Dear Indivisible Somerville members, contributors, donors and supporters,
As 2017 comes to a close and we prepare for the coming year, we want to reach out to remind you of our upcoming birthday party and take a moment to reflect on all that’s occurred in the last twelve months.
In November 2016, few of us would have guessed we’d be starting this new year with such dire need for community organizing, activism, and support. The abuses and distortions of an already-imperfect system have caused a crisis in our world that poses a real and present danger to all the values we citizens of conscience hold dear.
Yet out of this tragedy has come some light. We have seen our country unite in a movement aimed at rejecting authoritarianism, bigotry and meanness. We’ve shaken off our state of false security and woken a sleeping giant that will, with effort, march toward Washington to reclaim the freedoms and ideals upon which our country was founded. More importantly, we’ve found each other – friends and colleagues who might never have met. That is the silver lining to this cloud of crisis.
Our IS community has been forged by this: Boomers and Millennials; Progressives, Democrats and Republicans of principle who all reject the “new normal” and refuse to give up on our country and on each other. Hundreds, even thousands of hours have been given by people without an hour to spare in order to create an agency of depth, strength, breadth and influence to combat this difficult time.
Together we’ve shared many victories: we contributed to the success of the ACCESS bill, allowing 1.4 million women in Massachusetts to preserve access to contraception and preventative care. We’ve stood in the way of a cruel Republican agenda and helped 23 million people retain their health care – a battle that is far from over. We’ve supported our friends here at home through marches, donor drives, and phone banks. We’ve provided crucial resources to local and national “red state” areas in need of tech and organizational support. We developed It’s Our Call, a real-time data-gathering tool letting us know where our legislators stand and when best to contact them, which will now be used by 5 Calls. We ushered our children into the world of healthy, invested political ownership with Family lab. We’re recognized as a top Indivisible group both regionally and nationally, and we’ve worked hard to lay the foundation for not one, but two organizations dedicated to fairness and social change (more about that coming in the new year!).
We’ve done a lot, but there is much more left to do. This past year we’ve experimented, succeeded, and sometimes failed in our effort to define our goals and culture, and find out what IS, well, IS. We’ve had the honor of working with remarkable people of great skill, strength and dedication. We’ve seen our numbers continue to grow; we’ve also seen members branch off to different projects with different cultures and styles of action. This, too, speaks to the power, reach, and resolve of our community at large.
2018 will be a crucial year in many respects. We will be up against the gerrymandering and voter suppression of the Republican agenda, and we will begin to feel the consequences of their cruel policies. The most vulnerable among us will be the most at risk, and we’ll need to stand in the way of that harm. We’ll have local races and legislation to fight for. We’ll have our own organization to continue to build and better as an institution of conscience and impact.
None of this will be possible without you.
We invite you to attend our IS Birthday Celebration January 6th. Speakers will include Ben Echevarria of The Welcome Project; Charu Verma, Board member of the Muslim Justice League and the ACLU; Ian Danskin of Innuendo Studios; and Stephanie Hirsch, Somerville Alderman-elect. This event is free of charge. Feel free to bring any friends, acquaintances or colleagues interested in supporting IS. As always, please consider donating to help allay our costs and support further initiatives.
We look forward to seeing you all as we plan for the future, gear up for the coming year, and celebrate this exceptional community.
Indivisible Somerville Board of Directors: