Stronger. Together.

It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world. ~Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)


Have you ever seen a redwood tree? With the wildfires that currently threaten the redwoods and sequoias, they’ve been on my mind a lot lately.

They’re majestic, towering, trees – scraping the sky while standing shoulder to shoulder with their fellow redwoods in what feels like impossibly close quarters.

In fact, they can get so tall that their circulatory system can’t pump water to the whole tree, so their upper needles have adapted to drink fog right out of the sky.

You’d think that anything that can grow that tall would have roots penetrating deep into the earth, wouldn’t you? Something so tall, so heavy, so seemingly vulnerable to the wind and the weather must counterbalance its height with roots that are as long as it is tall, right?

Nope.

The roots of these trees – which can grow higher than a 30 floor skyscraper – rarely grow more than 12 feet underground. Instead, they spread out laterally – extending over 100 feet from the tree.

And that’s where the secret of their stability lies.

They interlock.

Each tree’s roots interconnect with the roots of neighboring redwoods. Those trees hold hands with their neighbors, and so on and so on, such that each tree is connected, one with the other throughout the forest.

In our Darwinist dogwood-eat-dogwood worldview, we look at a forest and mistakenly assume the trees are trying to one-up each other. It’s a reasonable assumption. Each is vying for light and air and water, after all – which are valuable resources that diminish with each new member.

It stands to reason that the trees would block each other, ensuring they get the most and the best of what nature has to offer.

But rather than competing, they’re connecting.

No one tree ever truly stands alone.

So when the forest floor floods, the mat of roots they have created secures both the strongest and the weakest and keeps all of them solid. And when the gusts of wind come that would otherwise rip a tree from its bed, its neighbors steady its base and keep it grounded.

Standing alone they are powerful, majestic, strong.

But together? Well. Together they’re invincible.

One might even say they’re indivisible.

So much the same for us, friends.

There will be days when the winds are so fierce and so violent that any one of us would be toppled. There will be days when the flood is so deep and the water so murky that any one of us would be drowned. And there will be days when we think we just can’t keep standing.

It’s on those days when our greatest strength, our unity, will carry us on.

So, friends.

Let’s hold hands.

And let’s get to work.

Actions for the Week of September 21, 2021

Tuesday: Critical this week – Support the Build BAck Better Plan )H/T Chop Wood Carry Water)

Jessica Craven from Chop Wood Carry Water was on a call with a bunch of other progressive activists getting a briefing from the White House, and this is what she had to say:

“What we’re hearing is this: it’s a make or break week. Seriously. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass life-changing legislation—the Build Back Better plan—and the White House is asking for us to mobilize like we never have before. They are literally begging us to “cancel everything else you have going on” and focus on this. Failure is not an option; there’s too much at stake. 

You’ll see quick calls below. Make them. Share this newsletter with a few friends who might also call. Post about it on social media. Please, make the time. If we win this fight the real life consequences will be HUGE.

If we don’t, sadly, they’ll be huge, too. And not in a good way.

P.S. Here, according to the folks who know, are the House reps who need the MOST pressure: Bordeaux, Murphy, Rice, Schrader, Golden, Spanberger, Peters, Cuellar, Slotkin, Lurie, Gonzalez, Case, Fletcher, Kim. If one of those is yours I beg you to use your constituent-power to give them hell.

Hi, I’m a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is _______.

I know the House may vote on the Build Back Better plan this week, and I know lobbyists are hard at work trying to remove all the best parts of it. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to support the full $3.5 trillion in investments in healthcare, eldercare, childcare, education, housing, child tax credits, clean energy and more, funded by making big corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. It’s time for our tax code to reward work, not wealth. Oh, and please make sure the subsidies for fossil fuel are removed from the plan. Thanks.

[Jessica also made this into a Resistbot letter that can be sent to your House rep by just texting SIGN PCKYTS to 50409 or to @Resistbot on FB Messenger or Twitter DMs.]

Wednesday: Join the Truth Brigade Office Hours

So, the Indivisible Truth Brigade is pretty brilliant: Propaganda, false characterizations, intentionally misleading messages, and outright lies threaten our democracy and even our lives. We can effectively combat disinformation, despite the well-funded machines that drive it. They may have money, but we have truth and we have people. People believe sources they trust. When we share and amplify unified, factual messages to those who trust us, we shift the narrative. When we do this by the thousands–we’re part of the Indivisible Truth Brigade, and we get our country back. Join us.

On the fourth Wednesday of every month, they host a workshop call for new member orientation, existing member “ask me anything!” discussions with staff and disinformation-fighting pros, message workshopping support and–maybe most important–connecting with a community of people who care as much as you do about rebuilding a society based on truth and trust.

This Wednesday they’ll be discussing Vaccine Mandates and defending them. This is a great idea, and a great way to promote improved, consistent, messaging across a number of platforms. Sign up for the Brigade HERE and for Wednesday’s Zoom webinar HERE. (It’s at 6:30pm EST)

Thursday: The Texas lawsuits have started… We Need the Women’s Health Protection Act

So, as you may have seen, a physician in Texas announced that he has performed abortions after the Texas law that encourages bounty hunters to sue anyone who has assisted someone in getting an abortion went into effect. Predictably, and unfortunately, he has been sued.

The House has before it a law that would protect reproductive freedom, Women’s Health Protection Act.

From Indivisible: “The House is set to take up the week of Sept 20th Rep. Judy Chu’s (CA-27) bill to override the harmful anti-abortion state laws that have come to pass by preempting them federally. Rep Chu’s bill already has 214 Democratic cosponsors, but we need all Democrats to cosponsor and immediately pass this crucial legislation now!

There are 214 cosponsors. Check here (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3755/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22women%27s+health+protection+act%22%5D%7D&s=1&r=1&overview=closed#tabs) to see if your Rep is a cosponsor; if they are, give them a call to say thanks. If they’re not, call them to ask what the heck is holding them back.

Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent at ___. I’m calling to [say thank you for cosponsoring] [to encourage Representative ___ to cosponsor and support] the Women’s Health Protection Act. Reproductive freedom should be universal, and we need federal legislation to ensure that it’s not subject to a patchwork of state laws. [Thank you for standing up for freedom] [I encourage the Congress[wo]man to stand up for our freedom and cosponsor this Act.]

Friday: Prepare for National Voter Registration Day! (And High School Voter REgistration Week!)

Tuesday, September 28, is National Voter Registration Day. Go to their website and check to see if there are any events near you: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/events/

Check out the social media-ready graphics, memes, and posts (some of which are pretty cheeky, if I do say so!) at https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/national-voter-registration-day-2020-sample-social-media/ These are post-worthy not just for this week as a countdown to NVRD, but year-round. (My favorite meme is “electoral dysfunction.” What’s yours?)

Bonus: Head over to https://thecivicscenter.org/plan-events to check out – and share – High School Voter Registration Week materials. The week starts on Monday, September 27, so consider it your jump start to Voter Registration Day on Tuesday!

WHEW! GO TEAM!

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.

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