How To Be An Ally to Sex Workers

by Bella Robinson

1) Don’t Assume. Don’t assume you know why a person is in the sex industry.  Most people make a choice to enter the sex industry because it is the best option for them.  Many sex workers only have to work a few hours a week because sex work pays a lot more than the majority of other jobs in the US.  Sex work allows sex workers a flexible schedule so they can attend college or pick their kids up at the bus stop after school.  Sex work allows sex workers to pay their rent and to put food on the table for their families.

2)  Don’t Judge. Know your own prejudices and realize that not everyone shares the same opinions as you. Whether you think sex work is a dangerous and exploitative profession or not is irrelevant compared to the actual experiences of the person who works in the industry. It’s not your place to pass judgment on how another person earns the money they need to survive.

3) Address Your Prejudices. If you have a deep bias or underlying fear that all sex workers are bad people and/or full of diseases, then perhaps these are issues within yourself that you need to address.  In fact, the majority of sex workers practice safer sex more than their peers and get tested regularly.

4) Respect that Sex Work is Real Work. There’s a set of professional skills involved and it’s not necessarily an industry that everyone can enter into. Don’t tell someone to get a “real job” when they already have one that suits them just fine.

5) Don’t Play Rescuer. Most sex workers are not trying to get out of the industry or in need of help.  Many sex workers have reported that rescue attempts which usually includes them being arrested,  traumatizes them and leaves them further displaced.  Most rescue efforts do not include offering sex workers any real services like child care, subsidized housing, or jobs that pay a living wage.  Sex workers have been rating these experiences at http://ratethatrescue.org/

6)  Remember “Our Lives Are Not Your Fundraising Material” Many trafficking and rescue organizations exploit sex workers who have been arrested.  They highlight the few rare horrific stories of abuse and exploitation for their fundraising campaigns. They stigmatize sex workers which is known to increase violence towards sex workers.  They create hysteria about phantom pimps and traffickers that rarely exist,  while they profit off the criminalization of sex workers.  Trafficking NGOs are being funded at over 600 million a year just to create awareness about sex trafficking.  Yet 80% of human trafficking takes place in other labor sectors.

7) Watch Your Language. Cracking jokes about rape and dead hookers is not acceptable.  Calling sexworkers derogatory names is not acceptable,  However some sex workers have “taken back” these phrases to show the world that they are proud sex workers who will not be shamed; thus helping to help reduce stigma and change social perception.  (whore, ho, hooker)

8) Do Your Own Research. Most mainstream media is biased against sex workers and the statistics you read in the news about the sex industry are usually false.  Be critical of what you read or hear as most of it won’t be based on evidence based research.  If you want to learn about sex workers, contact your local sex worker rights organization and ask them to provide you or your organization with a free training.

9) Be Discreet and Respect Personal Boundaries. If you know a sex worker, it’s OK to engage in conversation in dialogue with them in private, but respect their privacy surrounding their work in public settings.  Don’t ask personal questions such as “does your family know what you do?” If a sex worker is not “out” to their friends, family, or co-workers, it’s not your place to tell everyone what they do.

10) Show Respect. Realize that sex work transcends ‘visible’ notions of race, gender, class, sexuality, education, and identities; sex workers are your sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, lovers, and friends. Respect them!

11) Be Supportive and Share Resources. If you know of someone who is new to the industry or in an abusive situation with an employer, by all means offer advice and support without being condescending. Some people do enter into the sex industry without educating themselves about what they are getting into and may need help. Despite the situation, calling the police is usually never a good option. Try to find other sex worker led organizations that are sensitive to the needs of sex workers.

12) Stand Up. As you learn the above things, stand up for sex workers when conversations happen.  Don’t let the stigma, bigotry and shame around sex work continue.  Remember it’s important that sex workers be allowed to speak for themselves and for allies to not speak them.   If you want to help be an ally to sex workers, please consider donating or volunteering with your local sex worker rights organization.

Bella Robinson is the founder and executive director of Coyote RI.  

Coyote RI provides support to sex workers and trafficking victims, to include providing non judgmental and compassionate crisis management services.  Coyote provides support services to incarcerated sex workers and we provide case managers to help sex workers access reentry services upon their release.

Coyote strives to provide adequate resource referrals to sex workers.  We have documented the discrimination that sex workers endure when trying to access public services.   We continue to educate services providers and government officials about the best way to help connect  “people involved in the sex industry” to services.

Starting in August 2017 Coyote RI will be providing free HIV & Hep C testing, and condom distribution to sex workers and to the general public.

Coyote strives to reduce stigma and violence against sex workers and we lobby for policies that promote the health and safety of sex workers.  We acknowledge that sex work is acceptable form of labor.   We recognize that the criminalization of prostitution is a form of state sponsored violence and systemic oppression against a highly marginalized population.

Coyote is also one of the 6 local organizations that created the AMOR network, which is a coalition of directly affected people and “people of color” led organizations, building a Rapid Resistance Network to protect our community. 

Want to learn more about the systemic oppression of US sex workers?  Visit http://coyoteri.org/

Resistance House Parties: Summer 2017


With everything going on in Washington, this isn’t an easy time for those of us who value equality, justice, and fairness. Here at home, state leaders put politics over people by abruptly adjourning the legislative session with critical bills – from guaranteeing earned sick time, to disarming domestic abusers, to raising the minimum wage – unresolved.

At this critical time, it is more important than ever for communities like ours to make our voices heard here in Rhode Island. But getting involved shouldn’t just be about marches and phone calls. Let’s take a moment this summer to regroup and connect with those who live near us. Come to a HOUSE PARTY!

Resist Hate RI is joining with Working Families Party, Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood to host house parties all around the state. These parties will be hosted by your neighbors and your friends in your community. (We’re still looking for more hosts. Email resisthateri@gmail.com if you can open your home to a small group of folks this summer.)

At these house parties, we’ll talk politics, we’ll plan for the future, and — and this is important — we’ll also have a great time! We’ll drink, eat, and meet each other to keep our work of standing up for our community and our state going strong.

We have several house parties planned, but here are some coming up:

Thursday, July 20 at 7 PM
Where: 143 Bradford St, Bristol, RI 02809
Who: RHRI steering committee member Laufton Ascencao-Longo

Saturday, July 29 at 5 PM
Where: 176 Lafayette Street, Pawtucket, RI 06860
Who: RHRI steering committee member Jane Tucker

Thursday, August 10 at 6PM
Where: 161 Emeline Street, Providence, RI 02906
Who: RHRI member Kaki A.

Click here to search for a house party near you or sign up to host your own!

See you this summer,
Resist Hate Rhode Island Steering Committee

Demand Climate Action From the Nation’s Governors, in Providence July 15

Next week, Providence will be hosting 30+ U.S. governors, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and business celebrities Elon Musk and Steve Ballmer for the National Governors Association meeting. Time for the resistance to swing into action! On July 15, join us outside the Rhode Island Convention Center for a midday rally. We will demand that, given the absence of leadership or scientific integrity from our federal government, our nation’s governors must take urgent action to curtail carbon emissions. Our future literally depends on it.

We’ll have music, speeches, and the famous “Sea Level Rise 2100” 11-foot float. Bring your signs, your voice, maybe a trombone or drum if you have one… we’re gonna deliver our message loud and clear!

Please RSVP and Share using the Facebook link below, and/or share this link by email: https://resisthateri.com/blog/climate-action/ .

Rally for Action on Climate Change at Governors Meeting

Saturday July 15th - 12:15pm - Saturday July 15th - 1:30pm

Rally for Action on Climate Change at Governors' Meeting

Rhode Island Convention Center
1 Sabin St
Providence, RI  02903 Map

Calling all New Englanders concerned about the environment and climate change!

On July 15, over 30 U.S. governors will be meeting at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. They're having a session on "Resiliency and Flood Prevention" that morning, and closing with a speech on innovation by Tesla/Solar City chairman Elon Musk that afternoon.

With the national media spotlight on Rhode Island and environmental issues, the people's voice needs to be heard, too.

Please join us for a peaceful rally outside the meeting venue to raise our voice: WE DEMAND URGENT ACTION TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS. Governors must lead their states to:

* Plan an aggressive transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035;
* Adopt carbon dividends to reward conservation;
* Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure, including the power plant in northwestern RI and the liquefaction plant in Providence;
* Support climate research, energy innovation, land preservation, and green jobs for a sustainable future.

Rally location: We'll meet at the corner of Sabin Street and Matthewson Street, across the street from the Rhode Island Convention Center. We have permission to use this location, and it is highly visible to the media, the participants and passers-by.

Rally time and schedule: We will gather at 12:15pm with a rally, speakers program and music from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.

Organizers: Climate Action RI

Endorsers include:
Environment Council of Rhode Island - ECRI
Rhode Island Sierra Club
No LNG in PVD
Resist Hate RI
Indivisible RI
Our Revolution - RI Chapter
People's Power & Light
Energize Rhode Island Coalition
Clean Water Action Rhode Island
Conservation Law Foundation
Fossil Free RI
No DAPL RI
Keep Rhode Island Beautiful
Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island
Sisters of Mercy Ecology
Green Party of Rhode Island
Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America
RI Rights
Burrillville Land Trust
RI Association of Conservation Commissions
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287 interested  ·  104 going

Act Now to Modernize RI’s Criminal Justice System

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative “is a series of bills aimed at modernizing Rhode Island’s criminal justice system while reducing the cost on taxpayers. Proposed changes include reducing the period of probation for many criminal offenses, expanding pretrial service programs, and authorizing the superior court to create a diversion program — a program that affords worthy, first time offenders the opportunity to avoid a conviction in exchange for community service and substance abuse and mental health counseling. It also allows courts to impose alternative sentences in limited cases.”

(Read this ProJo article for an excellent summary of the what the JRI is and where it presently stands.)

The JRI has widespread support from both the left and the right. Supporters include the American Civil Liberties Union, the public defender, the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the AFL-CIO, the Rhode Island State Police, the Providence Police, the Department of Corrections, the Rhode Island state judiciary, the American Conservative Union, and the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. This legislative package is by no means a solution to the greater prison-industrial complex crisis, but it works to curtail the 11% growth in prison population by 2025 projected by the RI Dept of Corrections, and it would save taxpayers $3.8 million in the process.

The JRI has been supported by Governor Raimondo and the RI Senate. However, there is a major roadblock towards a House floor vote right now from Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. The Attorney General feels that the JRI would take power away from his office and hand it to the courts. His concerns are invalid and inappropriate in comparison to the positive changes that the JRI would bring.

Take action now to see that the JRI is passed during the current legislative session:

For further information and for reference, the package includes the following pieces of legislation:

Continue reading

End the Practice of Sentencing Children to Life in Prison Without Parole

H5183, the Act Relating to Criminals – Correctional Institutions – Parole, is sponsored by Reps Blazejewski, Barros, Ajello, Amore, and Ranglin- Vassell. It would require children sentenced to life in prison to have the opportunity for parole after (a maximum) of 15 years. The Senate passed the companion bill, S0237, and now it’s time to pressure the House to make this bill law.

In January, the house recommended measure be held for further study in the Judiciary Committee  The members on the committee must be contacted and told to bring the bill to a vote.

If your rep is on the committee, CALL THEM and tell them to vote H5183 out of committee. (Find their contact information here.)

Script if your rep is on the committee: I’m (name) and I live in your district at (address). I’m calling to tell Rep. (name) that I expect them to help bring H5183 to the floor for a vote. Children should not be sentenced to life in prison without parole, and this bill will ensure that they are given a chance at a true life outside prison walls. Rep. (name) should stand up for children, and vote to pass this bill.

If your rep is not on the committee, CALL THEM and tell them to pressure their colleagues to bring it to the floor, and to vote for it once it arrives. (Find their contact information here.)

Script if your rep is not on the committee: I’m (name) and I live in your district at (address). I’m calling to tell Rep. (name) that I expect them to vote H5183 out of committee and to the House floor for a vote. Children should not be sentenced to life in prison without parole, and this bill will ensure that they are given a chance at a true life outside prison walls. Rep. (name) should stand up for children, and vote to pass this bill.

The United States stands (almost) alone

International law prohibits sentencing children to death in prison. Yet the majority of states in the US, including Rhode Island, continue to allow the sentence of life in prison without parole for children of any age. The United States was the only country of 197 countries that did not sign on as a “State Party” to a the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which made the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without parole forbidden.

Sentencing minors to life terms sends an unequivocal message to young people that they are beyond redemption, but research on a child’s developmental and emotional state has proven this false. The US Supreme Court has used research on children in overturning cruel and unusual sentences, noting that adolescence is marked by “transient rashness, proclivity for risk, and inability to assess consequences.”

Under the proposed legislation, H5183, juveniles who are sentenced as adults would automatically come before the parole board after a maximum of fifteen years, regardless of the length of their sentence, giving these young adults the chance to prove their fitness to return to society.

Many children who have been sentenced to die in prison for crimes come from violent and dysfunctional backgrounds. Research has shown that juveniles subjected to trauma, abuse, and neglect suffer from cognitive underdevelopment, lack of maturity, decreased ability to restrain impulses, and susceptibility to outside influences greater even than those suffered by normal teenagers.

The Campaign for Fair Sentencing for Youth, Rhode Island Parole Board Chairwoman Laura A. Pisaturo, and representatives of the Diocese of Providence and the American Civil Liberties Union all testified in support of the bill. Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski, D-Providence, is sponsoring companion legislation (2017-H 5183) in the House.

Learn more about juvenile justice, and children sentenced to life without parole in the video below, featuring Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

 

Next Community Meeting: Hope High + State House, June 25

Details for our next community meeting on Sunday June 25th!

Please share and invite friends!

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting and March to State House

Sunday June 25th - 2:00pm - Sunday June 25th - 4:30pm

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting and March to State House

Hope High School
324 Hope St
Providence, RI  02906 Map

Our Sixth Resist Hate RI Community Meeting is scheduled! We meet to continue organizing resistance to the hateful ideology that brought us Trump and threatens our communities and our planet. We'll discuss the successes and failures of the state legislative session so far, and how we can keep the resistance strong this summer. Then, we'll end the meeting by marching to the State House to demand action on our goals.

Newcomers of all backgrounds are welcome!

Draft agenda:

- Welcome: Introduce Steering Committee. Summarize recent success/failures of the resistance movement. Explain remaining state legislative pushes, describe our summer goals.

-- Breakout 1 (Panel discussion): Hear from a panel of activists who lobbied for state legislation this year on issues including human rights, economic justice, gun control and climate change on what enabled them to succeed, or what mistakes or structural impediments limited them. This will be a great chance to understand what really goes on under that dome.

-- Breakout 2 (Getting Ready to Run for Office): Thinking about stepping up into political leadership by running for office? This session will teach you the basics of a campaign and give you tips and strategies to prepare to run.

-- Breakout 3 (Recruiting Candidates): Know someone in your community you think would be a great leader? This session will help you think through who in your community could be a great candidate and how you can support them as they make the decision to run.

-- Breakout 4 (Building power in your community): A discussion about how to start a Resist Hate RI subgroup or other progressive group in your community. This session will provide specific examples of how to start a group, engage like-minded people, and sustain energy on a personal level to advance policies you believe in.

- The March! We'll march (with a band, of course) to the State House, where we'll leave messages for legislators on the work they still need to do before summer vacation! How? Show up to find out!
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197 interested  ·  73 going

Community Meeting This Sunday!

Details for our next community meeting on Sunday June 25th! Please RSVP using the Facebook link below.

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting and March to State House

Sunday June 25th - 2:00pm - Sunday June 25th - 4:30pm

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting and March to State House

Hope High School
324 Hope St
Providence, RI  02906 Map

Our Sixth Resist Hate RI Community Meeting is scheduled! We meet to continue organizing resistance to the hateful ideology that brought us Trump and threatens our communities and our planet. We'll discuss the successes and failures of the state legislative session so far, and how we can keep the resistance strong this summer. Then, we'll end the meeting by marching to the State House to demand action on our goals.

Newcomers of all backgrounds are welcome!

Draft agenda:

- Welcome: Introduce Steering Committee. Summarize recent success/failures of the resistance movement. Explain remaining state legislative pushes, describe our summer goals.

-- Breakout 1 (Panel discussion): Hear from a panel of activists who lobbied for state legislation this year on issues including human rights, economic justice, gun control and climate change on what enabled them to succeed, or what mistakes or structural impediments limited them. This will be a great chance to understand what really goes on under that dome.

-- Breakout 2 (Getting Ready to Run for Office): Thinking about stepping up into political leadership by running for office? This session will teach you the basics of a campaign and give you tips and strategies to prepare to run.

-- Breakout 3 (Recruiting Candidates): Know someone in your community you think would be a great leader? This session will help you think through who in your community could be a great candidate and how you can support them as they make the decision to run.

-- Breakout 4 (Building power in your community): A discussion about how to start a Resist Hate RI subgroup or other progressive group in your community. This session will provide specific examples of how to start a group, engage like-minded people, and sustain energy on a personal level to advance policies you believe in.

- The March! We'll march (with a band, of course) to the State House, where we'll leave messages for legislators on the work they still need to do before summer vacation! How? Show up to find out!
... See MoreSee Less

197 interested  ·  73 going

Deep Dive: Immigration in Rhode Island

Over at the White House, they’re talking about how dangerous immigrants are, how the election was rigged because of millions of undocumented people casting votes, and how we need to bar refugees and immigrants from our country. The NYT reports that President Trump’s proposed budget doubles down on these themes, targeting undocumented immigrants.

Here in Rhode Island, undocumented folks, immigrants and refugees are just trying to go to work and take care of their families. Instead, they are facing daily fear on a multitude of fronts: fear of deportation, fear of losing their jobs, fear of being separated from their families. The fears are multiplying.

Just last week at the “What does it really mean to be a Sanctuary City?” panel, Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral (and a Resist Hate RI steering committee member) reported that some employees are going without pay after their bosses refused to pay them, reminding them instead how easy it would be to report them to ICE. Another man decided not to file a police report after being beat up in front of their family, for fear that ICE would be able to find them more easily. Many are scared to drive to work, for fear of being pulled over and then deported. Others are choosing to forego health care appointments, instead staying in their homes, where they can refuse to open the door to ICE officials.

There is real fear out there, and there is reason for it. The rules of who to deport have been expanded: the priority is no longer to only focus on criminals. The situation is dire.

But, here in RI there are several bills and campaigns in the works that will directly impact and help the 30,000 undocumented immigrants living in our state. If this issue matters to you, step up and plug in where you can help: at the state level or in your city or town.


Statewide

There are three main issues that are currently in the state legislature:

  • Licenses and Permits: Would provide driving privilege licenses and permits to undocumented immigrants (House Bill 5686/Senate Bill 183)
  • Trust Act: Would affect how Rhode Island police officers handle detainers and holds (House BIll 5515)
  • Tuition Equity: Would give a way for undocumented immigrants to get in-state college tuition (House Bill 5237/Senate Bill 446)

Take STATEWIDE Action:

  • Call your senators: Call your senators and tell them you expect their support for Senate Bill 446 (Tuition) and Senate Bill 183 (Driving Privileges). Not sure who your senator is? Check here.
  • Call your reps: Call your reps and tell them you expect their support for House Bill 5686 (Driving Privileges), House Bill 5515 (Trust Act) and House Bill 5237 (Tuition). Not sure who your rep is? Check here.

City-by-City

It’s not known whether the Trust Act will pass (especially if the 8,000 of you throw your weight around at the state house!), but while the Trust Act works through the State House, another initiative is underway: turning Rhode Island into a “sanctuary state,” city by city.

In late March, the Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU created a model ordinance concerning immigration, which they sent to every municipality in the state. The draft ordinance sent by the ACLU today to Rhode Island’s mayors, police chiefs and city councils includes such provisions as requiring judicial warrants before honoring ICE detainers; assisting crime victims who may be eligible for special immigration status; rejecting participation in a program, known as 287(g), that essentially deputizes local police to serve as immigration agents; and avoiding other forms of engagement in immigration enforcement that can adversely affect public safety and undermine good police-community relations.

Since then, people and organizations have mobilized. Near the center of these efforts is the Unitarian church network here in Rhode Island. They are starting to work to connect with people in each municipality to raise awareness of and support for this ordinance.

Take Action:

If you want to push your city toward passing this ordinance, contact your mayor and chief of police and tell them you want this ordinance adopted.

This handy website includes letters you can print and mail. Also on the website you’ll find the contact information (address and phone number) for all the mayors and police chiefs in the state.


Providence

In Providence, the STEP UP Coalition continues to work on passing the Community Safety Act, which includes provisions related to immigration (as well as a swath of much-needed fair policing and anti-racial profiling provisions):

  1. Police may not inquire about an individual’s immigration status, and any identification issued by a government outside the U.S. like a consular ID, foreign driver’s license, or passport, will be accepted the same as an ID from a U.S. government agency.
  2. The Providence Police Department will not honor requests by ICE to arrest or detain any individual.

In Providence, the City Council needs to vote in favor of an ordinance twice for it to pass. The CSA passed the first vote in April unanimously, but in May, the CSA was tabled for further study. The second vote is now said to be scheduled for Thursday, June 1 (however, an agenda has not yet been posted confirming this).

Take Action:

  • Thursday, June 1 at Providence City Hall, Third Floor City Council Chambers at 7 p.m.: This is when city councilors have said there will be a vote, though an agenda has not yet been posted confirming the vote. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Show up early if you want to ensure you have a seat. Bring a sign that shows your support.
  • Every day until June 1: If you live in Providence, you can express your support and insist on the June 1 vote for the CSA by visiting (best!), calling (great!) or emailing (still good!) your city councilor. Not sure who your city councilor is or how to get ahold of them? Find out here by entering your address or check the Community Safety Act website for contact info and messaging tips.
  • Canvassing: There may be an opportunity to canvass this weekend and next weekend, knocking on doors to tell people about the CSA and garner their support and action. Keep an eye on the Resist Hate RI events page for updates!

What organizations in RI are working on immigration issues?

There are a multitude of organizations who work with immigrants and refugees and who would love your support and assistance:


Do you know of immigration-relation work being done in your town that wasn’t described here? Do you know of an organization helping immigrants that was not listed here? Let us know at resisthateri@gmail.com. If you know of an event related to immigration (or other progressive actions), post them to our Facebook page!

Rally Friday: End This Lunacy!

Emergency Rally to Demand an Independent Investigation

Friday May 12th - 5:00pm - Friday May 12th - 6:00pm

Emergency Rally to Demand an Independent Investigation

Burnside Park AKA The People's Park
2 Kennedy Plaza
Providence, RI  02903 Map

Stop the lunacy!

Join us at 5 p.m. on Friday to demand that our Rhode Island Senators refuse to give unanimous consent on any Senate business until there's an independent investigation of the Trump Campaign's ties to Russia.

Meet at 5 pm at Burnside Park and stay to make your voice heard!

Do you want clear answers and a real investigation into what happened during the 2016 presidential election? Join us on Friday to demand it!

198 interested  ·  68 going

Update from first Steering Committee meeting

9 months ago

Aaron Regunberg

Hi all, I wanted to share a quick update on the Resist Hate Steering/Organizing Committee's first meeting this Saturday.

It's a phenomenal group of Rhode Islanders, from folks like Duane Clinker who've been fighting the good fight since decades before I was born, to folks like Kate Vander Wiede who are newer to activism and bring in fresh energy; from talented professional organizers like Raul Figueroa to people with totally different sets of skills, like tech guru Cris Potter.

On Saturday they discussed the responsibilities and roles of this body, set up next steps, and then engaged in a very meaningful conversation on the role of the Facebook group, which they will post a longer summary of soon. For now, I wanted to do two things. First, share the notes from the meeting, which you can take a look at here: docs.google.com/document/d/1w-t9fh-9vweFLcrgouSjAJ2aMx58Ro0pzPivOr0TUew/edit

And second, I wanted let everyone know that I served as facilitator for Saturday's meeting for the first and last time. I am not on the Steering/Organizing Committee, so I won't be joining in the meetings going forward. A number of people have suggested that having an elected official helping to lead a political organizing effort raises flags, and I respect that. I'm proud to leave decision-making to Resist Hate's super awesome new leadership team, and really excited to continue engaging in every other way as an active member! Thanks, all. See you soon.
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Hi all, I wanted to share a quick update on the Resist Hate Steering/Organizing Committees first meeting this Saturday.

Its a phenomenal group of Rhode Islanders, from folks like Duane Clinker whove been fighting the good fight since decades before I was born, to folks like Kate Vander Wiede who are newer to activism and bring in fresh energy; from talented professional organizers like Raul Figueroa to people with totally different sets of skills, like tech guru Cris Potter.

On Saturday they discussed the responsibilities and roles of this body, set up next steps, and then engaged in a very meaningful conversation on the role of the Facebook group, which they will post a longer summary of soon. For now, I wanted to do two things. First, share the notes from the meeting, which you can take a look at here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-t9fh-9vweFLcrgouSjAJ2aMx58Ro0pzPivOr0TUew/edit

And second, I wanted let everyone know that I served as facilitator for Saturdays meeting for the first and last time. I am not on the Steering/Organizing Committee, so I wont be joining in the meetings going forward. A number of people have suggested that having an elected official helping to lead a political organizing effort raises flags, and I respect that. Im proud to leave decision-making to Resist Hates super awesome new leadership team, and really excited to continue engaging in every other way as an active member! Thanks, all. See you soon.