Indivisible’s meeting with Rep. Swalwell

By Ward Kanowsky

Members of Indivisible East Bay and Livermore Indivisible met with Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and his staff over Monday morning coffee on November 4, 2019 at Inkling’s Coffee & Tea in Pleasanton. Our discussion focused on the impeachment inquiry and where it’s heading. The two Indivisible chapters asked a range of questions and offered input during our hour-long meeting with Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees – the two committees that will play the most critical roles during the impeachment proceedings.

Even as we met, a lot was going on. Two sets of transcripts from the closed door depositions were released that day, and Rep. Swalwell was keeping tabs on witnesses who were still scheduled for the closed door interviews during the week: John Eisenberg from the National Security Council was already a no-show for the day and Swalwell was skeptical that former National Security Advisor John Bolton would testify on Thursday as scheduled. We asked Swalwell about holding such witnesses in contempt – beyond the obstruction of Congress tool that has been used for past witnesses who have defied the proceedings. He responded that he and his colleagues have been working with Good Government Now, a non-profit organization founded to strengthen congressional subpoena enforcement, to determine if Congress can levy fines of up to $10,000/day on such witnesses, rather than have the Sergeant-at-Arms take them into custody.

The open, public hearings should begin by next week. While Rep. Swalwell said Republicans such as Devin Nunes (CA-22) and John Ratcliffe (TX-4) are likely to pull some “stunts” and try to turn the proceedings “into a circus,” the Democrats’ approach will be to keep the “testimony professional.” In this regard, staff attorneys for the Democratic representatives on the Intelligence Committee will ask most of the questions of the witnesses during the open hearings to provide this professionalism, while also setting out the strongest, prosecutorial case for a trial in the Senate. Swalwell had high praise for committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28), whom he called the best person to oversee the hearings, saying that Schiff is “measured and unflappable.” Also, when it comes to public opinion polls, he believes it helps the Democrats when they act with dignity.

With regard to potential articles of impeachment to be determined by the House Judiciary Committee, the focus will be on the conduct of the president, especially where “sharp lines” can be drawn. For example, Swalwell believes a clear connection back to the president has been shown in the whistle-blower complaint alleging that the president used his office to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 election; the president has confessed, and witnesses who listened in on the July 25 call with the head of Ukraine have corroborated the allegations. He called the president’s acts “extortion” and “defense dollars for dirt,” and noted that the subsequent coverup by the White House is obstruction. We asked about the president’s other misdeeds, and he said he sees the ten acts of obstruction laid out in the Mueller report as “prior bad acts” that could be included in the articles, as well as possible violations of campaign finance laws when payments of hush money were made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The Senate hasn’t really felt any pressure yet on the impeachment issue, with many Republican Senators staying silent. Rep. Swalwell sees this as a wise move on their part, but at the same time hopes they will keep an open mind if and when there is a trial. From a strategic standpoint, this is also why he wants to ensure a fair process in the House before passing the case over to the Senate, with the Democrats showing restraint and demonstrating a well-prepared professional approach. He expressed some concern that once the process moves to the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could just call for an immediate yes or no vote on whether to dismiss the articles.

We told Swalwell about steps Indivisible has been taking to support the impeachment process, including:

  • Indivisible hubdialer tool – goal is to call 1.1 million voters in key Senate Republican states, tell them what’s at stake in the impeachment inquiry, and then drive calls to the Senate offices. Over 300,000 calls have been made so far.
  • Nobody is Above the Law impeachment events – partnering with MoveOn, Stand Up America, and many other groups, to organize rallies across the country on the night before the House votes on articles of impeachment. Over 160 events are registered so far,

Rep. Swalwell liked both these ideas and thought they were effective tools. He asked whether Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) are included in the Hubdialer calls (they are). He also praised the Indivisible organization and said the 2018 midterm blue wave “would not have happened without Indivisible.”

Swalwell acknowledged that since impeachment has taken over the headlines, Democrats need to do a better job of letting people know about all of the other work accomplished in the House. Over 200 bills have been passed, including major legislation around background checks (H.R.8) and equal pay for equal work (H.R.7). The bills now need to be taken up by the Senate and this process has been thwarted by Senator McConnell. Swalwell proposed online campaigns aimed specifically at McConnell, to get word out about bills passed through the House and awaiting action in the Senate – possibly calling them #YourCourtMitch and #WePassedThat. He said this is also an action item where Indivisible could be very helpful. We’ll be looking into it in the future!

If you have questions or want to participate with the CA-15 team, contact Ward on Slack at @ward or by email at wardkanowsky@gmail.com.

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

Photo by Mallory De Lauro, Rep. Swalwell’s District Director and Foreign Affairs Adviser.

 

The fire this time

By Ann G. Daniels and Andrea Lum

Once again, our hearts go out to our friends in the north affected by the Kincade and Burris fires, including our colleagues in Indivisible Healdsburg and Indivisible Petaluma. At the same time, we’re outraged, looking at yet another year of environmental and personal devastation. We’re demanding justice, along with offering ways we can all help.

What you can do:

Support the environment and all of us:

California is well-known as an environmental leader. But did you know that the East Bay is on the map for environmental problems? Poor air quality takes a terrible health toll in neighborhoods where people of color live in East and West Oakland, and “residents of West Oakland and Downtown Oakland neighborhoods have higher rates of asthma emergency room visits as well as stroke and congestive heart failure” than other Alameda County residents. Meanwhile, the recent explosion at the NuStar refinery in Crockett sent heavy smoke into nearby neighborhoods, and only the lack of wind kept toxins from spreading.

  • Speak up for “The Path to Clean Air in the Richmond and San Pablo Area” clean air at this event on Saturday, November 2 at 10 AM at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. Spanish interpretation and child watch provided. Free; register here.
  • Join No Coal in Richmond in their ongoing struggle to – you guessed it, get coal out of Richmond, along with the toxic dust from coal and petroleum coke. Check out their webpage for more info on the group and their activities.
  • Encourage your local media and everyone you know to talk about climate change – it’s what’s fueling all these fires, not to mention other recent devastating fires throughout the West
  • California is a leader in fighting against greenhouse gas emissions – and Trump has targeted our state. Tell your Members of Congress to prioritize fighting the Administration’s all-out war against California’s environmental accomplishments:
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
    • Sen. Kamala Harris: (email); (415) 981-9369 • 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
    • Not local? Use this link to contact your Members of Congress.

Support immigrants during the crisis:

  • According to Rep. Jared Huffman, ICE has suspended immigration enforcement during this crisis. Let’s hope it stays that way throughout the recovery process – and let’s not trust to hope. Tell your MoCs to support suspending immigration enforcement during this crisis and recovery process. See above for contact info for our local Members of Congress, as well as a link to be contacted to MoCs nationwide. What to say:

My name is ____, my zip code is ___, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I understand that ICE has suspended immigration enforcement during the fires in California. Please do everything you can to make sure that immigration enforcement stays suspended throughout this crisis, and through the recovery process. 

  • You can support these organizations that help undocumented families: 
    • Corazon Healdsburg is a bilingual community organization providing fire victims with immediate and long-term financial support, gift cards for food and other necessities, hotel vouchers, and a range of support services. 100% of all donations are immediately directed to supporting local families in need.
    • UndocuFund provides help for undocumented fire victims in Sonoma County, who cannot get help from FEMA or who are afraid to seek help from governmental agencies.

Help fire victims:

Important resources for people affected by the fires or PG&E shutoffs, including economically and medically vulnerable individuals:

  • Visit the State of California’s new resource website
  • The Governor’s State of Emergency declaration suspends a number of rules and regulations so residents and businesses affected by wildfires and power shutoffs can, for example, get unemployment benefits more quickly or get more time to pay fines or fees.
  • There’s a statewide non-emergency hotline to help medically vulnerable residents and health and community care facilities find resources during power shutoffs. Call 833-284-3473. 
  • Check out these tips for seniors and people with disabilities for during and after a power outage.
  • Here’s a list of PG&E community resource centers where residents can go to access services, charge cellphones, or get other help.
  • Sign up for alert systems in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to get up-to-date, real-time information on power outages and any services affected.

 

“Sunset Smoke”, sketch by Cathy McAuliffe, Instagram: @gusmcduffie

Ann G. Daniels’ checkered professional background includes practicing law, reproductive rights advocacy, creating web content for nonprofits and educational organizations, and teaching adult and family literacy. She also designs jewelry, teaches knitting, and sings second soprano.

Andrea Lum works in higher education by day and as the Volunteer Coordinator for IEB by night.

 

October 2019 All Members Meeting

By Michelle Hoselton

We greeted people to our October 27 All Members Meeting with fun-size candy bars, Swedish Fish gummies, and of course, Indivisible East Bay t-shirts (get ’em while they last at IEB events). Perfect fuel for the resistance!

Check-in featured a whiteboard survey asking people to show how they plan to help elect Democrats in 2020:

AMM 2020 electoral work survey, photo by Heidi Rand
AMM 2020 electoral work survey

We want to hear from you too – let us know all the ways you’re able to join us in 2020 electoral work, by email to info@indivisibleeb.org

The meeting began with a real treat: special guest Charlie Varon, a playwright, performer and teacher, presented his monologue “Cul de Sac” from his current production, Great American Sh*t Show, about his experiences canvassing and speaking with possibly unpersuadable voters in definitely unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Charlie Varon performing his monologue, photo by Heidi Rand
Charlie Varon performing his monologue

If you were there, you likely found yourself identifying with his tales of the fear, frustration and revelation that these interactions can bring – and with the urgent feeling of need to make a difference. Afterwards, Charlie talked to us in a Q&A about outreach, determination, and the burnout that can happen when we start to feel our efforts are fruitless – and he encouraged everyone in the room to keep fighting as we ramp up towards 2020. He also told us of some of the strategies Swing Left San Francisco, with which he works, is working on for CA-10 and CA-21, including hiring local young people in the area to canvass and GOTV.

Q&A with Charlie Varon, photo by Heidi Rand
Q&A with Charlie Varon

Some of Charlie’s thoughts about phone banking:

  • Phone banking is difficult but becomes easier the more you do it. 
  • Phone banking efforts are not in vain! Even if you don’t reach someone, you’re getting info that can be useful and make things easier for canvassers. 
  • For each person you reach via phone banking you can multiply your efforts by encouraging them to share with friends, family and co-workers. 
  • When you reach someone by phone, the best approach is to speak from the heart. 

There are more opportunities to hear the monologue, as well as the rest of Charlie’s show with Brian Copeland. Find a way to get to one – or more – of these shows! You can find upcoming dates and buy tickets here.   

Next, Governance Committee member Ion shared some moving words about the loss of beloved friend and fellow GC member Mel Bryson. Read more about the contributions of this irreplaceable member of our community here.

Before we broke into work groups, GC member and volunteer coordinator Andrea reminded us about IEB’s upcoming events:

  • Nov. 5, 6:30-9:30 PM: Join Indivisible Berkeley, IEB, East Bay Activist Alliance & SwingLeft EB at an Election Night Watch Party for Virginia elections. At Spats, Berkeley. No RSVP needed.
  • Nov. 8, 2 PM: IEB meeting with Sen. Harris’s staff, sign up here

Next up, our action breakouts: 

  • GC member and CA-11 team co-lead Ted led a group that wrote 60 letters with Vote Forward for the November 5 Virginia state house elections. Ted motivated the letter-writers by letting us know we’re only 3-4 seats away from flipping the entire state government to Democratic, and reminded us about the huge consequences of the election, such as redistricting for the next 10 years! 
  • GC member Fiona led another group that wrote 20 postcards for Reclaim Our Vote, an organization targeting voters of color in areas with high voter suppression, reminding them that their registration might have lapsed. Several people took more cards home to write as well. In addition, Oakland residents wrote cards to the Oakland city council supporting an ordinance requiring an approval process for police acquisitions of military equipment.
  • GC member Larry led a breakout about the model impeachment hearing he’s working on with members of Indivisible San Francisco and others. The impeachment inquiry continues to grow exponentially by the hour, keeping news pundits and Larry on their toes! With new testimony from Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman revealing even more misconduct by Trump and his administration, details for the Articles of Impeachment continue to pile up. Good thing we have Larry to help make sense of it all. He presented the history of impeachment in this country, some analysis of the process and his hopes for a broad and detailed scope. He also shared an Article of Impeachment model script, which he’s using to develop content for a video to help the public engage and understand this complex topic! The group took on roles and performed the script, providing feedback and leading to a lively discussion. 

IEB’s All Members Meetings take place on the fourth Sunday of every month, unless a holiday interferes. Next up: join us on Sunday, November 24, at Sports Basement, Berkeley. In the meantime, couldn’t make it to the AMM or allergic to meetings? Join us online where we do our planning and organizing— ask  info@indivisibleeb.org for an invite.

Photographs by Heidi Rand

 

 

 

Join Tax the Rich campaign

By Nancy Latham

Help shift the public narrative on taxes and the economy!

For decades, one narrative on taxes and the economy has dominated: lower taxes are better than higher taxes. The wealthiest, claiming the title of “job creator,” make this argument most loudly. They argue that if their taxes go up, the incentives to create jobs weaken, and the economy as a whole will suffer. And then where would we be?

Possibly somewhere much better. As it is, declining taxes have brought growing inequality in their wake:

Source: Piketty, T., Saez, E., and Zucman, G. 2018. “Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol. 133, No. 2.

 

Source: Piketty, T., Saez, E., and Zucman, G. 2018. “Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol. 133, No. 2.

Things are great for those at the top, but not so much for the rest of us. It’s time to face the fact that half a century of anti-tax orthodoxy is wrong. Low taxes on corporations and the wealthy don’t encourage job creation. On the contrary, since the payoff is so high, low taxes encourage the rich to extract wealth from the economy, rather than to invest. 

In short, it’s time we all start to recognize that taxing the rich will be good for the economy: it will result in more investment and more widely shared prosperity. Taxing the rich is also extraordinarily popular among the general public. Even so – or perhaps in an attempt to fight these facts? – the elite narrative around taxes remains the same as it always was: tax cuts will boost the economy. This tired idea was trotted out for the 2017 Trump tax cut. Let’s give it a long overdue farewell. 

What you can do:

The Tax March Organization has been working to shift the narrative about taxes since early in 2019, with its Tax the Rich campaign. And they’re bringing the campaign to San Francisco! That’s your cue to join the Tax March in front of City Hall for a press conference to lift up the voices of local activists and experts, reminding policymakers that we can help the economy – and our communities – by taxing the rich. 

  • WHEN: Wednesday November 6, 2019 at 11 AM
  • WHERE: San Francisco City Hall
  • WHAT YOU DO: Sign up here, come and bring your friends, and help build a new narrative about the relationship between taxes and prosperity!

For more info about the Tax March organization, read our article about the group and the training it held in April 2019. If you’re not in the SF Bay Area, or can’t make it to the press conference, join our fight for economic justice by signing up here.

Graphs source: Piketty, T., Saez, E., and Zucman, G. 2018. “Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol. 133, No. 2.

Nancy Latham is on IEB’s Governance Committee, and is a passionate member of the Resistance. In her day job, she works with non-profits, foundations, and government agencies that support greater equity and justice through initiatives in youth development, education, housing, and community development.

 

 

Defunding Hate: What’s the Budget Got to do with it?

By Linh Nguyen and Ann G. Daniels

Deadline: Now, the budget bill is coming up fast –

This is where the rubber meets the road: the rubber erasers, and the mechanical pencils, and if you’ve got those wacky green eyeshades you can pull them out too. We’re gonna get nerdy and talk about how things really work in DC: how the budget process, and the way this administration has been screwing around with it, has been funding the racist immigration policies we’ve been fighting for the past three plus years. 

First, a look at why the budget process is so hugely important to this administration in making its anti-immigrant dreams come true. A brief glance at some of the lowlights shows something truly remarkable – they didn’t require any new legislation:

The Democratic House has passed a lot of good bills this year, but the Republican-controlled Senate hasn’t taken any of the significant ones up for so much as a debate – except for spending bills. Funding the government through the budget is mandatory; spending bills come up every year, and if the Senate ignores them the government shuts down, as we saw last winter. 

A few quick points about the appropriations process:

In any situation, where we choose to spend our money is hugely important and says a lot about our values. In our current situation, where other ways of lawmaking are cut off, lawmakers are forced to legislate by placing restrictions on how money may be spent. Unfortunately, Congress has so far largely declined to put in the effort to make those restrictions stick.

Now, let’s get into the weeds a bit.

The administration has abused budgetary authority to achieve their racist goals using three principal tactics: overspending, use of reprogramming authority, and failure to cooperate with Congressional oversight. The table below shows how they’ve used each of these:

Abuse of authorities


The following graph shows just one example of how ICE has overspent. ICE ratcheted up its funding twice per fiscal year – once in the final funding bill, when Congress invariably bailed ICE out for its overspending in the first part of the year, and then again by moving additional money into its account through transfers and reprogramming. ICE has consistently been funded to detain an average of 40,500 people per day, but has detained significantly more, peaking at 48,019 individuals in detention in early January 2019 in the midst of the government shutdown.

Overspending on detention beds

 

Immigration detention timeline
Immigrant detention funding fight timeline


Where we are now:
In September 2019, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR), a temporary measure to keep the government funded and operating for a limited period of time – in this case, until November 21. The good news: it didn’t fund the racist border wall, and it didn’t increase funding for immigration detention beds. The bad news: it didn’t do anything to keep the administration from stealing money from military families and disaster relief and using it for anti-immigrant purposes, which it’s been doing through its reprogramming authority – allowing money funded for one purpose to be used for another purpose within the Department of Homeland Security. When the CR expires in November, Congress will have to pass a spending bill – and we want it to do the job right.

What you can do:

Tell your Members of Congress:

My name is ___, my zip code is ___, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. Thank you for refusing to fund Trump’s racist wall and for passing a spending bill in September that didn’t increase funding for immigration detention beds at the border. But I was disappointed the September Continuing Resolution did nothing to keep the administration from stealing money from military families and disaster relief, as it’s been doing all year. When the CR expires in November, I want you to work to pass a spending bill that safeguards our tax dollars from this corrupt and racist administration. If Trump wants to steal more money from the American people, he will need to shut down the government again to do it.

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
  • Sen. Kamala Harris: (email); (415) 981-9369 • 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

Do you live outside the East Bay, or have friends in other districts or states? Spread the word! Use this link to find contact info for all Members of Congress.

For more info, including a presentation by Indivisible East Bay’s Linh Nguyen of this material and more, watch Impeachment University’s video of the Town Hall hosted by the Equal Justice Society.

For complete slide deck, see IEB - DefundHate-EJS-Townhall
.

Linh Nguyen is one of several IEB congressional procedure pedants.

Ann G. Daniels’ checkered professional background includes practicing law, reproductive rights advocacy, creating web content for nonprofits and educational organizations, and teaching adult and family literacy. She also designs jewelry, teaches knitting, and sings second soprano.

In memoriam: Mel Bryson

by Ion Y. and Ann G. Daniels

October 22, 2019 – Our beloved friend and Indivisible East Bay member Mel Bryson lost a battle with cancer this week, much too young.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mel was an IEB Governance Committee member and a founder of Indivisible El Cerrito; a force, blessed with enormous intelligence, generosity, and moral direction, relentless about doing the right thing by people and battling injustices large and small. She was an inspiration and a marvelous collaborator, and she will be very sorely missed.

In this season when the days grow short, many of our cultures commemorate the dead and many of us remember those we’ve lost. Was there someone who inspired you to fight for justice? Whether they were in your family or your community – or even if you never knew them at all – you are their legacy, their DNA of honor. We carry on the fight for Mel and for all of them.

Mel was interested and active in many areas, but her special focus was on voters’ rights and ensuring we have secure and well managed elections. Here are a few of the many articles that she either wrote or was otherwise involved in working on:

 

Photographs of Mel Bryson by Heidi Rand; photo of IEB’s visit to Asm. Thurmond’s office by Nick Travaglini

 

I Care, You Care, We All Obamacare – by Dec 15!

By Ming Richie

Healthcare is consistently the number one issue on voters’ minds, and it’s easy to understand why. Confusion surrounding terminology, access, costs and players has most of us struggling to navigate through complicated waters and just stay afloat, as happy and healthy as we can afford. We are excited to see the 2020 Democratic candidates heavily debating possible improvements and solutions to the American healthcare system, to be implemented when we take back the Oval Office. But until then, as we watch the current administration try to roll back or diminish anything President Obama touched (examples: weakening individual state healthcare markets, cutting advertising costs to educate the public on open enrollment, and proposing his own Trumpcare plan which was shot down by his own Senate Republicans), we need to stay alert and be proactive.

We’ve done the research for you – here’s what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” Open Enrollment for 2020 coverage:

  • WHAT: Open enrollment is the annual period during which Americans can enroll, re-enroll or change their healthcare plan in the individual and family market, as well as apply for cost assistance. These 45 days are the only days of the year you can sign up for and receive comprehensive health coverage with the benefits and protections of the ACA. If you miss open enrollment, there are a few options but most have caveats like special enrollment for “qualifying life events” (like changing your job), short term coverage which limits coverage, or employer-based coverage for which you need a job that provides insurance. Bottom line, better to take the time to understand your needs and just get it done in the next month and a half!
  • WHEN: Open Enrollment starts November 1, 2019 and closes December 15, 2019. Your coverage will start January 1, 2020.
  • WHERE: HealthCare.gov or your state’s official marketplace.
  • EXCEPT: California: we’re special! Our Health Insurance Marketplace is called Covered California. Open Enrollment started October 15, 2019 and closes January 15, 2020. But you still MUST apply by December 15, 2019 for your coverage to begin January 2, 2020 – visit CoveredCA.com to shop now.
  • HOW MUCH? How much you pay depends on how much money you make. You cannot be charged more or discriminated against based on health status, race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. You may receive cost assistance based on income – these subsidies are only available during open enrollment and through your state’s health insurance marketplace (see this Estimate Subsidy Calculator).

What to do:

First, enroll yourself and your family in healthcare coverage for 2020.

Second, spread the word to everyone you know! Open Enrollment is November 1 to December 15, 2019. We’re all in this together.  

More info:

Need in-person help? Click on this link, and you can also learn more facts here

Obamacare” by Nick YoungsonAlpha Stock Images

Ming Richie (IG @mingonthemove) is a basic millennial, having quit her corporate Bay Area job to travel the world, soul search and transition to a more meaningful career. She loves everything avocado, yoga, green tea and women’s empowerment, while of course fully maintaining that she is a unique, outstanding individual who can change the world.  

Reclaiming our time: model impeachment hearing

By Ann G. Daniels and Larry Baskett

Deadline: Save it or lose it –

UPDATED: the October 13 event we refer to in this article is over, but you can see Larry’s  impeachment presentation at this pdf.

It is, alas, not explicitly stated in the Constitution that you can remove the President for losing every single marble in the toy store. However, Indivisible East Bay has been saying for quite a while (see our list at the bottom of this article) that there’s more than enough undisputed evidence to impeach the Current Occupant. Now – finally, finally – Nancy Pelosi has come around, and dare we hope that things might actually happen? 

Since we’ve been ahead of the game the whole way, let’s keep going with our very own model House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, a “people’s impeachment hearing” to show Speaker Pelosi and Committee Chair Nadler how it should be done. IEB is excited to pair with Indivisible SF and others to create this very real exercise in democracy, which we’ll hold with a live audience (of us!) and capture on video to distribute online. The model hearing, to be held on a date TBD before Election Day (November 5), will answer such important and frequently asked questions as:

  • Why impeach the president, in general? 
  • What offenses and actions – not just statutory crimes! – could be included in articles of impeachment? 
  • Why impeach in the House even if the Senate might not convict and remove the president? 
  • What is key to making impeachment in the House a success for the country? 
  • What is key to obtaining conviction in the Senate?

Here’s the thing: we need YOU to help make this happen. It takes a village to raze a childish, corrupt president – can you or folks you know help us fill these roles? Sign up at this link!

  1. Lawyers or legal eagles! Specifically, people knowledgeable about constitutional law or congressional procedure 
  2. People who’ve been directly impacted by Trump’s abusive policies (to give testimony). Think immigration, LGBTQ + rights, repro rights, worker safety and rights, environmental issues, federal workers …
  3. People interested in “adopting” an article of impeachment or two, to help script and organize a segment of the hearing – great for folks who’ve already dug deep and those who’d like to!
  4. People willing to act the parts of Members of Congress or witnesses. Theater folks welcome!

We also welcome anyone interested in helping organize or participate in ways we haven’t mentioned. You can also get in on the discussion on the #impeachment channel on IEB’s Slack. For an invite to join Slack, email info@IndivisibleEB.org

Can’t wait that long for impeachment action? Get out on the streets of San Francisco THIS SUNDAY, October 13, noon to 1:30 PM. IEB’s own impeachment expert Larry will speak, and the event will feature Spanish translation! Event details here. Also, check out this new website for impeachment rallies nationwide this Sunday, and pass it on to everyone you know across the country! 

Get up to speed by reading our earlier articles, with background and more actions you can take on impeachment, investigations, and the Mueller Report:

“Impeachment of the President – Ticket circa 1868,” graphic by Seth Anderson 

Ann G. Daniels’ checkered professional background includes practicing law, reproductive rights advocacy, creating web content for nonprofits and educational organizations, and teaching adult and family literacy. She also designs jewelry, teaches knitting, and sings second soprano.

Larry Baskett is a mechanical engineer who spent a year as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the California State Senate.

 

Now Serving: ImPeach-Mint at the AMM

By Ward Kanowsky

For a change of venue, we held Indivisible East Bay’s September All Members Meeting in CA-15 at Dublin’s IBEW Union Hall. Several allies from Livermore Indivisible (LI) chapter joined us for a full slate of speakers on a wide variety of topics, as well as resistance activities!

  • Dennessa Atiles, who recently took on the role of Indivisible National’s Senior Regional Organizer for the West Coast from Chloe Stryker and Zacharie Boisvert, introduced herself and talked about how the national group provides support to the local chapters like IEB and LI, as well as how National prioritizes issues that will have a nationwide focus. The current impeachment inquiry is the top priority, ensuring that the House moves swiftly on a vote. Defunding Hate also remains a priority so there are no budget increases for ICE or CBP.
  • Kyoko Takayama from Organizing for Action, who has recently been working with the Alameda County Census Outreach team in preparation for the 2020 census, discussed the census ambassador program. People who sign up for the ambassador program will be trained to conduct outreach such as assistance in completing questionnaires or educational outreach, and then report back to the Alameda County Census office to track and monitor progress. For more information on the program, visit www.acgov.org/Census2020 or contact Casey Farmer, Executive Director, at casey.farmer@acgov.org. For more info on how you can help ensure a complete count, read our recent article.
  • IEB’s impeachment guru Larry gave a presentation bringing us up to speed about the fast moving impeachment situation. Since his (Sunday!) update, we’ve had the whistleblower revelations about Trump’s repeated tries to use $250 million in public money to extort Ukraine into investigating false and debunked allegations related to his political rival, former VP Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. And we’ve had the House finally bring a formal inquiryLarry outlined other potential impeachment articles such as obstruction of justice, abuse and violation of immigrants’ rights, attacks on freedom of the press, etc).  Here’s a link to Larry’s impeachment presentation. He also urged us to keep calling our Members of Congress to ask that the scope of articles be broad to deal with all of the corruption and abuses of power; to bring as overwhelming a portion of the public along as possible; and to strive for a real chance of conviction and removal. See our recent article for talking points and contact info.
September 29, 2019 All Members Meeting, photo by Linh Nguyen
AMM, photo by Linh Nguyen

After the speakers, attendees chose from several activities. CA-15 team co-lead LeAnn led a breakout using Vote Forward’s Voter Registration by Mail tool, and people churned out 100 letters to Arizona residents not currently registered to vote, but who would likely vote Blue in the 2020 elections. CA-11 team co-lead Ted oversaw the East Bay Activist Alliance phone banking to help support Cheryl Turpin for Virginia State Senate and Alex Askew for the Virginia House of Delegates.

And best for last! We served everyone ice cream sundaes, the most popular of course: ImPeach-Mint!

Mueller (mis)fortune cookies, photo by LeAnn Kanowsky
Mueller (mis)fortune cookies, photo by LeAnn Kanowsky

And we gave out Mueller (mis)fortune cookies; a typical fortune read, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”  Hear hear!

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

Larry Baskett contributed to this article

Photographs by LeAnn Kanowsky, Ted Lam and Linh Nguyen

On strike for the climate

Deadline: Before it’s too late –

On September 20 an estimated 40,000 people marched in San Francisco, one event among many over the Bay Area Week of Climate Action. The crowd marched to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein, ICE, and PG&E, among others. The San Francisco action joined millions of people in 150 countries who protested as part of the Global Climate Strike, organized and led by youth and their allies to demand our leaders take immediate action to preserve the planet for our future generations. 

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Indivisible East Bay member Anne shared her experience at the SF Strike:

I was only able to join during my lunch break, but I was simultaneously awed and devastated by what I saw in that short amount of time. The sheer number of Bay Area youth who took time off from school to be on their feet yelling all day – some potentially facing punishment – was breathtaking. Some were marching with parents, some with school groups in matching t-shirts, some with groups of friends, all coming together for one purpose. But I also saw tons of diversity of opinion – kids begging adults and leaders to take the science seriously, clever signs calling out fossil fuel CEOs for their role, budding socialists criticizing capitalism, and young adults turning their bullhorns back on the crowd asking us to move our money out of complicit financial institutions. It gave me hope to see such a variety of people coalescing for action on Climate Change. And I was also devastated to realize that the situation has gotten so bad that young people, who should be worrying about college applications and crushes, had to be out here fixing the mess that we adults can’t seem to fix. It was an inspiring and shaming moment for me. 

SF Climate Strike March, Sept. 20, 2019, photo by Anne Spevack
SF Climate Strike March, photo by Anne Spevack

Fossil Free California member (and friend of IEB) Sara, on vacation in Germany, marched there with Fossil Free Berlin, which works for divestment of the federal workers’ pension. 

SF Climate Strike March, photo by Sara Theiss
Fossil Free Berlin at Climate Strike March, photo by Jon Frappier

For more inspiration, take a moment to listen to Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23.

What you can do:

Anne Spevack contributed to this article.
Photographs by Anne Spevack, Sylvia Chi, Sherry Drobner, and Jon Frappier