Posts filed under ‘Politics’

Renewed Hope, Real Solutions – Earth Day Summit 2016

Wow, we’ve clearly made a mess of things… global warming, species on the brink of extinction, polluted water supplies and more.

Yet, if we put the miraculous, collective power of our hearts and minds together, we CAN solve these problems.

Earth Day Summit 2016Solutions DO exist and every day, more and more incredible people are rolling up their sleeves and finding creative ways to fix what we once feared unfixable.

Plus, we now have access to an abundance of cutting-edge technologies, effective community organizing platforms and revolutionary, life-giving ideas!
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Join a powerful lineup of speakers who’ll be sharing these solutions and more at Earth Day Summit 2016!

This special gathering will feature 15+ esteemed environmental leaders, innovators, activists, scientists and ecologists who are offering a renewed sense of hope, step-by-step solutions for local and global action — and restored reverence for Mother Earth.

Experts, including Starhawk, Kenny Ausubel, Vicki Robin, Chief Phil Lane, Jr., David Crow, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and others, will share their visionary insights and inspired actions for a healthy, sustainable and thriving planet.

I hope you’ll participate in this special day-long gathering presented by The Shift Network.

RSVP now for Earth Day Summit 2016 — at no charge.

During this inspiring event, you’ll discover:

  • Practical steps & innovative solutions for living in harmony with Mother Earth’
  • Trusted resources & expert guidance for making sustainable life choices
  • A vibrant community of kindred spirits mobilizing globally to create a thriving planet
  • Ways to take action on local levels as well as national legislative action
  • The experience of activating global consciousness, weaving the world together
  • Engaging stories of those who are making a difference in the world, inspiring you to take action and create your own out-of-the-box solutions
  • Invaluable insights on grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying & community action
  • And much more!
With guidance from these leaders, you’re sure to come away from this global gathering deeply transformed — and part of the solution!
Like Inspired Actions for a Thriving Planet: Earth Day Summit 2016 on Facebook share on Twitter

Join a vibrant global community and an extraordinary panel of presenters for a FULL DAY of hope, inspiration, actions and discover your next step for personal and planetary transformation.

RSVP now for Earth Day Summit 2016 — at no charge.

April 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Sister Giant | Blue America Free Progressive Summit Starts February 23rd

Meet congressional candidates from all over the country who stand for progressive values coming into Congress — the co-equal branch of our government.

Continue Reading February 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

How Will Political Change Take Place?

This article, written by Robert Borosage, Sanders and Clinton: How Change Comes, is reprinted from OurFuture.Org and I’m just giddy with excitement!

One of the most striking contrasts between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic debate is their starkly different theories of how change will take place. Yet it is this difference that is at the center of the Sanders surge, and particularly of the remarkable excitement that he has stirred among the young.

Virtually every reform proposed by President Obama has been blocked by the Republican Congress. The House majority is so dysfunctional that Speaker John Boehner had to fall on his sword simply to get the House to keep the doors of government open and the U.S. from defaulting on its debts. Republicans are now unable to agree upon his successor. They are so practiced in obstruction that they obstruct themselves.

So how does the next Democratic president overcome this? Gerrymandered districts make it very hard for Democrats to take back the majority in the House. What makes change come?

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Yes She Can

Clinton’s answer is encapsulated in her response to Anderson Cooper’s question about whether she is a progressive or a moderate:

I’m a progressive. But I’m a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position that I’ve had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me, honestly. But we found ways to work together on everything from reforming foster care and adoption to the Children’s Health Insurance Program…

Clinton offers herself – her experience, her vision, her tenacity – as the difference. This was a consistent theme of her remarks. Her opening featured her commitment to “heal the divides:”

During the course of the evening tonight, I’ll have a chance to lay out all of my plans and the work that I’ve done behind them. But for me, this is about bringing our country together again. And I will do everything I can to heal the divides – the divides economically, because there’s too much inequality; the racial divides; the continuing discrimination against the LGBT community…

And she offered herself as the vehicle for change again in her closing:

What you have to ask yourself is: Who amongst us has the vision for actually making the changes that are going to improve the lives of the American people? Who has the tenacity and the ability and the proven track record of getting that done?

When pressed about why voters should choose an “insider like yourself,” she sounded the same note:

I’m running because I have a lifetime of experience in getting results and fighting for people, fighting for kids, for women, for families, fighting to even the odds. And I know what it takes to get things done. I know how to find common ground and I know how to stand my ground. And I think we’re going to need both of those in Washington to get anything that we’re talking about up here accomplished.

You Know There’s Gonna Be A Revolution

In contrast, Sanders argues that given the corruption of American politics, the only way needed change can come is with a “political revolution.” This theme was central to his argument:

But here’s where I do disagree. I believe that the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of the drug companies, the power of the corporate media is so great that the only way we really transform America and do the things that the middle class and working class desperately need is through a political revolution when millions of people begin to come together and stand up and say: Our government is going to work for all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.

Anderson Cooper remarked skeptically, “You don’t hear a lot of Democratic presidential candidates talking about revolution. What do you mean?”

Sanders elaborated:

What I mean is that we need to have one of the larger voter turnouts in the world, not one of the lowest. We need to raise public consciousness. We need the American people to know what’s going on in Washington in a way that today they do not know. And when people come together in a way that does not exist now and are prepared to take on the big money interest, then we could bring the kind of change we need.

When asked if Hillary had the “right stuff,” Sanders again argued that it wasn’t about an individual leader:

I think — I think that there is profound frustration all over this country with establishment politics. I am the only candidate running for president who is not a billionaire, who has raised substantial sums of money, and I do not have a super PAC. I am not raising money from millionaires and billionaires, and in fact, tonight, in terms of what a political revolution is about, there are 4,000 house parties — 100,000 people in this country — watching this debate tonight who want real change in this country.

When asked how he could overcome Republican obstruction, Sanders was clear:

The Republican party, since I’ve been in the Senate, and since President Obama has been in office, has played a terrible, terrible role of being total obstructionists. Every effort that he has made, that some of us have made, they have said no, no, no.

Now, in my view, the only way we can take on the right-wing Republicans who are, by the way, I hope will not continue to control the Senate and the House when one of us elected President.

But the only way we can get things done is by having millions of people coming together. If we want free tuition at public colleges and universities, millions of young people are going to have to demand it, and give the Republicans an offer they can’t refuse.

If we want to raise the minimum wage to $15 bucks an hour, workers are going to have to come together and look the Republicans in the eye, and say, “We know what’s going on. You vote against us, you are out of your job.”

And the Senator returned to this theme in his closing:

Now, at the end of our day, here is the truth that very few candidates will say, is that nobody up here, certainly no Republican, can address the major crises facing our country unless millions of people begin to stand up to the billionaire class that has so much power over our economy and our political life.

The Real Deal

Obviously, Sanders call for “political revolution” is alien to beltway politics as usual. Jim Webb expressed the establishment disdain: “I got a great deal of admiration and affection for Senator Sanders, but I – Bernie, I don’t think the revolution’s going to come. And I don’t think the Congress is going to pay for a lot of this stuff.”

Waiting for a political revolution seems a bit like waiting for Godot. But ask yourself, which of these views is more realistic? Clinton’s claim is a less bumptious version of Donald Trump: “Trust me. I know how to do this. I can get this done.” How plausible is it to believe that Clinton’s experience and expertise can enable her to work with Republicans to effect the change we need? We know there are bad deals that can be cut. But real reform?

“Revolution soon come” seems like a fantasy. But Sanders’ view that nothing will change unless people rise up, demand change, go to the polls in large numbers and hold their representatives accountable is compelling. And by not raising money from millionaires and billionaires, by not setting up a super PAC, by raising stunning sums in small donations (nearly $2 million in the hours after the Democratic debate), he isn’t just calling for a popular movement, he is helping to build it.

October 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

The Way Young Women Talk Today Makes Them Appear Weak & Uneducated? Really?

(Reprinted in part from The Guardian – Young Women, Give Up Your Vocal Fry and Reclaim Your Strong Female Voice. By Naomi Wolf.)

The most empowered generation of women ever – today’s twentysomethings in North America and Britain – is being hobbled in some important ways by something as basic as how they use their voices. This demographic of women tends to have a distinctive speech pattern. Many commentators have noticed it, often with dismay. Time magazine devoted a column to the mannerism called vocal fry, noting a study that found that this speech pattern makes young women who use it sound less competent, less trustworthy, less educated and less hireable: “Think Britney Spears and the Kardashians.”

“Vocal fry” is that guttural growl at the back of the throat, as a Valley girl might sound if she had been shouting herself hoarse at a rave all night. The less charitable refer to it privately as painfully nasal, and to young women in conversation sounding like ducks quacking. “Vocal fry” has joined more traditional young-women voice mannerisms such as run-ons, breathiness and the dreaded question marks in sentences (known by linguists as uptalk) to undermine these women’s authority in newly distinctive ways. Slate notes that older men (ie those in power over young women) find it intensely annoying. One study by a “deeply annoyed” professor, found that young women use “uptalk” to seek to hold the floor.

Amy Giddon, director of corporate leadership at Barnard College’s Athena centre for leadership studies in New York, found in original research that “there is a disconnect between women’s confidence in their skills and abilities – which is often high – and their confidence in their ability to navigate the system to achieve the recognition and advancement they feel they deserve. Self-advocacy is a big part of this, and identified by many women in the study as the biggest barrier to their advancement.” In other words, today’s women know they can do great things; what they doubt – reasonably enough – is that they can speak well about those great things.

There's no power in talking with a vocal fry.

When you ask young women themselves what these destructive speech patterns mean to them, you get gender-political insights. “I know I use run-on sentences,” a 21-year-old intern at a university told me. “I do it because I am afraid of being interrupted.” No one has ever taught her techniques to refuse that inevitable interruption. “I am aware that I fill my sentences with question marks,” said a twentysomething who works in a research firm. “We do it when we speak to older people or people we see as authorities. It is to placate them. We don’t do it so much when we are by ourselves.”

What is heartbreaking about the current trend for undermining female voice is that this is the most transformational generation of young women ever. They have absorbed a feminist analysis, and are skilled at seeing intersectionality – the workings of race, class and gender. Unlike previous generations, they aren’t starting from zero. They know that they did not ask to be raped, that they can Slutwalk and Take Back the Night, Kickstarter their business ventures and shoot their own indie films on their phones – and that they deserve equal pay and access.

Which points to the deeper dynamic at play. It is because these young women are so empowered that our culture assigned them a socially appropriate mannerism that is certain to tangle their steps and trivialise their important messages to the world. We should not ask young women to put on fake voices or to alter essential parts of themselves. But in my experience of teaching voice to women for two decades, when a young woman is encouraged to own her power and is given basic skills in claiming her own voice then huge, good changes follow. “When my voice became stronger, people took me more seriously,” says Ally Tubis. “When people feel from your voice that you are confident, they will believe that you are smarter, and that you are better at what you do – even when you are saying the exact same thing.”

July 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm Leave a comment

An Error Does Not Become a Mistake Until You Refuse To Correct It

April 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm 1 comment

Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, 24 hours dedicated to challenging the unequal payment and treatment of women in the US workforce. Whether in Hollywood, sports, or business women are consistently paid less than men for doing the same work. That’s why leaders across industries are calling for equality on our paycheck and beyond.

Join us this week by sharing the inspiring quotes on our blog and showing your support of equal pay. Together we can challenge systems of injustices so that everyone, regardless of gender, can fulfill their human potential.
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April 14, 2015 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

Sister Giant Announced for 2015: Creating a New American Politics

sgheader_0219bI am beyond thrilled to announce Marianne Williamson’s next SISTER GIANT Conference, to be held March 28-29, 2015, Live in Los Angeles as well as Livestreamed.

This year’s theme, Awakening Our Conscience, Restoring our Democracy, will feature a Saturday night keynote address by Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as talks and discussions with former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Lisa Bloom, Thom Hartmann, Elizabeth Kucinich, Cenk Uygur and others.

Issues covered this year include Getting Money Out of Politics/ Overturning Citizens United; Corruption of Our Food Supply/ Regenerative Agriculture; Race, Mass Incarceration and the Drug War; Turning a World at War into a World at Peace; and Creating a New American Politics.

SISTER GIANT fosters a political conversation based on conscience and compassion. As a citizen, activist, candidate or prospective candidate, please join us for a unique experience in opening your heart and expanding your mind.

Marianne says, “SISTER GIANT is a gathering not to be missed. We’re going to rock it this year as we have rocked it before.” Please help spread the word.

Details and Registration Here!

February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

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Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 23 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the seven dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com.

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