RESISTANCE WATCH-"I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad." -- Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
So I added to the opening of the Butcher Haggadah (guaranteed shorter than ten minutes) the main point of Passover: We were slaves then and now we’re free, and a good friend said: “Are we really?” (I have very cynical friends.)
Lots of folks are freaked, scared, and/or overwhelmed about the future and the world. Action is the only answer, the best antidote.
That’s why Ken has asked me to help curate a Resistance corner here. In my attempt to be most helpful and not duplicate efforts already underway, I’m continuing to reach out to determine our best place in this burgeoning movement. Keep your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and criticisms (of course!) coming, please and thank you!
First, upcoming events:
Join MeetUp: Los Angeles #RESIST here to keep up with all of the various events happening nearby.
As you’ll note, for instance, on Friday evening (5 – 8 p.m.), Representative Grace Napolitano is holding a town hall forum on immigration issues in El Monte.
Many members of Congress are holding events or town halls while they’re home.
Have you attended a congressional town hall? Tell me about it, please!
Then there’s a Tax March in downtown Los Angeles this Saturday (Tax Day!) leaving Pershing Square for City Hall at 11 a.m.
From the event organizers:
April 15, 2017: Join us in a march from Pershing Square to City Hall, and demand Trump release his returns! Donald Trump works for us, and we demand transparency and accountability.
Speakers include U.S. Rep Ted Lieu, State Sen. Mike McGuire, U.S. Rep Brad Sherman, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Tudor Popescu from Indivisible, Justine Bateman, Kristina Wong, and leaders from grassroots and labor organizations.
There will also be awesome music and a YUUUGE CHICKEN DON!!
Way bigger picture, I’m finding the MoveOn.com recess resistance materials to be both complete and inspiring. I often avoid their stuff because they always ask for money but now that’s not nearly as annoying as the alternatives.
I’m loving the youthful, inspiring organizing of the Run for Something organizing.
Check out this story, as an example, complete with de facto organizing guide!
Nelson Roman serves as a City Councilor in Ward 2 of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Last year, he was elected on a community uplift-focused platform -- and as an openly gay, HIV-positive, formerly homeless person. Below, he talks with us about owning his story and proudly serving his community.
Note that these organizers are encouraging new people, young people, formerly apolitical people, to run for local office, not for Congress. In every city and community, there are boards and commissions, committees and neighborhood councils, union boards, religious leadership opportunities, service organizations -- all needing and seeking quality involvement and participation.
At an event I covered, ten outstanding women were honored as State Senator Anthony Portantino’s Women of the Year 2017; one of the honorees, Alta Skinner, called out to do just that and bring along a young person: “…[S]he was most proud that her three grandsons all volunteer in various ways, that they’ve experienced ‘the warm, cozy feeling of supporting the community.’ However, she added, ‘our organizations are all “graying out” and our number one priority must be to bring one young person along with you, onto a board or a committee. If we each turn one young adult on to the lifelong love of service, to community involvement and volunteerism, then we’ll have done our part.’”
In the recent Glendale City Council elections, the young, progressive candidate Mike Van Gorder picked up 2378 votes in an election where 7885 won one of three seats. He’s become active in the Democratic Party and we’ll see him again.
For sane, meaningful means of sustaining long-term activism, I’m loving the work of these two: Jennifer Hoffman’s Weekly Action Checklist for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans of Conscience and Dear Wendy's Weekly Steps of Activism.
The significant work of Swing Left is on point. Check ‘em out; put in your zip code and they’ll find the best, potentially swingable congressional district closest to you and offer you a specific, myriad list of easy and less easy ways to help organize in that district. For me, I’m thinking it’d be great to see Representative Stephen Knight face a viable challenger.
Please let me know what you think and what you’ve found and what would be most helpful. And keep sharing all of your thoughts, sources and resources. I am grateful to you all!
(Julie Butcher writes for CityWatch and is a retired union leader now enjoying her new La Crescenta home and her first grandchild. She can be reached at email@example.com or on her new blog ‘The Butcher Shop - No Bones about It.’) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.