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News & Public Affairs

WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – December 10, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of the White Rose Political Calendar. The calendar takes its name from the White Rose, a resistance group in Nazi Germany that worked to educate and organize opposition to the horrifying agenda of the Third Reich. In the spirit of the White Rose, WPKN offers its weekly Political Calendar in order to give voice to the struggles for political, social, economic and environmental justice. Here are some of the listings for the week of December 10, 2018.


Several states including Maine debuted a ranked voting system during the recent midterm elections. This form of voting ends the “winner take all” method of vote-counting that is in place in most states and localities and allows the voices of more independent and small-party candidates to be heard. An information session to explore this form of elections for Connecticut will be held on Tuesday, December 18, at 6 p.m., at the New Haven Free Public Library.


#WomensWave is the hashtag for the January 19, 2019 women’s march. The 2017 women’s march brought millions of people to the streets around the globe. The same movement helped to elect a record-breaking number of women in the 2018 midterms, and the 2019 march will galvanize an even stronger wave of hope and power in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election. More information is at womensmarch.com.


Although sexual assault is in the headlines because of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, women, and men, have been subject to sexual assaults for millennia. The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence brings together affiliated organizations throughout the state who provide support for victims of assault. The Alliance also advocates policy changes at the state and local level to better protect victims. For instance, they hope to change Connecticut’s statute of limitations for reporting sexual assaults, which is only five years for all but the youngest victims, one of the most restrictive policies in the United States. Their website is at endsexualviolencect.org


The appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, the second ultra-conservative to be placed on the Supreme Court during the Trump administration, represents a new threat to Roe v. Wade. The group NARAL continues to lead the fight to protect reproductive rights. More information is at prochoiceamerica.org or, in Connecticut, at prochoicect.org. The group Planned Parenthood is under constant attack everywhere from the halls of Congress to the streets of the many towns and cities where it provides health services. Opportunities for volunteering and action can be found by going to plannedparenthood.org and searching for the location nearest you. The New Haven office hosts a volunteer night every third Wednesday at their Whitney Avenue location, beginning at 5:30. Look for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England on Facebook.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is on the forefront in the fight for refugee rights, particularly, the ongoing battle over the horrific act of jailing immigrant children who have been separated from their families at the United States border. The ACLU is also involved in a wide array of other battles where constitutional rights are at stake, both nationally and locally. It helps local groups publicize their efforts through the website peoplepower.org. In the past year, the ACLU has helped to facilitate over 12,000 events nationwide. Their Smart Justice campaign hopes “to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” This effort can be accessed by going to aclu.org and following the links on the front page.


There are a number of organizations in our local communities working to support immigrant resettlement, housing, and education and, particularly, to protect immigrants who are facing deportation. In New Haven, Unidad Latina en Acción is a grassroots organization of immigrants defending labor, civil, and human rights. They have worked with a number of immigrants who have gone into sanctuary rather than face deportation. Their website is at ulanewhaven.org. IRIS, the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, works in the New Haven area to integrate new refugees into the community. They depend on volunteers and organizations to host families and provide help to find jobs, housing, and other services. More details are at irisct.org.


On Long Island, Neighbors in Support of Immigrants, or NISI, works with immigrants in many ways. Their website has further listings of faith groups and others working to protect immigrants at tinyurl.com/supportimmigrants; you can also search for the group on Facebook. Organization Latina Americana, a culture, arts, education, and advocacy group can be found at www.olaofeasternlongisland.org. The group Progressive East End Reformers (PEER) helps immigrants and “Dreamers” and is involved in other issues as well such as advocating for social, racial, environmental, and economic justice for all through electoral politics and activist, issue-oriented engagements. They can be found by searching for PEER/NYPAN on Facebook.


Nationally, the New Sanctuary Movement is forming local chapters of faith groups and their supporters who provide sanctuary to immigrants who are facing imminent deportation. Their website includes a detailed “Rapid Response Toolkit” and a pledge that individuals can sign to commit themselves or their faith organizations to support the sanctuary movement. Their website is at www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org


The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, tracks hate crimes in the United States. With many groups having become emboldened during the Trump regime, such as was seen in the attacks earlier this year in Charlottesville, the SPLC has provided tools to counter such hatred. Their website, at www.splcenter.org, features a ten-step guide to protect oppressed groups and promote healthy communities. The SPLC has also recently published a guide to fight hate speech on campuses.


Amnesty International USA continues to keep working to stop discriminatory immigration bans and other U.S. actions that are endangering basic human rights. Their website is at www.amnestyusa.org. Amnesty International also works on a range of other issues within the United States including abolishing the death penalty, ending gun violence, and protecting the rights of the gay and transgender community.


While Amnesty International fights for human rights abroad, the group Moral Monday Connecticut pushes for equal rights and social and economic justice in the state of Connecticut. Moral Monday is a movement started in North Carolina after their governor and state legislature introduced draconian cuts to education and essential social services. Moral Monday Connecticut can be found online at moralmondayct.org.


New Haven’s Bioregional Group “Connects New Haveners to their life-place,” organizing numerous environmentally-focused activities themselves and promoting activities of like-minded organizations in the region. Their website is newhavenbioregionalgroup.org.


United Illuminating and other utility companies are continuing to needlessly remove roadside trees on private property, arguing that the utilities are protecting power lines in the event of storms. Many groups have protested these tree removals and are working to educate citizens about their rights to protect trees on their own property or in their neighborhood. The Garden Club of New Haven has further information on what individuals can do if they see notices that trees in their area are slated for removal. Go to www.gardenclubofnewhaven.org and click on “Trees and Power.”


Many of WPKN’s public affairs, community programs, and cultural programs are available by podcast. WPKN has a talented and passionate pool of programmers who are deeply curious about the world around them. Their interviews are lively, timely, and a perfect companion for your morning run or afternoon car trip. You can find out more information by going to wpkn.org and clicking on the podcast link. More than ever, community radio stations like WPKN will be essential to provide an outlet for alternative political and cultural points of view.


To list your group’s local, regional or national events, send announcements, one week in advance when possible, to the White Rose Political Calendar, at valrichardson@wpkn.org. This week’s calendar was produced by Valerie and Rod Richardson.