Join us tomorrow in Chicago, and around the world, to support youth and gun safety as we March For Our Lives at Union Park (Ashland and Lake Street). Rally begins at 11 am. March begins at Noon. There are other locations in Chicagoland and beyond. Find your nearest march!
Quick Reminders: Vote March 20 in Illinois Primary. Go to the nonpartisan BallotReady.org to learn about candidates up and down the ballot and find your polling place. Write-in candidate Cameron “Cam” Davis for vacancy in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Cook County who needs 8,075 write-in votes. Highly recommended by knowledge good people, so spread the word! Also, please consider Daniel Biss for Governor; high integrity, real lawmaking experience, clear vision for Illinois turnaround!
….Today, as I made calls to get out the vote for Daniel Biss, I was ready to have a real conversation with folks (and I had some), but mostly they were not answering their phones. People are busy, out and about, on Saturdays. I left messages, which became fairly routine, and after a while I realized that a robocall would have saved my time. But those calls are expensive and less responsive to questions (though I have received auto-dials in the past that allow you to press 1 to reach a real person and ask questions, which is a nice compromise).
My favorite auto-response was Verizon ring time service which played cool music while I waited for the person to pick up his phone. We could really get this robo world figured out to our advantage. Remember Real Genius where the students audio taped the professor and eventually the professor had an audio tape giving the lecture? Hmmm. But we cannot lose our personal touch either.
I support Daniel Biss because he knows public policy IS personal. And though I felt akin to the newspaper boys pulling wagons in Mr Smith Goes to Washington, being drowned out by big press beholden to the state’s power-brokers, I hope that the personal touch and tiny exchanges will add up to make a difference. After all, every vote counts, especially yours! Go make your voice heard and maybe somebody will listen to you!
Daniel Biss just keeps growing, and so does his support base. He has a real chance of winning the Democratic primary and if he does, polls show he will beat Bruce Rauner. See the latest gubernatorial debate on March 2, 2018.
Tonight Daniel Biss addressed questions from a crowded house full of people asking him about how to solve Illinois’ financial and economic woes, creating efficiencies in government, supporting teacher’s pensions, fixing our judicial system, prison reform, redistricting, and even how he intends to work with legislative heavy weight Mike Madigan. The depth and thoughtfulness of Daniel’s answers were fantastic and forthright.
Daniel is leading us into “what is possible”, not settling for what is business as usual in Illinois politics. The lasting impressions were that he is a leader who knows how government works. He listens and he learns. Not only has he contributed to many advancements already, he also admits to mistakes and grows because of them.
His leading democratic opponent seems to have peaked in support despite spending over $60 million in personal funding and blanketing the airwaves and stuffing mailboxes with ads. Meanwhile Biss keeps attracting more endorsements and followers.
This guy is for real. I saw him speak in a home setting almost a year ago, impressive then, but unstoppable now. He not only articulates a clear vision for solving our problems– by restructuring our tax base, school funding, and fiscal accountability–he also has the gall to suggest that we need to be a part of the solution, and I found myself leaning in!
This is the moment, in this primary, that we get the candidates we deserve. We can simply elect someone better than Bruce Rauner, a low bar, or we can elect Daniel Biss, a leader who knows how to use the levers of government to restore our competitive edge, our integrity, and our faith in self-government.
Do you feel like 2018 is moving fast? Let’s Mark Our Calendars for cool and important dates…
February 28 – PeristList.org has a bunch of events scheduled tomorrow in Illinois/Chicago. The Attorney General forum is tempting.
March 1 – Eleven Minutes of Silence for eleven million undocumented immigrants. As noted in a prior blog, I want to be in the kind of nation that people yearn to live in. Many cities, including Chicago, are hosting an event this day. Wear black. See details here.
Now in theaters: Black Panther. This (almost) all-black cast delivers stunning performances in this Marvel action movie that mixes moral dilemmas with hints of rebellious humor. This is a game changer, a cultural event. People came out in droves and waited in long lines (even after pre-purchasing their tickets), in order to get good seats. I plan to see it again. P.S. Alex Jones is wrong about parallels to Trumpism, he apparently did not stay for the end-credit scenes or capture the essence of a false and unworthy leader.
March 4 – Meet Daniel Biss, Illinois Gubernatorial candidate this Sunday in Oak Park. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the formal invite ($100 per guest, this is a fundraiser). He is our Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; high integrity and for the people. My husband loves this one-minute clip, Biss’s take on the Opioid crisis.
March 4 – Voter Registration deadline online in Illinois: Last day for voters to register to vote through the State Board of Elections website. Ask your friends, neighbors, mail carrier and sales clerks if they are registered to vote! Need help registering?
March 5 – Early Voting in Cook County, IL begins (ends March 19). Check out this nonpartisan resource BallotReady.org to read about every single candidate on the ballot! The CEO of this organization is committed to expanding this site across the country. If your location is not included yet, it will be eventually.
March 8 – International Women’s Day. Last year I invited a group of friends to join me for a tour at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum in Chicago. It felt great honoring a woman of such import and positive impact. This year I suggest we play a game of “count the female statues in your town”…send your results to my comment box! Anyone with over 3 gets special mention. Also see Facts You Should Know about the state of women around the world.
March 20 – Primary Election Day in Illinois. Check out your state and county for details. Explore this cool new resource, BallotReady.org which will help you find voting locations as well as information about all candidates on the ballot.
March 24 – March for our Lives – Support the youth-inspired movement for sensible gun laws that was born out of reaction to the Parkland, FL school shooting. In Chicago this starts at 11 am, location TBD. Marches are scheduled all over the United States, so search for your city. The primary march is in DC.
April 14 – March for Science – Our family enjoyed this march last year, clever signs, friendly people.
April 22 – Earth Day: End Plastic Pollution. Likely there will be local marches and activities. Stay tuned.
Pick one or many events from this list and let’s have fun as active citizens this month and beyond!
The irony of it all. Americans are too skeptical when they shouldn’t be, and too trusting when they shouldn’t be. Let’s use our brains, and our own eyes and ears, and get this right.
So remember when President George W. Bush tried to convince Congress and the American people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that they were responsible for 9/11? Both were lies with dire consequences, costing thousands of American lives and causing trillions of dollars of debt that continues to plague and restrict our nation’s economic freedom and spending choices. Well, gullible folks who trusted that “the president knows more than I do” allowed that debacle. My response at the time was, “In our democratic process Congress declares war, not the President, for the very reason that we need our people to have true facts we can clearly articulate as to why our people need to risk our lives in a war.” Recall that Bush’s White House even went so far as to reveal the secret identity of a covert CIA agent in order to chill any of them from bringing forward facts that would belie the lie. The lies scarred our democratic profile and made Marks of the people who trust authority figures without question. (See a well-written update since this blog was posted on Bush years)
Now we have Republicans in Congress attempting to stifle a critical investigation into how Russia attacked our democracy, possibly with help from American traitors. Their line of attack is to make us question everything, take words out of context, and to invent a new false adversary in the form of an FBI deep state with the Nunes Memo. Instead of questioning the president whose public behaviors and decisions naturally invite formal investigation, they ask us to presume conspiracies where no evidence exists to suggest private opinions influenced professional judgment. They are willing to release classified information to wage a misinformation campaign. They are injecting free-floating paranoia about our American institutions even though those institutions are currently our best hope to restore law and order and protect our democracy. (See an update, since this blog was posted, about the Democratic memo authored and released in response to the flawed and misleading Nunes memo)
If you’ve been paying attention to public behaviors and actions, you will not be fooled.
Fact #1: Russia is a known adversary to U.S. interests. Recently Russia cyber-attacked 20+ state voter registration databases, paid hackers and trolls to con Americans (including targeting U.S. military families), through misinformation campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and backed the theft and release of DNC emails. Recall that Watergate was about theft of information from the DNC office.
Fact #2: Trump and his team are violating U.S. law right now to avoid enforcing sanctions on Russia that were voted overwhelmingly into law by all but five members of the House and Senate (and reluctantly signed into law by Trump) last July. This is a Constitutional crisis!
Fact #3: Trump met with three Russian spy chiefs in the White House a couple of days before deciding not to enforce the sanctions last week. One of those leaders is not even allowed into our country. Our press corps were not told of this important meeting. We only learned of it through Russian press. So much for freedom of the press in America.
Fact #4: Trump has been praising Putin at every turn as both candidate and President. This was really odd in the presidential debates. Recall also that the single change made to the Republican platform upon Trump’s nomination by the Republican party was a more pro-Russian stance with regard to Ukraine.
Fact #5: Trump filled his inner circle with Russian-connected people from the start, many of whom have since pled guilty or otherwise been indicted for acting as foreign agents in connection with Russia or Russian-backed Ukraine. (Flynn, Manafort, Page, Papadapolous). Yet remember how Trump insisted repeatedly that he had no connections with Russia? No meetings with Russia? And yet even is own son and son-in-law (Donald Jr and Kushner) have had meetings with the Russians which they had kept secret. Furthermore, Russian money may have been behind the dark money that funded Trump’s campaign with a $30 million gift out of the NRA. Also, Russian money-laundering may have buoyed the Trump Organization through economic hard times when U.S. banks would not lend to Trump anymore.
Fact #6: Trump has repeatedly expressed desire and taken steps to cut short the investigation into Russian wrongdoing. His actions may indeed amount to obstruction of justice. A full and proper investigation is needed.
We don’t need imagination and speculative conspiracy theories to see what is right in front of us. The investigation into Russia’s dealings with Trump, far from being illegitimate, is essential to restoring law and order and restoring America’s democratic standing in the world.
How was the Women’s March today? Depends on who you ask.
“Big!” Says my sixteen year old son. “Lots and lots of people.” Considering he is over six feet tall I suppose he had a good view of the crowd and the pink hats. He also was not at the Women’s March last year and so his biggest march was Earth Day with roughly 45,000 people. Today’s crowd was more like 300,000.
“Beautiful!” said the police commander when my friend asked him how it went. Peaceful and pleasant almost to a fault. Right before the march an organizer said, “Remember to be respectful of each other and public property.” And we were.
“Historic”, said our friend who also was impressed that it marks the anniversary of the birth of a Movement.
“Sober and mature” I thought, compared to last year’s marches which swelled beyond expectations. Last year in D.C. everything felt electric as people rushed with outrage and urgency to defend Americans and the nation’s ideals. Now both their heads and their hearts are in the game. People know better how to proceed, how to pace themselves, how to win the long game to restore this country.
I saw ‘Dan Biss for Governor” signs. Meanwhile, JB Pritzker wound his way through the crowd near us , accessible to folks for chat and pics. Lisa Madigan gave one of the most inspiring and focused speeches. Basically she said, “1. You can do anything (you already do, like build businesses, teach, volunteer), 2. You are powerful, 3. We are more powerful together. 4. Get out there to vote and run for office.” Powerful message we can think on, and act on!
My recommended 2018 To Do list:
- Register to vote
- Ask everyone you know to register to vote–friends, neighbors, sales clerks, the mailman, (I remind telemarketers who call my home)
- Stay alert for rallies, marches and other organized activity in your area. See PersistList.org for happenings in Chicago and/or sign up for your favorite causes who will send you alerts.
- Stay informed about candidates as we approach elections. Go to ballotready.org for information about candidates up and down the ballot, and triangulate news sources for good information.
- Let’s all get in formation and march to the polls for 2018!
LADY LIBERTY IS STILL WATCHING YOU!
This Saturday heed the warning of Martin Luther King Jr.
“…And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights….” Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream”
Were moms and men, women and children, simply blowing off steam when they marched in last year’s Women’s March? Will they be content to return to business as usual? NO!
The reasons I marched are equally true today if not more true. This administration has proven to be even more bigoted, cruel, incompetent, and corrupt than we warned last year. The president has continued to falsely bash Americans and American institutions, eroding the fabric of our democratic society.
If you add up the hateful things Trump has said about women, Muslims, Mexican-Americans, American cities, FBI, Intelligence agencies, journalists, free press, judges, Congressional Democrats (and Republicans!), his own “loyal” staffers, foreign allies, (and fill in blank___!), and then add up who Trump has endorsed or failed to condemn…
- law-breaking sheriff/judge Joe Arpaio
- corrupt oligarch Vladimir Putin
- brutal Rodrigo Duterte
- Turkey’s President Erdogan
- Saudi role in oppression
- alleged pedophile Roy Moore
…it becomes clear that he has no interest in protecting Americans, and upholding American laws and American ideals.
Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans remain complicit. It is up to us to “Show me what democracy looks like!” See you this Saturday!!
Women’s March in Chicago
Sat, January 20, 2018
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM CST