“And these children that you spit on. As they try to change their worlds. Are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through.” David Bowie
March 2: Conversation with Abril Moreno, Organizer for Voces de la Frontera: Join us for a potluck dinner at 6:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with Abril Moreno, the Madison organizer of Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin's leading immigrant rights organization. Abril will share what the Madison chapter has been doing, discuss Voces' efforts to fight for immigrant rights, and help our members get involved. The vegetarian potluck is at the home of Melanie Herzog and Norm Stockwell, 401 Elmside Blvd.
March 4: CSS Social Action Committee update: From 9:50-11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave. Come join us for this update on the social action projects CSS is engaged in and our plans to continue our commitment to Voces de la Frontera.
**Shaarei Shamayim has agreed to welcome a refugee family resettling in Madison. We are in need of some volunteers to 1) join the committee, 2) sort through donations, and 3) help move furniture. If you are interested, please be in touch with Meg at email@example.com.
**Looking for someone to coordinate the State Street meal that CSS does every other month. Laura and Aaron are moving this summer and they need to pass the baton to someone else to head this up. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about it.
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.
Feb 22nd: Moms Demand Action Madison February Meeting: Come to the Pinney library branch at 6:30 to learn about taking action against gun violence. More details here.
Feb 25: Afternoon of conversation with immigrant and Dreamer neighbors: “As an Immigrant-Welcoming congregation Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ is appalled at the crude racism recently directed at immigrants and DREAMERs. In response, on Sunday, February 25, Plymouth Church located at 2401 Atwood Avenue is hosting an afternoon of conversation with these immigrant and DREAMER neighbors. You are cordially invited. The event begins with a free light luncheon at noon and is to wrap up no later than 3:00 p.m. The hope is that by listening to our neighbors and hearing their stories first steps will be taken toward welcoming and affirming their presence among us. Please RSVP to Jon Schultz at either (608)-556-5796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Feb 27: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Educational Series: Temple Beth El presents a 3-part education al series. Part 1 is from 6pm – 9pm. Viewing the documentary 13th, followed by a panel and group discussion. Attend 1, 2 or all three sessions. Click here for more information and to register. Temple Beth El is at 2702 Arbor Dr.
March 2: Core Action Café: At Centro Hispano from 9 am to noon. This is a creative, engaging process for collaborative reflection --- leading to action. For more information click here.
March 7: Crossroads of Inheritance and Discovery – Inspiring Interfaith Action: Mr. Patel is the author of Acts of Faith, the 2017-’18 Common Reading selection for Edgewood College. He is the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, an organization built on the idea that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He will give a talk at 7:00 pm in the Anderson Auditorium at Edgewood College. More details here.
March 14: All Madison High Schools Walkout to Demand Gun Control: See details here.
March 20: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Educational Series: Temple Beth El presents a 3-part education al series. Part 1 is from 7pm – 8:30pm. Facilitated discussion of the book Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. Attend 1, 2 or all three sessions. Click here for more information and to register. Temple Beth El is at 2702 Arbor Dr.
March 22nd: Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice: Praising the Divine Together: An Evening of Sacred Music, Pot-luck dinner, and Conversation. From 6:00 to 8:00pm at Edgewood College. Music/sacred chanting will be shared by: Laiman Mai - Buddhist Chanting, Latanya Maymon – Gospel, Students of the Madinah Academy - chanting from the Quran and songs in Arabic, Rabbi Jonathan Biatch - chanting from the Torah and Jewish folk song. More details here.
April 17: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Educational Series: Temple Beth El presents a 3-part education al series. Part 1 is from 7pm – 8:30pm. Facilitated discussion of the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. Attend 1, 2 or all three sessions. Click here for more information and to register. Temple Beth El is at 2702 Arbor Dr.
Feb 22nd: Family Lobby Day: “No to the hate bill AB190/SB275, Yes to Driver Licenses. 10am in the Assembly Parlor on the 2nd floor. From Voces de la Frontera, “Join us to urge Wisconsin legislators to reject AB190/SB275 and instead support returning driver licenses to Wisconsin immigrants. AB190/SB275 is a hate bill that would allow local employees to investigate immigration status and mandate authorities turn immigrants over to ICE. The bill would separate Wisconsin families, increase discrimination and racial profiling, harm our economy, and make everyone less safe. Returning driver licenses to Wisconsin immigrants would ensure that all Wisconsinites have the right to do things like drive to work, pick up kids, and move safely without fear. Licenses would make our roads safer, improve our economy, and stop immigrant families from being targeted by deportation agents because of a lack of a driver license.” More details here.
Now: Taking action on gun violence: The gun carnage continues and it is hard to see how this current Congress and President will do anything about it. There are organized groups that do a great job mobilizing the many people that want our gun laws to change. Indivisible has good talking points for calling legislators and Moms Demand Action has an active chapter in Madison.
The best way to change gun laws is to change who sets the policy for the country (or state). Flippable is working hard to flip Republican seats to Democratic one’s. They have a flippable fund for the 100 seats they have targeted. In this week’s election in Florida, one seat has flipped. On this week’s Pod Save America, episode “Beat the NRA”, the hosts had an encouraging statistic. “In 2017 in Virginia, pro gun control Democrats won 12 of 13 races against NRA-backed Republicans. We can beat the NRA.”
If you are a twitter, follow some of the people at #ParklandStudentsSpeak to keep current. And support whatever efforts our high school students plan to try push back against the cynical notion that nothing can be done to stop this.
And while it seems unlikely that we move our Senator to change his mind about gun control – let him know how you feel. Here are some possible talking points.
--Closing the loophole that lets people buy guns at shows and through private sellers without background checks
--Instituting universal background checks for ammo and gun buyers, a measure 80% of gun owners support
--Removing the Dickey Rider from the federal budget and finally allowing the CDC to research gun violence prevention
--Funding evidence-based community antiviolence programs, like Ceasefire, which have been shown to reduce shootings
Now: Protecting Dreamers: Indivisible updated their Immigrant Ally Toolkit to help us support Dreamers. DACA recipients will begin losing their protections at a rate of 1,200 a day beginning March 5, and Trump and his white supremacist cronies are holding Dreamers hostage to push a radical anti-immigrant agenda. The fight in Congress over Dream Act continues, and Indivisible lists ways that you can help locally. Click their toolkit for more information.
--Kids Prayer, by Dan Bern (one of the best singer songwriters you never heard of)
--Changes, by David Bowie
--If it Were Up to Me, Cheryl Wheeler
--My Love is With You, Stevie Wonder
--To the Teeth, Ani Difranco
**In the who is the single worst person in the United States competition, it would be hard for me to vote against Paul Ryan. This man knows better and does not care. Read this to shore up your resolve to do whatever you can so he is not the Speaker of the House after the 2018 elections.
**Take a second to feel encouraged. Democrats flipped a Kentucky state legislature seat in a district that Trump won by 49 points in 2016. Linda Belcher won the special election in Kentucky's House District 49 by a 68-32 margin. Trump carried the district by a 72-23 margin in 2016, which also went 66-33 for Mitt Romney in 2012.
**Moments over. Trump challenged Jeff Sessions to investigate the Obama administration for not doing enough to stop Russian interference in the 2016 election. It might seem counter-intuitive, but for Trump it is not.