Step Five to Taking Action

How are you doing? What was the last action you took?

Maybe you’re feeling fired up and taking action every day.  Maybe you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and disheartened by the news each day, making it hard to act.  Maybe life has interrupted and your best intentions have taken a backseat to dealing with urgent personal matters.

No matter how many actions you’ve taken so far, know this: WE ARE IN THIS FOR THE LONG HAUL.

This is not normal.  And we must never ever allow ourselves to let it feel normal.

There is no finish line. No future end date we are aiming towards.  This is not a diet or a challenge or a campaign.

This is brushing your teeth.  This is grocery shopping.  This is paying bills.  This is exercise.  This is drinking coffee.  This is weeding the garden.

This is a habit. This is you making a permanent slot in your regular routine for taking action to protect our rights, fight injustice and inequality, and protect vulnerable populations.  You can do it.  You must.

Good news!  You already know how to start new habits.  (And if your life does not allow you to commit to a new habit right now, work in actions as much as you can until you have more bandwidth.)

Tips for Sustaining Action

Schedule it

Set aside some time for your reading the news, researching, reading books, writing letters, making calls, and planning actions. Schedule it on your calendar just like any other appointment and set a reminder. 

Remember to set up recurring, monthly donations, too.

 

Narrow Your Focus

There are so many actions to take and so much work to do.  It can feel overwhelming.  One way to fight this problem is to narrow your focus to your top three issues you are most passionate about.  Follow groups that are organizing issues on those topics.  Maybe you’ll branch out in the future, the most important thing is to keep acting and not get stuck at inaction.  Keep this in mind, though.

 

Use a Cheat Sheet

People out there are doing the  work of researching and selecting regular actions so that you don’t have to.  Here are a few cheat sheets to follow that will deliver regular actions to you, along with the rationale and sources behind them.

Wall of Us

Pantsuit Resources

Resistance 365

Fight Trump

Resist Tinyletter

 

Join a Group

Thousands of grassroots groups sprung up immediately after the election with the purpose of organizing action against Trump. These groups are working online and in person.  They are planning actions on a local level,  state level, national level, and world level.  Find one near you. (This list is not comprehensive, but a good round up.)

 

Form an Accountability Circle

This is simple.  Find some buddies who also are taking and agree to regularly check in with each other to see how it’s going.  Meet in person, do a group chat online, form a Facebook group, or however you want to go about it.  Every (one, two, three) weeks, ask everyone to report in with their latest actions. Knowing someone is going to check on you can give you that extra motivation you need.


Or, simply post your latest actions on social media and ask what your friends have been up to.  Use this hashtag: #actionaccountability

 

Celebrate, Reward, and Take Care of Yourself

Are you tired yet?  I am.  This work is exhausting physically and emotionally. Don’t burn out. Please take care of yourself.    We need you and your voice.  Take a break when you need to, but come back, refreshed and full of fire. Practice your favorite self-care.  Reward yourself for taking action.  And celebrate our victories!  Because there will be victories.  You can do it.  You must.  Remember, we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Missed step four? Read it here.

Take action:

Support Congressman Larsen’s bill on the National Security Council!

February 1st, Representative Rick Larsen is/was scheduled to introduce a bill which would make the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff permanent members of the National Security Council. This is exactly the kind of bold leadership we want from our legislators!

Call Rick Larsen’s office:
Bellingham 360-733-4500
Everett 425-252-3188
DC (202) 225-2605

Talking Points:
1) You support Larsen’s bill to make the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff permanent members of the National Security Council.
2) You do not agree with Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council.
3) Thank Rick Larsen for his leadership in this issue.

Alternatively, if you cannot call, you can email his office on the contact us page here: https://larsen.house.gov/contact-rick

Background:
The bill does not have a name or a number yet. Representative Larsen tweeted about the bill:
https://twitter.com/RepRickLarsen/status/826973417224228864
https://twitter.com/RepRickLarsen/status/825792726796947456

This bill would make the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Chief’s of Staff permanent members of the National Security Council.

Why this is important: Over the weekend, Donald Trump elevated Steve Bannon, a non-elected official with no military experience, to the National Security Council and made the Director of National Intelligence and Joint Chief’s of Staff optional to attend meetings.
The impact of this is to make the National Security Council more political and removes experienced voices of reason from this group.

Representative Larsen has released his ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to ask for support from his fellow House Representatives. Currently Representative Murphy is writing a similar bill. Both bills will go to committee – most likely the House Armed Services Committee which Larsen serves on. We will be able to see what the bill does tomorrow on this page: http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx

The National Security Council is committee is a Cabinet-level group of agencies focused on national security that was established by President George H. W. Bush in 1989. To date, every version of the Committee has included the Joint Chiefs chairman and the director of the CIA or, once it was established, the head of the Director of National Intelligence. Bannon’s appointment is a major break with tradition and makes a traditionally a-political committee extremely political. The National Security Council is run by National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who himself has had plenty of controversy of late, mostly involving ill-advised comments his son has made and his close ties with Russia and specifically Putin.

https://larsen.house.gov/contact-rick

Support Washington’s Oil Transportation Safety Bill (HB 1611 / SB 5462)

Oil transportation is a hot issue this legislative session.  Despite the critical gains around public disclosure and preparedness measures, significant gaps remain that put our communities and waterways at risk of an oil spill or other such disaster.  Given the Trump Administration’s support of the oil industry, it is now more important than ever to make sure that we here in Washington are holding the line.

In response, Representative Farrell (46th) and Senator Carlyle (36th) introduced the Oil Transportation Safety bill (HB 1611 / SB 5462). Highlights of the bill include:

  • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
  • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
  • Protecting Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
  • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
  • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.

This is a great time to engage and show your support!  You have two choices for action:

  • Attend the hearings scheduled in the Senate and House. RSVP (and arrange carpools) here.
    • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, at 10 a.m. in the Senate.
    • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6th, at 1:30 p.m. in the House. The House is more favorable to the bill, so this hearing is more important. Watch live here: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021092
  • Call your state legislators to ask them to support the bill.
    • Find your Representatives here.
    • Send a brief message to your district legislators through the in-state toll-free Hotline :800.562.6000.
    • Click here for one-step email.
    • Suggested script:
      • Washingtonians continue to be at risk of oil spills and other disasters. In the wake of the Mosier, OR, derailment this past June, the threat of the Kinder Morgan pipeline increasing tanker traffic 7-fold, and the increase in use in pipelines for crude oil transport, we need to continue to improve our system.
      • Please support HB 1611/SB 5462 – Oil Transportation Safety Act – and protect Washington’s communities and waterways.
      • Key parts of the bill include:
        • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
        • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
        • Protecting Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
        • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
        • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.
      • I urge you to support and move forward HB 1611 and SB 5462.

For more information, please see the press release for the bill.  

Immigration Ban

By Abhinaba Basu from Redmond, United States (Peace arch Canada-US border Uploaded by X-Weinzar) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How to support our community

Pantsuit Bellingham members are seeking effective means of supporting members of our community affected by the immigration ban.  We are using this page as a clearinghouse for information on organizations and events supporting members of our community who are affected by the ban.  Submit constructive feedback or ideas in this Facebook thread.

Events

29 January 2017 Emergency Rally Against Muslim Ban
Peace Arch Park

12 February 2017 Worker and Immigrant Solidarity March

 

Organizations

ACLU of Washington 

CAIR Seattle

IRC Seattle

KIND

NWIRP

OneAmerica

ReWA

Step Four to Taking Action

Here we go- time to get busy.  Let’s look at how you can use your time to influence change.

Some of these actions are quick and introvert-friendly.  Some are harder and require you to step out of your comfort zone.  You can do it.

 

Petition (quick and easy, but low impact)

Signing online petitions is a simple, entry-level action.  You sign your name and zip code to support a cause you believe in. It takes about 30 seconds.  BUT, it’s hard to say how much they actually accomplish. (Read here, here, and here.)  Keep in mind that signing will probably get you on an email list, and right after you sign, you will probably be asked to donate money and share the petition.  That being said, there’s no harm in signing a petition, as long as it’s not the only action you take.

Here are some petition sources:

Moveon.org

CREDO Action

Petition the White House

Moms Rising

 

Vote (moderate research time, impactful, it’s your duty)

Duh.  You must vote. Vote in every election: local, state, and national.  Vote, vote, vote. Here’s some ways to get informed:

Vote Smart

Vote 411

Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to vote, too.  If our friends just voted in local and midterm elections we could change the world. Far too many people (it would surprise you who) are inconsistent in voting.  We should all be helping to get out the vote. Check out the Whatcom Democrats for get out the vote opportunities.

 

Call and Write Letters (quick to moderate time, moderate impact)

Contacting politicians and policy makers to share your opinion about specific issues is a simple, tried and true way to influence change.  If you’ve never done it, it can sound intimidating.  Luckily, there are scripts out there to follow to make it easy.  And the people who answer the phones are nice.  You don’t have to be a political junkie to call or write.  These public servants are there to serve YOU.  Let them know what you think.

Tip: Write handwritten letters instead of using the contact forms on their webpages or sending email.  Real letters get noticed.

Tip: Put the numbers for your congresspeople (state and national) in your phone.  You’re going to be calling them a lot. Find your elected officials.

Fabulous, rich resource: The Sixty-Five

Sometimes it’s as simple as a postcard campaign or a letter writing campaign.

 

Attend Town Hall Meetings (moderate time, high impact)

Word is, the best way to get your legislator’s attention is to attend one of their Town Hall meetings and ask questions.  Check out this wonderful, detailed guide put together by a handful of former DC staffers.  And, this former congressman confirms it: go to the Town Halls and ask hard questions.

 

Protest (moderate time, high profile impact)

Seattle Womxn’s March

Why should YOU participate in a peaceful protest?  Read this.

For many of us, this will be our first time protesting.  You don’t have to be a young radical to protest.  Here are some tips for protesters.  (These are very practical and may make you feel uncomfortable.  Peaceful, organized protests are not without risk, but they are entirely different than violent destruction and looting.)

Tips from the ACLU

More tips

Watch the news and your networks for upcoming peaceful protests.  There will be many.

Watch for local Planned Parenthood support rallies to counter anti-PP vigils.

Bellingham is the home of the longest running weekly peace vigil in the country. Downtown, every Friday from 4-5.

 

Volunteer (moderate to high time, high impact)

Remember all those organizations (big and small) you just donated too?  They could use your time, too. Most of them have volunteer opportunities.  Yes, life is busy.  Sometimes there are volunteer opportunities that can be accomplished online, from the comfort of your pjs. Look into it. Bonus- it’s good for your health!

Serve 306 is asking you to pledge 306 hours of volunteer time over the next four years.  That’s about 1.5 hours per week. Totally doable.

Also, your city or county probably has boards and commissions that need volunteers to guide decisions. Here’s Whatcom County’s current vacancies.

 

Campaign (moderate to high time, high impact)

Signing up as a volunteer for a political party or organization will get you on the list of folks to help out in the next campaign, whether it’s local, state, or national.  There are lots of ways to help a campaign, ranging from low to high time commitment.

Democrats

Bernie

 

Run for office (high time, high impact)

Yes, you!  If you are passionate about local issues, consider running for local office: School Board, City Council, etc.  Especially if you’re a woman.

 

Try a few of these and see how it goes.  Then try a few more.

Next up, the final step: sustaining action.

Missed step three? Read it here.

Ready for step five? Read it here.

Take action:

42nd District – Unrepresented

Constituents of Washington’s 42nd legislative district, our state senator is not showing up to work, but we are still paying him.  He has taken a new job at the EPA and spends his weeks in Washington DC while his seat in Olympia is empty. Doug Ericksen needs to resign his senate seat so a new senator can be appointed and we can have representation who shows up.
{Look up your district here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/}

Suit up, pants peeps!  Here is our strategy:

***TOWN HALL MEETING***

Senator Ericksen has no constituent events scheduled for the 2017 legislative seasion, so we are scheduling one for him.  To be scheduled in march.  You can read the invitation and sign it.  Constituent signatures will be added to the letter, others will be updated on the campaign.

***WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR***

Talking Points

Contact Information

Cut & paste email addresses: letters@cascadiaweekly.com; news@ferndalerecord.com; editor@lyndentribune.com; letters@bellinghamherald.com

Bellingham Herald – post letter in story comments – http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article128339024.html

Cascadia Weekly – http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/contact

Ferndale Record-Journal – http://www.ferndalerecord.com

Lynden Tribune – www.lyndentribune.com

Northern Light – http://www.thenorthernlight.com/submit-a-letter/

 

***FOLLOW “WHERE’S DOUG” ON TWITTER***

Someone is keeping track of Senator Ericksen.  Follow @wheresdoug42, RETWEET @wheresdoug42‘s tweets to political reporters and other interested parties.  If you are a constituent of the 42nd district, use this hashtag: #42ndconstituent
Suggestions:

@Jim_Brunner  What a waste of taxpayer money.  #wheresdoug42 http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article131138229.html

 42nd district constituents are looking for our state senator. Help us find Doug?

We are in Washington’s 42nd legislative district and we are looking for our state senator. Have you seen Doug?

***WATCH SENATOR ERICKSEN’S PRESS CONFERENCE – 2 Feb 2017***

If you missed it, you cans see the recording here: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021067

***STAY TUNED FOR QUICK-RESPONSE LETTERS***

We need to highlight every missed vote and absence from a hearing. Basically, we want his constituents to know that he’s not showing up for work. Where will those letters be sent? To local papers. We’ll need to act quickly when he misses critical votes in Olympia so keep an eye out.

***LOCAL EVENTS***

Pantsuit Bellingham plans to hold one or more actions to highlight that Doug Ericksen isn’t showing up for work. Where will those be held? Here, in his district. His voters need to know he works for them and he’s just not showing up for work.

Many have asked about events elsewhere, to put pressure on the state or visit his office. Pantsuit Bellingham recommends you put your energy here, in his district, talking to his voters, letting everyone in the 42nd know that Doug just isn’t showing up for work.

Step Three to Taking Action

Now you are informed and ready- time to act! Your best two tactics are your money and your time. Let’s talk $$.

Photo by Newton Free Library on flickr. Used under Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

First, donations.

There are a bajillion organizations working to do good. Many run on donations. It can be hard to figure out who to donate to. What do you care about? Which organizations are legit? How much money? How often? What about local groups vs. national organizations?

Narrow it down
This might be difficult. Many of us care about all of it- the environment, women’s rights, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, etc. Try picking your top three issues and start with those. Maybe even make a calendar where you focus on different issues each month or quarter.
This is a good list of ideas (check the comments, too): http://jezebel.com/a-list-of-pro-wo…

Find legitimate organizations
Charity Navigator is a great tool to help you decide who will use your donation effectively.

Every bit helps
If you only have a few bucks to spare and are wondering if it’s even worth donating that much, know that it DOES HELP. We are working on a scale of millions of people making donations. A buck or two adds up.

If you can swing an automatic monthly donation, go for it.

Think globally, act locally (and nationally and globally)
Don’t forget about your hometown organizations. You can often have the most impact with these small fish. Use our Civic Tithing tool to help find local organizations and set up monthly donations. Also, Charity Navigator has a rich search function, including a way to look for local charities: https://www.charitynavigator.org/in…

 

It’s also time to boycott

You can also make a difference with your everyday spending habits.

Anti-Trump
You can choose to spend your money at places that do not support Trump or his family’s businesses. Shannon Coulter started the #grabyourwallet boycott in late October. Here is the current list of business to boycott, scripts to use to tell them why you’re boycotting, and alternative businesses to use instead: https://grabyourwallet.org/

Pro-justice
You can also sign up to participate in the Injustice Boycott, which began last December. This boycott is about preventing police brutality and racial injustice.
Do you know of any other current boycotts?

That’s your first action: donate and spend wisely. Next up, how to use your time to make a difference.

Missed step two? Read it here.

Ready for step four? Read it here.

Take action:

SB 5171 – Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Our eyes are on the prize of a clean energy future.  We know the carbon must stay in the ground, and we have worked for years to reject proposals to transport it through our neighborhoods and export it from Xwe’chieXen, traditional fishing grounds of our Lummi neighbors.

Just weeks ago, after years of study and public input and the denial of permits for the  Gateway Pacific Terminal – which would have been North America’s largest coal terminal – Washington DNR commissioner Peter Goldmark updated the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary to include the pier-shaped hole once reserved for the pier.  Do you see it there on the map below, just below Henry Rd?  Since there will be no pier built, the cut out is not necessary.

Senate Bill 5171 proposes we re-open the possibility of a fossil fuel export pier in the herring spawning area by reversing the DNR decision.  It is a signal to fossil fuel darlings in DC that there’s still hope for the GPT project.

We are having none of it.  We can kill this bill and send a strong message that any efforts to revive the project are wasted.


The bill will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee on TUESDAY JANUARY 24th.  We expect tribal leaders from throughout the state to attend and speak against the bill.  You have three choices for action.

  1. Attend the hearing in Olympia – WEAR RED. 1:30pm (subject to change) Natural Resources & Parks, Senate Full Committee, Senate Hearing Rm 3, J.A. Cherberg Building, 304 15th Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98501
    Pantsuit Bellingham members RSVP here.
    Carpools are being organized from Whatcom County.
    If you are not a member of Pantsuit Bellingham RSVP here.
  2. UPDATE: calls worked!  No more calls needed.
  3. Watch the hearing on the live broadcast.  If you are a member of the Pantsuit Bellingham Facebook group, you can participate in the watch party.

Alternative Inauguration Day Events

By Jnn13 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Take back Inauguration Day by participating in one of these alternative events on Friday, January 20th.

Because you can love this country AND skip the inauguration.

Local

Our Inauguration Day: The Bellingham People’s Movement Assembly

WWU Student Walkout to #ResistTrump on Inauguration Day

WCC Resists Trump: Student Walkout on Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day Cabaret, at Sylvia Center

Bring Your Light to the Library

Don’t Mourn – Organize!

Unite Turtle Island: Inauguration Protest at the Border

Rest up and prepare for the Women’s Marches the next day.

National

Women Strike

Love-a-thon

Step Two to Taking Action

 

Alright, so you’ve got your non-biased news sources and you’re keeping up with things- nice! Now it’s time for step two: homework.

I know, you already have a busy life, and you’ve just upped your news intake on top of that. The thing is, you won’t be able to make effective or meaningful actions until you fully understand the situation.

First, the basics.

  • Here’s a nice civics brush up.
  • These gamified civics lessons are aimed at students, but look like fun for any age. Bonus- they’re an initiative of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • And here’s a handy post of our own about how the local Democratic party works.

Next, you might be wondering how this happened.

While we’re at it, we need to understand how to be better allies, too. Don’t forget the kids.

Putting a few of these books on reserve at the library is a great way to go. Get reading!

Missed step one? Read it here.

Ready for step three? Read it here.

Take action: