The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg threw many of us into despair, about the loss of such an incredible woman and about the implications for the Supreme Court appointment to replace her. I was one of them, but my friend Alicia sent me Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Instagram live video from September 18th. If you haven't watched it or heard it, find it, listen, and shake off the sadness, because we need you.
Writer, brilliant teacher, and friend Rachelle Cruz and I will be hosting a lunchtime Zoom meeting every Tuesday at noon. We're going to have a brief discussion of a short story, poem, or essay at the beginning of each meeting (no more than 15 minutes) and then we're going to "stand together," via the internet, to write letters and share strategic actions and goals for the upcoming election and beyond. The books we'll be gathering inspiration from are Resistencia: Poems of Protest and Revolution edited by Mark Eisner and Tina Escaja, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay. Links are below if you'd like to order them.
Bring your ideas. I hope to figure out which of our elected officials can prevent this administration from ignoring the dying wish of a woman who gave her life in service of this country and send them masses of letters -- fill their inboxes and voicemail. Let's start with them, the ones who might still have their souls.
And have you started contacting your five people (as per AOC's video; listen if you haven't yet)? What about the people you think are already planning to vote? Let's make sure. If you prefer making phone calls, just join the Zoom meeting for the inspiration from our artists and an infusion of bookstore community. As AOC said, it doesn't matter what you think about this democratic ticket. Our work won't end after this election; hopefully, that is a lesson we have learned, but our democracy will not survive four more years of this administration.
Join us on linktr.ee/cellardoorbookstore for our first meeting this Tuesday, September 22nd at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET (or to join any of the meetings following). We know lots of you are already working and that this time may not work for you; know we are with you.
Finally, thank you AOC, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, and all the artists who will illuminate this journey with us.
May we learn from you.