Indivisible: Conejo Weekly Newsletter

NRA Protest, Town Halls Turn Up Pressure

To Curb Gun Violence Following March

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Over the last two decades, horrific shootings have led time and again to brief bursts of activism to curb our nation's epidemic of gun violence ... only to fade as weeks pass, memories fade, and politicians signal their unwillingness to stand up to the gun lobby or pass meaningful legislation. Will this time be different? The survivors of February's shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have inspired millions, and have brought new momentum to the fight for common-sense gun reforms -- either in the current Republican Congress, or the Democratic-led body we hope to elect in November.

Still, the fate of this new movement is up to us, the activists -- pre-teens, seniors, and all ages in between, who have sprung to action over the seven weeks. We have called and tweeted our members of Congress; we have urged companies to boycott the NRA; we have turned out enthusiastically for school walkouts and demonstrations, and for last week's March For Our Lives. But that was last month. Can we sustain this momentum into the spring, into the election season ... as long as it takes to finally effect change?

Here in Ventura County, Indivisible: Conejo is working with a coalition of student leaders and gun-violence-prevention groups to build on recent successes. This Saturday evening, a local "Friends of the NRA" group is holding a fundraiser and gun auction at the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard. We will be there to protest attendees' arrivals, alongside fellow activists from across the county, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Please check the calendar for location details, and make plans to join us in letting the NRA know their extremism is unwelcome in our county!

Meanwhile, we continue to help facilitate local students' plans for school walkouts on April 20, the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Those efforts include educating Conejo Valley Unified School District officials on the fine points of voter registration, after students were forbidden at the last minute from registering classmates at Westlake High School during the National School Walkout on March 14. Indivisible: Conejo's Education team has led an investigation into that incident, and learned that school administrators decided to pull the plug on a promised student-run registration table after a community member sent a last-minute email full of bogus "concerns" about the effort's legality. We will be helping students present a factual rebuttal to those concerns, in hopes that administrators will do their jobs better as students seek to organize more registration efforts through the spring.

Our members of Congress have not escaped the watchful eyes of gun-violence protesters in Parkland and across the nation, as Stoneman Douglas High students have challenged activists to demand Town Hall meetings this month. Indivisible: Conejo responded by asking Rep. Julia Brownley to hold such a meeting; as of the deadline for this newsletter, her staff was in the midst of planning an event with students from across the county for mid-April. Rep. Ted Lieu will be in Fresno for a town hall in Devin Nunes' district on Saturday, April 7 -- but we're working with his staff to organize his participation in an Indivisible: Conejo general meeting/town hall later this spring. We'll keep you updated as we finalize the arrangements!


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