WECANN “falls back” into good works!

 

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Kimberlee & Amanda from WECANN working with Laura from Action Together to register voters at the Cape Ann YMCA. More voter registration events to come!

It was a busy day yesterday (9/26) for our happy band of do-gooders. 🙂 Several of us WO-manned a sign-up table at the Cape Ann YMCA during National Voter Registration day, helping to sign up non-registered voters. It was very fun and informative. We will be doing this again, and asking folks to pitch in if they’d like.

Don’t forget the municipal election in Gloucester takes place November 7th and VOTE!!

Then, we gathered at 6:30P for our monthly WECANN meeting where we planned ahead for upcoming social events (likely an “Indoor Picnic” together with other local action organizations–stay tuned), and how WECANN might put together “report cards” for our local elected officials and those running for office. By collecting information on their past voting records and current stances on issues, WECANN members and others will be able to make informed decisions about our “champions.”

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Learn about “snowflakes” becoming an avalanche in support of Planned Parenthood at: WWW.CAFEPRESS.COM/SNOWFLAKESTORM

We had gorgeous “snowflakes” available thanks to artist Lisa Goren and her colleagues. The individual and unique snowflake pins come with a link to order swag online whose proceeds form donations to Planned Parenthood (See more at http://www.cafepress.com/snowflakestorm)

We are still fundraising by selling WECANN bumper stickers ($5ea) and buttons ($2ea).

We voted as a group to sign up to officially recognize WECANN as endorsing the Safe Communities Act through the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) Coalition.

At our meeting we also collected donations for the Tacos Lupita supply drive for Puerto Rico. (The restaurant, at 63 Washington St., Gloucester, is collecting all week and will ship items to the island by boat. 🇵🇷❤️)

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Tacos Lupita on 63 Washington St. in Gloucester is collecting toiletries, feminine hygiene products, diapers, and non-perishable food items all this week which will then be shipped down to PR by boat.

Next month we expect a guest from Team Seth Moulton, Victoria Ireton, to join us; she’ll be taking questions and listening to what we’re up to in our group. Our meeting will be October 24 since our regular last-Tuesday-of-the-month slot will fall on Halloween this year. Please feel free to bring friends and a snack/beverage to share.

Look forward to seeing you there, and to a great month of local candidate events, research and social justice action ahead.

Respectfully submitted, Kimberlee

#RESIST #PERSIST

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Attending AVR Lobby Day on Beacon Hill

WECANN proudly sent two reps to Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) Lobby Day at the Massachusetts State House on June 28th. WECANN believes that this pending bill in the State Senate is very important for ensuring the premise found in our US Constitution: “One person, one vote,” so clearly articulated by Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Supreme Court in 1963.

19510446_10213591203473574_6464291215019471151_nInstead of raising impediments for eligible voters, AVR shifts voter registration from an opt-in to an opt-out system. This would mean that every eligible citizen who goes to the RMV, MassHealth and other state voter registration agencies, would be automatically registered to vote, unless they decline. The resultant reduction in paper forms and data-entry errors will maximize accuracy, security and most importantly – register more voters.

There was great turnout at this event; about 115 folks from 40 cities and towns were in attendance! Many groups were there in support, including the League of Women Voters (a group dear to our hearts), and Common Cause Massachusetts. 19437257_10213590723141566_8557959758465012812_n

Amanda and I were able to meet with and discuss the measure with assistants from both offices of our state representatives, Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Bruce Tarr. We feel very confident that this commonsense important legislation will streamline the process and insure greater participation in our democracy.

Respectfully submitted, Kimberlee

Judy Norsigian discusses “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” with WECANN

At our June 27th (monthly) meeting, we were so pleased to host Judy Norsigian, one of the original co-founders of the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” initiative, to discuss the powerful documentary film “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” (2014, dir. Mary Dore).19601303_10213583667885189_3919595697091461294_n

Roughly 20 WECANN members and some guests first saw a screening of the film, followed by a potluck dinner and provocative discussion of the women’s movement past, present and future at the Lanesville Community Center.

Judy is an engaging speaker and had much to say about the production of the film, the current battles over Title 9, current outspoken misogyny, and more during our time together. The evening left us all energized for further action.

Thanks to Judy for a wonderful evening! And, thanks to everyone who attended and shared food and conversation. We look forward to many more events like this. Yes, WECANN!  

WECANN Button/Bumper Sticker Fundraiser

NOW AVAILABLE:
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 6.14.28 PM3″ x 5″ oval WECANN white vinyl bumper stickers for your car with removable adhesive. These stickers can also be stuck on lockers, file cabinets, luggage and other personal items. $5 each. (After cost, 75% of $ goes to fundraiser.)

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ALSO available: 2.25″ WECANN buttons. Show your Women’s Equality Cape Ann pride. These buttons are proudly Union Made in the USA. $2 each. (After cost, 70% of $ goes to fundraiser.)

Fundraiser proceeds will go for WECANN initiatives such as the purchase of middle school social justice books, and others…. Yes, WECANN!

Stickers and buttons may be purchased at monthly WECANN meetings.

Bumper stickers may be purchased directly online via this link. ($5 ea + .50¢ S&H)

Need more information? Fill out form below:

In the Beginning

It seems fitting to launch the WECANN blog with a recollection of our beginnings, and a brief nod to what we’ve accomplished in the few short months we’ve been active.

Hannah Kimberley and I (Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard) first met while organizing the2016panelposter_secondversion October 15, 2016 Women’s Equality Panel, co-hosted by the Sargent House Museum and local Cape Ann League of Women Voters. (The live-stream video of which is available via the link here.)

The panel was such a wonderful spur of discussion, it was clear that local women and men wanted to continue the conversation. The attendees, along with some of our friends and neighbors, were therefore invited to a follow-up meeting on November 15th, held at Hannah’s place. However, considering the election results of November 9th, we soon realized this would need to be a “Post-Election Decompression Session” rather than a celebration of women’s long-awaited ascendancy to the Oval Office.

That literal and figurative dark-and-stormy night, there were fewer than ten of us in attendance. Our little group bonded over our concerns for the apparent negative trajectory of women’s- and minorities’ rights and respect. The evening was a chance to share the overwhelming feelings of apprehension, sadness, fear and longing for answers. As a group, we decided to meet monthly, to chart a course and help each other through the next four years of the current administration.

16665722_10210044096271706_8524442309618384835_oIn that gathering, and the next couple of meetings, we also came up concrete ways to keep positive focus and create change. We helped one member with an LGBT workplace harassment issue. We brainstormed some small, but important, initiatives that would help us to work for positive change. For example, we supported Period Partners, which supplied a year’s-worth of menstrual products to local charities. Over time, we collected donations for a NuDay Syria shipment to refugees. We sold WECANN logo shirts to donate $300 to the ACLU. One member had postcards printed for us to send to our governmental representatives–available for carrying either supportive or critical messages to them about their work. (No doubt many will be sent for the Ides of Trump, 3/15.)

To date, WECANN has represented at: Seth Moulton’s 6th district break-out event on 12/11; at MA Sexual Health Lobby Day at the State House on 1/31; as well as meetings of Cape Ann Local Action, Action Together North Shore, and others. Some of us attended Bystander Awareness Training through the “Facing our Future” series on Rocky Neck. We have been mentioned in the Gloucester Daily Times as well as on Good Morning Gloucester.

That original close group of fewer than a dozen is now joined by over 200 like-minded individuals in our Facebook group, and (so far) a regular, devoted band of about 30 who gather at our monthly meetings to share joys, concerns, and information–over refreshments–and buoy ourselves for the month ahead. We work together as a democracy, a true grassroots gathering, where all are welcome to propose initiatives for WECANN to act upon. We are in this for the long haul, learning and growing as we go.

If you haven’t attended a meeting yet, I encourage you to join our private Facebook group and/or join our email list and experience our community firsthand. Together with our local sister organizations we are working for equality, social justice, and fair treatment for all. We welcome intersectional feminists of any age, gender, orientation or background. Remember:  #ShePersisted