February 6, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Postcards for Keeping Up the Pressure on Cabinet Confirmation Hearings/ Votes

Thanks to some brave action by Democrats (thanks Senator Feinstein), there is still a chance that some of Trump’s problematic cabinet picks could be voted down. Here are some printable postcards to send to your (hopefully Republican, hopefully swing state) representatives:

Cabinet + Bannon

I am slightly reassured to hear (I think) that Trump was not fully briefed on the Executive Order he signed to re-structure the National Security Council to include Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.   While it suggests that his oversight is just as poor as we suspected it might be, it also leaves open the possibility that this horrible decision could be expediently rescinded.  I believe we need to run a parallel strategy to support new legislation to remove him from the NSC.  To that point, here are some more printable postcards:

Bannon Cannot be on the NSC

January 31, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Action 1: Day 10, Republican Special


On the final day of first action in the Women’s March 10 actions/ 100 days Campaign, I’m afraid that Action 1 “Send A Postcard” is already feeling quaintly out-of-touch with our political reality. I hosted a postcard party over the weekend. It was probably all I could muster, given my family commitments, but I still wish I’d been at LAX protesting instead. My parents and aunts and uncles and cousins all protested, and I am grateful to them for publicly representing my feelings about EO 13768.

At the postcard party, several people asked me if I thought writing to our solidly blue, democratic, and profoundly disempowered representatives would accomplish anything. While the word on the street is that every little bit counts, and that Feinstein needs to be able to say she’s been ‘avalanched’ when she does something like vote “no” on Jeff Sessions,  it’s still not much more than a stall tactic. To Feinstein’s credit, she authored two bills over the weekend to address the executive order, and to limit presidential power i this area. But it’s likely these bills will never even be heard on the senate floor, since it’s republicans that control the agenda.

It’s dawned on us in the last few days that if we’re going to have any check on the insanity of Trump and Bannon, that it’s going to need to come from the courts, and from Republicans. Some articles suggest that Republicans are unhappy with how things are going. We need to encourage them to stand up to Trump, especially in the face of un-vetted policies that run the risk of instigating international violence like EO 13768.

So for the last day of postcards, I will not be writing to my own electeds. Instead I’m going to work through this list of republicans that are on the fence about Trump’s EO 13768.  I will be printing and sending them respectful postcards, asking them to please stand up to Trump on this matter, and on his re-structuring of the Security Council to include Steve Bannon.  (I seriously considered putting the illustration above on the cards– let me know if you think I should).  I hope you’ll join me.

Republican Special

January 28, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
1 Comment

Action 1: Postcards Against the #MuslimBan

Credit to this gentleman for summing up my sentiments this am perfectly:

Here are some more printable postcards:
Muslim Ban

In case you are wondering, EO 13768 is the official number for the illegal Executive Order banning immigration from 7 Muslim-majority nations signed yesterday by Donald Trump. You can access the full text of all Executive Orders at the Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/executive-orders/

For anyone who wants the individual images, here they are:
Please Explain
and
Love Not Hate

January 26, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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1.25.17 Build Bridges Not Walls

Today Donald Trump signed Executive Orders  to “build the wall,” and to step up deportations.  He is contemplating action to ban Syrian refugees seeking asylum here.  Each of these actions infuriates me.  The Wall I’ve addressed here.  The deportations here.  As for banning Syrian Refugees, I’m silenced by my anger.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, I direct your attention to this cartoon on the role climate change and drought may have played in what would become the Syrian Refugee crisis.  Pay close attention, because similar situations are brewing all around the world.  How will we and our children live with the moral hazard of having created these crises, and then locked out the victims?  I’m not looking forward to explaining this one to my kids, and I worry about the depression and confusion that they will face as they come of age in the world we are creating–one that runs against every principle they have been taught to believe.

So on that note, here are the printable postcards for today.  Send in any ideas you may have related to the Syrian Refugee lockout.

Arbitrary Borders-Build BridgesNotWalls

Build Bridges

January 24, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Affordable Care Act: Care Not Chaos

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What a day it has been. Between Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline being given new life, and Trump asserting that we are going forward with a wall on the border, it’s tempting to bury the head in the sand and give up. In some regard, though, one wonders if Trump isn’t asserting these largely symbolic positions to appease his base, while stalling on an issue that runs the risk of making most of America really angry: the promised repeal of the affordable care act. The more I read about the potential consequences of repeal, the more I think that even the Republicans won’t be fool enough to do it. Part of me wonders if the ultimate power play would’t be for the Republican Congress to finally bring us into the single payer system, with Trump getting to be a ‘change maker” by blowing off the insurance companies. That certainly would be a coalition builder… Just pretend it was your idea, Republicans.

In truth, nothing could be more serious than the erosion of ACA. Some describe it as a three legged stool comprised of 1.subsidies and Medicaid expansion 2. the individual mandate and 3. consumer protections. Eliminating any one leg will make the whole thing collapse. As someone who had to forego early prenatal care with my first pregnancy because my self-paid insurance deemed it a ‘preexisting condition’, and who spent months and a significant portion of my income dealing with bills after complications arose, I can personally attest to the value of these protections when it comes to improving health. My case is one among millions.

So for my first round of postcard writing as part of the Women’s March 10 Actions 100 Days, I focused on sending postcards to my soon-to-be Congressman, and avowed ACA-repealer Warren Davidson in Ohio’s 8th District appealing to his (our) better angels. I hope it helps.

I’ve also created a printable postcard template (for how to use it, see tutorial here) focusing on ACA for others to use. Post pictures if you do!

Healthcare_Page_1

January 23, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
0 comments

10 Actions for 100 Days, Action 1: Postcards

I’m excited that the brilliant Women’s March organizers are continuing the momentum we experienced on Saturday with a “10 Actions in 100 Days” campaign. The first action is “Sending a Postcard to your Representative.” The campaign has printable postcards, or you can fabricate one of your own. This is an opportunity for us to take the many truths of our Women’s March Signs and send them directly to our representatives. I’ve gone ahead and combined some of the Women’s March signs into full sheet, back and front postcards that you can print at home, or send to a copy shop. Please click on the images below to access the PDF files for each batch of postcards.  I’ve saved these files to a shared FedEx account for easy printing– tutorial here.

We’ll start with the beautiful images from the official march:

Amplifier We the PeopleThis lot are for those who want to communicate about what is at stake regarding reproductive rights:
Being a Mother

This one I’m calling my “Conservative District Mash Up”– I will be moving to a conservative district in Ohio come August, and these are the cards I’m planning to send to my future representatives. I tried to find some messages that I thought might ‘make a case’ to those not dyed in the liberal wool.
Coservative District Mash Up

Domestic Policy Mash Up:

Domestic Policy

Environmental Policy Mash Up: I feel like these could be a lot stronger– if I can find the time, I’ll work on them.
Eviromental Policy Mash Up

Immigration and International Relations: For more information on DACA and Dreamers, click here.
Immigration and International Relations

Finally, here’s one specifically for those of you who want to write about Trump’s cabinet picks.
Swamp Things

Here are the newest additions:

Healthcare_Page_1

Arbitrary Borders-Build BridgesNotWalls

Build Bridges

Postcards to build accountability for Republicans:

Republican Special

Postcards against Bannon:

Bannon Cannot be on the NSC

And from Instagram listed under #WhyIMarch you can find all these inspiring examples of people who’ve already taken action:

Keep the momentum going. #womensmarch #10actions100days #stayangry #focused #wonderwomen

A photo posted by jenniferlove222 (@jenniferlove222) on

January 23, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
0 comments

Beautiful Day

What a powerful day.  I was so proud of my hometown of San Diego for the enormous turnout at the Women’s March.  Estimates are not finalized, but there is some thought that the crowd was over 70,000 in size.  I know it was big, because even though I knew at least 100 people who went, I did not personally run into any of them. I was so inspired by the creativity of the signs, cheers, and costumes…. I hope to have time to do another post on that.  But for now, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day

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January 23, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
1 Comment

I Found My Sign: Keep the Dream Alive

IMG_4353

Interestingly, not may people at the march were familiar with “DACA“–“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals– the legislation signed by President Obama in 2012 that helped undocumented youth brought into the US as children defer deportation for 2 years.  The 2 year grace period is renewable, and essentially allowed young people, many of whom were raised here, to live without constant fear of deportation.  Though it is highly imperfect and in many ways inadequate,it provides/provided a important temporary protection for young people, many of whom live as de facto Americans.  It is unclear whether the Trump Administration will repeal this legislation, but given his promises to deport 2 million undocumented residents in his first 100 days, and the fact that the information on DACA-qualified residents is held at the Federal level, it is possible that youth who provided the government their information so they could be protected will find themselves under threat. For more information on DACA, please see this recent Q+A from the Washington Post.

The sign I chose also makes reference to the broader trajectory of the DREAM Act/ the concept of “DREAMERS”.  So many of our families in California are “mixed status” families–meaning that some members of the family have legal status, while others do not.  This is a treacherous situation for families, potentially meaning that US-born children can have their parents deported and their non-US-born siblings deported.  The consequences in terms of safety, quality of life and health for these families is far-reaching.  In his 2014 Executive Order, Obama tried to grant protections to families in this situation, but tragically, the Executive Order was rejected by a vote of a tied 4-4 Supreme Court in June 2016.

For me, this is a cross-cutting issue. Through slash and burn capitalism, we create economic pressures that make life untenable in the nations of the global south. This forces migration crises, where those with the most to lose are also the least likely to have the luxury time and money to pursue “legal paths” to immigration. Under extreme pressure, these immigrants undertake harrowing, life-threatening journeys to the United States, where they then must live in constant fear of deportation– something that lingers and festers even after a lifetime of labor, participation, and contribution.  Finally, after a persistent blockade of efforts to develop a ‘pathway to citizenship,” that forces Obama to take the pathway of an Executive Order to move this issue, Republicans blockade the confirmation of Nominee Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, driving the whole issue to a permanent halt.  As angry as I am about Trump, my fury may be overshadowed by the anger I feel toward our Republican congress.

So this is my sign.  I think it gets to the essence of what is at stake here.  I will be writing this up and sending it to my congressional representatives, both in California, and in the Ohio congressional district where I will be voting as of 8/1/17.

January 20, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
0 comments

Sign Printing at FedEx

I’m super excited that some folks have been able to use the ‘shared’ FedEx print account.  Because my phone number and email are on it, I got notifications that the following orders are ready:

-Ms. Cavenaugh’s order (Del Mar, CA)

-Ms DeLeon’s order (Sacramento, CA)

Thanks!