Local rally calls for Congress to cut funding to ICE, border patrol
A small crowd of passionate local activists rallied and marched in Olympia Friday evening to bring attention to federal immigration policies.
Specifically, the “Defund Hate” event aimed to carry a message that Congress should cut funding to immigration enforcement agencies.
Among the roughly 20 rally attendees was State Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, who offered opening remarks before the group marched up Fifth Avenue Southwest from Heritage Park to wave signs at a busy roundabout.
“I think it’s really important for people to continue shining a bright light on the Trump Administration’s policies,” Doglio told The Olympian. “He’s making terrible decisions with very significant consequences.”
One person wore a sign with the words “Melt ICE” around her neck; another activist hoisted a sign reading “Brown Is Not A Crime!” while passing cars honked in support.
The event was organized and attended by members of Olympia Indivisible, the local chapter of a national progressive activism and lobbying organization. As of Friday, there were 21 events planned across the state this week as part of a “Defund Hate Week of Action,” according to an Indivisible spokesperson.
Carolyn Barclift is on the steering committee for Olympia Indivisible and led the organization of Friday’s event. She said the group held a similar rally and march earlier this year with an “Impeach Trump” theme.
Barclift said she originally got involved in Olympia Indivisible for the same reason she was an officer with the Olympia Police Department for 30 years.
“To stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves,” Barclift said, and to educate and help people.
She said the local organization now has more than 700 members.
For march attendees Jon and Lisa Ceazan, the issue of immigration is personal. The couple said they used to live in Los Angeles, where Jon owned a business.
Jon Ceazan said ICE agents raided his business about six years ago and arrested one of his employees. He said that employee, who had a wife and child, contacted him from the border just a day later.
“I don’t like how they operate,” he said.
Lisa Ceazan said she used to work with Salvadoran refugees when they lived in California.
“I just think it’s ugly what the Trump Administration is doing, and that’s why we’re here to protest it,” she said.
Olympia Indivisible member Joni Brill gave a simple answer as to why she showed up Friday evening:
“I have a heart,” she said. “I care about human beings,” before pointing out that most of the march attendees were of a certain age bracket.
“We’re in a crisis situation,” Brill said. “Old people — we remember when there was democracy in America.”
This past Saturday, I canvassed for Helen Wheatley in northwest Olympia. I visited 43 households, conversed with half a dozen voters, and left fliers at every home. It was a pleasure.
Now, to be perfectly honest, “pleasure” is NOT a word I would have paired up with “canvassing” when I first started walking neighborhoods on behalf of local candidates a couple of years ago. When I first canvassed, I was really, really intimidated (petrified, actually) by the prospect of ringing the doorbells of folks I did not know. All I could envision was Disaster:
I now know that I was suffering from Canvassing Anxiety Syndrome. Fortunately, I decided to give canvassing one try.
Miraculously, none of my doomsday scenarios materialized. I figured I had beat the odds, but I nonetheless decided to give it a second try, because I had to admit that it hadn’t been a disaster. Well, second canvass, still no catastrophe. In fact, in spite of all my expectations of epic failure, what I actually experienced was this:
First of all, I was always offered the chance to pair up with another volunteer (who invariably turned out to be a pretty nice person) to do canvassing. And between the two of us, we could manage to get across our talking points and get the data entered. And that the app didn’t blow up, no matter what we did wrong.
Secondly, I discovered that my nightmare fantasies about nobody ever coming to the door were simply unrealistic. What I learned was:
Thirdly, my fears about how folks who actually did answer the door would respond were largely unfounded:
So long story short, I keep on showing up to canvass.
Today I realize that overcoming Canvassing Anxiety has been transformative in ways I could not have imagined when I first gave it a try. Volunteering to canvass is an important practical means of supporting and getting out word about an issue or candidate. it promotes participative democracy, good citizenship, and community. At the end of the day, my most important job as a canvasser is not to convert folks whose minds are clearly firmly made up, but to respectfully exchange information with my fellow citizens. I know when I canvass I am, in my own very small way, helping nurture the change I want to see in my nation, right here at home.
Canvassing also has taught me that cultivating and sustaining a genuinely positive and respectful approach is not only useful as a practical canvassing tactic, it is empowering and pleasurable. I feel more resilient than I did two years ago and I owe some of it to canvassing.
For all these reasons, I encourage you to give canvassing a try.
- Lisa Ornstein
This past weekend I attended Indivisible's National Campaigns Network Gathering in Washington D.C..
The great news? Rep. Heck's and Senator Cantwell's staff gave rave reviews to OI for our engagement with our Mocs and the work we do. They said they are very familiar with our effective and necessary actions. They appreciate the calls they get and the messages they receive from us! We are succeeding every time you pick up the phone or send a message - WELL DONE OI MEMBERS!
On Monday, I visited Rep. Heck and Senator Cantwell's offices. I was the only one present from CD10Wa so I got a personal one-on-one meeting with Denny’s Chief-of-Staff and a legislative staff member in Maria's office.
We covered the upcoming appropriations bills that must pass by Sept 30 or a CR will be needed to avoid another shutdown. We spoke specifically to the info on the #DefundHate campaign (https://indivisible.org/resource/tell-your-representative-defund-hate).
The ask was NO to anymore CBP/ICE funding, and especially no to a slush fund of $350M without any direction or declaration on how it will be spent. We can’t allow money that should be spent to alleviate the humanitarian crisis the GOP created, to be used to build his wall or increase private prisons spaces, increase raids or enable more deportations. I covered the same in Cantwell’s office.
When Denny’s Chief of Staff asked what Denny could do, I requested Denny make a floor speech on this issue and stand against any more funding that is either undesignated or could be raided for the wall. He said there was a meeting planned for the next day and he would pass my request on.
We should also be demanding that the trump immigration policy that criminalizes and imprisons asylum seekers be reversed to return to the policy previously in place - release to the community until hearings could be held. We must demand more immigration judges be impaneled to hear the backlog of cases exacerbated by trump's policy. Until the President stops creating a greater humanitarian crisis, he should receive no more funding. He has raided other departments and has plenty of money to move in a positive direction. Let's stop rewarding him with more money when he's committing crimes against humanity.
In Cantwell’s office, the staffer said the current thought is that some of the 12 appropriations bills will be passed on time (by Sept 30) with Continuing Resolutions for the remainder, and the CR to expire at the end of the year.
Patty Murray’s office was locked up and she’s the only one on appropriations. Budgets are a statement of values. She needs to hear our concerns and she's in the best position among our MOCs to influence budget decisions.
Cookies and Conversation Topic
Exploring questions provoked by reading "The Plot to Destroy Democracy" by Malcolm Vance.
Do you find yourself asking everyday “How could this have happened?” Analyst Malcolm Vance has some fascinating ideas about who got us here and where this all could be leading. Check out his talk: https://youtu.be/paYbAyTtQto, read his book “The Plot to Destroy Democracy” or just come to share ideas as we explore questions he raises.
Our country currently has an administration that does not have democratic values and it is clear that the Trump administration is diminishing our democratic institutions.
Malcolm Vance is painting a picture that this is a global phenomenon. Many questions arise such as:
We will have an initial get together on August 7 at 7PM, since the book has 3 sections, perhaps 3 meetings will be needed to digest the content and discuss questions.
Please RSVP to email@example.com. Direction on request or call 360-539-7990
Cookies of course!
Glen Hubbard, Pat Wald and Jon Ceazan
PS: If you don’t have time to read the book, here is a quote from the middle of the book that could stir up a good conversation:
“Democracy itself would be the weapon that would bring down democracy. The vote would be the infectious vector--so long as the people are of one mind, they would vote their democracy out of existence…. “.
In these challenging times, it is good to bear in mind that together we can make a difference, and that Olympia Indivisible's band of angelic troublemakers is doing just that. Here's a case in point, from OI member Melinda Holman who, along with a number of OI members, has been persistently, actively involved in championing the cause of the once-beleaguered Thurston Conservation District since 2018. She just attended the first meeting of the Board of Supervisors with its full quorum of dedicated veteran members and newly elected and/or appointed members this past Wednesday and has the following news to share with us. Read on!
Thank you, Melinda and thanks to OI members who have given so generously of their time and effort to make this day happen.
All the best,
Olympia Indivisible Steering Committee
What a difference a year makes. I’ve gone from jaw dropping shock at misbehavior to incredible hope for this vital organization, the Thurston Conservation District which works to support best practices for farms and our environment.
One year ago, I wrote about attending TCD Supervisors Board Meetings. I was appalled at the conduct of two certain people. They have been removed for neglect of duty and malfeasance by the Washington State Conservation Commission. Another person quit. Three new people have taken on the work of the TCD Board in addition to the two remaining people who have struggled valiantly to “right the ship.”
At the May 30, 2019 TCD Board meeting, I witnessed Supervisors working together even when they saw things differently. They listened with respect, voiced their opinions civilly and most hopeful of all, laughed together. In a remarkably short time, they have taken steps to get finances straightened out, streamline policy and begun to repair relationships with staff.
This movement forward took a concerted effort by many people;
I am grateful to have witnessed thoughtful, caring people making a difference in our corner of the world.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead