Women’s march in Orlando

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What a great turn out for the women’s march today at Lake Eola–a fantastic show of solidarity with all the marches going on around the country.  It was amazing to see the number and diversity of attendees who came downtown to show their support for civil rights, human and animal rights, environmental issues, everything that makes our country great.  It gave many of us a sense of hope after being so discouraged by the mind-boggling turn of events.  By the large show of peaceful resistance, it looks like this administration will have trouble on its hands if it wants to push through legislation designed to harm the environment and those less fortunate in order to continue to enrich the top 1%.


Info/Call for Action

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We are in the process of organizing a local grassroots progressive organization and have secured the use of  a small office in Winter Park for evening meetings until a larger one becomes available! More info will follow and in the meantime this blog will be a means to update you on activities and events of various progressive groups that you may want to support.  You can sign up for email updates on the homepage of this site.
Also in the works now, MoveOn is looking for volunteers for their next action (listed below).  Please consider helping out.  Thank you!

Please consider hosting a rally this Tuesday, sponsored by MoveOn.org, outside Sen. Nelson and Sen. Rubio’s offices in Orlando to “Stop Trump’s” Swamp Cabinet Nominees”. 

We need to do all we can to stop Republicans from confirming Trump’s #SwampCabinet nominees. Sign up today to host an office visit to your senator and let them know that we will hold them accountable for stopping Trump’s nominees.  Info from MoveOn below:

Dear MoveOn member,
On Sunday, while 14,000 people attended 500 community meetings in 40 states to plan local resistance to Trump’s attacks on our communities, Republicans were running for cover—literally.
In Colorado, Representative Mike Coffman literally ran out the back door of a listening session when confronted by constituents about why he was taking away their health care.1
This is how we build power and win, even when the odds seem stacked against us.
Already, dozens of MoveOn members have stepped up to host a rally at their senator’s local office next Tuesday, January 24 to demand Republican senators reject Trump’s #SwampCabinet—and to demand Democratic senators use every tool in their toolbox to stop these dangerous nominees.
MoveOn members like you are joining with Working Families Party, People’s Action, and allies to organize peaceful, powerful rallies and media events at senators’ local district offices across the country on Tuesday, January 24 as a part of #ResistTrumpTuesdays. We’ll fortify Democratic senators for this fight—and let Republican senators know they’ll be held accountable if they choose to confirm such dangerous, notorious nominees.
Here’s Senators Bill Nelson’s and Marco Rubio’s office we found closest to you:
225 E. Robinson St.
Orlando, FL 32801
We’ll provide materials and training, support you in planning an agenda, and help you spread the word by recruiting other local MoveOn members to join you. And you’ll meet other local volunteers doing great work in their communities and sharing tips. If that sounds good, sign up to host an office visit now!
Donald Trump riled up crowds claiming he’d “drain the swamp” and chase corruption out of Washington. But so far his politics have only furthered a culture of corruption, and nowhere is that clearer than in the greed and hate embodied by the nominees to his Swamp Cabinet. No wonder the Republicans are rushing them through and hoping the American people don’t get a good look at these nominees, who have built their own power and wealth at the expense of the rest of us.
Here are just three of the #SwampCabinet nominees MoveOn members are opposing:
  • Jeff Sessions, attorney general nominee, known for long hostility toward racial equality, voting rights, and criminal justice,2 
  • Rex Tillerson, secretary of state nominee, a billionaire oil tycoon and longtime head of Exxon Mobil who has stymied action on climate change, and recipient of the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin;3
  • Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services nominee, a leading opponent of Obamacare who is under fire for trading hundreds of thousands of dollars in shares of health industry stock while pushing legislation that would benefit those stocks and himself.4
And these are only a few of Trump’s the Swamp Cabinet nominees. Democrats and Republicans alike need to hear from us before this parade of greed and hate is confirmed to a Cabinet that will attack working people, civil liberties, and the environment, while benefiting corporations and fellow billionaires.
Democrats have succeeded in slowing down some of the Swamp Cabinet nomination hearings, but so far, they haven’t used every tool in their toolbox to delay or stop Trump’s nominees. They could pledge to run down the clock during upcoming floor votes; with inauguration day this Friday, every extra day they spend on Cabinet hearings and votes is another day that the Republican-controlled Senate is denied the ability to press their other dangerous priorities.
We need to ensure that every Democratic senator is holding the line and that a few Republicans find reason to oppose, and we can do that by showing up in numbers at their offices, earning local media, and making sure our voices are heard. There’s no time to waste! Whether this is your first rally or your 50th, sign up to host a Stop Trump’s Swamp Cabinet rally at your senator’s local office next Tuesday.
Thanks for all you do.
—Chris, Vicki, Gabby, Katie, and the rest of the team
P.S. After Sunday’s 500 inspiring community meetings, volunteers jumped right into action! Nancy B. in Bend, Oregon, shared this: “A rally came out of one of the Bend ResistTrump meetings AND it was picked up by the press!” MoveOn members and allies greeted Republican representative Greg Walden as he visited a pharmaceutical company Monday, with signs reading “Don’t Take My Care.”5 Be like Nancy and host your own local rally next Tuesday. Click here to register your event and we’ll support you every step of the way.
1. “Colorado rep’s departure agitates constituents at Obamacare meeting: reports,” The Hill, January 15, 2017
2. “10 things to know about Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general,” The Washington Post, January 10, 2017
3. “Who is Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil chairman who may become secretary of state?”, The Washington Post, December 13, 2016
4. “Pelosi calls for ethics probe into HHS pick Tom Price,” The Hill, January 6, 2017
5. “Bend protesters greet Walden at start of Central Oregon visit,” KTVZ.com, January 16, 2017

Finally, the Orlando Sentinel publishes a reasonable letter to the editor

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Hopefully, they got an onslaught of letters addressing the idiotic one that appeared in the paper from Diane Panacek on Jan. 17th.  I salute the great rebuttal today from Doug David.

Read it here:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-letters-right-to-march-dc-012017-20170120-story.html



How artists are speaking out

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art-trumpEveryone must do their part to address institutionalized hate, bigotry and greed.  Huffington Post had a good piece about artists stepping up to be heard (some good ideas for signs for the march!)


Bill Moyers–independent commission to investigate Russian influence needed ASAP

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This piece by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship should be required reading.  He cites the terrible dangers to our country and allies if Russian influence is not investigated thoroughly with an independent commission.  According to the writers, “before Friday’s inauguration, there is still time for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appoint a special prosecutor. Fordham legal historian Jed Shugerman notes, “A special prosecutor’s term does not end with an administration. It is open-ended, so the special prosecutor would continue to serve during the Trump administration… unless the new Attorney General fired him or her, [but] only for ‘good cause.’”

“While there have been plans announced for Senate and House hearings into this constitutional crisis, these easily can be stalled and manipulated for partisan purposes. Given the Republican Party’s hardcore will to power and that it will soon exercise monopoly control over all three branches of government — not to mention their track record over the past eight years — it is hard to identify which GOP members of Congress are likely to put country ahead of party and let an investigation go where the facts lead. In addition, with some notable exceptions, the minority Democratic Party appears dispirited and disorganized, if not feckless, and unable to thwart Republicans determined to bulldoze a serious investigation.”

We need to encourage our elected officials to get behind this idea before the inauguration and a Trump administration attempts to deep-six the search for truth.  Our country is in serious trouble otherwise.   Write to President Obama here.


Women’s March

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women-marchThe Women’s March in Washington will be this Saturday, January 21st.  There are about 616 “sister” marches in all parts of the U.S.  In Orlando, the march will be as follows:

Women’s Rally – Central Florida

Start: January 21, 2017 1:00 PM

Lake Eola Amphitheater 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Hope you can come.  Bring a sign and a friend.

And let us talk about silliness (sigh).  Please read the following letter to the “Orlando Sentinel” today.  This is why we need to write as many letters to the paper as possible.  Perhaps in a wave of them, one on a saner note might make it into print.  It’s very hard to get published as the “Orlando Sentinel” seems to favor certain individuals as they are published over and over again.  Case in point:


First Meeting tonight

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Rosie, our mascot and greeter at the meeting

20170115_221410Organized by Moveon.org, a group from diverse backgrounds but holding common views, had their first meeting tonight at Jocelyn’s house.  It was a lively event focused on trying to formulate game plans and strategies to counter looming negative actions that are imminent from the new administration in Washington.  It was heartening to hear so many committed and patriotic individuals willing to pledge precious time and resources to support those programs and politicians that have been so important and beneficial to our society as a whole.

Breaking into four groups, we discussed the most important issues facing us going forward and what we would need in the way of resources to address them. Thoughtful strategies from the Indivisible guide, which has been inspiring hundreds of start-up groups across the country, were noted.  Discussions also revolved around getting sympathetic groups involved to work on a multi-pronged approach, perhaps in a shared local office.   There is a lot of work to be done and we’ll need others to step up.  We can do this!