Archive

Archive

Thank heavens for SNL

There's no question that our democracy is stronger because we embrace smart political satire. It keeps us honest, and it keeps us sane. 

Lorne Michaels created Saturday Night Live back in 1975, and thank heavens he did. Some of the most important voices of our generation came up through the show, including Senator Al Franken, who was one of the original writers and worked on the show through the 90s. 

If you missed it, check out this week's show or summary thereof at the link here, and then send him a note of thanks for keeping this going almost half a century later. 

Lorne Michaels
Saturday Night Live
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY - 10112

 

Etoria Cheeks and Ed Lee push for housing for teachers

It's no secret that housing prices in San Francisco are way too expensive for most people, and unfortunately teachers and other low-paid professionals are not exempt. For the last 20 years, there has been a plan to build housing for teachers. However, nothing has happened until Mayor Ed Lee learned of a math teacher with a masters degree and salary of $65k living in a homeless shelter after being evicted from her home. Now, he's committed $44 million in city money to build between 130-150 housing units for teachers.

Read more here and then send thank you postcards to both Etoria Cheeks, the brave math teacher for sharing her story and inspiring this project, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for taking action.

Etoria Cheeks, Math Teacher
Academy-San Francisco at McAteer
555 Portola Drive
San Francisco, CA 94131

Mayor Ed Lee
Office of the Mayor
City Hall
Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Republicans to the rescue!

Congress failed to repeal a key Obama climate policy this week that limits the amount of methane emissions from oil and gas wells, and we're grateful! Thanks to the vote of 3 republican senators that broke with their party to join democrats and defeat the HJ Res 36. Read more here and then send thank you postcards to Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins for choosing public health and air quality over party politics, allowing us all to breathe easy!

Senator John McCain, R-AZ
218 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Susan Collins, R-ME
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Colbert will save us all

These are hard days and nights, but an awesome lot of people keep plugging away. Six months ago, no one knew what would happen. Today we know that we are a persistent, courageous people who don't give up. Stephen Colbert has been excellently courageous. Check out the video from last night's show, and then send Colbert a note of appreciation for lighting the path through the darkness with intelligence and jokes. 

Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Ed Sullivan Theater
1697 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

 

Sally Yates: American Hero

Sally Yates is a patriot. Read about her testimony yesterday, and write Yates a note of thanks via the UGA Alumni Association. We do not know where Yates is, or who her lawyer is, and we aren't looking. We chose the UGA Alumni Association, because even if the cards don't get to her, they should be aware that it makes sense to celebrate this most distinguished graduate. 

Patriotic UGA Grad Sally Yates
c/o University of Georgia Alumni Association
298 S Hull St
Athens, GA 30602

 

John Conyers wants Medicare-for-All

The repeal of the ACA and replacement with the AHCA is the start of a disaster for American healthcare, but Michigan's Rep. John Conyers, Jr., already has a solution. Conyers has been introducing Medicare-for-All legislation in the house every year for a lot of years. This year, his bill has more support than ever, which is a very good thing. Read more about his bill at the link here (and check to see if your Rep is a co-sponsor), and then send him a thank you note for persisting in his struggle to provide all Americans with health care.

Representative John Conyers, Jr.
669 Federal Bldg.
231 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226

 

Al Franken cares about truth

Al Franken is a straight shooter. He asks the right questions and reveals the real answers. A couple of days ago, he asked a lawyer at the DOJ about what kind of message it sends to would-be criminals that we have a hate propagandist advising the president. That's an important question.

Watch Al ask, and then send him a thank you note at

Senator Al Franken
Saint Paul Office
60 Plato Blvd. East
Suite 220
Saint Paul, MN 55107

 

Colin Kaepernick wants people to be able to get jobs

This guy. People send him hate mail, use his name as code, and right now he seems to be out of a job. But he keeps going. Not just personally, but in public. Reaching out to people, helping in new and creative ways. Know Your Rights camp for kids. Donations to grassroots advocacy organizations. He's a man who lives his convictions. 

Read more about Kaepernick's latest generous enterprise at the link below and then send him a thank-you note for showing us how to maintain our humanity no matter what the world throws at us. 

Colin Kaepernick
c/o Jeff Nalley
Select Sports Group
2700 Post Oak Blvd
Suite 1450
Houston, TX 77056

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/19293946/colin-kaepernick-hands-old-suits-parole-office

Rebecca Riley saves the environment a little bit

The Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973, has saved hundreds of species from extinction, including the American crocodile, grizzly bear, bald eagle, and gray wolf. Some members of Congress are proposing new bills to drastically weaken the ESA by making it easier to remove animals on the Threatened and Endangered Species List and more difficult to add new ones. In both cases congress gets to decide who goes off or on the list. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the new WH administration for suspending protection for bumblebees (the bumblebee has since been added to the endangered species list). And now, they're prepared to take further action to defend the ESA. Read more here and then thank Rebecca Riley, the lead attorney for the NRDC for standing up for threatened species.

Rebecca Riley
Senior Attorney, Land & Wildlife Program
NRDC
20 North Wacker Drive
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60606

Seattle and others divest to protest DAPL

Inspired by the work of Standing Rock Sioux water protectors, activist and councilwoman Kshama Sawant started pushing Seattle to pull investments from banks backing DAPL early this year. Her success inspired other cities to follow suit, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Bellingham, Raleigh, Albuquerque, and Berlin. 

Read more about her efforts and those of others here, and then send her a thank you for standing up for Standing Rock. 

Councilwoman Kshama Sawant
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue
2nd Fl. 
Seattle, WA 98104 

 

All the stones in Flint: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who sounded the alarm about the lead levels in Flint water, is still fighting for the kids and for all of us. The crisis isn't solved yet, and there are more on the way, but she's not backing down. Taking on a public role wasn't something she wanted to do, but she felt she had to in order to get help for Flint, and she's staying in the public eye because she knows we need her. Read about her recent participation in the March for Science and then let's thank her for taking to the streets to make the world better for us all. 

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Hurley Medical Center
1 Hurley Plaza
Flint, MI 48503

 

Boldly going where few Republicans have gone before

Many members of Congress have been vocal in their opposition to plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. One of them, a Republican from Florida, has repeatedly stood up to her party on behalf of her constituents and all of us. Let's send Ileana Ros-Lehtinen some notes of thanks for choosing country over party in the most recent effort to roll back the progress made under the ACA. Read her statement linked here, and then write to:

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
4960 SW 72 Avenue
Suite 208
Miami, Florida 33155

The Handmaid's Tailor: Atwood tells it like it is

The full impact of Margaret Atwood's body of work is tough to estimate, but it isn't slight. She takes the world and makes dark sense of it. At this moment, it's hard to deny that "The Handmaid's Tale" is more instructive, relevant, and necessary than ever. 
Linked here is one of the best short pieces on Atwood's relevance we've read lately. Read it, and then send a postcard of thanks to Atwood for her enduring insight.

Margaret Atwood
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
c/o Penguin Random House Canada
320 Front Street West, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON
M5V 3B6

Fashioning awareness: Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers reveal the high cost of cheap clothes

After the 2013 tragic collapse of Rana Plaza, an industrial complex in Bangladesh, taking the lives of 1,129 underpaid garment workers, Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers created Fashion Revolution, aimed at raising "awareness of fast fashion's true cost," both on people and the planet. Their mission is to encourage folks to ask #whomademyclothes to all fashion retailers. 

“Our mantra is 'Be curious, find out, do something about it',” explains Somers...We want to encourage people to do their own research, to be curious and to be investigative – asking, ‘Who made my clothes?’ is the first step towards that.”

This pressure on brands to be more transparent has seen positive effects including some companies sharing their factory lists, some consumers being more discerning in purchases and new legislation being written. 

This week, Fashion Revolution is hosting events all over the world to raise awareness and transparency of the fashion industry. There is still much work to do, but we can start by thanking these two activists for starting the conversation! Read more about their work here. 

Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers
Fashion Revolution CIC
19 Dig Street
Ashbourne, Derbyshire
DE6 1GF UK.

International postcards require $1.20 in postage.

mark! Lopez: Smelter Smiter

Community activist, organizer and recent recipient of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America, mark! Lopez, is an environmental hero! His good work led to the shutdown of Exide, a battery smelter company that had polluted neighboring communities outside of East Los Angeles with toxic chemicals like lead and arsenic for over 3 decades. He then persuaded the state of California to provide lead testing and cleanup of the East LA homes contaminated. His activism continues as the executive director of the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice.

"We didn’t beat Exide in D.C. We didn’t even beat Exide in Sacramento. We beat Exide on our blocks. This isn’t a million people marching on D.C., this is folks in our neighborhood stepping up and pushing back. It starts with folks who know each other talking about an issue...So you could say there’s the potential for this type of movement to happen in every community across the country. It starts with everyday folks who feel like enough is enough." Read more in the article linked here.

Let's thank mark! Lopez for doing this good work and reminding us there is work we can all do to protect our environment and future if we get busy and take action right where we are!

mark! Lopez
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
2317 S Atlantic Blvd.
Commerce, CA  90040

Colonel Sheri Swokowski: Defending the troops

Retiring Colonel Sheri Swokowski at the Washington Post offers an incredibly important perspective, not just on a new nomination, but on the openness of the military to LGBTQ issues which has been evolving ahead of policy for decades.

Let's thank her for her bravery, not just in volunteering to career military service, but also in publicly sharing her experience and wisdom. Hers is a much-needed voice right now. 

Read her recent op-ed at the link here, and then send a postcard to: 

Colonel Sheri Swokowski
c/o Transgender American Veterans Association
PO Box 4513
Akron, OH 44310

Standing up to America for America

At least one of the members of this family of five risked their lives in Afghanistan to help our soldiers stay safe, but the whole family was detained at LAX for several days following arrival on Special Immigrant Visas, and then released on parole, pending interviews with immigration officials. On April 13th, they were granted permanent residency. They don't want to make their identities public, but we'd like to send them a welcoming message and a note of gratitude for making America keep her promises at a time when it sometimes seems we are defaulting on all commitments at home and abroad.

Read more about their story here, and then send a postcard to:

New Permanent Resident Family of Five
c/o Mark Rosenbaum, Director Opportunity Under Law
Public Counsel
610 South Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Dianne Feinstein: Career Hero

We'd be hard pressed to find a United States Senator that has accomplished more in Congress than CA Senator Dianne Feinstein. In her 25 years of service, she's introduced 4,654 bills focused on protecting our environment and natural resources, our national security, and our health by banning harmful chemicals in food, and strengthening gun control and helping law enforcement fight crime and human trafficking. The list goes on and on and although she's gotten a lot of flack lately for not taking a harsher stance against the new White House admin, we think she's pretty terrific. And did you know she was the first woman Mayor of San Francisco (1978-1988) and the first woman elected to the Senate in California along with Senator Barbara Boxer in 1992?

Read about her recent tangle with Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch here and then let's acknowledge her lifelong public service by sending a postcard of thanks to:

Senator Dianne Feinstein
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104