IC-SS Weekly News: November 20, 2023
This is an overwhelming moment for many of us. The world is in crisis, and in the US, 2024 draws close. May we prepare for our work ahead and also find joy in supporting our community during the holiday season.
Defend Democracy – Resist Autocracy
It’s not hyperbole. Trump and the MAGA movement behind him threaten to concentrate power in the presidency and install policies to end racial equity efforts, put immigrants in mass detention camps, roll back rights for LGBTQ people, shutter regulatory agencies, and more. We must act.
Protest in November 2016, after Trump was elected. STILL TRUE. (Photo: Betsy Rubin)
You’ve read the recent quotes from Trump and his staff:
“We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country” ~ Donald Trump, in a 2023 Veterans Day speech
“Nobody has any idea where these people [immigrants] are coming from… It’s poisoning the blood of our country” ~ Donald Trump, September 2023
“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion [that Trump’s words signal fascism] are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.” ~Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung,November, 2023
But Trump is not alone, and the right wing has a plan. The far-right Heritage Foundation has produced Project 2025 a document of over 900 pages detailing their plan to be implemented if Trump wins the 2024 election. (See links below.)
Understand the Threat
- Learn about the dangerous agenda of Trump and his allies:
- Learn about the far-right Project 2025
- Analysis Exposes Trumpian Project 2025 as Far-Right Playbook for American Authoritarianism – by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams
- Project 2025: The Far-Right Playbook for American Authoritarianism – by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE)
- Learn about democracy vs. autocracy
Please feel free to suggest other authors, organizations, or articles to share.
2024 is right around the corner. Whether you have a lot of time or a little, you can help protect our democracy and prevent autocracy. Some options:
- Get involved with Indivisible Chicago-South Side – find events and actions in our weekly newsletter (this!) and follow us on Facebook
- Indivisible Chicago-South Side is a local chapter of the Indivisible Chicago Alliance (ICA). Learn more at the Indivisible Chicago Alliance website & sign up for ICA Daily Actions (M-F each week) and other alerts
- Follow national Indivisible at the Indivisible website
- Follow Swing Left at the Swing Left website
- Follow Sister District at the Sister District website
Recorded Webinars on Democracy
Take a deeper dive into some specific democracy concerns – watch these recorded webinars.
AI & Democracy: View the Recording
What is artificial intelligence (AI) — and how could it put democracy and elections at risk?
Recently, the League of Women Voters of Chicago, partnering with UChiVotes, hosted a fascinating and informative discussion. Speakers were from UChicago’s Chief Information Officer Kevin B. Boyd and Chief Information Security Officer Matt Morton.
* Note: Through most of the recording, you’ll see the speakers’ slides with audio voiceover (rather than seeing video of the speakers themselves).
As a postscript: See an article in The Guardian about AI-generated fake videos featuring the mayor of London: Faked audio of Sadiq Khan dismissing Armistice Day shared among far-right groups
Leonard Leo & SCOTUS: View the Recording
Few have done more to build the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority and bring about the Dobbs decision than Leonard Leo. A new investigation from ProPublica reveals Leonard Leo’s decades-long work to shape and influence America’s judiciary, including SCOTUS.
Last week, ProPublica hosted a webinar on Leo: The Court Whisperer.
- View the recording of the Court Whisperer webinar.
- Hear the podcast We Don’t Talk About Leonard wherever you get your podcasts
- Read a written profile on the ProPublica site.
What’s Coming in 2024? Listen In
Did you miss Blue Thursday at the Hideout last week? Indivisible Chicago’s Blue Beginning chapter hosted veteran campaign consultants Robert Creamer and Pete Giangreco, who’ve worked dozens if not hundreds of statewide and national campaigns.
Now you can hear their look ahead to the perils and challenges of Election 2024 – watch the recording.
Robert Creamer + Pete Giangreco in convo with Marj Halperin + Tom Moss: watch
Help Community & New Neighbors
The holiday season has arrived. Here are a few of many ways you can share food, warmth, and holiday pleasures with others.
Give to the RonnieMan Holiday Toy Drive
The ninth annual RonnieMan Holiday Toy Drive is underway. The toy drive is organized by founder Dorothy Holmes, whose son Ronald “RonnieMan” Johnson III was killed by a police officer in 2014. Get the full story in this Block Club Chicago story.
Read Block Club Chicago’s toy drive story
Ways to give to the RonnieMan Toy Drive:
- Drop off unwrapped new toys or gift cards for young teens at Chicago Torture Justice Center, 6337 S. Woodlawn or other locations.
- Donate to the RonnieMan Toy Drive’s GoFundMe.
- Buy items from the drive’s Amazon wish list.
- Get more info in the Block Club Chicago story.
Donate – Concord MB Church Winter Clothing Drive
From Concord MB Church: Concord MB Church, at 6319 S. Kimbark, is asking for donations of new or clean and gently used hats, gloves, scarves, boots, and winter coats.(Please donate these items only.)
100% of your donations will be given to Woodlawn’s homeless and to asylum seekers staying in Wadsworth School or elsewhere in the district. To arrange drop-off:
- Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 773-363-1377 (this is an office phone; not for texting)
Donate Coats & Other Items for Migrants
Another place to donate warm clothing: If you can donate clean, gently-worn warm clothing (inner and outerwear), bag and label the bags by size and gender (if applicable). Drop your bags off at the Vineyard Church of Hyde Park, 5333 S Greenwood, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 10AM – 5PM – ask for Troy.
Please give practical winter attire ONLY. Thank you!
Volunteer in SPR’s Food Pantry in Kenwood
Every Wednesday afternoon, St Paul and the Redeemer (SPR) church holds a food pantry. Linda Wheatley-Irving, a lead volunteer, says that SPR’s pantry needs volunteers for tasks such as carrying and opening food boxes, setting up the pantry, breaking down boxes, and assisting people with food selection.
Linda Wheatley-Irving with new volunteer Steve Kagan at SPR pantry
The SPR pantry serves longtime community residents as well as newcomers, so both English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers are welcome. SPR is located at the corner of 50th and Dorchester. Volunteers are needed every Wednesday between the hours of 2:30 and 6:00 pm; partial shifts are possible. To volunteer, email Linda Wheatley-Irving.
Ceasefire: Contact Your Reps
From the citywide Indivisible Chicago Alliance: “We urge our members of Congress to support an immediate ceasefire, to ensure humanitarian aid to residents of Gaza, to continue to demand the release of all hostages, and to block US military aid to Israel that would cause additional civilian deaths in Gaza. Please join us by contacting your Representative, and Senators Duckworth and Durbin with these same demands.”
Read the ICA’s full statement on Israel, Gaza, and a ceasefire. And share your message with Illinois lawmakers:
Organizations and Opportunities
Indivisible Chicago-South Side shares information and actions from other organizations on issues important in our country, state, city, and communities.
Treatment Not Trauma Panel Discussion: Wed, Nov 29
From UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP): Join UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and co-sponsors for a timely conversation about the work ahead to support mental health wellness and people experiencing a mental health crisis. (You may attend in person or virtually.)
This panel will discuss Chicago’s long history of organizing for public mental health services, the Treatment Not Trauma campaign, the importance of this for Black and Latinx communities, and how to ensure that mental health services are attentive to the needs of people with disabilities.
Panelists Include: Arturo Carrillo, Deputy Director of Health & Violence Prevention, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council; Jessica Gimeno, Mental Health Policy Analyst, Access Living; Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, Chicago Alderwoman for the 33rd Ward; Kathryn Bocanegra, Assistant Professor, UlC Jane Addams School of Social Work; Brenikki Floyd, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, UIC School of Public Health
- When: Wednesday, Nov 29, 4:00-5:30pm
- Where: UIC School of Public Health, 1603 W. Taylor (or virtual)
- RSVP: To attend either in person or online, register here.
Building a Welcoming Future – Virtual Event, Dec 7
From ICIRR: On Thursday, December 7th at 12:00 noon, ICIRR is hosting an online community panel discussion Building a Welcoming Future: Caring for All. Leaders who’ve worked on the ground in Black & Brown communities will discuss current tensions and how to build solidarity to create a society that cares for everyone.
Panelists include Rev. Julian DeShazier (Senior Pastor, University Church), Andrea Ortiz-Landin (Director of Organizing, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council), Dixon Romeo (Executive Director, Not Me We), and Fasika Alem (Programs Director, United African Organization).
Statement from Police Station Response Team
The Chicago Police Station Response Team (PSRT) is an all-volunteer organization that’s been assisting migrants staying in Chicago police stations across the city. Many of you have generously donated your time, your money, or needed supplies to help PSRT meet the needs of thousands of people arriving in Chicago with nowhere to go.
Sun-Times story on Chicago’s new 60-day limit for migrants in shelters
As you’ve likely heard, Mayor Johnson recently announced that migrants will be limited to 60 days in city shelters. (Read more here and here.) In response, the volunteers at PSRT have issued a statement, which includes these demands:
1. Pause 60-day eviction notices to new arrivals entering shelters after November 17,2023 until at least April 1, 2024. We believe that housing is a human right. Pausing evictions is the minimum baseline that any society that espouses morality should adhere to.
2. Allow all individuals to remain in shelter, not on the streets, during the winter months without creating a bureaucratic process of applying for exemptions. Waiting on exemptions creates unnecessary stress for people. Uncertainty on whether someone will retain shelter is traumatizing to people who have already sustained significant trauma.
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