Toward the of the conversation, Lisa noted feeling she wanted to get past what was beginning to feel like going in circles and do something more (please forgive, Lisa, if I have paraphrased this incorrectly!). I am seeing this echoed in other conversations, and feel it myself. In response to that, I wrote this elsewhere and thought maybe it would offer useful food for thought here, as well:

As individuals acting on our own, we are limited in what we can do. For example, if we each are only one or two people contacting our public officials, and not in a coordinated way, we can easily be ignored and considered cranks and generally are. To get past that, we need to flood the zone with calls and emails, preferably targeted to specific issues as they arise.

As an example, and I think this is because there is probably not as yet sufficient infrastructure to mobilize quickly and in a concerted way, it doesn’t seem as if we are capitalizing on getting comments in on the new Title IX regs. I may of course just not be in the right loops, but if I am not, and I’m pretty attentive on this, then it is very unlikely large numbers of people even know to submit a comment--and the deadline is 5/15. Same pertains to writing D house members who voted against the House Title IX bill, and also writing Senators re the companion bills pending in the Senate. Unfortunately, at present, the big, established infrastructure that could mount such a call for action is all on the well-funded other side, and our side is playing catch-up.

BTW, if anyone does want to submit a comment on the refs or write D House and Senate on the House bill, sample language, along with additional information, can be found here: https://www.josieholford.com/title-ix/ WDI and I believe ICONS also have sample language on the regs.

On the larger issue of building better infrastructure for collective action, one model to look at is the trajectory of the Indivisible movement, which laid out a template focused on contacting/attending town halls etc. with R public officials after the 2016 election. At first, it was just a document, but for people all over the country, many if not most of whom were not D regulars or Ds at all, it lit a match and ultimately grass roots Indivisible organizations sprang up everywhere. This work had a lot to do with getting people out to vote and the resultant 2018 blue wave. Here’s a really good article that describes how these grass roots efforts developed: https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/middle-america-reboots-democracy/

The media black-out is, of course, a huge barrier. I was glad to see the Helen Lewis article in the Atlantic and hope it gets some traction. And, as always, this leads me back to saying how grateful I am for Lisa’s continued efforts to get the word out in a thoughtful, deeply knowledgeable way.

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Lisa, I did not see the whole livestream, but I heard and saw how frustrated and depressed you felt after the conference. Like you, I am tired of going around in circles, stymied by the same rhetorical slipperiness and institutional capture.

It sounded like there are already people working on the kind of project you want to undertake. But if I can be of any use to you in that or any other endeavor, I would be happy to help. A former librarian and quasi-journalist, I'm pretty good at research, editing, writing, and sometimes even thinking.

I hope the conversation tonight helped you to feel a little more optimistic!

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Just there for the end of the conversation. Thanks!

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Link didn’t work

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