[2/4/09] “Staying active” can mean many things. For me as a senior citizen, class of 1955, it means blogging. For the Obama administration, one of the things it means is that “Grassroots for Obama” has been folded into the Democratic National Committee organization. Monday I got my first take-action e-mail from President Obama, “What recovery means for you.” To quote a bit of it:
The economic crisis is growing more serious every day, and the time for action has come. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will jump start our economy and put more than 3 million people back to work.
I hope to sign the recovery plan into law in the next few weeks. But I need your help to spread the word and build support.
. . . Governor Tim Kaine has agreed to record a video outlining the recovery plan and answering questions about what it means for your community. You can submit your questions online and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors to watch the video with you at an Economic Recovery House Meeting.
You can help restore confidence in our economy by making sure your friends, family, and neighbors understand how the recovery plan will impact your community. . . Our ability to come together as a nation in difficult times has never been more important.
I know I can rely on your spirit and resolve as we lead our country to recovery.
Actions to take are there for all of us. By listening to our “activist” leaders, we have plenty of opportunities to be helpful and make a difference. For example, I also got an e-mail (1/28/09) from former vice President Al Gore via Repower America. To quote:
Today, I will be testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about repowering America and the need for us to resume global leadership on the climate crisis. As you know, it’s a critical time in our country and we all have a role to play.
. . . In Congress, our leaders are debating an economic recovery package . . . entrenched interests in Washington will be working hard to weaken the legislation — opposing funding for clean energy programs that support things like wind, solar, energy efficiency and a new national electric grid.
As members of Congress work out the details of a bill that can pass both the House and the Senate, it’s important that you let each of your elected representatives know that you want the recovery to be about repowering America.
. . . You and I know that continuing with the status quo will not revitalize the U.S. economy. Please make sure your elected officials know, too.
High energy and active, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) and all the Democratic members of her Environment and Public Works Committee held a press conference Tuesday. It was very impressive. CQ Politics reported that Boxer wants to move a ‘straightforward’ climate bill this year.” Also in attendance were a large number of organizations upon which the committee can count for support when it comes up for votes, the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Fund, to name just two of the many that were there. At the press conference Boxer announced that the committee is beginning with a set of principles that will guide the legislative agenda for combating global warming. Notice that we are no longer required to call it the “PC” phrase, “climate change.”
Finally, one of my very favorite activist/journalists, Molly Ivins died just two years ago on January 31, 2007. She was born August 30, 1944. Her willingness to stay active until just before she died was heroic. Ivins was a supporter of the ACLU and so am I. I recently got a lovely e-mail about Molly, “Remembering Molly Ivins,” written by Betsy Moon, a member of the Texas ACLU, who was formerly Ivins’ “Chief of Stuff.” I am quoting a good portion of the letter because Ivins has much to teach us about what staying active truly means. Moon begins:
The question I have been asked most often during the last two years is, “What would Molly think about this?” Molly Ivins would have loved this election. She would have loved the beautiful sight of “We the People” finally stepping up to become the real deciders. . .
. . . In many of her lectures, she would exhort her audience to believe in their power. She’d say: “I hear people whine: ‘I can’t do anything. I’m just one person.'” Then she’d lift her head high and quote from the Declaration of Independence in her Barbara Jordon voice and remind them, “as a U.S. citizen, you have more political power than most humans who’ve ever lived on this earth.”
. . . She’d be so happy that her beloved Constitution (she donated one speech a month to groups working to preserve and maintain the First Amendment) is in safer hands — that some of the worst things ever done in our name are over. She’d love that Barack Obama began his community organizing knowing that power lies in all of us united, and that he continues to remind us that we are the deciders.
. . . Molly is honored with awards, lectures and scholarships in her name. Many of her readers formed “Pots & Pans” Brigades, following the advice in her final two columns to take to the streets and demand an end to the Iraq war. She always signed her books and her letters with, “Raise more hell,” and you can make her live on by doing just that.
. . . The ACLU of Texas is proud to be the eighth largest ACLU affiliate in the United States, with more than 14,000 card-carrying members across our state. Sustained by a dedicated board of directors, a small staff and dozens of dedicated volunteers, the ACLU of Texas and its predecessor, the Texas Civil Liberties Union, have been at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights in Texas since 1938. Help us continue to defend the Bill of Rights – become a member of the ACLU today!
Staying active is something about which I try to make the theme of my Wednesday posts. In subsequent posts I will introduce you to other activists who make a difference, or bring you up to date on what my favorites are doing, as I did today.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.