I’ve been thinking about this question a lot these days. While I imagine that the answer will be different for each of us, I do see examples of bravery everyday. To focus my thoughts, I opened the dictionary and found the following:
Journalists – speaking truth to power every day in the face of continued disdain and obstruction – Daring, Dauntless…
How about 10 year old Rebekah who spoke at a rally in support of transgender students and their right to be protected from discrimination in the public school system? Read her story.
And, Daniela Vargas, a 22 year old Dreamer, who was saving money to go back to school to become a math professor, but was arrested and detained by ICE after speaking at a news conference. “We weren’t here doing any harm, she said. We were just going to work and going to school. I feel like I belong here… I feel like I am an American.” C
Our first shared story, from Mary Hamilton of Kentucky, is also one of bravery.
Asking the Questions
I’m a Kentuckian, a storyteller by trade, and a person who likes to have a task. Chanting or holding a sign isn’t my style – but recently, facing a setback, I found that my style and skills were helpful, too.
When tickets for an Anderson County (Ky.) Chamber of Commerce community forum featuring Sen. Mitch McConnell sold out, about 500 people – including me — remained outside, unable to attend. I grabbed a small notebook and began asking those outside: What question would you have asked, had you been able to enter the event?
I talked to only about 10 percent of those outside, but ended up with a total of 79 questions. One came from a mother, who was there with her toddler, who had a seizure disorder. The mother asked: Will I have to pay for more expensive health insurance because of my child’s pre-existing condition? Will my child hit a lifetime insurance cap before even reaching adulthood?
Another person noted that Sen. McConnell saw John Sherman Cooper as his mentor and wondered: Would McConnell’s approach be something his mentor would be proud of? [Cooper was a long serving senator, diplomat, Republican from Kentucky who was clear about serving his constituents over his party. DB]
Other questions included:
- Why does Congress not subpoena Trump’s tax returns?
- Why did you feel like you had the right to silence Elizabeth Warren?
- What’s the federal government’s role in making sure Kentuckians have clean air and clean water? and
- Will you cross party lines and stand up to Trump?
I mailed all 79 questions in a letter to Senator McConnell’s Washington office and to his Kentucky offices and (as I told his office) I posted it on Facebook, where it was shared over 90 times. I also emailed the letter to my local newspaper and the two largest newspapers in my state. I promised, when I got answers to the questions, I’d post the reply to my Facebook page.
A Kentucky resident, I’ve written McConnell before, and every time except one, received a reply. So, I’m optimistic about hearing back, and hope that his office will consider the questions asked. It is satisfying, at least, to know that I did my part to make my voice — and those of my fellow citizens — heard.
Thank you Mary – if YOU have a story to share – please do. Photos of your resistance also welcome.
Ideas, Information and Action
Don’t forget to mail your postcard to President Trump on Wednesday for…The Ides Of Trump! EASY action. Mail a postcard (or two or ten) on March 15, 2017 to the President. Say what’s in your heart. Then enjoy the image of millions of postcards arriving at the same time! If you need to download a great postcard click here!
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Based on results from a member survey, MoveOn will focus their efforts for the next few weeks to run a massive campaign to stop health care repeal. Here’s their to do list…
- Republicans everywhere must feel the pressure and hear that this plan is unpopular and politically toxic. Republican House members from districts that voted for Clinton, need to understand that their jobs are in jeopardy if they support this plan.
- Not one yes vote from Democrats.
- Work to replace Tom Price’s vacated seat in Georgia with John Ossoff who will support the ACA – flipping this “safe red” seat to blue!
If you want to see which Republicans have expressed concern about heath care repeal check out this article from the Washington Post.
Visit this great site launched by House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) giving the American people a place to get their voices heard with leaders on the Hill regarding repeal the Affordable Care Act. Add your voice, it’s easy to do and encouraging to see voices from all over the country participating. This is not a petition, check it out!
Check out the Revolution of Values set for April 4th to to draw inspiration from and breathe new life into the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.
Do you know about PopVox? It’s a civic engagement platform that provides a way for you to have a direct connection to lawmakers in Washington, DC and your state capitol. Here’s their cool mission: To connect people and government, empower effective participation, and create a transparent record that influences policy-making and fosters accountable, responsive governing.
Call to action – send a letter to the Department of Labor regarding the conflict of interest ruling that requires financial advisors and firms to provide advice in their clients best interest. Form letter and information for this easy action.
Hope is evident
International Women’s Day – was beautiful, here are a few snapshots.
- Check out this photo from Loganberry Books in Cleveland, Ohio where, Harriet Logan (owner) turned all the male-authored books around to illustrate how much more represented they are than female authors. “I wanted to do something different, something that would highlight not just the good works by women, but also the disparity in the industry. As someone who tries to carry female authors, the effect is shocking.” The actual flipping of the books was part of a live performance art project. A total of 10,000 books were turned around.
- The Empire State Building was lit up in pink as thousands of women marched in NYC.
- Scratch Food & Beverage, a restaurant in Pittsburgh honored its women employees by giving them paid leave for the day.
- In San Antonio, TX – Jessica Todd, Superintendent Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design said: “We planned a day of no women in classrooms, front office, cafeteria/cleaning ladies and even shut down my office. Students at our small high school instead had male substitutes, classwork geared towards gender issues… we have got to show our young students how to be active social engagers if we have any hope for this world.”
- In Williamsburg there was a mini march for mommies – with preschoolers and their teachers – many dressed in red – with a sign saying LOVE YOUR TEACHERS the way they LOVE YOUR CHILDREN.
Sara Bareilles singing Brave. I don’t seem to tire of watching this.