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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

No Whining

I have talked to many people who are already staring to tear their hair out over their projections about the next four years under President Trump. I agree that things are not going to be great, but, let's face it, things are not and have not been great for lots of people even without President Trump. And, compared to what millions of our fellow planet dwellers are experiencing right now and are doomed to expect in the years ahead, even under President Trump, things are going to be pretty great.

Yes, things are going to be bad. Yes, crazy people may be even more in charge than they are now. Michael Moore has been keeping us up to date on what outrages we can expect next. tube

But we don't know what will happen until it happens. We can spin a million tales about what will happen, what might happen, how that might affect us, and what might happen after that. But it's all a story. (And even then, science says, our experience of whatever actually does happen be nothing more than a passing memory. Buddhists have been telling us this for millennia! And the consequence of living in stories and memories is a fascinating topic aside from President Trump.).

Rather than running around screaming like (please excuse the slight, pre-teen girls) a pre-teen girl at a slumber party, we need to understand that a bad storm is coming, assess what damage might be done, plan to secure and safeguard our valuables, coordinate with others, organize our response, train or learn the most effective and efficient methods to counter the potential damage, and get to work.

That's what Bernie said in a recent MSNBC appearance:
“You have to fight back as people have throughout the history of this country. Our people have stood up and fought back. And the most important point as I said a moment ago, all of these issues, the majority of the people are with us. We have got to go out and reach out to people.”
Ralph Nader has been saying this for years (because let's face it, there were plenty of things previous and current presidents got wrong, too, that required extreme pushback from citizen activists). Nader's plan is to coordinate citizen action teams of about one percent ("the other 1%") of voters in each Congressional district to organize and push for people-centered legislation.
Nader calculates that 2,000 civic hobbyists in each Congressional district could open offices staffed by two or three people. “You’d get almost every progressive agenda item changed within thirty months,” he declares, reeling off a list that includes tax reform, Medicare for all, corporate crime enforcement, and investment in public works."
Many progressives and progressive organizations have come with a good number of New Year's resolutions that will help us focus. From Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-Violence to Greenpeace, you can find action points to hold on to in the coming year. Michael Moore has his Five Point Plan, too. (I especially like his "form a rapid response team immediately" point. This group will make calls, visit offices, write letters, etc. "You've got to be ready with your core group of people so you can act."

So, let's get to work calmly and with determination and purpose and confidence.

Yesterday's post from Citizen Action (have you take action yet?) is a good start.

Today, we hear from Common Cause that Senator Elizabeth Warren has filed a bill that requires Presidents and Vice Presidents to divest any assets that create conflicts of interest or would violate the Constitution’s prohibition on elected officials taking money from foreign governments.YOU need to make calls right now, today, to help push this bill forward.

Call 1-866-948-8977 to tell your representative to call for a Congressional investigation into Trump’s conflicts of interest and hold him fully accountable.

Call 1-866-985-2543 to tell your senators to co-sponsor Sen. Warren’s bill requiring the President and Vice President to divest from and disclose their business dealings.

On January 16, there are two important events for Coulee Progressives.

At 6 p.m. the La Crosse County Democrats will meet to start planning for the new year. If you are and old or new member OR if you want to join at the meeting and help move the party in a progressive, inclusive direction, welcoming new and diverse members and ideas, please attend. The meeting is at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House on the corner of 8th and Main. Please be on time. The meeting will be short because of the other Jan. 16 event:

At 7 p.m., the La Crosse community will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with a program at Viterbo University. Dr. King is a stellar example of how to move ahead when all the winds are against you. Let's all go. Let's all breathe in the same revolutionary air. The event is free and open to the public.

[UPDATE] On February 4, OUR REVOLUTION will be organizing in La Crosse. Right now we know that there will be an event at the Concordia Ballroom SOUTHSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER at 3 p.m. Plans are being finalized now and we will post more info as it's available. But please mark off that afternoon and evening for important progressive organizing activities!

Another event of interest to Coulee Progressives is being planned for that evening at the Concordia. Stay tuned for more info.

In the meantime, join (#=La Crosse chapter/group/office) and support the many local, state and national groups that have been working for a just, inclusive, and positive world. Please comment to add more groups to this list. If you can afford to join, please do. If you can afford to become a monthly sustainer, please do. If not, please consider adding one or more of these groups to your annual one-time donation rotation:

* 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin
* 350.org 
* ACLU/ACLU of Wisconsin
* Brennan Center for Justice
* Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (CARS-La Crosse)  #
* Center for Media and Democracy
* Citizen Action of Wisconsin
* Citizens' Climate Lobby  #
* Common Cause
* Cornucopia Institute
* Democracy Now!
* Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
* Earth Justice 
* Environmental Defense Fund
* Essential Health Clinic  #
* Feminist Majority
* Friends of the Earth 
* Friends of the La Crosse River Marsh  #
* Greenpeace
* Habitat for Humanity  #
* Heifer International 
* Human Rights Campaign
* La Crosse Hunger Task Force  #
* Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
* Midwest Environmental Advocates
* Mercy Corps
* NAACP
* NARAL - Pro-Choice America
* National Council of La Raza
* National Resources Defense Council 
* National Urban League 
* New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers  #
* Oil Change International
* Physicians for Reproductive Health 
* Physicians for Social Responsibility
* Planned Parenthood
* Shelter Box
* Sierra Club  #
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* The Center - 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection   #
* The Climate Reality Project
* The Justice Project - Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform
* UNICEF
* Union of Concerned Scientists 
* Voces de la Frontera 
* Wisconsin Democracy Campaign








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