“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. Mary Oliver
Serve a Meal with Friends of the State Street Family
The last FSSF (Friends of State Street Families) was a definite success! Laura Smith and Aaron Hill have moved and they were the ones who generally provided the main dish. We will be in need of people preparing food for homeless people in the future! The next FSSF is on Sat, July 21, so you can mark your calendars and plan ahead. This is an important project to be a part of. Thanks much! Kimberly Wilson (FSSF coordinator)
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.
May 31: Reducing Juvenile Incarceration: A Community Conversation
From 6pm to 8pm at the First United Methodist Church at 203 Wisconsin Ave. This forum explores best practices for creating a just, humane, safe, and effective juvenile justice system. Panelists: Judge Everett Mitchell, Ali Muldrow, GSafe, and Sharlen Moore, Urban Underground.
Click here for details.
June 3: The Fun-Raiser 11
“The Fun-Raiser is a party! It was started over ten years ago as an attempt to generate a force of positivity and community! It's a pot-luck! It's a picnic! It's a concert! IT'S A PARTY! We raise money for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin!” Click here for more details.
June 20: Ijeoma Oluo at Madison Public Library
Ijeoma Oluo is a great writer and thinker – and I imagine her talk with be interesting and provocative. Click here for more details about the book event.
Swing Left, etc.
The ongoing horror show of what this administration is doing to people that live in the United States, to our infrastructure, to global safety, etc, is unrelenting. It is hard to know what to do when the leadership of our country is so unresponsive and indifferent to push back about their policies by the people they represent. There are a few national groups that are putting their energy into the 2018 elections since flipping either the house or the Senate is our best bet to slow the damage of the Trump administration and to have more checks and balances on the administration.
*Swing Left makes it easy for all of us to take action in our nearest swing district. It is a very well done website making it very easy to get involved. Swing Left believes the control of the House will be decided by a small number of swing districts, places where the last election was decided by a thin margin. I think for Dane County that is Wisconsin’s 1st district.
*Flippable focuses on state races. They have an ambitious goal of flipping 100 seats in 2018. They are looking for people to donate to their flip fund.
*Indivisible is launching a 50 state political program. See details here.
*Vote.Org. If you know anyone that might not be registered to vote or not sure how to get registered – send them to this website. Very user friendly.
ICE Splitting Up Families at the Border
From Five Calls: “Let's be clear: problems with ICE are not exclusive to the Trump-era. Abuse and neglect by the agency has been rampant since 2003 when the agency was formed as part of the Homeland Security Act in response to 9/11. Instead of protecting us from terrorists, ICE has largely been a vehicle for harassing migrants with increasing military force. Now, emboldened by an administration that won't care about inhumane conditions or violence, ICE getting sloppy at keeping journalists and other citizens unaware of how it behaves internally. This week we'll focus on three specific problems with ICE: a Trump-era policy of splitting up migrant families, the continued abuses of the Office of Refugee Resettlement's head, Scott Lloyd, and oversight into how ICE treats migrants internally.”
--Here are their talking points to call the Dept. of Health and Human Services to demand Scott Lloyd resign for harming immigrant children.
--Here are their talking points to demand oversight hearings into border patrol tactics and records of abuse.
7 Things You Can Do To Help Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the Communities They Serve
Planned Parenthood continues to be under attack. They have a range of ways you can support their work – ranging from financially to volunteering to sharing your story of Planned Parenthood. See more details here.
--Did the Trump Administration Separate Immigrant Children From Parents and Lose them? If, like me, you spend too much time on social media, you will have read conflicting reports about what is actually happening right now. I found this article by one of my favorite NYT’s reporter to be helpful. Everything about how we treat people trying to immigrate to the US is shameful at best and horrifying at worst. But not everything being shared about what is happening at the border is true. Amy Harmon’s article is useful to figure out what is true and what isn’t.
--Let’s take a moment to be happy for people in Virginia and maybe feel a quiver of hope. From Crooked Media, “Virginia’s state Senate has joined the House of Delegates in voting to expand Medicaid, which will allow the state to insure upwards of 400,000 low-income individuals. Virginia Democrats spent six years trying to convince their Republican counterparts to adopt the expansion, authorized and financed by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans resisted, leaving hundreds of thousands of Virginians without health insurance until December.
-- Spotlight on Isaac Wasserman, CSS Teen Doing a Leadership Program with Arab- Israeli, Jewish-Israeli, and Palestinian Youth this summer
What will you be doing in Israel this summer?
I have been fortunate enough to have been accepted into the Ultimate Peace US Leader In Training (LIT) program. Ultimate Peace is an organization that strives to create a platform of peace for Middle Eastern youth through Ultimate Frisbee. In July, I will be traveling to Ashkelon, Israel to work at Camp Ultimate Peace for three weeks.
Why travel across the world to play Frisbee?
It’s more than just playing Frisbee. We will be volunteering at a camp that brings together Israeli and Palestinian youth. The Middle East has long been in a state of turmoil. Caught in the area’s turmoil, in the form of social and physical barriers, are Arab-Israeli, Jewish- Israeli, and Palestinian youth. Ultimate Peace is a program that defies these barriers using the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate is a super unique sport that prioritizes sportsmanship and something that we call "Spirit of the game"(SOTG). Through SOTG, Middle Eastern youth can grow deep, life-long friendships, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, politics or any other factor. I find that Ultimate is truly magical in its ability to bring people together and make friends through SOTG.
How can we learn more and support you to do this?
Find out more at ultimatepeace.org. If you would like to help me do this program, you can donate in my name at ultimatepeace.org/bio/isaac-wasserman/.
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.