Photo credit: Austin Schmid on Unsplash

When terrible news breaks, let’s say “YES”

Protest, outrage, and anxiety. These are the trending activities in our current political climate. I’m not going to pour more energy into discussing around ways to point out the “problems.” Instead, I am writing to offer ways we can invest in building the future we ACTUALLY WANT.

When we absorb the breaking news through our screens or our friends, all we have is our emotions to deal with. Sometime our emotions get so overwhelming that all we want to do is stay in our echo chamber and safe-space.

Imagine if we remove the screens and absorb the information first-hand from the community in the front-line of the issues effected.

When I first heard about “Oakland: Child lead exposure in Fruitvale worse than Flint, Michigan,” I was introduced to the Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP). A lot of people don’t know the full picture of what’s happening with lead poisoning, even if they have family members who are suffering from it. To combat this information disparity, CCMP put together a lead assessment workshop. The goal is to empower these low-income residents to identify the issues and organize around finding resources to solve problems.

In the wake of the House passing American Health Care Act (a.k.a Trumpcare, Ryancare, Republicare), I joined a crew of people to hear the problems from the Fruitvale community first-hand and talk about the lead assessment workshop.

We went door-to-door, showed up at cafes and liquor stores. We met many people who were freaking out about the issue, but held the general attitude of “there’s nothing we can do.”

But when they found a way to learn more from CCMP their eyes lit up.

Overall, people don’t believe that there is a way to breakthrough. The problem is so big that some people rather deal with the problems themselves. All the reason why we need to show up as an organized force.

Then news like “How Trump’s cuts to EPA could hurt our kids: Fruitvale neighborhood faces high levels of lead exposure, which could get worse with prevention program cuts" pops up. Before we react to our feelings, I’m here to offer an alternative to direct more energy into building.

Let us channel our energy into supporting those who are already building solutions.

When we do that, we start to humanize the issues we see on our laptop or TV.

… We start to break away from the complaining and anxiety over the system they don’t want.

… We start to take matters to our own hands.

… We start to build that future with each other.

I get inspired by local community organizers who are channeling their energy into reimagining the world every day. But they are near-impossible to find online. CrossPollinators is a growing community of people like them for you to connect to positive energy today.