Author: Christine Haskell, PhD

Systems Consultant & Catalyst: I find the 11 in people and organizations.

Throw a Postcard Party!

This past weekend, I organized a get together in my neighborhood. The effort was inspired by the 10 ACTIONS / 100 DAYS from the Women’s March on D.C.

Given that most people were focused (and attending) the SEATAC protest and/or preparing for the protest at Westlake Center, our mighty effort was very well attended, enjoyed, and most of all–appreciated.

People ordered their drinks and got to work.


Several folks wrote me on the side that they wanted to know how to do one in their neighborhood, so I thought I would share my materials so you can do one in your neighborhood before the next action comes out.

  1. Make it easy for people to write a letter by giving them a template they can sign, or use to inspire their own story. These were taken from form letters I found online and the unity principles of the march. Use this or make your own! Make a label sheet for your senators.
  2. Be inclusive. Have crayons for the kids.
  3. Make it easy on yourself. Go to Kinko’s and use their paper cutter. Much easier.
  4. Highlight a great place to meet and make sure you call ahead to work in conjunction with their down periods. We brought business and traffic to a local beer hall and exposed several people to a new place in town.
  5. Get the word out through meetup,, facebook groups, organizations in your community that care about what is happening and aren’t intimidated by appearing partisan.
  6. Make it cheap.
    • Use 4×6 index cards as postcards.
    • Let people pick their issue and the representative they want to contact.
    • Tape everything down.
    • Materials all in cost me about $40 (tape, crayons, cards, copies, and postage for a few groups). I collected donations for about this much so broke even.

It should look something like one of these cards:



Postcards cost $.40!

People should send on their own, or you can collect donations. I did both. Most people wrote between 25-50 cards a person.


Folks enjoyed meeting one another. Genuine connections were made that would not have been otherwise. The reasons people shared for coming were:

  • Every day I wake up and don’t know what to expect
  • I don’t recognize my country anymore
  • What’s happening isn’t what America is about
  • I want to do my part
  • I’m a therapist, and my latino/latina clients are feeling anxious and suicidal. I am here to represent them.
  • Because I want to help but feel overwhelmed with all the lists I’m being sent my so many organizations. Having this helped me focus and feel like I’m doing something, with others, that matters.
  • Because every call and letter count.


“Bullies are mean and bullies are not allowed.”


A Checklist for Dissent


Congress in Simple Terms…

  • You have three members of Congress who represent you in D.C. – two Senators and one Representative.
  • Senators serve 6-year terms in the Senate and there are two from each state.
  • Representatives serve 2-year terms in the House of Representatives. The number of representatives from each state is determined by population. For example, there are numerous Representatives from New York City while there is only one Representative serving the entire state of Alaska.
  • Representatives are frequently referred to as Congressmen, Congresswomen or Reps.

Impact Meter

  • Good: Call your 3 congressional leaders once a week.
  • Better: Call on specific bills and issues.
  • Best: Teach friends, family and co-workers how to call their leaders.


  • First, track down the phone numbers for your senator’s national office, as well as their regional offices throughout your state. Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member’s office by consulting the Senate phone list or House phone list.
  • Work out ahead of time precisely what to say, in a polite yet firm and concise manner, and write it down so that you don’t lose your train of thought mid-call. If this kind of outreach to Congressional leaders is uncommon for you, you might find yourself feeling nervous or losing your train of thought when you’re actually on the phone, so it’s good to have things planned out ahead of time. Staffers have a checklist they work from. Here is mine:


  • Full review of Trump’s taxes
  • Full investigation of Trump/Russia and FBI’s biased handling of this issue
  • Reject Trump’s NYC and FL residences at taxpayer’s expence
  • Support any bill or committee seeking Trump’s impeachment
  • Prevent the Gutting of the Cardin-Lugar Anti-Corruption Law
  • Reject the Muslim Ban
  • Say NO to a Border Walll and ICE raids
  • Support Human Rights at Standing Rock


We no longer have adequate healthcare, bring back ACA. Do not allow the heads of other departments and agencies to waive or delay the implementation of any ACA provisions that would impose a financial burden or any state or a regulatory burden on any individuals.


We no longer have safe, accessible women’s care, protect Women’s Health. Women should have access to confidential, safe, and accessible health care. The president reinstated the so-called “Mexico City Policy”, which blocks the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions. It was established by former president Ronald Reagan and has been rescinded by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republican presidents ever since.


Indians are not being recognized and the environment is being damaged, protect Sovereign Lands. Trump encouraged the construction of two controversial pipelines, the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline. The DAPL action instructs an expedited review and approval of the remaining construction and operation of the pipeline by the Army for Civil Works and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Keystone XL action invites TransCanada, the Canadian energy company behind the pipeline, to re-submit its application for a presidential permit to construct the pipeline. It also instructs the Secretary of State to reach a final determination within 60 days.


We no longer have a true, free, global market, resist non-discrimination. The President should not dictate how companies go about their business. Trump wants the Secretary of Commerce to create a plan for pipelines created, repaired or expanded in the United States to use materials and equipment produced in the country “to the maximum extent possible.” It establishes that all steel and metal used in such pipelines be completely produced in the United States, from the initial melting stage to the application of coatings.


We no longer are stewarding the land, protect the Environment. Trump issued an action that instructs the Secretary of Commerce to contact stakeholders to review the impact of Federal regulations on domestic manufacturing. After the review, the Secretary of Commerce is instructed to create a streamlined Federal permitting process for domestic manufacturers.

We no longer protect human rights. Denying entry to green card holders, to refugees seeking asylum is unconstitutional and unAmerican.

Related Executive Order: Increasing border security measures
Trump signed an executive order that directed the secretary of homeland security to:

  • Begin planning, designing and constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, including identify available federal funds and working with Congress for additional funding
  • Construct and operate detention facilities near the border to make adjudicate asylum claims, subject to the availability of existing funding,
  • Hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, subject to the availability of existing funding,
  • End “catch and release” policy
  • Quantify all “sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis over the past five years”
  • Take action to empower state and local law enforcement to act as immigration officers

Related Executive Order: Pursuit of undocumented immigrants

  • Trump signed an executive order that directed the secretary of homeland security to:
  • Prioritize certain undocumented immigrants for removal, including those with criminal convictions and those who have only been charged with a crime
  • Hire 10,000 additional immigration officers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, subject to the availability of existing funding,
  • Prohibit federal funding, with the help of the attorney general, to “sanctuary” jurisdictions, where local officials have declined to help enforce federal immigration laws
  • Reinstate the Secure Communities program, which was terminated in 2014 and enables state and local law enforcement to effectively act as immigration agents
  • Sanction countries, with the help of the secretary of state, that refuse to accept the return of undocumented immigrants deported from the U.S.
  • Create a list, updated weekly, of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary jurisdictions
  • Create an “Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens” to “provide proactive, timely, adequate and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and family members of such victims”
  • Trump feels misunderstood on Muslim Ban
  • Trump overturns LBGTQ protections


On the radar:

WEEK 10: Keeping a list of what is changing so we can find our way back

via (Amy Siskind)

  1. The Times reported that Trump’s first meeting, as president, will be with Putin.
  2. In interviews with the Times of London and Germany’s Bild, Trump referred to NATO as “obsolete.”
  3. Next day, the front page of Le Monde showed Trump standing with his back turned, and a title, “Trump Contre L’Europe” (translates, Trump Against Europe).
  4. The Trump transition team is considering a plan to evict the press corpsfrom the White House. Trump later clarified, saying he won’t evict all press, but he will pick who is allowed to come.
  5. Trump’s war of words with Rep Lewis continued for four days.
  6. Trump canceled his plan to visit Museum of African American History on MLK Day. Spicer said Monday, Trump never planned to be in DC, after Conway said the prior Friday, Trump was going.
  7. A dossier provided to US Intelligence alleges that Trump agreed to sideline the issue of Russian intervention in Ukraine after Russia promised to feed the emails it stole from prominent Democrats’ inboxes to WikiLeaks.
  8. Trump ally Rep Rokita is considering legislation that would allow Trump to fire federal employees for no cause.
  9. Trump publicly traded barbs with outgoing CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan said Trump,”does not yet” fully appreciate what embracing Russia might mean, and called Trump’s response, “repugnant.”
  10. After saying that the American people don’t care about his tax returns at his press conference, an ABC poll found 74% of Americans want Trump to release his returns.
  11. In a 2014 interview, Trump identified Russia as the US’s “biggest problem” and greatest geopolitical foe.
  12. On Sunday talk shows, Preibus and Rep Chaffetz warned and attackedthe director of the Office of Governmental Ethics, who has publicly challenged Trump’s conflicts of interests.
  13. In a speech, Putin defended Trump, and said the Obama administration was trying to undermine Trump’s legitimacy.
  14. Trump’s cabinet level appointees are the least diverse in decades: 18 of 23 are white men, and none are Latino. Trump defended this, saying his cabinet has the highest IQ of any cabinet ever.
  15. Michael Flynn’s son tweeted an article from a Kremlin-funded websitewhich said Flynn should take control of the 16 US Intelligence agencies.
  16. A disturbing WAPO article detailed Trump’s isolation at Trump Tower, including his leaving the building only once over several days, and interacting with very few people.
  17. NBC and WSJ reported that jobs at GM and Bayer, which Trump took credit for, were in the works for years; and that corporate leaders are crediting him to avoid his Twitter wrath.
  18. In Greenwich, CT, a Republican official grabbed a woman by her genitals, bragging “I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct.” He was caught on tape, and later arrested.
  19. Trump was sued for defamation by one of the woman who accused him of unwanted sexual advances. Attorney Gloria Alfred said she will subpoena unseen “The Apprentice” footage.
  20. SOS nominee Tillerson’s disclosure says he intends to stay away from State decisions benefiting Exxon for only one year.
  21. Media was banned from Trump’s DC hotel in the days leading up to his inauguration. Trump did, however, stop by his DC hotel, and Spicer told the press, “I encourage you to go there, if you haven’t been.” Trump still benefits financially from the hotel.
  22. Passwords used by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s incoming cybersecurity advisor, and 13 other Trump team staff, were leaked in a mass hack.
  23. A CBS News poll found Trump’s favorably had fallen to 32%. Similarly, a Fox News poll had him at 37% favorability. Trump is the first incoming president to have a net-negative approval rating.
  24. Trump bragged about “displaying our military,” including possible military parades in major US cities.
  25. Trump also had tried to include tank and missile launchers in his inaugural parade.
  26. McClatchy reported that the FBI and 5 other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been investigating how money may have covertly moved from Kremlin to help Trump win.
  27. Nearly 70 members of Congress and SOS Kerry boycotted Trump’s Inauguration.
  28. Rep Cummings who did attend, explained, “members of Congress have a lot of information that the public does not have,” and eventually the American people would understand the boycotts.
  29. As Trump takes office, he has the fewest cabinet members approved of any modern day president. Trump has nominated only 28 of 690 Senate-confirmable jobs in the Executive Branch.
  30. The day before his inauguration, Trump asked 50 Obama administration officials to stay on in their roles.
  31. As Trump takes office, the State Department says they have not been instructed on whether to attend upcoming peace talks.
  32. The Trump team tried an additional form of suppressing the media, serving CNN with a retraction request, which the network is forced to responds to, for a routine story.
  33. In a parting interview, VP Biden told Vanity Fair, he is worried Trump might destroy Western civilization.
  34. The NYT reported law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining communications and financial transactions between Russian officials and Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone.
  35. Despite his efforts to promote ticket sales through a heavily advertised online video, Trump Inauguration and events were poorly attended, and no well known celebrities agreed to perform.
  36. The Guardian’s Editorial Board described Trump’s Inaugural speech as, “bitter, blowhard and banal,” and said, in contrast to FDR’s speech of overcome fear, Trump “told the world to be very afraid.”
  37. The streets along with Inaugural parade had thin crowds, and the entire stands were empty (see video below).
  38. Trump team banned the Department of Interior from Twitter, after the department retweeted photos of small crowds on Inauguration Day. A National Park Spokesperson apologized.
  39. Within hours of Trump being sworn in, all mention of climate change, civil rights and LGBT were removed from the White House webpage.
  40. Upon taking office, Trump was likely already in violation of the federal lease with his Trump hotel DC property.
  41. An estimated 2.5 million Americans marched in the Women March, ten times more than showed for Trump inauguration. AP reported that 500,000 marched in DC alone, doubling the expected attendance.

Past weeks:
Week 1: Week 2:
Week 3: Week 4:
Week 5: Week 6:
Week 7: Week 8:
Week 9:


I’m back in the saddle.


The first phase of this blog started as a distraction from grad school and a series of life transitions. I walked the streets at all hours, talking to people of all kinds. Here is a sample of those interactions. In exploring my relationship with citizenship and with place, I learned three key things:

  • People are generally approachable. Everyone wants to be seen, heard and accepted.  To really do that takes attention. How much do you pay attention (really pay attention) to people you interact with or to strangers you pass by?
  • Place influences how we connect with one another. Our sense of and genuine commitment to place is a product of our votes and our individual efforts. We matter, whether we like it or not. For example, Occidental Park went from a neighborhood dustbin that no one would cross in broad daylight (1999), to an open park where homeless and professionals who work there play ping pong together (2016). Not all change needs to take that long if we are actively engaged. How do you contribute to the place you live and work?
  • Citizenship is adulting–plain and simple. Like wearing our seatbelt, flossing, and eating kale–citizenship is an activity that needs to be done on an ongoing basis in order to be effective. Like you, there were many days when I was too busy to observe changes my neighborhood, pick up trash when I saw it, go to city council meeting, or even greet people I passed in the street. And when that happens this place loses vitality. What daily practice do you do, like flossing, for your neighborhood?

When Bernie Sanders ran, I was energized. It looked like the party would hold itself accountable in a new way (or, there were enough other people activated that I could remain an interested spectator). When Hillary lost, it should have come with a trigger warning. Gross incompetence and misinformation won out over experience and preparation, again. Politicians across the board had failed to effectively connect with their base. But it wasn’t all their fault. We weren’t always there to greet them.

In the past several election cycles we are treated like subjects, not citizens. Things are done to us, not with us. We’re not co-producers, and we’re not engaged in a co-creating a story, day in and day out with our government. Even with social media, it’s a one-way conversation with one notable exception: during elections. All of a sudden people are engaged in the conversation. We court politicians. They want our vote, they want our money, they want us to volunteer for whatever the cause is, the initiative or their own campaign. But right when that election’s over, when we are most amplified and engaged, our voices are turned down all of a sudden. Disappointed, we go back to this broadcast model: We vote; Politicians like Trump decide. Conversation over.

When I was in D.C. protesting this weekend, it became clear that this framework and relationship needs to radically change. It needs to start early and never end.


Her mom uploaded this photo to Facebook with the caption, “#inherownwords #shespeaksforherself.”


So this blog is evolving to be an eye on what citizens of PSQ are doing to claim their responsibilities as active citizens (#peopleofpsq). Over the next few weeks and months, I’d like to challenge us to commit to 10 ACTIONs, as prompted by the Women’s March on Washington. Small, consistent actions lead to effective change.

All of us, myself included, need to start training ourselves to acquire the adulting practices of good citizenship. Rights are liberties are on the chopping block daily now. Politicians need to know that midterms are on the horizon.


10 Actions for the first 100 Days

Action 1 / 10


Where: Altstadt Seattle, 209 1st Avenue South

When: 3-5 pm, Sunday January 29th (mark your calendars!)

How much of my time? 5 minutes, or support Altstadt and have a drink a beer or a brat!


  • Write your representatives about an issue you care about. Prompts will be available. Send as many cards as you like as long as you donate postage. You don’t have to commit to staying long, just writing a postcard.
  • Connect with people in the community. Meet the faces of those that live and work here. Engage with what makes this neighborhood special. Main Street has always been a place of pioneers. Come meet some.
  • Make effective change. Change the election dynamic. Keep the conversation going. Our representatives need to know we are not going away!


Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you – and how you’re going to continue to fight for it in the days, weeks and months ahead. We’re offering printable postcards for you to download.

You can go it alone, or come to Altstadt for a drink or dinner to talk about your experience and fill out your postcards.

Write down your thoughts. Pour your heart out on any issue that you care about, whether it’s ending gender-based violence, reproductive rights and women’s health, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice or anything else.

Before you send it, take a photo of your postcard and use the #WhyIMarch #PeopleofPSQ tags when posting it to social media.

Sign up for the event here.

Our senators are:


154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510


511 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

I can’t keep quiet. Can you?


Code for Seattle – every Wed – Go After Work!


Come join developers, designers, data geeks, leaders, and idea-makers who volunteer to help Seattle, WA government and civic orgs adopt open web technologies.

Technology and civic activists fostering the community-authored and LocalWiki powered site,, among other projects. Inspired by, and eager to contribute to, Code for America’s


WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

WHERE: Impact Hub Seattle 220 2nd Ave South, Seattle, WA

WHY? Do your part to increase civic engagement

Their list of local projects is a little hard to understand and make sense of. Hopefully they’ll get a communications person on it (that could be a hack day project for someone non technical!). Here is what came out of the last one.


The weekly civic hacking night is a chance for you to spend time working on the civic application you’ve been meaning to work on. Need a project to work on or have an idea that you’d like help with? Attend to meet like-minded folks looking to team up on projects.

Who should attend:
Technologists, designers, urban planners, journalists, and anyone interested in civic engagement & technology. Not a coder? Attend to learn programming or get involved other ways!

What you’ll need:
Please bring a laptop (or be prepared to team up with someone that has a laptop, or work on projects that don’t require a computer).

How to find them:
2nd floor Triangle. Go up the stairs or the elevator to the 2nd floor and head over to the triangle area of the building. You’ll see signs.

Sign Up!

Rain City Housing – Ideas for Occidental Park


If the services are able to stay near Occidental for the foreseeable future, than something needs to be done on the streets where they stay (Main St., James St., Occidental Park)

a home for every person

RainCity Housing and Support Society is a grassroots organization built around compassion, purpose and a commitment to delivering progressive housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges.

The people who benefit from the services of RainCity Housing are treated with dignity and respect, and are offered a safe place to live, independence and improved quality of life.

Since 1982, RainCity Housing has provided shelter and housing for thousands of people in the Lower Mainland. With a proven track record, a strong leadership team, and a clear vision for the future, RainCity Housing is a leader in finding workable, cost-effective solutions that ultimately benefit everyone in our community.

RainCity Housing is an independent, non-political, non-religious, charitable organization based in the Lower Mainland. Canadian Registered Charity #12711 5780 RR0001 – See more. 

Flip Flop


“I used to live here and work in Capitol Hill.

Now I live in Capitol Hill and work here.

Go figure.”

Had a really good conversation with him about the new Starbucks education policy. Many people think it’s a four year subsidy. It is only for the 3rd and 4th year, and only one school of choice. So on a $9.5o/hr salary, there aren’t that many that can afford to get degrees after paying rent and bills.

However, given where the state of education is at, they should look into Coursera and just be done with it. It doesn’t matter where you go – it’s what you know and what you do what with you know that matters. He’s looking to get into audio-video if anyone knows of any entry level gigs.

Here Ye, Here Ye: Kathleen O’Toole Confirmation Process


Taken from an email from city council member Bruce Harrell. All meetings happen during 9-5 hours, but those that can go-should. Drop us a line and let us know how it went!

Dear Community,

I would like to invite you to attend the upcoming meetings regarding the appointment process of Kathleen O’Toole as the new Chief of Police for Seattle. These meetings will allow the City Council’s Public Safety committee to conduct a thorough and transparent confirmation process as well as provide an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns and to contribute their opinions.

I would like you to be there to have your voice heard specifically. I am grateful for the time and diligence that you invest into our community and the outstanding work that you have done to make it better for all of us.

Please join me at the following committee meetings:

Wednesday, June 4, 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers 
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee 

Kathleen O’Toole will appear, make opening comments, and respond to initial questions from Councilmembers. Public comment will be accepted at the beginning of the meeting.

Wednesday, June 11, 5:30 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave South 
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee 

Public hearing and Councilmember questions on O’Toole’s appointment 
Thursday, June 12, 3:00 p.m. in Council Chambers 

Kathleen O’Toole will appear and complete final round of questioning from Councilmembers.

Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee will vote on confirmation.

Monday, June 23, 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers
Full Council Final Action on Confirmation
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Chief of Police Webpage

Once again, I would like to thank you for the all of the work you have done in the community and I would be truly appreciative to see you in attendance and hear your voice.

Thank you.

Bruce A. Harrell
Seattle City Councilmember