Friday, July 29, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Gen-Z for Change

Today’s Feel Good Friday is a celebration of what happens when young activists leverage the power of social media. Introducing Gen-Z for Change.


If you haven’t seen this news story, in a speech earlier this week, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, made some disparaging remarks about abortion rights activists and used Twitter to target 19 year-old Olivia Julianna. As a political strategist with Gen-Z for Change, she responded to his attack by starting a fundraiser for 50 local abortion funds across the United States. 

The original fundraising goal was $50,000. At the time of writing this post on Thursday night, Gen-Z for Change has raised over $1.3 million! In a fundraiser that started just 4 days ago! Who are these amazing people?


Gen-Z for Change, formerly known as TikTok for Biden, was started by Aidan Kohn-Murphy as a coalition of TikTok creators using their following to defeat Donald Trump. In their own words, “we are a youth-led nonprofit working to educate our generation and create tangible change on issues that disproportionately affect young people.” 

Gen-Z for Change leverages the power of social media to do their work in a way only Gen-Z can. They produce multimedia content on a variety of topics including climate justice, free and fair elections, gun safety and indigenous rights. (See the full list of issues they support here.) The content they produce is used to educate young people, encourage and mobilize civic participation, shift the political debate, and enact change.

With over 500 content creators, 540 million followers and 1.5 billion monthly views, Gen-Z for Change has galvanized thousands of people to take down anti-abortion whistleblower tip lines, mobilized over 850 calls to Congress in support of the Build Back Better Act, and hosted over 700 people to send 250,000 texts during the Georgia Senate races. They are proving that digital organizing works and you don’t have to be Gen-Z to get involved. 

To support the abortion fundraising efforts mentioned at the top of this post, visit Gen-Z for Choice Abortion Fund. There you can see a list of the 50 funds that will split the money, check in on the total funds raised and make a donation. 

To support all of the work Gen-Z for Change is doing, visit this page to see current campaigns and take action, click this link to make a donation, and spread the word on social media. Follow Gen-Z for Change on Facebook, on Twitter @genzforchange, Instagram @genzforchange and of course, TikTok @Gen-Z for Change. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Common Cause

It’s Feel Good Friday and midterm elections for the U.S. Congress are 109 days away. Is it too soon to talk about voting? Absolutely not. Let’s kick off this conversation with a post about Common Cause.

Founded in 1970 by former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, John Gardner, Common Cause is “a nonpartisan grassroots organization with 1.5 million members & supporters dedicated to building a strong democracy & holding power accountable.”  

As they describe on their website, the work they do “leads and defines the democracy reform movement, promoting solutions already succeeding in some communities to shift power to the people and away from wealthy special interests and partisan ideologues.” Their most notable accomplishment was reforming the 26th Amendment, which legally changed the voting age from 21 to 18, giving more adults the right to vote. Common Cause has also influenced 17 states to adopt automatic voter registrations, including Colorado, Georgia, and Maryland. You can read about more victories and their impact at this link.


The campaigns led by Common Cause fall into one of six categories:

  • Voting and elections – working to ensure that every eligible citizen has the freedom to vote and that their votes are accurately counted. Specifics include expanding vote-by-mail, modernizing voter registration and mobilizing election protection volunteers to help people cast their votes without obstruction, confusion, or intimidation.
  • Gerrymandering and representation – helping the public play an active role in redistricting, fighting felony disenfranchisement, and demanding a fair and accurate Census.
  • Ethics and accountability – holding politicians and judges accountable to strong ethical standards, so they serve the people instead of their own self interests.
  • Money and influence – demanding transparency and accountability from big corporations and special interest lobbyists, empowering small-dollar donors to make an impact in campaigns and holding elected officials accountable to voters.
  • Media and democracy – advocating for broadband access, net neutrality and freedom of the press.

If you want to help Common Cause build a democracy that works for everyone, there are many ways to get involved. First, make sure you’re ready to vote! Check your registration, find your polling place or track your mail-in ballot with these voting tools.


Next, scroll to the bottom of this page to find a chapter in your state so you can participate at a local level. No matter where you are, you can volunteer to phonebank or write letters to the editor, make a donation, shop for merch, and spread the word far and wide. Follow Common Cause on Facebook, Twitter @CommonCause and Instagram @ourcommoncause.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Feel Good Friday - EMILY's List

I don’t often repeat Feel Good Friday blogs, but when I do, it’s to remind you about EMILY’s List.

I first wrote about EMILY’s List on June 9, 2017 and the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade inspired me to raise them up again and highlight the impact they have on U.S. elections.


Founded in 1985 by Ellen Malcolm, the work of EMILY's List is summed up by their mission statement: “We elect pro-choice Democratic women to office." Their vision is to balance the voice of power by having the government more accurately represent the people it serves and to "elect leaders who ignite change".

As explained in the 
history section of the website, "the name "EMILY's List" was an acronym for "Early Money Is Like Yeast" (i.e., it makes the dough rise)." That dough has been rising for over 30 years and now EMILY's List is the largest national resource for women in politics and one of the largest financial resources for minority women seeking federal office.


While fundraising is the beginning, it’s certainly not the end. EMILY’s List has a program called "Run to Win" that recruits and trains women how to, yes you guessed it, run for office and win.

EMILY's Lists supports women's campaigns with finances, they also provide research and strategic assistance to secure election victories.

Since their founding, EMILY’s List has helped elect 159 Democratic pro-choice women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 to governors' seats, more than 1,300 women to state and local office and, of course, one to Vice President

If you want to see more pro-choice Democratic women in positions of power around the country, run for office! If you're reading this blog, you've got my vote.


While you’re considering that and designing your logo, there are other ways you can support EMILY’s List. Attend an event, make a donation to recommended candidates, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @emilyslist and Instagram @emilys_list.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project

Another Feel Good Friday, another opportunity to talk about reproductive rights and access to abortion. Today we highlight the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, also known as WRRAP. 

Founded in 1991 by Joyce Schorr, WRRAP is the largest independent, nonprofit abortion fund in the United States. Their mission is to ensure that “financially-disadvantaged individuals of all ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations can access abortion care and emergency contraception.”


According to information on WRRAP’s website, “U.S. abortion patients are disproportionately poor or low-income individuals, and most do not have access to insurance coverage that pays for abortion care. Private health insurance does not always cover abortion, and public health insurance only covers abortions within certain circumstances. As a result, the majority of abortion patients incur high out-of-pocket costs when receiving abortion care.”


WRRAP bridges the gap between public and private funding and what low-income women can afford for both abortion care and emergency contraception. They work with a network of more than 700 clinics and provide funding to people in all 50 states. 


Women in need of abortion care services start by choosing a provider from one of the pre-screened, pre-qualified health clinics, making an appointment, and discussing their financial need. Next, they use these resources to identify any local funds that can help cover their expenses. Meanwhile, the clinics will contact WRRAP to refer patients for assistance. WRRAP evaluates patients solely on the basis of financial need and, once approved, funds are earmarked for the patient and sent directly to the WRRAP-affiliated health clinic or doctor of the patient’s choice. 


Currently much of the available funding is given to “patients who are living in states that are hostile or very hostile to women’s reproductive rights.” In states where abortion is still legal, clinics are seeing a higher demand for their services. To help free up space in those clinics, WRRAP has created an “abortion pills by mail” program to fund telehealth abortion providers in those states. You can read more details in this article from Ms. Magazine.


If you want to ensure people get access to the healthcare they need, there are various ways to support WRRAP. Become a volunteer, write a letter of support to a clinic or a woman, shop for merch,  make a donation and spread the word on social media. Like the WRRAP Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @WRRAP and Instagram @wrrapreprojustice.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Feel Good Friday - National Abortion Federation

It's been a week since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion and I’m still angry. That’s why we’re spending the next few Feel Good Fridays highlighting abortion rights organizations, starting with the National Abortion Federation.

Established in 1977, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers with a mission to “unite, represent, serve, and support abortion providers in delivering patient-centered, evidenced-based care.”


Their support for abortion providers includes medical quality assurance and technical assistance; onsite security assessments, trainings, and 24/7 emergency response;

exclusive CME-accredited online learning modules and other educational resources; assistance finding training opportunities; a members-only job board and patient referrals.


A current focus of NAF is on working with members to navigate how the SCOTUS ruling will impact abortion care in each state, ensuring access to essential abortion care for those who need it, and providing security services to clinics that are likely to see a rise in harassment and violence. This report on 2021 Violence and Disruption Statistics shows there has already been a significant increase in “stalking (600%), blockades (450%), and hoax devices/suspicious packages (163%)”.


On the patient side, NAF operates the largest national, toll-free, multi-lingual hotline for abortion referrals and financial assistance in the U.S. and Canada (1-800-772-9100). Hotline staff can help callers locate an abortion provider, arrange travel out of state if needed, and provide limited financial assistance for the cost of care and travel-related expenses. The website also offers information on pregnancy options and what to expect when terminating a pregnancy.


Finally, NAF helps patients share their abortion stories to increase public awareness around this issue. As they state in a recent press release, “we remain focused on making sure anyone who needs an abortion can access the care they need, no matter what they look like, how much money they have, or where they live. This is just the beginning of a new fight; we will not stop working until we have ensured everyone in this country has the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, their own medical care, and their own lives.”


If you want to join the fight, make a donation to NAF and spread the word on social media. Like the NAF Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @NatAbortionFed and Instagram@nationalabortionfederation.