Weekly Roundup week ending: April 7, 2017
The weekly roundup highlights the actions we are taking. With our new themed format, the roundup is more compact, so I'll be posting it as the main post. Please scroll through for action links and information - if you didn't have time for action during the week, there is a lot you can still do.
Also, as always, I want to give a huge shoutout to every single one of you who took action this week. Activist fatigue is a real thing and it's important to guard against it. Remember that one action is more meaningful than no action, so if you can do one a day, do one. If you can do more that is wonderful, but don't ever think that any contribution is too small. Every action counts! Don't ever forget that you have a voice.
• HIT THE PHONES to support funding of K-12 education in Washington state.
- 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! http://paramountduty.org/call-your-legislators/
• Through DonorsChoose.org support 4 hand-selected classrooms in Washington:
- Help Ms. Gonzalez, a preschool teacher in Tukwila, get some bookshelves for her classroom of eager readers: http://bit.ly/2nSxMKX
- Help Teacher Pearson in Spokane give energetic little ones an outlet for all those wiggles! http://bit.ly/2o2gU4V
- 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. http://bit.ly/2otwtnd
- Help Mr. Jefferson at Rainier Beach HS give his art students the supplies they need to bring their visions to life. http://bit.ly/2o2gE5J
- Comment below with where you donated, the name of your favorite teacher of all time, and why: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PantsuitWashington/permalink/1625592267470490/
• 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 about the difficulties one Arizona mother encountered while shopping around for schools for her daughter: http://wapo.st/2oTnwzM.
- Then 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.
• #GIVE5: Page Ahead is a Washington based nonprofit that helps get books in the hands of low income kids all across the state. Donate $5 to help give all kids in Washington a head start on learning: http://www.pageahead.org/
• If you have kids and your kids go to public school in a prosperous neighborhood, it's sometimes easy to forget that education is underfunded. Parent volunteers pick up the slack in crowded classrooms, run book fairs, raise funds to pay for music, art, specialists, tutors, librarians, nurses, counselors. Many lower-income schools don't even have PTAs, much less parents with the time or resources to volunteer or raise funds.
- 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 NOW!
- 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.
• The Dems' version of the revenue package to fully fund schools (HB 2186) made it out of the House Finance Committee yesterday (Tuesday).
The legislative session ends in 20 days; it's time to write or call your state legislators and tell them to pass HB 2186 (https://tinyurl.com/med3z8y) 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/
RACISM AND HOW TO BE AN ALLY:
• There is a trend of white people indicating they feel attacked when confronted with something that makes them uncomfortable. Here's the thing: your feelings of discomfort may be real, but not every situation makes them valid. As an exercise: download or bookmark this book and read the chapter on allyship, starting on p. 96 (it's two pages and one of those pages is a poem, you can totally do this) - http://www.uccfiles.com/pdf/White-Privilege-Curriculum.pdf
- FYI the author 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.
• 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.
• April is National Autism Awareness Month. This April, Indivisible hopes that we can move beyond "awareness" and into "acceptance" and "support." "Acceptance means autistic people matter. Awareness just means we know autistic people exist." (Source: The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism: https://tinyurl.com/ltzmuxn.)
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. "Autistic people are people … 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… talking about you as toxic or a burden, to read … articles excusing parents for murdering people who are like you… 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." https://tinyurl.com/ky5xtcc
• 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: https://tinyurl.com/pffkchm
• 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:
- #Give5 (or more!) to support the First Nations legal battle against the Kinder Morgan pipeline: https://tinyurl.com/llepg86
- 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
- Host your own fundraiser to stop Kinder Morgan! Learn more about the overall campaign here: https://pull-together.ca/