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As we wait for tonight's vote, and hope to celebrate one of the biggest political victories of this amazing Biden-Harris Administration, I wanted to pass on part of Bernie Sander's response to a letter I wrote him (prompted by Jess's CW/CW) regarding the expulsion of the two Tennessee State Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Peters:

Let me be clear: civil protests are part of the long history of Americans engaging in acts intended to highlight injustices. Civil disobedience and peaceful protests—such as demonstrations in support of women's suffrage and marriage equality, sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, or marches to oppose war—were acts intended to draw attention and affect social change. I myself demonstrated against the Vietnam War, was arrested as a young student protesting segregated housing at the University of Chicago, and spoke out strongly against the Iraq War as a Member of Congress. I support the free speech rights of every American to peacefully protest or speak out against policies or action they disagree with.

Protecting our fundamental rights is critical for the future of our country. At a time when demagogues want to divide us up based on the color of our skin, where we were born, our religion, or our sexual orientation, we must do exactly the opposite. We must bring people together around a progressive agenda. We must educate, organize, and build an unstoppable grassroots movement that helps create the kind of nation we know we can become.

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Off topic for today's pile of wood and puddle of water, but inspired by previous conversations in this space and its affiliates, I sent an email to my house representative Jamaal Bowman regarding young person voter pre-registration in New York. Here is what I sent. At the end I have also included a snippet from his monthly newsletter (received by email today) that motivated my message.

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In a newsletter from the Congressman received today, I noticed with great pleasure his engagement with schools and young people in NY-16, especially New Rochelle HS which is in my neighborhood. The Youth Leadership Conference on June 3rd sounds AMAZING, especially your intention to "listen and learn from our youth and include your voice in the legislative process.”

I wonder if the Congressman is aware that New York is among a fairly small number of states that provide for voter pre-registration for high school-age young people starting at age 16. Studies indicate that pre-registration correlates very closely with actually voting when young people reach the age of majority. Unfortunately, despite the availability of pre-registration, the percentage of young people who pre-register is extremely low, especially in the five boroughs of New York City and in Westchester County. The rates are especially low when compared to the rate of pre-registration in rural districts of New York.

It seems to me that there is a tremendous opportunity to improve citizen engagement of the young people of New York if we can build programs and partnerships with high schools in the region.

Are you aware of any programs in NY-16 that are currently working on this? If so, I would like to get involved. If not, I would like to help get something started.

It would please me greatly if someone on your staff could reply to this suggestion, which may fall a bit outside of the usual request.

Here is the text that prompted my email.

"Calling all young people! Come to my Youth Leadership Conference on June 3rd from 9AM-5PM at New Rochelle High School. I want to listen and learn from our youth and include your voice in the legislative process. We’ll be having design challenges for students on topics like climate change, gun violence, mental health, queer studies, and more. We want to create a space where youth feel empowered, heard and seen, and bring this model to areas across NY-16, Westchester, New York, and nationwide. Students should come ready to tell us about issues affecting them and help us work on solutions to bring back to Congress. Join us by registering at bit.ly/NY16Youth.

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All the best to ChopWood/CarryWater's MOM!

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Enjoy your mom's visit, Jess. Anything with the word "Gardens" in it sounds delightful.

I'm not sure it's all right to copy and paste this text from The Wilderness Society, which I sent to my senators by clicking a button, but here it is, for you all to use as is when you write to your senators or with your personalizations:

As you know, it is vital that we resolve the manufactured debt ceiling crisis as soon as possible. But in doing so, we absolutely must not sacrifice communities and environmental safeguards at the altar of oil-and-gas profits.

Specifically, I’m writing to ask that you support amendments to the debt ceiling deal that strip out provisions to force the Mountain Valley Pipeline to completion. Sec. 324 of the “Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023” would recklessly override safeguards like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Clean Water Act while attempting to crush the opportunity to challenge MVP in court—and for a project whose construction has already resulted in hundreds of environmental-law violations in Appalachia, no less. Please back efforts to remove this irrelevant and distinctly irresponsible provision.

Similarly, please reject other provisions that make it harder for communities to challenge destructive fossil fuel or other development in their own backyards. Protections like NEPA are critical to ordinary people's ability to stand up to moneyed interests and defend their health and well-being. We can’t allow those bedrock safeguards to be a casualty of this absurd process.

Once again, please reject the provisions to expedite completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and other anti-environmental riders. Thank you.

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💙 Northeast Arizona Native Dems.They are my fave group to postcard for as they connect voters with a local native organizer, with great results !Such a community…

Enjoy Mom !!

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Have a lovely time with your mom!

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