From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
April 2, 2017
Last Sunday, when I entered Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church in Wyandanch and saw the stage had a huge banner above it with the message “to believe – to belong – to be compassionate,” it struck me as a fitting place for the Together We Will Long Island (TWWLI) group to hold their Politics 101 Activists Training workshop.
Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, an admin of Together We Will Long Island, introduces LAURA CURRAN, Nassau County Legislator (D – D 5), a speaker at Politics 101. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
And more to the point, this location that Suffolk County Legislator DeWayne Gregory helped secure for the event checked three crucial boxes: it safely accommodated at least 70 people (in fact, it could fit hundreds); it was reasonable for members coming from Nassau and Suffolk Counties; and it was free.
Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At podium, DuWAYNE GREGORY, Suffolk County Legislator & Presiding Officer (D – D15), speaks at TWWLI’s Politics 101. Speakers seated right of him are: LAURA CURRAN, JAY JACOBS, & LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann Parry.com)
TWW, which began in late 2016 and is run by volunteers, has four Core Values: to have Strategic Impact, Respect, Solidarity, and to Cultivate Action.
Since it began in January, TWWLI had been focusing mainly on making its concerns clear about Trump’s Cabinet appointees, Executive Orders, and ACA repeal & replace to Long Island’s federal elected officials. The group’s approaches include organizing protests; sending messages; participating in Town Halls; and visiting the Long Island offices – if access permitted – of U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Chuck Schumer (D) and Congress members Lee Zeldin (R), Pete King (R), Tom Suozzi (D), and Kathleen Rice (D).
Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. Audience member GENNA HANAN asks speakers a questions during TWWLI’s Politics 101 event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
All Politics is Local
The March 26th Politics 101 event was the first in a series of Together We Will Long Island workshops to help members be the most informed, effective activists possible.
TWWLI administrator Beth Mehrtens McManus introduced the program, and admin Sue Moller, who’s my daughter, introduced each of the speakers, who spoke in this order:
Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At center, JAY JACOBS, Chairman of Nassau County Democratic Committee, holds Certificate of Appreciation for speaking at Politics 101, a TWWLI event. (L) BETH MEHRTENS McMANUS and (R) SUE MOLLER are two admins of the network. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
After the five presentations, audience members asked questions to the speakers and TWWLI admins. Based partly on the questions, it seemed some audience members had already been involved for months with TWWLI events and facebook discussions, and others were newcomers.
During Q & A, the importance of focusing not only on national politics, but also having a strong presence in local politics – from school boards, town councils, legislators on up, was stressed. Candidates for local offices needed to be developed and helped.
When one of the speakers said how important it was to make the network’s message heard, an audience member rose her hand and asked: “What is our message?”
Perhaps because I’m a former teacher, it struck me as a SUPER question. It got a good laugh, and then got a good answer- which I’ll add here after I double-check the Politics 101 Live Tape.
TWWLI site: twwli.org
TWW site: twwusa.org
My ‘Politics 101’ Workshop photos: SLIDESHOW GALLERY