Rona Wilenski has always been an avid consumer of news.
“I don’t think a day has gone by since I was five years old that I haven’t read the New York Times,” she said. “It’s a ridiculous habit, so let it be socially useful.”
Her “socially useful” outlet is My Weekly Resistance, an email newsletter that Wilenski pulls together with her ex-husband, Tad Kline, an attorney and sometime local Democratic Party activist, and two other friends, John and Jaye Zola, who are social studies teachers.Wilenski, of Boulder, describes herself as “civically engaged but by no means over the top.” She’s been an economics professor, an education policy analyst and high school principal. Now she works for a nonprofit that teaches mindfulness to educators. After the election, she felt the need to do more, and the newsletter seemed like the best way to use her skills.
My Weekly Resistance goes out to more than 800 subscribers around the country and the number grows every week. The group picks a single topic, researches it, summarizes the key issues and then outlines action items related to that topic.
The audience is “educated people who have not been politically engaged and maybe took things for granted and need some scaffolding to be engaged.” With one topic per week, it’s designed not to be overwhelming.
My Weekly Resistance is one of a number of email newsletters that have sprung up after the election — My Civic Workout, What the Fuck Just Happened Today, Wall of Us — all seeking in their own way to help people make sense of the news and take action.
My Weekly Resistance also has practical advice: How to make that phone call, how to send a political postcard, how to find people to be active with, how to throw a political party.
“You don’t want to be lonely. Now is a terrible time to be lonely,” Wilenski said. “Protesting is the new brunch. Instead of sitting around wringing our hands about how awful it is, we sit around and write postcards. It’s the perfect antidote to despair.”