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As elders with a strong sense of history, we actively promote peace, social and economic justice, and environmental sustainability.
    

A few words to live by from Elie Wiesel:

"Take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

“There are times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there can never be a time when we fail to protest."


City of Bend Community Survey

The City of Bend wants to get your feedback about our City and various services we provide. Your input is very important and will help to inform City decisions on issues that are important to the community. We value your candid responses. If you have recently answered these questions on the phone, we thank you for your time. This survey is intended for those who were not contacted earlier, to give everyone an opportunity to share their opinions. Click here to take the survey:​


​This survey may take up to 10 minutes to complete and will be available until December 22. Your responses are completely confidential and no name or identifying information will be associated with your responses. The online survey is being hosted by an independent, third-party research firm, DHM Research. DHM will also collect and analyze the results. 

Community Survey

Resist Trump Tuesday

Where:  ​​​​​​​Peace Corner (Wall & Greenwood)
When: Tuesday, December 18, 11:30-12:30

Although the Vocal Seniority is taking a brief post-election intermission, our Tuesday noon protests continue at Peace Corner. Bring your signs and bring yourselves. Stand up for reason and decency and against this unreasonable, indecent president.

Important Reminder: 
We may be an unruly lot at times, but we must remain a peaceful one. Please DO NOT ENGAGE with any counter-protesters that may be present. There’s plenty of room for all.

New ​​Indivisible Guide
Now Available

The new Indivisible Guide is out
The Vocal Seniority is an "Indivisible-Affiliated Group" part of a nation-wide, Progressive political movement . Rallies, strategies, and political actions are coordinated in local communities following the general guidelines in the Indivisible Guide. The national group has just released Indivisible 2.0, a post-election update.

Indivisible 2.0 -- is broken up into two parts. The first part -- Indivisible on Offense -- looks at our role of keeping Members of Congress accountable by rallying around what we are for instead of what we are against. Read the Guide here .

As the Democratic majority presents its bills next year in the House, Greg Walden will be forced to vote on those bills -- and we will be able to use that voting record in our fight for 2020. You can read all about this strategy here.

The second part of the new Guide is called Indivisible States and it shows us how to take the movement down to the local level. Oregon’s Legislature has a Democratic super-majority, which will certainly help us fight the effects of the Trump agenda. But most of the people across District 2 are represented by Republicans in state and county offices. It’s time to hold them accountable in the way that only Indivisible can. Read all about it  here .

Post-Election Update

So what just happened?  At the national level The Blue Wave was just that.  A wave but not the tsunami that some of us hoped for.  While the Democrats took the House, they lost seats in the Senate. In Oregon people elected Kate Brown as governor and gave the Democrats supermajorities in the House and Senate. This is great news, both for labor and education. Oregonians also soundly defeated ballot measures that would have eliminated our status as a sanctuary state, limited women’s right to choose, and embedded a tax break for corporations into the constitution.   Bend also chose great people for mayor and city council.  We send our cheers and best wishes to the winners we supported: Barb Campbell, Gena Goodman-Campbell, and Sally Russell.
 
But outside the cities the Blue Wave was met by rural Oregon’s Red Sea. Deschutes County now has three Republican supervisors, and Walden is still our Congressman.  Jamie ran an excellent ground game, and did better than anyone else who has run against Walden, but eastern Oregon is still deeply Republican.
 
We can take heart that in Deschutes County, 72.1% of registered voters voted. That is a great turnout for a midterm election, and the highest percent of any county with 100,000 or more residents. And Jamie beat Walden by 628 votes, the first time a Democratic candidate has beaten him here.  This is thanks in large part to the work of The Vocal Seniority and Indivisible Bend, and the incredible support team that Jamie built. 
 
Traditionally, a significantly higher percentage of Republicans vote in midterm elections.  This year in Oregon 79.8% of registered Democrats voted, compared to 79.6% of Republicans. Unaffiliated voters were at 45.3%.
 
There is more good news. Across the country, a less visible but very important change took place at the state level.  Republicans have long dominated governorships and state legislatures, which has allowed them to gerrymander voting districts and suppress minority voting in egregious ways.  Democrats just flipped seven governorships and gained total control of thirteen more state legislatures.  It is critical that this trend continue because, in 2020, state legislatures will draw up voting districts based on the new census. We have to stop their gerrymandering and voter suppression.
 
The Vocal Seniority is not going away. To paraphrase The Lone Ranger, our work is not done here. We need to maintain our strong activism --  to raise “cane.”   Trump, of course, makes this easy.  At the same time, we need to find ways to communicate with people in eastern Oregon’s Red Sea.  About half the people in Walden’ district are living at or below the poverty level. We have to find common ground with these people.  We need to convince them that we are not their enemy, and that they are often voting against their own self-interest. We all want affordable health care, economic security, safe schools, and meaningful employment. The Republicans, beholden to their wealthy donors, have no intention of delivering these basics.
 
An example of our staying power was the rally at Peace Corner on Thursday night (November 8).  Exhausted from the election, with freezing temperatures and only a day’s notice, 401 people showed up.
 
And look at the wonderful community of like-minded people we have become!! Who knew that Bend had so many committed activists?  We can make activism fun!!
 
Barring Trump’s making an overt move to shut down the Mueller investigation, we are taking a short intermission between now and the new year.  A that time we will send a survey out to you, asking for direction in the coming year.
 
Happy Holidays!  Or, for those of you who watch Fox News, Merry Christmas!!