Get Organized BK!

Get Organized BK! is a group of Brooklyn's progressive individuals, activists, organizations and elected officials working together to resist Trump regime policies of injustice, corruption, and hate.

Nevertheless, they persisted. We will, too.

I was distressed to wake up this morning to news of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in cities across the country.

Our Local Progress colleague Greg Casar, a city council member in Austin, TX reached out to let me know about raids taking place in his community. Greg has led the way in making Austin (and the surrounding Travis County) into a sanctuary city, refusing to hand over immigrants in local jails to ICE for possible deportation.

The Washington Post reported raids in at least 6 states last night. It’s clear that many of those rounded up have no criminal records. The result: “panic and terror … running through many immigrant communities,” according to Make the Road NY. And that, of course, that is exactly what the Trump regime is aiming for. Read more »

We must keep organizing. Here are 4 more chances.

Your activism is truly what is keeping me going.

This has been one of the darkest weeks our lifetimes. Xenophobia is now the official policy of the White House. The Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines roll back hard-fought environmental wins – just as the planet once again experienced its hottest year ever. We have a President committed to lying, stoking Islamophobia, and provoking hostility with our neighbors. And we’re only one week in.

But your commitment to getting and staying organized has been extraordinary. Last Saturday’s marches were the largest democratic mass demonstrations in American history – and it felt like everyone we knew was in the streets together (thanks for all the great pictures & videos you shared). This Wednesday, so many of you helped launch the Kensington Hate Free Zone, led by Desis Rising Up & Moving and leaders of the Bangladeshi Muslim community, where we pledged to support a community defense system to love and protect our neighbors. You’ve continued to write letters and make phone calls by the thousands.

Still, each day’s news from Washington is going to be bleak. So we must stay active.

Here are four more opportunities: Read more »

A few suggestions for fighting the Inauguration Day blues

You know I'm pretty relentlessly upbeat ... but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't feeling pretty bleak this morning.

It really hit me last night what we are losing in President Barack Obama. It is impossible to describe how grateful I feel to him for giving my kids an example of democratic leadership that is so fundamentally decent, smart ... and irrepressibly committed to the idea of American democracy as a vehicle for mobilizing our better angels.

Read more »

Alternative Inaugural Readings: January 20, 2017

Alternative Inaugural Readings: January 20, 2017

From the Declaration of Independence (1776)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

(“And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m’a compel to include women in the sequel.”
- Angelica Schuyler, courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton)

Read more »

Get Organized BK Upcoming Actions, Updates, Next Meeting 1.16.17

I hope you were able to enjoy some time with friends and families over the holidays, and that you are ready to gear up for the fights ahead in 2017. With the New Year, we hope to ring in a new era for resistance and organizing.

As a reminder, our next #GetOrganizedBK meeting will be on Monday, January 16th at 7 PM at Congregation Beth Elohim. That’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so we’ll have a few reflections first, before splitting into working groups again. We’re pretty sure this is how he’d want us to spend it. Below, we’ve shared some updates and requests from #GetOrganizedBk in addition to some great events coming up over the next several days.

Read more »

From Freezing Rain to “Giraffe Power.” #GetOrganizedBK next Tuesday 12/20

The news continues to be as dark and cold as the days. A climate denier to head the EPA. A fast-food CEO who opposes workers’ rights to lead the Department of Labor. Evidence that Russia successfully influenced the election through cyber-spying to elect Trump, sow chaos, and undermine faith in democracy – followed by Trump’s nomination of an oil executive with no diplomatic experience and a disturbingly close relationship with Putin for Secretary of State.

What does it mean? It means we can’t let up.

So, we’re getting together again next Tuesday evening, 12/20 at 7 p.m. for our next #GetOrganizedBK meeting. Please RSVP here.

In the midst of so much darkness, your activism continues to offer much-needed points of light. Over just the past few days: Read more »

2 Upcoming Actions: Standing Together Against Hate in Grand Central, and Ft. Hamilton Stations

From a hate-driven attack on an MTA worker in Grand Central Station, to anti-Islamic graffiti at the Ft. Hamilton subway station in Kensington, to so many heartbreaking instances over the last few weeks, we’ve seen an unacceptable and frightening rise in hate crimes, both citywide and right here in Brooklyn.

This Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, #GetOrganizedBK members are holding two actions to show that our community stands together against hatred and Islamophobia. Join for one or both of these events to say “Not in our city!” and “Not in our neighborhood!”

Sunday Afternoon:
“Not In Our City!” Vigil
Grand Central Station (main concourse)
Sunday, December 11 from 3-4 PM
A great action to join right after the Kids Speak out March in Central Park!

Monday Morning:
“Not in our Neighborhood!” Subway Rally
Monday, December 12 at 7:30 AM
Reeve Place Entrance to Ft. Hamilton subway stop.
Send neighbors off to work with messages letting them know we will not stand for hate, and our neighborhood is for ALL of us.  Read more »

Two bits of inspiration & some next steps for #GetOrganizedBK

Every day seems to include some new darkness (and not only because the days are still getting shorter). So far this week we’ve seen the nomination of a climate-denier to be the EPA Administrator, a segregation-denier for HUD Secretary, a violent attack on a DC pizza restaurant based on right-wing fake news, and a continued stream of hate crimes in NYC.

So I’m feeling the need for some small but bright spots of inspiration. Here are two:

*** Standing Against Islamophobia in Grand Central Station: This past Sunday, some of our very own #GetOrganizedBK actvists (led by Ben Wides and joined by two dozen others, who got started at our meeting last Thursday) organized an impromptu vigil in Grand Central Station, responding to the hateful attack on Muslim Baruch College student, Yasmin Seweid. They got some great press coverage, and made clear that we will not tolerate hate crimes. Thanks for standing up to say #NotInOurCity. Check out this video clip of their beautiful action.

***City Council Passes a Resolution Affirming NYCs Status as Sanctuary City: On Tuesday, the City Council (of this historically immigrant city) overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming that despite President-elect Donald Trump's senseless (and probably unconstitutional) threats, NYC will remain a sanctuary city for our immigrant residents. I was proud to co-sponsor the resolution, along with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca (who many of you met last Thursday). Right afterward, Carlos went up to Trump Tower to deliver the resolution to the President-elect.

Read more »

Stay connected to #GetOrganizedBK

Last night we saw another meeting of truly tremendous organizing at our second #GetOrganizedBK gathering. More than 700 people got busy in 15 breakout groups. Standing in solidarity with our immigrant neighbors. Electoral organizing. Fighting Trump Administration corruption and conflicts-of-interest. And many more.

The smarts, strategy, and willingness to roll-up-sleeves in our community is powerful. People have continuously dived right in, facilitated, started making action plans, and committed themselves to this cause. It's clear that passionate, moral, urgent organizing to resist the Trump regime has the potential to engage like nothing since the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Big thank you to Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Assembly Member-elect Robert Carroll, Rabbi Rachel Timoner and Congregation Beth Elohim, Rabbi Ellen Lippman, Mark Winston Griffith, and so many people who stepped up as leaders both last night, and for the long haul.

We’ll follow up with more specifics from last night’s meeting soon, including reports from all the different committees, but in the meantime we’re going social! To follow up on the work of the first two #GetOrganizedBK meetings and to stay on top of upcoming actions and events join the newly lauched #GetOrganizedBK Facebook group (and invite your friends to join as well). We want it to be a hub for individuals, activists, organizations and community leaders to join together in our resistance.

We’re also hard at work planning our next meeting. I hope you’ll be able to join us on the evening of Tuesday, December 20th for our 3rd #GetOrganizedBK meeting:

The 3rd #GetOrganizedBK Meeting
Tuesday, December 20 at 7 PM
Congregation Beth Elohim
Corner of Garfield and 8th Ave, Brooklyn NY

-Brad Read more »

Next #GetOrganizedBK Meeting: Thurs, December 1st

At our first #GetOrganizedBK meeting on November 15th, over a thousand people turned out to show that our community will not stand idly by. We will not “normalize” white supremacy, yield to Islamophobia in our subways or anti-Semitism on our playgrounds, or become accustomed to policies rooted in racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny.

Unfortunately, President-elect Trump has already given us many reasons to resist – from his nominations of Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, to the corrupt ways he apparently sought approval for a building project in Argentina that he stands to profit from, to engaging in Twitter-fights with the cast of Hamilton and the New York Times, while failing to condemn hate-crimes committed in his name (and in our neighborhood).  

After Thanksgiving, we’ll be getting together again to roll up our sleeves and start planning the work, strategy, actions, and events that will sustain our energy and build momentum for our resistance to policies of injustice, corruption, and hate. I hope you’ll join us: Read more »