We are Indivisible: Book Talk with Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin

On November 8, 2019, nearly 100 people crammed into San Francisco’s tiny Book Passage to hear Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer — who during his intro clarified that he used to work in the Obama White House — interview Indivisible founders Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin about the experiences and tactics that shaped their book We are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump. At least three quarters of the audience identified themselves as members of an Indivisible group, including eight or so Indivisible East Bay members.

Indivisible book signing event

Why write a book on top of running an organization? Leah said that after the big wins in the 2018 election, the team in DC and Indivisible members across the country looked up from the day-to-day work of resisting the Trump agenda and toward building a positive future for our country. The pair wrote the book to say that we need to ensure that future by strengthening democracy, making government truly accountable to the people. That means everything from securing citizens’ right to vote to demanding that our elected representatives go on the record with their positions by voting on crucial and controversial issues.

But of course we didn’t spend the whole evening talking about a utopian future. Ezra and Leah also discussed Indivisible’s engagement with the big news story of the moment: impeachment. Ezra talked about Indivisible’s plans to hold rallies the night before the House votes on impeachment, and described the hubdialer tool we’ve been using here at IEB and across the country to call constituents in swing states and connect them with their senators. As the Indivisible website says, “we’ve got to demand that Senators publicly support a fair and open impeachment trial.”

Ezra also made the connection between the kind of advocacy work we’ve been doing and the task ahead of us in 2020. The Get Out the Vote work that powered the Blue Wave Election of 2018 didn’t start in October when we canvassed and phonebanked with all our might, or even earlier that year when we registered voters and trained. It started way before, when we marched and fought against the Muslim ban, for the Affordable Care Act, for DACA, and against the tax scam. Our advocacy and demonstrations created the conditions and the energy that drove people to the polls in record numbers and, once there, led them to vote down an unpopular GOP agenda.

An audience member who identified himself as an organizer and a DACA recipient said that since Trump came into office he had found a much wider coalition willing to stand up and fight for immigrants’ rights than he had under Obama, and expressed a concern that members of that new coalition might turn a blind eye “if President Warren deports me in a carbon neutral plane.” Leah reaffirmed our commitment to hold Democratic leaders accountable — something we are already very familiar with here at IEB — and to work beside, and follow the lead of, directly impacted communities.

Leah and Ezra were asked how their vision encompasses the important pro-democracy work that activists are doing on a local level, and answered that their role is to give general support, but to leave that activity in the hands of the local groups who know our local communities and to let us make those decisions about where to focus our time and energy.

The last question of the event came from a six-year-old audience member who had clearly been listening carefully: what does “grassroots” mean? Leah said that to her it means “people who decided to take politics into their own hands … that an active democracy depends on them being involved.” Ezra asked us to raise our hands if we were connected to a local Indivisible group and said “this is the grassroots.”

Meet and greet
Meet and greet

After Leah and Ezra signed books, they gathered with a few group leaders from throughout the region, including IEB, Indivisible San Francisco, Indivisible Livermore, Indivisible Colusa, Indivisible Marin, Indivisible Sausalito, and Indivisible SF Peninsula, for a small reception in the largest hotel lobby in the world (no, Ezra and Leah were not staying there). We continued the conversation about the many issues we need to address to protect and expand democracy. We also chatted about some more internal matters like the organization’s budget and policies to help Indivisible National avoid stepping on toes when they work with local, independent, Indivisible groups like IEB. And we had an in-depth conversation about the tools Indivisible National provides for local groups, including our Act Blue distributed fundraising account and the voter files we use for canvassing and phonebanking, and new tools we want to use for organizing volunteers and research.

We also talked about the possibility that local groups and/or the national organization might make endorsements in the presidential primary. Many agree this is a bold action that could be really powerful for the movement; but it could also have very serious drawbacks. Some group members expressed concerns that getting involved in the primary would reopen divisions on the left that have still only partially healed since the 2016 primary, and Leah and Ezra shared that in 2016 one of them had voted for Bernie while the other voted for Hillary. Of course, their marriage has survived a lot of things that most partnerships wouldn’t, like working together and writing a book together!

We ended the evening by reflecting together on the forces that brought us together to that room and all the things we’ve accomplished together in our movement — things we never would have thought possible until they happened: We preserved the ACA under the unified control of a GOP that had been promising to repeal it since before it passed. We overcame rampant gerrymandering and voter suppression to flip the House. If those “miracles” were possible, we can believe in the utopian representative and responsive democracy seen in Leah and Ezra’s book, and in our collective vision for a future after Trump.

Election Security Day of Action, Plus John Oliver

Deadline: November 13 Day of Action –

We’ve written before about the state of our elections and the security, or rather the profound lack of security, of our voting machines. We’ve told you about foreign interference and the desperate need for money to actually secure our votes. We’ve mentioned that there is $600 million authorized for securing our voting machines if only it can get past the Senate, and we’ve asked you to take action on this.

But – we’re not John Oliver. He wants to ask you the same thing and he has a very funny but very serious take on voting machines. Here’s just a sampling of what you can learn from watching him explain the rickety and unstable edifice that elections in America are built on:

Having fun yet? If you have 20 minutes, you’ll be glad you watched the whole thing. Then come back here, or just read on for the important part, when we tell you what you can do about these problems.

Back? Good.

Our election systems are in dire need of upkeep and real security, and the money to make that happen is currently blocked in Congress. We need to persuade the Senators standing in the way that these funds are critical to our national security and our democracy, and that this money must be disbursed with rules in place to make sure it’s actually used to make sure we can vote without interference.

This message is not getting out, but you can amplify it to make sure it’s heard before the budget process ends for the year on Thursday November  21.

What you can do about it, by next week:

Secure Our Vote, which hosted a similar event in September, is planning a Day of Action on Wednesday November 13 to draw attention to this vote and to the Senators voting on it. You can:

  • Join an existing rally scheduled near you on November 13.
    • There’s a visit at Senator Feinstein’s office at 1 Post St., Post & Market, San Francisco, at noon.
    • RSVP to join any other rally by clicking on the Sign Up Now link below it.
    • Remember: even a few people showing up will matter!
  • Sign up to host a rally outside Senate offices on November 13.
    • You don’t have to figure out how to do it! When you sign up they’ll send you detailed instructions and support. You can also watch this very useful video (one hour) explaining how to host.
    • These don’t have to be large rallies! Even a dozen people appearing to ask about election security at each Senate office helps push this process into the light.
  • Sign up for a drop in visit with your Senators on November 12.
  • Encourage people you know to attend rallies scheduled near them.
  • Call your elected officials about election security funding, starting NOW, to build up pressure on them leading to November 13. Use the hotline at 833-413-5906 – it walks you through all the steps and makes it very easy.
  • Learn more about what you need to know to make elections safe at Secure Our Vote’s Election Security Organizing Worksheet. This is, for better and for worse, an ongoing fight. The questions they teach you to ask are critical to understanding how to help elections be safe in your districts and states.

Photo of John Oliver by Steve Jennings for TechCrunch

November 2019 debate watch party

Deadline: RSVP now, space limited –

Friends don’t let friends watch the presidential debates alone! Join Indivisible East Bay’s CA-11 Team on Wednesday, November 20, at 5:30 pm in the Scene Room of the El Cerrito Rialto Cinema, at 10070 San Pablo Ave. a few blocks from El Cerrito Plaza BART station. We’ll watch the debate, discuss the merits of the Democratic presidential candidates, enjoy food and refreshments from the theater, and learn from each other how to make sure the eventual nominee gets elected.

We’re keeping this event small so we can talk amongst ourselves (and fit around the table), but that means we need you – and your friends – to RSVP! All are welcome, not just those who live in the CA-11 district.

Got questions about the event? Want to know about IEB’s CA-11 Team and its work? Want to see what we do at our monthly meetings when the candidates aren’t debating? You can read more about the team at this January 2019 article. And contact the team at IndivisibleCA11@gmail.com or if you’re on Slack, contact @Ted Lam or @KristenL and join the moc_team_ca11 team. Want an invite to join Slack? Please drop us a line at info@indivisibleeb.org

Graphic “Debate picture” by Blok Glo

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.

 

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.

 

 

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

 

Border to border with love to defund hate

On September 10, volunteers gathered to assemble a giant pro-immigrant, anti-hate collage as part of Indivisible East Bay’s participation in Defund Hate Week. Coordinated by the Defund Hate Campaign, a group of immigration advocacy and immigrant-led organizations, the overarching goal was to put our Members of Congress on notice and remind them we will hold them accountable to fight the administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.

For our IEB event — one of over 150 organized! — we chose to create artwork comprised of messages about defunding hate and welcoming immigrants. Our plan – to collect the messages into a collage that we’d send to the border to be added to a Defund Hate petition addressed to Congressional Democrats. 

Our collage came together quickly as participants arrived and got to work.

Defund Hate collage party, organizers Amelia and Fionap, hoto by Ted Lam
Organizers Amelia & Fiona, at Defund Hate collage party, photo by Ted Lam

Submissions ranged from personal written messages to three-dimensional construction paper creations.

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Highlights included paper cranes originally collected to be placed on the gates of a migrant detention camp in Dilley, Texas, as part of a peaceful protest by survivors of Japanese internment camps and their relatives.

Defund Hate collage, photo by Fiona Woods
Defund Hate collage, photo by Fiona Woods

There were also great submissions from the staff of 1951 Coffee, the local non-profit cafe that provides barista training to the refugee community. There was so much art we had to add an extra panel to the original banner to fit everything!

In between creating submissions for the banner, we also wrote postcards to our Members of Congress in support of Defund Hate Week’s goals. We urged our MoCs to cut funding for ICE and CBP, to vote to reject bills that include funds transfers to ICE, and to support deportation alternatives while opposing dangerous “third-country agreements”. 

We mailed our banner on Weds., September 11, and it reached San Diego in time for the Defund Hate rally there on Friday — the culmination of Defund Hate Week.

A very special thank you to the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers for graciously allowing us to use their space to create our collage, and to all of the volunteers (including some highly creative kids!) who contributed beautiful submissions.

Change the Regime with Ice Cream!

Nothing’s better than eating ice cream with friends! Now’s the time to reach out to that neighbor who’s upset about immigration or climate change and doesn’t know what to do, and bring them to Indivisible East Bay’s All Members Meeting in Dublin on Sunday, September 29, from 1-3 pm! Tell them to bring their charged up phone + laptop or other device because we have the solution to existential dread — taking action!

To get your new resistance friend up to speed on how Indivisible National works with chapters like ours, we’ve invited Dennessa Atiles, Indivisible’s new organizer for Northern California, Alaska and Hawaii to come share her thoughts. She’ll give an update on priorities for 2020 and her goals for organizing. If you ever wondered how Indy staff helps support all the chapters, now’s your chance to find out.

You and your buddy will be inspired by tireless Livermore community organizer extraordinaire, Kyoko Takayama. One of the leads for Tri-Valley Grassroots Organizing (Tri-Valley GO), Kyoko is now certified as an Alameda County Census 2020 Ambassador and will share more about the outreach efforts in Alameda County and what we can do to help out.

Now that you and your ally in (bare) arms (and hey, we’ve got a t-shirt for that!) are ready to go, you’ll have your choice of our favorite resistance flavors — phone banking, postcarding, or registering voters by mail! We also know it’s the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, and our phone calls will end exactly at 3 pm. Oh, and ice cream, too, because hey, it’s Sundae!

RSVP here (not required but it’ll help us plan how much ice cream to bring!)

Ice cream solves everything, photo by Brendan Church