*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/20, MORNING EDITION *** Katie Anthony
Earth Day is this Saturday (4/22)!
Last year on Earth Day, Obama signed the historic Paris Agreement with 120 other countries, to fight climate change. One year later, we're dealing with a very different president who is outright attacking the climate.
While our federal government is set on destroying the climate, scientific practice, and well, the very notion of objective facts... it's up to each of us to honor the Earth and help look out for all the people who are disproportionately affected by climate change.
What are you going to do on Earth Day? Post your plan for Saturday in the comments!
Here are some ideas:
Promises to Keep: Environmental Racism Conference https://www.facebook.com/events/769103419920721/
Featured speakers incude
Deborah Parker, former Vice Chair of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors
Matika Wilbur, who is a Swinomish/Tulalip member and an award-winning photographer
and... Nikkita Oliver is opening the conference!
Roots: Connecting with Mother Earth, an arts and activism event open to all, while lifting up youth and centering on indigenous communities and people of color.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE!
A big march in D.C. with sister marches all over Washington State:
Find your local march here: https://www.marchforscience.com/satellite-marches/…
Marches listed in Bellingham, Chehalis, Coupeville, Kennewick, Olympia, Port Angeles, Pullman, Seattle, Shelton, Spokane, Tacoma, White Salmon, Yakima
Here's the Seattle March for Science:
The Green-A-Thon is an annual event that seeks to build community power, raise funds, and take action with Got Green.
Duwamish Alive! https://www.facebook.com/events/571706349688112/
Hands-on river restoration with an opening ceremony featuring the Duwamish Tribal Chair, Rep Pramila Jayapal, Rep Adam Smith, and more!
More info: http://www.duwamishalive.org/
This Earth Day, consider how our efforts to save the planet must be rooted in racial justice.
Here's a great read on the intersection of BlackLivesMatter and Climate Change.
"What would governments do if black and brown lives counted as much as white lives?"
*** WEEK OF APRIL 10 *** Katie Anthony
Your Daily Do's team has been besieged by plague, pestilence, important family obligations, and moving.
We are taking a week of Spring Break to heal, recover, be with our loved ones, and pack our crap.
In the meantime, I'm issuing a 7-day challenge. This week your Daily Do's team challenges you to get off the internet and into the world with your hearts, your hands, and your hunger. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Love, Your Daily Do's Team
*** YOUR DAILY DO’S – 4/7, MORNING EDITION *** Angela Teater
We’ve been talking about education all week, and I think we’d all agree that ensuring high-quality education for every citizen – from child to adult – is critical for a variety of reasons. In addition to the basics so important for functioning in society, a good education produces a society capable of innovation and critical thinking. Many of us feel like those values are threatened under the current Administration, so it’s even more crucial for us to work to uphold the value of an excellent education. Today we’re going to talk about two different – but valuable – levels of education and what we can do to make them more effective and more affordable.
1. We’re all familiar with the issues that some families face regarding food accessibility, and we all understand how difficult it is for a student to learn when his/her stomach is grumbling. That’s why it’s so vital that our schools continue to participate in the free and reduced lunch programs. However, this program provides two meals a day for eligible students, and only when school is in session. What are hungry students supposed to eat on weeknights or weekends? There is no miraculous solution to this heartbreaking problem once school ends for the day. Luckily, schools and independent organizations alike have recognized the depth of this problem and are stepping in to help solve it.
In the Lake Washington School District, the PTSAs are various schools participate in the Pantry Packs program, which operates through Hopelink. 650 students benefit from this program, and each of them receives a bag of food every Friday in order to ensure that they don’t go hungry on Saturdays and Sundays. This program operates using volunteer labor, and if you’d like to help, both Hopelink and Pantry Packs would appreciate your time. You can volunteer to put the packs together at Hopelink’s Kirkland warehouse. You can help organize a food drive to gather items for the Packs. You can send food items via the Pantry Packs Amazon wishlist. And of course any monetary donation is always appreciated. You can read more about opportunities to help here: http://tinyurl.com/k3pt4vv.
2. Now let’s talk about higher education. We’ve all heard the statistics about the greater career prospects and earnings for college graduates. But rising tuition rates are making college less accessible for lower- and middle-class students, and too many graduates are leaving school with crippling debt that inhibits their young adulthood.
As of 2014, 69% of graduate college seniors left school with student loan debt, an average of $28,950 per student. The numbers in Washington state aren’t much better: 58% of students graduated with debt, an average of $24,804. Luckily, our state legislature is making strides to protect the rights of borrowers in order to ensure that they fully understand their financial positions before they graduate.
Senate Bill 5022, which passed the state senate on March 1 and is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Higher Education Committee, aims improve transparency by letting students know how much they owe, when their loans will come due, and how much their payments will be. Senate Bill 5100 would require colleges to offer seminars regarding students’ college funding options. House Bill 1440 is a student loan bill of rights that defines standards for lenders and creates a position for an ombudsman to handle students’ complaints about their lenders. House Bill 1169 mandates the creation of a student loan hotline.
These are laudable attempts by our state legislature to improve the borrowing process for students and to ensure they know both their responsibilities and their rights when borrowing money to attend school. Please show your support for our representatives’ efforts by doing the following.
Read up on student debt and how it impacts students. This is an excellent starting point: http://tinyurl.com/mdo5x3c. Read more about the four bills in question here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.
If you support these efforts by the legislature, please call your local representatives and encourage them to back these bills. They will certainly appreciate a positive call or email.
3. Your Do’s team is taking a brief hiatus to regroup and plan our next steps. Rest assured, we will be back. In the meantime, we’d love more feedback from all of you. What sort of activism do you prefer? Do you like to call? Are you a marcher? Do you prefer to volunteer your time or give money? If you have feedback for us - good or bad - we want to hear it. We have so enjoyed providing you with concrete actions to help fight the Trump Administration, and are looking forward to continuing our vital work in the very near future.
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/6, EVENING EDITION *** Katie Anthony
Once upon a time, in the heart of North Capitol Hill, a couple blocks from Volunteer Park and the old mansions surrounding, there was a school where students' families couldn't pay for food or housing.
Lowell Elementary IS that school. Lowell's story is a microcosm of education inequality.
Surrounded by affluent families, many of whom send their kids to private schools, Lowell Elementary's district includes downtown and the International District, including homeless families at Mary's Place. Lowell is also the “magnet” Seattle school for children with blindness and visual impairments, life-threatening medical conditions, and pre-schoolers with developmental needs.
Here are some stats on the student population of Lowell:
- 15% of students at Lowell are homeless (the largest percentage of any school in Seattle)
- Over 60% are on free/reduced lunch programs (and more students are coming without lunch or money to pay for lunch because immigrant families are afraid to apply to this program.)
- 25% are learning English as a second language
- 75% are students of color.
- Over 20% have disabilities or other special educational needs.
Since all our WA school systems are severely underfunded, PTAs pick up the slack - raising funds to cover everything from arts programs, to librarians, to field trips, to counselors.
But the needs of Lowell students are more extreme, with a larger percentage of homeless and disabled students than most schools. Their PTA needs to cover things that other PTAs don't have to consider - such as physical therapy equipment, library books in a wider array of languages, more counseling for students dealing with trauma. And, every Friday, families pack food bags for the kids who don’t have reliable access to food over the weekend (they provide over 3,500 meals each school year).
Yet the Lowell PTA does this on a tiny budget. The families with kids at Lowell do not have the funds to donate to a big PTA budget. Lowell PTA raises tens of thousands - not the HUNDREDS of thousands that more affluent PTAs raise annually.
So what can we do about this?
While the state legislature spends another session debating fully funding education, we can support Lowell and send their students to nature camp!
Many students at Lowell have never been out in the woods. The PTA needs to raise $5,000 to send all the students to Islandwood - a science and nature camp on Bainbridge Island.
#Give20 (or whatever you can) to Lowell PTA here:
Make a note in your donation that this is from Indivisible Plus Washington helping to send the students to nature camp!
And comment here about your most memorable field trip in school!
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S – April 6th MORNING EDITION *** Wendi Lindquist
This will be my last daily do for the foreseeable future. All week we’ve been talking about education and how important it is. Well I need to step back a bit and focus on editing the final draft of my doctoral dissertation so I can finally defend it (I’m not sure whether my mother or my adviser will be more pleased). Thank you to everyone for stepping up daily to turn lots of small things in to big results.
1. I’ve been asked many times why it is taking so long to finish my doctorate. My flippant answer is “because I’m not willing to give up the things that I love doing” but the more accurate answer is I’ve often worked multiple jobs to avoid taking on graduate student loans. But not everyone can afford this type of choice.
Recently, the Education Department--led by our favorite grizzly bear-hater Betsy Devos—has indicated that it might roll back the nearly 10-year-old Public Service Loans Forgiveness Program (http://n.pr/2oHCVns). The program was meant to encourage individuals to take jobs with nonprofits and other service sectors in return for debt forgiveness after 10 years (catch that number) of on time loan payments. Take a moment to call your members of Congress and tell them why you think loan forgiveness programs are worth keeping.
2. Did you know that there are 97 schools in Washington where 100% of the students receive free or reduced price lunches, and another 159 where 90% of the students receive meal support. This is not a Western Washington or an Eastern Washington problem, nor an urban or rural problem—it’s a state-wide issue. 50 schools are in Yakima County, while King and Pierce counties have 23 and 13 schools in these categories respectively. Read up on the report here: http://www.k12.wa.us/ChildNutrition/Reports.aspx
These programs, which help ensure that 13 million US kids don’t starve, are of course on the chopping block. Read up on DeVos and free lunches here: http://huff.to/2kUJjcI
GIVE5: Make a donation to your local public school, or if you live in a particularly wealthy district, one on the list above, to help pay off lunch debts. Or make a donation to FoodLifeline or NorthWest Harvest which are part of the pipeline that gets food to low income kids during summer https://foodlifeline.org/ and http://www.northwestharvest.org/.
And you can always call DeVos and your members of Congress and tell them why you think it’s important that EVERY kid gets a meal during the school day, regardless of whether their families can afford it.
3. Good news! Our state Democratic and Republican lawmakers are actually coming together on something important that we can get behind: internet privacy. There are bills in both chambers that would make it illegal for ISPs to sell the data of Washington customers without permission (article: http://bit.ly/2nZFkdd). Contact your legislator indicate your support and urge him/her/them to get the job done.
House bill, HB 2200: http://bit.ly/2nZYbVl
Senate bill, SB 5919: http://bit.ly/2nG5cc8
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/5, EVENING EDITION *** Liz Bander
Tonight's Do is about a slightly different kind of education tonight, because the Senate is looking at the nuclear option, we've had our own thread explosions and I had to deal with a troll on Twitter last night.
With revisions from Morgen Sellier: I've noticed a trend of white people indicating they feel attacked when confronted with something that makes them uncomfortable. This is across the board. Here, there and everywhere. In a hat, on a cat and on the wings of a bat (okay, we're done with Dr. Suess). Here's the thing: your feelings of discomfort may be real, but not every situation makes them valid. At a minimum, give the people of color trying to inform, educate, and illuminate their experiences for you a little bit of grace and try to assume the best about one another.
And if they prove you wrong, Facebook has this "X" by each comment so you can hide a particularly aggravating one while still participating in the dialogue.
Someone (thank you, whoever you were!) shared a screenshot of Traci Blackmon's chapter "Being An Ally in Anti-Racism Work" from the United Church of Christ "White Privilege Let's Talk: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue" book. She is a black pastor and one of the authors of the book. If you're not Christian, you're going to have to ignore a lot of religious stuff, because, well, it *is* from a church.
- Download or bookmark this book
- Read her chapter on allyship, starting on p. 96 (it's two pages and one of those pages is a poem, you can totally do this)
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 3/5, MORNING EDITION *** Mary Park
If you have kids and your kids go to public school in a prosperous neighborhood, it's sometimes easy to forget just how underfunded education in Washington truly is. The reason? Parents. Parent volunteers pick up the slack in crowded classrooms. Parents run book fairs that put books on the shelves in the library. PTAs raise funds to pay for music, art, specialists, tutors, librarians, nurses, counselors--positions that really should be available in ALL schools and paid for by the school district.
The problem, of course, is that many lower-income schools don't even have PTAs, much less parents with the time or resources to volunteer or raise funds. When parents have to pick up the ball the state has dropped, the result is profound inequity.
1. Are you raising money for your kid's school? Running an auction? Selling candy bars or raffle tickets? Let the state legislature know and tell them it's their turn to step up! FULL FUNDING for schools NOW! (Hat tip to Kathryn Russell Selk for this suggestion.)
- Tweet your auction invitation or ask letter and add a few of these: @WAHouseDems @WASenDemocrats @WashingtonSRC @WaHouseGOP @AustinJenkinsN3 #waedu #waleg
- Post on your state legislator's Facebook page or send a copy of your fundraising materials via email.
- If you're a parent, leave a comment and tell us what the PTA pays for at *your* school.
2. Hey, something good! The Dems' version of the revenue package to fully fund schools (HB 2186) made it out of the House Finance Committee yesterday (Tuesday). That could never have happened without dedicated public education advocates like YOU.
- The legislative session ends in 20 days; it's time to write or call your state legislators and tell them to pass HB 2186 and honor our state's constitutional commitment to its schoolchildren.
- Find your state legislators here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder
- Script for your comments: http://paramountduty.org/call-your-legislators/
3. Changing focus for a moment: We've been working hard to stop fossil fuel pipelines - with most of our focus on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the recently-resurrected Keystone XL pipeline... but did you know we have a tar sands pipeline project happening right here in the Northwest??
The proposed Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline expansion is a disaster for the climate and our region. It threatens indigenous sovereignty, endangers the Salish Sea, and locks us in to irreversible climate catastrophe.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline would transport tar sands oil (the dirtiest & most carbon-intensive type of oil to extract!) across BC and through Vancouver harbor, increasing oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea by 400%!
First Nations are leading the fight with legal challenges in Canadian courts.
Pull Together (Pull-together.ca) is a solidarity campaign to raise money for the legal cases of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and Coldwater First Nations. Sierra Club WA and 350Seattle have pledged to raise $50,000 for Pull Together.
Here's how you can help:
1. #Give5 (or more!) to support the First Nations legal battle against the Kinder Morgan pipeline: https://tinyurl.com/llepg86
2. RSVP to Seattle v Kinder Morgan on April 20
The Lummi Nation is leading this community-building event. We will be raising funds for Pull Together, hearing from Native speakers, building a community art project, and more! https://tinyurl.com/k8vshv8
3. RSVP to Pull Together concerts in the San Juan Islands tonight, tomorrow and all weekend:
4. Host your own fundraiser to stop Kinder Morgan! Learn more about the overall campaign here: https://pull-together.ca/
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S – April 4th MORNING EDITION *** Wendi Lindquist
Yesterday was a very sad day for higher education in Washington state. The Zag’s lost to North Carolina in the final game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. While there’s always a next year for sport’s teams, education deserves our attention right now.
1. School choice sounds like a great idea in theory, but it tends to lead toward discrimination based on race, ethnicity, social class, and ability. Read up on the difficulties one Arizona mother encountered while shopping around for schools for her daughter: http://wapo.st/2oTnwzM
Call your members of congress and Secretary Betsy DeVos and tell them why you think the Department of Education’s push for school choice is not the answer.
2. #GIVE5: Page Ahead is a Washington based nonprofit that helps get books in the hands of low income kids all across the state. By working with at risk children early in their learning process, Page Ahead helps them build strong reading skills and avoid the problems created by illiteracy. Donate $5 to help give all kids in Washington a head start on learning: http://www.pageahead.org/
Although Page Ahead doesn’t need help with book drives, there are a lot of other groups from public schools in rural areas to nonprofits serving kids that can use your gently used books. It’s a great way to get started on your spring cleaning.
3. Several weeks ago, the president withdrew an Obama era rule that clarified bathroom and locker room protections for transgender students. Mashable put together this handy list of 8 things YOU can do to help support trans kids: http://on.mash.to/2oDCf2o.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Take a moment to show your support for trans youth. Tweet, Facebook, or reach out to the trans kids (as individuals or in general) and let them know you care.
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/3, EVENING EDITION *** Mary Park
Yesterday (April 2) was International Autism Awareness Day. April is National Autism Awareness Month. My April challenge for all of y'all is to move beyond "awareness" and into "acceptance" and "support." As the fabulous website The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism (https://tinyurl.com/ltzmuxn) puts it: ""Acceptance means autistic people matter. Awareness just means we know autistic people exist."
I'm hoping to spend April highlighting autistic voices; disspelling myths about autism; and introducing the concept of neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity is the surprisingly controversial idea that the human brain, like ecosystems in the physical world, has many natural variations--that autism is a neurological difference that should be respected along with other kinds of difference like gender and sexual orientation.
Here is TPGTA's list of suggestions for Autism Acceptance Month:
--Understand why many autistic people dislike autism "awareness" efforts
--Cite autistic people themselves, not just "experts" or family members
--Recognize the diversity of autistic abilities, instead of factionalizing them
--Avoid invoking pity, or talking about autistic people as burdens
--Don't be ableist
--Use respectful language, such as avoiding "high" and "low" functioning labels
--Support autistic people, instead of talking about "fighting autism" or "epidemics"
Emily Willingham at Forbes Magazine has been doing great work writing about autism. Here is her account of the controversy behind "autism awareness"--and a great explanation of why Trump's war on science can only hurt autistic people: "Autistic people are people, like you are people. It's easy to put yourself in the place of people who are like you. Part of the hard work of conquering that acceptance step is putting yourself in the shoes of people who are not like you and taking a step, or two, or more and feeling what it would be like to be called a monster, to have someone give you a bleach enema, to hear your parents (autistic people hear just fine short of any unassociated hearing impairment) talking about you as toxic or a burden, to read (yes, autistic people can read, even when they are nonspeaking) articles excusing parents for murdering people who are like you--for murdering them because they are like you instead of taking readily accessible steps to keep you both safe.
We need good, useful research, and educational, healthcare, family and workplace protections more than ever, not less, to support the autistic community against such assaults."
One of the most powerful voices in the neurodiversity movement is journalist Steve Silberman, author of the incredible Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity: https://tinyurl.com/h5zorl7
Make a little time to listen to his TED talk about autism's forgotten history:
Stay tuned for more information about neurodiversity in the era of Trump. And thanks for listening.
*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 4/3, MORNING EDITION *** Katie Anthony
Good morning Daily Doers of IndiWA! This morning we are going to kick off a week that is all about speaking up for education - yes, we will be calling Olympia to push for full funding of our schools, because we've committed to doing that until the thing is done. #GoLong. But we're also going to step up for trans students and disabled students. We're going to learn a little more about the resegregation of our schools and what we can do to help improve equity of opportunity for all our students, and student loan reform.
It's easy for us to care about education in the abstract, but the system of public education is complex and burdensome and excruciatingly slow to change. It can be a real morale-schlumper for people like us who are trying to help out, and seeing what feel like pathetic results.
To my mind, the way to "unschlump" our morale ("foof it up," if you will) is to keep it close to home and close to our hearts.
It's easy for us to care about our own kids, our neighbors' kids, the kids we see waiting for the bus in the morning or chasing each other on the playground.
Those kids are, in many ways, like the system of education - you have to ask them to clear the table 17 times before they do it, finally, under duress, as you stand over them, unyielding. You have to say "GO TO BED" every 4 minutes between the hours of 8 pm and midnight, before they finally surrender to your will. You have to MEAN IT and STAND BEHIND WHAT YOU SAY. We have to take care of our kids against their will sometimes. But that doesn't mean we give up. We have to do the same thing for our schools.
1. BRING THE THUNDER ON STATE ED FUNDING -
The state has been in contempt of the WA Supreme Court for so long on the McCleary that by tomorrow they will have accumulated $60 Million in Fines. Let's get loud about it. Sign up for the "60 Million in Fines" Thunderclap before tomorrow!
- What's a Thunderclap you ask? I thought you'd never ask. This video explains: https://www.thunderclap.it/howitworks
- Sign up here:
2. HIT THE PHONES -
Washington's Paramount Duty has a great new tool that gives you a script to advocate for full funding of K-12 education that is customized to your specific legislators! All you need to do is put in your address and it will give you a great script and all of your legislators' contact information. Go! Go and call!
- Call your legislator today and ask for full funding (again?) (Yes, again!) (Until it's done!) #GoLong
3. BRING SOME LOVE -
Have you heard of DonorsChoose.org? It's a nonprofit that allows teachers to post projects in their own classrooms and ask the public for the funding they need to complete those projects. It's an amazing way to support public schools until the blessed day when teachers can actually expect to get money they need from the government.
I've picked 4 classrooms in the state of Washington - let's work together as a team and get these teachers the money they need to give our kids the education we want!
- Help Ms. Gonzalez, a preschool teacher in Tukwila, get some bookshelves for her classroom of eager readers: ($238 still needed as of this posting)
- Help Teacher Pearson in Spokane give energetic little ones an outlet for all those wiggles! ($238 ALSO still needed as of this posting)
- Help Mr. Owens, PE teacher at Sylvester Middle School in Burien, build up some basic fitness supplies for his students - resistance bands, medicine balls, and exercise mats. ($330 still needed)
- Help Mr. Jefferson at Rainier Beach HS give his art students the supplies they need to bring their visions to life. ($770 still needed)
LET'S WORK TOGETHER AND FULFILL THESE WISHES!
Comment below with where you donated, the name of your favorite teacher of all time, and why. <3
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer