*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - [4/28] *** Jessica Williams Nguyen
Well done on the ACA vote, y'all! Now for an installment of "How We Get Our Nation Out of This Mess." Did you have fun phone banking for James Thompson in Kansas? You know you did. But then he lost. Buzz kill, right? Not so fast. The fact that Republicans had to spend a bunch of money to retain that a super-safe seat is a major victory. I'm not just sugar coating things for you. Sustained effort to keep Repubs on defense is part of the long game. (article: http://www.politico.com/…/republicans-kansas-special-electi…)
Well, tally ho! Special elections are popping up in red states and right here in Washington. An Oklahoma progressive reached out to ask me if our group would like to help them elect a Democrat to Oklahoma House of Reps in a week or so. I said, Heck yeah! Because who wouldn’t be happy to give a few dollars or make a few calls to help Oklahomans take back their state from the clutches of big oil and gas? Amirite?
Let’s show Republicans, pundits and a sometimes recalcitrant Democratic party establishment that a wave really is coming.
1. STEVE BARNES, OKLAHOMA, State House of Reps
(May 9th election)
Donate --> https://tinyurl.com/mvco8q4
Phone bank --> https://tinyurl.com/lbz594r
Learn more --> FB page (https://tinyurl.com/m6wxllp), candidate profile (https://tinyurl.com/mhy4nbh)
[Background from DailyKos: https://tinyurl.com/kwmlrbq]
2. ROB QUIST, MONTANA, US House of Reps
(May 25th election)
Donate --> https://tinyurl.com/muhzpb4
Phone bank --> https://tinyurl.com/kv9mzk7
Learn more --> FB page (https://tinyurl.com/l2lcxzl), candidate profile (https://tinyurl.com/kepp5qc)
[Background from NYTimes: https://tinyurl.com/ly32mht]
3. MANKA DHINGRA, WASHINGTON 45th LD, State Senate
(Nov 7th election)
Donate --> https://tinyurl.com/nyft8xj
Volunteer --> https://tinyurl.com/lmoo9bg
Learn more --> FB page (https://tinyurl.com/n85yk24), candidate profile (Nov 7th election)
[Background from the Kirkland Reporter: https://tinyurl.com/kr5l3pq]
4. MICHELLE RYLANDS, WASHINGTON 31st LD, State Senate
(Nov 7th election)
Donate --> https://tinyurl.com/n7lvxjq
Volunteer --> https://tinyurl.com/l9beqsz
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - [4/26] *** Jessica Williams Nguyen
1. CALL YOUR REP: ACA REPEAL
It's baaa-aaack. The recently deceased repeal of the Affordable Care Act has been given new life. But hey, we have a couple of electorally vulnerable Congresspersons in this here state. I'm looking Dave Reichert (WA-8) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-3). These folks need to be getting major pressure right about now. So be sure to call your Rep today to state your opposition to the new back-from-the-dead ACA repeal plan and ask if he or she will commit to a 'No' vote.
2. CALL YOUR MOC: FCC & NET NEUTRALITY
The new chairman of the FCC has proposed changes to the way traffic on the internet is regulated. This could end the era of free and open exchange of information (aka net neutrality). This is bad, and his proposal is very likely to pass Congress. Booo! Tell your members of Congress to support a public internet platform that benefits all Americans and vote 'No' the regulatory reform plan put forward by Ajit Pai. http://money.cnn.com/20…/…/26/technology/fcc-net-neutrality/
3. TELL LEG: WASHINGTON WANTS BETTER TAX POLICY
Imma just leave this here, because... The nonsense continues. The state legislature's session is over, but they haven't done their jobs yet. Contact your state legislators today (and every day while the special session continues) and tell them to pass a budget that funds schools with new revenue. They can do this by enacting a capital gains tax and closing tax loopholes on big businesses. http://crosscut.com/…/legislature-back-for-a-second-chance…/
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - [4/25] *** Jessica Williams-Nguyen
I'm going to level with you. As I'm sure you have noticed, energy is ebbing on your Daily Do's team. Katie Anthony, our guiding light and force-to-be-reckoned-with is off attending to important life events. And, while we're still here, we are short on help and short especially on the sustained effort necessary to corral all the various research actions into usable, timely posts. But crises, big and small, continue to loom and great action opportunities in our state and elsewhere are passing us by each day. What to do?
1. TALK TO US
Comment on this post and tell us:
- Are you reading this?
- Are you still fighting as hard today as you as you were a month after the election?
- If so, where are you getting your actions?
- If not, why not?
- Is there something about these Daily Do's that you find uniquely valuable?
- If you'd be sad to see the Do's go, are you able to step up to help?
(Answer as few or as many as you want.)
2. PLAN AHEAD - MARCH for the CLIMATE
Trump definitely noticed the Tax Day marches. Now let's get his attention about climate change on April 29th. There's a big climate march in D.C. and sister marches all over the country and ALL over Washington state. Join one if you can! There are marches planned in Seattle, Everett, Langley, Spokane, Friday Harbor, Aberdeen, Ellensburg, Twisp, Port Angeles, Bellingham, Walla Walla, Richland, Vancouver, and Kalama.
Look up your local march here:
3. TELL LEG: WASHINGTON WANTS BETTER TAX POLICY
The state legislature's session is over, but they haven't done their jobs yet. Wheee! We're officially in special session. Which so far has been filled with gamesmanship but no real effort to cut a deal. Eventually, they will have to. Let's push the eventual compromise in a more progressive direction. Contact your state legislators today (and every day while the special session continues) and tell them to pass a budget that funds schools with new revenue. They can do this by enacting a capital gains tax and closing tax loopholes on big businesses. (Script in comments)
Thank your #DailyDos team.
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/20, MORNING EDITION *** Katie Anthony
Earth Day is this Saturday (4/22)!
Last year on Earth Day, Obama signed the historic Paris Agreement with 120 other countries, to fight climate change. One year later, we're dealing with a very different president who is outright attacking the climate.
While our federal government is set on destroying the climate, scientific practice, and well, the very notion of objective facts... it's up to each of us to honor the Earth and help look out for all the people who are disproportionately affected by climate change.
What are you going to do on Earth Day? Post your plan for Saturday in the comments!
Here are some ideas:
Promises to Keep: Environmental Racism Conference https://www.facebook.com/events/769103419920721/
Featured speakers incude
Deborah Parker, former Vice Chair of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors
Matika Wilbur, who is a Swinomish/Tulalip member and an award-winning photographer
and... Nikkita Oliver is opening the conference!
Roots: Connecting with Mother Earth, an arts and activism event open to all, while lifting up youth and centering on indigenous communities and people of color.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE!
A big march in D.C. with sister marches all over Washington State:
Find your local march here: https://www.marchforscience.com/satellite-marches/…
Marches listed in Bellingham, Chehalis, Coupeville, Kennewick, Olympia, Port Angeles, Pullman, Seattle, Shelton, Spokane, Tacoma, White Salmon, Yakima
Here's the Seattle March for Science:
The Green-A-Thon is an annual event that seeks to build community power, raise funds, and take action with Got Green.
Duwamish Alive! https://www.facebook.com/events/571706349688112/
Hands-on river restoration with an opening ceremony featuring the Duwamish Tribal Chair, Rep Pramila Jayapal, Rep Adam Smith, and more!
More info: http://www.duwamishalive.org/
This Earth Day, consider how our efforts to save the planet must be rooted in racial justice.
Here's a great read on the intersection of BlackLivesMatter and Climate Change.
"What would governments do if black and brown lives counted as much as white lives?"
*** WEEK OF APRIL 10 *** Katie Anthony
Your Daily Do's team has been besieged by plague, pestilence, important family obligations, and moving.
We are taking a week of Spring Break to heal, recover, be with our loved ones, and pack our crap.
In the meantime, I'm issuing a 7-day challenge. This week your Daily Do's team challenges you to get off the internet and into the world with your hearts, your hands, and your hunger. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Love, Your Daily Do's Team
*** YOUR DAILY DO’S – 4/7, MORNING EDITION *** Angela Teater
We’ve been talking about education all week, and I think we’d all agree that ensuring high-quality education for every citizen – from child to adult – is critical for a variety of reasons. In addition to the basics so important for functioning in society, a good education produces a society capable of innovation and critical thinking. Many of us feel like those values are threatened under the current Administration, so it’s even more crucial for us to work to uphold the value of an excellent education. Today we’re going to talk about two different – but valuable – levels of education and what we can do to make them more effective and more affordable.
1. We’re all familiar with the issues that some families face regarding food accessibility, and we all understand how difficult it is for a student to learn when his/her stomach is grumbling. That’s why it’s so vital that our schools continue to participate in the free and reduced lunch programs. However, this program provides two meals a day for eligible students, and only when school is in session. What are hungry students supposed to eat on weeknights or weekends? There is no miraculous solution to this heartbreaking problem once school ends for the day. Luckily, schools and independent organizations alike have recognized the depth of this problem and are stepping in to help solve it.
In the Lake Washington School District, the PTSAs are various schools participate in the Pantry Packs program, which operates through Hopelink. 650 students benefit from this program, and each of them receives a bag of food every Friday in order to ensure that they don’t go hungry on Saturdays and Sundays. This program operates using volunteer labor, and if you’d like to help, both Hopelink and Pantry Packs would appreciate your time. You can volunteer to put the packs together at Hopelink’s Kirkland warehouse. You can help organize a food drive to gather items for the Packs. You can send food items via the Pantry Packs Amazon wishlist. And of course any monetary donation is always appreciated. You can read more about opportunities to help here: http://tinyurl.com/k3pt4vv.
2. Now let’s talk about higher education. We’ve all heard the statistics about the greater career prospects and earnings for college graduates. But rising tuition rates are making college less accessible for lower- and middle-class students, and too many graduates are leaving school with crippling debt that inhibits their young adulthood.
As of 2014, 69% of graduate college seniors left school with student loan debt, an average of $28,950 per student. The numbers in Washington state aren’t much better: 58% of students graduated with debt, an average of $24,804. Luckily, our state legislature is making strides to protect the rights of borrowers in order to ensure that they fully understand their financial positions before they graduate.
Senate Bill 5022, which passed the state senate on March 1 and is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Higher Education Committee, aims improve transparency by letting students know how much they owe, when their loans will come due, and how much their payments will be. Senate Bill 5100 would require colleges to offer seminars regarding students’ college funding options. House Bill 1440 is a student loan bill of rights that defines standards for lenders and creates a position for an ombudsman to handle students’ complaints about their lenders. House Bill 1169 mandates the creation of a student loan hotline.
These are laudable attempts by our state legislature to improve the borrowing process for students and to ensure they know both their responsibilities and their rights when borrowing money to attend school. Please show your support for our representatives’ efforts by doing the following.
Read up on student debt and how it impacts students. This is an excellent starting point: http://tinyurl.com/mdo5x3c. Read more about the four bills in question here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.
If you support these efforts by the legislature, please call your local representatives and encourage them to back these bills. They will certainly appreciate a positive call or email.
3. Your Do’s team is taking a brief hiatus to regroup and plan our next steps. Rest assured, we will be back. In the meantime, we’d love more feedback from all of you. What sort of activism do you prefer? Do you like to call? Are you a marcher? Do you prefer to volunteer your time or give money? If you have feedback for us - good or bad - we want to hear it. We have so enjoyed providing you with concrete actions to help fight the Trump Administration, and are looking forward to continuing our vital work in the very near future.
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/6, EVENING EDITION *** Katie Anthony
Once upon a time, in the heart of North Capitol Hill, a couple blocks from Volunteer Park and the old mansions surrounding, there was a school where students' families couldn't pay for food or housing.
Lowell Elementary IS that school. Lowell's story is a microcosm of education inequality.
Surrounded by affluent families, many of whom send their kids to private schools, Lowell Elementary's district includes downtown and the International District, including homeless families at Mary's Place. Lowell is also the “magnet” Seattle school for children with blindness and visual impairments, life-threatening medical conditions, and pre-schoolers with developmental needs.
Here are some stats on the student population of Lowell:
- 15% of students at Lowell are homeless (the largest percentage of any school in Seattle)
- Over 60% are on free/reduced lunch programs (and more students are coming without lunch or money to pay for lunch because immigrant families are afraid to apply to this program.)
- 25% are learning English as a second language
- 75% are students of color.
- Over 20% have disabilities or other special educational needs.
Since all our WA school systems are severely underfunded, PTAs pick up the slack - raising funds to cover everything from arts programs, to librarians, to field trips, to counselors.
But the needs of Lowell students are more extreme, with a larger percentage of homeless and disabled students than most schools. Their PTA needs to cover things that other PTAs don't have to consider - such as physical therapy equipment, library books in a wider array of languages, more counseling for students dealing with trauma. And, every Friday, families pack food bags for the kids who don’t have reliable access to food over the weekend (they provide over 3,500 meals each school year).
Yet the Lowell PTA does this on a tiny budget. The families with kids at Lowell do not have the funds to donate to a big PTA budget. Lowell PTA raises tens of thousands - not the HUNDREDS of thousands that more affluent PTAs raise annually.
So what can we do about this?
While the state legislature spends another session debating fully funding education, we can support Lowell and send their students to nature camp!
Many students at Lowell have never been out in the woods. The PTA needs to raise $5,000 to send all the students to Islandwood - a science and nature camp on Bainbridge Island.
#Give20 (or whatever you can) to Lowell PTA here:
Make a note in your donation that this is from Indivisible Plus Washington helping to send the students to nature camp!
And comment here about your most memorable field trip in school!
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S – April 6th MORNING EDITION *** Wendi Lindquist
This will be my last daily do for the foreseeable future. All week we’ve been talking about education and how important it is. Well I need to step back a bit and focus on editing the final draft of my doctoral dissertation so I can finally defend it (I’m not sure whether my mother or my adviser will be more pleased). Thank you to everyone for stepping up daily to turn lots of small things in to big results.
1. I’ve been asked many times why it is taking so long to finish my doctorate. My flippant answer is “because I’m not willing to give up the things that I love doing” but the more accurate answer is I’ve often worked multiple jobs to avoid taking on graduate student loans. But not everyone can afford this type of choice.
Recently, the Education Department--led by our favorite grizzly bear-hater Betsy Devos—has indicated that it might roll back the nearly 10-year-old Public Service Loans Forgiveness Program (http://n.pr/2oHCVns). The program was meant to encourage individuals to take jobs with nonprofits and other service sectors in return for debt forgiveness after 10 years (catch that number) of on time loan payments. Take a moment to call your members of Congress and tell them why you think loan forgiveness programs are worth keeping.
2. Did you know that there are 97 schools in Washington where 100% of the students receive free or reduced price lunches, and another 159 where 90% of the students receive meal support. This is not a Western Washington or an Eastern Washington problem, nor an urban or rural problem—it’s a state-wide issue. 50 schools are in Yakima County, while King and Pierce counties have 23 and 13 schools in these categories respectively. Read up on the report here: http://www.k12.wa.us/ChildNutrition/Reports.aspx
These programs, which help ensure that 13 million US kids don’t starve, are of course on the chopping block. Read up on DeVos and free lunches here: http://huff.to/2kUJjcI
GIVE5: Make a donation to your local public school, or if you live in a particularly wealthy district, one on the list above, to help pay off lunch debts. Or make a donation to FoodLifeline or NorthWest Harvest which are part of the pipeline that gets food to low income kids during summer https://foodlifeline.org/ and http://www.northwestharvest.org/.
And you can always call DeVos and your members of Congress and tell them why you think it’s important that EVERY kid gets a meal during the school day, regardless of whether their families can afford it.
3. Good news! Our state Democratic and Republican lawmakers are actually coming together on something important that we can get behind: internet privacy. There are bills in both chambers that would make it illegal for ISPs to sell the data of Washington customers without permission (article: http://bit.ly/2nZFkdd). Contact your legislator indicate your support and urge him/her/them to get the job done.
House bill, HB 2200: http://bit.ly/2nZYbVl
Senate bill, SB 5919: http://bit.ly/2nG5cc8
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/5, EVENING EDITION *** Liz Bander
Tonight's Do is about a slightly different kind of education tonight, because the Senate is looking at the nuclear option, we've had our own thread explosions and I had to deal with a troll on Twitter last night.
With revisions from Morgen Sellier: I've noticed a trend of white people indicating they feel attacked when confronted with something that makes them uncomfortable. This is across the board. Here, there and everywhere. In a hat, on a cat and on the wings of a bat (okay, we're done with Dr. Suess). Here's the thing: your feelings of discomfort may be real, but not every situation makes them valid. At a minimum, give the people of color trying to inform, educate, and illuminate their experiences for you a little bit of grace and try to assume the best about one another.
And if they prove you wrong, Facebook has this "X" by each comment so you can hide a particularly aggravating one while still participating in the dialogue.
Someone (thank you, whoever you were!) shared a screenshot of Traci Blackmon's chapter "Being An Ally in Anti-Racism Work" from the United Church of Christ "White Privilege Let's Talk: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue" book. She is a black pastor and one of the authors of the book. If you're not Christian, you're going to have to ignore a lot of religious stuff, because, well, it *is* from a church.
- Download or bookmark this book
- Read her chapter on allyship, starting on p. 96 (it's two pages and one of those pages is a poem, you can totally do this)
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 3/5, MORNING EDITION *** Mary Park
If you have kids and your kids go to public school in a prosperous neighborhood, it's sometimes easy to forget just how underfunded education in Washington truly is. The reason? Parents. Parent volunteers pick up the slack in crowded classrooms. Parents run book fairs that put books on the shelves in the library. PTAs raise funds to pay for music, art, specialists, tutors, librarians, nurses, counselors--positions that really should be available in ALL schools and paid for by the school district.
The problem, of course, is that many lower-income schools don't even have PTAs, much less parents with the time or resources to volunteer or raise funds. When parents have to pick up the ball the state has dropped, the result is profound inequity.
1. Are you raising money for your kid's school? Running an auction? Selling candy bars or raffle tickets? Let the state legislature know and tell them it's their turn to step up! FULL FUNDING for schools NOW! (Hat tip to Kathryn Russell Selk for this suggestion.)
- Tweet your auction invitation or ask letter and add a few of these: @WAHouseDems @WASenDemocrats @WashingtonSRC @WaHouseGOP @AustinJenkinsN3 #waedu #waleg
- Post on your state legislator's Facebook page or send a copy of your fundraising materials via email.
- If you're a parent, leave a comment and tell us what the PTA pays for at *your* school.
2. Hey, something good! The Dems' version of the revenue package to fully fund schools (HB 2186) made it out of the House Finance Committee yesterday (Tuesday). That could never have happened without dedicated public education advocates like YOU.
- The legislative session ends in 20 days; it's time to write or call your state legislators and tell them to pass HB 2186 and honor our state's constitutional commitment to its schoolchildren.
- Find your state legislators here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder
- Script for your comments: http://paramountduty.org/call-your-legislators/
3. Changing focus for a moment: We've been working hard to stop fossil fuel pipelines - with most of our focus on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the recently-resurrected Keystone XL pipeline... but did you know we have a tar sands pipeline project happening right here in the Northwest??
The proposed Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline expansion is a disaster for the climate and our region. It threatens indigenous sovereignty, endangers the Salish Sea, and locks us in to irreversible climate catastrophe.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline would transport tar sands oil (the dirtiest & most carbon-intensive type of oil to extract!) across BC and through Vancouver harbor, increasing oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea by 400%!
First Nations are leading the fight with legal challenges in Canadian courts.
Pull Together (Pull-together.ca) is a solidarity campaign to raise money for the legal cases of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and Coldwater First Nations. Sierra Club WA and 350Seattle have pledged to raise $50,000 for Pull Together.
Here's how you can help:
1. #Give5 (or more!) to support the First Nations legal battle against the Kinder Morgan pipeline: https://tinyurl.com/llepg86
2. RSVP to Seattle v Kinder Morgan on April 20
The Lummi Nation is leading this community-building event. We will be raising funds for Pull Together, hearing from Native speakers, building a community art project, and more! https://tinyurl.com/k8vshv8
3. RSVP to Pull Together concerts in the San Juan Islands tonight, tomorrow and all weekend:
4. Host your own fundraiser to stop Kinder Morgan! Learn more about the overall campaign here: https://pull-together.ca/
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer