November AMM: potluck, postcards, more!

Event date: All Members Meeting Nov. 24

Don’t miss Indivisible East Bay’s November All Members Meeting! The party’s happening in the Community Room, on the first floor at Sports Basement, Berkeley, on Sunday, November 24, from 1 to 3 PM. And we do mean party — as is our tradition, we’ll have a potluck, so please bring food or drink to share if you can (though we’ll ask you to leave alcohol at home, as Sports Basement, our host, doesn’t allow it). If you plan to attend, please RSVP here. And bring friends — this is a fun, low-key way to introduce them to IEB! 

We’ll celebrate the good news out of the Virginia and Kentucky elections, recap our Virginia electoral work and strategy, and start to look ahead to our plans for the 2020 election. We’d love to hear your thoughts as we shape our plans and priorities on these topics. 

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

And it wouldn’t be an AMM without direct action! We’ll write postcards for Reclaim Our Vote, a non-partisan organization working to register voters of color in states where voter suppression is high. Our cards will go to voters in Texas to remind them that their voter registrations may have lapsed. We’ll also write VoteForward letters to likely Democratic voters, including registration forms and short personal statements about why WE vote. And we’ll continue our work to create and record a model impeachment hearing – more info on this here

So: food, good fellowship, and action — what more could you want? Oh yeah, we’ll still have some IEB rainbow design t-shirts for purchase!

New IEB rainbow tshirts
IEB rainbow t-shirts

IEB’s All Members Meetings are on the fourth Sunday of every month unless a holiday interferes. Note we’re NOT having an AMM in December, but mark your calendar for the first one of ’20 — that’s January 26, 2020. In the meantime, please join us online where we do our planning and organizing — email info@indivisibleeb.org for an invite. 

Photographs by Heidi Rand

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

August All Members Meeting: what we did on our summer vacation

By Ann G. Daniels

On August 25, an enthusiastic group gathered at Sports Basement Berkeley for the Indivisible East Bay All Members Meeting, eager to hear about election activism, voting security, and impeachment – and to do some hands-on activism.

But first: we got our new beautiful rainbow logo t-shirts (union made of course), and a couple of IEB members displayed their handmade Blue Wave hats! 

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Want to wear your very own IEB logo rainbow shirt, and perhaps make a donation to benefit IEB? Get them while they last at IEB events!

On to the amazing presentations: 

Leanne Karns from Swing Left East Bay talked about the organization’s well-thought-out electoral strategy, including great information (and cool graphics!) about where in the country an electoral win would make the most difference, and why they choose canvassing as the most effective strategy. 

Leanne Karns of Swing Left East Bay, at 082519 AMM
Leanne Karns, Swing Left East Bay

Holly Scheider, representing our allies at East Bay Activist Alliance, told us about the importance of the upcoming Virginia election. We’re just a few seats away from being able to flip both of the state’s legislative houses to blue in November, and EBAA is conducting a phonebanking campaign to remind people to register to vote. Why is it so important to get involved in a state election on the other side of the country, you may wonder? Gerrymandering in Virginia, like in much of the country, has been an enormous problem – it isn’t an exaggeration to say it’s one of the great voting rights challenges. With the upcoming 2020 census, it’s absolutely imperative to have a Democratic state legislature to stop Republican gerrymandering intended to permanently lock up districts and nullify blue votes. 

IEB member Larry gave a brief but info-full update on impeachment: what’s happening in DC, what activists are doing and how you can join in, including calling your Member of Congress and the House Judiciary Committee and spreading the word by talking about impeachment and helping us find venues to present our information and discussion session. And that’s just the short summary: read much more in our article.

IEB member Ion gave a great briefing on election security issues and the need to provide funding for our state and local governments to defend the foundation of our democracy. Read his article for lots of great info about the webinar presented by several major pro-democracy organizations, and find actions you can take to ensure we get that funding.

Ion's presentation about election security, AMM 082519
Ion’s presentation about election security

IEB member Joaninha presented an astonishing wealth of options for people looking for something easy to do right here in the East Bay: from postcard parties (with popcorn!) to chocolate and dim sum fundraisers and more. Hmm, is there a theme? Of course there is: go out and do something!

Joaninha & Paula presentation about postcarding and more, AMM 082519
Joaninha & Paula: postcarding & more

And then – we phonebanked! Veteran phonebankers got right to it and Holly and other experienced folks trained the newbies, and we called 228 voters in Virginia Beach! Out of those calls, four people said they would support the Democratic candidates, Alex Askew and Cheryl Turpin. And that’s why phonebanking is worthwhile. 

Phonebanking led by East Bay Activist Alliance, at 082519 AMM
Phonebanking led by East Bay Activist Alliance

Couldn’t make it to the AMM? Allergic to meetings? Join us online where we do our planning and organizing— ask  info@indivisibleeb.org for an invite.

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.

 

It’s rain(bow)ing IEB t-shirts!

Resistance is beautiful! Celebrate Indivisible and the East Bay with our fabulous new rainbow logo t-shirt! Come get one (or more!) of the new t-shirts AND learn how to phone bank for Virginia at the Sunday, August 25 All Members Meeting.

Our glamorous U.S.-made shirts, produced by local union printer Alliance Graphics, come in two t-shirt colors, blue and black: both with the rainbow logo, both shirt colors available in unisex or women’s/fitted sizes from small to XXL. Of your suggested minimum $25 donation each, IEB will get around $5 — which we’ll use for meeting and event expenses, informational flyers, and more.

The AMM will be packed with presentations about how you can take action while wearing your new shirt:

  • Leanne Karns from Swing Left East Bay will talk about their strategy and how we can support them (hint: it involves Arizona and North Carolina). 
  • You’ll also learn about our “VA 2019” project, which has the goal to flip both of Virginia’s legislative houses to blue this November (we’re just a few seats away!) And our East Bay Activist Alliance allies will lead us in phone banking to flip Virginia’s houses. Don’t worry — we’ll show you what to do! Bring your phone, earbuds, laptop, ipad or other device, and we’ll practice calling friendly Dems around the Virginia Beach area to remind them to register to vote this November.  

But back to the the t-shirts! We’ll have limited quantities of each size and color, so to make sure you get the shirt you want, come to the Sunday August 25 AMM and donate using cash or online via our ActBlue fundraising page or by using the Cash app to $IndivisibleEB. If you need, we’ll walk you through the easy process to donate online using your phone.

We’ll also hold a breakout on impeachment, to bring you the latest information and highlight the national impeachment advocacy coalition’s calls to action, which include urging our Members of Congress to hold dedicated public hearings, to make sure investigations and potential articles of impeachment include high crimes and misdemeanors beyond the Mueller findings, to obtain a date certain before Thanksgiving for recorded votes on articles, and more. And speaking of Mueller — last but not least, get your Mueller (mis)fortune cookie (while they last) at the AMM!

We’re set to be in the upstairs mezzanine at the Berkeley Sports Basement (take stairs or elevator up), but if there’s a last minute change of room check for Indivisible East Bay or IEB on the chalk board at the entrance. Can’t make the AMM? Join us online where we do our planning and organizing— ask  info@indivisibleeb.org for an invite.

And mark your calendar for September 29, when we’ll hold the next AMM in Dublin! Special guests, tasty treats and saving democracy are on the menu–RSVP and info here!