Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I’ll say it again: I love my job. After an intense couple of weeks working on our gun safety campaign, our executive director surprised us with a paid day off — today!

Last week on Valentine’s Day, we held an event in a DC church that included MomsRising staff members — I gave a speech in Spanish! — a performance by the world-famous Children’s Choir, and speeches by a staff member of Gabby Giffords who was shot twice in Tucson and survived and a mom whose daughter was shot a couple of times in Virginia Tech, and thankfully, survived. It was incredibly moving and I had to will myself to hold back the tears.

Then we walked the halls of Congress delivering valentines made by our members and over 150,000 signatures in favor of gun safety measures. Without further ado, here is the speech that I gave (translation further down below):

Cuando escuché por primera vez las noticias sobre los tiroteos en la escuela Sandy Hook, estaba en una Iglesia viendo el acto navideño de mi hija de 5 años, Elisandra. No podía dejar de leer las noticias de la tragedia en mi teléfono, ni de discutirlo con mi esposo y los otros padres a mi alrededor. No podía aceptar las imágenes de esos niños – niños de la edad de Elisandra – durante sus últimos momentos de vida. No podía imaginar el profundo dolor de sus padres.


Hoy, todo lo que sé es que como una comunidad, debemos trabajar duro para proteger a nuestras familias.

En mi organización MamásConPoder, conocida en ingles como MomsRising, seguimos escuchando de nuestros más de un millón de miembros, de distintos orígenes, sobre la necesidad de luchar por la seguridad de nuestras familias.

Como madre latina, yo personalmente veo cómo la violencia afecta a mi comunidad. Es insoportable saber lo fácil que es para nuestra juventud obtener un arma de fuego. Esto no puede seguir ocurriendo. Y por eso estoy aquí hoy.

Lo bueno es que no soy la única madre que está reflexionando diariamente sobre la manera de proteger a nuestros hijos.

El hecho es que según encuestas, la comunidad latina apoya a las medidas de control de armas, más que cualquier otro grupo étnico o racial. Y tal y como lo demostramos en las últimas elecciones presidenciales, los latinos también somos un fuerte bloque votante.

Por ende, queridos y respetados Miembros del Congreso, presten atención a lo que estamos exigiendo. La mayoría de Latinos queremos que ustedes trabajen juntos para aprobar una legislación que controle las armas. Nosotras, madres, queremos que ustedes aprueben una legislación que proteja a nuestras familias.

Es un hecho. Las mujeres y la comunidad latina, nos hemos unido para exigir que el congreso estadounidense apruebe una legislación efectiva para el control de las armas que ponga la seguridad de nuestras familias adelante de los intereses económicos de cabilderos de armas.

Por eso estamos en la capital de nuestra nación el día de hoy. No dejaremos de trabajar por la seguridad de nuestras familias hasta que el Congreso tome acción.


Es hora de exigir la revisión universal de antecedentes para todos los compradores de armas de fuego, de restablecer la prohibición de armas de asalto, de prohibir armas y cartuchos de alta capacidad, y de detener las ventas de armas ilegales interestatales e internacionales.

No queremos volver a ver, escuchar o leer otro reporte de noticias sobre la muerte de nuestros niños por las armas. No quiero militarizar nuestras escuelas instalando guardias con armas semiautomáticas estilo militar.

Como una comunidad de madres, tenemos la responsabilidad de presionar a nuestros legisladores para proteger a nuestras familias.

Terminemos con la violencia por armas, pongamos a nuestras familias por delante. Gracias

In English (although I only gave it in Spanish):

When I first heard about the Sandy Hook shootings, I was inside a church watching the holiday performance of my 5-year-old daughter, Elisandra. I couldn’t stop reading the news about the tragedy on my phone and discussing it with my husband and the parents around me. I could not get the images of those children – children of Elisandra’s age – during their last moments of life. I couldn’t imagine the profound pain of their parents.

Today, all I know is that as a community, we must do better protecting our families.

At MomsRising, we continuously hear from our more than one million members, from all different backgrounds, about the need to stand up for the safety of our families.

As a Latina mom, I personally see how gun violence affects my community. It’s outrageous how easy it is for our youth to get a gun. This cannot continue to happen. And that’s why I’m here today.

The good thing is that I’m not the only mom reflecting on a daily basis on how to protect our children.

The fact is that Latinos are more likely than any other ethnic or racial group to support common sense gun violence prevention measures. And as we proved in the last presidential election, Latinos are also a strong voting bloc.

Therefore, dear and respected Members of Congress, pay attention to what we are demanding. The majority of Latinos want you to work to end gun violence. We moms want you to pass legislation that will protect our families.

It’s a fact. Women and the Latino community have come together to lead the call for passage of effective gun control legislation that would put families’ safety at the forefront. That’s why we are in our nation’s capital today and will keep coming back until Congress takes action to do the right thing.

It’s time to mandate universal background checks for all gun purchasers, to reinstate the ban on assault weapons, to ban high capacity magazines, and to stop the illegal interstate and international gun sales.

I don’t ever want to see, hear or read another news report about our children being gunned down. I don’t want to militarize our schools by installing guards with semi-automatic military-style weapons.
As a community of moms, we have the responsibility of pushing our legislators to protect our families.

Let’s end the gun violence, let’s put our families at the forefront.

In total, we received over 90 media mentions. I was quoted in all of the major Latino news networks and publications, including La Opinión and Univision. Here is the Univision clip that family and friends caught, in which I compare the hassle of purchasing Sudafed as opposed to a high capacity magazine.

In related news, “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius is being charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend in South Africa. Unfortunately, women are disproportionately affected by gun violence, especially from domestic partners. In the United States, it is going to be harder for certain women to prosecute such crimes without the protections of the Violence Against Women Act, which Republican men are stubbornly refusing to re-authorize because they don’t want legal protections for Native American women or undocumented immigrants or lesbians. Is domestic violence EVER okay? Wow.

That’s it on my end. What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

44 thoughts on “Monday Morning Open Thread

  1. Elisa – what a beautiful speech! Thank you for the work you do!!

    I also have the day off. I have to work with one child (my second job) but then off for the rest of the day.

    Unfortunately, it’s so cold outside this weekend, and so windy, it’s hard to think of something to do other than staying home under quilts! I”m feeling very out of sorts this weekend – nothing major, just the little things that weigh us down. Then DD said she’s going “home ” today, instead of tomorrow, and I’m sad that I don’t have that one more day to cuddle with her. We’ve had a nice visit (when else would I watch the documentary about Beyonce?), but I always want more.

      • it does, a little. It was such a mixed weekend – when she went off to her conference on Saturday I got a vision of the young adult, working woman. Then she wants to sit and just talk for hours – still my kiddo. On the one hand,.her apt is definitely what she feels is her home – it’s decorated by her, it’s where she entertains, it’s the first space that is totally her (and her friends). OTOH, she relaxes when she comes here, and soaks up all the hugs and kisses we can squeeze in.

    • Awww. I’m starting to appreciate that I’m over the hump with the childrearing phase of my life. I always knew that raising them to become independent young adults was the goal, but that used to be kind of theoretical; I can now glimpse it on the horizon. It seems like it’s approaching so fast.

      Ten seems like just about the perfect age – old enough to be a companion and conversational partner, filled with ideas, reasonably autonomous and independent and responsible. At 11 I watch as the demands of growing up ramp up and become increasingly stressful. It feels unfair that I only get one year of age 10 with each kid.

  2. Apparently I’m off work today. Good thing I realized that after I got dressed and went in. Luckily it’s a 3 minute drive, so I’m back home on the sofa with my dog. Going to try to finish a proposal and maybe finish up some housework. What an exciting life I lead…

  3. Barfing boy. He was sick with an war infection last week and missed 3 days. Poor lil guy. I put on “Prince of Egypt” for him this morning and he came to me in tears, worried we would have to send our baby away in a basket. Long discussion ensued. Yesterday he caught a glimpse of 60 minutes doing a story on the Gaza Strip (I think) and he tearfully asked, in a shocked voice, “wait, are missiles REAL? They hit people’s houses?” He is so sensitive and sweet…wish I could wrap him a bubble and keep him innocent forever.

  4. Congratulations, Elisa! How exciting to be getting recognition for all of this hard work.

    I do not have the day off, so I have to figure out how to meet the day’s deadlines with 2 kids at home AND a 2-hour birthday party interruption. I’d drop them off, but it’s at our park district. It’s three different rooms — a bouncy-house room, then the party room, then the huge indoor playground. I don’t feel like there will be enough supervision to go around so I’ll stay and just keep an eye out for DS. I guess step one to getting today’s work done is signing of MT!

  5. I know Lennie mentioned trying to be added to the FB group but I don’t think it worked unfortunately. I would be happy to add people – if you have tried and can’t get in, send me an email with a link to your FB page so I add the right person – patofbutter at gmail dot com.

    We have had a quiet weekend and have today off. DS1 is away at a sleepover and DS2 is still in bed. DH and I have watched four episodes of House of Cards on Netflix, which is fun having lived in DC and DH working in this area (they don’t get it all right but it’s fun anyway).

        • it’s Netflix’s first original series… we have netflix streaming.. the best part is all thirteen episodes are up you can go on a watching binge! second season in production already! squee!

      • Funny that we appreciate it for different reasons … :) I love Kevin Spacey though.

        The part that read the greatest factual disconnect was where the congressman was made to provide no testimony to save his base. In reality they would work it out behind the scenes with the committee so he could make a show of trying to save it for his constituents back home to be more understanding.

          • Yeah, I like him too. And I feel like something is going on with Robin Wright’s work but I haven’t figured out what it is yet.

            I am enjoying all the Machiavellian plotting.

    • Cute movie. Sarah Silverman and they guy who voiced Ralph were both really good, but I especially loved how Jane Lynch managed to steal every scene she was in without even being physically on screen.

  6. DH is hanging with Lucy today, I and strapped Clara in her carseat to head to daycare and work (no president’s day for me). But then the car wouldn’t start, so everyone and our stuff back in the house. Thankfully, DH and Lucy were still home, and he seems to have had the lucky touch getting it started. We dropped it off at the Subaru mechanic, and then they dropped me off, then will drop Clara off, then they are going to DH’s work for a couple of hours and then the zoo. Then they’ll do it all in reverse at the end of the day. Hopefully the car won’t be too expensive to fix. There have been things we’ve been putting off, and I’m worried that we’ve caused more problems. Fingers very very crossed for under $500, but not holding my breath.

  7. A lovely young couple found our beagle last night and took him in. Our city kennel linked us up, and he’s now at home. They said he had gotten a bite somewhere, so we’re off to the vet.

    Thanks for all your prayers, good thoughts, and crossed fingers!!!

    • I guess the vintage stuff is not in fashion any more, eh? I spent $15 renting a vintage 50s one for my prom. Thank you Pretty in Pink! I wonder if that store is still in business on Franklin St… probably not.

      • This was at a boutique place. At the department store she tried on several under $100. But man the expensive one was gorgeous and perfect for her coloring. Though even if we were willing to spend that much, it had a train that would be awkward and was slit way higher up the leg than she would be comfortable with.

    • Hmmm… what are you eating? And why are you trying to go low carb? My DH had to cut back to reduce his blood sugar, and he went through a phase of “what the heck am I supposed to eat?!” before finding a balance that works for him. He still eats more carbs than, say, paleo dieters, but he eats a lot more protein, salads, nuts, and avocado than he used to eat. In my case (high blood pressure, so aiming for a heart-healthy diet), I’ve cut way back on grains and sugar, but I eat a lot of fruit, so I’m not low carb.

      • I wouldn’t mind losing a few lbs, and I seem to increasingly have blood sugar crashes so it seems like it might help with that. I think I am feeling some of the ketosis, symptoms seem similar to what I read online. We’ll see how long I stick it out. Last time I tried it seemed to make exercise near impossible because I just didn’t have the energy I usually have.

          • Of course, it posts THAT!

            Anyway, how many calories are you eating a day? Are you sure you’re getting enough?

            Have you tried modifying from a no-carb diet to a low-and-complex-carb diet? Eliminating wheat made a big difference for me, in terms of both losing weight and feeling better. I haven’t been able to eliminate sugar altogether because I bake a lot (a bit of wheat there, too), but I do avoid it. And I try to eat mostly complex carbs–brown rice (the kids hate brown rice, so it doesn’t always work), legumes (they hate legumes too), and lots of fruit. My DH tries to limit the fruit for his blood sugar issues, but I live on the stuff.

    • Try reading the book “Get the Sugar Out,” which is about how to reduce rather than eliminate carbs. But whether you go into ketosis should depend on how low you go with carbs. Honestly, though, ketosis is what makes you lose the weight you already have–it’s the process of burning up the stored fat for energy. So I don’t think you necessarily want to avoid it, just minimize.

  8. My holiday weekend: My flight back from Orlando Friday night was delayed, so I didn’t get home until after midnight. Saturday am my brother in law shows up with family. Lovely people but the mom is extremely rigid and controlling with her kids and cannot fathom that others might be more relaxed, so everything ends up being done on their schedule by default – not fun for us. As we’re saying our goodbyes this morning DH and I are also clearing our crap out of the master bedroom to get ready for the carpet installers. Then I drive an hour round trip to pick up DS11 and another friend from a sleepover. Get home before the carpet guys are supposed to arrive but they’re early. They move the obscenely heavy orthopedic mattress but (as we expected them to) mess up the complicated layers inside, so after they leave I have to open it up and reassemble it, which takes most of the afternoon to get right, all the while breathing a mix of carpet fumes, stirred up dust, and the first burst from the early flowering ornamental pear out front that I’m allergic to. Then I give the heavy mattress one last tug into place and break the bedframe. I’m tired.

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