Growing the Grassroots : Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 - on "DREAMers"

On Sunday, March 26, a good dozen members—including a surprise appearance by DA International Chair Katie Solon—and interested visitors gathered together for the second Solidarity Sunday at Vienna’s Amerlinghaus (Stiftgasse 8, 1070), which will now be this action’s permanent monthly meeting site. SolSun founding organizers Juan David Cerda, Antje Lewis and Tanya Lolonis steered this energizing event.

Juan, our guest speaker, brought the issues of “Dreamers” to light with moving, insightful personal stories (See “Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda” for details). We heard about the so-called “DREAM Act”—the acronym for the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act—a US congressional bill first introduced in 2001 aimed at stepwise granting of legal status to undocumented minor immigrants, allowing them educational opportunities and potentially paving the way to permanent residence and American citizenship.

 

After wide-ranging discussions on America’s public perceptions of “DREAMers”—from young refugees in need of support, education and protection to “criminals” to be immediately and en masse—we moved to “What can WE—ourselves American ‘migrants’ abroad—do to help our homeland counterparts?”

 

“Contact your Congressional Representative, Senator or locally elected Sheriff!” and “Write a Letter to the Editor of your voting district newspaper!” was Tanya’s answer. She provided us not only with letters-to-the-editor writing tips and a sample letter but also the comprehensive website—http://www.50states.com/news—to pinpoint the contact details of newspapers in our previous hometowns and/or current voter registration cities. Our “homework” was to:

  1. Look up the media channels.
  2. Identify a current “hot” political issue there—“DREAMers” or another burning issue.
  3. Draft/share your “LTE” letter with solsun@gmx.at.
  4. SUBMIT it per email to this news outlet or congressional or sheriff’s office within a week maximum! And, of course, if your “LTE” gets published, Bravo! Let us know what kind of feedback it produced!

 

After a brief DA global update by Katie Solon, we focused on our own SolSun thematic priorities for the coming months. Everyone was invited to propose topics, actions and hands-on help.

 

For those of you unable to attend these motivating “Solidarity Sundays” in person, our monthly DAA Newsletter will also do its part by previewing upcoming SolSun topics and reporting on their outcomes and follow-up channels, thus expanding our outreach. For queries or inputs, please contact solsun@gmx.at.

Join us at Solidarity Sundays Vienna #3 on April 30, 2017.