We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better. ~JR Rowling.
Fear makes us weak; anger makes us strong. Irena Sendler
A few weeks ago, I attended a pretty fantastic conference for folks who have been part of the Resistance. Exciting and energetic leaders from some amazing groups like Swing Left and Run For Something were there.
I’ll admit it. I was a wee bit intimidated.
But as I scanned the room, I wondered: How did we all get to this place in our lives? Was I the only one who had led a very different life before November 2016? Was I the only person who, after “The Election,” realized that my skills and talents should be used for a higher purpose?
So as I met these leaders I made a point to ask them what their lives were like before November 2016. The answers I got were fascinating. Some had been working in politics their whole careers, and The Election simply changed their focus and their pace.
But most of the women hadn’t been.
In fact, most of the women changed the trajectory of their lives and careers dramatically. From political fundraisers to data experts to organizers to creatives – women that approach politics from all angles told me that their lives had been completely upended, and The Election caused them to change everything from their friendship circles to their workplaces. And for each woman that I asked, The Election had inspired them to use their considerable skills in ways they would otherwise not have imagined – and many of them had spent a lot of time and energy figuring out how to best use their talents in this new world.
In fact, during her remarks, the trailblazing organizer of the event explained that after The Election she had consulted multiple dozens of bottles of wine in deciding how she’d tackle the new political environment.
We laughed. And we nodded.
After The Election and in the weeks that followed, something amazing happened – particularly for women. We recognized our power. We realized that our personal involvement matters. After feeling insignificant and unimportant – particularly in the male-dominated world of politics – we began to realize that it all begins with one person, and that we can be that person.
I stood up.
You stood up.
The people in that conference collectively stood up.
And together, we unleashed the power that we had always had within ourselves, but just hadn’t ever tapped.
We’ve had all kinds of successes – we’ve stalled or outright defeated bad legislation, we’ve registered voters and we’ve recruited amazing (many female) candidates. We’ve won elections – even those that nobody thought we could win – and we’ve struck fear in the hearts of GOP consultants.
But sometimes over the past few months I’ve looked around and wondered if people are falling back to sleep – if they’re relinquishing their power.
But this past week, when we read about five-year-old children who are crying themselves to sleep at night because they’ve been separated from their mothers, and when we heard that the Trump administration is not interested in enforcing pre-existing coverage protections… Well. It started to feel a little different again. There’s an energy and an urgency that I haven’t felt for a few months.
It feels like we’ve all remembered the stakes, which are pretty damn high.
Lives are quite literally at stake.
And by remembering who and what we’re fighting for, we’ve tapped into that power again.
And that power, friend, is knowing that what YOU do matters. Every day, what you do on behalf of your family and your community and your country matters. No matter what zip code you live in, no matter how much money you make, or how much schooling you’ve had, or what level of political experience you’ve got – you’re among an inspiring group of people who are working as hard as they can, day in and day out, to protect who and what we are.
You’re just as essential and just as important as that group of political leaders that I found myself sitting among a few weeks ago, who are all simply looking for ways to continue to engage and inspire you.
So keep going.
Keep stepping up. Keep speaking out.
Let’s keep standing together.
And let’s get to work.
Tuesday: Call Your Congress(wo)man and Demand (S)He Act TODAY to Force a Vote for Dreamers
Today is the last day for Congress to reach the 218 members they need to force a vote on legislation to protect Dreamers. As of yesterday, 215 had signed on. That means we just need three more. The pressure is on…
Check here to see if your Congresscritter has already signed on, and if they haven’t, call them right away and ask that they do so immediately. (Only 23 Republican members have signed on, and none of those Republican members hail from Missouri.)
Wednesday (and all week long): Call Your Senators and Demand They Keep Families Together
We are all reeling from the reports of children being separated at the border. It’s hard to even read the articles; I’ve been physically ill even thinking of this issue. Senator Diane Feinstein has sponsored S.3036 – which at this point in time is literally titled “A bill to limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry.” As of Monday night, thirty-one Senators have co-sposored – but I expect that number to rise in the Democratic caucus. Check here to see if your Senators have both sponsored (you can look at the left side of the page to see state breakdown if you prefer not to scroll through the whole list).
If they have, give their office a call and offer up a verbal high-five. But if they haven’t, call them to ask what gives.
If you’re in Missouri (or care about Missouri politics), you can also take an easy action and sign on to a petition that I created to encourage Senator Roy Blunt to co-sponsor. I’m looking forward to printing off all of the names, tying the package with a bow, and handing it (with love, of course) to his staffers. So please sign your name so I have more pages to bind!
One last thing: this bill is in the Judiciary Committee, so please make special effort to contact your Senators if they serve on that committee. Judiciary Committee membership posted below.
Chairman: Senator Chuck GrassleyR-IA (BIOGRAPHY »)
Senator Orrin G. HatchR-UT (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Lindsey GrahamR-SC (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator John CornynR-TX (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Michael S. LeeR-UT (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Ted CruzR-TX (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Ben SasseR-NE (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Jeff FlakeR-AZ (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Mike CrapoR-ID (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Thom TillisR-NC (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator John KennedyR-LA (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Ranking Member: Senator Dianne FeinsteinD-CA (BIOGRAPHY »)
Senator Patrick LeahyD- (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Dick DurbinD-IL (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Sheldon WhitehouseD-RI (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Amy KlobucharD-MN (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Christopher A. CoonsD-DE (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Richard BlumenthalD-CT (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Mazie HironoD-HI (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Senator Cory BookerD-NJ (OFFICIAL WEBSITE)
Senator Kamala HarrisD-CA (OFFICIAL WEBSITE »)
Thursday: Attend or Support a March for Families Belong Together
Families Belong Together events are being organized for Thursday to oppose the cruel policy of separating children from their families. Head over to their website to find an event near you.
If you’re going, you get bonus points for bringing voter registration materials. Just sayin’.
Can’t march or participate? Get creative about how you support this effort. Sure, you can post to social media – and that’s really helpful. But reach out to the organizers and see what else they need. When we started this movement in 2016 we got creative about how we supported one another. It’s time to re-invigorate ourselves and re-introduce that creativity. So have at it!
Friday: Urge Your Congresscritters to Support Automatic Voter Registration
On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s restrictive voter purging policies, which purged people who hadn’t voted in recent cycles from the rolls.
It was wrong.
So let’s do something productive with our anger, shall we?
There is draft federal legislation that would automatically register people to vote. It’s the Automatic Voter Registration Act. It’s been introduced both in the House and the Senate.
Check here to see if your Senator has cosponsored.
Check here to see if your Congress(wo)man has cosponsored.
Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent at ___. I’m calling to encourage Senator/Congress(wo)man ___ to cosponsor the Automatic Voter Registration Act. It’s ridiculous that we live in a society where young men are automatically registered for the draft – but not to vote. It is harder to vote than it is to purchase a gun in our country. Making registration automatic doesn’t increase the chances of voter fraud – it just makes it easier for people to actually vote, and is shows citizens that we expect them to participate in democracy. I’m sure that Senator/Congress(wo)man ___ wants his/her constituents to participate in democracy, right?
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together.
If you want one more quick action, make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!
Lastly, if you’d like to support this work (thanks to those who have done so!), you can become a supporter here.