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11/7/19

NATIONAL ISSUES




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KEEP PRESSING FOR IMPEACHMENT: On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland “refreshed” his recollection and changed his testimony to acknowledge that there was “quid pro quo” in Trump’s withholding of aid to Ukraine:  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/sondland-changes-testimony-acknowledges-delivering-quid-pro-quo-message-ukraine-n1076736  and then on Wednesday the House Intelligence Committee released the transcript of Ambassador William Taylor’s closed-door testimony which ALSO acknowledges the quid pro quo:  https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20191106taylor_transcipt_excerpts38964.pdf    Notice how the Republican strategy to defend Trump keeps changing? First, the Republicans said there was no quid pro quo. Then, when several witnesses testified that there actually was a quid pro quo, they complained about the lack of a vote and transparent process. Now that there’s been a vote and a process has been laid out, they’re going after the whistleblower, even though several witnesses have already corroborated what the whistleblower said. What’s most disturbing is that the Republicans are spending their energy protecting Trump, rather than weighing the serious nature of his alleged crimes. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/469145-senate-republicans-struggle-to-coalesce-behind-an-impeachment-strategy. Let’s keep up the steady drumbeat with our MoC that extortion is wrong and tell our MoCs that we support a full and fair impeachment process and we’re tired of their pathetic attempts to deflect and belittle the President’s violations of the Constitution. 

SECURING OUR ELECTIONS: This impressive list of federal agencies has just declared, foreign interference in our elections is an ever-present danger:  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/joint-statement-department-justice-dod-dhs-dni-fbi-nsa-and-cisa-ensuring-security-2020 and https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/claudiakoerner/2020-election-meddling-warning-russia-china-iran Let's ask each of our senators what steps she/he/they are taking to execute this "whole-of-government" approach to election security, particularly with regards to the bills that the House has already passed including the SHIELD Act  (HR 4617)  SHIELD Act and the SAFE Act (HR 2722)  

CALL OUT ICE/CBP FOR INHUMANE PRACTICES AND DEFUND HATE: Just in case we need more reasons to convince our MoCs to vote against any additional funds for ICE and Customs Border Patrol (CBP), here’s what they are doing with money that Congress has already appropriated: buying 33 million bullets for new handguns. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-27/u-s-border-patrol-buys-33-million-bullets-for-new-glock-handgun  Meanwhile, they refuse to provide flu vaccines for people in detention https://www.cbsnews.com/news/migrants-in-detention-doctors-in-congress-urge-border-officials-to-offer-families-and-children-flu-vaccinations/and even rejected delivery of vaccines from a coalition of community groups. https://www.afsc.org/blogs/news-and-commentary/border-patrol-denies-delivery-flu-vaccines-to-detained-migrants. Congress will need to vote again on appropriations before current Continuing Resolution runs out on November 21st. Let’s keep telling our MoCs that they must defund hate and vote against funding ICE and CBP. 

STOP COLLECTION OF MIGRANT DNA: We have only one more week to stop a rule that would allow the administration to collect DNA from any detained asylum-seeker to be put into a “National Criminal Database.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/dna-testing-immigrants.html and  https://www.npr.org/2019/10/21/772035602/justice-department-announces-plan-to-collect-dna-from-migrants-crossing-the-bord This policy falsely demonizes all immigrants and asylum-seekers and is also dangerous to their families. Let’s make sure to submit a comment on the federal register and also ask our MoCs to do something about this flagrant invasion of privacy and violation of human rights. 

CLIMATE EMERGENCY DECLARED: “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat . . .. On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” so begins the warning from scientists issued on November 5th,  the 40th anniversary of the First World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1979: 
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806  As the Trump administration fights the Clean Water Act—in the Supreme Court (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/05/supreme-court-hearing-arguments-in-clean-water-act-case-over-maui-reef.html , and pulls us out of the Paris Accord (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50297029) and commits itself to environmental destruction, we must make our voices heard in the White House, Congress, and the EPA: Mail Code 1101A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460 or 202-564-4700

PHONY PHONE CALLS:  “The Republican National Committee (RNC) funded an effort to tie up House Democrats’ office phone lines as the impeachment fight with the Trump administration intensifies, The New York Times reported Monday.  The RNC paid for about 11,000 calls to almost three dozen House Democrats to influence public opinion on the impeachment inquiry and clog the representatives’ phone lines, affecting access to the lawmakers, two people briefed on the effort told the Times. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/468938-rnc-funded-effort-to-jam-house-democrats-office-phone-lines-amid-impeachment  If you haven’t been able to reach your MOC at their Washington office to tell them to support the impeachment because the phones are busy, you can email, tweet or call their local office. Be sure to them your zip code and that you are a voting member of their district.   We can be smarter and more honest than the GOP.

STAND UP FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY PATRONS: The county commissioners of Citrus County, Florida, denied a funding request from the county’s public librarians to purchase a digital New York Times subscription because Trump has deemed the newspaper “fake news.” Seventy-thousand Citrus County library card holders will now be denied digital access to the Times. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-york-times-digital-subscription-citrus-county-florida-officials-deny-librarys-request-digital-trump-fake-news/ Let’s tell the Citrus County Board of Commissioners 
https://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/photos.htm  that their decision undermines the mission of Citrus County’s public libraries, 
https://www.citruslibraries.org/mission/, and that they should reverse their decision:  Jeff Kinard jeff.kinnard@citrusbocc.com, Brian Coleman 
brian.coleman@citrusbocc.com, Scott E. Carhahan 
scott.carnahan@citrusbocc.com, Ronald E. Kitchen 
ronald.kitchen@citrusbocc.com, Jimmie T. Smith 

HELP TO FRAME PERSUASIVELY:  App teaches activists how to 'frame' issues to be more persuasive. People use mental shortcuts to make sense of things. Frame discussions to fit people's existing beliefs to get their support. A free new app enables such skills to be taught and practiced remotely.  Let’s check this out: https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs/framingtraining

ACA OPEN ENROLLMENT:  It is not being advertised this year, but it is sign-up time for healthcare.  https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/01/obamacare-open-enrollment-begins-with-new-aca-lower-rates.html  Let’s use this link to sign up and to help others:  https://www.getamericacovered.org/ and let’s use this toolkit link to get the word out in our circles: 
https://www.getamericacovered.org/

ELECTION/VOTING

P2V VOLUNTEER ELECTION RESULTS. a) KYCampaign 171: Slate of Democrats, from Governor to State Treasurer. Democratic candidate Andy Beshear won over incumbent Matthew Bevin (R), although Bevin is contesting the race (https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776937037/kentucky-gop-gov-bevin-officially-requests-recanvass-of-election-results).  All other high-level positions went to Republican candidates. (results at Courier Journal.);  b) VACampaign 176: Herb Jones for State Senate; The Republican incumbent Tommy Norment won, though by a slimmer margin than in prior elections. (The Virginia Gazette). c) MSCampaign 177: Joe Bradford for State House (D78); results not located; d) VACampaign 178: Karen Keys-Gamarra for Fairfax County School Board; Keys-Gamarra has been re-elected. (Fairfax County Times); e) PACampaign 179: 5 Dems for Whitpain Township Board; Results not located. f) MSCampaign 180: Wendy McDonald for State House (HD122); McDonald lost to her opponent. (SunHerald) . g) TXCampaign 173: Dr. Eliz Markowitz for State House. Dr. Markowitz lead the field with 39.06 percent of the vote and will face Republican Gary Gates in a run-off election. (Patch.com)

GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION RESULTS: 1) KENTUCKY: Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) was able to emerge victorious. (LEX18) Incumbent Matt Bevin (R) has not yet conceded and may try to have the race decided by state legislature. (Courier Journal);  2) LOUISIANA: This race between incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone (R) will be decided in a Saturday, Nov. 16 run-off election. The President is turning his attention to this race. (APNews) 3) MISSISSIPPI :  Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won the race for Mississippi governor Tuesday night, defeating Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood. (USA Today

NEW JERSEY GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION RESULTS. Elections for all 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly took place Tuesday. We can review the results at NJ.com.

VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE ELECTION RESULTS: Democrats have won control of the Virginia legislature for the first time since 1994. Let's read more at The Hill.

SELECT MAYORAL RACE RESULTS 1) San Francisco CA:  Incumbent Mayor London Breed (non-partisan) is running to retain her position in this election. Mayor Breed has won her first full four-year term. (SFChronicle2) Houston TX: Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner competed against 11 challenger and is headed to a December 14 run-off election . (Houston Chronicle 3) Indianapolis IN: Incumbent Joseph Hogsett (D) faced five challengers in his bid for a second term and won. (IndyStar).  4) Wichita KS: State Rep. Brandon Whipple pulled off a Wichita mayoral upset Tuesday night, defeating incumbent Jeff Longwell. (Wichita Business Journal)

MORE NOTABLE ELECTION RESULTS: a) KY: Republican Daniel Cameron was elected Kentucky's next attorney general Tuesday —the first African American to ever win a race for the office and the first Republican to do so in over 70 years. (Courier Journal); b) Tucson AZ: Former City Council member Regina Romero (D) was elected the city's mayor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and first Latina to hold the office. (The Hill); c) Boston MA:  Voters in Boston’s 5th City Council district elected Ricardo Arroyo Tuesday night, making him the first person of color to win the seat. (WGBH.org); d) VA: Democrat Shelly Simonds lost a random drawing out of a bowl that determined control of the Virginia House of Delegates nearly two years ago has won a rematch against her Republican opponent. (CBSNews)

2019 ELECTIONS/POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: On Tuesday night, in off-year elections, Kentucky elected a Democratic governor and Virginia flipped both the State House and Senate blue: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/05/kentucky-governor-race-andy-beshear-matt-bevin These elections were a great reminder that we can get involved in elections across the country in the year ahead. If we are not yet registered to write with Postcards To Voters or have not written lately, let’s get (re-)connected:  https://postcardstovoters.org  Postcards to Voters' Campaign 181: John Bel Edwards for Governor. The run-off election is Saturday, November 16Let's request 5 addresses today!

2020 BLUE WAVE DATABASE IS HERE: If we are looking for 2020 Election information or if we have some to share, we can check out Equal Vote Local’s BlueWave Database 2020. We can click here to find information about candidates, voting and more arranged by state. This editable document also allows us to add our groups and any candidates running for office:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ir8YGs1F0Lfayl6T7XR7tklnYrEk4VcEzTkPumLVWAI  We can also find out more about Equal here at their website:  https://www.equalvotelocal.com/

STATE/LOCAL

MI:  SUPPORT BILL THAT WOULD MAKE ELECTION DAY A STATE HOLIDAY: “Proposed legislation currently in the Michigan House of Representatives would make regular elections in May, August, and November state holidays. The bill was accompanied by a House joint resolution that calls on Congress to declare Election Day a federal holiday. In addition, the bill would encourage employers to allow their employees to have at least a half-day of paid leave in order to vote.”  https://www.michiganradio.org/post/proposed-bill-would-make-election-day-state-holiday This would give more flexibility to so many voters.  Let’s contact our representatives and tell them we support this bill.

WI: FIND LOCAL OFFICES TO RUN FOR WITH SUPPORT OF STATE DEM PARTY: If we are thinking about running for office in our state, or know someone who is, The Wisconsin Democratic Party stands ready to help. When we click here, we can see what local offices are available for us:  https://www.wisdemsspringforward.org/search-to-run then use the tools provided here , VAN access, a Candidate Handbook and Toolkit, to get our local campaign up and running: https://www.wisdemsspringforward.org/
Increased voter turnout from the Presidential Primary held on the same date as the Spring Elections will give our campaigns a boost and help from the party can get us over the finish line. Let’s make 2020 Wisconsin’s bluest year yet!

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

HOME IS HERE MARCH FOR DACA AND TPS: “To draw national attention to the current jeopardy both DACA and TPS are in, we are marching from the Statue of Liberty (New York) to the Supreme Court (D.C) to defend DACA and TPS.  Join us for our Home is Here March, starting at the Statue of Liberty on October 26 and ending in front of the Supreme Court on November 12. On November 12, when Supreme Court justices walk into the Court to begin proceedings on DACA, they will see that the majority of people in this country (83%) support undocumented immigrants and their families.”  We can learn more about the march here:  https://www.homeisheremarch.org/home and, if we cannot join in, we can follow the progress here: https://www.homeisheremarch.org/news-updates   

IMPEACHMENT/NOVEMBER RECESS: From November 2nd thru the 11th, the House will be on recess, with many representatives back in their home districts. Just like we did during their October recess, let's make sure to make impeachment a focal point during townhalls and in-person meet ups with our representatives. We can find a townhall or event near us here, or if there isn't one yet, we can register one here. Whether we can attend an event in-person or not, let's also be sure to call our not-onboard MoCs and ask them one question: Do you think it's OK to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections? Then, let's take note of their response and share it on social media. We can find more information and toolkits at https://www.impeachnow.org/

ELECTION SECURITY RALLIES: “Election security experts are warning that too many states and localities have election systems that are vulnerable to hacking and external actors.  On Wednesday, November 13th, join activists across the country as we gather outside of Senate offices to urge our Senators to pass $600 million in election security funding and to include accountability language to ensure the money is well-spent.”  More info:  https://secureourvote.us/take-action/  Guide for hosting:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OXaQmIYBWYfb6_MFsyL3rWpB3IWojGyCcC6k8HRgcwA/edit

CLIMATE STRIKES CONTINUE:  From Future Coalition:  On Nov 29 & Dec 6, we strike again! Youth across the U.S. will lead a #ClimateStrike on Nov 29 & Dec 6 to demand legislative action to combat the climate crisis.  Strike with us!  Let’s find or host an event:  https://strikewithus.org/

ATTEND A NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW RALLY: MoveOn is sponsoring “No One is Above the Law Rallies on the night before the House votes on Articles of Impeachment. We can sign up here to organize or attend an event in our area. 

READING/WATCHING

Heartwarming Election Stories that Didn’t Make the National News - https://demcastusa.com/2019/11/06/heartwarming-election-stories-that-didnt-make-the-national-news/

Tracking President Trump's Unprecedented Conflicts of Interest - https://www.citizensforethics.org/trump-conflicts-of-interest-tracking/

Stop fearmongering about 'Medicare for All.' Most families would pay less for better care - https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/22/medicare-all-simplicity-savings-better-health-care-column/4055597002/


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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




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