#BlackLivesMatter: Call your elected officials and vote.

Dear Friends,

Because of the massive Black Lives Matter protests, we may (finally) have a moment for real change at the highest levels. Everyone needs to write to their senators to express their support to increase funding for programs that have a foundational effect on communities: healthcare, housing, youth services, and education. A shift in priorities requires the money to come from somewhere.

For years upon years, we (primarily white people) have supported candidates who shifted monies from these community-building programs into expanding and militarizing the police, incarcerating Americans generally, and Black Americans specifically.

Together, we have built a culture that pours money into the hands of corporate prisons, detention centers, home detention, and bail on the backs of the Black community.

We have defunded conflict de-escalation, social work, education, health, addiction treatment, and mental health. For years it was under the guise of “balancing the budget” and “lowering the debt.” Since monies were always found for more weapons here and abroad, that seems (to use a military term) like a smoke screen.

And now, when we as a people are saying that we want to shift those monies, shift those priorities, the Senate majority is talking about needing yet another study. Enough is Enough.

We have had study after study. It is time to listen to the people. Democrats, it’s time to go big. It is not time to pussyfoot around the issue with minor fixes to placate swing state voters. We need to ask for everything we want—an anti-racist society.

We must keep pushing through to November when we can flip the Senate and get a new president who will sign a bill that makes substantial changes to the racist allocation of funds that support our systems.

If you don’t want to call it “Defund the Police” call it something else. I offer, The Investment for a Better Future bill or the Trying to Undo Some Bad Shit bill. I don’t care. What I do care about is that this is not the America I’ve been working to give to my children or your children.

We can do better. We must do better. Please register to vote. Please vote. Please call your Senators and Representatives today or test “Resist” to 50409 and the bot will help you get in touch with your elected officials.

Lunafest: Short films by, for, and about women

On Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the Lunafest event at the Friends School of Portland. Lunafest is a series of short films by, for, and about women. The films were wonderful– poignant, touching, sad, happy, inspiring.

One of my favorite films was “Flawed,” by Andrea Dorfman. There’s a snippet of it here. Probably it was the picture book nature of the film that captured my creative side(she uses time lapse photography as she illustrates the story), but it was the story itself (about how she learns accepts herself– her largish nose specifically) that grabbed at my heart and wouldn’t let go. All of the films had something about them that I connected with deeply, but the most important take-away was much, much bigger.

I am a proud feminist and my sons are about sick of me drumming for more equality in the media. Still, it only takes one look at films like Miss Representation, or the work from Equal Visibility Everywhere- EVE,  or studies commissioned by Geena Davis’s organization See Jane?, or the literary work by VIDA to understand that there is still serious work to be done to achieve parity in media. Here’s the thing though, even as I drum for equality, I don’t what that equality looks like. I swim in the same clichéd, stereotypical, sexpot, happy homemaker, bitchy, ambitious, white, dragon lady, black housekeeper, bull shit that everyone else does. At Lunafest, my eyes were opened to what a different view of women could be– diverse, honest, vulnerable, loving, strong, tenacious. It is rare that we get to see that woman in mainstream media. 

Take a look at the Lunafest TrailerIf your organization is looking for a fundraiser with a head and heart, consider applying to host a screening of Lunafest. I promise, you’ll be glad you did it.