Westrom/ Becker Town Hall Meeting

call to action

Representative Jeff Backer and Senator Torrey Westrom will be visiting Morris for a town hall meeting this Friday March 23 from 11:15 am to noon at the Morris Public Library. Both of them are on agriculture policy committees, and Backer has authored two bills preventing state agencies from taking action against dust emission from temporary grain storage bins and from creating water resource protection requirements. http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/pressrelease.asp?pressid=32710&party=2&memid=15428

If you have any questions/talking points about these environmental issues, please contribute them by contacting Sara Lam at saraglam@gmail.com. They will be compiled and made available as hard copies to people attending the town hall who would like to make comments or ask questions of Backer and Westrom.

In the wake of the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, people across the country have risen up to demand that Congress stand up to the NRA on gun safety. The students of Parkland and other youth leaders have unapologetically demanded that their Members of Congress (MoCs) protect them from the uniquely American epidemic of mass shootings. Indivisible Morris is committed to changing our gun safety laws and protecting our country’s students, both at the state and federal level.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will focus on improving school security and access to mental health services to keep students safe after saying Wednesday that gun control measures he continues to push are unlikely to pass the Republican-led Legislature.” https://www.twincities.com/2018/03/07/dayton-offers-21-million-plan-to-enhance-school-safety/

Let’s ask Republicans Backer and Westrom WHY they are unwilling to support reasonable gun safety measures such as the ones Florida recently passed.

If you have any questions/talking points about gun safety, please contribute them to Sara Lam at saraglam@gmail.com. They will be compiled and made available as hard copies to people attending the town hall who would like to make comments or ask questions.

Even if you don’t want to ask a formulated question, simply SHOW UP to support those who do. Numbers talk!

Also our partners at Indivisible DFL MN CD-7 have organized 2 additional events for Saturday, March 24th in Starbuck, MN. Join them if you can! Details below:

9:45am:   Meet at Starbuck Community Center (307 E 5th St, Starbuck, MN 56381) for Town Hall Meeting

10:00am:  Town Hall at Community Center with Paul Anderson-R  (12-B), Jeff Backer-R (12-A), Torrey Westrom-R (SD 12) until 10:45am

11:00am:  March For Our Lives (staging begins at 10:30am in VFW Parking Lot, 212 E 6th St, Starbuck, MN 56381)

Morris Rally for Science

 

poster2018

The Trump administration continues its mission of undermining science and denying facts. Saturday, April 14 provides an opportunity to push back.

In 2017, more than one million people marched in more than 600 locations around the world to support and defend science. In 2018, we unite once more to advocate for science’s crucial role in society and policy. More than 175 satellite events around the world have already registered to participate in the 2nd annual event. And the Morris Rally for Science is one of them.

You can rsvp for the event here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/rally-for-science-2018-support-the-north-central-soil-conservation-research-laboratory

Come out and show your support for fact-based reasoning in all political decisions. The president’s budget has slated the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris for closure. The rally highlights the importance and influence of the lab for our community, the region, the science of soils, and the federal network of agricultural research facilities. Organizers plan to collect signatures and endorsements for a document, to be sent to our political representatives. An open mic will be available to all groups and individuals who would like to speak. Political leaders and candidates have been invited to attend.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Minnesota Morris will begin at 10 am in Oyate Hall on campus. Research and scholarly work in science, social science, arts, and humanities will be presented by students. Please come after the rally.

You can also find more information and volunteer to help organize or speak at the Morris Rally for Science here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/431714447175538/

*CALL-TO-ACTION* SUPPORT the Morris Soils Lab (USDA -ARS North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory)

Lab Photo sign3

The President’s proposed FY19 budget came out recently.  As expected, there are proposed ARS lab closings that include Morris and Brookings, SD as well as 18 others.

What can you do?  Send a letter of support to members of congress for the continued operation of the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris or for the continued need for long term agriculture research. Please do so before March 15 (deadline for member requests). Sue Dieter suggests you fax your letter “because mail won’t get there until sometime in April (I kid you not).”  Calls and emails are also beneficial if you are not able to fax a letter. (When calling, be sure to ask for the staffer who deals with agriculture.)

Here are some talking points for you to use in support of the lab, when calling or writing:

The USDA -ARS North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory, or Soils Lab, has an annual budget of $2.8 million.  There are approximately 18 FTE employees, which does not include student interns or other, non-federal employees.

The Soils Lab has been leading research on novel, year round cropping systems for the Upper Midwest to promote pollinator health, rejuvenate soil health, enhance water quality, prevent soil loss and stimulate rural economies. Their work provides independent and trustworthy research that enables farmers to increase productivity and profitability while simultaneously enhancing soil, water and Air quality.

The research being done at the Soils Lab greatly benefits society but is not and likely would not be done in the private sector.

As Congress deliberates Federal spending, we urge continued support of agriculture research in general and USDA-ARS Specifically.

Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agriculture research now returns over $20 to our economy. *

*study available here https://medium.comusda-results/ch11-ad47897cba7#.ap1qc5xhp

Please fax, email or call to express your support:

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Fax:  (202) 228-2186

Phone: (202) 224-3244

Email: https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/email-amy
 

Senator Tina Smith

Fax: (202) 224-0044

Phone: (202) 224-5641
Email: https://www.smith.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

 

Congressman Collin Peterson

Fax: (202) 225-1593

Phone: (202) 225-2165

Email: https://collinpeterson.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

 

You can also send letters to ARS Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young (FAX (202) 720-5427 )

We suggest that you provide a copy to the beleaguered folks at the Soils Lab, as a show of support. Jane Johnson is the Acting Research Leader jane.johnson@ars.usda.gov

Thank you for taking action,

Your Indivisible Morris Team

 

From Now to November

Indivisible Morris Meeting

Thursday February 15, 2018, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Morris Public Library Community Room

102 E 6th St, Morris, Minnesota 56267

We spoke out at the Women’s March. We spoke out on Caucus night. Now what? What do we say next and how do we say it? One of our greatest opportunities for resisting the harmful policies of the current administration is by making sure that Minnesota has strong progressive voices in positions of power. There’s a lot at stake in November, including: our next Governor, 2 U.S. Senators, a U.S. Representative and a MN Representative. Who will be representing OUR views and fighting for our OUR beliefs?

To quote Senator Amy Klobuchar, “We’re not just resisting, we’re insisting on a better way forward!” Come to the meeting with ideas about how to move forward as we brainstorm our strategies from Now to November.

Attend Your Caucus

Are you ready for your Precinct Caucus? This is the most basic, grassroots way to be politically active and it is more important than ever that progressive voices speak out. It’s not enough to vote. We need to play a part in shaping the conversations and building the political party structures that will determine our futures, the futures of our children and grandchildren, and the future of our planet.

All Minnesota caucuses take place this coming Tuesday, February 6. Registration begins at 6:30 pm. Caucus meetings begin at 7:00pm.

Whichever political party you favor, you can find the location of your precinct caucus here.

Have never attended a precinct caucus? Find more information here.

Be prepared to participate in a straw vote for Governor. After registering by completing and signing the precinct roll, each eligible attendee will be given a ballot on which the attendee can indicate a preference (including uncommitted status). You can find out more about all candidates running for Governor and other offices here. https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/08/minnesota-election-2018-who-s-running

Be prepared to propose and adopt progressive resolutions. The DFL resolution form can be found here: Resolution-Form The Republican resolution form can be found here: 2016-Resolutions-Form-GOP Check with your preferred party for other resolution forms. Some of CURE’s partner organizations have drafted resolutions about progressive rural issues and you are encouraged to present these resolutions at your caucus or use them as inspiration to write your own. You can find them online under the Rural Democracy Project link at CURE River.

Be prepared to serve as a Convention Delegate. Progressive issues will have a greater voice if progressive delegates are selected. If no more want to serve than there are delegate positions, no contest exists and a formal election need not be held; those who wish to serve will be delegates. If there is a contest, delegates are elected by precinct attendees.

We must take action NOW if we want progressive voices representing us in NOVEMBER.

The Art of Caucusing: Trainings for a stronger democracy

Art of Caucusing

Morris Training on January 30; Morris Senior Center

Online Training on January 31

Event check-in starts at 6:00 pm. The training runs from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Details below.

How do we make a future that works for all of us? How do we support a non-partisan people’s agenda—a platform for us which recognizes and advances the needs and desires of all people to thrive in a healthy and just world?

Building a world that justly serves people requires that we all step up and participate, starting with political participation. Real change starts at the grassroots. Precinct caucuses are a grassroots, ground level way for you and me to get involved and be heard, even if we have never participated before. This is the first level of the political party structure. The main functions are to meet and support candidates, present and vote on party resolutions, and elect delegates to the party conventions. Precinct caucuses happen in every county and take place on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Getting involved in shaping a better world is more than voting. CURE wants you to be ready.

In January and early February 2018, CURE’s Rural Democracy is presenting The Art of Caucusing training throughout west central and southwestern Minnesota. This training will teach you what caucuses are, how to participate, and how to write, present, and advance resolutions. The democratic process does not stop after the caucus; you will also learn about what happens at your County, Senate District Convention, Congressional District, and State Conventions, and how you can be a delegate who further advances a people’s agenda.

At your caucus and conventions that follow, we want you to talk to your neighbors about what you value and to make new connections. More likely than not, you and your neighbors share similar feelings about supporting progressive policies that create thriving communities, vibrant ecosystems, fair and affordable healthcare and education, and healthy families.

You have the power to shape the issues and political environment. You can elevate a vision for rural Minnesota. You can move candidates to talk about a better agenda for all people in rural Minnesota and—have them commit to working on those issues. You can shape the campaigns and hold candidates accountable.
It all starts with getting involved and empowering yourself.

This training is in conjunction with Our Minnesota Future.

To register CLICK HERE http://www.cureriver.org/the-art-of-caucusing/or contact CURE’s Rural Democracy project at peg@cureriver.org or 320-269-2984. Event check in starts at 6:00 pm. The training runs from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Defend Dreamers

dreamers*CALL TO ACTION* Our best chance to fight for the safety and protection of Dreamers has been through withholding votes on “continuing resolutions” (CRs), short-term government funding extensions (check out our explainer here). To pass a CR and keep the government open, Republicans need 60 votes (including 9 Democrats!). Initially, just a few Democrats stepped up to be Dream Heroes but, by the end of December, more than 30 Democrats in the Senate and all Democratic members in the House voted against the last CR because it didn’t include protections for Dreamers.

Congress must pass another CR by Friday, January 19, to keep the government open. That means Democrats have another opportunity to ensure the safety and protection of Dreamers by passing the Dream Act as part of any spending bill.

Here’s what you can do right now. Call to thank Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Collin Peterson for their past support of Dreamers and ask them to again vote no to any CR that does not include protection for Dreamers. Call to ask our new Senator Tina Smith to be a Dream Hero. Call scripts are here. 

Amy Klobuchar (202) 224-3244

Tina Smith (202) 224-5641

Collin Peterson (202) 225-2165

Women’s March, Morris

Women's March_edited-3 copy

Join us for the Second Annual Women’s March, Morris. Celebrate, along with thousands of others across the country, the one year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington and a hard fought year of resistance. Reignite your passion and help us harness the power of women, the power of the vote, to create change in 2018 and beyond.

The March begins at 1:00 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2018; Morris Senior Center, 603 Oregon Ave, Morris, MN.

After the march, stick around for light refreshments and join the discussions around effective caucusing, voter registration and winning big in November.

Indivisible Morris Member Meeting

happy new year

Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the Morris Public Library

It’s the beginning of a new year- the time to celebrate past achievements and look ahead to all that we want to accomplish in the coming months. The 2018 elections loom large already. Please join us as we discuss priorities and develop strategies for ensuring that progressives win in November. We need to stand strong in our continued resistance against hate and injustice and environmental havoc. We need YOU! Let’s make it a happy new year!

Holiday Call to Action

TODAY’S ACTION: Relax, unwind, nap, go for a walk

For the last week of the year we’ll be focusing on self care. No actions are planned unless something urgent comes up (i.e., Mueller is fired).

The plan for if/when Mueller is fired is this:

Indivisible Morris Rapid Response Event

This is an event planned as a rapid-response protest in the event that Donald Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Please note that the listed date is a placeholder and will be updated to be within 24 hours of the firing, should it occur.

Location: Morris Public Library Mall, Morris.

Date/Time:

Rallies will begin hours after news breaks of a Mueller firing:

  • If Mueller is fired BEFORE 2 P.M. local time —>  events will begin @ 5 P.M. local time
  • If Mueller is fired AFTER 2 P.M. local time — events will begin @ noon local time the following day

Save the date: Second Annual WOMEN”S MARCH in Morris, Sunday, January 21, 2018

Enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday.

Some helpful links:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-political-change.aspx

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/well/how-to-follow-the-news-in-a-political-age-of-anxiety.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201706/5-ways-cope-better-political-stress-now

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/friendship-20/201702/8-tips-tackling-political-stress-now

Self-care during tumultuous politics

Thank you from the Indivisible Morris team!