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.
Now, alas, we are about to enter a time when it will often seem that American democracy has become a vehicle for empowering our worst instincts: mean-spiritedness, closed-mindedness, selfishness, tribalism, self-aggrandizement, and greed. We'll be doing all we can to fight back in the days ahead (I'm proud of how much we've started to do together - check out the recent coverage of #GetOrganizedBK in this weekend's New York Times, The Forward and Patch). But today still feels pretty dark.
So, here are a few thoughts on how to fight the Inauguration Day blues ...
1. What to do at noon today?
I can’t bear to watch Donald Trump take the oath of office, and have no interest in listening to his speech. Still, it also feels appropriate to find some way of marking the transition, and remembering the ideals of American democracy that are supposed to be reflected at these critical junctures.
So, some of us are gathering at the Old Stone House on 3rd Street and 5th Avenue, a site that recalls the sacrifice of the Maryland 400 in the Battle of Brooklyn, in what George Washington called "an hour more fateful to liberty than any other.")
We've put together these readings that reflect on the deep values of democracy -- from George Washington (with a little help from Lin-Manuel Miranda), Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr, Elizabeth Warren, Pramila Jayapal, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. And will take our own "Oath of Office," courtesy of the ACLU.
Feel free to join us if you're nearby (and please bring some food to share), or to use these readings wherever you are.
2. Still looking for a seat on a bus to Washington DC?
There are still a few seats available on one of our yellow school buses from Brooklyn to Washington DC for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.
The tickets are $75 roundtrip and the buses will be leaving promptly at 4:30am from 7th Ave and 9th Street in Park Slope. The bus will be returning that evening between 9pm and 10pm or later, depending on traffic.
If you would like to purchase a ticket, please email Susie Charlop at scharlop [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov" href="mailto:scharlop [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov">scharlop [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov. First come, first served, so act quickly if you want one.
3. If you're marching in New York City
If you are marching in New York City and want to join with other folks from #GetOrganizedBK, we suggest meeting at the 7th Avenue and 9th Street F stop (in front of Smiling Pizza) around 11:15am to head over to Manhattan together. If you are interested in meeting up please contact us at lander [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov and we will make sure you’re connected to other marchers.
We'll be in touch again soon with other next steps in our resistance organizing. We're already planning to join in the launch of the "Kensington Hate Free Zone" (being organized by DRUM, Desis Rising Up & Moving and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice) next Wednesday at 5 PM. More details to come.
This is not the Inauguration Day we wanted. But it's the only democracy we have. And the speeches we'll be reading are a powerful reminder that it's a long-term project, and well worth fighting for.
P.S. Last night, Rosa and Meg made our signs for the Women's March. They cheered me up, and I thought they might help you a little too. See you out there.