“GOV 101” – Sat. Jan 14, 2017 : How You Can/Must Play a Vital Role with the MO State Legislature

SEATS ARE FILLING VERY FAST —ACT NOW BEFORE THE CLASS IS FULL.

Sign up for this vital seminar: the inside scoop how the Missouri State Legislature really works, how to testify & fight FOR issues you care about and AGAINST those we know are dangerous.

Hosted by MO State Rep. Stacey Newman & Craig Yugawa, President of American Medical Association Washington University School of Medicine Chapter.

Saturday, January 14, 2017 —10am to 1pm

Washington University School of Law, Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, Room #301, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130

Parking details HERE.

Class Fee = $10.  Purchase your seat HERE —you MUST register in advance because space is limited.

Bring your own pencils, paper, laptops and a few friends to a 3 hour action packed seminar designed to de-mystify the workings of the Missouri state legislature and how you can/must play a vital role in fighting/advancing policy.

SKIPPING THIS CLASS IS NOT AN OPTION —-IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR FUTURE.

Being passive no longer works. Protecting civil rights and standing up for those who are most at risk is our responsibility.  Sign up now.

YOU MUST DO THIS RIGHT NOW

civilrights

Under the covers?

Or back out to fight for those who will be hurt the most?

Our friend Sarah, a Georgetown University junior, gave her friends a social justice to-do list for the week.  We liked it so we made one too:

 

#1 – FIND OUT TODAY WHO YOU ELECTED

Learn exactly who represents you in the state legislature, Congress and at the local level.

CLICK HERE TO START.

Remember our elections have not yet been certified by the Missouri Secretary of State so check back for updates.  If you live out of Missouri, the same thing applies with YOUR state director of elections.

#2 – NEED HELP?

Please contact my legislative assistant, Adam Speak at [email protected] or call him at my Capitol office – 573.751.0100. He will help you – regardless of where you live, even out of state.

#3 –  WRITE DOWN YOUR ELECTEDS CONTACTS

Write down their names, email and phone number and stick them on your refrigerator & computer desktop.  Use bright colored post-it notes so you can see them every time you reach for a snack or get on Facebook.

I could not be more serious with these first 3 steps.

Most people have NO IDEA who represents them in the state legislature.  Many in my own district think I work in Washington D.C.  I am not kidding you.  We don’t call ourselves “Congress” —we are your state legislatures.  Most of us were on your ballot in November —and are who YOU put in charge to represent you.  You must contact us repeatedly in 2017 – stay on our backs – make sure we fight for you.

Conservatives now control 66 out of 99 state chambers.  In Missouri the GOP is in charge with super-majorities in both the House and Senate and have all but one statewide office. It is going to be very rough.  GUESS WHERE MOST POLICY ACTUALLY GETS PASSED?  Yep, in your state.

#4 – MARK THIS DATE ON YOUR CALENDAR

January 4, 2017 —Missouri Legislative Session Begins.  

Most other states also begin 2017 sessions in January. SEE EVERY STATE LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR HERE.

#5 – FIND YOUR LOCAL MAYOR & SCHOOL BOARD 

They are meeting regularly RIGHT NOW and many will be up for election in the spring.  Attend city council and school board meetings.  Run for office yourself.

Policy decisions that effect your family are being made each month, decisions on which you may or may not agree.  Pay attention – even if your children aren’t old enough to attend or if you’re an empty nester.

Extremist policy begins locally—and is where extremist candidates are groomed.

CLICK HERE FOR ST LOUIS COUNTY GOVT & SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

#6 – DECIDE RIGHT NOW WHAT ISSUES YOU CARE MOST ABOUT

Reflect where you can put your time and resources.  Decide your focus right now.

Our impulse is to open up our wallets to every group immediately which is not practical. Step up for those for which you are truly passionate – and remember state organizations, not just national ones.

#7 – FORWARD THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO EVERY FAMILY MEMBER AND FRIEND

BEING PASSIVE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.

We’ve seen much of this before in our history.

Protecting civil rights and standing up for those who are most at risk is our responsibility.

Join with me.

What I Know

Like you, I woke up today after going to bed at 2am with fear, revulsion and a stomach ache that won’t go away.

My progressive sisters across the country texted me all last night, including my wise daughter. These souls were my lifelines as we watched our country succumb to hate and bigotry. My husband & I talked of leaving the country, even our state, after Missouri went bright blistery red with the NRA/anti-woman sentiment ensconced now in every branch of our state government.

But then I realized that he & I will probably be ok. Our immediate lives won’t change much. But how on earth can I go back to Jefferson City in January to work with these hateful people?

In despair I read posts from my friends & mentors – Denise Lieberman who wrote, “No words. More determined than ever.” Inspiring words from Professor Jason Purnell, who is an eloquent master of hope. And then a lightbulb moment.

I haven’t been working for social justice just for me. I work for you.

It is not all horrendous. Good people across the country were elected, including my progressive GOP friend, Barbara Bollier to the Kansas State Senate, who cares as deeply about gun violence and reproductive rights as I do. A Facebook group of mostly progressive women, Pantsuit Nation ballooned to over 3 million in the last few weeks and is still exploding. People are writing me for next steps, encouraging my leadership, reaching out for answers. As a legislator, I work for you, not for me.

I realized this after a long hot shower.

More kids are going to be shot & killed. More women are going to be attacked on all levels even more openly. Voter rights STILL need to be protected. Sexism, racism, bigotry, homophobia, anti-semitism all need to be fought against on a much heightened level.

The fight doesn’t end. In my total disgust, I’m hearing those in the past quietly whisper, “keep moving.”

So I decided this morning to finally get out of bed.

I’m taking your passion, encouragement and wise words and putting them back into my pocket. Putting on my hot pink oxfords which give me magic powers. Do what I know how to do. Going to fight with all the strength I have.

Please join me.

8 DAYS OUT – HELP GET THIS DONE

THIS IS IT.  Stop listening to the noise.

I’ve been in Ohio since October 21st with HRC Travelers from all over – California, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut – and more are flooding in.  People are hopping on planes & driving long distances just to make sure she carrys this battleground state.  We are door knocking and phoning voters every single day – talking to everyone we meet, regardless if they’re even on our walk sheets.  The enthusiasm is great among women & in low income neighborhoods – where many often don’t want to go.

The Cuyahoga Women Democrats are working round the clock: flash mobbing for Hillary, helping with Early Voting lines at the Board of Elections, hosting & feeding HRC Travelers in their homes, doorknocking multiple shifts and working out of downtown HRC offices where they desperately need volunteers. 

WE NEED YOU TO HELP TOO

Do what my friend Tenaya did this past weekend with her cousin and aunt who live across the country. They Skyped together as they called online for Hillary to women voters in targeted states.

Step #1:  Gather your pals —at your house or online wherever they are.

Step #2:  Log onto www.HillaryClinton.com & navigate to Volunteer – HERE.

Step #3:  It will take you through several steps (a training if you need it) —Choose Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood and her daughter Lily Adams Team.

Step #4: At the top, choose your phone bank —I’m doing Ohio Women to Women.

Step #5:  The 1st voter pops up with their phone number, age & city & a helpful script if you need it.  Then enter your result and move to the next one.

Step #6:  That’s it!

PLEASE HELP MAKE HISTORY —MANY WOMEN & FAMILIES ARE DEPENDING ON US TO ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

Ok –I have to go now jump on my next calls…

11 DAYS TO GO —-INSTEAD OF GETTING NERVOUS , GET BUSY!

Amy from Illinois, Kate from Virginia, me from Missouri and Rebekah from Connecticut

I’m in Ohio volunteering for Hillary with women travelers from all over the country because…we just had to be here in a crucial battleground state to get the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT elected (sorry for yelling).  We know not every one can just pick up and leave home (kids, work, husbands, dogs, etc) for this moment in history.

YOU don’t have to be in Ohio to still be part of the “Nasty Women” who are taking the country back from Donald Trump wanna-bees. There’s plenty for you to do right where you are —and still TIME to do it.

——————————————————-

VOLUNTEER FOR HILLARY RIGHT WHERE YOU LIVE

Getting Hillary elected is going to take more than following all the fabulous Facebook pages such as “National Pantsuit Day – November 8th” which sprung up last week and ALREADY has 90,802 members (exploding like crazy every hour).

Gather a couple of friends/family/co-workers – which makes it more fun – and go to your local Hillary office. Click HERE if you’re not in Missouri.

 – St. Louis – 4309 Lindell Blvd, 63108 (near St. Louis University) – 314.328.0668

 – Kansas City – 1901 McGee Street, 64108 – 816.287.0593

– Columbia –  15 S. Tenth Street, 65201 – 573.340.1071

Or you don’t even have to leave your house.

PUT HILLARY IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHILE WEARING YOUR PAJAMAS

My friend Harry the Donkey high fiving after reaching a voter for Hillary on his laptop.
You can make calls directly to voters in needed battleground states right from your couch – what could be easier?  Or invite a few friends who yell at their TV’s every time Donald says something else misogynistic or racist or homophobic.  Add some cheese & chocolate and make it a real “Nasty Women” event:
1.  Log into HillaryClinton.com on your laptop, have your phone charged up and navigate to the Volunteer Call Page —HERE.
2.  Even if you have only 20 minutes while waiting for the dryer to beep or your bathtub to fill.
3.  Talk directly to Hillary supporters to remind them to vote —especially in states like Ohio, Texas or Nevada.
* Dial the number on your screen
* Follow a simple call script – and remind them you’re calling from YOUR STATE and how much you need them to VOTE for Hillary (they don’t need to know about the pajamas part).
* When you’re done –just mark the result of the call on your screen.
4.  Talk directly to still undecided voters we haven’t yet reached to tell them WHY DONALD MUST BE DEFEATED.
 * Call voters who haven’t yet been confirmed for HIllary —you can see their names & addresses right on your screen
 * Use the script to guide you —but TELL YOUR STORY why you’re voting for Hillary – AND CALLING THEM IN YOUR PAJAMAS
 * When you’re done – mark the result on the screen.
LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW HOW CRUCIAL THEIR VOTES FOR HILLARY ARE IN THEIR STATES
Write a simple message on Facebook to your old college roommates, former neighbors, even the cousin you haven’t seen in years = let them know how badly they must Vote for Hillary.   SIGN INTO FACEBOOK AND OPEN THE LINK HERE.
Easy!  I just did it (in my pajamas) —and let my FB friends know that I NEED THEIR STATE to come in for Hillary.  Just because they are your Facebook friends, doesn’t mean they are as serious as YOU ARE about showing up to vote.  We cannot afford to leave any vote on the table.
FORWARD THIS TO EVERY HILLARY SUPPORTER YOU KNOW
Your friends don’t read their email?  THEN go to ProgressWomen on Facebook and share these instructions with your friends.  We are also on Twitter @ProgressWomen16.
If you still need the right pajamas to get motivated, CLICK HERE.

The NRA and Trump’s Inseparable Misogyny

The women who work at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence came together to write this piece on Medium.  We love it so much and must share it.

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The GOP has embraced the NRA’s assault on women for years. Why is Trump so different?

by The Women of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: Kelly Roskam, Adelyn Allchin, Bryan Barks, Vicka Chaplin, Jennifer Fuson, Lisa Geller, Lori Haas, Kayla Hicks, Chelsea White

For more than a year, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s misogyny has captured the attention of the media and the public. Throughout his campaign, Trump has made disgusting and demeaning comments about women. The recording of Trump bragging about sexual assault and the subsequent accusations about his sexual misconduct only amplify what he has displayed throughout his campaign: he views women as objects to be violated at will.

No one should be surprised by Trump’s comments given the tone of his campaign. But for some reason — perhaps because the election is days away and their congressional majorities are on the line — many Republicans are suddenly shocked and appalled by this kind of language. Speaker Paul Ryan said he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments. Senator Ted Cruz called the language “disturbing and inappropriate.” These public denouncements are laughable coming from politicians in the pocket of the gun lobby. Leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) have perpetuated rape culture, opposed laws that would keep women safe, and exploited victims of domestic violence for years.

In a 2014 broadcast with the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow, NRA radio host Cam Edwards suggested that college and university policies regarding sexual assault on campus are “encouraging victimhood.” Schow stated, “So many of these cases come down to two people being drunk at a party hooking up, and then somebody, usually the girl, regretting it the next morning.” Edwards replied, “Yup. Absolutely.”

Edwards is not the only NRA representative to embrace this misogynistic, victim-blaming philosophy. NRA Board Member Wayne Anthony Ross once asked, “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” and offered an ignorant and despicable “solution” to domestic violence, saying, “There wouldn’t be an issue with domestic violence if women would learn to keep their mouth shut.” NRA Board Member Ted Nugent once stated, “Anybody that doesn’t think it is better to blow someone’s brains out than to be raped, deserves to be raped. If you don’t think your life is worth it, then please go out there, don’t wear any underpants, and get raped, ’cause you deserve it.”

These comments fall into the same category as Trump’s “hot mic” comments — violent, offensive, and demeaning. But did Republicans withdraw their support for the NRA following these comments? Did they refuse to accept the NRA’s money? Did they stand up for women denigrated by this language? No. In fact, Republicans and the NRA have worked together to actively block legislation that would keep women safe.

The NRA and other gun rights proponents have routinely opposed efforts at the federal and state level to prohibit purchase and possession of firearms by stalkers, persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors, and extending the prohibition to include dating partners convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or subject to domestic violence restraining orders. They have also opposed efforts to protect unmarried dating partners from armed abusers. In short, the gun lobby not only blames victims for their abuse, but actively advocates for abusers to remain armed.

In 2014, the NRA’s lobbying arm, NRA-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), issued a statement opposing a Rhode Island bill that would prohibit persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from owning firearms. The bill was consistent with the existing federal prohibition for domestic violence misdemeanants. The NRA-ILA’s letter complains, “This bill is flawed because it lowers the bar to misdemeanor offenses. Current law already prohibits convicted felons from owning firearms.” This perspective deliberately obscures the fact that even serious domestic violence offenses are commonly charged as, or pleaded down to, misdemeanors. Additionally, the letter perpetuates the myth that a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is not a serious offense.

In 2015, the NRA opposed a provision of a bill in Louisiana that would have allowed abusive dating partners to be charged with domestic abuse battery, which under federal law would prohibit them from purchasing or possessing firearms. Kim Sport, chairwoman of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Public Policy Committee and of the state’s domestic violence prevention commission, said she was told the NRA “didn’t want to increase the pool of people who will be dispossessed of their firearms.” What about the women dispossessed of their lives?

In 2015, when Senator Amy Klobuchar proposed a bill to ensure that dating partners convicted of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence restraining order would be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, the NRA balked.

According to their perverse logic, a person convicted of abusing their spouse can be prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms, but a person convicted of abusing their dating partner — a position of similar intimacy — is safe enough for continued access to a deadly weapon.

The NRA’s opposition to these common-sense pieces of legislation shows that they prioritize the rights of abusers to own deadly weapons over the lives of domestic violence victims.

This month, in a stunning show of greed, the NRA has capitalized on Domestic Violence Awareness Month to increase sales. Through a partnership with BearingArms.com, the NRA is selling firearms and concealed carry training courses to victims of domestic violence. The campaign, called “Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence,” is focused on getting guns into the hands of victims of domestic violence by telling them being armed makes them safer. Recommendations from the program include “protecting your home with an [Modular Sniper Rifle] MSR,” “taking a concealed carry course,” and “joining a local firearms training group.”

Notably, this is not the first time the NRA has exploited women’s fears of domestic violence to sell guns. As part of their “Refuse to be a Victim” program, launched in 1993, featured trainers on their website discuss topics such as “How to carry a concealed firearm in different outfits,” “Benefits of adding a mounted light to your firearm,” and “Creating a shooting diary to track your training.”

While the idea that a woman should “protect herself” might sound innocuous, the NRA’s campaign intentionally ignores the facts at the expense of women’s safety. In the United States, an American woman is shot and killed by her intimate partner every 16 hours. Intimate partner homicide comprises 40–50% of all murders of women, and research shows that when an abusive partner has access to a firearm, the risk the other partner will die increases more than five-fold. An abused woman is 10 times more likely to be threatened with a gun than to defend themselves with one. The bottom line is that guns do not make women in abusive relationships safer; rather, they put women at higher risk of being threatened, shot, and killed by their abuser.

At a time when domestic violence organizations are providing real resources and awareness for victims and survivors of domestic violence, “Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence” willfully ignores the evidence about the risk firearms pose to victims of domestic violence. Though they advertise safety and empowerment for women, the gun lobby’s ultimate goal is maximizing end-of-year profits — even at the expense of women’s lives.

Donald Trump’s words and actions towards women are repulsive, but his behavior is no surprise given his close alliance with an organization that actively works to put more guns in the hands of domestic abusers. Republicans, who are now so publicly disgusted by Donald Trump, have turned a blind eye to the NRA’s equally deplorable rhetoric for years. They have voted against measures to protect victims of domestic violence. They have cashed the NRA’s checks without thinking twice about the human cost. They have shown blatant disregard for the lives of women — until those women are poised to vote them out of office. Donald Trump and the NRA are a package deal. Republicans don’t get to run from one but not the other.