Moving Forward

safety-pin-selfie

#safetypin

My heart is full. I can’t begin to convey how supported I feel by all of you following the aftermath of Tuesday’s US elections. Thank you for joining the conversation, and for helping me feel less alone.

While I continue to avoid the radio, TV, and print news, I have received a few emails of note. Tomorrow evening I’m attending an “organizing and solidarity” meeting at Sacred Heart Community Services.

From the executive director “We must organize a plan to protect our community now. If you want to consider the implications of the election and find out how to be an ally to those families under threat, join us on Tues, Nov. 15th at 6pm at Sacred Heart’s Learning Center. Learn how to get involved. Bilingual in English and Spanish.”

I’ve invited a couple of friends to join me as well.

Louise Benson founded Sacred Heart Community Service in 1964 to feed hungry families in her neighborhood.

Today, they provide essential services to individuals and families in. The organization has evolved into a respected and innovative provider of programs that assist families with achieving lifelong economic self-sufficiency and a grassroots organizing network that addresses the root causes and consequences of poverty. Sacred Heart strives to meet basic human rights such as food, clothing, and housing assistance, while at the same time offering the tools for self-sufficiency, including employment assistance, family mentoring, and adult and youth education programs. In 2008, Sacred Heart was selected by the California to be the Community Action Agency for Santa Clara County. This designation formalized Sacred Heart’s role as a regional leader and conveys a responsibility for developing countywide solutions to poverty.

I will let you know where it leads.

I also wanted to share the following excerpt from San Jose’s Mayor, Sam Liccardo entitled “We’ve Got Your Back”.

Dear Friends,

Recent events have left many thousands of our San José residents — about forty percent of whom were born in a foreign country — in fear. Some of our neighbors, friends, and family fear changes in immigration rules or enforcement that could separate their families. Others voice concerns about proposed federal “registries” of community members of the Muslim faith. Still others point to the nationwide spike in “hate crimes” in recent days.

I have sought — through Spanish-language television, social media, and in public demonstrations — to convey a simple message to our wonderfully diverse community: “We’ve got your back.”

What do I mean by that, “We’ve got your back?” We cannot control the events in Washington, D.C., but we can do much to care for each other here at home:

  • We will Not Tolerate “Hate Crimes” in San José
  • We Will Not Allow Our Police To Be Used for Federal Immigration Enforcement
  • We Will Protect the Constitutional Rights of San José Residents
  • We Will Support Our Community Through Our Office of Immigrant Affairs

As French resistance leader Andre Malraux urged, “Instead of lamenting the absurdity of the world, let us try to transform the corner of it into which we were born.” We’ve got much work to do to take care of each other, and to transform San José’s corner of the world. We’ve got your back.

You can read the full text here.

How are you doing this week?

30 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Feeling pretty depressed here, sorry I didn’t get my act together to be able to comment on your previous blog — couldn’t find my wp password and have been operating with a very distracted energy. Good for you to avoid the news & social media, I’ve spent too much time in that space for my own good!
    I actually met Louise Benson back when she was starting her food bank — I took a photo of her pulling a load of donated tomatoes in a red wagon : ) I worked as photographer & graphic designer for “The Democrat News” in the early 1980’s (long since defunct). Met quite a few local leaders when they were just getting started — like Ken Yeager and others.
    It’s hard to know what to do next — volunteering on the local level, donating to organizations that defend civil rights — I’m proud of San Jose & California. Missing my home town right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barb, Distracted energy is a good description of how I’ve been feeling as well. It’s been hard to focus.

      I highly recommend a break from the Facebook feed and the news. It just agitates the already raw senses while at the same time enhancing the injustice of it all.

      I’m so impressed that you’ve met Louise Benson. What a forward-thinking woman. I remember the Democrat News. I wonder if you still have that photo?

      I wish you were here in San Jose. I know there are many wonderful things about your new life, but I imagine the political climate there is not quite what you would hope.

      Hang in there.

      Like

  2. That’s exactly what we have to do Alys, good for your mayor and good for the Sacred Heart Community. We are planning to attend the Women’s March in Washington. It’s not a good time to sit back and hope for the best. Good luck and best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve just shown good cause for hope.
    Your community, your neighbours, are good people. The Mayor has a heart and the will to protect those at risk. You and others volunteer. ‘Good thoughts, good words, good deeds’. On a basic level, if there is enough of this, the America of good neighbours and care for the poor and the huddled masses is still a very real thing and the posturing and mouthing of hateful, xenophobic, intolerant poison at the top is something that happens a thousand miles away.
    Take your neighbour’s hand and say “I will not hate, and I will not be made to do hateful things”.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We’ve all had another painful reminder that when we don’t show up – someone else will. Hopefully, a lesson learned for the last time. There’s work to be done. Good for your mayor and Sacred Heart for helping people take the first steps back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Audrey. Well said. People don’t seem to realize that not voting is still voting. If you don’t show up, you’ve cast your vote for apathy, and probably someone else’s candidate.

      I am proud of San Jose’s actions during this dark time. I’m also grateful for Sacred Heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your mayor hit the nail on the head. “grassroots organizing network” is how we will defeat this. It has always been the grassroots efforts that have turned the world to good. Rarely from the top down. I’m starting to recover. My daughter made me get out of the house on Saturday. Inch by inch, we will recover and overcome.

    Like

  6. Wow Alys, how cool is your mayor!! Let’s hope he isn’t a rarity among local politicians and others will follow his lead. It is heartening to read and hear about all the actions that are taking place or planned to take place. The more people who react, hopefully peacefully, the stronger the message sent, the more you can expect change for the good. Sometimes I chuckle (wryly I have to admit) and wonder how confident Trump is feeling about the coming days and years …….. Wouldn’t it be something if he threw a tantie and decided not to play at being prez 😀 We all have dreams 🙂 I hope your gathering goes well and loads of folk turn up – I’ll look forward to reading the next post. Sending much love to you xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pauline, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley are far more liberal than most other areas of this country. We’re the “liberal elite” I suppose that everyone likes to make fun of. I’m proud of that moniker if it means we stand up for our community and for anyone that might be mocked, bullied, or otherwise disenfranchised. The hate crimes are real, the fear is palpable and the mood around here is grim but determined.

      I’m still mostly in a media blackout, but the bits that are getting through tell me that the president elect is a lost, bumbling, soul. Why would anyone be surprised? I’m sure he’ll be throwing a tantie (love that phrase by the way). Meanwhile, we’re volunteering, focusing on peaceful marches, sending donations to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name and other wonderful acts. I’ll write more about the Tuesday meeting when I can organize my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. While I can not physically join in all you are seeking to do to make a bad situation not painful I am praying for you.
    It is heart warming to read how you are helping those who feel insecure. I hope you do not mind me saying. God is following all that is going on in your nation. I strongly believe he will intervene at the right time. It may feel as if evil has an upper hand now but good will prevail in the end. Hang in there good things do not come easy.

    Liked by 1 person

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