Felicia Chew On School Safety

Unfortunately, people making dangerous choices are a reality (see linked article), and it is necessary to (1) teach our children safety plans and preparedness, and (2) provide policies and budgets that promote health and wellness in the community among potential shooters (perpetrators), and potential victims (students and staff).

At the Schools

For the children:

  • There are many ways to address these situations that are age-appropriate, such as playing games or taking martial arts or self-defense/empowerment classes that are geared toward kids.

Hide and Seek is a good game to let children develop skills of escape from enemies (Hide) or look for food or hidden enemies (Seek). These skills were of great value in a hunter-gatherer culture; children would have been encouraged to develop them through play.

“It remains popular now for the same reason it was popular then: the children enjoy playing it. It requires no special equipment, and people of all ability levels can play it. Because it is so simple, it is very easy to learn. It can be played in a variety of environments. Remember, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it is while playing Hide and Seek inside the house on a rainy day that Lucy first goes to Narnia.”

(https://www.quora.com/Why-was-Hide-and-Seek-invented-and-why-is-it-so-popular)

  • We can model programs, such as Steve Hupp’s American Tae Kwon Do Super Karate (ATSK) classes in the Amphi District, with games and exercises that teach students about self-control and having good character.

(www.facebook.com/americantaekwondosuperkarate)

For the Staff:

  • Funding options (and policies) for paid training and practice in Crisis Response and Education About Trauma (including Vicarious Trauma)
  • Funding options (and policies) that allow for programs and practices that support staff accessibility to resources (including, but not limited to, additional staff, and non-standard, creative strategies that facilitate health and wellness for the students and school community)

For the Families:

  • Housing First Programs to reduce families being in a housing crisis, which can result in further challenges for families
  • Family Advocates to connect Families with School Personnel
  • Family Advocates to connect Families with the Local Community

For the Community:

  • Opportunities to Volunteer and Support Students, and their staff and families

Policies and Budgets

Our schools budgets and policies should provide support and funding for educational programs which develop and nurture:

  • Self-Esteem and Self-Expression
  • Complex and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Community Responsibility
  • Health and Wellness

And might manifest as programs and practices of:

  • Empowerment
  • Anti-bullying
  • Communication
  • Healthy relationships
  • Kindness and Empathy
  • Inter-generational and intersectional relationships
  • Restorative practices
  • Arts and Music
  • Financial Management and Responsibility
  • “Adulting”
  • Social justice/equity
  • Equal access

The heart and mind of the child must be nurtured and strengthened, not forced through standardized tests.  Standardized tests force our children into cookie cutter molds, with expectations from one set of “testers”.  If school funding and teacher pay is to continue to be tied to test results, we must use multi-modal assessments, which would measure the growth of students, and the success of the school community.

#WeCanDoBetter


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.   Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


http://www.feliciachew.com/go2020

 

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What Would You Do With $1Million?

In 2012, I was asked what I would do with $1million.  I answered that I would build a community center.  Now, more than ever, I recognize the need for a community center… for space where people can share stories and wisdom… a space where people can be happy and healthy…. a space where people feel safe.

This is the reason why I have taken an interest in saving Golden Pin Lanes.  The County wants the space for saving money on leases,  and consolidating various County services into one location.  Their argument is that Miracle Mile, is one of Tucson’s neediest areas, so, the facilities should be located on Miracle Mile.

I agree… It is one of the less economically developed areas. 

And, I disagree.  We do not need to further stigmatize Miracle Mile.  We need a community center bringing positivity and fun — not continuing the stigmatization of poverty, by building an adult probation and juvenile probation facility, in the middle of the community!

There is always more than one way to approach a problem… This is my vision.  This is my ask for $3 from each Tucsonan, so that we can Save Golden Pin Lanes.  

*Note: Felicia Chew Community Projects uses the services of Piryx for online donations.   There is a service fee.  If you would like more of your dollars to go to the cause, cash and check donations can also be made

If we do not raise the $2.65million, the funds (less service fees can be returned to you, or if they are not requested as a refund, they will be used to support the Education, Advocacy, and Outreach projects of Felicia Chew Community Projects.


Felicia Chew Community Project’s vision for Golden Pin Lanes:

A community center that features bowling and adds value to the community. We know that the Bowl has features that have attracted many community groups, bowlers of all levels, tournaments, tourists, and the State Women’s Tournament (the whole reason the County is not closing the Bowl before June 2019)!

The community center would include:
– a toy library
– a little library
– a place for Pima One Stop to set up a table
– a place for WIC and other City and County services to set up tables
– a community board for businesses and services
– home ec/cooking courses
– safe space for people in crisis, where they can meet with someone trained in crisis response, and their children can be kids in a safe space while they parents process and develop a plan
– a food distribution center (e.g. Food Bank, community gardens)
– craft market
– farmer’s market
– movies in the parking lot
– art display and sale space
– tutoring
– English language courses
– citizenship courses
– empowerment courses
– partnership with the Jacob’s Park YMCA, Monterey Court Galleries, Westside Substation, and other businesses along Miracle Mile
– bowling and arcade games (of course)
– bowling tournaments
– referrals to resources
– PE classes (bowling) for kids
– local employees
– internship opportunities

This *sounds* like a lot of services, because it *is* a lot of services! Using the space creatively, we can accommodate these programs and so much more!

We model the space after other existing community spaces. For example, in Gallup, New Mexico, there is a restaurant where Navajo and other Native artisans carry their wares on trays to sell to restaurant customers. The artisans must be approved by the restaurant in order to sell.

POW (Produce On Wheels) already exists. Meet me at Maynard’s already exists. Many services and businesses exist, and Miracle Mile could benefit from these services and businesses as well!

We just need money to buy the Bowl from the County… the overpriced $2.65 million, which we can do… if everyone in Tucson chipped in $3/each. 🙂 A community center for each of us and all of us!

Save Golden Pin Lanes with a contribution of $3 or more at http://www.feliciachew.com/support.


http://www.feliciachew.com/savegoldenpinlanes

http://www.feliciachew.com/enddv


We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.   Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

Breaking the Systemic Cycle of the School to Prison Pipeline

We need a transition budget, because unfortunately,  we have a large number of community members who are incarcerated.

I recently visited the State Prisons on Wilmot.  We stopped in to visit the Juveniles who are bringing in young ladies.  We talked for a while with one of the Correction Officers… In fact,  she is one of the supervisors.  Her ideas were great for supporting the incoming inmates, meeting them where they are, and helping them transition back into the community.

Compassion, dedication, education, empathy, empowerment… all necessary in restoring relationships.

In the adult facilities, I visited the facilities with different levels of supervision.  I observed inmates who were subversively challenging the Corrections Officers  (I think it was mostly posturing and saving face) —  being hard, because the belief (and unfortunate reality) is that being soft is a death sentence.  I believe that can change.

In the lower security open facility where the inmates had a large space with bunk beds and their personal belongings piled high in makeshift privacy screens… we met two philosophers, working on creating a program for inmates to help them understand their impact on the community.

It was a beautifully conflicted oxymoron.

We need facilitators of learning, trained in crisis and emergency response.  We need training in meeting individuals where they are.

We can do better.  We can be responsible, hold one another accountable (not as a “gotcha”), and we can allow others (and ourselves) to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Yes, we want vengeance.  However  vengeance begets vengeance… another systemic cycle.  Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting.  Forgiveness frees us from the burden, allowing us to move forward for ourselves, our families, friends,  and community.

We have the power to end the school to prison pipeline.


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.   Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

http://www.feliciachew.com 


I’m Okay, You’re Okay –“Not Doing So Well” Means We Are Human

Support one another during the holiday season, and every day.

Mayim Bialik says she’s ‘not doing so well’ on Christmas Eve after split from boyfriend

(Click the link to read the full article)


I love her honesty.  It reminds me that people are the same, but different.  I appreciate that she shared her true feelings about “not doing so well”.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous. I am single again and it was painful to be ‘alone.’”

– Mayim Bialik

It is okay to be “not doing so well”. In fact, if she *was* “doing well” after a breakup with a boyfriend of 5 years, I would be concerned.  If I am doing my math correctly, they started dating after her divorce.

Her heart is so big, to want to be able to, and to be able to, spend Thanksgiving with her ex, his new beau, and her children.

“We are a family even though we are divorced.”

– Mayim Bialik

Her story shows us that people *can* do the right thing.  In spite of not being connected with her ex, she did the right thing for her children.

We must recognize that we do the best we can in making choices (her choice to marry her ex and have two children).

We must recognize that we may not connect with others the way we thought we would (the divorce and the breakup).

“The government is in a shutdown, it’s Christmas Eve day, I’m newly single and not doing so well to be quite honest.”

– Mayim Bialik

We must recognize that our children deserve to love both parents, and do not deserve to be put in the middle (having Thanksgiving dinner with the ex).

We must recognize that it shows we are human to be “not doing so well” after a break-up.

We must recognize that we can support those, and love those who have recently experienced broken hearts.

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“Gingerbread Friends and Family” – Gingerbread Creations by F. Chew, J. Samson, A. Samson, N. Samson, C. Asroth, D. Walker.  Photo by F. Chew

We must recognize that those with broken hearts may lash out, or withdraw, or be unresponsive.   Those are all normal reactions as hearts and minds process through the healing of something unexpected (crisis response to the divorce and breakup).

We must recognize that we grieve and process in our own ways, and at different paces.

We must recognize that we can only control our actions, influence some, and can only be concerned about others.

So, we do the right thing:  We love others — not like we want to be loved — but as *they* need to be loved.

Then, we become educated and educate others.


Help and Support are Available

If you or a loved one are in Crisis, call the Mental Health Crisis Response Center nearest you.  In Tucson, you can also call for a mobile crisis response team at 520.622.6000.

In an emergency, please call 9-1-1, and law enforcement will respond with immediate assistance, and be able to connect you with the Crisis Response Center.  The staff will help you through this very real, very normal, very difficult time, and work with you to create a treatment plan.

Mental health is as important as, if not more important than, physical health.  Remember:  You are not alone, and you are loved!


If you and your family have experienced a divorce, you can join a divorce support group, like Divorce Recovery, Inc.  They can be reached at 520.495.0704


If you are a survivor of Domestic Violence, you may be working through undiagnosed PTSD as a result of the trauma you experienced during the unhealthy relationship; you may also be trying to process through Adverse Childhood Experiences if you witnessed Domestic Violence while a child.  Help is available at Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, through their 24/7 Contact and Crisis Line 1.888 428.0101.  The Jewish Family and Children Services also offers programs to help survivors and victims of Domestic Violence through the healing process.  To schedule an intake, call 520.795.0300.


Wishing Her, You, and Yours Peace and Love This Holiday Season,

❤ Felicia
http://www.feliciachew.com

…sharing stories, art, perspectives, and wisdom
#StopTheShame#StopTheBlame#OurChildrenAreWatching

A Christmas Message about The Wall

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Photo: by F. Chew in Tucson, Arizona 

Merry Christmas! It’s Christmas Day! (Not YHWH Day, or God Day)…

WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do)?

(I may be “preaching to the choir”…)

Our Nation, and especially those of us in border cities, may be wondering about Mr. Trump’s directive that the Wall be built. When pondering our answers, we can ask: WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?

Give ourselves and others permission to process the answer without judging, without being preachy, recognizing that we do the best that we can with the information that we have. It is important to allow ourselves and others to recognize that a culture of fear is taught in history, and emphasized in advertisements and news reports.

The challenge to helping ourselves, and others see other perspectives is exasperated when leaders of churches believe they are preaching the Word of God, but stay in the Old Testament.

Some preachers/pastors, and Christians, choose to ignore teaching (or have never heard) the stories in the Book of Matthew of Jesus eating with the prostitutes (Mark 2:13-17); they ignore that Matthew was as tax collector and one of Jesus’ apostles (Matthew 9:9); they ignore that the Holy Spirit lives in each of us through the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16); they ignore the teaching that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corithians 11:14); they ignore the story that Jesus broke up the mob of people trying to stone the woman who they considered a sinner (John 8:1-7). They forget that not everyone who thinks they are Christians are actually Christians (Matthew 7:21). They forget that God did not give them the spirit of timidity or fear, but the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). They forget about the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The influence of church leaders is strong. Religious abuse, manipulation, and coercion are very real, therefore it is important for each of us to learn the language and stories of Christians, and to be able to debunk the lies that we and others may believe, because that is what we and others have been taught to believe.

Unfortunately, many who have the power to implement policies and budgets believe they are doing the best for our communities, by requiring a separation of Church vs State. In reality, they are promoting and permitting the practices of abuse that have been passed down from family member to family member.

This is why it is important to update educational, legislative, and administrative policies and budgets.

Merry Christmas. 🙂 WWJD?

If you are able to give a gift to help make things better for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs, please visit us at http://www.feliciachew.com/support2

❤ Felicia
http://www.feliciachew.com

 

Felicia Chew on Pet Policies

There is needless suffering that occurs on a daily basis at animal shelters, and elsewhere in communities.  There has been some discussion of “What if the animals magically disappeared?” Unfortunately,  this does not solve the problem.  It would only displace the problem.

Animal management in an area with dense population requires policies, such as:

  • Require pet stores to sell sheltered animals before selling “bred” animals;
  • Accessible low-cost or free spaying and neutering of animals;
  • Fines for pet owners who choose not to spay or neuter animals that become nuisances;
  • Education in schools and the community about pet ownership, mental health, peer pressure, and financial management;
  • Trainers to work with animals to help them become service animals, including Courthouse animals;
  • Incentives to foster animals;
  • Coordination of sale of animal shelter pets with pet stores.

 


Add a comment to help this discussion about pet policies create workable, realistic solutions to this very real challenge!

Learn more about the Vote Felicia Chew campaign at:

http://www.feliciachew.com/go2020

Suicide Affects Us. We Effect and Can Affect Suicide.

Yesterday, someone I care deeply about attempted suicide.  It was overwhelming.  It was a jumble of emotions:

Anger, frustration, helplessness, confusion, sadness, panic, exhaustion, fear, mistrust, suspicion…

… all at the same time, and all at different times … from the individual, and those surrounding the individual.

From my understanding, this individual was bullied emotionally and verbally, placed in the middle of conflict, and felt ignored.

What can we do?

  • Listen.
  • Stop talking.
  • Be present.
  • Be honest.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Have empathy.
  • Recognize that individual responses to crises are different.
  • Don’t judge.
  • Be mindful.
  • Remember that silence is okay, as loved ones process.
  • Recognize what we can control, what we can influence,  what we can only have concern for.
  • Recognize that we do the best that we can.
  • Meet our loved ones where they are.
  • Hold their hands.
  • Show them they are loved.

It is difficult to trust…

A Survivor’s Story.  Part Two

It’s difficult to trust when you have been a victim for a long time.  It’s easy to become a “professional victim” — suspicious, hesitant to build relationships,  even toxic.

And when you find your voice finally, and begin to speak up, the words don’t always come out right.  And you find yourself apologizing.  And deciding if you are over apologetic, or not apologetic enough.  You second guess yourself.  And third guess and fourth guess.  And you freeze again.  Waiting.  Like a deer caught in headlights (a cliche, I know).

I would like to apologize to those who feel like they were mowed over, over looked, helpless.  People who didn’t see, because they couldn’t see.

Release yourself from the guilt, the shame.  Don’t be defensive, because I am not attacking you.

We want to find someone to blame.  Someone to shame.  We point fingers.  “You should have done this.  You should have done that. It’s your fault.”

And recollections for an opportunity to have conversation, and learn, and move forward, are clouded by emotion, and “the game”.

Eventually, someone cries uncle, says “enough”, and people part ways, most likely to never follow up.  And so, the cycle perpetuates.  Each in their own corner.  The divisiveness grows.  The chasm widens.  Until someone brave enough tries to be the bridge, the gap filler, the mediator.

And the cycle begins again, and the martyr falls, and the fingers point, the sneers echo.

But again, another rises.  “Suspend disbelief” it says.  “Let it go” it says.  “It’s not your fault” it says.

And so you take a breath. Lift your head from the ground where you tried to hide, tried to bury yourself, and you Emerge.  Butterfly kisses.  Fly.  Fly away.


 

http://www.feliciachew.com/enddv

dealing with trauma

…before it eats us all alive.  Trauma affects each of us and all of us.  Let’s break the cycle.

**Please note:  This article requires the reader to suspend disbelief, and remove themselves from the echo chambers that exist in their circles.  “If we keep doing what we’ve done, we’re gonna keep gettin’ what we’ve got.”  We require solutions that include perspectives of all community members.  Effective solutions require the understanding that we are all unique individuals who need one another to survive.  Without customers, there is no income for businesses.  Some of us may believe that “only the strong should survive”.  It is important to remember that even the tiny bees and mosquitoes are an equal part of the equation.  There is no “weakest link”.  Together, everyone achieves more.


An Example of Trauma

Trauma can manifest itself in the most surprising and disturbing ways, including a teacher cutting out chunks of her student’s hair, being arrested, and having a $100,000 bond.

The Red for Ed movement started as a grassroots movement, pointing out the stressors that teachers were finally able to bring up to the community.  Unfortunately, the solution that was presented by what became the organization turned to common solutions: MONEY.

It is time to recognize that MONEY does not solve the problem.  MONEY does not take away the frustrations from feeling like there is not enough TIME and too much WORK and too many HOOPS to jump through.

MONEY as the answer has become an ADDICTION, a PRESCRIPTION, a ONE-SIZE FITS ALL SOLUTION.


Where does trauma come from?

Trauma stems from the frustrations of speaking out and being DISMISSED time and time and time again.

Trauma comes from being told over and over again to DO SOMETHING that is MORALLY WRONG or UNETHICAL.

Trauma comes from being told that you must TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM over and over.

Trauma comes from being told that YOU DON’T MATTER as much as SOMEONE ELSE.

Trauma comes from the JUSTIFICATION by someone in a “RESPECTED” position who has more AUTHORITY than you do.

Trauma is SYSTEMIC in our CULTURE.

The cycle of trauma must be broken.


How We Can Break the Cycle of Trauma

***Please note that the next two sections provides discussion based on what I know about in regards to current policies, processes, practices, and budget.  There may be some inaccuracies, and if there are, I apologize in advance.  If some of the policies, processes, and practices are already in effect, that is FANTASTIC!  We must continue to do the work to ensure that policies, practices, and processes are EFFECTIVE.  Policies, processes, and practices should be flexible, not set in rock.  Think of a sea captain navigating their ship through uncharted territories.  They have an idea of where they are going, and they must be prepared and flexible to navigate unforeseen obstacles and dangers, to help the ship remain safe on the journey.***

We can break the cycle of trauma by RECOGNIZING that many of our community members are in unrecognized and unacknowledged CRISIS.  Crisis leads individuals to respond in one of three ways:  FIGHT, FLIGHT, or FREEZE.  When we have UNRECOGNIZED and UNRESOLVED CRISES, they become UNRESOLVED and UNRECOGNIZED TRAUMA.  We then have a community where individuals are FIGHTING, FREEZING, and taking FLIGHT – refusing to ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY.

We can break the cycle of trauma by RECOGNIZING that TRAUMA is SYSTEMIC.  POLICIES, PRACTICES, and BUDGETS contribute to the CYCLE OF TRAUMA.

We can break the cycle of trauma by SPEAKING UP when we witness or learn of individuals who are being CONTROLLED or MANIPULATED.  We can say something to the BULLIES (“Hey, that’s not okay.  Don’t do that.”) and something to the VICTIMS (“I am sorry that happened.  It is not okay.  How can I be helpful to you?”)

We can break the cycle of trauma by providing opportunity for, and engaging in RESTORATIVE PRACTICES.  We know that the SCHOOL to PRISON PIPELINE is not a myth.  We have evidence.  We have begun teaching our local law enforcement officers about IMPLICIT BIAS.  However, we are still so ENTRENCHED in our BIASES and PREJUDICES that we have a long way to go.

We can break the cycle of trauma by providing HAPPY and HEALTHY opportunities for interaction.  We should have regular fairs and events in our city and county  that are affordable and accessible to all community members.  This weekend is the 4th Avenue Street Faire.  Services are increased and transportation is free.  This is a great start.  We must continue to focus on these issues, AND we must continue to focus on having celebrations IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.  Thanks to LIVING STREETS ALLIANCE  and the City for the work with CYCLOVIA and TUGO.   We need COMMUNITY CENTERS and a wide variety of ACTIVITIES for all ages.  GOLDEN PIN LANES.

We can break the cycle of trauma by EDUCATING OURSELVES AND OTHERS about control, ego, perspectives, cultures.  Schools and Libraries should be community centers, open 24/7 for educating members of our community.  The Downtown Library closes early on the weekends.

We can break the cycle of trauma by UPDATING POLICIES and PROVIDING MONEY to BUDGETS for funding PROGRAMS and SERVICES that are EFFECTIVE.

We can break the cycle of trauma by recognizing that EFFECTIVENESS comes before EFFICIENCY.

We can break the cycle of trauma by recognizing that WE are important, WE have power, WE are a piece of the PUZZLE of life.


Policies, Practices, and Budgets to Break the Cycle of Systemic Trauma

Economics and Businesses.  Pima County and The City of Tucson, thanks in part to the work of Old Pueblo Community Services,  have recognized that Housing First is a must for taking people out of the cycle of economic stress.  Pima County One Stop is an excellent program that provides job training and resources for individuals to become CONTRIBUTING members of our ECONOMY.  This is an important first step.  We also need FINANCIAL EDUCATION about Wants and Needs which Primavera provided (I am unsure if these same services are provided under Cenpatico).

What we can do:  Provide economic support to businesses in the community.  Work with businesses to eliminate duplicity, and also to practice ethical business practices.  Same goes for families and individuals who find themselves turning to criminal activities because there aren’t so many rules and regulations.

Housing.  It is time to recognize that “Traditional” housing is not the best for all community members.  There are reasons why some individuals may not want to have “Permanent’ housing.  Shutting down “homeless” camps happened not only in the City of Tucson but also in Yolo County.  The reasons given include:  lack of sanitation.

If that is the true reason, the fix is simple:  Provide waste management services.  Update policies so that composting, and other sustainable and natural ways of reducing what goes into the landfill is supported.  Implement policies and practices that reduce the amount of single-use plastics and materials and products that are not recyclable or reusable.  Update policies and practices to allow the use of “Waste Materials” as building materials.  Open up the bathrooms, so individuals who are homeless have somewhere to defecate, urinate, engage in healthy hygiene practices. 

This could be solved by having 24-hour libraries, schools, and community centers.  Use community members to volunteer to staff these facilities; follow the model of the  Pima County Attorney’s Office Victim Services program to staff the centers.

Cultural and Ethnicity.  In spite of the conversations and attacks about “White privilege”, a lack of understanding in the differences of culture is still prevalent.  Children bully other children for wearing “non-standard” clothing.  And our policies and practices say that bullying will not be tolerated and actually implement DRESS CODES that require individuals to CONFORM to STANDARD PRACTICES.

What we can do:  It is time that we ask ourselves:  WHERE EXACTLY DID THESE STANDARDS COME FROM?  WHY WERE THEY IMPLEMENTED?  WHY ARE THEY STILL IN PRACTICE?  Instead of requiring members of our community to ASSIMILATE, we must encourage CONVERSATION and RELATIONSHIPS  between community members.  We must teach those who are FEARFUL of losing their culture that HUMAN RIGHTS exist to prevent them from losing who they are. 

Social.  We LAUGH AT jokes about women making sandwiches.  We spout “Snitches get stitches” even when talking about the ELF ON THE SHELF who was decapitated by the family dog.  We jump on the bandwagon and DEMONIZE individuals like Roseanne Barr, and Bill Cosby.  Do you remember when MICHAEL JACKSON was held under a suspicious gaze by many members of the community for his relationships with young people?  He was not crucified like Roseanne and Bill were crucified.

What we can do:  We can stop justifying and arguing that the situation was different.  Because in the end, it boils down to the lack of INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY, and a sense of ENTITLEMENT by people using social media TOOLS to spread ugliness in our communities.

Christianity and Language  Christianity has long been used to guide many community members through life.  It is easier to GIVE SOMETHING TO someone else, than it is to go through the process of UNDERSTANDING what happened.  Understanding the process is what allows us to identify where the errors were made, and how we can take different paths.  RELIGION itself is not the problem.  RELIGIOUS TRUTH TWISTERS are the ones who come skilled with “gifts” of.

What we can do:  Tell those who judge with CHRISTIANITY that it is necessary to turn the page, or to look at the examples of the PHARISEES and the SADDUCEES.  Remind them that it is important to remember the teaching of Lucifer, the angel of darkness, and the seven deadly sins, the ten commandments.  Remind them to remember he first Commandment:  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Couple that with the teachings that the Trinity exists, and the Holy Spirit resides in each of us… everyone is a piece of god; therefore no one is above another.  Remind them of the fourth commandment.  Thou shalt not kill.  And yet, we daily kill others, without thought or remorse.

We can teach about manipulation of language and other manipulative tactics in our public schools, and to the community at large.

Gender.  One of the biggest current controversies regarding gender is RESTROOMS.

What we can do:  We can have unisex restrooms.  We can reinstate the folks who used to work in the restrooms, handing out towels, etc.  And yes, we can have separate restroom stalls for individuals who have had too much to drink, and need to vomit.

Political.  We can end corruption through following the leadership of groups like Represent US, and the work of local activists.  Of course, we must work carefully, and separate the emotional responses to create reasonable solutions.  However, we cannot silence the voices that have been silenced for so long.

What we can do: 

  • End gerrymandering.  Call it out when we see it.  
  • Accessible Calls to the Audience
  • Ranked Voting.
  • Term Limits 
  • Transparency and Accessibility to the public.
  • Equitable and Ethical Campaigning Practices. 
    • The City’s practice of doubling campaign monies in clean elections does not work.  $15k gives $15k.  $45k gives $45k.  An additional $30k given to one candidate over another.  I don’t even make $30k in a year.
    • The City puts out information on propositions, etc.  Candidates should have a write up in the voter information booklet.  This could be paid for by candidates’ campaigns.
    • Change the rule regarding donations to the campaign (e.g. Materials donated to the campaign must be included in the campaign spending limit)  The reasons for this rule is understandable, and that could be disclosed through news reports on the campaign.
    • Policies on the size and number of campaign signs.  If a campaign exceeds the number of signs, they must provide an equal number of signs for the other candidates, or they may withdraw from the race
    • Required standard statement by candidates to counter the media’s requirement of having to interview all candidates in order to run an article or story.  This would need to be coupled with a policy that dictates the necessity to provide adequate time for the candidate or candidate’s team to respond.  Contrary to what may be espoused, the world is not going to end if the general public does not know until a week later that a candidate ordered a drink at a bar, and allegedly refused to pay for said drink, without getting the candidate’s perspective, or the whole story.
  • Ethical practices by news reporters, producers, etc.

Criminal and Punitive.  Research and recommendations are resurfacing in regards to punitive consequences which may be perceived as effective in the short term, but are ineffective in the long term.  Our jails are overcrowded.  Many correction facilities lack the support to meet individuals where they are, to provide support for developing empathy.  A belief exists among community members that individuals who do not display empathy are incapable of developing empathy.

What we can do:

  • Use restorative practices in schools.  Use the model of the Teen Court in school settings.
  • Teach empathy, empowerment.
  • Educate family members of perpetrators of crime, and get the community involved, as in mentors and other support services.  
  • Encourage local businesses to adopt a family, and help the family experience happiness and health in their daily lives.
  • Stop the culture of blame.
  • Stop the culture of shame.
  • See something, say something.  Develop a sense of community responsibility.
  • Change the culture from “Snitches get stitches” to “People who grow up being bullies often become criminals who may steal from and hurt you and your family.
  • CONNECT OUR COMMUNITY.
  • Decriminalize marijuana.  Educate the community on the concerns of the THC levels being stronger in marijuana that is produced through hydroponics, and other methods.
  • Decriminalize homelessness.
  • Include coercive control in domestic violence statutes.
  • Include animal abuse in domestic violence statutes.
  • Train business owners and employees (the entire community) in First Aid, CPR, and crisis response.

Education.  Our current education system does not support parents and teachers.  Our current education system uses processes that are deemed to be best for “traditional” families, not single parent homes, or families who work two or three jobs to make ends meet.

  • Make it easier to volunteer in schools.  One of the biggest concerns for classroom teachers is not having enough time to reach all students.  Use Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to provide opportunities for all learners to understand and express themselves.
  • Support school-business partnerships
  • Support school-research partnerships
  • Support school-community partnerships
  • Support partnerships.
  • Train business owners and employees (the entire community) in First Aid, CPR, and crisis response.
  • Combine “Business meetings” with Fun activities.

Courts and Statutes. There are current Court practices that make it difficult to seek justice and have justice served.  These include Court fees, Judges who are inflexible; Statutes that have loopholes.

What we can do:

  • Provide more lay legal people.
  • Simplify statutes
  • Use Court investigators
  • Use Court advocates

Wisdom.  We have lost our way with wisdom.  Terms like “Nerd” “Teacher’s Pet” and other name-calling used to dismiss and demean individuals seeking wisdom have resulted in shame, and guilt.  Gaslighting is a common technique used by bullies, perpetrators of domestic violence, and even members of the community, without understanding the effects on others.

What we can do:

  • Recognize that implementing a fine on some individuals does not solve the problem; it simply exacerbates the problem.
  • Recognize that most people do the best that they can do.
  • Recognize that most people want to do the right thing, but might not know how to, or might be afraid to do so.
  • Recognize that we are human.
  • Use active listening
  • Practice empathy.
  • Think creatively and complexly.
  • Embrace humanity.
  • Embrace wisdom.

 

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How to Speak Up

It is okay to change your position

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Photo from 123rf.com

Not sure what to say? Try this process:

  1. Listen and evaluate.
  2. Ask clarification questions.
  3. Speak up.
  4. Share evidence/reasons.

(Repeat #1-4)

Continue with this process, knowing that:

  1. Decisions are based on provided evidence;
  2. When we speak up, our perspectives help shape the best solution;
  3. It is okay to change our position based on new evidence and/or lack of evidence.

Thanks for being brave, and speaking up!

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