Calling BS On Thoughts and Prayers

There aren’t words for what happened in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. The trauma inflicted on the students and their families is so unimaginably vast that it may alter the course of American history.

Parkland’s students are forging their heartbreak and anger into action. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, stood in front of the world’s news cameras and spoke her truth to the nominal leader of the free world just days after February 14:

If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy, and how it should never have happened, and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association. But hey, you want to know something? It doesn’t matter, because I already know: $30 million. … To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!

Gonzalez and her classmates are calling BS on the fiction that tighter regulation doesn’t save lives. It does. Fewer guns means fewer deaths, every time.

They demand that we take action, and we owe it to them and to ourselves to do so. Here’s where you come in. You can:

Support legislation requiring reasonable regulation of firearms:

Let Your MoC Know How You Feel About Their Track Record:

 

  • Outside the East Bay:
    • Explore this NPR chart to see how your Members of Congress have voted on gun bills.
    • Find out whether your representatives are funded by the NRA.
    • If your MoCs support gun safety, thank them! You can be sure the NRA is getting their members to give them grief, and they need to hear from you.
    • If your MoCs oppose reasonable regulation of firearms or are being bought by the NRA, tell them they’re not representing your wishes; tell them you won’t vote for them and will work against them. This fundraising piece from Gabby Giffords has graphics you can print and make into a postcard or tape to a piece of paper. You can use Giffords’ tweets for inspiration for your message too.

Hit the Streets and Support the Students:

Support and Donate to a Gun Safety Organization:

 

CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (email)
(415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841

Sen. Kamala Harris (email)
(415) 355-9041 • DC: (202) 224-3553

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (email): (510) 620-1000 DC: (202) 225-2095
Rep. Barbara Lee (email): (510) 763-0370 DC: (202) 225-2661
Rep. Eric Swalwell (email): (510) 370-3322 DC: (202) 225-5065

 

Photograph of Emma Gonzalez copyright CNN

IEB Celebrates UnPresident’s Day Weekend

By Katherine Cameron

On February 17, 2018, IEB members joined with Alameda4Impeachment (A4I) to celebrate UnPresident’s Day Weekend by advocating for impeachment at a town hall held by Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) in Hayward. As a considerable crowd gathered to hear from their member of Congress IEB and A4I held a large impeachment banner nearby, and collected signatures on a letter to Rep. Swalwell. The crowd’s response to the impeachment message was entirely positive, with some people expressing desperation over the current administration.

IEB member John Ota handed out a flyer asking why Rep. Swalwell has not yet co-sponsored H.Res. 621, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)’s resolution to impeach Trump, and why Swalwell voted TWICE against earlier impeachment resolutions by Rep. Al Green (D-TX). The lime green flyer was eagerly received by almost everyone and was very visible in their hands. The crowd was enthusiastic about the “Make America Great Again – Impeach Donald Trump” banner, and thirty-five people signed letters, which we delivered immediately to Swalwell’s staff.

Rep. Swalwell said, as he has before, that he does not support the impeachment resolutions at this time because he wants a fair investigation into impeachable offenses. However, such an investigation won’t happen until there’s a Democratic Congress. Swalwell appears to be worried that an impeachment investigation in Congress could expose information that would impede Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but he did not provide any specifics to support this position, and many constitutional scholars disagree that Mueller’s and the Congressional inquiries are inextricably linked. An impeachment investigation in Congress would have a far broader scope with different evidentiary standards than the Special Counsel’s investigation. Moreover, impeachment is the only Constitutional way to permanently remove a President from office aside from the 25th Amendment. This White Paper from Free Speech For People provides more information about the legal case for Congress to initiate an impeachment investigation and why a House impeachment investigation doesn’t need to wait for the conclusion of the Mueller investigation.

Despite this, Rep. Swalwell made a point in his remarks to acknowledge our pro-impeachment banner and action table, and he encouraged our groups to keep showing up at his events. We’ll keep you informed of Swalwell’s future events on IEB’s CA-15 Slack channel and in the newsletter, so stay tuned!

What you can do:

Contact your East Bay Member of Congress or attend a town hall. Check out this page for a sample message and contact info, along with more background info. Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13) recently co-sponsored H.Res. 621, after a long period of deliberation: if she is your MoC, please thank her. Representative Mark DeSaulnier has not yet sponsored H.Res. 621 but is a good prospect, because he supported Rep. Green’s Resolutions in the past.

Good news! Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2, Marin County) just co-sponsored H.Res. 621 – an unexpected and positive development.

Katherine Cameron is a member of Alameda4Impeachment who spent most of her adult years working for Washington State government in human services. She is currently retired, and lives with her husband on Alameda Island, where she writes, gardens, and works to impeach Donald Trump, not necessarily in that order.

Photograph by Katherine Cameron

 

Save Alta Bates: CNA Hosts Forum and You Can Take Action

The California Nurses Association (CNA) hosted a forum on February 3, 2018 on their initiative to save Alta Bates from closure by Sutter Health. State Senator Nancy Skinner, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Berkeley Fire Chief Dave Brannigan, and other East Bay officials and citizens spoke over the course of several hours to a standing room only audience at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley.

As Berkeleyside reports, Sutter recently announced “plans to relocate emergency and delivery services to Oakland’s Summit campus by 2030, the state’s deadline for full-service hospitals to make seismic upgrades.” Every speaker emphasized that such a significant change would devastate the already overburdened health care services in the East Bay. Among other things, since Doctors Medical Center of San Pablo closed in 2015, Alta Bates has under state law been the only medical facility that serves the whole of the East Bay north of Oakland (including west Contra Costa County) where emergency services like paramedics can deliver patients.

Sen. Skinner and Mayor Arreguín addressed Sutter Health’s status as a non-profit entity and state and city governments’ ability to regulate it. Particularly, Skinner spoke of Senate Bill 687, a bill she authored that would have given the Attorney General oversight of hospital closures. Governor Brown vetoed S.B. 687 last year, and Skinner now plans to rework the bill. Mayor Arreguín questioned Sutter’s non-profit status, noting that Sutter had over $15 million in assets after 2016 and asking whether it was providing the requisite “community benefits” to receive that status and if Alta Bates’ closure would affect the answer to that question.

Near the end of the program, Chief Brannigan spoke to Alta Bates’ role in providing emergency medical services, working as a crucial node in the nexus for firefighters and paramedics. Alta Bates’ closure would increase transit time to doctors at locations in Oakland and add to those sites’ existing workload. Those minutes can make the difference in individual cases of life or death, and can be catastrophic in a regional emergency like an earthquake. And that’s not to mention the significant overhaul that the dispatch and response services would have to undergo, which would take years to implement at significant cost to taxpayers.

At the conclusion of the forum attendees filled out postcards to Sutter’s CEO, requesting that Sutter invest in retrofitting Alta Bates or sell it to someone who would retrofit rather than close it. Indivisible East Bay will continue to follow this story as it develops. In the meantime, here are some ways you can support Alta Bates:

  • Write to Sutter CEO Sarah Krevans, 2480 Natomas Park Dr #150, Sacramento, CA 95833, expressing your support for keeping Alta Bates open for the good of the community and the entire East Bay.
  • Say thank you to Sen. Nancy Skinner for her work to keep Alta Bates open and to require oversight of proposed hospital closures.
  • If you live in Berkeley or Oakland, tell your City Council member(s) you want them to support keeping Alta Bates open and to continue oversight of Sutter’s attempts to close the facility.

February All Member Meeting: Actions For 2018 Midterms

Wondering how you can help flip the House at November’s midterm elections? Learn all about canvassing with experienced groups in nearby winnable congressional districts by coming to Indivisible East Bay’s February All Members Meeting on Sunday, February 25, from 1-3 PM at Sports Basement, Berkeley. RSVP here (free). 

Lora Jo Foo from Working America will talk about her group’s effective work in CA-10 (Modesto) and CA-21 (San Joaquin Valley), and Organizing for Action’s Kook Huber will outline the wide range of actions scheduled between now and November to help flip CA-21. Kook is spearheading the CD-21 Action Coalition, which IEB has joined. 

Lora Jo and Kook will also lead a breakout session where you can ask questions and learn more. They have tons of experience in progressive organizing, and their passion is contagious. Canvassing is rewarding and fun, and easier than you think! You’ll be trained and paired with an experienced canvasser.  Don’t be surprised if you sign up for everything! And you can sign up here to help the CD-21 Action Coalition in ways other than canvassing – see the phone bank schedule and check out other volunteer opportunities. 

Or want to join one of Swing Left’s monthly trips to canvass in Sanger or Mendota in a 15-passenger van? They’re scheduling March trips now. Due to the distance there’s even talk of crashing in sleeping bags in the Red Church in Fresno or similar historic sites. How cool is that?

Finally, don’t forget to check out the “Phone & Text Banks” and “Help Us Flip This Thing” sections in our weekly newsletter for ways you can flip from home or at local banking events. ” What’s that you say – you don’t get our newsletter?!  Please subscribe!

    

 

For the Birds

By Christina Tarr

On February 18, 2018, Indivisible East Bay and Golden Gate Audubon Society held a birding-and-postcard-activism event near the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt in Oakland. We told people about our local avian wildlife and about the 100 year old Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which proposed legislation and an interpretation of the Act by the Department of Interior are now threatening; and we told them how they can protect the birds by speaking up to protect the MBTA. Lake Merritt, the first National Wildlife Refuge in the country, was an ideal place for our event.

Kingfisher. PhotographyByRex
Kingfisher in tree at Lake Merritt. Copyright PhotographyByRex

We had two scopes zoomed in on the birds hanging out on or near the islands. A kingfisher posed for a long time on a snag, and a red-shouldered hawk sat watchfully above our table, hidden unless you happened to look in the scope. As usual, there were crowds of herons and egrets, coots, a canvasback duck, several scaup and even an American white pelican named Hank. One of our Golden Gate Audubon docents led a group on a bird walk, pointing out white-crowned sparrows, a yellow-rumped warbler, and a western bluebird on the lawn.

Bird walk Lake Merritt. Photo by Heidi Rand
Bird walk Lake Merritt. Photo by Heidi Rand

In all, people wrote 120 postcards! Most (40) wanted to send Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke a piece of their mind, but many also realized that it’s important to write to our Members of Congress even when they’re on the right side of an issue. The grand totals: Senators Feinstein (29) and Harris (23); and Representatives Lee (14), DeSaulnier (8), Swalwell (4), Pelosi (1) and even one to Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) by some tourists from Los Angeles. The front of the postcards showed off original artwork of Lake Merritt birds by local wildlife artist Maddy Donahue.

Bird walk Lake Merritt.
Bird walk & postcards at Lake Merritt. Photo by Heidi Rand

Did you miss this great event? We’ll have Maddy’s wonderful postcards at the IEB All Members Meeting on Sunday, February 25 at Sports Basement, 2727 Milvia Street, Berkeley. RSVP here or register at the door. We’re covering the cost of the postcards, and we’ll deliver your written postcards to our MoCs’ local offices, and mail the rest to Secretary Zinke.

For more information and actions you can take, read Christina Tarr’s article about threats to the MBTA and check out the National Audubon Society’s Action Center’s talking points.

Christina Tarr is a local librarian with an interest in birds and wild places.

Border Wall: Bad for People and Other Living Things

By Christina Tarr

A keystone of Trump’s presidential campaign was his call for an enormous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Trump, Mexico would pay for it and it would keep very dangerous immigrants out. The idea is popular with xenophobic and racist members of his base, and we know he continues to use the argument to whip up their support.

On January 18, 2018, Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly said that Trump’s ideas on the border wall had evolved, and that he was willing to consider fencing or other nonphysical ways to monitor the border. But in fact, Trump’s thinking has not evolved. He shot back in a Tweet:

We all know what a disaster this wall would be for humans – splitting families apart, forcing people who must cross the border into more and more inhospitable and dangerous lands while cutting off access to American-owned lands along the border. And we know the wall would be futile at curbing immigration. As Bill Maher says, “You know how immigrants come here, right? They buy a ticket, just like you do when you’re returning from Cabo. They fly here, and then they stay.”

We all also know there are far better things we could do with the $66.9 billion the wall is estimated to cost. The Sierra Club notes that even for the $3 billion budgeted for immigration enforcement funds for fiscal year 2018, we could create 45,000 middle class jobs, or build 184 new elementary schools.

Bottom line: It’s a dumb idea and a waste of money.

But there’s more: often overlooked in the furor and tweets about the wall is the irrevocable damage it would do to the environment. The 654 miles of existing walls and fences on the US-Mexico border have already made an environmental mess: destroying pristine wilderness, harming populations of rare and endangered animals, and causing flood or starving the land of water. And there is every reason to believe that adding more miles of wall would do more of the same:

  • The border lands are an area of great species richness, both because they are at the edges of different habitats, and also because they are underpopulated and have been protected from human activity for hundreds of years. These lands are home to Sonoran pronghorn, prairie dogs, black bears, and gray wolves; they contain some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the continent. More than 450 rare species live here – some cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. At least 700 neotropical birds, mammals, and insects migrate through the borderlands each year.
  • The wall would destroy and fragment habitats of rare and endangered animals including the jaguar, ocelot, and Mexican gray wolf, cut them off from larger populations needed to retain gene pools or from water and food, and block migration corridors for endangered species.
  • The wall, if high enough, could block birds and bats from resources and larger populations on the other side of it.
  • The wall could kill pollinators, including butterflies, with lights and zaps.
  • The wall would act as a dam, blocking water from flowing where it needs to go and causing flooding by interrupting flood plains.
  • Construction of the wall would not be regulated by law. The Department of Homeland Security has, bizarrely, used Section 102 of the 2005 Real ID Act to waive construction on 15 miles along the San Diego border from complying with any part of 37 federal laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Solid Waste Disposal Act.
  • Wildlife refuges and national parks may be most at risk for wall construction because the U.S. government already owns the land.
  • Concrete construction releases a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide, posing environmental risks that this Administration has shown no inclination to control or mitigate.

How we can fight against the wall:

  • Contact your members of congress. Let them know you oppose the environmental consequences of this wall in addition to the human costs. 
  • Tell everyone you know, and urge them to contact their MoCs.
  • Contact your city, county, and state and ask them to divest from companies that would profit from building the wall.
  • See Indivisible Guide’s article “Resisting Trump’s Budget: No Cuts, No Wall, No Deportation Force” for more info and talking points.
  • See the Sierra Club’s “Border Wall Toolkit
  • Find more actions at Center for Biological Diversity’s article “No Border Wall
  • Look for chances to resist – like this protest in Texas – and take part, or organize one in your community!

 

Christina Tarr is a local librarian with an interest in birds and wild places. 

Photograph © Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

A Conversation on Race

By Ted Lam

Bay Area Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Barbara Lee (CA-13) hosted “A Conversation on Race” at Contra Costa College in San Pablo on February 3. Nearly 450 people spent their Saturday afternoon listening to, and engaging with, a distinguished panel of experts featuring UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón Jr. and UCB Professors Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Ula Y. Taylor, and john a. powell. While a timely kickoff to Black History month, it was also a sad reminder of how far we have to go to realize the goals of racial equality. 

Representative Lee pointed out ways that the current administration has created problems, rather than solutions, in our country’s ongoing discussion about race, from the theme of “Make America Great Again” – which really means “Make America White Again” – to institutional obstacles to racial equality like the current criminal justice system.

Professor Taylor spoke movingly about seeing the many homeless “tent cities” in the Bay Area, linking them to a display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. that commemorated the tents in which the first freed slaves were housed by Union soldiers at the end of the Civil War. Taylor proclaimed that “tent cities are the epitome of racism.”

Professor Bedolla struck a chord when she reminded us NOT to use the term “identity politics” because it minimizes the deep structural history and inequalities that we have to come to grips with if we’re going to change the status of different groups in American society. 

The difficulty of moving forward, cautioned Professor powell, lies in the history of legalized slavery in America. He noted that in recent years most African Americans’ “wealth”, such as it was, resided in the equity on their homes. However, since the Great Recession, that equity has massively decreased and not recovered appreciably due to predatory lending practices targeted at the African American community. Professor powell sardonically noted that some of the evils of the Administration’s tax scam may unexpectedly bypass African Americans: “The recent GOP tax bill will take more wealth from others – not black people, because we don’t have a lot – and distribute it to top.”

Congresswoman Lee shared some illuminating and inspiring stories from her own history. Lee recalled being told she could not try out to be a cheerleader at San Fernando High because she was African American. In true form, Lee refused to accept this; she brought in the NAACP to help her get the school board policy changed so all cheerleaders could try out in front of, and be chosen by, the student body – and Barbara Lee became a cheerleader! The audience cheered wildly — although we could imagine the many hard moments Lee must have endured that she omitted from the story, in the end she prevailed — and as a reminder, this photo of her, triumphant in her cheerleader uniform, hangs above the door of her DC office.

Barbara Lee cheerleader

During the question and answer period, several attendees spoke up about their experiences with race in their communities and asked the panel for advice or how to deal with issues related to race. Some stories were very personal and touched on a part of the American experience that is rarely aired in public. The large, engaged audience appreciated the opportunity to tell their stories to each other, their elected representatives, and the panelists.

Did you miss the event? Watch the video here. And stay tuned for more events, Reps DeSaulnier and Lee plan to make this a series.

Ted Lam is retired from the USCG and currently works as a civil engineer.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me – On Impeachment!

By Rosemary Jordan

The Indivisible Guide reminds us that even deep in the bluest areas of the country with sympathetic Members of Congress, there’s work to do. Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve achieved a major milestone after a year of work by Indivisible groups in the East Bay. On February 2, 2018, Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13) became a cosponsor of House Resolution 621, Articles of Impeachment. John Ota, of Alameda4Impeachment, a grassroots group based in Alameda, welcomed Lee’s action as a “significant and concrete step in the long but necessary process of removing a President who is constantly attacking the very foundations of our democracy and endangering our national security.”

H.Res. 621, sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), calls for the impeachment of President Trump on grounds of obstruction of justice, violation of the Constitutional prohibitions on a U.S. official receiving money or gifts from foreign governments and/or from state governments, abuse of power by actions undermining the rule of law, and actions undermining the freedom of the press.

Rep. Lee became the tenth cosponsor of H.Res. 621 and the first from California. Lee voted twice before in favor of impeachment resolutions by Rep. Al Green (D-TX); both times, Republicans, joined by many Democrats including several Bay Area members of Congress, succeeded in stopping the resolutions through procedural motions.

Members of Alameda4Impeachment, along with Indivisible East Bay allies, attended Rep. Lee’s town halls and other events, met with Rep. Lee and her staff twice a month, and gathered over 500 letters at the 2018 Oakland Women’s March, all urging her to cosponsor H.Res. 621. Ota said that this grassroots lobbying success shows that “people power works if people are persistent, organized and determined” in their efforts. Alameda4Impeachment intends to keep working with Indivisible East Bay to persuade other members of Congress, especially those in the Bay Area, to support H.Res. 621 and impeachment.

What you can do:

Send Rep. Lee some Valentine’s love for speaking for us! Emails, tweets, or postcards are all great. Or call in your love! Use your own words or the script below.

My name is ___________ and my zip code is ___________. I want to thank Representative Lee for co-sponsoring House Resolution 621. Rep. Lee stands on the right side of history and I want her to know I stand with her.

Rep. Barbara Lee (email); (510) 763-0370 DC: (202) 225-2661; 1301 Clay Street #1000N, Oakland CA 94612; @RepBarbaraLee

Are you a constituent of Eric Swalwell (CA-15) or Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)? Please let them know you want them to speak for you too! Ask them to join Rep. Lee in supporting H.Res. 621.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (email); (510) 370-3322 DC: (202) 225-5065; 3615 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley CA 94546; @EricSwalwell

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (email); (510) 620-1000 DC: (202) 225-2095; 3100 Oak Rd., Walnut Creek CA 94597; @RepDeSaulnier

Rosemary Jordan is Co-Founder of Alameda4Impeachment, a registered Indivisible group and a partner in the Citizens Impeachment Coalition, which includes representatives of cities, towns and counties nationwide (including four in the East Bay) that have passed local Impeachment resolutions. Rosemary also serves on the Steering Committee of All Rise Alameda and is co-leader of the End The Tampon Tax In California campaign. She has over 20 years of professional experience in healthcare and aging.

Canvass With Swing Left in District 21

By Dave Halsing

Editors’ note: The information in this article is presented by Swing Left East Bay, one of IEB’s community partners.

Swing Left East Bay is an all-volunteer group that connects East Bay residents to events aimed at “flipping” House seats in nearby Congressional districts in the November 2018 election: electing Democrats in districts that currently have Republican representatives. Swing Left East Bay volunteers focus on canvassing, a high-impact method to connect with voters by knocking on doors where registered Democrats and unregistered voters live. Our primary goals are to provide information and increase voter awareness, registration and participation. Because our ultimate goal is to win elections, we target “flippable” – that is, winnable – Congressional districts.

Bay Area volunteers are focusing mainly on California Congressional districts 10 (CA-10, Modesto) and 21 (CA-21, Fresno County). Both are represented by Republicans who are fully committed to the destructive Trump and Republican Party agenda, and Swing Left and other Democratic activist groups have been working in both. Because CA-10 is closer to the Bay Area it has gotten the most attention, but since we must win in CA-21 (only 3 hours away) to retake control in Congress, we’re ramping up our work and calls for volunteers there. 

PLEASE SIGN UP TODAY TO JOIN SWING LEFT EAST BAY IN CA-21!

Canvassing is THE MOST EFFECTIVE strategy to flip Republican districts to the Democratic column. Most first-time canvassers find it rewarding and fun, and easier than they thought it would be. The canvassing app we use with tablets or smart phones guides our conversations and records all responses. The data is uploaded immediately, so it can be shared with other groups to get the most out of our interactions and avoid duplicating efforts. We train you on-site right before you start, and will pair you with an experienced canvasser if you want. 

Volunteers have the option to meet up in the East Bay and carpool to the canvassing location. Many volunteers choose to spend a night there between two days of canvassing, but that’s not required. See more details on carpooling and lodging options below.

Note that while we have a real need for canvassing volunteers in general, we’re especially looking to increase the number with a working knowledge of Spanish. PLEASE share this request with your Spanish-speaking friends and family members.

Our canvassing is working!

In a single weekend in mid-January, our group of 10-12 East Bay-based Swing Left volunteers knocked on 832 doors over one and a half days. We talked with 160 residents, a contact rate of over 19% – almost double the expected rate. We got approximately 40-50 pledge cards from people who said they are committed to voting for the Democratic candidate.

The likely CA-21 Democratic candidate, Emilio Huerta, was also out canvassing the neighborhood that weekend. We gave people information on Huerta, who learned community organizing and leadership from his mother, Dolores Huerta, the famed labor organizer and activist. A lifelong resident of the Central Valley, Huerta has deep roots to the community and is now a practicing civil rights lawyer. We also informed people about Republican incumbent David Valadao, including his negative voting record to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut corporate taxes, and his denial of climate change and opposition to same-sex marriage.

Upcoming Canvassing Events

Please visit the Swing Left CA-21 Calendar and sign up for a canvassing/voter registration event! Please RSVP so the host can schedule enough turfs and provide snacks and water.

In the details for each event on the calendar, you’ll find a link to a shared spreadsheet to sign up to carpool from the Bay Area (either as driver or passenger). Free lodging is available with 2 weeks’ notice (sleeping bags on a carpeted floor of a church that has offered to also provide breakfast if needed). The Hotel Piccadilly, 2305 W Shaw Ave, Fresno is a very good budget hotel option for ~$77/night. There are also Airbnb and HomeAway options available with other team members if you’re interested.

The next canvassing events include:

For more information, please contact canvassCA21@gmail.com

Dave Halsing is a project manager at an environmental consulting firm; his recent projects combine restoration, flood protection, and recreation in and around the margins of San Francisco Bay and other tidal areas in Northern California. 

 

 

 

 

Voting in High School: More Than For Homecoming Queen

By Ward Kanowsky

Did you know there are approximately one million juniors and seniors in California’s high schools who may be eligible to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections? Indivisible East Bay’s CA-15 (Congressman Eric Swalwell) team has been working with other organizations, most notably the League of Women Voters, on an initiative to increase voter registration among high school students in California.

We are letting high school students’ families know about the Joint Letter written by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson that encourages high schools to have voter education weeks, to help eligible students learn more about registering to vote as part of civic engagement. We will encourage families to work with – and, when necessary, to put pressure on – schools to provide voter registration materials and information to their students; it may only take one concerned parent to get a school involved.

Representative Swalwell and his staff are supportive of this initiative. We have a meeting planned with Swalwell’s staff to discuss strategy as well as their own voter registration initiative, #ishouldprobablyvote. In addition, our team is working with Indivisible National’s West Coast organizer about how best to engage other Indivisible chapters to talk to high school students’ families about the Joint Letter, with a focus on red districts.

Have questions? Want to help? Email the CA-15 team or contact @ward on Slack.

Ward Kanowsky is co-lead, with LeAnnKanowsky, of the Indivisible East Bay CA-15 Team.

Photo of CA-13 team leads Ward and LeAnn Kanowsky with Rep Eric Swalwell