Michelle Seyler 129sc

Michelle Seyler

Michelle Seyler's activity stream


  • With Resilience and Connection, We Shall Overcome

    What you imagine as overwhelming or terrifying while at leisure becomes something you can cope with when you must - there is no time for fear. - Rebecca Solnit

    In 2012, I got a job as a newly minted, Certified Domestic Violence Counselor at a shelter in San Francisco for women and their children. 

    I had a lot to learn about the struggles our clients endured, about how to be an effective advocate for someone when they are in the throes of a personal crisis. 

    But two beautiful things struck me when I first walked through the door: the resilience of the human spirit and our ability to take care of one another. 

    The women and children we served had escaped dangerous, often life-threatening situations. And while their fear was often palpable, so too was their strength and resolve. 

    They helped each other fill out complicated paperwork. They took turns cooking meals. They shared advice on how to talk to their children.

    While there was fear, there was also strength. Where there was room for uncertainty, there was also room for connection and compassion.

    Since 2016, we have felt fear, but we have also planted our feet firmly in our own internal resilience and persevered because of our ability to connect with each other. 

    We were inspired by the largest single-day protest in US history, the 2017 Women’s March.

    We were humbled by the flood of people who came forward with their stories of surviving sexual assault in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a campaign first coined by activist Tarana Burke in 2006.

    We were grateful to stand in solidarity with our fellow Angelenos who swarmed LAX after the Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban.

    We were (and are) thankful to immigration attorneys and activists who tirelessly advocate for people at the border, outside the border, in our country, and in detention.

    We watched with tears in our eyes as hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs because of the pandemic, while hundreds of thousands of other workers continue to risk their lives to put food on our tables and provide healthcare to our loved ones.

    This summer, many of us were brought to our knees by the video of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

    After months of staying inside, cautiously maneuvering around others on my morning runs so as to not get within six feet of another human, I, and millions of others, threw COVID concerns out the window and hit the streets with protest signs that read, “Defund the Police,” and guttural cries of “Black Lives Matter!”

    Those first few fateful days in June were likely the spark of the largest movement for justice in US history.

    What we have shown as a country over the last four years is that the human spirit cannot be defeated by hate. It cannot be snuffed out by those who don’t think we deserve to live safely. Many are calling this an awakening of the collective consciousness. People are showing up for those who don’t look or live or love like they do. Showing up because that is what we do for each other. 

    From this, may we never return. 

    With eyes open, our collective is bound to move us in a direction that is illuminated by our light, resilience, and spirit. That may not be clear today or tomorrow. But with time, it will be. 


  • published CLUE Statement on Attempted Coup in CLUE In the News 2021-01-07 16:23:15 -0800

    CLUE Statement on Attempted Coup

    What we saw unfold in the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an attack on our country, our people, and our democratic process, incited by a president who refuses to accept the results of one of the most secure elections in our country’s history. 

    Make no mistake: this was an act of terrorism. An angry mob threatened our government, stated that they wanted to kill elected officials, and stormed the Capitol building. Many stood back, acting with complicity. 

    CLUE condemns violence and threats in all their forms, and calls on local, state, and federal officials to do the same. 

    While the scenes coming from Washington yesterday were scary and unnerving, we believe that there are reasons to be hopeful and to trust that our democratic structures can continue to withstand these assaults on our democracy. The democratic process cannot be stopped by violent terrorists.

    The next 14 days are crucial, and they may be fraught with more violence and terrorist attacks. CLUE will continue to monitor the situation on the ground, both here in Southern California and across the country. We will be reaching out soon to invite you to an online event where we can be in community with one another.

    In the meantime, stay safe and stay hopeful. And know that we are not alone. Together we will prevail. Our collective is strong, with good hearts that will allow us to do the healing work that is ahead. 




  • WE WON! Building a Local Economy that Works for All of Us 🌱

    Today, we want to share an exciting update on our work with THRIVE Santa Ana, a campaign that CLUE's Faith-Rooted Organizer, Lucero Garcia, has been engaged in for many years. Lucero also sits on the board of THRIVE.

    THRIVE Santa Ana is a community-based coalition that stewards land for local needs too-often overlooked by large developers, including affordable housing, community gardens, open space, urban farms, commercial spaces, and other community assets. 

    On May 1st, 2018, the City of Santa Ana entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with THRIVE for the vacant lot at 1901 W. Walnut St., a 16,000 square-foot parcel surrounded by commercial, residential, and industrial zones.

    In the two years since, CLUE has been engaged in coalition, pushing for the city to allow residents to create a micro-farm on this plot of land.

    Finally, after nearly three years of advocacy, the Santa Ana City Council approved an agreement with THRIVE that will allow local residents to develop a micro-farm on the Walnut and Daisy Lot.

    THRIVE Santa Ana residents, faith leaders, and community partners gathered at the Santa Ana City Hall to celebrate the approval of a 99-year lease for the Walnut and Daisy Community Micro-farm. "The Public Lands Are of the People."

    The pandemic has demonstrated the vital need for a local-based economy and highlights what we as a community have always known: that community lands belong in community hands; that green spaces and community-led gardens foster health and solidarity; and that we all deserve to live in an economy that works for all of us. 

    There is more work to do at the Walnut and Daisy lot. To learn more or get involved, visit THRIVESantaAna.org.


  • Emergency Hospitality Worker Hardship Fund

      

     

    The COVID-19 Crisis has struck hospitality industry workers with great force.  Many have had their hours reduced, and tens and thousands of workers have been laid off, leaving many low-wage workers wondering how they will make ends meet. This includes workers in hotels, stadiums, amusement parks, universities, airport concessions, catering companies, and airline food kitchens. Not all workers are eligible to apply for unemployment - and many immigrant workers who are especially vulnerable have very few allies to turn to for relief. 

    CLUE has spent two and half decades advocating at the frontlines of change for working families in Los Angeles County and Orange County. One of our longest and most enduring partnerships in this fight has been with UNITE HERE Local 11, the hospitality worker union. The courageous campaigns and struggles of hotel and food service workers have won enormous victories for our whole community - from workplace changes to living wage legislation that improves the lives of workers far beyond the hospitality industry. We have stood side by side, in intimate solidarity as together we, along with other unions and community partners, seek to build the beloved community and a just economy for all people. 

    Today, our sisters and brothers in the hospitality industry are hurting in deep and real ways, and we call on you once again to stand shoulder to shoulder as we seek to share the burden. CLUE is proud to host this Emergency Hospitality Worker Hardship Fund. We encourage you to give as generously as you are able to this Fund which will assist hospitality workers and their families who are unable to access unemployment.

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