blank space

 10/27/20

 There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. ― Barack Obama

 NATIONAL ISSUES  

 
Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
https://www.contactingcongress.org/
 
Fax legislators for free:
Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
Senate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
 
Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/
 
Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 
https://store.usps.com/store/
 
White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
 

 STOP TRUMP FROM GUTTING THE CIVIL SERVICE: We must remain alert not only to the “big” stories, like McConnell’s frantic effort to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, but also to the smaller but perhaps no less consequential ones; invoking “performance standards,” Trump claims it necessary to create “an exception to the competitive hiring rules and examinations for career positions in the Federal service of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character” and signed an Executive Order to that effect last week: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-creating-schedule-f-excepted-service/  The merit-based civil service system, in place since 1883, provided one of the few routes to upward mobility for many; the creation of new “Schedule F” employees allows the easy appointment of loyal political cronies (and the easy firing of the “disloyal”) and, importantly, shields political appointees from an incoming administration by protecting them from firing on the basis of political affiliation: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/522339-trump-order-strips-workplace-protections-from-civil-servants and https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-federal-civil-service/2020/10/23/02fbf05c-1549-11eb-ba42-ec6a580836ed_story.html and https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-executive-order-civil-service-biden-election-schedule-f-b1255692.html  Whatever the outcome of November’s election, Trump will remain in power until January and will, undoubtedly, do as much damage as he can; we must monitor what he does in this interregnum.  Let’s raise this issue with our MoCs and ask what they can do to stop this latest assault on our democracy. To protest this change in the civil service, let’s contact the Office of Personnel Management: 1-800-877-8339 or 1900 E St, NW, Washington DC 20415.

 USPS BOARD REJECTS REPORT ON DEJOY: Last week, at the behest of Congress, an inspector general at the United States Postal Service issued a report examining the effects of Trump loyalist and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s changes to the postal service; the report concluded that these changes had resulted in “significant negative service impacts across the country,”: https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2020/20-292-R21.pdf  Undaunted, the USPS Board of Governors, composed of Trump appointees, rejected the report’s conclusions: https://billmoyers.com/story/scramble-at-the-white-house/  DeJoy has committed to halt these changes but only until after the election.  Looks like we need, once again, to contact the USPS Board of Governors and demand a permanent end to DeJoy’s effort to destroy the postal service: USPS Board of Governors Robert Duncan: mduncan@inezdepositbank.com; John Barger: barger.jm@gmail.com; Ron Bloom: ron.bloom@brookfield.com; Roman Martinez: roman@rmiv.com; Donald Moak: lee.moak@moakgroup.com; Wiliam Zollers: directoraccessmailbox@cigna.com

 CALL OUT MIKE PENCE FOR PUTTING THE NATION’S HEALTH AT RISK BY REFUSING TO OBSERVE CDC PROTOCOLS: “At least five people in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, including chief of staff Marc Short, close aide Zach Bauer and outside adviser Marty Obst, sources told CNN. There are concerns that more people within Pence's inner circle will test positive in the coming days, a source said. "They're scared," the source said of staffers in the vice president's office”  https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/10/24/politics/mac-short-coronavirus-positive-test/index.html  Pence, the head of the Covid team has at least 5 of his team sick yet he is still on the campaign trail.  They have done a terrible job of keeping themselves and us well. Let’s publicly call out Pence for putting his own political gain ahead of the nation’s health by commenting on his Twitter (@Mike_Pence) and Facebook pages.  Let’s also encourage all our friends to wear a mask, wash hands, social distance and VOTE THEM OUT. 

 DARK MONEY AND THE FEDERAL COURTS: In these videos, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) explains how dark money is influencing which judges get appointed to our federal courts and the Supreme Court, and also how they rule:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjcXVKg43qY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5-Snk_thAs . This is corruption, pure and simple. In this law review article,  https://harvardjol.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2020/05/Sen.-Whitehouse_Dark-Money.pdf, Senator Whitehouse explains the problem further and offers legislative and policy remedies. Let’s share his article with our Senators, with the Chair of the Committee on Codes of Conduct for the federal courts, and with Chief Justice Roberts. Let’s tell them all that we expect impartial judges and basic fairness in our federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and we want them to implement Senator Whitehouse’s commonsense policies:  1) Supreme Court (Chief Justice Roberts): https://www.supremecourt.gov/contact/contactus.aspx, 2) our US Senators, and 3) Federal Courts: Chair, Committee on Codes of Conduct, c/o General Counsel, Administrative Office of the United States Court, Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, One Columbus Circle, NE, Washington, DC 20544

 MOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS IMPACTED BY THE PANDEMIC: As COVID cases rise, stress among healthcare workers is rising as well. The Emotional PPE Project offers free mental health assistance to healthcare workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Experienced, licensed therapists are volunteering their time and expertise.  Let’s look into this for ourselves and others who may need it:  https://emotionalppe.org/

 FIGHT BACK AGAINST GOP COURT STACKING: As Amy Barrett’s confirmation is rushed through the Senate, cementing a conservative Supreme Court majority, Mc Connell boasts we “won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come”.  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/gop-bets-democrats-won-t-expand-supreme-court-progressives-say-n1244721 We still have a chance to prove him wrong by restructuring our judicial systems and institutions to more fairly reflect the will of the people. In “Off-Balance: Five Strategies for a Judiciary that Supports Democracy”, Roosevelt Fellow Todd N. Tucker explores a menu of options for policymakers, including: 1) Adding justices to the bench through Court expansion; 2) Removing justices through impeachment; 3) Changing the jurisdiction of the Court; 4) Ignoring or overriding Court decisions; and 5) Rewriting the Constitution to allow term limits, elect justices, or eliminate judicial review. We can find the highlights of this judicial reform strategy here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1320781530764136449.html and read the full report here: https://rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/off-balance-strategies-for-judiciary-that-supports-democracy/ then demand our MoCs make judicial reform a priority in the next session of Congress.

 TEXTILE CRAFTERSTiny Pricks is a public art project created and curated by Diana Weymar. Contributors from around the world are stitching Donald Trump’s words into textiles, creating the material record of his presidency and of the movement against it. It is not too late for us to create a piece and take part:  https://www.tinypricksproject.com/participate/

 POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES:  From one of our own:  Here are this week's postcarding write-ups. Please use/share/distribute widely! Keep speaking out and holding those in power accountable—and make sure that you, and those around you who can, VOTE!  Let’s check this out:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ke2J18eH2_sJdY0bcJ0eMugtNfRxz0h93gmWlkMuQHc/edit?usp=sharing

 ELECTION/VOTING

 ELECTION - GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)

 POSTCARDERS: LAST CALL! If we volunteer to write postcards to get out the vote, Wednesday is the last day we can mail them and hope for their arrival before Election Day. Let's count up our remaining postcards and stamps and request that number of addresses from  Postcards To Voters right now.

 CALL/TEXT VOTERS. We still have opportunities to reach voters via phone and text. We can check with our state and local campaigns to see if they need our help. Additionally we can check: a) Southern Poverty Law Center; and b) Sister District ProjectLet's work together to reach as many voters as we can.

 MOBILIZE THE LATINO VOTE: "There are only nine days until Election Day, and we still need to mobilize millions of Latinx voters all across the country. With your help we’ve registered more than 560,000 voters this election cycle -- thank you!" To help Voto Latino reach their goal of mobilizing 3.7 million Latino voters, we can donate herehttps://secure.actblue.com/donate/vl-millions

 NATIONAL VOTER ASSISTANCE HOTLINE IS SEEKING NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING VOLUNTEERS:  If we, or someone we know, speaks fluent Apache, Arabic, Cantonese, Creole, French, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Mandarin, Navajo, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, the Biden campaign is asking for our help assisting voters.  We can sign up here:  https://go.joebiden.com/page/s/Voter-Protection-National-Hotline

 VOTER PROTECTION PHONE BANK:  The NC Dems Voter Protection Team is phone banking to make critical voter protection calls twice a day every day.  We can learn more and join them here:  https://www.mobilize.us/nc2020victory/event/314753/

 SWING LEFT PHONE BANKING:  Swing Left is still making calls and we can join them.  We can find more info here:  https://swingleft.org/p/phone-bank 

 PHONEBANKING WITH CHICAGO INDIVISIBLE:  Indivisible Chicago is offering one last "Phonebanking 101" class (Wednesday, October 28, 2020 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM CT) for folks who need to be walked through the WHOLE process. It's a step-by-step tutorial for the well-intentioned but introverted and/or not politically active. It will be followed by a working phone bank.  We can sign up here.  (h/t)

 TEXT WITH THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN:  The Poor People’s Campaign is hosting We Must Do M.O.R.E text bank training to learn how to text poor and low-income infrequent voters in key states where their vote can have the greatest impact.   Let’s click her to sign up:  https://vote.poorpeoplescampaign.org/#phone_bank

 RIDES FOR NAVAHO VOTERS:  Navajo voters in the southwest have been tragically underserved by our federal government. Many Navajo voters live 50 miles or more from their polling places. Vote America is organizing rides to the polls for Navajo voters. To do this, we need to raise $26,000 to pay for transportation, food & water.  Let’s help if we are able:  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/voteamerica-2020-twitterrezrideap10.25.20

 HELP BOOST LOW FLORIDA TURNOUT: Florida is a key state this election, but turnout in both Broward and Miami Dade counties is NOT where we need it to be. We can join with Swing Left Greater Boston to turn things around when we sign up for their two efforts 1) FL GOTV & BALLOT CHASE PHONE BANKS - We will call Dems who haven’t returned their ballots yet. We can check out this calendar for the most up-to-date English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole phone banks: https://swingleftboston.org/calendar/category/activity-type/phone-calls/month/?tribe-bar-search=Florida  and 2) FL BALLOT CURE - We can help Dem voters fix their rejected ballots and get their vote counted. Spanish and Haitian Creole-speaking volunteers are especially needed! We can sign up here: Mondays, 5-8 pm,  https://www.mobilize.us/swingleftboston/event/327645/, Tuesdays, 5-8 pm,  https://www.mobilize.us/swingleftboston/event/318422/, and Thursdays, 5-8 pm,  https://www.mobilize.us/swingleftboston/event/311083

 ELECTION – SUPPORT CANDIDATES

 POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: At press time, Postcards To Voters continues to write for great campaigns like Jaime Harrison for Senate in SC, Hillary Scholten for Congress in MI (Justin Amash' seat), and Abby Finkenauer for Congress in IA (postcardstovoters.orgLet's push as hard as we can in these last few days of being able to write and mail postcards for the November 3rd election. If our post office is out of pre-stamped postcards, we can cut cardstock into 4x6 cards and can use whatever postage we have that adds up to at least 35 cents per card.

 READY-MADE TWEETS FOR ALL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES:  Postcards for America have created ready-made Tweets & Facebook Posts to share for every single Democratic Candidate!  Each includes a Postcard w/ their photo, website link, Twitter & where to donate.  Let’s check this out and use it:  https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/all-dem-candidates-postcards-tweets--posts.html

 DEFEAT SUSAN COLLINS AND TRUMP BY GETTING OUT THE MAINE VOTE: As we look for the best places to put our final efforts, we can consider Maine. First, Sen. Susan Collins could have swayed the vote on two unqualified extremist Supreme Court Justices. It is time for her to go. Also, Maine may give Biden to Electoral College votes he needs to wins. We can check out Swing Left Boston for several ways we can help turn Maine Blue, and defeat Collins and Trump together: https://swingleftboston.org/calendar/category/super_state/maine-events/ and https://swingleftboston.org/calendar/online-middlesex-and-worcester-district-virtual-phone-bank-11/

 ELECTION - REGISTERING VOTERS

 VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES:  Voting guidelines vary by state. In many states the deadline to register to vote has passed, but not all.  Let’s check here to see if we can still register and help others register, too:  https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-deadlines/

 ELECTION - OTHER

 ATTENTION OVERSEAS VOTERS: "If you voted in the 2020 General Election, Democrats Abroad would like to hear from you about your voting experience. Please participate in this quick survey as it will help us understand voting issues and trends we need to work on for you." We can fill out the survey here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfi24-16JmPXL1nqBlX_-kAjyC7L4vV3oHTmgfOTaNSGLzzZA/viewform

 TAKE OR ANALYZE PHOTOS OF PRECINCT RESULTS TO PROTECT THE VOTE: With so much at stake in the next election, many of our votes need protection from hacking and interference with voting equipment. If we are looking for ways to help defend election integrity, we can check out the Protect Our Votes (POV) https://www.protectourvotes.com/ Photo Finish project, which will publish and compare election night precinct tallies with the final results. At the end of election days, precincts print their results on poll tapes and post them on doors or windows for all to see. To help preserve the integrity of these results, we can take their photos, then post them on POV website. If we don’t take photos, we can still help by comparing these pictures with the final counts. POV will publish this info and any significant differences on their Photo Finish Results page. This kind of transparency will help shine a bright light on possible tampering. We can sign up to photograph poll tapes or to compare them to the final results here, then share this information with our friends on social media: https://www.protectourvotes.com/photo-finish/

 LEARN TO SAFELY INTERVENE WHEN VOTERS ARE HARASSED AT THE POLLS: As Trump stirs up his followers to intimidate voters on Election Day, there is something we can do to help make sure that people can vote safely. Hollaback has resources to help us intervene safely and effectively when we witness harassment at the polls. We can check out their materials and then, if we choose, signup for their free online Bystander Intervention Training Workshop, to show us how to safely intervene when we see voter harassment at the polls. We’ll learn about voter rights, the 5 C’s of bystander intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct, and staying safe while intervening. After that, we will get time to practice. If we cannot attend the workshop, we can learn more about these strategies.  We can learn more, find additional resources for voter protection, and sign up here:  https://www.ihollaback.org/bystander-intervention-to-stop-voter-harassment-at-the-polls

 STATE/LOCAL ISSUES

 FL:  PROBLEM BALLOTS: Florida is voting by mail for the first time due to COVID. It is being reported that Miami Dade County may have up to 23% of early ballots being REJECTED for missing signatures! Other counties are experiencing similar problems.  Let’s click here to check on our ballot and fix it if was rejected:  http://miamidadedems.org/cure

 NY:  NYC VOTER SUPPRESSION?:  The NY Times has published the latest appalling account of nepotism, patronage, and incompetence at the NYC Board of Elections, a last vestige of the City’s machine politics: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/26/nyregion/nyc-voting-election-board.html  In 2018, the Board "mistakenly" purged hundred of thousands of Brooklyn voters; in September, we saw the Board send out 100,000 unusable, inaccurate ballots, printed by an upstate graphics firm with a no-bid contract—and apparently, a no-oversight one as well: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/29/918382378/nyc-to-send-new-ballots-to-nearly-100-000-voters-after-printing-error  The Daily News points out that the  “Board of Elections is fighting nepotism with a memo,” which the Board apparently sees as a sufficient response:  https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-board-elections-fights-nepotism-note-workers-article-1.1974768?barcprox=true&cid=bitly  Those of us who live in NYC need to tell our City Councilors that we have had it with an inefficient and corrupt Board of Elections: https://council.nyc.gov/districts/

 RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

 READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

 U.S. sees highest number of new COVID-19 cases in past two days - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN27A0JK

 Don't even think about intimidating voters. State laws and penalties - https://thedemlabs.org/2020/10/26/dont-even-think-about-intimidating-voters-laws-and-penalties-by-state/

 Fairytale - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QGat1WxC14

 The Love - Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson - https://youtu.be/Jk7LPpY8pXM

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 We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule

 

 

 

 

 10/22/20

 If American women would increase their voting turnout by 10 percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.

                                                                                 — Coretta Scott King

 NATIONAL ISSUES  

 
Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
https://www.contactingcongress.org/
 
Fax legislators for free:
Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
Senate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
 
Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/
 
Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 
https://store.usps.com/store/
 
White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
 

 FAMILY SEPARATION: While the Trump administration has separated thousands of families at the border, there remain 545 children who have still not been reunited with their parents (https://nbcnews.to/2Tg0wMw). These families were separated under a 2017 pilot program that operated before the official "zero tolerance policy" was fully implemented in 2018, which separated an additional 2,800 families. Justice in Motion, a group of human rights lawyers and nonprofit organizations, is working on the ground to locate parents and reunite these families. For those of us with the means, let's donate to support their work:  https://www.justiceinmotion.org/donate  Let's also call each of our MoCs and speak out against the atrocities at the border, and tell them that we expect them to use their platforms to call out these human rights violations.  Let’s also make our rage at this situation clear to the White House and to the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for this horror: (631) 226-2796 or Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, DHS, Washington DC 20528 or @DHS_Wolf

 SPEAK OUT AGAINST AMY CONEY BARRETT CONFIRMATION: The Senate will vote on the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, just a week before the election. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/521148-judiciary-committee-to-vote-on-barretts-supreme-court-nomination-next-week?userid=200565. While it is likely that there are enough Republicans who will vote to confirm, we can still contact these Republican Senators and remind them that in 2016, 7 months before the election, they refused to confirm an Obama nominee because they thought it was important to give the voters a voice. Let’s also write letters to the editor about this double standard and publicly tweet these Senators, reminding them of their duplicity. 

 MCCONNELL URGES TRUMP TO WITHHOLD CORONAVIRUS RELIEF: An anonymous source has reported that  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a closed-door lunch Tuesday, told fellow Republicans that he urged the White House not to strike a deal with Democrats on a COVID-19 relief package;  McConnell and his allies are, after all, only interested in the Supreme Court nomination not in the roughly 12.8 million unemployed people in need of the government’s help: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/20/covid-19-stimulus-senate-vote-ppp-loans-deadline-nears/3664901001/ or https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/10/20/trump-economic-stimulus-pelosi/ or https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/20/us/politics/stimulus-deal-mitch-mcconnell-nancy-pelosi.html “More than 34 million U.S. adults live in households that find it very difficult to pay for their usual expenses, according to government data that offer the latest evidence of how low-income and minority Americans are facing intense economic insecurity as the pandemic wears on.”  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-21/economic-pain-persists-for-millions-in-u-s-as-aid-talks-drag-on  In addition to expressing our outrage at McConnell—202-224-2541 or 317 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington DC 20510—those of us in KY should make McConnell’s appalling disregard for his constituents known far and wide before the election—through letters to local papers, local call-in radio, or in any other way we can think of.

 FIGHTING PROPAGANDA: “The Media Manipulation Casebook is a digital research platform linking together theory, methods, and practice for mapping media manipulation and disinformation campaigns. This research is intended for researchers, journalists, technologists, policymakers, educators, and civil society organizers who want to learn about detecting, documenting, describing, and debunking misinformation,” https://mediamanipulation.org/In this time when bad actors, foreign and domestic, are trying to turn Americans against one another, let’s make sure that our Members of Congress and our favorite journalists and responsible media outlets are aware of, and use, the Media Manipulation Casebook.

 ELECTION/VOTING

 ELECTION - GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)

 TEXT A VOTER EVERY TIME TRUMP ANNOYS US DURING THE DEBATE: The NILC Immigrant Justice Fund will be holding a text bank training today at 8:30 pm, just before the debate. That way, if we’re watching, we can text a voter in a swing state every time Trump annoys us. Let’s sign up here to text voters tonight or at other times before the election.

 VOTING “EARLY AND OFTEN” IS ILLEGAL. BUT “VOTE TRIPLING” IS NOT!: “Vote tripling is a type of relational organizing where you commit to get three people you know to turn out and vote,” according to Indivisible. Let’s boost voter turnout by taking the pledge to reach out to three friends and urge them to go to the polls—here’s how: https://2020.indivisible.org/vote-triple/

 TEXT BLACK VOTERS:  People For the American Way Foundation is volunteering with Defend the Black Vote campaign to text Black voters in states across the country in an effort to fight back against voter suppression efforts and increase voter turnout in 2020.  Let’s sign up here: https://act.pfaw.org/sign/dtbv-signup    

 BILLBOARDS AND RIDES:  Reclaim Our Vote is raising $150,000 for highway billboards and to fund COVID-safe rides to the polls for voters of color in the rural South.  Let’s donate here if we can: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/billboard-campaign

 CALL AND TEXT MOMS:  Moms Rising  is coordinating GOTV calls/texts to moms who don’t always vote. Let’s help:  https://action.momsrising.org/sign/GOTV_phonetext_2020

 ELECTION – SUPPORT CANDIDATES

 POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: At press time, Postcards To Voters continues to write for Jaime Harrison for Senate in SC and for Margaret Good for Congress in Florida and Mike Siegel for Congress in TX (postcardstovoters.org) This is the last big writing weekend before the election. Let's try to get creative over the weekend about engaging new folks in our community in writing during the final push: stamped postcard packs with addresses and clear instructions that folks can pick up or a socially distanced outdoor drop-by open house where folks stop by and write 5-10 postcards outside.

 MAXIMIZE SENATE FLIPPING EFFORTS: We know that flipping the Senate is important: without a Blue senate, Biden will struggle to make any of the reforms we so badly need. But how do we know, in these final weeks, where to focus our efforts to get the results we so badly need? Fortunately DemCast has crunched the numbers for us, analyzing fundraising reports, dark money expenditures, polling and predictive analytics. The candidates most in need of 11th hour donations, if we can make them, and of our volunteer efforts as well  are: 1) Theresa Greenfield (IA) https://greenfieldforiowa.com, 2) Steve Bullock (MT) https://stevebullock.com,  3) Raphael Warnock (GA) https://warnockforgeorgia.com, 4) Jon Ossoff (GA)  https://electjon.com, 5) Dr. Barbara Bollier (KS) https://bollierforkansas.com,  6) Gary Peters (MI) https://www.peters.senate.gov, and 7)Dr. Al Gross (AK) https://dralgrossak.com  We can click here to learn more and to donate to these candidates as a group: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/flipthesenatedc

 ELECTION - REGISTERING VOTERS

 ROCK THE VOTE:  It is not too late in some states to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election.  Let’s use this Rock the Vote site to check and, if we are too late, let’s sign up now for the next election:  https://www.rockthevote.org/how-to-vote/register-to-vote/ 

 ELECTION - OTHER

 DOCUMENT THE POLL TAPES: Volunteers NEEDED! Choose whichever group suits you - they're all great! (Some have training, some have Apps, some ask for uploads.)  *This is a very important project - the photos taken are able to be used as evidence in Court should there be elections questions. (You know, like when Stacey Abrams & Jon Ossoff totally won their races, but the evidence was conveniently disappeared…) Let’s choose one:

 1)     PhotoFinish, a project from Protect Our Votes working with Jenny Cohn (@jennycohn1).   Volunteers can take action to detect potential hacking & voting equipment problems. Photographer volunteers take photos of precinct poll tapes & then screenshot to uploader. We can sign up here:  https://www.protectourvotes.com/photo-finish-volunteer-sign-up-form/

 2)   SeeSay2020 by DemLabs.  Volunteers can expose voter suppression, election interference, machine problems, intimidation, etc. by using cell phones to report.  Goal is a central ‘citizen owned' database to help ensure fair voting & vote counts. Here are real examples so far: https://thedemlabs.org/2020/10/20/dirty-tricks-abound-what-voter-suppression-looks-like-in-2020/   Let’s learn more here: http://seesay2020.com

 3)    Scrutineers and Reclaim Our Vote have another option for documenting poll tapes. We can sign up for next (Oct 23) training here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-quick-election-protection-action-nearly-everyone-can-and-must-do-tickets-125761212171

 4)    Count the Vote project from SMART Elections is working to protect and verify the election results.  Co-Sponsors include DemCastUSA and Democracy Counts who did an explanation video here: https://youtu.be/vsUi10giixo & a Free App! We can sign up for Wednesday trainings here: https://www.mobilize.us/smartelections/event/353962/  

 JOIN PROTECT THE RESULTS TO ENSURE SAFE TRANSFER OF POWER: As Trump tries to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a possible loss to Biden, it is time to make sure that every vote gets counted, the loser concedes and Congress, the Electoral College, and state officials honor the accurate, final vote count. To ensure this Protect The Results, a coalition of more than 100 organizations committed to protecting our democracy, are preparing to launch nationwide mobilizations to if Trump declares "victory" before all votes are counted, tries to stop votes from being counted, or threatens the peaceful transfer of power. We can help out by using their event map to find local actions to join, their toolkits to prepare for mobilizing, and spreading the word with our friends on social media. We can click here to learn more and sign up: https://protecttheresults.com

 CALLING ALL MUSICIANS: Play for the Vote is an effort to bring musicians to polls across the country to perform for voters on Election Day. We can sign up to play or donate to this delightful effort here: https://www.playforthevote.com/

 STATE BIDEN-HARRIS GRAPHICS:  Graphics State-by-State sized just-right to download for the wallpaper or lock screen on your phone:  We can grab them here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JUj0fNj2eWkMMJUsfOmMRBXe3Anc8Udv?usp=sharing  (h/t)

 HAPPY DAYS REUNION:  The Wisconsin Dems have another fun fundraiser planned.  This time it is a Happy Days reunion.  Chip in any amount to join us for a Happy Days Reunion with Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most, and special guests!  It's only going to be livestreamed once at 6pm CT on Sunday, October 25th. We can sign up here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/happy-days-reunion  

 GRAPHICS SUPPORTING BIDEN-HARRIS:  Rise Up. Show Up. Unite! has gathered artists who have come up with positive graphics we can use for person use (not for profit).  Let’s check out the collection and use what we can:  http://riseupshowupunite.vote/

 VOTER ASSISTANCE HOTLINES:  If we find we need help during this election season, there is help available.  Let’s check and share this list of voter assistance hotlines:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l6IAol6F34UnOuXu3KuMZY1wZCz7Bb8ZAs7hQmzy5PI/edit 

 STATE-BY-STATE POLL WATCHER INFORMATION: Wondering about poll watchers, observers, monitors, challengers?  Let’s check out this state-by-state guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jcZHYdmKeNdETx02UsMKpyEjgtYQHZ7CSX6XzYkqoGU/edit  

 JOIN BERNIE AT PROGRESSIVES FOR BIDEN/HARRIS UNITY TOWN HALL: As plans for a Biden/Harris administration take place, Progressive ideas and policies will need strong advocates. This Friday, we can hear from some of them. We can join Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Chuy GarcĂ­a, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley in a Virtual Town Hall starting at 8pm, EDT. On the agenda is discussing the Biden-Harris plans to advance democracy and justice, and to put the people first. We can click here to learn more and sign up: https://www.mobilize.us/joebiden/event/351796/

 STATE/LOCAL ISSUES

 RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

 LEARN TO WRITE LEGISLATION: The Rise Justice Labs accelerator’s goal is to help everyday people pass their first law--and the application for our next cohort is open until November 15! The team at Rise has compressed several years’ worth of learning into a 3-month accelerator program to teach us how to research and draft a bill, craft our story to make the case for change, connect with lawmakers and other key stakeholders, and construct a community to build support to pass our legislation.  If this is us let’s go here to apply! risenow.us/apply

 READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

 Sam Elliott narrates Biden ad premiering during World Series: 'There is only one America' - https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/522011-sam-elliott-narrates-biden-ad-premiering-during-world-series

 Deepfakes: Is This Video Even Real? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OqFY_2JE1c

 A Campaign of Voter Subtraction - https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/threat-voter-subtraction/616746/

 Dr. Fauci says his kids aren’t coming home for Thanksgiving as Americans ‘sacrifice’ holiday gatherings to stay safe from coronavirus - https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/14/dr-fauci-says-his-kids-arent-coming-home-for-thanksgiving-to-stay-safe-from-coronavirus.html

 Former President Obama campaigns for Joe Biden in Pennsylvania - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlSZOcY8T3k

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 We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule

 

 

 

   10/20/20

 

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. – John Lewis

 NATIONAL ISSUES  

 
Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
https://www.contactingcongress.org/
 
Fax legislators for free:
Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
Senate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
 
Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/
 
Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 
https://store.usps.com/store/
 
White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house

 

 DO NOT FILL SUPREME COURT OPENING NOW:  Most Americans want the Senate to hold off on filling the Supreme Court seat.  https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-americans-want-to-wait-until-after-the-election-to-fill-the-supreme-court-vacancy/ Let’s call the Judiciary Committee and tell them we want them to wait:  202-224-5225.  Then, let’s also contact the GOP senators on this list who might be willing to vote no:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gXI2Z_nOswK0wrXDCj-uVpRe6QUfHuz9/view?usp=sharing

 UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN ARE BEING DEPORTED:  Journalist Jeff Abbott tweeted last Friday, “Today, the United States deported 58 Guatemalans to Guatemala City from Mesa, Arizona on an ICEair chartered Swiftair (iAero) flight. 56 of the 58 Guatemalans are unaccompanied minors.”  This may be part of a wide program.  “Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have started to implement a policy that allows officers to arrest and rapidly deport undocumented immigrants who have been in the US for less than two years, according to internal emails and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.”  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/ice-fast-track-deportations  Let’s let our MoCs know that this is not how we treat children and that we want our asylum program to be respectful and responsible to those seeking a better life.

 REGULATION FRENZY:  “Facing the prospect that President Trump could lose his re-election bid, his cabinet is scrambling to enact regulatory changes affecting millions of Americans in a blitz so rushed it may leave some changes vulnerable to court challenges.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/16/us/politics/regulatory-rush-federal-agencies-trump.html  The article lists many of them with links to each regulation, from changing independent contractors to biometric data to bomb trains, where we can comment. Let’s check it out, share it, and comment as we can.

 SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT TO PROTEST NEW CHANGES IN ASYLUM-SEEKER RULES: The Department of Justice is once again trying to strip due process rights from our asylum seekers by shortening deadlines for submitting paperwork and disallowing fee waivers. These procedural changes will make it even harder for asylum seekers to find a lawyer and have a fair hearing in court.  https://immigrationimpact.com/2020/09/24/asylum-15-day-filing-deadline/#.X425bdBKiyI   Comments on this proposal are due this Friday, October 23. Let’s submit a comment here.

 DARK MONEY AND THE SUPREME COURT: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) used his time during the Barret Supreme Court nomination hearings to school her, and us, about the disturbing influence of dark corporate money interests on judicial appointments and court rulings. We can watch here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjcXVKg43qY and here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5-Snk_thAs. Whitehouse has published a law review article that delves deeper into this subject and makes recommendations for legislative reform, https://harvardjol.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2020/05/Sen.-Whitehouse_Dark-Money.pdfLet’s share the link to his law review article with our US Senators, and let’s tell them that we want them to prioritize eliminating the influence of dark money on US courts, including the Supreme Court.

 TRUMP CRITICIZES FAUCI: “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said of Dr. Anthony Fauci, declaring the government’s top infectious disease expert “a disaster.” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/19/fauci-trump-wearing-mask-weakness-430114 He suggested it would create a controversy to fire him. Fauci, in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-no-surprised-trump-covid-19-media-appearances-60-minutes/), had said he was not surprised by Trump coming down with the virus after he held large events with no face coverings. Fauci also objected to the president’s campaign using his words in a campaign ad. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci now needs federal protection due to threats on his life.  Let’s support Dr. Fauci, who continues to give us science-based help to protect us from Covid 19 despite trump’s misinformation about the virus. We can send a thank you to him here via Email: oarinfo@nih.gov. or phone: Phone: 1-301-496-0357, or snail mail:  Mail: Office of AIDS Research, Dr. Fauci, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health,  5601 Fishers Lane, Room 2F40,Rockville, Maryland  20852 

 PERDUE MOCKS KAMALA’S NAME AT RALLY: “Republican Sen. David Perdue mocked Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday, derisively mispronouncing the Democratic vice presidential candidate's name during a campaign rally in Georgia. “Kamala? Kamala? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue (R-Ga.) said at a rally in Macon, just before President Donald Trump was set to take the stage.”   https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/16/david-perdue-mocks-kamala-harris-name-429996  Let’s tell him he needs to apologize to Kamala in the Senate. Senators need to respect each other. He doesn’t seem to know how to do that, let’s remind him. Tweet him @Perduesenate 

 POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES:  From one of our own: Please use/share/distribute as you see fit. This week's material should help motivate all of us to fight for a Blue Senate—as well as a Blue House and a Blue White House.  Click here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HU6DH8V6BzSywtT7dlTwPblRomt7B0DTL7b_WbsaYdU/edit?usp=sharing

 ELECTION/VOTING

 ELECTION - GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)

 THE LAST WEEKENDS: There are only two more weeks before Election Day, with three weekends to do all we can to get out the vote. With this in mind, Swing Left has launched The Last Weekends campaign, where we can call voters in swing states in order to flip the Senate, turn state legislatures blue, and elect Joe Biden. For its first weekend, Swing Left is asking for 10,000 volunteers to make 500,000 phone calls, or for each volunteer to make 50 calls. Let's check out these resources on how to phone bank, then sign up for The Last Weekends: https://swingleft.org/p/the-last-weekends  

 HELP VOTERS CURE REJECTED BALLOTS: With so many people voting absentee for the first time, and regulations varying for state to state, it’s not surprising that ballots are being rejected. These ballots can be fixed, the votes can still count and Swing Left has a way for us to help by calling voters whose ballots have been rejected cure the defect and make sure their vote counts.   Shifts are available from now through Nov 5, Spanish and Haitian Creole volunteers needed for Florida calls, as well.  We can click here to learn more and sign up:   https://swingleft.org/event/register/mobilize:318422?s=u

 ELECTION – SUPPORT CANDIDATES

 FLIP SOUTH CAROLINA! We can help by writing to voters with Postcards to Voters'  Campaign 225: Jaime Harrison for Senate. Jaime is running against incumbent Lindsey Graham. (The Guardian: The upset of 2020?Let's request some addresses today to encourage SC voters to vote for Jaime. 

 SPEAKERS OF NON ENGLISH LANGUAGES NEEDED FOR VOTER HOTLINE: Biden/Harris campaign's National Voter Assistance Hotline needs speakers of Apache, Arabic, Cantonese, Creole, French, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Mandarin, Navajo, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese. If we speak any of these languages and can help out, we can sign up here: https://go.joebiden.com/page/s/Voter-Protection-National-Hotline

 TEXTING FOR DEMS:  There is still time to learn how to text in support of Biden and down ticket as well.  We can sign up here for the DNC 2020 Victory Text Team: https://www.mobilize.us/2020victory/event/293967/

 GET OUT THE VOTE IN MAINE: Senator Susan Collins' PAC made contributions to two Maine candidates running for the state legislature who support the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon (https://bit.ly/2HjwnZKhttps://bit.ly/3o5FGxC). While her campaign has claimed that they were unaware of the candidates' ties to QAnon, social media accounts and interviews with the candidates show that they have been openly supporting this dangerous conspiracy theory. This kind of irresponsibility can have far-reaching consequences and is yet another reminder that it is time to vote Senator Collins out, and vote candidate Sara Gideon in. Let's set aside some time over the next two weeks to phone bank with NextGen Maine and Vote Save America to encourage Mainers to GOTV. We can find the time slots and sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/crooked/event/293707/

 POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: As of press time, Postcards To Voters (postcardstovoters.org) is still fortunate enough to be writing for Jaime Harrison for Senate in South Carolina. If we are a PTV volunteer, let's pull out all the stops in the days ahead to get as many written for Harrison as possible - are there friends, family, neighbors that we can get engaged in some socially distanced postcard-writing - or can we prepare sets for them with very clear directions (a sample helps) and stamped postcards included?

 TEXT WITH UNION WORKERS FOR BIDEN/HARRIS:  Join union workers from across the country on Fridays at 4 PM ET as we come together to talk to text voters about electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! Will need an internet connection and a laptop or tablet.  Let’s sign up here:  https://www.mobilize.us/nea/event/348500/

 POSTCARDING FOR CANDIDATES:  From one of our own:   "Postcarding isn’t over yet! There are some campaigns that are still going strong and could use your help - like Jaime Harrison’s race against Lindsay Graham for Senate in SC, and Phil Arballo’s race against Devin Nunes for Congress, and Mike Espy’s race for Senate in Mississippi. Additionally there are efforts afoot to get GOTV postcards to Navajo and Hopi voters in Arizona, and to infrequent Democratic voters in the swing states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and many more. Let’s check for more info at:  www.tinyurl.com/dem-GOTV-postcards".

 ELECTION - REGISTERING VOTERS

 ELECTION - OTHER

 FREE FOOD AND WATER FOR VOTERS IN LONG LINES: Chefs for the Polls will serve nourishing meals on early voting days and Election Day at polling places around the country. Let’s show our love to voters waiting in long lines by supporting Chefs for the Polls: https://chefsforthepolls.org/

PRO CHOICE VOTER GUIDE HAS INFO & TOOLS: With Roe in danger, it is time to make sure we elect as many pro-choice supporters as we can to help protect a woman’s right to choose. Fortunately VoteProChoice has a guide to help us with information in every race at the state and federal levels, as well as information in all judicial races.  County and local information will be added soon as well. We can also find sample email copy, social media graphics for download, and draft social media posts to use as we see fit.  We can click here to find Vote Pro Choice voter guides for our elections: https://www.voteprochoice.us/voter-guide  and toolkit:   
https://www.voteprochoice.us/partner-toolkit

 PROTECT THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION: Even though Biden has a comfortable lead in the polls, we need to continue to be vigilant about getting out the vote and making sure to mobilize across the country if Trump attempts to fight the results of a Biden win. Let’s check out Protect the Results and sign up to attend or host a November 4 event in our area.  

 REPUBLICANS LEAD IN REGISTERING SWING STATE VOTERS: As voter the two parties, especially in swing states:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/voter-registration-republicans-swing-states-narrow-gap/  and  https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2020/10/15/florida-republicans-cut-democrats-registration-edge-to-historic-low-1325644  Florida Republicans, for example, lag Democrats by just 134,242 registered voters, down from 327,483 when Trump won Florida by fewer than 113,000 votes in 2016.  Everything, in other words, now depends on turnout.  Let’s give Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R) the “Republican blood bath” he’s predicted:  particularly those of us in swing states.  Let’s postcard; write; call; offer transportation to the polls; where it’s legal, gather and deposit ballots for those who can’t go to the polls.  Anything and everything!

 PUMPKIN CARVING TEMPLATES:  “Looking for another fun way to decorate your home this Halloween and show your support for Trick or Vote? Try carving a patriotic pumpkin!”  Let’s check these out:  https://trickorvoteusa.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/pumpkin-carving-templates/

 STATE/LOCAL ISSUES

 AL, MS, PA, WI, WV, and WY: CALL FOR THE PROCESSING OF BALLOTS BEFORE ELECTION DAY—According to RepresentUs, the following states plan neither to process (that is, ready the ballot for counting) nor to count ballots before election day: WY,WI, AL, MS, WV, PA. This will cause extraordinary delays in getting an official ballot count from these states. If we are in these states, let’s contact our Secretary of State:  https://www.nass.org/membership and our State Legislators:  https://openstates.org/ and tell them that we are concerned with this state of affairs, that we want processing to start immediately, and we want assurances that our votes will be counted.

 MA: GUARANTEE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS BY SUPPORTING THE ROE ACT: With the likely confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the right for a woman to choose issues related to her health and her body hang by the thinnest of threads. S. 1209, The Roe Act will guarantee a full range of reproductive rights for women in Massachusetts, but the bill has been stuck in Committee. Let’s sign this petition urging state leaders to pass the Roe Act and contact our state legislators to urge their support.

 MI: CHILD MARRIAGE: Child marriage is still legal in nearly every state in the U.S. (https://bit.ly/3o5OFik). In December of last year, Representatives Sarah Anthony, Graham Filler, and Kara Hope introduced a package of bills (HB 400340044005) that would remove exemptions for marriage in the state of Michigan before the age of 18 (https://bit.ly/3jcvtLV). Since then, the bills have made no movement, even though one of the sponsors, Graham Filler, is the chair of the Judiciary Committee where the bills are currently sitting. Let's contact Chairman Filler and tell him that we want the Judiciary Committee to take up these bills immediately: Mailing Address: N-1197 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909. Phone: (517) 373-1778,  Email:  GrahamFiller@house.mi.gov. Then, let's contact our own state MoC and tell them that we support these bills and want them passed as soon as possible.

 MI: MORE VOTER SUPPRESSION:  A Michigan appeals court ruled last Friday that ballots received after 8 p.m. on election day cannot be counted, overturning a lower court that had ruled that ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within 14 days of the election could be counted; maybe this new ruling will be appealed, but meantime, Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan secretary of state, is urging voters to mail their ballots by MONDAY, OCTOBER 26 to ensure they will be counted: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/17/924930037/court-says-michigan-cannot-count-ballots-received-after-election-day We have Trump’s court appointments and DeJoy’s post office to thank for last minute rulings like this one.  Let’s make certain that Benson’s office uses the print press, the radio, TV, the phone, and social media to place urgent messages containing accurate information about voting that will reach ALL those eligible to cast a ballot: Secretary of State Benson, 888-767-6424 or 430 Allegan St, Austin Bld., 4th floor, Lansing, MI 48918

 RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

 UNBIAS YOUR BRAIN: "Are accusations of bias clogging your news feed? Are your friends quick to point out that something is unfair – but not as ready to explain why? Tune up your “fairness meter” to assess how objective or biased content really is. Reevaluate your media, win the battle for your brain!" Attend this October 21 webinar hosted by Freedom Forum, a non-profit that works to "raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms through education, advocacy and action." We can register here:  https://www.freedomforum.org/event/the-bias-meter-the-battle-for-your-brain/

 READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

 Letter to my Republican Dad on the 2020 Election - https://medium.com/@pjsimmons/letter-to-my-republican-dad-on-the-2020-election-19617719e573

 Emergency Rooms And Health Clinics Become Voter Registration Hubs - https://www.npr.org/2020/10/18/923754421/emergency-rooms-and-health-clinics-become-voter-registration-hubs

 Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled. - https://www.propublica.org/article/why-do-nonwhite-georgia-voters-have-to-wait-in-line-for-hours-their-numbers-have-soared-and-their-polling-places-have-dwindled 

 Good Guys Win - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrBLqhXlGY0&feature=youtu.be

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 We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule