Farewell, Good News Seekers

On February 13, 2017, a few weeks after the Orange Grifter moved into the White House, I sent the inaugural Good News from the Resistance to two hundred lucky souls fortunate enough to be in my Contact List. Some unsubscribed immediately. (I know who you are). Some waited a few weeks to cut the cord. But many of you stuck with me – then forwarded to your friends, who forwarded to more friends, and before I knew it, this technology-bashing Baby Boomer who vehemently refused to maintain a Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram account was writing a blog, and thousands of people were reading it. (That I embraced Facebook says more about my age than my attitude towards Mark Zuckerberg).

Over the last four years, I’ve been thanked by countless Good News seekers for helping you get through the Orange Stain. Yet, it’s you I need to thank. No matter how despondent I was, my spirits were lifted each time I put together an issue of Good News –  105 times! — and Good People — 23 times! (A famous social psychology theory explains why).

When I started writing Good News I promised to publish until the Orange Grifter was gone. My plan was to wrap up the day after he conceded to Biden/Harris. It’s now clear this is about as likely to happen as Mitch McConnell calling a press conference to apologize for his complicity. So here you have it — the final Good News from the Resistance, marking the final week of The Worst Year of Our Lives.

I’m ending with the photo I used in the very first issue – (left to right) friend Marjorie, me, and niece Ros getting ready for the 2017 Women’s March. The night before the March I threw a sign-making party; this shot was taken in the supermarket, after I scored a tub of Cheetos. Guess how I used them on my sign?

Thank you, everyone. It’s been an honor to have you as part of my life.

Remember this: No matter how much Bad News they threw at us, Good News-makers always showed up to teach us, in the words of Leonard Cohen, there is a crack, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

I’ll leave you with a review of the 2020 Good News stories you liked best, and the most popular Good People.

Your faithful Good News steward,

Marla

Read more Farewell, Good News Seekers

Good People:
Casey Hogle
Protect the Results

Important (not necessarily Good) News: What happens if Trump loses next week’s election, but refuses to concede? What happens if he deploys National Guard troops to stop the vote count? Given that Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election results, and has straight up threatened to interfere, these scenarios are very real possibilities. Casey Hogle, national development director of Indivisible, explains how to become part of Protect the Results, a mass mobilization of activists (that’s us!) who will take to the streets and demand a legitimate outcome to the election.

Read more Good People:
Casey Hogle
Protect the Results

Good People:
Susan Labandibar
Swing Left Greater Boston

Swing Left Greater Boston is the largest grassroots all-volunteer organization in New England, with upwards of 5,000 volunteers based in Massachusetts and in Blue states across the country.  It connects volunteers in Blue States with campaigns in Super States – where the most important battles are being waged for the White House, Senate, and to control the GOP’s attempts at gerrymandering. Now only a few weeks away from the election, volunteers are in overdrive, making sure Democrats win up and down the ballot. What exactly are they doing and why is Swing Left regional organizing coordinator Labandibar optimistic? 

Read more Good People:
Susan Labandibar
Swing Left Greater Boston

Good People:
Marcus Bass
Advance Carolina

Marcus Bass is the executive director of Advance Carolina, a Black-Led organization that builds political and economic power in Black communities and institutions in North Carolina. This week when Kamala Harris was campaigning in Raleigh, Marcus asked her a question that gets to the heart of how many in the Black community are feeling about this election. The question was so good, the AP story on Harris’s visit led with it. For years, Marcus has worked day in and day out to “tell the story and win the battle.” Now, he’s deep in the battle for democracy and justice, and to help down ballot candidates win this election.

Read more Good People:
Marcus Bass
Advance Carolina

Good People:
Paula Martinos-Mantay
StateWide Indivisible Michigan

Paula Martinos-Mantay is a co-founder, along with Michelle Pallas, of SWIM – StateWide Indivisible Michigan. The women are nothing short of Democracy Warriors, with a single, laser-focused goal: Flipping Michigan’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives blue. To understand the importance of their work, one needs only to watch the video of armed protesters storming the Michigan State House last May, after Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order amidst a COVID surge. SWIM’s goals are within reach, with just 5 seats to flip. It’s not too late to roll up our sleeves and help these fearless Democracy Warriors. 

Read more Good People:
Paula Martinos-Mantay
StateWide Indivisible Michigan

Good People:
Ronnie Cohen
Flip the West

Ronnie Cohen is executive director of Flip the West, a California-based organization working with laser focus to flip the Senate blue. Their model: Identify western states where there’s a chance of flipping a Senate seat, then mobilize volunteers from blue states to work on the campaign — texting, phone banking and sending postcards. They’re currently hosting over 30 campaign events per week to reach voters in six states: Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Iowa, Alaska, and Kansas

Read more Good People:
Ronnie Cohen
Flip the West

Good People:
Steve Nardi
Democrats Abroad

Steve Nardi is Canada Country Chair for Democrats Abroad, a 100% volunteer, self-funded organization that encourages and helps American citizens vote in U.S. elections. To recognize the urgency of Steve’s work, consider this: The year Donald Trump won the presidency, only 5% of the 625,000+ American citizens living in Canada voted. Steve’s working 14-hour days to change that. 

Read more Good People:
Steve Nardi
Democrats Abroad

Good People:
Saumya
Greenhouse-in-a-Box

Saumya is a co-founder of Greenhouse-in-a-Box, an innovative farming system that helps small farmers earn a steady, reliable income, no matter what climate change throws at them – monsoons, drought, 120-degree temperatures, or insect infestation. With the Greenhouse system, farmers grow 7 times as much food using 90% less water than traditional farming. For many, this is the difference between remaining on their land or abandoning the family farm in search of poorly-paid work in cities. 

Read more Good People:
Saumya
Greenhouse-in-a-Box

12 Things You Can Do:
Tsunami 2020!

Good News from the Resistance: How’s the pandemic going for you? Here’s how it’s going for me: Each morning I spend hours reading Bad News, in search of a Good News gem. Which sets me up for afternoons of hand-wringing, outrage, and hours-long Zillow searches in Canada. Every night I plop into bed with an exaggerated sigh and ask my husband, what will become of us?  (I’m never quite sure if he’s sleeping or pretend-sleeping, because he’s really tired of the question). Then, I spend a good part of the night deep in anxious thought, wondering, is the person who does my Insta-Cart shopping the same person who delivers it?; did the speeding, coughing, mask-less cyclist who passed me while I was walking the dog have COVID?; how long can RBG hang on?; can the people I’m Zooming with see the swath of grey in my hair?

I’ve worried, I’ve screamed, I’ve melted down, I’ve felt guilty each time I’ve deleted an email that asks me to make phone calls for a progressive candidate. What I have not done is act. Other than write Good News and donate to a couple campaigns, I have done little to ensure that on November 3 there will be a Tsunami of Democracy in this country. I admit it.

This all changed yesterday, when Biden announced Kamala Harris as his v.p. The news energized me, and I sprung to action. I hope you’ll join me. And if you’re way ahead of me on the action part, thank you. Keep going.

Next week I’ll be writing letters to unregistered Maine voters. The week after that I’ll be participating in a Text-a-Thon, largely because I don’t like phone banking. Can’t stand to text? No problem, you can write a letter. Have bad penmanship? No problem, you can host a virtual letter-writing party with your friends, and have them write for you. I’m struck by the many creative ways to contribute to the Tsunami. It’s time to turn anxiety into action.

The Ask: Sign up for at least one of the actions below. You can do all of them from home! Then forward this newsletter to a friend (or two or three) and ask them to join you. There’s something for everyone here. Together we can do this. Our Democracy depends on Us.

Have fun, wear a mask, and get some sleep. See you at the Text-a-Thon?

12 Things You Can Do To Ensure a 2020 Blue Tsunami

  1. Learn what Super States are, and why it’s important to focus our actions there
  2. Check out the calendar of Swing Left actions in your community (there are lots!)
  3. Sign up for a Virtual Activism Workshop (Aug. 16th, 25th)
  4. Register for Resistance Boot Camp on August 18 to help protect the right to vote
  5. Join the Text-a-Thon on Aug. 22 to help reach 1 million voters in battleground states
  6. Sign Color of Change petitions to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act & more …
  7. Say good-bye to Susan Collins by helping register Maine voters 
  8. Register with Vote Forward to help send 10 million voter turnout letters in October
  9. Call Wisconsin voters on any Sunday afternoon
  10. Get in touch with your friends and family in Michigan and help them vote
  11. Host a Flip Pennsylvania virtual letter-writing party
  12. Gather your kids to make beautiful signs that will go where they’re needed

And last, but not least, join an Indivisible group, donate to close Senate races, and of course, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up. 

Good People:
Ariel Brown, PhD
The Emotional PPE Project

Ariel Brown is the Board President and Founder of The Emotional PPE Project, an organization that connects health care workers in need with licensed mental health professionals who can help. Ariel is also an Associate Director, Medical Science at Sage Therapeutics. She is a neuroscientist who has done research on the brain in ADHD and bipolar disorder and helped develop the first drug approved for postpartum depression. She started The Emotional PPE Project merely by asking a friend “how can I help?” and by tapping into the goodwill of her personal and professional network.

Read more Good People:
Ariel Brown, PhD
The Emotional PPE Project