What’s Next? Urgent PostCard Campaign – Imprisoning Children Is STILL Wrong

Homestead Migrant Child Camp, Homestead Florida 2019, Photo Credit – Julie Swift. Can you see the children being unloaded to the camp in the middle of the night? Why the secrecy?

Urgent Postcard – Mailing February 24-26

Because of this announcement What’s Next? is sharing this additional Post Card Campaign. Please share and send postcards. All you need to know is below. Thank you!

Recently the Biden administration has announced that it is opening/reopening several “Influx” Child Detention Centers. We oppose these moves and need to make sure that the Biden administration hears our opposition. 

Background:

We are deeply concerned, horrified in fact, about the reinstitution of mass detention facilities for teenagers and children who are seeking asylum from various parts of the world, particularly the notoriously dangerous and cartel-run nations in the Central American Triangle. We have been witnessing the horrors of the past four years and earlier. The law and policy require placement of unaccompanied immigrant/refugee minors in the least restrictive environment. We have seen that institutionalizing youth who have experienced prolonged and acute stressors, many for over a year, leaves them wounded and vulnerable. We have seen that hastily established detention facilities do not contribute to the well-being of the children who are already hurting. And we know that the prolonged detentions thousands have already experienced cause lasting damage. And adding a private-for-profit element to these detentions leads to inappropriate and unskilled staff working for low wages. In the past, these for-profit facilities, like Homestead, forbid outside monitors, even government employees and elected officials. Evidence of sexual assault, abuse, isolation, malnutrition, and health risks has emerged and been well-documented. Who is vetting the “caregivers”? How were profit-centered companies selected? We thought the Biden administration would do better. We expect a response to our concerns. Immediately.

We ask that the administration rethink the playbook on how to handle unaccompanied migrant children.  Approach this as a social service problem to be solved, not a military/detention problem.

“We’re more than capable of surging resources to the border to humanely and fairly process these children without sending them to influx facilities,” said Lisa Koop, the associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center.

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health and Human Services). If you can, we suggest you also write to your Senators and member of Congress. To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for writing and mailing your cards:

1. Download the postcard (Photo image from Homestead Detention Center.)  https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/fbc92-urgenthomestead.pdf

2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or  Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their  products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side. This postcard also looks good printed in black/white. 

3. Write your postcards. The theme for this card is Imprisoning Children is STILL Wrong. Talking points are suggested. In your own words, choose one or more topics to address:  

  1. Close Carrizo Springs. DO NOT OPEN Homestead/Biscayne Influx Care Facility,
  2. Restrictive detention is harmful to children
  3. Large scale detention is not a good model to use for caring for children.
  4. No one should profit – eliminate all for-profit detention.
  5. Influx facilities do not have to adhere to state child protective laws.
  6. These facilities should not be in out of the way locations where oversight is difficult.
  7. Hiring companies with a history of child abuse is alarming.
  8. Specific to Homestead: 
    1. Children are crossing the border in Texas, Arizona and California – why fly them all the way to Florida?
    2. The Site was devastated by hurricane Andrew and is known to be polluted with toxic waste.
    3. This area is prone to hurricanes.
  1. Address your cards to:

The President 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE 

Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20201

4. Apply a 35cent postcard stamp to each card  

5. Drop your cards in the mail between February 24-26. 

EXTRA CREDIT  –

Several What’s Next? participants have asked for additional people to send postcards to. If you would like to run an extra sheet, others you can write to are listed below. Blinken is the Secretary of State. Ruiz is the Chair of the Congressional Caucus. Becerra is the Health and Human Services Secretary nominee.  

The Honorable Antony Blinken 

Secretary of State 

US Department of State 

2201 C St., NW 

Washington, DC 20520

 

Representative Paul Ruiz 

2342 Rayburn HOB 

Washington, DC 20515 

Representative Nancy Pelosi 

235 Cannon HOB 

Washington, DC 20515

Also if you can, send postcards to your members of Congress.

This cannot happen again. Thank you for your effort to end this inhumanity.

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Margaret, Patty, Nancy

What’s Next?: Postcard Campaign Postcard #5

Restore Asylum – Humanity at the Border

Restore Asylum – Humanity at the Border

Mailing February 16-19

“Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is
part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.” — Ban Ki-moon
Postcard #5 addresses the influx at our Southern Border and humane options for welcoming
migrating people from Mexico, Central America and beyond.
With a new administration, there is the promise of ending many of the inhumane and racist
policies enacted by the Trump Administration. Our talking points inform and remind the Biden
administration to address the root causes that force people to flee for their lives, call for policies
that make the immigration process more navigable, and quickly make the declarations of the
Executive Orders that have been signed a reality. Those who present themselves at our borders
should be treated with dignity and humanity. Seeking asylum is a human right.
Thank you for your time and commitment to sending these postcards to the people who can
make this happen.
This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas
(Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health
and Human Services). To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for
writing and mailing your cards:

  1. Download Postcard #5 (photo collage of four images at the border). https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/3fa67-postcard528129.pdf
  2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo
    credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has
    postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″
    x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single
    side.
  3. Write your postcards on the theme: Restore Asylum. Talking points are suggested. Create
    your own way to hit one or more of these points.
  4. Talking points for Postcard 5 – Restore Asylum:
    • President Biden ended MPP for new arrivals. He must FULLY END MPP for
    those who have been stuck waiting in make-shift camps in Mexico.
    • Asylum cases that were denied during MPP should be reconsidered.
    • Urgent action is still needed to transit vulnerable migrants to safety in the
    U.S. (Human Rights First).
    • More judges, counselors and translators are needed to accelerate the immigration
    process.
    • End Title 42, theCDC order that requires immediate expulsion for new migrants.
  1. Download Postcard #5 (photo collage of four images at the border).
  2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo
    credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has
    postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″
    x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single
    side.
  3. Write your postcards on the theme: Restore Asylum. Talking points are suggested. Create
    your own way to hit one or more of these points.
  4. Talking points for Postcard 5 – Restore Asylum:
    • President Biden ended MPP for new arrivals. He must FULLY END MPP for
    those who have been stuck waiting in make-shift camps in Mexico.
    • Asylum cases that were denied during MPP should be reconsidered.
    • Urgent action is still needed to transit vulnerable migrants to safety in the
    U.S. (Human Rights First).
    • More judges, counselors and translators are needed to accelerate the immigration
    process.
    • End Title 42, the CDC order that requires immediate expulsion for new migrants.
  1.   Addresses to mail cards:

The President 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE 

Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20201

6. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

7. Drop your cards in the mail between February 16-19.

This is a critical time to let our newly elected officials know that they need to restore asylum and humanity at the border. They vowed to do this and their delay is causing more unnecessary pain and suffering for those waiting to come in. As immigration justice activists, it is imperative that we speak up for the thousands who can’t, and remind this administration that now MPP is on the Biden watch, that Title 43 is on the Biden watch. We were outraged when it occurred under the previous administration and we are as outraged now.
Thank you for taking the few minutes to get these post cards in the mail.

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Patty, Nancy, Margaret

Keep Going!

Millions of folks are mobilized and working for change. The last administration did this. It taught us that democracy is fragile. That we need to work to create the economic and social justice changes we need. As the first week of the Biden administration shows us, we matter. Our voices matter. When we unite, stand strong, and raise our voices, we are heard. Maybe not right away. Maybe not quite how we want. But if we continue, we will be heard.

When Obama was president many of us were so grateful. So full of hope. And because we saw him as we wanted to see him rather than how he was, we ignored things we shouldn’t have. His use of drones…we should have been in the streets yelling over this. His creation of family detention centers for immigrants and his deportation of 3,000,000 people…we should have been in the streets yelling over this. His bailout of Wall St. His lack of comprehensive climate initiatives. His big brother is watching. We should have been in the streets for them all. But we were lulled by his smooth talking, his grace and charm, his good looks, his intelligence, his love of his wife.

So now we know and now we do better. Whether it’s a monster in our White House or someone we admire. We must continue our work. To stay informed. To stay active. To not be lulled into complacency.

Thank you all the strong people who keep going. Keep working for the equality for all. I see you; even when you are exhausted, close to tears, sick of fast food. So thank you. Thank you for focusing on that short phrase, “…for all”.

In solidarity, strength, and love,

Mary

What’s Next? Postcard 4 – End Immigrant Detention

Being held in Strafford County Jail, Dover,NH

President Joe Biden signed into order the ending of federal contracts with private for profit prisons. This is a very hopeful first step. However, this sadly does not include immigrant detention centers. The inhumane practice of rounding up hard working immigrants, separating them from their families, detaining them in inhumane detention centers, and deporting them back to the violent countries they fled must end. That’s what the message of this week’s postcard campaign is addressing. End Immigrant Detention. Close Immigrant Detention Centers.

Everything you need for this What’s Next? Postcard 4 campaign, End Immigrant Detention, is below. This campaign requires you to print off one sheet of card stock paper that has 4 copies of the image above, cut the postcards, write your brief message on the 4 postcards (only 4!), address them, stamp them, and mail between Feb 2-5, 2021. See instructions below. Thank you. Together we will end this inhumane practice.

Our luck with the timing of this campaign, with the administration’s and country’s focus on ending private prisons, means we must send these cards out in mass. The message must be clear and strong. End Immigrant Detention. Close Immigrant Detention Centers. Thank you for participating.

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (nominated to be head of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (nominated to be head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Download Postcard #4 (photo collage of immigrant detention images).
Images available here: https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/37593-postcard4.pdf

Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side.

Write your postcards on the theme: End Immigrant Detention. Talking points are suggested. Please hit one or more of these points.

Talking points for Postcard 4 –  End Immigrant Detention:
The entire system of detaining asylum seekers and immigrants must end. 
Children and families are still being held in Family Detention Centers!
#FreeTheFamlies
Should humans be treated like criminals for simply seeking asylum?
Immigrant detention is a huge money maker – 80% of immigrants are incarcerated in prisons owned by private companies. 
End all private prisons!
ICE acts with impunity, with disregard for Congressional oversight.
Abuse in immigrant detention facilities, from the notorious lack of medical care to sexual abuse, forced sterilization, and use of severe punishments such as isolation for perceived behavioral infractions, is rampant.
In 2020, 21 people died in ICE detention.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, detained immigrants are in danger. People have not been released by ICE and COVID is spreading within facilities and in communities with ICE facilities.
Humane alternatives to detention where asylum seekers and immigrants can be with their families or sponsors as they wait for their court hearings exist.  
Alternatives take much less taxpayer money to implement.
Do not build new detention centers.
Do not renew contracts.
Dismantle detention centers. 

Addresses to mail cards: 
The President 
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Washington, D.C. 20500 

Vice President Harris
The White House
Office of the Vice President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas 
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528 

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 
Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Thank you for your help and support. Together we can end the inhumane practice of detention.

Mary, Julie, Karla, Glen, Nancy, Margaret, Patty

A Long Road

Since the election I have experienced something that has surprised me. It shouldn’t be surprising since we, as a collective body, are recovering from 4 years of gaslighting, division, and hate. Add to that, a year of global sickness and death. We are all in a rough place right now. We are exhausted and emotionally bruised. But still the experiences surprised me.

Like a mobile that sets out to correct itself after a breeze we are re-balancing ourselves to a new dance under a new administration. While there is hope, there is clearly still an immense amount of work to be done. So we reposition ourselves to begin that work. But even with the amount of struggling we are each experiencing, shaming should not have a place in the work we do. Especially if we expose peace and justice. It’s simple, shaming causes the receiver harm. It is a form of violence. It is something we all have done at some point. If I reflect honestly on times in my past when I have done it, I feel immense sadness and those times fill me with deep regrets. Shaming often comes from a knee jerk defensive reaction and a strong emotion. But it is important that we notice it and call it out when we see it and/or experience it. Shaming is not a sign of a bad person. It is a sign of a struggling person. But left unchecked it can cause great harm. May we all work to reject this form of communication as we move forward with our work.

May we all continue to work and grow in peace, love, and acceptance,

Mary

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #3 – The World is Watching

Vice President Harris at Homestead, Florida child detention facility and First Lady Biden at Matamoros, Mexico encampment at southern border.

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #3 – The World Is Watching

Send your 4 postcards the week of Jan 19-22 , the week of the Inauguration.

Most of us are feeling incredible anticipation as we wait with baited breath for the inauguration of our new President and Vice President in less than two weeks. It is obvious that this is a very dangerous time and the danger will likely continue through the Inauguration and beyond. But we cannot lose sight of the thousands of people; good, kind people; who are stuck at the border holding their breath as hard as we are holding ours for this Inauguration. We must keep the pressure up on President Biden and Vice President Harris. (Yes, I purposefully called them President and Vice President and omitted Elect because they are acting presidential). So as we continue to be the voices of the voiceless we have our 3rd postcard campaign ready to roll out.

This campaign means that we each send out 4 postcards. That’s it – 4 (although there is an option with this and future postcards for sending 8). All 4 postcards are on one sheet of paper for easy printing. Print the sheet, cut the cards, write the simple and strong message, address, stamp, and mail. That’s it. Easy. (On the What’s Next? Facebook page there are links for all of the remaining postcards to make it easier for you to print them all at once if you need to.)

Why are we doing this? As our new President, Vice President, and Cabinet begin their service we need to continue to remind them of the injustices our policies and actions have on marginalized groups of people who have been severely harmed over the past few decades and particularly the past 4 years. We need to make our demands clear and heard. That’s what this postcard campaign is designed to do. Thousands of postcards, all with the same message, appearing on the desks of those in a position of power to do something about it. Thank you for participating in this action. It’s simple and proves to be effective.

Please once you print out your cards, share this campaign with your church, book group, family, friends, and anyone you can think of. We know that there are huge issues at the forefront of our country right now. Our Democracy is at stake. But this is part of our democracy and part of who we are. We cannot, should not, turn our backs on the thousands our inhumanity has harmed. So this is why we continue. It’s just that important if we are to become who we say we are.

Postcard link:
https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/206de-postcard3.pdf

Writing Instructions for What’s Next: Postcard Campaign Postcard #3

Mailing January 19-22

The World is Watching

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Alejandro Mayorkas (nominated to head Department of Homeland Security). To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for printing, writing and mailing your cards:

1. Download Postcard #3 (photo of Dr. Jill Biden at Matamoros and Kamala Harris at Homestead). You can find it above or here.

2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock (around 60 lb is a good weight). You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side.

3. Write your postcards. The theme for this card is A New Administration – the World is Watching. Talking points are suggested. Create your own way to hit one or more of these points.

a) The world is watching the new administration. We must restore our humanity towards those fleeing danger and asking for our help.

b) The previous administration seems to have forgotten that seeking asylum is legal.

c) Asylum-seekers, fleeing violence, have been subjected to abuse, deprivation, kidnappings and sex trafficking at our border.

d) Women have been subjected to forced sterilizations.

e) Immigrants who do not pose a threat have been jailed without cause, subject to infection from covid 19, and deported to countries they do not know.

f) To President Biden:– President Biden, you said during your campaign that you would end MPP on day one. – The First Lady visited Matamoros and witnessed the inhumane treatment of those subject to Trump’s policy.- You said you would undo the damage Trump’s presidency has done to our immigrants and asylum-seekers.- Children, even babies, have been cruelly taken from their families.- You said you would work to reunite them.- What’s Next for these victims of Trump’s cruel policies? It’s now in your hands.

Address to: The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

g) To Dr. Jill Biden:- You visited with children and their families, waiting at the Matamoros refugee camp while they try to apply for asylum.- They are subject to abuse, deprivation, kidnappings, sex trafficking. – MPP, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy put them here.- Dr. Biden, you said this situation is “not who we are as Americans.” – What’s Next for the victims of MPP?

Address to: Dr. Jill Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

h) To VP Harris:- The photo shows you standing on a ladder in Homestead, Florida, in June,2019, connecting with the children imprisoned behind the fences.- You called the treatment of innocent children seeking safety “a human rights abuse.”- You promised to close private detention centers.- You said America has made a commitment to “protect anyone fleeing or facing harm.”- Now you are in a position to make a difference, end Trump’s inhumane practices.- What’s Next for those seeking asylum?

Address to:

The White House – Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

e) To Alejandro Mayorías- The new administration has promised to reverse Trump’s worst immigration policies.- ICE raids, family separation, MPP, detentions are cruel and inhumane. – As Dr. Jill Biden said when she visited the refugee camps, “This is not who we are as Americans.”- With Trump gone, What’s Next for those seeking asylum?- Will you work to restore humane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers?

Address to:

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

4. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

5. Drop your cards in the mail between January 19-22.

EXTRA CREDIT – Several What’s Next? participants have asked for additional people to send postcards to. If you would like to run an extra sheet, others you can write to are listed below:

The Honorable Anthony Blinken

Secretary of State, US Department of State

2201 C St., NW

Washington, DC 20520

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Raul Ruiz

2342 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Speaker Pelosi

1236 Longworth H.O.B.

Washington, DC 20515

4. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

5. Drop your cards in the mail between January 19-22.

Thank you. Together we can end the inhumainty.

In strength,

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Patty, Nancy, and Margaret

 

Working for a New Day

“no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire

I look through my computer screen at a woman doing her best to raise her children. As we prepare for a Zoom tutoring session, I listen to her as she tells me her new working schedule. Nights, in a nursing home, during Covid. She comes home in the early morning hours after spending the night caring for the elders of others. She sleeps for a few hours and then takes over being the mother of several children who are home all day due to Covid. One is falling behind in his schoolwork. It’s common these days.

She looks tired but she smiles. The stress is obvious. I wonder if she experiences the cruel stares and comments so many like her do. I wonder how anyone could be cruel to her or afraid of her. She is a newly settled immigrant. She is from a western country in Africa. I don’t know her own personal story but knowing that she is a refugee from a country that is engulfed in civil war, I can imagine the horrors she has witnessed, experienced, and fled from. How is it possible to be so unkind to those who have suffered so much?

After the tutoring session with her oldest son is finished, I go online. I read an article by a local mainstream news source that my newly elected legislator refers to as fake news of the liberal left. The article is about an a man from Mexico, the country. He was recently arrested for being here, in the United States. The comments are full of hate, fear, and incredibly cruelty. Like our president, they do not see him as a person. He’s just another “illegal”, void of human qualities. Do we wonder why he is here? What did he run away from? Who does he send money back home to? Are they safe? Does he miss them? Do they miss him? Those who post such comments miss the reality that he is someone’s dad, son, brother, cousin. As I read the comments I think of this mother I am so honored to work with and the thousands like her. Doing work that many who post such comments would never do. Harvesting the food we eat. Slaughtering and preparing the meat we eat. Cleaning the homes we live in. Caring for the elderly we cannot or choose not to care for. Every family has a story. Including those seeking a safer, better life here. Why is that so hard to understand? It must be fear. Fear is so often the root of misunderstandings and prejudices and illogical thinking. Maybe it’s fear of not understanding those who look and sound different from what we are use to. Maybe it’s fear of losing power and control. I have heard some say that “they” will take our jobs. I don’t think those sharing their hate so publicly want to work in the fields, slaughterhouses, nursing homes, and hotels that so many of those seeking our safety work in.

This New Year may we all find the ability and desire to stop for a second and question our prejudices, for that is what these are. Listen to the stories being told, look at the people telling them, and see them, hear them, as the persons they are. May this be a new New Year. One filled with acceptance, empathy, and compassion.

Mary

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #2 – End Child Detentions

Artwork by Child held at Tornillo Child Detention Camp outside El Paso, TX

The past 4 years have been brutal on those seeking asylum in our country. As the country prepares for a new administration, a group of dedicated immigration rights activists have been meeting to decide, What’s Next? What is next with immigration policies in the United States? We are focusing our pressure on the incoming administration to do what is legal and right and humane, through a bimonthly postcard campaign. Our goal is to flood the offices of 4 major decision makers with thousands of postcards every two weeks through March. The purpose is to keep the light on what is happening along our southern border and throughout the interior of our country, with the goal to place humanity rather than cruelty at the center of our policies. Finally, we have a window of opportunity to make sure that Never Again means Never Again.

Note: The first Postcard Campaign, End MPP, was sent out earlier in December. This post has information and instructions for the 2nd campaign, End Child Detentions, which will go out between January 5-8. We plan to have 7 postcard campaigns that will take us through the winter months.

This 2nd campaign, End Child Detention, postcards are available at the link below. There are 4 postcards to one sheet of paper. Print that one sheet of paper onto card stock (60ish lb works well), cut out, write your brief message, put on postcard stamp, and send between Jan. 5-8.

Please follow specific instructions below:

Postcard link: End Child Detention,

Instructions

This campaign is being sent to Joe & Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (nominated to head Department of Homeland Security), and Antony Blinken (Secretary of State nominee). To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for printing, writing and mailing your cards:

1 – Download Postcard #2 (image from “Uncaged Art”, artwork from a child held at the Tornillo Child Detention Camp, courtesy of University of Texas El Paso) – available here:

https://tinyurl.com/yaywy47y

2 – Print your postcards:  Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock.  You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side.

3 – Write your postcards.  The theme for this card is Never Again Child Detentions! Here are some ideas, but we encourage you to use your own words:

  1. Children belong with their families.
  2. Detention is harmful to children. Detention = jail.
  3. Place children with families or sponsors, not in detention.
  4. Once you take office – What’s Next for the children who cross our border?
  5. We are counting on you to keep children and their families safe and together.
  6. It is immoral for private companies to make money from keeping children in detention centers. 
  7. Child detention – Never again.

4 – Sign your name, including your City and State

5 – Address the cards to:

**Joe and Jill Biden

President-Elect

United States of America

1401 Constitution Avenue, NW 

Washington, D.C. 20230

**Kamala Harris

Vice President-Elect

United States of America

1401 Constitution Avenue, NW 

Washington, D.C. 20230

** Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary-Designate, Dept. of Homeland Security

℅ WilmerHale Washington DC Office

1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20006

** Honorable Antony Blinken

Secretary of State-Designate

℅ Foreign Policy for America

1302 K St. NW

Suite 300W

Washington, D.C. 20005

6 – Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

7 – Drop your cards in the mail between January 5-8

Thank you so much for your efforts, support, and care. Together we can make Never Again mean Never Again.

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Patty, Nancy, and Margaret

Finding Ourselves

From the “Find it at Viles Arboretum!” card deck by Serena Sanborn

“When traveling quickly, they will hold their tails well above the snow, but if they are walking, you will note the distinctive trail left by their tail.” Track of a Mouse card by Serena Sanborn

Depending on your perspective, it’s been a rough few months. For some, it’s been a rough few years. For too many others, it’s been a rough few decades. Something many of us are slowly opening up to is the perspective of others. For many others, not so much.

Yesterday as I sat grappling with the news and a weekly commentary on it by a young news team the above card came in the mail. It is part of a deck of cards done by a local artist and naturalist. Someone I respect immensely. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to enjoy a break from the reality of our country.

Looking through the beautiful illustrations and reading the perfect scientific explanations on the back side I realized, “This is reality.” There could be nothing more real than the workings of our natural world. I felt that evasive feeling again, hope.

This coming decade is a crucial one for our planet. It is going to take an immense amount of work to shift leaders who are beholden to the fossil fuel industry to a place where they are brave and bold and moral enough to do what scientists and indigenous leaders have been telling us for years, leave it in the ground. As I read an article about a new notion to address climate change by shooting light reflecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s light back into space I found myself shaking my head at the lengths we will go to to keep our addiction to fossil fuels alive.

This is going to be a long haul. After 4 years of giving free reign to the oil industry (not that they have ever been hauled in) it is going to take an immense amount of organization and effort to do what needs to be done to leave our children and children’s children a home planet that is habitable. A planet where they can take cards such as these and search for tracks of little field mice to see if they were running or walking.

A friend and I have been knitting a lot of hats lately. Our small attempt to make a difference in someone’s life. An old friend posted a photo of some baby moccasins she made for her new grandchild. They were lovely. A local shop set up a section of handmade items that are for sale for the holiday season. The fleece angels spoke to me. As I was walking through this section first thing on a cool Saturday morning I found myself realizing, yet again, how important it is going to be for us to take this slow and steady. That old saying, “This is a marathon not a sprint,” came back to mind. As a sprinter in my youth, I have always found this notion to be a tad difficult to absorb. But absorb it we must. If we are going to stay healthy and strong while we stand up against such intense evil power, we will need to be physically and emotionally strong. So I knit.

What kind of trails will our generation leave for the next? Will we see our “tails” or not? It really is up to us; all of us.

As always, in solidarity and peace,

Mary

PS – Thank you Serena for inspiring this writing and for creating such a lovely set of cards. I do hope they wind up in all our classrooms.

To order your own set of cards visit Serena’s Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Maineserena?fbclid=IwAR2XP_6GPTT9gQGFnvlV1zaRGFVPopyzN1s_AVO9UFLxv_nvapCfXxJYD1U

For the People

The raised fist, or the clenched fist, is a universal symbol of solidarity and support. It is also used as a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance.” Wikipedia

But democracy is a participatory sport, not for spectators. Jill, a kind friend.

Many of us try to understand our political system and landscape. Some are better at it than others. With Covid here I have an enormous amount of time to read, to try to understand. I still need a lot of help.

Many friends are wondering how the Democratic Party, the “party of the people” didn’t win overwhelmingly. I have thoughts on this.

“Watch what they do, not what they say.” And when I do this, I find immense amounts of disparities.

Many town and state level Democrats in our state are good people who do amazing work. But when we look up at the national level we see… well let’s just say, a change. Following the choices of the new Biden transition team illustrates this idea. Just one example; Pepsi is on the team. Greenpeace is not. Large corporations are on the team, defenders of life itself are not. Progressives? Not sure I see them anywhere. Yet, we folks who align with progressive policies such as the radical notion that we should stop “burning our house down” not only voted for the Biden/Harris ticket, we participated in phone and text banking, post card writing campaigns, social media posting, and even stood on corners preaching, begging, pleading for others to do so as well. Only to see a hawk chosen for the Pentagon (fuck glass ceilings if they are crashed by women such as this) and a fossil fuel enabler and benefactor on the climate team all the while the DNC vilifies progressive wing of the party. So much for thanks.

But back to why, why a state such as Florida could move solidly red all the while voting for a $15 minimum wage. Something brought forward by a “socialist”, who they are petrified of and claim to hate, Bernie Sanders. All the while voting for the man in the White House who is overseeing the massive deaths of 250,000+ people and not doing a thing to stop it.

I find myself thinking about arrogance. About how I feel when someone tells me, in a condescending tone how I should think and feel. Let’s just say that I stop listening to them. I even begin to dislike them. I certainly don’t trust them. I have to be honest, if I’m really going to expect others to reflect, I must too. I too am guilty of this. Of thinking my view is right and how can others not see it. My tone can then be condescending. Why? Because I’m not listening. I’m “debating”. I’m trying to win. Trying to convince someone that their way is wrong and mine is right. Well, dang, it isn’t working. Not one bit. I find many leaders in the Democratic Party to be condescending. And because of that, I don’t trust them. I don’t like them.

But that’s just one part of it. We must circle back to the ” see what they do and not what they say” part of it. The DNC has yet to advocate for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground. They have yet to support health care for everyone and done in such a way that those at the bottom of the pay scale don’t become broke. 2 things. 2 things that if they endorsed would tell us that yes, they care about us and they are not beholden to the donors who give them millions.

Naive? Some tell me I’m naive. They tell me that’s not how you win in politics. So we must support the same evil in a different dress in order to “win”? That makes no sense to me. None at all. It also underestimates the power of the people. Again, Florida is one example who is showing us this.

So what really is going on at the core of politics in the United States? Wealth. It’s all about wealth. Who has it. Who is believed to deserve it. And how to keep it where it is. There was one guy who spoke the other quiet part out loud. The quiet part that says that it is long past time to redistribute it. And that is where both parties lose their shit because they both benefit from the system the way it is. One party may yell racist tweets to get their racist base going all the while the other party yells the opposite so their supporters can stand behind that. The Democratic Party says that obviously racism in any form is wrong. Oh really? They openly preach it. We of course agree, share the message and close our eyes to the root of racism in our country. Economics. For four years I have tried to understand the economics of racism and slowly I am understanding it’s underlying issue is that of classism. If we as a class, (not the top 1% or even top 10%) locked arms….could you imagine.

Question the party that is now in power. And follow Jill’s advice, “But democracy is a participatory sport, not for spectators,” and stay involved, very involved.

In solidarity,

Mary

PS – It should be noted that I did not address the GOP because they are so far gone to the right/authoritarianism that they are a hopeless cause. It is clear that they don’t care one bit for any of us.