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

 

 

 

 

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

Thank Goodness for Them (And You)

Last year at this time we compiled a list of people and things that had the United States’s back in 2017. Keeping the tradition going, here’s our 2018 list of groups that helped Indivisible East Bay do our work, and that stood out for us as special heroes over the past crazy year. As we said last year: this list isn’t exhaustive- it’s not even close – but it’s a starting point.

Local Heroes

Though much of IEB’s work is done online (thanks, Slack!), we welcome the opportunity to join together IRL at meetings, actions, and events …  Since we’re not getting Koch $$ or Putin rubles, and our Soros-checks all bounced, we often rely on the kindness of local businesses and institutions. Big thank-yous to:

  • Sports Basement, Berkeley: for providing free meeting space at the coolest sports emporium in the Bay Area!
  • Cat Town, Oakland: for supporting democracy (and our phone banks!) while finding homes for kitties
  • Robinson House Consultants – especially Cassandra Benjamin, Oakland: for opening up their beautiful office space to IEB for our mega phone+text bank The Last Weekend Get Out The Vote efforts

Please patronize these terrific businesses, and tell them THANKS for helping IEB #resist!

Fellow Fighters: In the Election and in the Long Run

Some of these organizations were on last year’s list and some are new partners for us; some were formed just for the midterm elections, some we began working with during the midterm elections but they’ve been around since Current Occupant took office, and some address problems that predate 45. In the end, we decided to put all these organizations together, because – big picture – we’re all in the fight together.

  •  Black Voters Matter: As their website says, “effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny.” IEB was proud to partner with BVM in text-banking at our GOTV efforts.
  • Democracy Action: Kudos for organizing so many resistance events, and gratitude for including ours on their list!
  • East Bay for TJ: The pundits said TJ Cox could never unseat David Valadao in CA-21. Our sources on the ground said differently. The race was initially called for Valadao but they’re still counting the ballots and the margin keeps narrowing.
  • Election Protection: ​This national, nonpartisan coalition, made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, works year-round to advance and defend the right to vote.
  • Evolve CA: If you’ve attended IEB’s CA-11 team or All Member Meetings, you’ve heard about these local grassroots organizers who aim to reform Proposition 13. You’ll hear more from them!
  •  Flip the 14: Flip the 14 targeted – you guessed it – fourteen Congressional districts in the 2018 midterms. From their website: “Flip the 14 is working to strengthen the work of the Resistance throughout California.”
  • Indivisible Northern Nevada: A mighty force, they involved IEB in their Issue Voters Project, which helped make Nevada part of the Blue Wave.
  • Postcards to Voters: An online resource allowing activists to send handwritten reminders to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast. Prepare to be boggled: over 59,000 volunteers, in every state, and close to 4 million postcards to voters in over 130 key, close elections.
  • Resistance Labs: Making our list for the second year, this organization created by Oaklanders recruits virtual activists fighting the worst of Donald Trump’s agenda.
  • Vote Forward: They helped flip the House by sending letters – actual snail mail! – to unlikely voters.

All of You and Everything You’ve Done

We said it last year, and it’s more true than ever this year:

We are thankful for every phone call, every postcard, every difficult conversation with a loved one, every protest, every sign, every idea, every atom of energy you gave to our resistance this year. Despite how difficult it’s been, despite the psychic and social horror of it all, we have won far more often than we have lost. Our successes and our continued defense of the United States is down to you, your families, and your communities. Sincerely and with the deepest hope for our next year: thank you.

Graphic of ASL sign for “I love you” by John Hain

Indivisible We Wrote!

By Charlotte McGoldrick

Indivisible East Bay’ers and friends packed our August 2018 postcard party, companionably writing 433 postcards and 14 letters, and all in time for lunch!

  • 240 postcards are headed to CA-1 voters in support of Audrey Denney, an agriculturalist and educator running for Congress against Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa
  • 158 postcards are going to CA-21 voters in support of TJ Cox, an engineer and Central Valley small businessman running for Congress against Republican incumbent David Valadao
  • 25 postcards went to Senators Feinstein and Harris to ask them to keep fighting against Trump’s horrible, no-good presidential power-loving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
  • 10 postcards went to voters for Julie Goldberg, an educator running for a New York state senate seat, through Postcards to Voters
  • We also sent 14 letters to Democratic voters in Georgia through Vote Forward, another great organization that specifically targets voters who are unlikely to vote, with the goal of boosting voter turnout through the power of the pen. 

We loved seeing lots of new faces this weekend (including several under one-year old – children are always welcome)! Thank you to everyone who turned out to flip Congress blue. Couldn’t make this one? Itching to write to more voters? Great, let’s keep this going. Stay tuned for announcements about our upcoming postcard parties, always listed in our newsletter, on our Facebook page, and on our upcoming events webpage.

Postcard party August

And Mary McFarland of East Bay for TJ Cox is hosting a post-carding party on Friday, August 17, from 4:00-6:00 pm in Alameda. If you’d like to attend, please email Mary. Can’t make it? Check out other events here.

200+ postcards in support of Audrey Denney in CA-1
This is what 240 postcards in support of Audrey Denney in CA-1 looks like!

Learn more about activist postcard-ing at our article The Pen (plus .35 stamp) Is Mightier Than Yelling At Your TV. Have other questions? Want to let us know about your own postcarding events? Email us or contact @heidirand on Slack.  

Photos by Heidi Rand

July IEB Postcard Party & Snack Potluck

Please join us at Indivisible East Bay’s postcard party & snack potluck July 15, anytime between 11 AM and 3 PM at Sports Basement, Berkeley. RSVP here – not required, but it’ll help us know what supplies to bring for you.

All are warmly welcome — from the postcard-curious to committed carders — for a combo of direct resistance activism, friendly chat, and noshing! Feel free to bring snacks to share if you want, but we’d prefer if you bring a friend (or 5) and/or your family (children welcome).

We’ll provide supplies, explain everything, and have newbies up and writing in a few minutes. Our postcard parties have been huge successes, with IEB members & friends stepping up to write 100s of cards! We’re upping our game and offering several options:

  • Postcards to Voters: this fantastic resource provides an ideal way for blue state activists to write directly to Democrats in other districts & states to urge them to vote. We’ll provide addresses and scripts – currently P2V is writing to get out the vote for Danny O’Connor, the Democratic candidate running in the August 7 special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. 
  • Postcards for truth and justice in support of Andrew Janz, running for Congress against Putin’s puppet Devin Nunes in California District 22.
  • Postcards to U.S. Senators: we’ll have sample scripts so you can write postcards to your Senators to vote against Trump’s unfit judicial nominees. Want to write these postcards at home? See our Judiciary team’s awesome page for expert info on the nominees plus scripts!
  • New! We’re hosting Scott from Vote Forward, an exciting project using letters (instead of postcards) mailed to targeted voters in selected campaigns. For people who want to learn about this option, Scott will bring letters & envelopes for you to write, and he’ll answer questions. He’d appreciate donations to cover letter postage, or you can bring your own first-class letter stamps.

More deets:

  • You can bring your own postcards or we’ll have lots there for you to use – some designed and donated by IEB’s super postcard party guru Michael, and others donated by IEB angels
  • Bring postcard stamps (.35 each for cards a max of 6″ x 4.25″) if you have, or  we’ll have stamps for you (not donated, so we’ll just ask you to reimburse us for the cost)
  • We’ll also have pens and markers, fun GOTV washi tape, and other supplies
  • Already a verified P2V writer? Bring your own addresses if you want!

Learn more about activist postcard-ing at our article The Pen (plus .35 stamp) Is Mightier Than Yelling At Your TV

We’re set to be in the upstairs mezzanine at Sports Basement (take stairs or elevator up), but if there’s a last minute change of room check for Indivisible East Bay or IEB postcard party on the chalk board at the entrance.

Have other questions? Want to let us know about your own postcarding events? Email us or contact @heidirand on Slack.