Celebrating 100 Days of Resistance, May 3: Approximately 40 a4a’ers met to review our first 100 days. The focus group was facilitated by Anne Towne, a professional from Washington D.C. (a friend of Diane Meyer’s), and we spent time discussing what has gone well and what we need to improve on. Notes from that meeting will be shared in the next couple of weeks.
Activists’ Buffet, Meeting with cih!, May 7: A full house at Casa heard from State Senator Andrea Dalessandro about the almost complete legislative session in Phoenix. Then we split up to learn new skills: letter writing, calling, Resistbot, Facebook, and writing postcards.
Outreach: Fred Ginocchio reports that the a4a table complete with banner was a success at the Wednesday Farmer’s Market. The season is over but will resume in the fall.
We have started to reach out to neighboring Indivisible groups including Indivisible – Southern Arizona and Indivisible – Cochise County. If you are interested, we suggest you join their Facebook groups, lots of action and comments there. There are now 7000 Indivisible groups nationwide and they seem to be gaining steam.
Now that you are at your summer residences we hope you are taking time to breathe, relax and reflect on what happened the past four months in Green Valley! You were, and still are, a critical part of creating and growing the alliance4action (a4a), a truly historic achievement! As we continue to learn and organize it occurred to us that you are now a terrific new resource.
Since you are scattered all over the U.S. we thought you might want to have some fun and be our summer eyes and ears. We could learn so much from you and your wanderings. If you should choose to do so please send us brief observations about political actions in your areas: attractive events, effective actions, unique protests, potential speakers, in general any insights or thoughts which might help us become more effective in our organizing efforts.
One example is an email we received from Ann and Frank Machek telling us about Christian Picciolini, a former white supremacist, whom they heard speak in Montana. His message addressed long-term solutions to counter all types of racism and extremism. “It was an inspirational as well as educational event! I think it would go over extremely well in GV.”
So send us your emails. Send them to Fred Ginocchio at email@example.com. He will collect the news from our “winter friends” and publish them in Flashes this summer.
Looking forward to hearing from all of you with your experiences and insights.
Rally – Show Us Your Taxes! Our April 15 rally at the corner of LaCanada and Esperanza was another success with great press coverage from the Green Valley News. We estimate that 200-250 folks were there.
News from Facebook Team:
Tune Us In: Ann Striker and Laurie Jurs will talk about a4a on Bill Buckmaster’s radio show on KVOI AM 1030 on Monday, May 22 at 12:30.
Reports from Action Team Leaders:
Maureen Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org
This group is designed to assist those wishing to write Letters to the Editor or Opinion pieces. Bring your ideas, rough drafts, etc. and we’ll help with them.
Next meeting: Adjourned until fall. Contact Maureen if you would like feedback.
Polly Daly, email@example.com
- Reviewed the Berliner presentation on April 13. Reviews were great and we had good coverage from the Green Valley News.
- Developed a plan to work with our two school districts on adopting the Arizona School Board Resolution to oppose further expansion of Student Empowerment Scholarships as defined in HR 1431. We will use the public speaking time at each meeting to urge the board to make that resolution. If both boards adopt, we will send a letter to the paper as well as the Arizona School Board Association in support of their resolutions. Sahuarita adopted April 27.
- On May 8 six members of the Education Committee attended the meeting of the Continental school board and gave testimony in support of public education and urged them to adopt the Arizona School Board Association Resolution to oppose ESA expansion. After discussion, the final vote was 1 in favor, 3 opposed, and 1 abstained. After the meeting we tried to understand the rationale of those who were opposed. The only conclusion we could reach was that they really didn't understand the issues. It was discouraging because things had gone so smoothly in Sahuarita. We have a lot of work to do here in Green Valley!
- Sent postcards (Arizona pictures) to Congresswoman McSally urging opposition to HR610 and HR 899.
- We will continue to work on the plan for our support of our two school districts as well as the development of position papers
- Next Meeting: Monday May 15 at 4:00 P.M. at Cayley Cakes.
Laurie Jurs, firstname.lastname@example.org
- To participate in the U.S. Senate’s effort to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and modify the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and;
- To advocate the social and economic benefits of Medicare For All/Single Payer in multiple venues and;
- To advocate pharmaceutical pricing reform in the U.S. health care system (under discussion).
- During the April 12th and April 26th meetings, we discussed communication methods being used to contact MoCs, tracking our MoCs, discussed the politics of “Repeal and Replace,” how to track health issues at the AZ Legislature and Planned Parenthood issues
- We had letters to the editor and columns published and participated in the Tax Day Rally. Four members went to Senator Flake’s Tucson office on April 17th to tele-conference with Helen Heiden, Legislative Staff in Washington D.C.
- Continue to meet during the summer months; support other resistance groups; daily contact with our MoCs; continuing research on prioritized healthcare issues; continue trainings as requested i.e. Twitter; build capacity regarding the group’s work, actions and commitments.
- Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 10th, at 1:00 P.M. at Cayley’s Cakes. Next meeting will be May 24th
Connie Aglione, email@example.com
- Visit with Senator Flake’s staff. Voiced objection to his anti-environment votes, lack of support for the Clean Power Plan and undermining of the EPA. Asked that he use his position on Energy Committee to promote alternative energy sources to protect the health and safety of our nation and the planet.
- Participated in Rally for Science and the People’s Climate March in Tucson.
- Called MOCs about the “Scientific Integrity Act”, protecting the EPA and proposed rollback of the “Methane Waste Rule on public lands”. Contacted AZ legislature using “Call to Speak” on environmental legislation in AZ.
- Will inform alliance members how to make official public comments to EPA re the administration’s plans for deregulation .
- Send out Call-to-Action Alerts on climate change issues over the summer.
- Next Meeting: The Climate Action Group will resume meeting in October.
Barb Lemmon, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Postcards to MoCs urging NoBootsNoBedsNoWall
- Discussion of posted position papers
- Discussion of BRIDGE ACT (HR496) vs RAC Act(HR1468)
- Assisted at Farmer's Market a4a table
- LTE volunteer Kathy Stocker re: expansion of detention beds, new prison approved for near Houston.
- Maureen Brooks informed us of new writer's group to polish LTEs and opinion pieces.
- News from Tucson Samaritans that:
- Interim chief of BP has refused to sign an ongoing agreement with the No More Deaths camp in Arivaca (recognized as a Humanitarian Aid station by the International Red Cross).
- ICE will not honor DACA cards and will pull holders in for criminal checks and possible deportation.
- Decision to fashion a member survey of the team – location, actions you do or want to do, best meeting times, etc. Susie Sanders will create the survey.
ACTIONS PENDING/NEXT MEETING
- May 10 – In lieu of meeting – attend the rally at Sen Flake's office at 4-6 P.M. re: S595 which drops the polygraph test for many new BP hires, to speed up hiring of new agents. Bill introduced by Sen Flake. Rally is a Joint action with Indivisible Southern AZ
- Sunday, May 27, 9 A.M.-5 P.M. – Nonviolence and Activism Workshop, YWCA, 525 N. Bonita Ave, Tucson. For info, call 520-991-6781
Cynthia Dean, email@example.com
- We have drafts for 6 position papers:
- 1-- Mass Incarceration
- 2-- Black Lives Matter
- 3-- Restorative Justice
- 4--Prisons in America
- 5--Private Prisons
- We discussed where to go with these, and decided to work together carefully to refine them and post on our a4a Racial Justice tab on the website. This will help us internalize the information and thoughts, so that we will be to speak clearly and confidently about the issues to individuals and groups.
- Following Senate Bill 573, which calls for the creation of a National Criminal Justice Commission. It would work for 18 months to review every aspect of the nation's criminal justice system, from policing to prosecution to prisons, and then issue a set of proposed reforms for not only federal but state and tribal systems.
- Discuss and refine two position papers: Black Lives Matter, and Prisons in America.
- Determine a logo for Racial Justice group.
- Hear from one of our members about developing a power point for our position papers.
- Discuss the idea of a summer book group.
a4a Election of Progressive Candidates Action Group
Miriam Lindmeier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Chairs Sherry Moreau & Miriam Lindmeier
- Met on April 26 for pre-discussion and meeting with Mary Darling
- Now scheduling Meet n Greets for: Potential CD2 candidates
Rebecca McElfresh, email@example.com
- Postcards were sent regarding the removal of LGBTQ persons from federal surveys.
- Contacts were made to MoCs promoting pro-LGBTQ bills. We established a list of organizations to watch for legislative information regarding LGBTQ persons.
- There was a presentation on LGBTQ advocacy through the arts April 23 at The Good Shepherd Church.
- We will begin to work at the state level on non-discrimination policies. Group members will work on this during the summer in the location of their summer residence.