Saturday, April 01, 2017

The winter of our discontent, week nine.

Two weeks to go in this goal. Doing things is easy. Remembering to write them down is not so easy.

SUNDAY: sent the weekly round-up of activism-related activities to our local Dems group.

MONDAY: looooong work day. My jobs count as "something active" but I'm sure I squeezed something else in, too.

TUESDAY: city council meeting - as usual, part informative, part Parks and Recreation.

WEDNESDAY: attended a meeting to brainstorm ideas on homeless solutions around the county. It was an interesting group who had lots of energy, especially around a planned city effort to clean out various camps around town. I'm frustrated with the city's reactive approach but not sure what to do about it at this point. This group can help.

THURSDAY: attended a Women in Politics panel discussion where questions ranged from "how do you start a campaign?" to "what gender issues have you faced in local office?" OK, honestly I was co-host of the event, and I was petrified that turnout would be dismal like the last event, but we had a packed house and six amazing speakers. And? I got to put a Buffy quote on the whiteboard. Can't beat that with a stick.

pretty sure none of the panelists knew what this was about...

thanks, notorious RBG

FRIDAY: rested up for a very busy Saturday. Self-care totally counts, people.

SATURDAY: along with a handful of others, handed out trash bags to homeless folks who were being forced to relocate so that they could move their things easily and keep them dry in the process. Also helped salvage 26 bags of clothing and sleeping bags that would otherwise be tossed into the landfill during the city cleanup the following week. Later, attended a celebration of Cesar Chavez's birthday where my 80-year old friend and mentor spoke about her time helping Chavez on the picket line. Very inspiring! Ended the day with a private screening of Iron Jawed Angels at a local theater.

I continue to be impressed with the progressive actions that take place on a daily basis here in Coos County. Can't say I expected this at all.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

The winter of our discontent, week eight.

This time, only a week-late weekly wrap-up of "something actives"... Really need to start documenting this daily! My brain ain't what it used to be.

SUNDAY: coordinated a poster for an upcoming Dems event and other Dems-related stuff.

MONDAY: probably got mad several times throughout the day. Staying enraged counts, right? Also put in a full day on my second job which definitely counts as "something active."

TUESDAY: did some Dems stuff, then decorated postcards for the Ides of Trump.

best part: writing "SOB"
on Mitch McConnell's address

WEDNESDAY: attended an early-morning teleforum with local legislators, did some outreach for my non-profit organization on my day off, then mailed Ides of Trump postcards and went to Science Pub night at the local brewery. BECAUSE SCIENCE.

THURSDAY: attended my first "Huddle" meeting. "Huddles" come from the Women's March - they've suggested 10 actions in 100 days through local "huddles." Learned about some cool, thought-provoking articles and movies at this meeting.

FRIDAY: self-care night! Wine, homemade pizza, cats, and HBOGO with my partner in crime. A very necessary "something active" in these trying times.

SATURDAY: Donated to Kids Helping Kids, where three rock bands with members aged 5-16 played a benefit show to help homeless kids around Coos County. How awesome are they?!

I mean, seriously - 
what were YOU doing when you were 11?


The winter of our discontent, week seven.

Here's a verrrrrrrry belated weekly wrap-up of "something actives"... Man, am I glad this is only a three-month goal.

SUNDAY: did some work for the Dems including emailing a list of upcoming activities to our mailing list. Small effort, but it counts.

I have no idea. I probably got really mad about all the weekend hubbub, signed some online petitions (for whatever that's worth), and then took a break. I really need a break right now.

caught up on Daily Show episodes during my gym run. That totally counts. Also, attended a local non-profit roundup to see what other folks in the area are doing. These are really helpful because even though I'm not particularly interested in volunteering with, for example, the South Coast Preppers or the Bandon bus line (which, yes, is a nonprofit!), I can refer other people who may be interested.

did not participate in the Day Without a Woman rally. I decided that it was geared toward the privileged and the unintended consequences were too great. (And also, I had to work. Oh, the irony.) But I did make a conscious effort to put my rallying efforts into tangible activities with actual goals. Time is too precious and standing on a corner every day/week/month loses its impact after a while. I think deciding how to focus your activism actions counts as activism. Don't you?

attended our local seed community meeting (no big ag!) where the founders of Adaptive Seeds gave a presentation. So cool to hear their travel stories as well as their vision for bringing seed saving back!

called my senators to remind them that amidst everything else they are fighting for, Planned Parenthood is a critical resource for women all across the country, particularly women of color. I shared my experience last year (it was the most comfortable, empathetic exam I've had in 20+ years of exams). I had to leave messages for both but at least I left my voice.

attended a local Indivisible meeting and signed up to help with voter registration drives. Then, went to a tree-grafting workshop sponsored by our local seed community (no big ag!). And, ended the day supporting the arts at our local non-profit movie theater who hosted a Grease sing-a-long prefaced by a 40-minute live re-enactment from our local drag queens.

cleft graft technique - who knew?

"Beauty School Dropout" -
best Frenchie EVER

(Actually, to be honest, I ended *my* day deciding that I would never, ever watch that movie again because it's such a misogynistic horror show... Catchy songs, but totally shitty terrible message at the end. I am sure others would argue that she takes the power. But must she take the power in high heels, tight pants, and fuzzy hair? Why can't she take the power in her comfy poodle skirt? There were so many young girls in the audience that night who may have gotten the wrong impression. I've known this forever, and still I have gone to sing-a-longs, but this will be my last Grease sing-a-long.)


Friday, March 10, 2017

The winter of our discontent, week EIGHTY BAZILLION.

What's that, you say? It's week six, not week EIGHTY BAZILLION? It sure does feel like week EIGHTY BAZILLION.

Here's a belated weekly wrap-up of "something actives"...

SUNDAY: finished Snowden. (Team: Patriot.)

MONDAY: apparently agreed to a Board position with a local homeless non-profit. (Wasn't there a note to self somewhere to stop agreeing to stuff?)

TUESDAY: signed various online petitions, for whatever those are worth, and attended our local Democratic party meeting.

WEDNESDAY: encouraged my friend's young daughters to travel as much as they can. Travel promotes cultural competence, compassion and empathy towards others, and general appreciation of diversity. This country needs those things now more than ever.

THURSDAY: attended an advocacy day at the Capitol for affordable housing bills. It was a fascinating learning experience. I cannot fathom how our local legislators get anything done, and I'm sure it's a thousand times more crazy for national legislators.

 the calm between the chaos

FRIDAY: encouraged a few dissatisfied people to contact their appropriate elected officials to voice their concerns and gave them a starting point.

SATURDAY: mailed "thank you" postcards to Representative Blumenauer (for his "Resist." statement), Governor Brown (because she is awesome), and Florida Representative Val Demings (who I heard speak out against Trump on NPR).


Sunday, February 26, 2017

The winter of our discontent, week 5.

Here is this week's weekly wrap-up of "something actives"...

SUNDAY: attended town hall with Senator Wyden. Some rah rah political talk, but good to hear the actions he's taking, especially with regards to Russia. A surprisingly good turnout too, and lots of young folks asking thoughtful questions.

good show, Coos County

MONDAY: attended the county Democrats fundraiser and sold lots of buttons.

I also modeled hats for sale

TUESDAY: attended the city council meeting. (Parks & Rec, people, Parks & Rec.)

WEDNESDAY: I don't remember. But I've been on a petition signing kick lately - pretty much anything that comes into my inbox gets a signature. I know it's useless but sometimes it makes me feel better. So I'm sure I did some of that on Wednesday.

THURSDAY: attended a Board meeting for a local homeless non-profit and agreed to donate a few bookkeeping hours a month. Also gave a presentation at the library on WWOOFing, and ended with encouraging folks to support the local food movement. (No big ag!)

FRIDAY: bought a lot of Oregon Coast postcards to be mailed over the next few weeks. Our local Walgreens has them discounted for $0.09 each!

I thought they'd be crap for the price, but they're so pretty!

SATURDAY: attended a non-profit volunteer fair (for networking, not because I need anything else to do right now) and recruited someone's help for a "women in politics" talk that's coming up in March.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The winter of our discontent, Week 4.

Here is this week's weekly wrap-up of "something actives"...

And an aside. The less news I read, and the less I call national senators and representatives who already agree with my protests on larger scale issues, and the more small concrete local actions I take, the less depressed I am. Go figure.

SUNDAY: supported art and local business by attending a screening of the Oscar nominated animated shorts at our local independent movie theater, then eating delicious Thai food at a small independent restaurant. Also (finally) planted garden seeds - no big ag!

growth after just one week!
gardening is cool

MONDAY: finally closed my Chase account, woohoo! Next up is ING. Wondering if your bank is supporting DAPL? The short answer: yes, all the big banks are supporting DAPL. The longer answer: this is the full list. Look. I know it's hard to think about pulling money out of interest-bearing accounts and putting it into credit unions instead. (Well, it's not really hard for me to think about that, given that I see about $50 in interest a year.) But if you must keep your money in big banks, at least donate your interest earned. It's free money that other people need more than you do.

Another aside: I was kind of bummed that the Chase dude didn't ask why I wanted to close my account. It probably had something to do with the paltry amount I was withdrawing, but I still made a point of asking him whether many people were closing accounts these days. He said, rather indifferently, "Nope," and when I mentioned the movement to pull out of big banks in favor of credit unions, he glanced at me and said, "Nope, haven't heard of that." I really couldn't tell if he just didn't give a shit about his job, or if he was advised not to comment on that from the higher-ups.

While I was there I also cancelled my Amazon Visa under Chase. I had to do this over the phone, and when the guy asked me why I was closing my account I was happy to tell him. He didn't care either. Meh.

TUESDAY: attended training for a new temporary job which will aid advocacy efforts for intellectually and developmentally disabled folks in my local community. Very excited to start this project and hear what these folks have to say!

WEDNESDAY: attended local speaker event on the impact of the Trump administration on health care (prognosis: unknown but terrifying). Also sent my monthly donation to the Wyoming-Casper chapter of Planned Parenthood, chosen because it's the only PP in Wyoming and because Wyoming was one of the reddest states during the election.

THURSDAY: volunteered to help with a Women in Politics panel discussion next month...

Final aside: Must. Stop. Volunteering. For. Shit.

FRIDAY: supported more local art - The Vagina Monologues at the local playhouse! Not something I would expect to see in Coos Bay. This town just keeps surprising me.

SATURDAY: assembled buttons for the upcoming Dems fundraiser, then worked on my WWOOF presentation for several hours - no big ag!

I take no credit for the designs -
I was just the manual labor


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The winter of our discontent, Week 3.

Better late than never, here is this week's weekly wrap-up of "something actives"...

SUNDAY: more Dems stuff. Much more to come.

MONDAY: called Senators Merkley and Wyden to say thanks. Actually got through to a real person at Senator Wyden's office - how nice to talk to a human being!

TUESDAY: attended our local city council meeting. (In case you're wondering, yes, Parks & Recreation is pretty spot on.)

WEDNESDAY: set up some volunteer recruitment methods for my nonprofit job. (Yes, I got paid to do that. Still counts.)

THURSDAY: attended a local seed swap meeting - no big ag! no farms, no food! Also, wrote letter to REI about their US Bank connection and reached out to my local community college staff about ESL tutoring.

FRIDAY: stopped myself from punching someone in the face at the gym when he insisted that FOX news was "the only real news out there." (That counts, right?)

SATURDAY: worked on the WWOOFing presentation I'll be giving for the local community (no big ag!).


Saturday, February 04, 2017

The winter of our discontent, Week 2.

Here is this week's weekly wrap-up of "something actives"... I also got really mad a lot, but that's not really an action.

SUNDAY: attended a coordination lunch with some local activists and then headed straight to a "living room conversations" meeting with some locals, including three people very closely tied to politics here on the southern coast. I am constantly grateful that this community is so easy to insert yourself into, and I am often so honored to be in the company of such inspiring women.

MONDAY: called Senator Patty Murray (our closest senator on the Education Committee) to urge her not to approve DeVos for Secretary of Education, left a love note on Governor Kate Brown's Facebook page in response to all the haters, then did lots more coordination with the local Dems.

TUESDAY: signed up to attend an a day of activism in Salem on behalf of affordable housing. Listened to this amazing podcast on poverty in the US during my run. (And lots more coordination with the local Dems - this should probably go without saying at this point.)

WEDNESDAY: called Senators Merkley and Wyden to thank them for being on our side (but to keep fighting the good fight and delay Sessions/Price/Mnuchin and oppose Gorsuch). Then unplugged and went here...

the end

THURSDAY: called the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to voice my concerns about Bannon's appointment to the National Security Council. I had to leave a message, which I'm sure will never get heard, but it was still kind of fun to say "I oppose the existence of this man, let alone his existence in the White House in any kind of appointed position" into an official voice mailbox.

(I also egged on Patrick in his quest to calm the Facebook hate directed at Governor Brown for expanding protection for immigrants and refugees in Oregon. That counts, right?)

FRIDAY: attended the weekly long-time activists lunch meeting and brainstormed button-making ideas with one of them afterward.

SATURDAY: the very, very beginning of Dems web site updates. Also? FILED MY TAXES. Ahem.

I stayed away from the Muslim ban action this week, other than suggesting that our local activist group contact the only mosque within 150 miles to see if they need anything from us. Obviously, I was horrified by this EO, and I was glad to see the outpouring of support for this community, but I'm really starting to think that some of 45's actions are smoke and mirrors that distract us from something even more horrific going on under the surface.

(And also? Where were all these people for Black Lives Matter? For Standing Rock? I have grave concerns about the message this is sending to US citizens who have been fighting for equality for decades now, without the help of white folks.)