activism

Vote Like the Planet Depends On It–Because It Does

Picture of a mail ballot with a blue mask in the right corner.

I’ve never been so happy to see a voting ballot. #LetsDoThis #BidenHarris #DumpTrump

Why vote?

This election needs you whether you’re an aloof revolutionary who has no time for electoral politics because real change comes from the streets, or a defeated cynic who doesn’t bother with the ballot box because all politicians are corrupt. No matter where you land on the spectrum, your vote–against fascism, corporatism and Trump–is crucial.  We are facing what is now being called a climate collapse. Trump has been undoing environmental safeguards when the fires are spreading faster and the rains are falling harder. Now is the time for sweeping changes with the planet, racial equity, human rights and more. The democratic party and its current leadership are by no means perfect but right now they are our best bet. We need a united front to get this done.

Why this guide?

Of course, there’s a lot more on the ballot than just the presidents and it’s hard to understand it all. Friends and family who are too busy to figure it out have asked me for my endorsements. I’ve listed them below, with links to voting guides to find out more information. The last time I did this a colleague accused me of undermining democracy by telling others to vote like me. He is not a parent of young kids who is working full time and trying to be a responsible citizen–and neither am I. But most of my friends who have asked are and I’m honored they trust my judgment. I share my two cents here and encourage others to do the same. And a special shout out to my friend Jessica Lawless, who walked through every measure with me to make sure we had done our due diligence. 

Vote with Heart

  • President: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
  • U.S. Representative: Grace F. Napolitano
  • District Attorney: George Gascon
  • Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 72: Myanna Dellinger
  • Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 80: Klint James McKay
  • Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 162: David D. Diamond
  • Measure J: Yes
  • Measure 14: No
  • Measure 15: Yes
  • Measure 16: Yes
  • Measure 17: Yes
  • Measure 18: Yes
  • Measure 19: No
  • Measure 20: No
  • Measure 21: Yes
  • Measure 22: No
  • Measure 23: Yes
  • Measure 24: No
  • Measure 25: No

Voting Guides

What to do with your ballot?

Getting your vote counted may actually be more difficult than ever. You can mail it via USPS mail, drop it off to an OFFICIAL L.A. county vote box, which are typically near a library or city hall–beware of FAKE official boxes–or drop it off at your local polling station.

LAvote.net encourages you to, “Vote safe. Vote early. Vote by mail.” Visit WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to track your ballot.

Cheat Sheet for Nov. 6 Ballot

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Based on numerous requests from friends, I’m sharing my endorsements for the (tremendously long and difficult to understand) Nov. 6 election here, see below. Next election, a very wise union organizer friend and I will give you a summary of our thinking but I have too much on my plate to do so now, which is why this is a “cheat sheet” not a thorough endorsement with explanations.

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Don’t Choke On Your Silence

Sister Outsider.pngAudre Lorde’s Sister Outsider has sat on my shelf unread for decades. Thankfully, I picked it up last night and found these much-needed words for these times:

“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.

Cheat Sheet for the June 5 California Election

Responsible Citizen 2018

A friend of mine who’s overwhelmed by making ends meet and mommyhood asked me if I could tell her how to vote in the upcoming primary. Given how non-transparent electoral politics are, I assume she’s not the only one who could use a hand. So, I spent most of my Sunday figuring out which bubbles to fill in so that you don’t have to! (I highly recommend Ballotpedia.org to help sort through it all.) See my recommendations below. 

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The CAAP Chooses Me as an “Arab American Who Cares”!

CAAP

I’m so honored that the Center for Arab American Philanthropy has chosen me for their series “Arab Americans Who Care,” wherein they state they “can’t wait to see what waves Stephanie Abraham makes next!” Alhamdililah!!! Check out their generous feature, “Stephanie Abraham and a Passion for Helping Others.” (Also pasted below.)

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PSA for Mumia Abu Jamal #freemumia #treatmentnow #hepc

I first learned about Mumia Abu Jamal in 1998 when I was a student transferring from Pasadena City College to UCLA. At that time, the movement to free him was gaining steam, particularly on college campuses and I took it on wholeheartedly. I marched in protests in LA, San Francisco and Philly, shouting, “Brick by brick, wall by wall, we gonna free Mumia Abu Jamal.” I did an internship with a nonprofit wherein to communicate the urgency of his situation, we organized a national day of art on September 11th (two years before the Twin Towers fell) entitled “Mumia 911.” Inspired by his writings and those of other former Panthers like Assata, I focused my World Arts & Cultures degree on the links between social justice movements and art.

At that time, his case was an example of how people get railroaded by the state and sentenced to death with unfair trials — especially Black, poor people. It still is. Now, it’s also an example of how the state denies prisoners medicine and medical care.

Originally, Prison Radio asked me to write the script for this PSA–but then they asked me to read it as well! How could I refuse? I needed to communicate how dire the situation is, but I hardly recognize myself with such a serious tone.

Mumia continues to publish and to speak out as a voice of the voiceless. The movement to free him has taken some hits, but we’re still fighting for his life and freedom. Join us.