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Still Time to Give + Year in Review

Help Afghan Refugee Families Moving Here

Progressive organizations throughout the US, including A4D, strive to improve the lives and livelihood of individuals and families across the country. Because In Portland We Care, A4D is helping Afghan refugees as they settle in the Portland area. A4D’s Immigration Action Team started working with Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) in October in two ways: 1. A4D matched member donations to LCSNW up to a total of $300; the $300 goal was broken in two weeks, with donations reaching $350. You can still make a tax-deductible donation to LCSNW here. 2. A4D kicked off a gift card program for Afghan refugee families, which ends tomorrow December 21. As of Monday morning, 24 participants have provided gift cards totaling $950. And there’s still time for you to purchase one! The families need food and clothing. Many local stores, including but not limited to Target, Fred Meyer, Costco, and Safeway, sell gift cards. Please keep in mind that the refugees are being resettled in the Beaverton area, so choose a merchant that has outlets in the area. Let Guy Nelson know via email once you’ve purchased a gift card and either drop it off at Guy’s home or put it in the mail. Guy’s contact details:

2309 SW First Avenue Unit 1543 Portland, OR 97201

The New York Times just published an informative article about sponsoring an Afghan family, which you can read here. And check out COIN’s We Care initiatives throughout Oregon here.

Remembering 2021 Act for Democracy Celebrates Its First Year

We show up and do the work! Successful Merger. Leaders from One Small Thing PDX and Indivisible97201 came together in the final months of 2020 to blend their memberships, which embrace both sides of the Willamette River. We blended opinionated and engaged leaders from two well-known and active political groups into a cohesive, functional, collegial, and relevant new team. Congratulations to us! Weekly Newsletter. Direct to your e-mailbox every Monday with news and opportunities for engagement, the merged newsletter now reaches 738 subscribers. Website. Updated as events occur, the website is the place to go for information on programming, activities, action teams, and events past and future. Share it with your friends and encourage them to sign up. Action Teams. During 2021, A4D action teams were hard at work.

  • The Legislative Team tracked over 60 critical bills during the 2021 Legislative Session on issues related to climate, energy, and environment; campaign finance reform; immigration; gun safety; and rural broadband. A4D was the first Indivisible chapter to endorse each team’s recommendations, which were later endorsed by Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network (COIN).

  • Social media posts got messages and calls to action out to thousands of people, including activists and elected representatives, amplifying the incredible work the Legislative Team did.

  • The In Portland We Care initiative gave hundreds of cards, flowers, and gifts to hard-pressed healthcare workers at two events held at Portland hospitals.

  • Under the banner of In Portland We Care, the Immigration Team helped welcome Afghan refugees to the region by coordinating with Lutheran Community Services NW, collecting gift cards and raising donations totaling over of $1,300, which A4D topped with $300 in matching funds. They also played a key role in tracking bills for the Legislative Team.

  • The Climate/Energy/Environment Team worked closely with the Legislative Team during the legislative session. It then expanded its work to advocate for the inclusion of strong environmental provisions in federal infrastructure legislation, the removal of dams on the Snake River, and better forest management practices among other efforts.

  • The Rural/Urban Team provided information about communities outside urban centers and guidance on how to connect with them.

Postcards, Letters, and Phone Calls. As we continued our fight for the society we all deserve, you heeded calls to action and stepped up to make your voices heard. We formed COIN Squads to record activities and encourage one another to do even more, and we wrote over 6,000 postcards. There are growing efforts to subvert American democracy and impose a fascist, authoritarian version of minority rule. We will not let that happen! Rallies. As Covid restrictions eased over the summer, we grabbed the opportunity to get out and march with others in the fight for gun safety measures and reproductive rights. We stood on every corner to push for passage of voting rights legislation. COIN. A4D strengthened its bonds with COIN by participating in twice-monthly calls, COINversations, and other activities. Monthly Meetings. A4D had a full year of meetings with engaging, informative, and prominent community and statewide leaders. January. Tricia Sauer, Indivisible regional organizer, spoke on the new administration’s national priorities: Indivisible: Where Are We Going in 2021 (and Who's Got the Map!)? February. Jamie McLeod-Skinner, formerly interim Talent City Manager and currently preparing a primary run in House District 5 against Representative Kurt Schrader, addressed surmounting rural/urban differences: Bridging the Divide. March. Julia Meier, Charter Commission Project Manager, introduced the new Portland Charter Commission, its agenda, and mission: Rethinking Portland’s Government. April. Dr. Samuel Metz, VP, Oregon Physicians for a National Health Program and member of the OR-SB770 Task Force on Single Payer Health Care, spoke on healthcare options: Universal Healthcare: What’s the Least I Need to Know? May. Nora Apter, Climate Program Director, Oregon Environmental Council, and Julia DeGraw, Coalition Director, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, addressed The 2021 Legislature and the Oregon Climate Action Plan. June. Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair, League of Women Voters, andNorman Turrill, President, Oregon Advocacy Fund, explained redistricting: A Thousand Districts: 2021 Oregon Redistricting. July. Party Time! We gathered at the home of Paulette Wittwer to toast A4D’s progress and accomplishments, with legislators and special guests Senator Michael Dembrow, House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner, and Representative Tawna Sanchez. August. Summer Break September. Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General, openly and graciously answered all our questions about the state's Department of Justice: A Conversation with Oregon’s Attorney General. October. Salah Ansary, Senior District Director, and Jennica Stephenson, Development Manager, Multicultural Community Services, Lutheran Community Services NW, spoke eloquently on the issues facing new arrivals to Oregon from Afghanistan and gave us concrete suggestions to help. Members stepped up to donate an amazing $1,300 in cash and gift cards while A4D provided an additional $300 in matching funds: Building New Lives: Afghan Refugee Resettlement in Oregon. November. Dr. Sharon Meieran, Commissioner, Multnomah County District 1, and Susheela Jayapal, Commissioner, District 2, helped us understand how the city and county are managing many issues, most urgently houselessness, in an extended conversation: Tackling Complex Issues for Multnomah County. December. Winter Break Happy New Year Everyone!

See You in January!

There will be no A4D monthly meeting in December but mark your calendars for January 25, when Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan will be our guest. See you in 2022!

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