Saturday, March 11, 2017
Astoria Indivisible Newsletter: March 13-24, 2017
Hello everyone! This week's newsletter will be a short one for actions-- it's sort of a crazy weekend.
NEXT MEETING: Tentatively 04/08/2017 @ 1:30 PM
It's been a week or so since our inaugural event, and the co-organizers have been riding the high and looking at what we can do next. We met this past week to discuss things that worked and things that didn't, and are busy putting together our next meeting. I can let you all know that it's tentatively looking like Saturday, April 8th @ 1:30 PM. More details will be forthcoming the closer we get--organizers plan to meet this week to develop a game plan. In the meantime, mark your calendars! And if you have any ideas for future meeting places, please let us know by emailing AstoriaIndivisible@gmail.com.
CALL FOR MEETING IDEAS FOR NON-WEEKENDERS
A personal concern of mine is inclusivity. We live in an area where a big portion of the economy is tourism and service-industry driven, meaning that there is likely a good chunk of people unable to attend Saturday meetings.
To try to give everyone an opportunity to participate--we'd like to check into a few things:
1. Space for weeknight evening meetings. This could be a coffee shop, a house, or a restaurant willing to host weeknight events. It's hard to gauge how much space would be needed (because we honestly don't know how many people have issues getting to Saturday meetings)--but I would imagine it'll be smaller group.
2. Someone who would be willing to run these meetings. This person would be a co-organizer as well, but don't let that scare you. It could be as much as just facilitating discussion and reporting back, or working with the evening group to plan events (whatever you're comfortable with). We want to get as many people participating--including in leadership positions.
Those of you who attended our Saturday event might remember that we directed you at the end to fill out some note cards indicating your ideas for events and actions on certain topics (healthcare, environment, etc.), as well as for volunteers to co-organize and lead.
THANK YOU to those who took the time to fill out a card. We got a lot of great ideas and the names/contacts of a few people to help out. We'll work at developing these ideas--and I also will try to be in contact with those that want to be involved to see if they would like to attend our upcoming planning meetings regarding the membership meeting on April 8th.
CALL FOR IDEAS
Building on this last section--we can always use more ideas and more volunteers. If there's something going on right now that really interests you on a state, federal, or even local level--please email those thoughts to AstoriaIndivisible@gmail.com. We may not always be able to do something--but at the very least, can include it in the newsletter. We especially want to encourage activism in our membership. So, if you have an idea about an event you'd like to see--feel free to get the organization going and let us know about it. We'll help you in whatever way we can, and plug it in our newsletter.
CITY COUNCIL REPORT: 03/06/2017
The past Astoria City Council meeting covered a few things--but most notably, the City Council reaffirmed its policy of inclusivity. As I understood it, this isn't terribly helpful for our immigrant friends (the City of Astoria can't stop ICE activities)--but the city doesn't necessarily have to provide its resources to ICE in the apprehension and detention of people. They do have to provide requested public information regarding crimes, but it's still a big step for the city to definitively say they won't necessarily help with city resources.
That said--ICE is here. Many of you probably saw the article in The Daily Astorian the other day about a gentleman being arrested by ICE. So--this is still a very real threat. Keep taking those photos and videos if you see something. POST to social media. And, mostly importantly to our immigrant friends and neighbors--lay low. This was encouraged by the City Council.
FUTURE CITY COUNCIL REPORTS
Indivisible member Nancy Schwickrath has graciously volunteered to attend Astoria City Council meetings from here on out and be our eyes and ears there. She will let us know the goings-on of the Council via the newsletter, and we'll have reports at our monthly meetings. THANKS NANCY!
If anyone wants to volunteer in a similar fashion for the County Commission meetings, we are still looking for this as well.
--Not a ton from us this week, personally...but definitely a good thing to remind everyone to do (see contact info for your MOCs at the end). And again, if YOU have anything to contribute, please email AstoriaIndivisible@gmail.com no later than Friday @ 5 PM PST.
1. The Republicans finally revealed their ACA alternative legislation this week--The American Healthcare Act. Call your senators and representatives to let them know that this plan is a terrible idea. While it claims to "keep what people like about the ACA" and "throws out what they don't," the bill destroys the mechanisms to fund "the things that people like," threatens Medicaid, and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address the rising cost of healthcare. For more information on the Republican plan:
2. Call your senators and representatives (particularly Senator Jeff Merkley) about The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Tell them that cutting these programs--especially when they represent only .0625% of the total federal budget, is UNACCEPTABLE. Tell them how these organizations have impacted your life, and why they are important for the future of our children and democracy.
If you want more information on this topic, either Google or look at these links: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/trump-wants-to-kill-pbs-national-endowment-for-the-arts-1201785102/
Senator Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20510
Senator Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C., 20510
Representative Suzanne Bonamici
439 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515