Standout for Justice

silent_vigil_6-5-2020The last time I wrote was four months ago on my way to Grant Circle: the weather dipped below freezing and–the light having already faded–an intrepid pair of us used flashlights to illuminate our cardboard signs as we protested the Impeachment acquittal at the traffic circle. It felt pretty grim.

What a difference a season, the effects of a months-long quarantine and renewed, inflamed national outrage at economic, social and racial injustice makes.

Today, four months to the day after that standout, a band of about three dozen of us in shorts and tees made our way back to the rotary to hold a silent vigil for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and all victims of systemic racism. Our goal? To raise awareness as well as to foster a communal feeling of belonging. To allow for collective grief and a show of support for our brothers and sisters, near and far, who are persecuted for- and solely judged by the color of their skin.

It must stop.

We must demand it.

All of us.

Perhaps like many of you, after struggling with feelings of dislocation, separation and (frankly, at times) desperation at the stream of current events in the past year or more, the many, many car honks, gestures of solidarity and outpouring of goodwill by both our group and passersby alike were overwhelming.

(UPDATE: Our standout made the local paper, bringing needed attention to this issue. Very pleased!)

This food for my soul will sustain me for a good, long time…giving me strength to pick up the banner again to fight the good fight.  As our WECANN motto states, it’s time to: work for equality, social justice and fair treatment for all.

Are you with us?

To learn more, join our private Facebook page, or join our email list.

We hope to see you again soon in this, our 4th year of #RESISTING.

2020 IS going to be the year. Join us.

Respectfully submitted,



2020 is the year, my friends…

A quick note from me before I am off to Grant Rotary for another standout.

It’s been quiet on the WECANN homefront, seemingly, but our hearts and minds have not been at ease. Impeachment, the climate crisis, immigration, the list goes on and on…

IMG_9366Recently, I got to see the play, “Gloria: A Life” in Cambridge, and it certainly relit the fire under me and lifted my spirits. (If you haven’t been, I HIGHLY recommend. #GloriaALife @AmericanRep)

As we enter 2020 and the Senate takes its final vote on acquitting our impeached head of state, it is abundantly apparent that now is the time to get back on that horse and charge.

84450013_10222002337746674_3022059038096490496_nTONIGHT (2/5/2020), WECANN will be at the first Gloucester traffic circle at 5:30P with signs, shouts and shared frustration at the “state of our Union.” Please join us. In solidarity with Indivisible, folks are taking to the streets to hold our senators accountable for covering up for this lawless president. #RejectTheCoverup

  • WECANN invites anyone who would like to be there, all ages, all walks of life.
  • WECANN standouts are NON-PARTISAN. Please be respectful of this in signage and message.
  • Thank you for spreading the word and considering participation in this action.

Then, the day after Valentine’s Day, Saturday 2/15, 2P, please join us for a 2020 KICK-OFF MEETING of our group to set the agenda for the year…it’s going to be a long haul with the national election ahead. Reach out for more details.

To learn more, join our private Facebook page, or join our email list.

We hope to see you soon in this, our 4th year of #RESISTING.

Respectfully submitted,



“Fall”-ing back into WECANN

While we didn’t have our monthly meetings this summer, WECANN remained steadfastly active in our community working for social justice and supporting our neighbors.

On June 30th some of us attended the “Rally for Immigrants’ Rights in Massachusetts,” protesting the family separation of policy of the current administration. The march began at Boston City Hall and proceeded to the Boston Common where a well-attended demonstration took place. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and others, organized the rally and called on legislators to pass the Safe Communities Amendment, a measure that would restrict local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities and prohibit officers from asking about immigration status. (The amendment passed in the Senate in May but was not taken up by the House. Gov. Charlie Baker threatened to veto it.)


On July 22nd WECANN “hosted” dinner at the Open Door in Gloucester. What fun! It was great to work together as a team and make a difference here on Cape Ann by helping to feed our neighbors.


On September 23rd members attended a sermon and then meeting with Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove (co-author with Rev. William Barber, II of “The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear“). Jonathan is active nationally in the new Poor People’s Campaign, and he’s been involved with voting rights, racial justice, community activism, ending poverty, prison reform, criminal justice reform. His visit was an amazing, engaging and energizing experience. He was even kind enough to sign books afterward!


At our September 25th monthly meeting we hosted Deb Bradley who presented on “Yes on 3” in reference to an upcoming ballot question. We were very moved by her personal testimony, and all agreed that civil rights should not be put to a vote. A YES vote will uphold basic protections for our transgender neighbors, family and friends in Massachusetts.


We also solicited questions for local candidates for the positions of 1) State Representative, 2) Governor’s Council District 5, and 3) Registrar of Deeds (in advance of an upcoming League of Women Voters’ [LoWV] newspaper “debate.”) What questions might we have for candidates who are running for those positions? Please email us (

As we continue to watch the SCOTUS nomination process unfold, many of us gathered in support of survivors of sexual assault on September 26th. We held a variety of #BelieveSurvivors signs and banners at the Rotary and got many honks, waves and words of support. It’s going to be a big, influential year for women in politics and beyond, that’s clear to see. We will not remain in the background.


Looking ahead, some folks are still interested in protesting/standing out at Grant Circle. It would be great, for example, to do a multi-group standout and remind people to vote on November 6th. Any interest? Any ideas for causes?

Our next meeting is October 30th, we will have sister-resister Charlene Smith there, and fellow activist Bambi Snodgrass who will help us in a postcard campaign. November 27th is our 2nd Anniversary (with cake and bubbles!), celebrate our work and ponder the road ahead. January will bring the third annual Women’s March in Cambridge and around the world.

We hope to see you soon!


Respectfully submitted,


Happy Anniversary, WECANN!

il_570xN.1031691354_d59eWECANN is officially one year old!!

Hard to believe that we’re already ONE as of November 15th!  

We celebrated our many accomplishments at our November meeting and–lest we rest upon our laurels–considered future plans together. There were snacks, cake and bubbles, which made it a pleasure! 🎂 

Here are some of the Goals & Ideas we’re thinking about for Year Two/2018 (Adapted from this article):

  1. Expand our thinking with new experiences. (Say “yes” when you want to say “no.”)
  2. Write letters to three public people to let them know what they mean to us. (Communicate and connect.)
  3. Find a volunteer opportunity. (Share it with us.)
  4. Build value every day. (Create a ritual that ensures you reach out to locals every month. This is about adding value. The more people you help, the more joy we’ll see. Do something to help them close in on their greatest dreams and needs. )
  5. (Re?-)Write a personal mission statement. (CURRENT WECANN MISSION: Building a Cape Ann *intersectional feminist* women’s group is an idea that grew out of the energy around the Women’s Equality Panel that took place October 15, 2016 here in Gloucester, MA. – This is a reboot of the “Judith Sargent Murray Meeting” of a few decades ago–a progressive women’s group. – We meet monthly to cover current events affecting women (of which there are CLEARLY MANY) and how we can address them locally. – We might also consider books to read collectively and share our reflections. – And, we are beginning to collect stories from the women who participated in those earlier meetings to share with posterity.)
  6. Stop using the “bad thing” label. (What good things came of “bad” things this year?)
  7. Take stock and charge forward. (Ask ourselves: What battles did I fight and not win last year? Are any of those battles worth continuing? Why didn’t I win them last year? What can I do to win them this year? How can I make those things I liked most about last year happen more frequently? 2018 is going to be another great year!)
  8. Write a WECANN-goal list.
  9. Keep friends close. (Yay! We’ve survived this year together!)
  10. Have gratitude. (Are we doing the things we love the most? Be sure to delight in all the amazing aspects of our group.)

Some ideas we brainstormed:

-regular attendance at city council and board of selectpersons meetings (perhaps on rotation with folks reporting back)
-volunteer as a group to Backyard Growers, Open Door, Grace Center
-reach out to local folks and ask about needs (rides, companionship…)
-work on getting $ out of politics
-hearing more about the work the Women’s March is doing on promoting intersectional feminism
-postcard parties
-additional socials with other groups to buoy us through our stressful time

24131427_10215146250748784_6988931920404434410_n24301358_10215145609412751_4380756951173299873_nWell, it didn’t take long for us to get right back to business this week after our celebration. WECANN was busy contacting the FCC about net neutrality, and our representatives about the disastrous GOP tax plan. Then, after the Senate passed their tax bill at 1AM this morning (Saturday), some of us went out for a spontaneous protest at Grant Circle, bringing signs, pots to bang, and our outrage against the plan. In all we do, of course, we are mindful of the need to be positive, encourage local involvement, be action oriented and humorous in our signage.

Be on the lookout; soon, we’ll have a new banner to hold at these public events and spread the good word.

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We’ll certainly be out there with that banner at Grant Circle again on Saturday 12/23, 11AM-NOON to say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” Speak truth to power with our signs, our voices, our presence! Bring drums, pots and pans, noisemakers. Let’s state loudly and clearly, “Enough is Enough!” Enough corporate control of government! Let’s show we are not asleep during the corporate takeover of our country. Hope to see you there! INVITE FRIENDS!


And, please do join us for our Turnout against Burnout on 1/27, when we party with our resister sisters and brothers! It’s been a long year, and there’s more to come. To keep our energy and resolve up, we’ll gather for camaraderie with our sister organizations for a fun and stress-relieving indoor winter picnic. BYO-[picnic]Basket and a pillow or blanket if you can (we’ll have extras and will also have some chairs and tables too) to MAGMA Dance Studio in Gloucester, 11 Pleasant Street upstairs. Stay tuned for more info!

That, just one week after many of us get back from the national women’s marches on 1/20/2018.  These marches will celebrate and extend the inaugural 2017 Women’s March on Washington and its hundreds of sister marches, which became the largest coordinated protest in U.S. history with nearly 5 million participants. Let’s keep that momentum!

Be in touch with your ideas and energy. We’d love to see you in January at our monthly meeting, 1/30 at 6:30P, location TBA. Friends, ideas and snacks welcome.  #PERSIST

Respectfully submitted,


WECANN “falls back” into good works!



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.”


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

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. 🇵🇷❤️)


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


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

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