“What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.” Bell Hooks
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
7:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Landmark Auditorium. 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. 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, mom to Yosef and Amira, 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.
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.
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.
December 4: Voter Education Ambassador Training
If you are interested in working with the City Clerk's Office on voter outreach efforts, this link has more information. The goal is that every eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted. In this training session you will learn how to accurately answer questions about voter ID, voter registration, absentee voting, and the election process. Participants may sign up to help the City Clerk's Office provide voter education at community events. If you would like to receive a packet of voter outreach materials at this training session, please notify the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Madison City Clerk’s Office.
December 6: ACLU Organizing Meeting
If you are interested in learning more about the ACLU’s ‘Let People Vote’ campaign, you might be interested in their meeting at the Hawthorne Public library at 6:30 p.m. This link has more information.
December 12: Dreamers Welcome at the Table
The Dane County Sanctuary coalition is hosting a potluck at Madison Christian Community Church, 7118 Old Sauk Road, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Community leaders will discuss how undocumented youth and Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries are an integral part of our community and should not be thrown into deportation proceedings. Leaders will ask Congress to pass a bill without attaching further funding for increased immigration enforcement. Click here for more information.
December 14: Dane County Sanctuary Coalition - Volunteer Orientation
The Dane County Sanctuary Coalition is holding their first coalition wide volunteering orientation and training at FUS. It will be from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. and led by a local attorney specializing in immigration law. Contact email@example.com with any questions.
All Hands on Deck with the Tax Bill:
You don’t need me to tell you how bad this tax bill is for the country. I am sure each of us has a favorite horrible thing in the tax bill. The student loan interest deduction might not be the worst thing, but it sure seems egregious and petty. But if you like to read data points, a Vox tax reporter has this to say. Talking Points Memo has this to say. Washington Post has this to say about the CBO findings.
This bill is rapidly making its way to a vote. Making these tax cuts is the main thing many of the Republicans want to accomplish during their term. So this is not going to be easy to stop. The vote could happen this week. So today is the day to call Senator Johnson’s office, all four of his offices. And send him an email. And tweet at him.
Indivisible has an action plan for making phone calls – check out this link if you want to connect with them. Here is a call sheet for Republican Senators. Here is a call sheet and contact info for Johnson and Baldwin’s legislative aides. And here is contact information for Ron Johnson’s four offices.
The City of Madison is seeking input on whether the city should implement a City ID program. Several cities across the country have implemented a City ID program, most recently in Milwaukee.
A City ID benefits all City of Madison residents providing them the opportunity to show who they are when accessing city services or other reasons such as renting a home or opening a bank account. It particularly benefits people who are homeless, youth, elderly, undocumented immigrants and formerly incarcerated and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government issued ID. City residents are encouraged to share their reactions to a municipal/city ID program through the below link to the community engagement survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VNHZ7LD.
My favorite political podcasts were in the New York Times magazine this week. Check out their new podcasts at Crooked Media if you are looking for new political podcasts.
Sabrina Madison is trying to raise $150,000 for the Progress Center for Black Women. Here are some articles about this effort and here is the link to donate if you are interested.
Badger Rock Community Market. If you haven’t had a chance to check out some of the great community building work that is happening at Badger Rock – consider going to one of their community markets. I think they are every other Sunday. Here is some more info about it.
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.