A New Dawn. A New Day.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Good pre-morning, friend.

Just one day from now, we will be mere hours away from the transition of power away from the worst president in our nation’s history. Just a few steps and a few words away from a new beginning.

In many ways, it feels like the pre-dawn hours. Partly because the past few weeks have been so bleak they defy description – and “It’s darkest before the dawn,” is, of course, the commonest of common sayings. It’s also true.

I should know, as I wake in the pre-dawn hours to get as much done as possible before the day truly begins for everyone else. (Fist-Bump to others who do the same.)

I embrace the quiet of the pre-dawn hours – that comfortable pause in the action for the rest of the world. I also embrace the expectation. And the promise.

Every day is an opportunity – to do something amazing, or to muck everything up royally. I’ve had the experience of both.

But in those pre-dawn hours, everything feels a bit more possible. Do-able. Hopeful. Checklists are made, resolve is set, coffee is consumed … And with that, the day opens.

During that day, quite a few crazy and mundane things will happen. Some will make the tasks I set for myself far easier to do than I’d imagine. Others will make them seemingly impossible. There will be many things outside of my control during the day, and many things within my control.

Crucial among the things I control? My pace, my passion, and my resolve.

We are here, in the pre-dawn hours, friend.

We are drinking our coffee, writing our checklists, waiting for a day to open.

There will be many things that derail us in the coming months and years. But there will be other things that make our to-dos much easier to actually do. It’s hard to know in the pre-dawn hours which we’ll have more of. We can’t control a lot of that right at this moment.

What we can control?

Our passion. Our motivation. Our dedication. Our resolve.

We’ve had four years to hone our abilities, clarify our priorities, and build our community.

Now it’s time to take the checklist we’ve created. Drink our last cup of coffee. And welcome a glorious new day.

My God, friend. It’s finally here. We’re finally here.

I’ll see you in the morning.

Let’s get to work.

Actions for the Week of January 19, 2021

Action #1: Happy Run for Office Day!

Today is Run for Office Day! Been considering running for office? Head over to Run For Something to learn more and take “the quiz” https://www.runforofficeday.com/the-quiz to see what kind of office you might be interested in running for – or plug your info into Where Can I Run: https://www.wherecanirun.org to see what offices are or might be available in your area.

And guess what? You have friends that should totally run for office. They need you to tell them to run for office, especially if they are women. (Women generally need encouragement to run – for a number of reasons. (You can read more about that HERE.)) If you want someone to run for something, tell them they should run – and that you’ll be their first donor, even if that’s a $5 commitment. Trust me – it will make a difference.

Action #2: What if You Don’t Want to Run for Office?

What if you don’t think you want to run for office, but you DO want to help find local races that other people could run in? Well then you can become a volunteer researcher for Contest Every Race! According to CER, there are 520,000 elected offices – and Democrats are not competing in up to 75% of them. Ridiculous! (You should totally run for one of those offices, by the way.)

Even if you don’t really want to run for office (yet – I’m still going to try to convince you!) there are other ways to help, like by helping CER find local races around the country that do need to be filled. Head over to Contest Every Race (HERE) and help make sure they’ve got as many local races covered as possible!

Action #3: A Moment of Gratitude (Great to do During Inauguration!)

By now, you’ve likely seen the videos. Officer Eugene Goodman – with only a retractable baton to protect himself – led insurrectionists away from the Senate Chamber, where Senators were still gathered; Mike Pence was whisked away mere seconds before they would have seen him in the hallway.

After the insurrection, janitors and maintenance workers hurriedly cleaned up the Capitol so that the democratic process could continue. New Jersey Representative Andy Kim saw the destruction and mess left behind by the marauders – and pitched in to help the Capitol staff clean up.

There’s a lot that’s gone wrong lately. But these are some folks that have spread light. Let’s let them know that we see what they’ve done, and we appreciate them.

So, how about some old fashioned thank you notes?

To thank Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman for his bravery in diverting the rioters during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, write to his supervisor at:

U.S. Capitol Police, 119 D Street, NE, Washington, DC 20510

To thank the Capitol janitors and maintenance workers, mostly people of color, who cleaned up after the White supremacists attacked the U.S. Capitol, write to:

Mr. Mark Reed Capitol Building Superintendent’s Office, HB29, US Capitol, Washington, DC 20515

And to thank New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim, who helped to clean the Capitol after the attack, write to him at:

2444 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515

Action #4: A must-Read With Your Pre-Dawn Coffee

Indivisible was created four years ago, based upon the experience of Democratic staffers who saw the rise of the Tea Party grassroots movement in 2009 – the last time there was a Democratic trifecta.

They’ve got a lot of history to share, and a lot of good advice that’s based on that history. I think it’s really important to read their new Democracy Guide – especially if you were either not really engaged in 2009 or weren’t old enough to care yet. It’s in three parts, but the first is particularly important to read and internalize. Check it out here: https://indivisible.org/democracy-guide


P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.

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!

P.P.S.: If you want to help support this work you can do so via Patreon at
https://www.patreon.com/smalldeedsdone or via paypal at https://www.paypal.me/smalldeeds
My deepest gratitude in advance.

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. Don’t you forget it.

Have a thought? A small deed to suggest? Share it here!

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