Actions for Everyone
I’ve always believed in energy. The bodies of dinosaurs and other organic materials, as well as the sun, creates an electrical grid that brews our coffee, turns the lights on so we can see, powers the alarm clock so we wake up, or if we’re being honest, it charges our cell phones which are now alarm clocks. Apart from the grid, energy exists in the basic elements of human and non-human existence. Water, air, and fire create energy, plants create energy in our bodies, and even our bodies are made of energy that has been recycled for thousands and thousands of years.
Whatever you believe, if you pray, if you give good vibes, if you pay it forward, if you believe in the power of the people, please give your best energy to yourself and others today and everyday until we know Justice. This week, this year has been heavy, but I’m so thankful you’re here so we can do this work together.
Abolish The Police: It took nearly a year of marching, organizing rallies, destruction of buildings and property, hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets, thousands of arrested activists, and lots of civil disobedience to get a guilty charge for Derek Chauvin. I want to uplift the Floyd family, community organizers, and activists right now – it’s been a hard fought win without a doubt. One year of millions of people laboring across the country after George Floyd was murdered so that one person would be held accountable. I also want to be real when I say, we don’t even know what his sentencing will be yet, and even decades in jail won’t turn back time.
We. Must. Abolish. The. Police. If you haven’t read Mariame Kaba’s article in the New York Times from a YEAR ago, do that now. Also learn from Mariame Kaba and other abolitionists. This work is as relevant now as ever before. While the Chauvin verdict was being read in Minneapolis, MN, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot to death by police after calling them to help her in Columbus, OH.
There’s lots of work that needs to be done in order to abolish the police, and I’d like to provide a sliding scale of actions you can take to help make it happen, but it starts with wrapping your head around the fact that it’s necessary. No reform. No reimagining. Abolition. Say it with me, “abolition.”
There are many amazing organizations working to introduce urgent policy solutions, including Campaign Zero. Please visit their website and see how you can get involved. Deray at Campaign Zero needs volunteers to find and code police union contracts. Deray shared his phone number so you can text him at (410) 204-2013, and he’ll tell you how to help him process this data.
Legalize Weed: Someone tell me why marijuana isn’t already legal across the Nation? (It’s rhetorical, no need to answer that. We know the answers are always puritanism, capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy.) These United States aren’t united on the weed front. It’s ridiculous to me that I can legally buy weed in Illinois and Michigan (my neighboring states), but that marijuana is only decriminalized in my City, and fully illegal in the state of Wisconsin. It’s illogical that people are fined or sent to jail for having THC in their system when anyone could drive to several different states and buy it legally. If weed were legalized, we could finally stop arresting people on possession charges today, AND we could release people with possession charges from past decades. Even as I’m typing this, it’s hard to fathom there are people who have been in jail for decades because of marijuana possession, but there are. In addition to the legal ramifications, legalizing weed would bring in $millions$ in tax revenue to every state, and save $millions$ from going into keeping people in jail.
You know who is stopping weed from being legal in the United States right now? SENATE DEMOCRATS! If we can’t even get democrats on board, our chances with republicans must be low. Call and write to your representatives this week. If you want language to write or a script to read, here are tips from drugpolicy.org on how to contact your electeds.
Earth Week: Today is Earth Day! This week is Earth Week! I’m so happy we’re out of the era of the presidential predecessor, so at least this updates can be celebratory. You know we fold in environmental actions into this newsletter all the time, but there is something special about Earth Day. Read about its history. This weekend, I promise there is a neighborhood trash pick up near you, or invasive species clean up along a river bank, and if there isn’t, here’s how you organize one:
- Buy gloves or those trash picker-uppers
- Get garbage bags
- Knock on your neighbors’ doors and tell them to meet you outside or by the river to clean up from Noon-4 pm
Perhaps your neighborhood is in pristine environmental shape, and then what can you do? Check out this Earth Day calendar to find an Earth Day celebration near you. Earth Day Live is happening on Thursday 4/22 at 12 PM ET on earthday.org – I’ll be tuning in!