skills and resources to fight back.
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.