“I’m off to Have a Baby!”

I’m off to have a baby!  Tomorrow, July 3rd, is the first day of my 3 month leave where I will start learning how to be a parent to my first child due July 11th.  I’m calling it my sabbatical to learn how to be a movement mama.  I feel so fortunate to be able to take this time to focus on home and family and then doubly lucky to return this October as a working mother with the support of the ROP
community.The prospect of motherhood engenders a slew of emotions and reflections about who you are and what this world we’re living in – and in our case as social change organizers – this world that we’re working to create is all about.  One of my favorite quotes is the Arundhati Roy excerpt from her 2003 speech Confronting Empire, that concludes, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”  To me, right now, that is definitely a birthing metaphor.  You and I are the mid-wives supporting this new world into existence.

I’ve been learning a lot about the role of mid-wives lately as you might imagine!  One of the greatest strengths they bring along with knowledge, experience, and skills is their ability to trust and have faith in the process while also recognizing that it is incredibly hard work to give birth.  In our organizing to bring our new world into existence, we must have both faith in our vision for justice and the willingness to work hard and long to bring this vision into reality.

The 2009 Oregon Legislative Session concludes with some notable victories – passage of safe schools legislation that protects kids from harassment, the failure of all anti-immigrant legislation, a budget that funds schools and increases veterans benefits, and improvements to tax fairness on the revenue front – for the first time since 1931 large corporations will finally be paying more than $10 minimum income tax!  These successes were supported by more than 50 ROP members who consistently wrote letters, made calls, sent emails and faxes, and wrote letters to the editor to keep our priorities clear and present.  Thank you, ROPers!

But despite these hard won victories, many needs are still unmet and multiple challenges lie ahead.  While we appreciate these successes, we must continue to call on our legislators to show the backbone required, especially in these tough economic times, to do what it takes to fund human needs, support tax fairness, protect civil liberties and civil rights, and advance peace at home and abroad.   (Read more of ROP’s legislative wrap up.)

One of the things I am going to miss this summer is being part of the first phase of ROP’s People’s Economy Campaign.  This campaign is about lifting up a vision of a democratic economy that we the people can make work for us to serve the needs of our communities.  It is about the belief that not only is another economy is possible, but that the one that we live in now is fundamentally unjust and undemocratic.   It excludes the majority from decision making, it serves the interest of a small minority, it prevents the majority of the world from living with a decent standard of living, and it prevents open information exchange and participation.

I am eager to learn what gains are made this summer as communities across Oregon organize to move their money as individuals and institutions from corporate banks to local credit unions and banks that are more accountable to the communities that they serve and invest in.  This is one step towards building a more democratic economy.   If you haven’t already, sign an action card that connects you to the campaign or give the ROP office a call to talk more about what moving your money means and how to do that in your town.

Here’s to new steps towards our vision of a better world!

All my best until October!

Amy

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