WFCDC Weekly Pulse: June 15th, 2020

DEMOCRATS CARE!

HELPING OTHERS IS AN IMPORTANT WAY WE WALK OUR TALK

THE OUTREACH COMMITTEE WANTS TO KNOW WHERE WFCDC MEMBERS 

PUT TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY. 

We are gathering data about HOW INVOLVED our members are in our community, NOT about “making ourselves look good”; we take action because helping others in need is the right thing to do. We take pride in our Democratic Values and commend ALL for care and concern for others. The Outreach Subcommittee will be selecting one organization a month, posting information and links in the Pulse, and encouraging members to contribute.  Click HERE to add your name to our story.

From our Winchester Mayor: I want to express my gratitude for the support the WFCDC has given me. Your donation to my campaign helps us move closer to the values we believe in. We as Democrats have the momentum to effect change! Thank you, Mayor John David Smith Jr.

An Invitation: Anxiety & Anger in a Race Matters America: A Kitchen Table-Style Virtual Group for Women. The course is specifically designed for white women but women of color can also bring a wealth of information to the discussion and also benefit from the course. Hosted by Dorri C. Scott, MSW, Educator & The Wise Family Counseling & Assessment (https://dorricscott.com/about/). The course is $345 and is 1 hour for 4 weeks. Participants will learn to eliminate blind spots, recognize white privilege, explore offensive language and behaviors experienced by POC, create and build trust for racial harmony and start a journey to understanding. Includes talking points, definitions, exercises and a take home reading list. It is possible to do a group (online) for up to 8 individuals per group specifically for WFCDC, separate from the ones listed on the flier and tailor it to our needs.

If you or someone you know is interested, please let Suzan Herskowitz know suzan@suzanherskowitz.com. We can set up an evening time for four weeks in a row to have a special gathering for WFCDC women.

From the Postcard Committee–an Invitation for Monday, June 15th: 

Those who are able to join Karen, Robin, Cleo, and Kate on Monday, June 15th, should download the ZOOM app before 7:00 pm. We will use the first link for Part 1 (7-7:30) and the second link for Part 2 (7:30-8:00). We will introduce ourselves to each other briefly and determine what participants are located in close proximity in the hopes that in the future small groups may want to meet to work on addressing our amazing batch of cards! With the election looking so different this year–no door-to-door canvassing–our mailings are ALL the more important! For those who aren’t available on Monday, we will be having more of these gatherings and will hope to catch you the next go round. THANK YOU for what you have done and will continue to do as we make the necessary change in the White House this November!
WFCDC POSTCARD PIZAZZ LINKS
Part 1: 7:00-7:30 pm. COPY AND PASTE to USE THIS LINK https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89419900175 
Part 2: 7:30-8:00 pm. COPY AND PASTE to USE THIS LINK https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89982594374
All are invited to get involved! Postcard leadership hopes to “SEE” you on Monday as we Catch the BLUE Wave!

You don’t have to be a member to join, but if haven’t already made your membership official yet you can do it now at WFCDC.org! Help us go into our 2020 election efforts with a strong membership

Portrait of a rump Supporter:

Enjoy the visuals here, but DON’T MISS Suggestions for calling Congress from a high-level Senate staffer about how to oppose the rump regime most effectively.

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Suggestions for Calling Congress:

The main takeaway is CALL, do not email. However, there are really good tips about what to do when you call a DC office: Ask for the staffer who handles that issue. We should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing.

1. The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time – if they have townhalls, go to them. Go to their local offices. If you’re in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs. Go to the “mobile offices” that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson’s website). When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.
2. But, those in-person events don’t happen every day. So, the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling. Make 6 calls a day: 2 each (DC office and your local office) to your 2 Senators & your 1 Representative.
Online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash (unless you have a particularly strong emotional story – but even then it’s not worth the time it took you to craft that letter). Calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to. Every single day, the Senior Staff and the Senator get a report of the 3 most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and local offices), and exactly how many people said what about each of those topics. They’re also sorted by zip code and area code. Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1, and when it’s a particular issue that single-issue-voters pay attention to (like gun control, or planned parenthood funding, etc…), it’s often closer to 11-1, and that’s recently pushed Republican congressmen on the fence to vote with the Republicans. In the last 8 years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven’t.
When you call:
a. When calling the DC office, ask for the Staff member in charge of whatever you’re calling about (“Hi, I’d like to speak with the staffer in charge of Healthcare, please”) – local offices won’t always have specific ones, but they might. If you get transferred to that person, awesome. If you don’t, that’s ok – ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone. Don’t leave a message (unless the office doesn’t pick up at all – then you can…but it’s better to talk to the staffer who first answered than leave a message for the specific staffer in charge of your topic).
b. Give your zip code. They won’t always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they’ll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.
c. If you can make it personal, make it personal. “I voted for you in the last election and I’m worried/happy/whatever” or “I’m a teacher, and I am appalled by Betsy DeVos,” or “as a single mother” or “as a white, middle class woman,” or whatever.
d. Pick 1-2 specific things per day to focus on. Don’t go down a whole list – they’re figuring out what 1-2 topics to mark you down for on their lists. So, focus on 1-2 per day. Ideally something that will be voted on/taken up in the next few days, but it doesn’t really matter – even if there’s not a vote coming up in the next week, call anyway. It’s important that they just keep getting calls.
e. Be clear on what you want – “I’m disappointed that the Senator…” or “I want to thank the Senator for their vote on…” or “I want the Senator to know that voting in _____ way is the wrong decision for our state because…” Don’t leave any ambiguity.
f. They may get to know your voice/get sick of you – it doesn’t matter. The people answering the phones generally turn over every 6 weeks anyway, so even if they’re really sick of you, they’ll be gone in 6 weeks.

From experience since the election: If you hate being on the phone & feel awkward (which is a lot of people) don’t worry about it – there are a bunch of scripts (“Indivisible” has some, there are lots of others floating around these days). After a few days of calling, it starts to feel a lot more natural.

Put the 6 numbers in your phone (all under P – Politician. An example is McCaskill MO, Politician McCaskill DC, Politician Blunt MO, etc…), which makes it really easy to click down the list each day.

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It’s still Pride Month, all!

And the trump administration is celebrating by… removing Obama-era nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in healthcare & health insurance. This comes at the end of a week that already felt enough stress for the trans community, and a year where already at least 12 transgender or gender nonconforming people have lost their lives in violence — including Tony McDade, Nina Pop, & Monika Diamond. The fight for LGBTQ+ equality did not end with marriage equality, and Pride would quite literally not exist without Black trans women (including Marsha P Johnson). There’s no celebrating pride without celebrating the Black women & trans folks in its history and present. Here are two organizations who have recently launched initiatives for McDade, Pop, & COVID-19 relief efforts that you can support:

  • The Okra Project: “seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black trans people. They pay Black trans chefs to go into the homes of Black trans people to cook them a healthy, home-cooked meal & provide resources, at absolutely no cost to the recipient”
  • The Marsha P. Johnson Institute: “protects and defends the human rights of Black trans people by organizing, advocating, & creating an intentional community to heal; developing transformative leadership; and promoting our collective power”

A friendly reminder that as much as we want it to be, COVID isn’t over yet. As one bartender pointed out, too many are pre-emptively rushing to return to bars and restaurants. As it says at the top of this newsletter, one trait we as Democrats can be proud of is our empathy. We care. We all miss going out with friends, but don’t let it win over making an empathetic decision. (And regardless of what form of support you’re giving local bars & restaurants, you should absolutely still be tipping far more than usual if you’re able).

And no matter what trump or others might say, it’s worth remembering that ultimately if COVID is still rising it’s because of the failings of trump’s administration, and placing blame on the protests is just deflection.

Another thing responible for rising COVID numbers? The fact that the US was able to equip every police officer like a soldier within days but still isn’t able to equip every doctor like a doctor after months. And this isn’t just an issue for 2020.

 

A word about “Defund the Police”:

Police budgets have been consistently increasing while community & public institutions (like schools, hospitals, and libraries) continue to be slashed. And when poor communities respond to this lack of access to institutions, the “solution” has been to introduce a police presence rather than addressing the root causes, creating a vicious cycle of poverty and criminalization.

For a lot of people, reactions to hearing “defund the police” might be fear or skepticism, that they support police reform but wouldn’t feel safe in a world without police. But a world with defunded police departments takes less re-imagining than you might think. We know what it would look like — because it already exists.

It looks like a suburb.

A lot of us are already living in a world where police have effectively already been abolished. As Ta-Nehisi Coates brought up this week, “if they want to know what a world looks like without police, all they have to do is look around them. Just ask white folks who are of some privilege: Do you generally have encounters with the police? How often do you see the police? The answer is very little.” When police-civillian interaction is decreased, violent altercations decrease.

Reports from major cities show that police are receiving as much as 41% of the overall budgets for the city, despite not seeing any increase in crime levels.

“Defund the police” is a black-led movement that just means taking some of these disproportionately allocated budgets and re-investing that money directly into communities disproportionately affected by poverty and a lack of infastructure/institutions – often communities of colour – through public services. As this guide puts it, “research shows that crime is a response to social conditions, so by defunding the police and redirecting money into communities, violent crime is reduced and communities are uplifted.” Rather than prioritizing the criminalization of things like homelessness and drug addiction, non-police solutions to social problems would be implemented. This means giving funding to affordable housing, healthcare, employment, counselors & after-school programs, programmes for mental illness, community-based initiatives, and so much more.

And “defunding” isn’t that radical of an idea; conservatives have defunding education, healthcare, housing, food assistance, Social Security, and welfare for decades.

The history of policing in America is founded on racism, and reforms aren’t working. Minneapolis was a model for progressive policing, undergoing extensive anti-bias training and overhauling its Early Intervention System — and still it allowed the officer who killed George Floyd to continue serving with 18 previous complaints filed against him. Reforms also cost taxpayers a lot of money, on top of the already-disproportionately large percentage of city budgets police departments receive. And additionally, despite this funding, police departments aren’t exactly seeing great clearance rates (/solve rate of crimes).

For further reading, check out this article from Winchester Progressive News, or the Phil-osophy article below.

And if you’re not familiar with Winchester Progressive News, there’s no time like the present! From Chair Bill Fuller & Stephens City Mayor Mike Diaz, this is a great site for all your local, state, & federal news needs — and it’s all progressive! (A welcome alternative for anyone who’s raised an eyebrow at the political leanings of a certain other Winchester newspaper…)

And this news site isn’t just for reading, either: we want to see your name in print!
This is a CALL FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR & OPEN FORUM ENTRIES. If you’ve got something to say about an issue (and especially if it’s a local issue), please get in touch with WPN!

 

And finally, a hello to the 21st century: WFCDCVA is now on Instagram! Give us a follow (or tell the local instagrammers in your life to) — and if you have photos from any events or things around town that you’d like to share with us so we can share them, please send them along & and let us know how to credit you!

Phil-osophy

IT ISN’T AN ORGANIZATION, SO WHY THE OBSESSION?  Ever since the terrible actions in Charlottesville, trump has had an obsession with Antifa.  Here is a good description of why and the absurdity of it.

DEFUNDING POLICE.  The discussion started long ago and is now more active than ever.  Is it a good thing?  This article tells the pros and cons without a hard conclusion.  You may find it surprising.

PROTEST REALITIES.  View this 3-minute video to learn the difference between trump’s fantasies about the protests and reality.

QUOTE:  Paul Rivet was the director for the Musée de l’Homme in Paris as the WWII Germans rolled into the city.  He led his staff in the first opposition group that gave name to Résistance.  Prior to WWII, when asked to explain the name of the museum, he stated, “Humanity is one indivisible whole throughout space and time.”  So short, so complete.

LANDMARK DECISIONS.  Through the years, various presidents have built up millions of acres of land in natural and cultural landmarks.  Here is a Smithsonian article about them, including trump’s destruction of some of them.

CLUB QUARANTINE.  It’s the latest hot club on Zoom with hundreds of people world-wide partying remotely as a response to the pandemic quarantines.  The partiers are primarily LGBTQ+ and it shows how well people adapt to new situations.  Learn more here.

ASSISTED PASSING.  Here is a beautiful story of one woman’s choice in assisted passing.  You may find it interesting and heartwarming.

WAR REQUIEM.  Here is a film version of Benjamin Britten’s famous concert work.  It is a testament to the futility of war using only Britten’s narration and music while adding visuals.  The old soldier in the wheelchair is Lawrence Olivier’s last performance.  I first heard this work in, of all places, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, shortly after its 1962 world premiere.  It is hauntingly beautiful with a good message on the futility of war.

THE BUNKER BOY.  Get ready for a good laugh with this Randy Rainbow song parody of silly old trump.

SCIENTISTS VS. ZUCKERBURG VS. PRES.  Mark Zuckerberg had made news lately for not calling out truth about trump’s Facebook entries.  Now, over 140 scientists who have received funding and other support from Mark’s philanthropic organization are expressing displeasure with Mark’s lack of action.  Read about it here.

POLICE REFORM.  Democrats in Congress unveiled their planned police overhaul package.  Read more here.  Camden, New Jersey, disbanded and rebuilt their police department.  Here is how that turned out.  The results may surprise you.

QUOTE:  The band that gets hired for the GOP convention, wherever it eventually takes place, might want to start practicing “Nearer My God to Thee”.  ~ Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

POLICE SLASH PEACEFUL PROTESTER TIRES.  The Minneapolis police slashed the tires of cars in a parking lot during the protests.  Read more here.

KILLING THE LANGUAGE.  It’s almost funny how trump often shows ignorance of the English language.  Here is yet another example.

FOOD FROM THIN AIR.  Yes, scientist can now produce food from thin air, but it won’t feed the masses – yet.  Read about it here.

LITTLE GREEN MEN.  Now trump is sending in security forces with no identification.  It is one thing to see someone wearing identification do harm, but something far worse to see someone heavily armed with no identification doing harm.  This tells you more.  So like a dictator.

EGGS-CELLENT!  Many people have taken to learning new dishes to prepare for their own consumption.  This article describes some of the best egg dishes in the world.  Try some.  The best Scotch eggs I ever had were in a Minneapolis bar.

PUN.  A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blowapart.

TWO MONTHS WITHOUT COAL.  That’s what Great Britain has done.  They rely on renewables for power and have phased out the coal-fired plants.  Read more about it here.

GOOD DEED GETS CAR & SCHOLARSHIP.  That’s exactly what happened for this young man in Buffalo, NY, for 10 hours of work.

$75K HUNTING RARE SHEEP.  That was just the cost of secret service on trump jr.’s hunting trip to kill a near-threatened species of sheep last year, per this article.

ELECTIONS BY DESIGN.  That’s what Nancy Pelosi called the Georgia primary election.  Read more about that flawed election here.

LATEST RIGHT-WING LIE.  Okay, so maybe not the latest of the many, but one of the most blatant.  They are now claiming armed antifa militants have seized part of Seattle despite the local authorities saying they have seen no armed antifa activity.  Read more here.  Even worse, Fox News used misleading photos to make the action in Seattle worse that it was, per this.

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT.  When legally threated by trump over a poll they published, CNN wrote back with this letter.

MORE DISCRIMINATION.  Now trump is reversing health protections for transgenders and the republican party platform calls for bans on same-sex marriage and transgender military members.  Read about health care here and the other here.  Note that it comes on the anniversary of the largest mass shooting in American history, the June 12, 2016 murder of 49 people inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida.  It makes you wonder what he will say or do at his rally in Tulsa originally scheduled for Juneteenth, but now the next day.

BEST USE YET!  Yes, this is the best use yet of the Lee memorial in Richmond.

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