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Dear Jeanne,

This was supposed to be a fundraising letter, because we need to hire more Third Act staff to make the huge influx of volunteers that have signed up as productive as possible.

But then the Supreme Court intervened. This last week was a terrifying reminder that history can move backwards, in ways that seem particularly unnerving for us Third Actors.

That’s because almost everything the Court did was aimed at reversing laws and decisions that came from the time of our first act: Roe v. Wade in 1973, of course, but also the decisions on gun control (the Gun Control Act of 1968 was the high water mark for Congressional efforts to rein in fire arms), on voting rights (neutering the Voting Rights Act of 1965) and this morning’s attack on the Clean Air Act of 1970.

We have got to defend that world we’ve lived in for most of our lives—and we can. At our monthly call on July 13th we’ll talk about next steps, including hearing from Heather Booth, a lifelong organizer and one of our earliest advisors who is profiled in the current HBO special The Janes for her work for reproductive choice. (You can register for that call here.)  And then we’ll talk about the next few months, and the need to make the fall elections a turning point for democracy.

My reading is that the Supreme Court badly overreached: they’re way out of step with the American majority on guns, choice, and climate change, and so it’s possible to imagine a profound and welcome backlash. But it won’t happen automatically.

Which brings me back to money. We need it. Send us some, so that we can organize flat out for the rest of the year. We’ve all together hit upon a good idea—this Third Act thing is catching on. But we need it to happen now, because history is moving fast.

Many thanks,

Bill McKibben, for Third Act

p.s.—if you’re curious, I’ve been doing a lot of writing today about the Supreme Court decision on the EPA: here’s a piece from the New Yorker and another from the Boston Globe, and here I am on CNN sporting my Third Act t-shirt, available in the merchandise section of the website.


p.p.s.—since we have to remind ourselves that good guys can win, and in tribute to the courage of Cassidy Hutchinson at the January 6 hearings, here’s a 1974 recording from blues singer Arlene Brown: Impeach Me Baby.

Third Act
Sustainable Markets Foundation – 45 West 36th Street 6th floor
New York, New York 10018-7635

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