Friday, February 3, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Campaign Zero

Another week when a frustratingly familiar story, this time of a Black man being killed by police, leads me to find an organization working to address policing in the United States. Today’s focus is on Campaign Zero.

Founded in 2015 in response to incidents of civilians being killed by police, Campaign Zero is a national, research-based platform focused on ending police violence in the United States. As they explain on their website, “We can live in a world beyond policing. We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”

Their research and advocacy projects are focused in five areas: 

  1. Public safety beyond policing
  2. Shrink the reliance and power of the police
  3. End mass incarceration
  4. Fundamental fairness, accountability, and transparency
  5. Direct support & advocacy

Examples of related campaigns include addressing corruption and mismanagement at the Rikers Island jail, working to achieve accountability in cases of injustice like that of Samuel Celestin who was killed by police, and canceling the use of ShotSpotter technology in cities around the country.

The website includes extensive research into the campaigns and issues. In the case of ShotSpotter, a study published in the Journal of Urban Health found it does not reduce violent crime. The city of Oakland, California, where I live, has a 5 million dollar contract with ShotSpotter, and yet 6,053 alerts in the year 2020 led to only 69 weapons being found. You can get more information on all the issues on the research page of the website. 

The work of Campaign Zero is having an impact. One state has repealed its law enforcement officers “bill of rights”, six states have restricted the use of no-knock raids and over 340 cities have restricted use of force policies. 

If you want to help Campaign Zero end police violence in America there are many ways to get involved. Volunteer your time, donate your money, and amplify their message on social medial. Follow Campaign Zero on Facebook, on Twitter @CampaignZero and on Instagram @campaignzero.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Moms Demand Action

The four mass shootings in California this week made it an easy decision to focus today’s Feel Good Friday post on an organization working to end gun violence, Moms Demand Action.

In 2012, the day after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Shannon Watts started a Facebook group with the message that all Americans can and should do more to reduce gun violence. So began Moms Demand Action. 

In their own words, “Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. We pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. We also work in our own communities and with business leaders to encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership. We know that gun violence is preventable, and we’re committed to doing what it takes to keep families safe.”

There are Moms Demand chapters in all 50 states where volunteers connect to take actionable steps to prevent gun violence. Examples of current campaigns include updating background checks, a system which has blocked more than 3.5 million illegal gun sales in the past 20 years, disarming domestic abusers, and helping to elect gun sense candidates.

The impact made by Moms Demand volunteers is impressive. This page of victories is listed in reverse chronological order with almost daily entries. Recent wins include Governors in Michigan, California and New Jersey signing stronger gun safety bills into law. You can scroll through the list for details and also watch this 3-minute video to see Moms in action.

While you’re on the website, take a moment to read stories from volunteers and survivors, check for events in your area or explore resources to get educated on the issues. For example, you may not be surprised to learn that states with strong gun laws see less violence, but now you can check the gun law rankings to find out how your state compares.

If you’re ready to turn your frustration and anger over senseless gun violence into action there are many ways to get involved. Text READY to 644-33 to volunteer with a Moms Demand Action chapter in your area, send a message to your U.S. Representative to work to end gun violence,  shop for merch, make a donation and amplify their message on social medial. Follow Moms Demand Action on their Facebook page, on Twitter @MomsDemand and on Instagram @momsdemand.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

January is National Adopt a Rescued Bird Month and a great opportunity to highlight the work of Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue.

Founded in 1998 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is an all-volunteer, virtual organization with the goal “ to rescue parrots and other commonly domesticated companion birds who have been neglected, abused, injured or surrendered to us because their owners can no longer care for them.”

The services Mickaboo provides include: providing medical care and foster homes for the rescued birds they take in, rehabilitating injured and sick conures from the San Francisco “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” flock, finding adoptive homes for the birds in foster care, offering classes and online resources to avian caregivers and educating the public about the tragedies of overpopulation, and encouraging them to adopt, not buy or breed birds.

With the help of their volunteers, Mickaboo rescues between 300 and 400 birds every year and places them in foster homes until they are adopted. You can learn more about the organization and the birds on the Mickaboo YouTube page.

If you’re interested in adopting a new feathered friend, take a look at the available birds on their website or join the upcoming Mickaboo Virtual Adoption Fair on February 12th at 1pm Pacific. Sign up with this registration link.

There are many other ways to get involved with Mickaboo and show your support. If you live in the Bay Area, you can foster a bird or volunteer for other tasks. No matter where you are, you can shop, make a donation and amplify their work on social medial. Follow Mickaboo on their Facebook page and on Twitter @MickabooRescue. Remember - “Don’t breed, don’t buy… adopt a rescued bird!”