Persist and Resist – June 8, 2020
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On May 25, George Floyd dies in police custody. A cellphone video posted to Facebook shows an officer pinning Floyd to the ground while a handcuffed Floyd repeats “I can’t breathe.” The video goes viral. Across the US and the world protests and demonstrations start–some peaceful, others not so.
The statistics that we have all seen re the percentage of Black males being killed by police vs. white males, is stunning. We have seen these numbers before–we know how the Black communities are suffering–from poor schools, inferior living conditions, tainted water supplies, poor transportation and they have taken the brunt of deaths from Covid-19.
Solidarity and public statements of support can be impactful, but Prescott Indivisible plans to continue to take action, working with the community at large and our city officials. It is so easy to react and then forget the issue, but it is more important that we be proactive, leading the way for our community.
The City of Prescott and Town of Prescott Valley offer avenues where we can make change by applying for advisory positions, make appointments with our elected and appointed officials to discuss our concerns, or write to them, show up at town halls, and give our feedback. To make them listen to our concerns takes work and perseverance in many cases, but we know the power we hold and can make a difference in many lives. Prescott Indivisible will continue to bring people together, gather in person when that is possible, but until then, we will work on finding other paths to resistance and advocate for change. Racism has no place in Prescott!
Tanya Faison, the founder of Sacramento Black Lives Matter states, “Racism isn’t a problem that Black folks created, and it won’t be a problem that Black folks fix. True solidarity and true allyship is so necessary right now. A lot of times we’re not heard and we’re not taken seriously, and that’s why we’re at the point we’re at right now. Allies need to use their privilege to make things happen.”
Prescott Indivisible is an ally!
At the June 4th meeting of Prescott Indivisible, we held a memorial for Mr. Floyd and other black citizens. Steering Committee members shared how these events affected them. We broke out into smaller groups and heard from everyone who attended. This portion of the meeting can be viewed here. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a presentation by Rosemary Agneessens, the Community Organizer with the Yavapai County Education Service. Her presentation and Q and A can be viewed here.
Members of our Prescott Indivisible community were asked to write their thoughts on the events of the past two weeks. The following responses were received:
Voices of Prescott Indivisible
Paula Burr on the right:
A recent article in the Courier about the Governor’s curfew order stated, “Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta told the Courier in a phone interview Sunday that everyone needs to understand that for law-abiding citizens, ‘this changes nothing on their daily activity…This [curfew] gives officers a tool to make an arrest.'”
Since most would agree that an 8pm curfew will certainly change and disrupt law-abiding citizens’ daily activities, how are we to interpret this statement? That only some people will be arrested if they are violating the curfew? It appears that the Mayor (who is a former police officer) is suggesting there will be (or should be) selective enforcement of the law.
Herein lies the crux of the problem facing our country today. When laws are used as “tools” and our leaders promote selective policing, it not only opens the door to the abuse of power it actually encourages it.
This nation supposedly pledges “liberty and justice for all”, not just for the ones deemed worthy by those in power.
Rosemary Dixon: This is a picture of my mother today, aged 92 (I was named after her). She taught me well. She comes out of isolation to take a stand. We are in a moment like this country has never seen. Know this; our world-wide environmental degradation is tied to racism, our practice of mass incarceration is tied to racism, food insecurity is tied to racism, health outcomes are tied to racism. It is structural, it is the water in which we swim. Murder of Black people comes into our living rooms thanks to the militarized focus on police enforcement rather than the much softer serve and protect mission. BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) have been for decades shouting for white people to hear and to care. We must stand up, there is now no other option. Don’t let this moment pass please without dedicating yourself to learning, listening and giving what you can toward our equitable future. We must continue to stand strong. There is No ambiguity here. All lives won’t matter until Black lives do.
Longtime progressive political commentator Thom Hartmann posted an excellent piece this past week, “The Looting of America by Billionaires Must Stop.” He neatly chronicles the radical right’s decades-long war on American Democracy and public-sector institutions through its strategic use of legislation, judicial appointments, corporate practices and other means that promote racism, police militarization, poverty, disease, homelessness, unemployment, unjust incarceration, under-education, pollution and crumbling infrastructure. Millions of protesters in cities and towns across the country are shouting No More to these intentional, barbaric acts. Fixing America means citizens must register and show up for the vote November 3.
The last two weeks seem like an assault on all the senses
Pain in my body, mind and spirit seem stuck in suspension
They take me back to the riots of the 60’s in New Jersey
I was in high school, a rebel and civil rights activist
When the bullets flew from rooftops and windows in Newark
I was stunned by the turmoil of the inner city yearning to be free
A white neophyte, I thought it already was in my naive viewing
Today, the same struggles, the same pain, the unrequited outrage
We are not done; we have barely started in righting wrongs,
and acknowledging the truth that, in America, all men are not created equal.
Rev. Patty Willis:
As we were beginning to understand the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and began to shelter, in that silence, our inactivity alone seemed to be healing the Earth. Quite soon, the specter of systemic racism emerged in the numbers of people affected by the pandemic both physically and economically. And then, George Floyd’s murder brought our hearts together and ignited fires of justice all over the world. Our bodies springing into action, our ideas erupting, in this unexpected moment, what do we imagine for Prescott, Arizona, and our hurting world? What is the vision that we could make real?
The Voter Values Project The Voter Values Project identifies issues that are important to individual Independents and left-leaning Republicans in Yavapai County. The initial postcard mailing to 1,000 left-leaning Independents in Yavapai County dropped approximately two weeks ago. Our message encouraged voters to visit VVP’s website to complete a short survey about issues that concern them, and to enroll in the Permanent Early Voting List. Volunteers will be following up with phone calls within the week.
It is obvious we must reach out to the voters who are not registered Republicans or Democrats. We can make a difference in turning Yavapai County blue, but need your help. Getting our Democratic candidates elected to both federal and state elections are crucial to the continuation of our democracy and human rights.
April 1 (Voter Registration Counts from the AZ Sec. of State)
Further follow ups will take place prior to the Primary and the November election, informing the voter about the views of various candidates on the issue(s) that matters to them the most.We cannot undertake this massive plan without the assistance of EVERY person who belongs to Prescott Indivisible and other progressive organizations. This project will bring awareness to many who are undecided. Please volunteer – We can make a huge difference to the success of this grassroots campaign.
- Are you interested in doing research into candidates’ stances on a variety topics such as health care reform, immigration, voting rights, gun legislation, among others? Check out the VVP website for the list. Please consider joining this dynamic team..
- Phone Bank Volunteers to make “warm” calls to those who received a postcard re the effort. Scripts, names and phone nos provided.
Candy Atkinson and Louise Clara are making masks to raise funds for the postcard campaign’s expenses. The suggested donation is $10.00/mask. Donations can be made through the donation button on the PI website. Please specify that the donation is to VVP/ masks. Questions about mask donations can be sent to Louise Clara at email@example.com. If you have made a mask donation and have not been called or emailed, please email Louise.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Invest In Ed – Go to their website, enter Prescott or Prescott Valley in Events and go sign a petition on the date/time listed. The next two times to sign petitions are Sun. June 14 and June 28, 1:30-3:30p at the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 882 Sunset Ave., Prescott (in the parking lot).
Ferris Wheel Project, YC Democrats – In the midst of the global pandemic and injustice we must think about how we can affect change on a local level. The YCDP is reaching out to those who want to make a change in this critical election cycle. Join the Ferris Wheel Project, a weekly, rotating virtual phone bank that connects volunteers with guest campaigns. It is a great way to contribute to each of the local candidates who run to make Arizona a better place. Each week of the month they will support a different candidate. The next virtual phone bank will be Tues. June 9 at 4pm for the Judy Stahl campaign for Arizona House for LD1. You will be trained by a campaign representative before calling people for about an hour. If you would like to be a part of The Ferris Wheel Project please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent a Zoom information.
John Lutes, YC Board of Supervisors Dist. 1 Candidate – Register at VoteJohnLutes.com to attend Zoom neighborhood meetings and contact Jane Moore email@example.com to sign up for phonebanking.
Judy Stahl was recently endorsed by Teamster’s Local 104. Her campaign has some intruiging opportunties coming up:
- Judy Stahl Virtual Fundraiser-Igniting Change from the Ground Up Fri. June 12 at 5:30pm via Zoom Hosted by Pam Beitzel Tickets: $25 RSVP Here or email Jen@judystahl.com Consider joining our fundraiser and enjoying a night of good company and conversation with Judy.
- #StahlForAll Virtual Trivia Night Tues. June 9th at 5pm via Zoom $15/person $30/team of 4 RSVP Here The first week of trivia – test your knowledge on a wide range of topics including LD1, Arizona, democracy, and more! This week’s theme is Arizona civics and LD1!
Mark Kelly Campaign – To phone bank for the campaign, contact Linda Meigs: 256-509-9414 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The AZ Corporation Commission Candidates need your financial help. You have met them all at DWPA luncheons or YavDem events. They are Clean Elections candidates, but you can donate up to $170 per candidate to help with their expenses. It is important that they receive donations now, before the primary. Please help out – Bill Mundell, Shea Stanfield and Anna Tovar.
Democratic control of the Arizona Corporation Commission could become a reality after multiple Republican candidates failed to make the ballot. Sandra Kennedy has a place on the commission and will be joined by three others – let’s make it a clean sweep!
SHOW UP,SIGN UP!
Tues. June 9 1p Save the Dells – Important! Council Study Session Regarding Letter of Intent with Arizona Eco Development
There will be a brief overview presentation, followed by public comment. The meeting will conclude prior to the 3 p.m. Voting Meeting. Attendance will be limited, due to social distancing measures, but alternate locations have been arranged for, as well as phone-in public comment, for both the 1 p.m. Study Session and the 3 p.m. Voting Meeting. Go to their Facebook Page
Thurs. June 11 1-3p Threat Multiplier – COVID & Climate Impacts on Northern Arizona Fire Season Guest speakers, Carly Phillips and Tim Carter to present and discuss the concerns Northern Arizona faces this fire season with COVID-19, climate impacts, and wildfires. Register here for the zoom meeting. More information on the nazcca.org website and facebook page..
Thurs. June 11 6:30p, YCDP Virtual Monthly Meeting – Guest speaker, Charlene Fernandez, Democratic Leader of the AZ House of Representatives. You don’t want to miss this incredibly knowledgeable and gifted speaker!
Tuesday, June 16, 5-6p, “Our Public Schools During Covd-19”, a zoom discussion sponsored by the Verde Valley Dems. Attendees: Kathy Hoffman– Current Arizona Superintendent of Public Education and former Special Ed school teacher; David Lujan– Currently the Director of the AZ Center for Economic Progress, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies to create jobs and grow the Arizona economy. Lujan is an expert on education legislation, school finance and the AZ economy; Nicky Indicavitch– Organizer with the Arizona Center for Economic Progress; Kari Hull – Northern Arizona Organizer for Save Our Schools; Karen McClelland– Long time Sedona School Board member, a member of the Arizona School Boards Association, and on the board of Democrats of the Red Rocks; Bert Campbell– Bert currently teaches 6th grade English for La Poloma Academy in South Tucson. He has a long history of teaching English and Social Studies as well as writing, performing and teaching Music. Use this Zoom link to preregister to attend this meeting.
Thursday, June 18 8a Democrats of the Red Rocks Monthly Meeting via Zoom. Discussion on Environmental issues. Speakers, Bill Mundell and Donna Michaels. Check their website to register.
Friday, June 19, 5pDemocrats of the Red Rocks Political Film Club discusses “Planet of the Humans” An excoriating critique of the green energy industry in America.
Saturday, June 20 2-4pm Town Hall: Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission –Join a discussion with experts and learn all about the Commission, commissioners’ responsibilities, and application process for appointment as a commissioner. Registration required. Click here to register
Saturday, June 20 and June 27, Invest In Ed will have two drive through sites setup for people to sign the petition. There will also be a notary there to notarize your ODM petitions and accept them. Please bring your PPE and ID. Here are the locations and times:
9am to 11am Prescott Valley Hampton Inn on Glassford Hills Road
3:00-5:00pm Prescott: Pioneer Park which is on Commerce Drive off of Willow Creek Road
Wednesday, June 24, 1p DWPA Monthly Virtual Meeting featuring Delina DiSanto and Stu Starky, candidates for CD4. This may be your last opportunity to hear both speak on issues you care about before the Aug. 4 Primary. Please send the questions you would like the candidates to answer to email@example.com. They will receive the same questions in advance and will have a limited time to respond.
June 20 – July 25
Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
This is a Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution brought to the state of Arizona through a partnership with Arizona Humanities. The exhibit will be at Prescott Public Library from Saturday, June 20 through Saturday, July 25 during all library open hours.
When American revolutionaries waged a war for independence, they took a leap of faith that sent ripple effects across generations. They embraced a radical idea of establishing a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy, but in its citizens. That great leap sparked questions that continue to impact Americans: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and whose voices will be heard? Voices and Votes will be a springboard for discussions about those very questions and how they are reflected in local stories. The national exhibit is paired with a local exhibit that will spotlight voices and votes in the Prescott area and will include virtual programs geared towards understanding the role of democracy.
To register online for one-hour exhibit viewings or virtual events call 928.777.1526 or visit www.prescottlibrary.info/voicesvotes
Click here to sign up for the Thurs.July 9 6-7p special presentation of Fierce Feminity (virtual via zoom).
State of the State and Update on Covid-19
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Though the Regular Session is adjourned, the Legislature will be back for at least two Special Sessions this summer to adjust the state budget and further address economic distress from the pandemic. Any emergency bills will require two-thirds “yes” votes and thus the slim Republican majority will need support from the Democrats, but otherwise we may see little bipartisanship. Adding to the mix, Democratic legislators have called upon Ducey for another Special Session on police accountability. Meanwhile, the pandemic spread and cases are spiking in AZ. (Courtesy of Stand Indivisible, Scottsdale)
IGNORED BUT NOT GONE. THE VIRUS GROWS. We need to stay well and alive if we are going to have a say in the 2020 elections (not to mention all the other reasons). On Friday, we had 322 confirmed cases, up from 290 on 5/29. In one week, AZ saw an increase of 7,107 cases, bringing the total to 26,889 (AZ Republic June 7).
In the June 7 Courier, the chief clinical officer for Banner Health said that the rapid rise of cases was not the result of more people getting tested as Gov. Ducey and Dr Christ claim. She said it is due to community spread. Wearing masks, staying within six feet of each other, mask or not, is crucial to stop the spread. Continue to wear your mask. If you’re at high risk, shelter as much as possible, and do not take any risks.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: A group from Prescott Indivisible attended the Trump Protest outside the Phoenix Convention Center on August 22, 2017. If you were exposed to gas or other chemical agents, your rights may be affected and you may be entitled to receive money from a federal class action lawsuit. If you have not received a notice from ACLU, please contact Maria Lynam, firstname.lastname@example.org and she will forward information immediately.
CLEANING YOUR MASKS (National Geographic)
A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS to the young adults, led by Fiona Hull and others, who organized the Tuesday, June 2 BLM March. You did an impressive job! We so appreciate you all.
Important Community Need!
YAVAPAI COUNTY START-RIGHT BACKPACK PROGRAM – An annual program to provide backpacks with basic school supplies to approximately 4,000 children from low-income families and those affected by COVID-19 has started. This joint effort between the Firefighter Angel Foundatin and AZ-TV Stuff the Bus Back to School Drive, need more help this year because of the increased need. Due to budget cuts, schools are limited in what they can provide. Donations can be mailed to the Yavapai County Food Bank, P. O. Box 4151, Prescott 86301 or on their website. Designate funds as “Yavapai Start-Right Program” or note “Backpacks”.
IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR STIMULUS CHECK: Stimulus Debit Cards have been mailed in a plain envelope. Nearly 4 million citizens are now receiving payment in the form of a prepaid Visa debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services”. The card bears the words “Visa” and “debit” on the front and the issuing bank, which is MetaBank, N.A., on the back. Those who receive their Stimulus payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees:
- Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
- Get cash from in-network ATMs
- Transfer funds to their personal bank account
- Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone
You need to activate your card by visiting EIPCard.com or calling 1-800-240-8100. You’ll provide your name, address and Social Security number, and create a four digit identification number. You’ll also need to sign the back of your card. There are limits on how much money they can access at one time. This may result in multiple trips to an ATM to get all the cash from the card. Recipients were expecting direct deposit, or a check, and were surprised when this unsolicited card arrived. Thinking it to be a scam, some threw the card away. Individuals who have lost or destroyed their card may request a free replacement. Call 1-800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed, or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number. If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder, the person listed first on the card, can request a replacement. A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it. (Information provided by the New York State Retired Public Employees Newsletter).
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