When I saw who showed up at the November 4th Defend Democracy Rally; I could not help myself from being deeply disappointed, but not surprised
At a time when we need to SHOW-UP and LOUDLY CLOSE RANKS around Democracy, what I saw was a group of younger and older folk, disproportionately of color. At a time when we are AGAIN counting on BLACK AND BROWN folk to save the day with their heroic efforts to vote (facing pepper spray, harrassment, 10 hour lines (10 hours!!!!)) and where are white gent? Comfortably watching from home.
I do not profess myself to be free from prejudice, as two friends recently pointed out to me (hurts, but thank you). I do try though, which involves giving up some comfort. The early scene at the rally initially broke my heart - but soon enough I connected with the fantastic folk who never fail to SHOW UP; my soul was replenished and recharged by the shared passion.
It is deeply disturbing though that we turn to and place the burden squarely upon the shoulders of the absentee and mail-in ballots, in GA, PA, NC - where clearly we were counting on Black and Brown folk to carry the day. The lesson: SHOW-UP - Make the time in your monthly schedule to show up once or twice a month.
Other take aways in OR?
A big message to refocus our investment where we get the hightest returns for We The People (& Nature):
1) 79% in favor of amending our constitution to allow for campaign contribution limits and transparency
2) 59% to decriminalize small possession of drugs and prioritize treatment over incarceration - this will need continued pressure - get involved
3) 56% to legalize the use of psilocybin, as well as 67% in favor of a tax on cigarettes to fund more tobacco prvention and treatment - again, a focus on healthcare
4) 82% voted in PDX for a police oversight commission with teeth - 82%!! A mandate. Sad that the Citcycouncil did not take that as a mandate to redurect funds to sociual services. We will continue pressing,
5) Universal preschool, funded by a small tax on wealth!! This was a very well crafted initiative, led by fantastic women - congratulations
6) "Women have now achieved proportionate representation in the Oregon House! They will hold 9 of the 23 House Republican seats (40% - among the highest of any Republican caucus in the country), and 31 of the 60 House seats. The Oregon Senate is far behind with only 7 of 30 (23%) seats to be held by women. However, women in the overall Legislature has increased from 15% (23/90 seats) in 2011, to 42% (38/90) in 2021… great progress in one decade.The house and Senate became gernder balanced" (From OR Rep. Keny-Guyer's recap email)
What is coming up in the next cycle
1) Elliott Forest: We need to put pressure NOW to prevent the sale to OSU under current terms - which basically will allow the guting the last continuous coastal old growth forest. We will have a presentation on this at the Green Party December 5th Gathering - the Land Board is scheduled to sign this soon. Please read the blog on this
2) The Oregon People's Rebate - a creative proposition that mandates a rebate (not a tax; ie you do business in OR and Oregonians get a rebate from sales) which basically garantees a minimum income for every resident. Imagine the impact of that on low-income folk who are hardly making ends meet!
3) An initiative to institute Ranked Choice Voting across the state is about to be announced. Details will be presented at the December 5th Green Party Winter Gathering
4) We need a couple of volunteers to identify local races and initiatives to start organizing those campaigns - sign-up through the volunteer page
For the Green Party
==> At the December 5th Winter Gathering we will have representatives from various organizations present what they are/will be working on for the next two years. This is your chance to get involved on the ground and SHOW UP.
I would like to do two trainings on December 6th: 1) On Direct Action or popular resistance 2) On NationBuilder and our social media tools to allow more greens to plug-in
==> Media Committee meeting every 2nd Saturday of the month: we need tech savvy folk to lend a hand and revamp our website and social media presence. Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/429843308 (registration requested)
It is not enough to twitt, repost and complain. We need you to show up at the upcoming meetings and get involved. Is there something you would like to see change in your area? Consider running for office. Can't do that much but OK doing 2 hours of database work a month? Fantastic - sign up. The volunteer page includes specific tasks and a box for your comments and suggestions