Get Organized BK! Next Steps (for today: #DumpBannon)
More than a thousand people joined together at our #GetOrganizedBK town hall on Tuesday night, to begin the transition from mourning the election results to acting on them. We committed to working together in strategic ways to resist Trump’s agenda and defend our deeply American values.
It was a powerful evening, We heard from smart, steadfast, compassionate and diverse speakers who helped us prepare for focused and sustained resistance. We took seriously what we must do to show up for New Yorkers facing hate-speech and hate-crimes welling up in our streets, subways, and schools. We cheered on inspiring young people. We built strategies to move forward with our neighbors. We sang America the Beautiful. And we restored some of our faith in community, love, and democracy.
For those of you who weren’t able to join us (we’re sorry for the poor live-stream quality), you can watch the full event here, check out a few of the pictures and quotes here, or read about it in City Limits and BKLYNER.
We are very grateful to all the presenters for taking the time to be with us, on top of all the great work their organizations are doing. Mark Winston Griffith made the case especially strongly: we need to step up and support the organizations leading this work in the days ahead, with our time, energy, and contributions.
Follow up information from our panelists is included below and on my website. We also included the community announcements from the speakers who joined us to mention upcoming events and organizations to join. This video-clip of 13-year-old Kate Griem has already been viewed over 1,300 times.
In the days, months, and years ahead, I commit to working together with you -- to oppose harmful policies and disgraceful appointments, to defend vulnerable neighbors, to protect our diverse city, and to fight for the American values of equality, tolerance, and inclusion with every breath, call, e-mail, tweet-storm, organizing meeting, and rally we can.
A First Next-Step: #DumpBannon
For today, we ask that you focus on the abominable appointment by President-elect Trump of Stephen Bannon to serve as his senior White House adviser.
The organizations that fight racism, fascism, anti-Semitism, and hatred -- like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center -- have made clear that Bannon is unacceptable.
It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’ (Anti-Defamation League).
Mr. Trump’s selection of Mr. Bannon makes a mockery of his first commitment to the American people as president-elect: ‘to bind the wounds of division. In Mr. Bannon, he’s tapped a man who has fanned the flames of division by providing a platform for racism, xenophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism. (Southern Poverty Law Center).
Here are a few things you can do:
*** Contact your Senators and Members of Congress. Our U.S. Senators and local Members of Congress have all declared their opposition to Bannon. But they need to hear from their constituents that this is our top priority for this week. Find your Member of Congress here.
*** Keep #DumpBannon and #StopBannon trending on social media. Some good suggestions here.
*** Neighbors are kicking off a Brooklyn #DumpBannon campaign. If you want to join, sign up on this google form to stay in the loop.
We may or may not win, but we must not normalize a white supremacist in the White House.
Moving Forward Together
If there was one takeaway from the speakers, community organizers, and leaders we listened to, it’s that we are in this fight together.
We can’t sugar-coat it: we are in for some dark times ahead. But it is deeply heartening to know that we have a strong, powerful, and compassionate community of people -- in the room, online, and far, far beyond -- committed to our ideals, and working to protect the country that we love.
I’ve already heard many great ideas for actions we can take (from weekly get togethers, to bus-pooling to marches, to letter writing campaigns at schools). If you’ve got an idea for an event, campaign, or any other suggestion to build the momentum of our organized resistance, enter it in this google form.
Please share this e-mail, and let people know they can join our list-serve to stay in touch about actions in the days ahead.
Thanks again to the hundreds of people who joined us for the event, and to the hundreds more who joined us online. We apologize for the failure of the live-stream, and promise to step up our technology game for the work in the days, months, and years ahead. (Special thanks to my intern Darren Pasha for filming a more functional video of last night’s event, so all can watch in full and see the energy that fills our community). Thanks also to my great staff (especially Susie Charlop and Rachel Goodman) who pulled the event together in just a couple of days.
As I said on Tuesday, I’m inspired at this moment by the remarkable life and example of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery in 1818, he faced brutal treatment that nearly took his life, and it took him three tries to escape. After he won his freedom, he devoted his life to abolishing slavery, then after Emancipation, he fought for the rights of African-Americans in the South and the North, for women’s suffrage, for the rights of Native Americans, and for the rights of Chinese immigrants.
Of course the challenges we face pale in comparison to what Douglass faced, but still, I think we can learn from him. At the end of his life, after 70 years of struggle, when asked his advice to a young man just starting out in the world, he replied:
“Agitate. Agitate. Agitate.”
And so we will.
Speaker/Organization Follow Up Information:
Here’s the follow-up information from the organizations represented at #GetOrganizedBK:
Christina Chang, Planned Parenthood NYC:
Check out 5 ways you can support Planned Parenthood of New York City and our communities at http://www.ppnycaction.org/takeaction. Sign up for our alerts, follow us on social media, donate, connect with partner organizations standing up for communities under threat, and learn about events, actions, and volunteer opportunities. Of course, these are just a few things you can do right now. The opportunities to get involved and fight back won’t end here. We are in for a long haul and you can be sure that there will be more ways to take meaningful action in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Thank you for your support!
Mayra Aldass-Deckert, NY Immigration Coalition:
In this very uncertain environment, NY Immigration Coalition is busy gearing up, and aligning with local, state, and national partners. We need your help, and there are a lot of ways you can get involved. First, sign up for our news alerts – we’re organizing a national day of action in December, keep an eye out for more information. We also need volunteers. We need graphic designers, printers, and people with all kinds of skills! We also need your donations. They will help especially to provide for attorneys and resources for families in need. Most importantly be sure to speak with your friends, family, and neighbors about the many benefits and contributions that immigrants bring to this city, this state, and this country.
Mimi Bluestone, 350Brooklyn:
First, come to our next meeting on Tuesday, November 29 at 7 pm at St. Lydia's storefront church, 304 Bond Street near Union. We are a volunteer group and we need artists, researchers, organizers, web designers, writers and help of all kinds. Visit 350brooklyn.org and email us at 350Brooklyn [at] gmail [dot] com. Second, join us and our nearly 100 partner groups in the NY Renews coalition in the effort to move our state off fossil fuels and into clean, renewable energy. Come to the NY Renews Town Hall meeting on Thursday, December 8, at 6:30 at Friends Meeting house on Rutherford Place in Manhattan (enter on East 15th Street). Finally, help us organize for offshore wind energy in our region, and help us work to make the April 29 climate march on Washington the biggest climate event ever. Email us at 350Brooklyn [at] gmail [dot] com and we will help you get involved. The climate needs you!
Jon Green, Take on Wall Street campaign:
This election has brought imminent threats not only to our ideals, but threats to the safety and security of families and communities, and threats to the safety and security of our economy. Donald Trump is hell bent on returning to the economic policies that gave us a financial crisis. We need to press democrats to fight this every step of the way, to remind them not only what's at stake, but also that the country overwhelmingly agrees with us. They want more Wall Street regulation, not less. And we also need to go back on offense. Dodd Frank was just the beginning. We need to reinstate The Glass-Steagall Act, close Wall Street tax loopholes and make Wall Street pay its fair share. You can join this nationwide campaign here, and please like us on facebook.
Mark Winston Griffith, Brooklyn Movement Center:
The Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) is a membership-led, direct-action, community organizing body based in Central Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and the surrounding area). We bring together residents to develop local leadership, identify important issues in their lives, win concrete improvements in the community, and build power. We build the connective tissue among us so when we have to hit the streets and work on a policy issue, we are ready to move. Like so many nonprofit organizations, we are now in the mass scramble for resources as people are being pitted against one another. We have to fight against that and all come together. All the work we have to do starts on the local level. We encourage you to join the Brooklyn Movement Center as a core member, or a solidarity member, and to support the work that is going on through your donations
Virginia Goggin, New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
Take a stand against violence that targets LGBTQ New Yorkers by: joining our mailing list for Community Alerts at www.avp.org; signing up for Twitter updates @antiviolence; taking the pledge #IWillNotStandBy; reporting violence against LGBTQ people at 212-714-1141 or anonymously at avp.org/get-help/report-violence; signing up to volunteer; and by donating to AVP a twww.avp.org/donate and other community based organizations to help us increase our impact during this time.
Rashida Richardson, New York Civil Liberties Union
To stay informed about the NYCLU issues, campaign, and upcoming events, sign up for our Action Alert list: www.nyclu.org/action. You can find more information about our work to protect New Yorker’s privacy rights: http://nyclu.org/ecpa. We also encourage you to join the NYCLU on March 13th for our Lobby Day in Albany! Join our Action Alert list or visit our website for more information: http://nyclu.org/#. You can also join the NYCLU and become a card carrying member: http://nyclu.org/take_action/donate
In the next few days, we will link to the remarks made by Amy Rutkin, Chief of Staff to Congressman Jerry Nadler, on how to help Member of Congress resist the Trump agenda.
We’ll also be providing shorter video-clips you can share with friends (like the tips on how to interrupt harassment or hate speech).
Community Announcements from #GetOrganized BK Town Hall
Women's March on Washington (January 21)
Join the NYC Chapter of the Women's March on Washington DC. The group will be keeping members up to speed on details for a January 21 March on Washington. Join on facebook to discuss carpooling, sign making, songwriting, chant creating, or anything else that will get us motivated and unified for the march. Email womensmarchorganizer [at] gmail [dot] com or join the event on Facebook.
NYC Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
The NYC Chapter of SURJ has been working to support Black Lives Matter, the Right to Know Act, and more. The group is starting to convene a Park Slope chapter of SURJ. Check out NYC SURJ’s website or Facebook for more information on how to get involved.
NY Appleseed and Integrate NYC4Me
NY Appleseed and Integrate NYC4Me are both working to integrate NYC schools. You can learn more about NY Appleseed here and IntegrateNYC4Me here. If you or your student wants to get more involved promoting integration in your school, send an email to hello [at] integratenyc4me [dot] com
The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC)
The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of attorneys, law students, and voting rights advocates who have a deep commitment to Democratic politics and who share the common goal of protecting each citizen’s right to vote. You can join NYDLC and learn more about the organization here.
New Kings Democrats Political Club
The progressive political club New Kings Democrats welcomes new members from across Brooklyn. There is a meeting this Saturday (11/19) from 11am-2pm for post-election organizing and strategizing. All information about our club, about that meeting, and about future events can be found at newkingsdemocrats.com.
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
The political club, CBID has been fighting for Democrats for over 50 years. CBID meets monthly to discuss issues and neighborhood concerns. There is a meeting tonight 11/17, but meetings are usually on the 4th Thursday at 7pm at 410 6th Ave. Join for an upcoming meeting. More information on Facebook