11/22/16 12:00pm

I thought that I was going to talk to you about money and how we spend it this week, which seemed timely for Black Friday. The short answer on money is that if boycotting businesses that sell Trump merchandise or that supported his campaign feels right to you, please do so.

My research suggests that boycotts that affect many companies and entities at once tend not to be that effective, especially if they are not complemented by legal challenges (the Trump boycott is against his businesses, not his proposed political actions, remember). If you are passionate about this matter, write a letter or make a call. Zappos and Macy’s (which already stopped carrying Trump merchandise in response to remarks he made about Mexican immigrants, but still carries Ivanka’s products) have reputations for being willing to listen to customers. Also, boycott Black Friday and the commercialization of American culture and spend your money supporting organizations like the ALCU, the Arab American Association of New York, Black Lives Matter and the Southern Poverty Law Center, or on experiences with people you love, or at local small businesses.

And now, for the real action of the week.

After a good deal of reading, phone calls and a great reader tip, this week we’re going to focus on electing one more Democrat this year. I’ve also listed some resources on how to keep things civil over turkey and pie, and how to sign up for our #actiontrumpshate newsletter, at the bottom of this post.

Week 2: Elect Foster Campbell

Time commitment: It takes 10 minutes or less to donate to his campaign, an even $5 or $10 helps, or you can dig in and travel to Louisiana and knock on some doors if you have the time and inclination.

What: The state of Louisiana has a very curious way of electing senators. On general election day in November all of the candidates are on the ballot; this year there were 23 (including famous white supremacist, David Duke). If there’s no clear majority winner, and there usually isn’t, the two candidates who garner the most votes vie for the seat in another election, held on Dec. 10 this year. It’s called a jungle primary–American democracy is a many splendored thing. The top two finishers were John Kennedy (yes, really), a Republican, who won about 25% of the vote, and Foster Campbell a Democrat. who won about 18%. That means that the Democrats could pick up one more seat in the Senate come Dec. 10. (more…)

11/17/16 11:08am


Brooklyn Based is not an inherently political site–we’re focused on being an indispensable guide to life in Brooklyn. This election though, has challenged us to expand our scope.  We’ve been openly political by refusing to normalize Trump as a candidate. We take his statements about women, immigrants, Muslims and other minorities at face value.

And so, starting now, we will highlight one thing you can do to push back against bigotry each week. Some of these will get their own email, like today, but going forward there will always be a link to the action of the week in Wednesday’s Ideal Week email. Some of our ideas will be New York City-specific, encouraging the continuation of ongoing good work, and others, like this week’s, will be in direct opposition to Trump policies.

We want #actiontrumpshate to be a resource and inspiration; these will be real concrete ways to engage, to help, to take action. We don’t want to talk about the Trump presidency in terms of silver linings, but this is a watershed moment when we can choose to become more engaged, to get out of the echo chamber of social media and advocate for meaningful change.

Week 1: Stop Stephen Bannon

Time commitment: 15 minutes to ∞

What? President-elect Donald Trump has appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist. The Southern Poverty Law Center has denounced this choice, saying that it places a powerful voice for white nationalism in the White House. (more…)

11/08/16 11:48am

Hillary Clinton may be the latest woman from New York to seek an office in the White House, but she is not the first. Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro, both New Yorkers, made their own cracks in the political glass ceiling. As we head to the polls today, fingers crossed and nails bitten, some wearing white in suffragette solidarity, let’s take a moment to look back at the powerful women who came before Clinton.

Chisholm and Ferraro were as different as two Democrats from New York City could be. “As fierce of a progressive and critic of the system as Shirley Chisholm was, Geraldine Ferraro was a total apparatchik. She made her way up by being a machine pol,” Amy Schiller, a political commentator and CUNY doctoral student teaching a class on women in American politics at Brooklyn College this semester, told me in a phone call.

Shirley Chisholm, 1972 

In 1968 Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress. She was a progressive Brooklynite who championed expansion of social services, education, and immigrant rights and used that momentum to make a presidential run in 1972. She focused on housing as the key to confronting economic inequality and championed bills to expand childcare for families, for immigrant rights, quality education, free school lunches, and consumer protection. She was, as her brilliantly direct campaign put it, “Unbought and Unbossed.” (Her memoir and a documentary about her run for president both use the slogan as a title–consider watching the latter if the returns get to be too much tonight.)

As Smithsonian Magazine pointed out in an article from last spring, “She was one of only 19 Representatives willing to hold hearings on the Vietnam War. And she was a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Women’s Caucus.” She sounds like everything serious progressives want in a candidate. So why don’t we remember her? (more…)

08/01/13 10:18am

One of Alex Mayyasi's photographs of the 2011 Tahrir Square protests featured in Ahmed Salah's essay, The Spark, from Brooklyn Quarterly's upcoming issue. Photo: Alex Mayyasi

One of Alex Mayyasi’s photographs from the 2011 Tahrir Square protests featured in Ahmed Salah’s essay, “The Spark,” from Brooklyn Quarterly’s upcoming issue. Photo: Alex Mayyasi

When Tristan Snell and Jane Carr met at Princeton 15 years ago, they, along with fellow classmates, co-founded Kruller, a student literary magazine and the first campus publication with a web presence. Since then, they often discussed starting a new literary endeavor, looking to digital magazines like Guernica and Narratively for paper-free inspriation.

This fall the college friends will launch Brooklyn Quarterly, an all-digital publication that will examine political, social and cultural issues through a balance of creative writing, poetry and long-form journalism. A successful Kickstarter campaign, which ends today and surpassed its $5,000 goal on July 24, will finance the production of the inaugural issue, Garages and Grassroots, due out in October, which will focus on entrepreneurial efforts in the arts, culture and activism. (more…)

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