a written challenge to a duel
"Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences." -Gloria Steinem
"The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day. A movement is only people moving." -Gloria Steinem
ACTION LETTER #12: April 20th, 2017
Dear Activist Cartel,
I'm reading Gloria Steinem's book My Life on the Road and vividly learning what community/political/feminist organizing looks like. I've learned 2 really important things that inform this week's action items:
1. Always ask the people that you're organizing what they need and want.
During a college class field trip, Gloria saw a turtle on the roadside. Thinking she was keeping it safe from cars, she returned it to the nearby river. Her professor then informed her that the turtle had just spent months crawling up the river bank to the muddy roadside to lay eggs. "Always ask the turtle" became Gloria's first rule of organizing.
2. Every vote impacts the next vote, the next candidate, the next election, and the next outcome.
Gloria details the 1982 US Senate race in Missouri where Harriett Woods lost by less than 2% of the vote. I encourage you to read how Gloria connects the dots, pointing out that if Harriett had won... conservative Clarence Thomas wouldn't be sitting on the Supreme Court and most likely the Iraq war would never have happened.
Gloria Steinem's perseverance throughout decades of activism inspires me SO MUCH. Which brings me to the great honor of extending this invitation to The Activist Cartel...
1.) An invitation for you! Join me and Gloria Steinem at the NYC charity gala for A CALL TO MEN: I'm on the host committee for this fundraising gala, May 25th, and we'll be honoring Gloria Steinem (she'll be there!). You can get more details and purchase tickets here.
--A CALL TO MEN educates and activates men to be part of the solution to ending violence against women and girls. This nonprofit is close to my heart, and I will be detailing it more in the future, but for now, please visit their website to learn more and donate if you can.
--I know it's a pricey ticket, but it's important to me that The Activist Cartel is included in the exciting happenings that I'm involved with, and of course the money goes toward an amazing cause that's making true, grassroots change. NY pro athletes and the Yankees Joe Torre will be there, along with actor Matt McGorry who will be speaking. Let me know if you're coming!
2.) Get involved with Swing Left and Flippable and make every vote count.
--Swing Left: Enter your zip code and they will find your closest Republican congressional district, that was won by a thin margin, and therefore can be flipped in 2018. I was surprised to learn that living in CA, I still had a Republican congressional district only 30 minutes away. They provide many ways to help!
--Flippable: They focus on state elections... and why are state legislatures so important? They're responsible for Voter Registration, Voter ID laws, and Redistricting for the U.S. House of Representatives, which often suffers from gerrymandering— the practice of drawing district lines to benefit one political party. Considering Republicans control 32 of the 50 state legislatures, they've profoundly benefitted from gerrymandering, skewing national elections. Here is John Oliver explaining gerrymandering in his brilliant, funny way.
3.) Please take this Feedback Survey that I created to follow Gloria's advice to "always ask the turtle." I'm excited to best learn how to focus our passions: (2-5 minutes)
--We have a lot of new members, so no worries if you can't answer every question, any info is helpful.
--Of course be honest, but please be compassionate with your responses. I've volunteered my time to create The Activist Cartel, and this process can be very vulnerable at times. All I want to do is make the cartel great, so we can make a difference together!
A quick word on some good news. I couldn't be happier about Bill O'Reilly being fired. Remember that Fox News knew about his sexual harassment for a long time, but it wasn't until people spoke up that change happened.
We must speak up!
THE ACTIVIST CARTEL