April 13th, 2009

Social Change

Legislative Advocacy Day

I'll be meeting with state legislators all afternoon to talk about the bills the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center has particular interest in. The Clothesline Project will also be on display, for anyone who missed it Thursday!

All text below the line is from the BARCC website. I encourage you to contact your congresscritters! Violent crimes increase in times of economic instability. We need our funding now more than ever.

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Please join us on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 10:30 am for a rally on at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Show your support for the important work of rape crisis centers and domestic violence agencies. For more information go to www.janedoe.org.

Bills currently pending in the Massachusetts State House:
Please write or call your legislators to tell them that you support these bills. Find your Massachusetts state representatives: http://www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm

Budget for FY 2010
The Governor has proposed that rape crisis centers receive level funding in FY 2010. The State legislature is now reviewing his budget. In these difficult financial times, it is important that legislators understand the importance of continuing to, at a minimum, level fund rape crisis centers. Please let your state legislator know why you care about rape crisis centers by sending them a letter or calling them today. Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/Budget_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.

An Act Relative to Sexual Assault and Stalking Restraining Orders (SB161)
This bill would provide a crucial legal protection for survivors worried about their safety after a sexual assault or while being stalked. The majority of survivors of sexual assault and stalking know their perpetrators but are not related to or in a dating relationship with them. This bill would allow sexual assault and stalking survivors to obtain a criminally enforceable protection order against their assailant or stalker even if they are not family or have ever been in a dating relationship. Read the full bill (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/SASRO.pdf) and an editorial (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/boston_globe_SASRO.pdf) that appeared in the Boston Globe to learn more about this issue. Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/SASRO_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.

An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes (HB1728)
This bill will include gender identity and expression in the state's non-discrimination statute and will amend existing hate crime laws to explicitly protect people targeted for violence and harassment. Transgender and gender non-conforming persons face higher levels of violence than the general population, including sexual violence. Legislation which would create anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws are the first step towards ending this violence. Read the full bill (http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/186/ht01pdf/ht01728.pdf). To read more about this issue visit the website of the The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. (http://www.masstpc.org/legislation/index.shtml)

An Act Relative to Housing Discrimination Against Victims of Domestic Violence Rape, Sexual Assault and Stalking (SB 627, HB 1747)
Often times, survivors are left with no safe place to go after leaving the hospital. If an assault happened at home, the survivor may feel unsafe. The Housing Bill will provide the survivor with security and other safety options such as lock provisions and breaking a lease without penalty. The bill is not intended to create places for people to live, but to ensure a safe living situation. Read the full bill (http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/186/st00/st00627.htm). Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/Housing_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.

Use search engines to track the status of bills in the Massachusetts House and Senate by number or keyword.

Write your representative

Here are some tips for writing your local, state, or national representative:

* Keep your letter or e-mail as brief as possible (one page for a letter). Be sure to include your name and address, even for e-mails.
* Address your representative using the courtesy title "The Honorable,"followed by his/her name.
* Announce your purpose for writing up front. If you are writing about a specific bill, include its number.
* State your position, using facts to support it. Explain the ramifications of the legislation in question.
* If you are writing to oppose a piece of legislation, explain why it is wrong and offer alternatives. Ask your representative to explain his/her position on it.
* If you are pleased with a position or action your representative has taken, let him/her know.

Find your Massachusetts state representatives: http://www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm
Find your Federal Congressperson in the House of Representatives: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
Find your Federal Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Write to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us
Hearth

Monday

Administration
Happy birthday to lagringa and lbitw!

Medical
Still exhausted. Getting a tiny bit better every day - but I have another long, active day today.

AmazonFail
Summary: Amazon is removing sales ranking/searchability from GLBT books, citing "adult" material, yet hetero porn stays readily available. And many of the GLBT books are YA/middle grade.

GLBT != hot gay sex. It just means a character is gay.

Here. Read some posts about this here upfuckery. Amazon says it's a glitch; this guy says it's trolling. I think Amazon's full of shit, and that the trolling aspect is improbable simply because the end user can't tag books like that.

We shall see. In the meantime, it's local indie bookstores for me.

Link Soup
* Another person to help!
* Boston Skillshare. This weekend. I am so there.
* Tweenbots. I love love love this: "In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."

Oh, please go read the whole thing! I love it. A touch of glamourbombing, a touch of impromptu art, a touch of realizing that people want to help.

Daily Science
How a neuron gets its shape.

Plans
Talking to our state legislators from noon to 4, manning the Clothesline Project til 6:30, heading over to peer meeting - it's BARCC all day. And I must bake cookies when I get home; Elayna's Italian class is holding an earthquake-relief bake sale tomorrow, and I have ben volunteered.

This week's plans: I'm doing an administrative day tomorrow, sorting out all of my writerly stuff so I can get a handle on what I've got that's submittable and where I ought to send it. I'll try to get to Diesel - I miss everybody! Wednesday is open for just plain writing. I kinda lost a whole week last week on that - seizure + Clothesline-Project shock = black mood that precludes writing about two crazy kids falling in love. Hm. Thursday = eye doctor and a friend's birthday party; Friday, writing and a friend's birthday party. Weekend, Boston Skillshare and *another* friend's party. Lots of April babies!