Saying goodby to 2020: A look back.

Today is the last day of this remarkable year.

Though 2020 was difficult, there are a lot of reasons to feel proud and hopeful. It was a busy year and we wanted to take a final look back and celebrate everything we’ve done together in 2020

In January, we organized our 4th annual Women’s March in Cody. We joined the nation-wide event that drew hundreds of thousands of people across the country to highlight the need for social change. Our theme this year, “March for a Better America, featured several speakers who talked about the value of active participation in government, against the proposal for an immigration detention center in Wyoming, about violations of human rights and civil liberties inherent in detention centers, on the value of skilled professional immigrants to the U.S., on the need for affordable health care, and about the need for integrity in government.

January in Cody. The March for a Better America brought about 150 people to a march and rally in Cody City Park.

During January we also helped promote other community events, including

  • Forward Cody, Community Review Session, “Strategic Doing” workshop.
  • Wyoming Outdoor Council and GYC, “Beers and Bills” legislative review.

In February, we hosted a public presentation a the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center to learn about the Carbon Dividend Plan, a bipartisan proposal for climate solutions. Guest Bill Barron, Rocky Mountain Regional Director of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby discussed HR763, The Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act, and how it could help Wyoming Citizens with the uncertainties of our changing energy economy.

In March, we hosted a free video screening of “Better Angels: Reuniting America”. This documentary covers a workshop model that promotes understanding and empathy between Democrats and Republicans. We followed that event with a radio discussion about how to resolve political polarization on Big Horn Radio’s “Speak Your Piece” program:

https://soundcloud.com/user-939526834/2020-03-20-syp-wyo-rising

April, all of our lives were changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we started hosting online events. We re-imagined our annual March for Science into a week-long online Film Festival and an online climate solutions workshop on Earth Day, April 22. Read more:

Join Us for a Virtual Celebration of Earth Day and Week!

We were back on the KODI “Speak Your Piece” radio program to promote our week-long event:

https://soundcloud.com/user-939526834/2020-04-17-syp-wyo-rising

As if we weren’t busy enough, we helped organize an online discussion with Braver Angels of Wyoming and Montana centering on concepts from Johnathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion. “We need the insights of liberals, conservatives and libertarians to flourish as a nation, starting with our own willingness to learn and appreciate our differences.” Read more:

Braver Angels of Wyoming and Montana Offer Workshops This Week

We took a rest in May, but June brought nationwide marches in honor of George Floyd and other people of color who suffered injustice at the hands of police. In Cody, Wyoming Rising supported local organizers with financial donations, advice, and communications. Hundreds of area residents gathered at a Sunday Rally Against Racism at Cody City Park. Read more: https://www.powelltribune.com/stories/hundreds-rally-in-cody-gathering-protests-police-brutality-and-racism,25692?

July and August saw the start of the campaign season and we began our coverage of candidates in earnest by publishing notices of debates, articles, interviews, and campaign appearances by local and statewide political candidates. We researched and published a page featuring local candidate information and sent our followers Action Alerts about pending legislation.

September, in keeping with our mission to advocate for quality, affordable health care for all our citizens, Wyoming Rising  joined the Healthy Wyoming Coalition. HWC a statewide consortium consisting of nonprofit medical and hospital associations, interfaith church alliances, and public advocacy organizations.

This fall, we invited all 104 general election candidates running for state house and senate seats in Wyoming to complete a short survey of seven questions reflective of Wyoming Rising’s mission. Survey takers were asked to share their thoughts on fossil fuels, education funding, pay parity between men and women, Medicaid expansion, etc. Read the results here: https://www.wyomingrising.org/2020/09/28/2020-wyoming-state-house-and-senate-candidate-survey-results/

In October, we began advocating in earnest for Medicaid Expansion in Wyoming with publishing and promoting meetings and editorials.

Wyoming Rising billboards in Cody and Powell

Facing a problem with their Biden campaign yard signs disappearing from lawns in Cody and Powell, a group of local citizens decided to pool their money to put up a Biden billboard with a graphic of a yard sign on the White House lawn. Wyoming Rising set up a fundraising pool and in just three days over $2,300 was raised – enough for two billboards and 40 yard signs. Wyoming Rising communications team members created the graphics and rented the boards. The billboards were up for a month on Highway 14A in Cody and Powell. Yard signs were ordered and distributed to the group.

Our November membership meeting featured Kris Korfanta and Tom Brantley, Wyoming co-chairs for Braver Angels in a Zoom meeting. “Braver Angels is an organization uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. The mission of Braver Angels—unify a divided nation—has never been more necessary or timely. 

in December, Members were invited to a Zoom meeting with representatives of Better Wyoming to discuss Medicaid Expansion in Wyoming. To learn more about Better Wyoming’s efforts to ensure quality, affordable health care in our state visit this link to their website: https://betterwyo.org/save-wyo-healthcare/

These past four years have been stressful and strange, but we have achieved so much together. Here’s to an even more powerful 2021.

And we wish you all a Happy New Year.
Gratefully,

Wyoming Rising Leadership Team

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