Taking a look at the iconic femme voices who keep the bot resisting!
Season 2 of The Resistbot Podcast, hosted by Melanie Dione, features a different interview every week with an organizer working to create change in their community. We aim to elevate voices without a large platform, focusing on their stories. Our pod is brought to you by the same volunteers behind the Resistbot (https://resist.bot) chatbot that's driven over 30 million pieces of correspondence to elected officials since 2017. If you haven't given it a try, pull out your phone and text the word "resist" to the number 50409 to get started. You can text officials from your Mayor to the President, check your voter registration, start your own campaigns, and much more!
Coming together from across the United States,
the real issues you don't hear about elsewhere,
focusing on what matters to you and your neighbors.
Welcome to ResistBot Live.
Melanie: Hey, y'all, it's Sunday, March 27. I'm your moderator, Melanie Dione, and this is Resistbot Live. Welcome. We're here every Sunday, usually live at 01:00 P.m., but this week we're doing something a little bit different. It's the last Sunday of Women's History Month, or, as I call it for myself, Black History Month, the sequel. And so we're all taking just a little break, not only to give us a breather but also to reflect on some of the phenomenal guests and topics that we've had in the past. You can find us, like I said, here every Sunday at 01:00 P.m., but also you can catch the replay of us on our podcast wherever you find your favorite podcast every Monday. So we hope that you join us then and use the hashtag Livebotters to join the conversation. I'm here because Resistbot, like any movement that takes itself seriously, knows that if you want traction, you need women in films, powering your movement, using their voices uplifting other communities and themselves. People will think like Audrey Lord, who said, When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important. Whether I am afraid this isn't just for the women and films that we like. There's a representative, for example, in Colorado, who has been one of her party's most effective megaphones when it comes down to spreading their message. Most often I get her stuff from people who don't like her or support her, but she really inspires everyone to dunk on her. In the quote Tweets, that means her message spreads way beyond her base. So that bug is sounding a whole lot more like a feature. But of course, Resistbot has its own people who in our feature is to uplift marginalized communities. And that has been it from the inception. Every week, of course, you see me, you see Athena Fulay, Susan Stutz, Christine Lu. And we have Angel Barrera, who keeps us looking good, who makes sure that when I make mistakes, she edits him out. So angel is really one of the backbones that you don't see, who keep her the spot live moving. But then there are people before we got here, people like Donna, Elena, Lisa, Naomi, Jin Carrey, all people who, without them, we probably would not be here. In addition to those folks, we have had some of the most well versed, prolific minds when it comes to the issues that impact us. Not always the issues that get the attention, but the issues that need attention. One of those issues is what it's like to be Indigenous in America today. And we were joined by Jake Spotted Wolf. And when they were here, they explained the harsh realities in our 9th episode. In our episode, entitled indigenity in America. So let's run that back and remember what Jaike told us about the Indigenous experience here.
Jaike Spotted Wolf: I don't know what the so-called American perception is of the life of the native. I'm guessing from what I've observed in social media and from comments of people, mostly white people, that we are grandly standing and having our dances and sitting in sweats all the time. The populist needs to know. For almost 150 years, it was illegal for us to practice our cultures and traditions. You could not be, quote, unquote, Indian. You could not be native American. And if you were, you were sent to prison. So when you're cut off from everything you've known, when the state's government has systematically removed your food sources, they ran the Buffalo completely out of I mean, they brought people out and posted rewards for people to kill Buffalo because they knew that was a food source. They knew that we subsisted on crops and they would systematically go and destroy those cops, those crops. In the residential school scenario, it looks like kidnapping children, literally kidnapping children at force from Chiefs and taking them hundreds of miles away to boarding schools so that the Chiefs would start to calm down and fall in line, because if they had their children, then they have control over the tribe. And by taking your food, by taking your cultures and putting you in a residential school, cutting your hair, telling you if you speak your language, you're going to be beaten. You're going to be beaten anyway. At a residential school, you're going to be malnourished in that starvation. You're going to also be forced to do a lot of labor. You're not going to be paid for that forced labor. These are places where they found babies hidden in the walls when they would go to tear down these institutions so bodies aren't sent home. We're not given a chance to grieve. We're not given the chance for closure. And I know that it's a little tangential to bring residential schools into the loss of culture, the loss of language, but it all ties into what a reservation life looks like right now. And a reservation life looks like sovereignty laws that prohibit the growth of commerce and economy in the same way that it's allowed off of the reservation. So it could take up to five years for something to be built on a reservation because of laws. Sovereignty laws were out in the world. It's a year right for permits to go up and for buildings to be erected, and then that commerce to continue to grow the economy. We're also talking about these reservations, for the most part, are very remote. The United States government knew what it was doing by moving people to lands where nothing grew, very desolate, lands where the weather is hitting the hardest and cutting these people off from major urban centers so that you can't get access to the elements. You would in any other region. So what it looks like on a reservation is me with my nieces at an ice cream shop sitting across from a nine-year-old who very blankly is telling you that she remembers when her Auntie beat her baby and threw her an adventure because she thought that she was a demon, because her Auntie was on meth. And this is coming from a nine year old kid, nine years old. The level of devastation and dysfunction and harm on reservations is unlike anything I've experienced in other communities that I've existed in and I've existed in a rough place in my childhood. And to hear a nine year old just kind of nonchalantly tell you that story and then just recover it by like talking to her friends, my nieces after that, and say like, what are you guys going to do after school tomorrow? That changes your reality and your perception of this is what's going on in reservations. The amount of unnecessary and early death on reservations. If people were to really kind of investigate that infant mortality, our life expectancy rate is 55, highest suicide rate amongst teens, you would see a trend that there's not only no thriving on reservations, there's nothing but death. And all of the systems that have been put in place have accommodated that genocide. So as much as United States government could not kill us off with smallpox blankets, by destroying our food sources, by stealing our children, by sterilizing our women in the Sixties, by stealing our children in the foster care system and removing them from native families and putting them into white families, they are still actively perpetuating genocide in this country by letting natives exist in the conditions that they do on these reservations. And if you were to talk to the Dane in what is so called Navajo Nation and how their covet rate spiked during the Pandemic, because they had no access to clean water, because of resource extraction, and because the government did not come in and clean up the explosions that happened after those uranium mines leaked into their water table and how they had to travel an hour to get clean water to come back and sanitize their homes, then you understand the starkness of what's happening on reservations across the country. And if it were just the nation, it would be one thing. But those are conditions across Turtle Island.
Melanie: We need voices like Jaike's. And we also need voices like the next guest that I'm about to recall. Our first episode this year, actually, we were joined by activists and coconductor of Harriet's Wildest dreams, Nee Nee Taylor, who talked about the treatment disparity as a protester for black Lives as opposed to the treatment of insurrectionists on January 6 by law enforcement. Let's take a listen to what meanie had to say about that.
Nee Nee Taylor: What you need to realized that hate is more contagious right now than covet and Black Lives Matter. Dc, like you just said, it was more so about George Floor. And Black Lives Matter Plaza was created during the murders of black people in the United States. And so because of Black Lives Matter, it was like right on the house that decide where President Trump resided. And so people have started just billing Memorial. We started building a Memorial fence while Trump was there, just going back, teaching people to be hateful and bringing back the supremacy of white people and saying that America is great, make America great again. America was never great. And so reality is that Black Lives Matter, that's my ring, Black Lives Matter, the movement really was not involved with what was going on, but because we had a Memorial up there on Black Lives Matter Plaza and right there at the fence, we had started getting attacked not just by the police, but by right, Supremacist, because they did not like that we was uplifting black people. And so with that being said, that started when the Rice premises start coming, trying to support Trump, they automatically start attacking black people and our allies and Tifa. And they just didn't like the fact that we were still holding space for black people in DC as they spread out hate. And so from there, we were dealing with oppression and we were dealing with the hate of black people and how black people was rising up and taking positions in where we belong here in America, not just black people, but Brown people, too. Thank you so much. One of the things that I just cannot reiterate enough is that a lot of these groups were buddying up with the police during your protests. So when we talk about what happened, the lead ups in November and December, it's disingenuous to say that no one had any idea because you're one of the people who made sure what was coming was known. And that is true because we truly wanted Trump out of the White House because of what we experienced during the summer and how he had the police and Secret Service beat us on Black Lives Matter Plaza. We were intentional on getting black people out to vote them out. And so we rode around on a truck just making sure that black people come out and vote because we don't feel like no President would save us. But it's a tool that we can use to help us try to get to where we need to go when it comes to our true total liberation. And so with that being said, on November the 14th, we knew that right? Supremacist and the proud boys were coming to DC. So we wanted to come and protect the wall, which was the Memorial fence. And so black I came out of D. C. Which I was a part of and a direct action coordinator at that time, and other organizations shut down DC livelihood. Go, go. We built. We got together as a coalition to go to Black Lives Matter Plaza to have a safe space and keep Black Lives Matter Plaza safe as possible during that time. And so they came to 14th and they started tearing down our Memorial and attacking us. And DC police just allowed them free will to do what they wanted to do. So we knew they were coming back in December the 12th to try to stop the vote. And at that time, instead of like counter protesting against them, we actually made a black joy party and said, hey, you all look, they were really bad on November the 14th. So this time let's just all come to the Plaza and celebrate and just be in a place where we can celebrate us and not be out there fighting against Nazis and white supremacists and proud Boys because the police didn't keep us safe. On November the 14th, I actually have cases that I had to help black people get free from that. The police arrested black people when white supremacist attacked them. So on December 12, we tried to be in our own space again and hold space on Black Lives Matter plies. And once again, the Proud Boys came, ran rapid, burnt down Church size, burnt down things that Black Lives Matter Plaza attack homeless people. They like attacked us and attack anybody who they thought was in Tifa or against the government, which they felt was America and against Trump. And they had free will to do that. And DC or the government didn't do anything about it. And so leading up to January 6, we had infiltrators in their groups because we have allies and we saw they were coming back very strong with weapons, saying they bring in weapons and they want to overturn the boat. And because what we experienced November the 14th and December the 12th, we were very concerned to the point where I told black people and Brown people to stay home because I knew that we would get attacked, arrested or killed and even on deaf ears and the government and FBI knew about it. But because how I feel cops and the client go hand in hand and they ran by white supremacist. They didn't really take the threat serious. And so January 6, they was actually escorted to the capital before everything broke out. They started right there at Freedom Plaza. So they said they were violent at Freedom Plaza and went to the capital. They didn't like just say, hey, we're going to the capital. They had a rally first.
Melanie: We also had a friend of the show, Debra Cleaver, join us that week. And prior to that, she joined us another week. She joined us in November when we were talking about the topic that brings us all to the Yard voting. Deborah does not believe in apathy. Let's hear her thoughts on what the actual issue with American voters are.
Debra: But first, I'm going to push back a little bit because one of the things that guides us at Vote America is that we reject outright the idea that people are apathetic and instead say that they are suppressed and that this narrative of people being apathetic is actually a conservative talking point that we are accidentally echoing because it's become the dominant talking point that like, voters are apathetic, they're actually not apathetic. They are overwhelmed by voter suppression because no one is apathetic about their future or their family or their lives. And I should also very brief background. I have been working at the intersection of technology and democracy since 2004 for about 17 years now. And I just keep starting new organizations. And the one you didn't mention is the one that I'm best known for, which is both.org people know my work if they don't know me. But starting in 2006, I would say to myself, if we reject the idea that people are apathetic and lean into the idea that they are actively just, like, overwhelmed and suppressed, what are we going to do to change that? So our theory of change is that if you make voting more accessible, people will vote, like, in greater numbers and more consistently. And if I can name one group in America that knows we are right, it's the RNC and the GOP. They absolutely know if voting becomes more accessible, more people. Oh, so what they do is they've been executing on this very smart 30 year strategic plan to make it exceptionally difficult to vote. And they're great at it. Professor brought it up. Like, they roll back the Voting Rights Act, they attack the Help America Vote Act. Sometimes they just outright ignore the laws. Like, Alabama just did not get around to following the Motorbike Act of 1093 until 2016. Just didn't get around until the DOJ got involved. But at Vote America, we are focused right now on one very specific thing, which is getting sold to the polls. Like, anything we can do to help people cast ballots. So we have our website where you can find just oodles of information which gets overwhelming. So then we built this entire tool set to help guide you through like 50 different processes for registering to vote, for getting an absentee ballot, for checking your voter registration. And then we do a ton of Proactive outreach to what is called low and mid propensity voters. Those are people who have been modeled to be less likely to vote. So partisan groups ignore them entirely. And that is our bread and butter. We're like, who are the people in America who will vote if you just give them a little bit of assistance, don't ignore them entirely. And so we do a lot of Proactive outreach. And I should also say the one thing I'm really known for, you know, those text messages you get largely my fault. In 2016, I was like, what if we buy cell phone numbers of people who are unregistered to vote and we just text them directly and say, hey, it's time for you to register to vote. And we had tremendous success with this. And in 2016, I predicted it would be the dominant tactic by 2020, and I will never be as right as I was in that second pitch.
Melanie: Women, as I said before, are essential in every movement. And that, again, does not always mean it's movements that I agree with. And nothing puts that on display like the volume of CIS women who have added their voices to anti-trans rhetoric. Let's hear what our guest Diondra Elan has to say about the realities of being a trans woman in Dallas, Texas.
Diondra: Definitely. For me, I feel like the sports thing is mainly just an attack, mostly on young teenage trans female folks and the sense of, like, there's this running thing where they just feel like a lot of people are who were assigned male at birth or just wanting to transition into being a woman so they can excel at sports better because I guess competing against males wasn't good. So they're going to try to just go the easy route and try to beat out women and stuff. But I feel like a lot of that is mainly from rhetoric received from, like, shows and stuff. Like, I know South Park, they touched on that and they were like, really they just went completely over the top. And then I just feel like for the most part, it's kind of like this thing where it's like, oh, you're not even really basing it off the person. It's just the part they have. So it's like they don't want someone, I guess, with one part running around with all these other little girls kicking a ball and throwing stuff, even though the sport at all has nothing to do with that. And then if that trans person happens to excel, then it's like you got all these mad parents, just like back in the day when a parent would be mad that a black child was exceeding in sports over the white child. And so it's really just the same thing. I feel learned to be really resilient and really mindful of who I put myself around, because you tell somebody that here it's kind of like a 50 50 of like, oh, you might have a new best friend or this person might try to get everyone to try to lowkey burn you at the stake or something. So I live where a lot of murders for black trans women happen in Dallas especially. So it's the most dangerous place in the country for black trans women especially. But trans women as a whole, because non black trans women still get murdered here in terms of there's been a lot of non black trans women here who have been murdered either in Dallas or out of state, well, out of the city. So just like within the state, there was just some Latinx trans woman in Lovett who was a drag performer and entertainer. I think she was killed by someone up there and they found her body somewhere up there. And that was like not too long ago, a few weeks ago. But yeah, I'm saying like Dallas especially is like the number one dangerous place in the country. The most murders in the recent years have happened here. And then I was just saying after that, it's like Houston. And number three is like New Orleans. And I believe number four is Atlanta. I think number five would probably be Miami.
Melanie: Another one of our repeat guests in phase is talking about something else that we don't always a lot of our topics tend to have support that can be partisan, but not everything is defunding the police, and prison abolition is one of those things. So we had Ria Thompson, Washington, join us to talk exactly about what society without extensive policing looks like and take on that wildly unpopular topic. So let's hear what Ria has to say.
Ria: Yes. So that's exactly it. Recognizing the history of policing, recognizing that policing started out as a means of maintaining property, and that property and the statistics that you were talking about, those are microcosms of what is happening all over the country, that it doesn't matter how little the number of black people are in the area. They're always going to be over police. They're always going to be arrested more. They're always going to have more interactions. And for that reason, that's why we have to start thinking about what does it look like now? What does it look like? It looks like, again, the amount of money that we spend on policing. And the word defund, I think is so charged that what if we don't talk about defunding the police? What if we just talk about funding other things, right. Like instead of defunding the police, what if we funded mental health? Because in New Orleans East, what you're talking about is I heard a food desert. I heard a lack of resources for health care. And that means that people are going to have more wants and needs and other places that have more resources in their community. That's just how it works. And so that means that when people need health care, they're going to go to the emergency room instead of maybe an urgent care or another hospital or doctor's office because they don't have those resources. And so we start thinking about, well, what do we want to do? What do we want to offer to their communities? Do we need police officers in schools like K through twelve education? Is that helping protect the students in any way? What if instead of police officers, we had more resources being put to education programs after school care, food, just like basic food and income for the families to be able to live. There's this idea of a universal basic income that municipalities could offer to residents and pay residents to help out with resources. And I think the studies have shown in places, for example, in the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, St. Paul has your universal basic income. They have more resources. They have more access to programming for folks who need it. And in Minneapolis, they don't. Right. And so they have more money that goes to their police Department, which recently just underwent the community was voting about whether to defund the police Department or divest resources from the police Department to a public safety Department. A public safety Department could be whatever we want it to be. It could be a place where there is mediation. It could be a place where people go to solve disputes using restorative justice or transformative justice or alternative dispute resolution. It could be a place where instead of we go to find out ways to be harmful to people or accuse people who we think have wronged us, but go to find median ground and understand like, okay, why did you do this thing? Maybe it wasn't meant to hurt me intentionally. Maybe you didn't have resources. Maybe you didn't have food. Maybe you needed to sell whatever so that you can try to take care of your family. All of the things that keep us at odds with each other and figuring out why that is happening. I think that that is what we can do to do that. It's caring about your neighbors. It's about if you live in an apartment community and you know that there is someone who might be experiencing harm, intimate partner violence is asking if you can help that person, asking if there's anything that you can do, not just pretending that it doesn't happen or turning a blind eye, it's actually putting yourself in the way of harm, which may seem scary, but at some point, if we all take the step to stand up for someone else, eventually everybody will be standing up for each other, right? If we continue to think about and plot out, like, what do I want? I don't want to live in a world with lease. So what does that mean? That I need to be safe? And how does that happen?
Melanie: One of our most often quoted guests, I do it, Susan does it. We've all probably done it at some point. Vilissa Thompson, we talked about how teleworking can play a role in demolishing disabled property. I could not in a million years summarize anything better than Melissa could. So let's hear her in her own words in the clip, what she had to say about teleworking and how that can be life changing for some disabled people.
Vilissa: My whole career as a social worker and activist has been online. One of the great things that teleworking has allowed is just freedom. I'm a wheelchair user and in traditional social work roles, that may mean that I need to go out in the community. And as many people know, that not a lot of homes are which are accessible. So that means there are barriers in me trying to retain work in my own profession. So working for myself, creating a space virtually eliminated this very big barrier. I've met disabled social workers like myself who also are with your users, those who may have disabilities that prevent them from driving or it may not be safe to drive all these obstacles that industries like social work and other industries where you need a car to get there, where you need a license to be considered, where even if you may need to be able to lift a certain weight on the job, whether you may be lifting something or not, these are all barriers to us being employed and being seen as viable candidates. So being online, working virtually, whether for myself or when I was working for other organizations, really open the door to what kind of work I can receive. When I started working, I was on Social Security and I rolled off because I knew that was the best opportunity for me. So in being able to work virtually, I was able to meet this personal goal. And for many disabled people, whether they're still on SSI or SSDI or any of our government assistance, working from home is so much better for them. They don't have to worry about transportation options. They don't have to worry about going into a brick and mortar every day and maybe being lower energy or having to flare up with their chronic illness, having to figure out how do I make my doctor's appointments and show up for work every day. There are so many barriers that are eliminated when we have options and appointments and during this time mail. We've seen that a lot of opportunities that were denied to disabled people simply because we needed teleworking accommodations can be done virtually and that it has left a bitter taste in many of our miles who have been denied not just employment opportunities, but also school opportunities as well, because we needed them to be virtual and people were not hip to the fact that it can be done. It can be done effectively. Our productivity is not hindered because we are at home versus being in the office. And for many of us, not being micromanaged creates a more safer environment, particularly if you are a marginalized disabled person like myself being of color, if you're queer, if you're a woman, a film, other identities to where microaggressions and macro aggressions can really impede your quality of life and your work tumor work can really help to eliminate or reduce many of those obstacles and transgressions that impact our lives. Not just what we can do professionally, but also personally.
Melanie: We have some absolutely amazing guests, but we have those guests because of open letters. We would not be anywhere without the open letters that each of you send in. Nobody knows that better than our next guest. This would be the first time everything else has been sort of a replay, but this is the first time we're talking to one of the people who make Resist bot as a tool, functional and amazing. And that's a Resist bot Superuser Jessica Craven. If you have a topic, Jessica is on it. And I spoke to her about what motivates her, how she uses Resist bot and what letters she would like you to put your eyes on. So let's take a look at Jessica.
Interview with Jessica Craven
Hi, Jessica. Welcome. How are you? I'm great. How are you? I'm good. Thank you. Thanks so much. A, for being with us today, but B, for your tireless work. I was kind of stumbling over finding a word to just describe how you make my job easy, because very regularly when I'm looking for a topic, when I'm looking for something, I can go to your feed and I'll see something that's timely, that's well thought out, and that includes calls to action, not just shouting into the void, which I know it's something that sometimes we have to do, but calls to action are really what helped Resist Bot move and keep it going and keep people coming back. So I want to talk a bit about what got you here first. Do you want to talk a little about what you do and what your first petition, if you remember it was God. That's a good question. I don't know that I do remember my first petition, but I can tell you what brought me here. Oh, I got little. Yeah. And that's the me thing. There we go. I like being little anyway. Well, I've been using Resist Bot since about whenever you guys first started, which was right at the beginning of 2017. Does that sound right? Yeah. So I had started right after Trump was elected. I was not an activist at all before that. I was just interested in politics. But when Trump was elected, like so many people, I had the horrified reaction. And sort of what I tend to do when I go into a freak out is try to figure out something to do that's just sort of my nature. And so I ended up creating a newsletter. It started out as just an email that I sent out to a handful of family and friends with just a couple of things that I was hearing that we needed to do. Like, oh, we need to call, I guess we're supposed to call our senators about Betsy DeVos and tell them not to, like, not to confirm. Betsy DeVos and I would send out this email every day, and it started to grow and grow and grow. And it turned into a newsletter called Chopwood Carry Water, which was just an old saying that I had learned from my dad, which is basically a way to get through difficult times. Chopwood Carry water. Just do the next thing in front of you. To do simple actions. And so the newsletter became Chop Wood, Carry Water, which is still coming out five days a week and has been ever since Trump was elected. But when you all came out with Resist Bot, I found it pretty early because I was just out looking for stuff all the time. And it was just this incredibly valuable tool for people who were afraid to write or call their representatives. I talk a lot, and I'm fairly extroverted. And what I found, one of the big hindrances to people calling the representatives was just people who either had social anxiety or were phone shy or who were just not going to do it. If they had to make the phone call, some people would. And other people were like, I just won't do it. So Resist Bot filled this incredible need for a way to reach our representatives when we were not going to make the call. And the other thing, as I'm sure you will remember, in the beginning, when everybody was ringing phones off the hook, there would be days where no one could get through to their representatives. There was just busy signal, busy signal. I mean, it was kind of amazing in retrospect that many people were calling all the time. So I think Resist Bot may have even come in specifically to address that issue, just like no one could get through their representatives. So I started using Resist Bot then, and I ended up adding a section of my newsletter every single day with a longer script so that people could call the representatives with a short script or a slightly longer script that they could send through Resist Bot. And that has remained to this day. I still do the same thing. And yeah, you're absolutely right. One of the reasons it became a necessity as they weren't answering the phones and they were unplugging the faxes. So we had someone going in to hand deliver letters. So you're exactly right. When we get to those issues, when you're motivated to send when we think about letters that you're motivated to send, you have something that's kind of on your speed dial. When you see it, as soon as you see it, you're motivated to not only write this open letter, but make sure that it's something that someone else can share. Is there something that gets your attention faster than other things? I mean, every day. But yeah, I pay a lot of attention to climate stuff, judicial nominations and other nominations. Resist Bot is so fantastic for budget things, things that are slightly more in the weeds. Not just like, I want you to vote yes on HR 38610r, whatever, although I do those too. But for example, right now we have obviously, Judge Katanji Brown Jackson, who is being confirmed in the Supreme Court. That's a really fast phone call. Like, obviously, I want you to confirm Judge Patanji Brown Jackson, but there's also other nomination processes happening at the same time, like right now for the Federal Reserve. And there's an amazing candidate named Dr. Lisa Cook, whose confirmation has been delayed and delayed and delayed. And a lot of it, again, is racism, pure and simple. And also they just don't like her because she believes in climate change and all kinds of other things. But an issue like that that's flying a little bit more below the radar. People are slightly more inclined to glaze over when you start talking about the Fed. But it's really important for a million reasons, including, like, inflation and it's our economy. And there's, like, systemic racism happening here, too. That's a great opportunity to write a slightly longer letter talking about all of those issues and then communicating to people why it's really important and getting them to send that letter. So sometimes if it's an area that requires a bit more explanation, resist bot is amazing for that because they can read through the whole letter and understand, oh, this is why it's important for me to send this. Whereas if I just do one sentence in a call script, call your Senator and say, Confirm Lisa Cook, they're going to be like, well, I don't know who she is. Now, that doesn't sound that important, but the Resist bot is able to give that extra information to both them and the lawmaker. And that's why I love it. But I will always watch for that thing that's flying a little below the radar and then save the calls for things that we all know are important to call about. It's a mixed martial arts thing. Absolutely. That's one of the things I do appreciate. And then in terms of giving, when there's material that we're covering for the show, there are things, for example, Judge Katanji Brown Jackson, that conversation is going to be everywhere. It is one that we're definitely going to have. But there are also other things that are affecting people who aren't necessarily in the spotlight, but that still need a great deal of attention that still need for example, our first show demolished Disabled Poverty, was a petition that got a tremendous amount of support. But we're still having the same conversations. We still have to have that conversation. We still haven't made headway on giving disabled people the same rights that all of us are afforded. So it's something that even when it's not in the news, it's not one of the fashionable topics. They still need to be covered, and we still need to be there. So I appreciate not only those larger ones, but going into the weeds, because this isn't just about what makes the news. This is about the things that affect us. The news focuses on a lot of the Hill, and we have to focus on the people and particularly budget questions like that, because our budget reflects our values. And right now, our budget is like, let's pay for the military and everything else is kind of secondary. And lawmakers don't really expect to ever hear from us about that stuff. So when you send a letter saying, hey, why did you just cut all this money from the budget for Cobd funding or for IRS funding? You know, it may not make them do the right thing, but at least lets them know that it's on people's radar that we know what they're doing and we see what they're doing and we care. And just one hopes if you create enough of a SoundCloud around it, at some point they'll start. I think there's been so much made over Mitch McConnell saying that he's not going to vote to confirm Katanji Brown Jackson and of course, Lindsey Graham's spectacle. They still represent you just as they said what they would not do. If you're still their constituent, you can still write a letter to them and make your voice heard. I repeat over and over, these folks work for us. So it's not shouting into the void, letting the person you elected or the person who represents you. Because these men don't just represent the GOP, they represent everyone in their constituency. So make sure that they know what you think. Yeah. Well, and also people always say, well, my representative is Ted Cruz. That's the one I hear the most. Ted Cruz seems to be the absolute lowest bar. And people just saying like, why bother? Well, I guess for the simple reason that, yeah, he does work for you and your voice matters and what you think matters. And imagine how much worse he would be if no one ever let him know that he's doing the wrong thing if he just like no one is paying any attention. I mean, he could be worse than he is. I know it's hard to imagine, but there's a trap door in every bottom, as they say. So it's like we have to let them know we're paying attention. It's really important. Absolutely. And that goes into not only writing the open letters, but also us fostering community where organizers and activists can interact. Beyond that, because I won't say that this is the easy part. I mean, there's so much that Resist Bot has done to make it significantly easier. I mean, you pick up your phone, it's something we do all the time. But what happens beyond that and creating one of the things I appreciate about being able to follow people on Resist Bot is letting people know what things are on your mind. So I'm going to ask you for right now, outside of, I think, what's on all of our minds. Judge Katanji Brown Jackson and her confirmation, are there any petitions that you have right now that you would really like people to take a look at that you don't think perhaps is getting enough airtime or spotlight? I would say the Lisa Cook one is really important. So in the budget that just passed the GOP, removed $30 million in funding for the IRS so that they could pursue Russian oligarchs and catch them and sort of seize assets. And the Russians pulled that funding assumably because they don't want the IRS coming after them. I guess they just don't want to fund the IRS. That really bothers me. All of the Fed nominees, it's really important. And the GOP have already forced out one incredible nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, who they didn't like because she wanted to work on the relationship between our economy and climate. And they were very, very threatened by that. So they forced her out. So those are all really important. I mean, I could go on every single day. There's something in my newsletter that I just desperately want people to pay more attention to than they are. But these Fed nominees right now, I don't need to tell anybody what the economy is doing right now and what is happening with inflation. And these are people who know they come in with skills that are through the roof to handle this exact situation. And Republicans are just stalling their confirmation in every way they can. And it's unconscionable considering the situation. So that is one. And then in general, I also continue to sort of work on child tax credits because when those expired, 4 million children fell back into poverty. And I'm a mom. So the fact that like 4 million children more are going to bed hungry every night because not a single Republican would support even a standalone bill to fund that program, again, that makes me insane. And that makes me I feel like every American, I don't care if you are the furthest right MAGA in the country. How can you want 4 million children to go to bed hungry? How can anybody want that? So letters like that, if I have done a resistance letter, it is an issue that is of paramount importance to all of us. There is a bill that just passed in the House. I can't remember exactly what it's called, but it's in my letters. And it's about a bill to give the military funding to help veterans who suffered from illness, from burn pits, these burn pits they had in Iraq and Afghanistan. And 137 Republicans in the House voted against it. So it squeaked through the House because we had all Democrats voted for it. And now it's going to go to the Senate. And once again, we have to beg Republicans to fund something that is so obvious, like give these veterans the medical care they need. And again, it's going to be a slog. I like when people follow me because I just want to encourage them to just send the letter. Trust me, this is vetted. And I have really done the research on these letters. And these items are important. Obviously, people should read the letter themselves. And I always say if you want to tweak it, just copy and paste it into your own resist bot and send it and make your changes. But I'm trying to make it as easy for people as possible. Well, we appreciate it. I definitely appreciate it. You make it super easy for me. And I want to thank you so much for joining us. Before I let you go, can you let folks know the best place to find you, the spot? Sure. Well, I do have this daily actions newsletter called Chopwood Dailyactions at Sub Stack. So you can just search, chop wood, carry water, daily actions at the sub stack. There it is. And I also spend a lot of time on TikTok. So I'm just Graven 101 at TikTok. And I do a lot of videos over there. And I use resist bot in many of my videos. I'm trying to help teach sort of average Americans who maybe have never done it before to engage with their government, make phone calls, send resist bots. And I just did one yesterday about Lisa Cook. And I used the Resistbot for that. So I'm over there all the time. So come and find me either of those places. And I'm on Twitter, too. But this is really where you'll find me the most. So that's it. Thank you so much. Jessica. Can't wait to have you back. And I hope that you will be joining us again soon. I would be happy to. And thank you so much for everything, for having me and for doing such a great show and such a great service and such a great tool. The best. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Melanie: And again, the petition that just wants us to would like us to all look at that can be found at the call sign is P as in Peter Y I as in Ice Cream V as in Victory S as in Samson T as in Thomas. If you text that to 50409, again, that is P-Y-I-V-S-T. Text that to 50409 to let your representative know that you want Lisa Cook confirmed. That is our show. I want to make sure that everyone takes a look at Susan's blog post about the women that help resist spot run. And I want to thank all of you. Susan, Christine, Athena and Angel, thank you so much every week for lending your voice to us, for lending your abilities to us, especially for angel, who makes sure that we look great every week. You remind me of the Audrey Lord quote. When we speak, we are afraid. Our words will not be heard nor welcome. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak, remembering we were never meant to survive. I want all of us to remember that when this work gets tiring, when you are exhausted from shouting, you can remember that you can aim your words directly. Your representatives are there to listen to you, and we're here to make sure that they hear you. So as always, text Resist to 5049. If you would like to get your petition started and maybe be on the show. If you want to learn more, you can go to Resist Bot. If you'd like to volunteer or donate, you can go to the same place. Resist Bot we make it very easy for you and we have new donors. This week. We have Adrian from Rochester, New York. Equal rights and responsibilities for everyone under the law is their interest. Amy from El Reno, Oklahoma, criminal justice reform. Enjoy from Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, reproductive rights. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to look out for Susan's blog post. I hope everyone, including myself, is looking at this in our jammies. We're usually always live, so we'll get to kind of have our coffee and our house clothes and just enjoy our Sunday a little bit. The last Sunday in women's history month. Thank you. Not only thank you to the guests we had on the show today, thank you to guests like Bianca Mac and Lauren Rouse. Andrea Segovia, who works with the transgender education network of Texas or 10th. Thank all of you for giving us your Sundance, for giving us your voice, for making sure that we're able to reach people, maybe the issues that aren't necessarily heard all the time, but we hear you. So thank you for joining us and we'll see you next week.
ResistBot Live originally airs as a live stream every Sunday at 01:00 p.m.. Eastern on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and is brought to you by the same folks behind the chatbot. If you haven't used Resist Bot before, it's simple iphone users go to Resist dot Bot on the web and tap the Imessage button. Non-iphone users open your text messaging app and compose a new text message for the phone number. Type 50409 in the message field. Type Resist or any of the keywords heard on the show. You can also direct message Resist Bot on Twitter or the Telegram app for a printable keyword guide and more. Visit our website at Resist.Bot. Our website has a complete guide to creating powerful public policy or voter turnout campaigns, and we're here to support your activism. Email support at Resist.Bot If you need help getting Started Resist Bot is a nonprofit social welfare company built by volunteers and supported by your donations. You can donate on our website or email volunteer at Resist.Bot if you want to join our team. Regular contributors include Melanie Dione, Athena Fulay, Susan Stutz Dr, Joseph Coohill, and Scott MacTaggart. Thank you for listening.