Sunday, December 23, 2012

Something You Can Do Today!


I'm sure different people are coming to this blog for different reasons but speaking from my own perspective, this is a vital time for all of us to make our voices heard when it comes to sane, nonviolent, and humane ways to make our schools and communities safer.  There are great articles being written and legislation being proposed based on the recognition that there are tens of thousands of deaths  every year in America due to gun violence.  Other industrial countries with sane gun laws have a tiny fraction of such tragic deaths.  It is time for the forces of peace and sanity in this country to stand up to the pro-gun lobby.  

For the love of our children,

Susie S.

In addition to signing the many petitions which are now circulating, let your voice be heard by your legislators.

Here's how:

1. A simple way to find contact information on your state and U.S. representatives is to go to  ; All you need to do is type in your address and zip code and you will get contact info on your legislators.  

2.  People can call or write (calls are most effective) and say something to the effect of "Hi, my name is __________, I am a voter in your district.  In light of the recent tragedy I am very concerned about the need for more rigorous gun control (and/or more effective mental health services) and I urge you to take bold and decisive action to support any new legislation in this area".   (You can get specific if you want about things like banning assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons, or increasing waiting periods, or making it eliminating the ability for people to by guns at gun shows which don't enforce normal restrictions, etc).

3. It is important to speak out in opposition to republican legislators such as Richardson who are advocating that the "solution" to making schools safe is to have three volunteers or staff carrying concealed weapons in every school building.

4.***For Oregon Residents*** If you want to support saner gun control laws in Oregon and elsewhere, go to CeaseFireOregon.   They have great information about pending legislation and offer petitions to sign and all kinds of action ideas.  To get email updates from them you can send your email address to

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 17th, 2012 Sunnyside Event

From Courtney ... after our event in Portland: 
Candles for each of the victims in Connecticut and Clackamas and their families
Hands Around Our Schools' Event Portland, Oregon
December 17th, 2012
After crying many tears last Friday morning, I knew that I had to do more than cry, and more than hug my children tighter, this was the time to act.  I took to email, and started with 200 people in my address book.  Dozens of people responded immediately, all throughout the day. Then Facebook.  And before I knew it, we had a community of people, ready to take action.  I had no idea what would come of the communications when this started, but within hours, a plan of action took shape.  
At Sunnyside
I couldn't have imagined anything better than what happened that nightWith the weather threatening to rain/sleet/snow, we didn't know if we could pull it off.  But as if on cue, the clouds parted and people began to stroll up, slowly at first...would we be 10, 20, 40 strong? And within minutes, candles were lit, carried into the center of a circle. People gathered around the candles and our circle grew.  Local musicians, Johnny Keener and Mo Phillips, played us through our transitions. I looked around and saw babies, teachers, parents, students, siblings, neighbors, people who were just riding by on their bikes who decided to see what was up. We came together, in the wake of great tragedy, of unfathomable sadness for the heart-broken families and communities of Newtown, CT and Clackamas, OR.  We all had our reasons for being there. We held hands, we took a moment to send healing thoughts to those around the world, and to the heart-broken families and community of Newtown, CT. We each met someone we didn't know before we arrived there, and we shared why we were there.  We attempted a "wave" around the circle, and a game of "telephone" by passing around wishes for the world, we listened to a beautiful poem by Kim Stafford, sang John Lennon's "Imagine", and stomped in time, and sang "We're not gonna take it! No, we ain't gonna take it! We're not gonna take it, anymore!" 
Slowly, the circle broke up. In the end, we were about 80 strong. 80 people held hands and committed to those in the circle, the idea that change needs to happen. 
Nothing was solved tonight. But I looked around and saw 79 others who feel like I do, and I walked away from the circle feeling hopeful.  As the last electrical cords were wound up, and the tent was dismantled, I felt the first drop of rain hit my face.  
Life is good. People are good. Now let's get to work. Please stay connected.

Big Giant Love

Big giant love goes out to everyone who passed it on, and then showed up (including those "in spirit" participants!) for making last night's event possible. Stay connected. Today, please go to the blog and sign up for updates. Make comments and send this link to your friends. This is something you can do today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Over 1500 views already?! Spread the word!

It is now only a matter of hours depending on where you are located until we come together to join Hands Around our Schools to begin the healing and the conversation on positive change for us all. 

Our blog for this effort has already been seen by nearly 1500 people in just 2 days! Keep it going... spread the word. Send this to others who may want to join hands around a school in their community ... 

Are you having an event tonight? Do you want to tell us about it or your Facebook page if you have one? 

If you can't do an event tonight, can your community come together on another night? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Come together... we need you NOW!

No matter where you are in America, the time is now to join us in coming together in the wake of this horrible tragedy in Connecticut to begin by standing together around our schools to say NO MORE. To come together to grieve, to honor, to mourn, to think, to begin dialog on what we can do as Americans, parents, teachers, citizens, to make positive changes to keep our children and our communities more safe. 

The clock is ticking and we are getting closer to our event day and time ... tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. wherever you are. New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona, California, Oregon... please come together around your chosen community school and stand with us... together across our country to take a stand. 

If you can coordinate and recruit for your event, please post a link to your Facebook or Twitter or site here and help us to make this event successful, meaningful and well-attended. Do it for whatever your reasons are... do it for these beautiful souls we lost too soon: 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Join us in Joining Hands Around Our Schools Monday, December 17th

Hands Around Our Schools

People are coming together in many ways in the wake of the Connecticut School tragedy and beginning to connect, talk and seek community and national answers. 

How amazing would it be if school communities all across America joined hands, because people have talked about this connecting from as far away as Tennessee, Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Louisian and Oregon.  And responses are coming in every the list of states will grow.

If  everyone tells their friends across the U.S. on Facebook, Twitter, email,  think how many people, how many schools could be involved.  

Please join us in joining hands around a school in your community on this coming Monday, December 17th, at 6 pm where you are located.

We have less than 48 hours.  It just takes communication--that's it.  Get your email list, your Facebook, your twitter, all that stuff.  And let's see what happens. 

It doesn't matter what your political views are.  Come because you don't know what to do with your feelings about Friday's tragic school shooting. If you believe people should have the right to carry guns, come join the circle because you believe that we need to do more for people suffering from mental health issues.  Come because you believe that bullying is an epidemic, and should NOT EVER be tolerated, anywhere, EVER.  Whether it's "mean girl" behavior, or cyber bullying, or whatever. And if none of those resonate with you, come just because.

We will post more information soon.

Please stay tuned and share, share, share.