Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Don't Despair

"When you feel despair, you don't act." Mark Ruffalo



Mark Rufallo's video resonates with me, personally. I felt like an insignificant blue dot after 11/8, in a big red state. Then I realized just how many of us are out there. I started #imabluedot to track my own inspirations to act, and yes, to connect with the dots. I am blue, but there may be teal, green, violet, and as a former red, even red dots equally horrified at the assault to basic rights.

The news is filled with reasons for concern. We have a PEOTUS who sets policy seemingly on whim. We have had an obstructionist partisan politics, who will do anything, including cozying up with cold war foes. It's easy to miss what is happening locally on our state level. Bolstered by the promise of Scalia 2.0, states legislators across the U.S. have taken rash and ill-advised measures that negatively impact human rights and access to healthcare.

Here is my growing list of horrifying bills, all in one. 
Keep this link handy to contact your state legislators often http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Find%20Your%20Legislator/Find%20Your%20Legislator.html

SB 5/CI/LM - An ACT relating to abortion and declaring an emergency. Interpretation: no abortions after 20 weeks; create a litigation fund to defend the law in legal procedings
SB 7 / LM - An ACT relating to firearms; interpretation: allowing concealed carry without a license
SB 8 - An ACT relating to the use of public resources; interpretation: no state or local funding for abortion services. Federal funds funneled to non-abortion providing facilities first.
SB11 / HB90 - An ACT relating to nuclear power; interpretation: changing the law so that nuclear waste facilities need only a plan for storage and not for permanent disposal
SB17 - An ACT relating to the expression of religious or political viewpoints in public schools and public postsecondary institutions; interpretation: allowing teaching the Bible in public schools and other religious/political expression allowances
SB 33 - An ACT relating to wages; interpretation: changes the minimum amount of money business must gross to be required to follow minimum wage laws from $95,000 to $500,000
HB1 - An ACT relating to right-to-work; interpretation: public employees can't strike, no union dues or memberships as condition of employmenth
HB2 - An ACT relating to full disclosure in public safety; interpretation: requiring an ultrasound prior to abortion with criminal penalty
HB3 - An ACT relating to prevailing wage; interpretation: disbanding current Prevailing Wage Review Board. Local governments can't set minimum wages. 
HB10 - An ACT relating to public postsecondary education governance; interpretation: eliminate current Board of Trustees of the Univ of Louisville and replace it with 10 members appointed by current governor. (Ignoring the fact the university's accreditation is already on probation for "undue political influence" over its governance.)
HB 14 - expansion of hate crimes to include LEO & first responders; interpetation: while at first blush it sounds like a good idea, the bill fails muster as career choice is not a protected class. One does not have a choice on one's race, ethnicity, sexuality, sex or disability. 
HB82 - An ACT relating to election finance; interpretation: reducing the number of campaign finance reports required from 4 to 2 - only 1 prior to the election.
HB92/LM - An ACT relating to juvenile responsibility; interpretation: dropping the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 11
HB105 - It says no law or court order shall supersede “a person’s right of conscience” to stand by religious beliefs, which ostensibly opens up discrimination against LGBT patrons from conservative business owners.
HB106 - would require bathrooms in public schools, state universities, and government buildings to “only be used by persons based on their biological sex.
HB108 - An ACT relating to firearms; interpretation: any guns or ammo made and used in Kentucky would be exempt from federal law (exceptions: machine guns, silencers, exploding ammo, and large bore guns)
HB120 - An ACT relating to preserving the right of Kentuckians to own and use firearms; interpretation: would make it illegal for state or local law enforcement of federal restrictions on firearms
HB127 - An ACT relating to freedom of student speech at public postsecondary education institutions; interpretation: would make it illegal for public colleges and universities to restrict hate speech / have "safe zones"

Looking at this list, it's a lot to take in. Don't Despair. Progress comes slow, one knit, one pearl at a time. 
Combating post-holiday blues, knitting the way my Mother taught me. The method of knitting was handed down to her by her Mother who would knit and darn the family's socks. My Grandmother died when I was four, and my Mother died this last September. I took up the knitting needles to knit a pink hat with cat ears as a play on words for some notorious and corroborated admission of our President Elect. I will be going to DC to participate with friends and family in the Womens March on DC.  I will wear my pink hat, and march in the memory of my Mother and Grandmother. I march for all the women who seek pay equity. I march for them to have access to healthcare. I march for their children to have access to education. So while I don't march to change the minds of those who think such acts folly? I march FOR them and for those they love. I march as an act of casting on, and with each step, with each call to my legislators, with each letter, each act for my community to address a human need, I knit the next stitch.
Progress takes all our skill and collective action.
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#imabluedot #beinspired #act #kentucky #democrat #pussyhat #feminism #knitting #yarn #pink #whyimarch #womensmarchondc #wmdc

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