It's time to get loud.
Your voice matters
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WHAT A WEEK
Hope you had a great week! I ventured off to Miami for a leadership retreat. It was great to be around like-minded friends - sharing ideas, building stronger relationships + exploring new places.
I know it’s been a crazy busy week for all of us. So much going on from graduations + weddings to Memorial Day weekend adventures.
I also know for many of us the news regarding the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas has been both heart-wrenching + enraging.
It’s hard to move forward with celebrations - especially those related to school activities - in the midst of such a tragedy. It’s hard to do much of anything.
But, we have to move forward.
I can’t help but think about Memorial Day with a little more reverence + intention this year. A day when we honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country. Our freedoms.
I didn’t realize that Memorial Day was first widely observed in 1868 (100 years before I was born) to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. During that first national commemoration, 5,000 participants helped decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union + Confederate soldiers who were buried there.
I recently stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I was standing there with 200 women from all over the country, all different walks of life, different political views, different races + generations, some from small towns, some from big cities.
We were in Washington D.C. to advocate for more health protective laws in the personal care + cosmetics industry. To use our voices to raise awareness about the need for new legislation + to make a stand for ingredient safety + transparency.
It was a beautiful example of what can happen when we put our differences aside + use our collective voices for change. Change that benefits ALL of us. Not just a select few.
It was also a clear reminder that it is the voices of everyday, average people that drive change. Yes, we have let money, greed + power prevail in many ways in our country, but, we the people, are the ones that have the power. We just have to make the effort to show up + speak up. We also have to find a way to put our differences aside + stand together on the issues that matter most.
Someone I greatly admire said this week:
Our binary, simplistic, us vs. them thinking, is the most toxic thing in our homes these days.
Boy, isn’t THAT the truth!
As you celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, I hope you will stop to think about the sacrifices made to protect our freedoms. To honor those who have fought for our country’s ideals - equality, rights, liberty, opportunity, and democracy.
USE YOUR VOICE
And then, I hope you will use your voice to come together to address this national problem we face with mass shootings.
Clearly, what we are doing (or not doing) is not working. We need to be brave enough to try something different. To push forward some basic common sense laws + a concerted effort to ensure children are safe at school. That people are safe in their places of worship. That we are free to gather + shop without fear of assault.
Don’t believe the lie that nothing can change or that nothing you do will matter. Don’t believe the lie that one more phone call won’t make a difference. Your voice matters more than you realize.
One of the best ways to alleviate the pain + frustration of a tragedy like this one is to take action. And, Memorial Day weekend seems like a particularly good occasion to make your own sacrifice with just a bit of your time for the good of our country as we honor those who gave their lives.
Here are a few things I am doing. I invite you to join me.
Read up on the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 8 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 144 (I have included links below under Resources.)
If you support these pieces of legislation, go to congress.gov + search for your current representatives. Call their phone numbers. Talk with the assistant that answers the phone or leave a message. Each call is tallied. And yes, each call matters. Every single one.
Not sure what to say? Here’s what I said to mine:
“Hello, my name is Karen Smith. I am a constituent from California, 92122. I don’t need a response. I am concerned about the lack of a senate vote on The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 8 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 1446. I strongly encourage Senator Padilla to please support a vote and the passage of these two acts. Thank you for your hard work!”
Here in California, we have an election fast approaching. I will be placing my vote this weekend. I have carved out some time to research each of the candidates + issues on the ballot, to ensure I support people who share my personal ideals when it comes to guns, health, environment + women’s rights.
That’s my focus this weekend. Of course, there are lots of other things you can do. In fact, if you have one to add, please leave a comment below + let’s share. You never know who will read it + take action.
READ: The History of Memorial Day | PBS.org
READ: Why can’t America do anything to stop mass shootings? | The Guardian
Nothing is going to change without change. Be that change.
Pick up the phone. Make the call. Add your voice. This is true whether you are on the same page as your local representatives or not. They need to know what their constituents want + with what priority.
This is how things get done. Help your representative do their job. Don’t believe the lie that your voice doesn’t matter. It matters a lot. Now go. Make the calls.
See you next week?