Sandy cliffs towered behind me, the ocean rolled in with moderate waves before me.  The beach stretched on in each direction, with no other human in sight.  Strong sun warmed my skin in the cool air.  The National Seashore on Cape Cod is a gem in the lovely days after Memorial Day and before the summer crowds arrive.  I am grateful for those who worked to preserve it and grateful for a little time to let the rhythm of the waves and the calls of the birds sooth the spirit. 

Early June is a turning time in organizing, as well.  The state legislatures are in their final days, which will require all the energy that can be mustered.  It has been a frustrating year.  While some really bad bills were stopped, most of the bills that would make life better for people of color or people who are low income are going nowhere.  The footprint of monied interests/corporate power is everywhere.  As in Wisconsin, money rules and it is very skilled at protecting its interests.  If you can show up at the RI state house on Thursday and Friday, there will be many things you can buttonhole legislators about.  See our State House Watch for legislation to keep talking to them about.  Not on that list are the bills to address tax equity (trickle down is not working, time to end a failed policy and put back the taxes that were lowered a few years ago).  If you can't be at the state house, phone calls are good!  The same process is in place in Massachusetts. 

Once that madness is over, the tide shifts. 

PLEASE HELP WITH THIS EFFORT!   June is the month in Massachusetts to collect signatures to put the Budget for All resolution to a vote by the people.  WE NEED YOUR HELP collecting signatures to get the resolution on the ballot. PLEASE contact us if you are able to help collect signatures!  It is really important to have a variety of towns and cities get the item on the ballot.  It only takes 200 signatures for a state house district - grab a few friends and head to the farmers market, local ball fields, grocery stores, etc to collect signaturs.  We will most eagerly help you learn all you need to know to do that. 

Windows and Mirrors is coming to Providence!  Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan is a traveling mural exhibit that makes a powerful statement on a nearly invisible reality.  The exhibit consists of more than 45 large scale paintings by artists from all over the country that memorialize Afghan civilian casualties.  The exhibit includes images collected from Afghan high school students by Dr. Zahir Wahab, a professor at Lewis and Clark College, who asked young Afghans to draw images from their daily reality. The exhibit will open at the URI downtown Providence campus on July 9th.  There will be special events every Thursday through July and most of August, as well as several other events.  Please plan on visiting! 

I hope that each of you will find some time as the tide turns to change your pace and renew your energy.  For your summer reading, AFSC posted recommended books on War and Peace in the fall issue of Quaker Action.  Click here to go to that edition then scroll through toward the end of the issue.  There are some great suggestions. 

In Peace,

Martha Yager