Ask the Grumpies: Where to donate

bogart asks:

I’d like to give some $$$ (well, realistically, some $) to one or more campaign organizations (really organizations supporting campaigns, if you see what I mean — not candidates’, and probably not the Democrat’s, but something like Indivisible or Flippable that is working strategically nationwide to effect change by electing the good ones). Any you would recommend?

 

Nationwide movements that are looking strategically (in addition to the afore-mentioned Flippable):

Swingleft, Indivisible

Help marginalized people vote:

Voteriders, Let America Vote

 

There’s also a lot to be said for looking locally– depending on where you are, your dollars might make a difference in a local election, and local elections determine gerrymandering.

I’ve been trying to do a political action every weekday.  Since I am phone-less (phone free?) for about a week, that means I’ll be giving money places.  For example, today I did a bulk buy order for campaign pins that I’m going to give to a student activist I know to pass out.  Any suggestions you have in the comments have a good chance of receiving my money this week or next!  (Also, can you guys call about Kavanaugh or another important issue since I’m out of commission for a few days?)

What organizations does Grumpy Nation suggest?

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Something I’m doing: Registering students to vote

The 2018 elections are in less than 100 days.  In most states, voter registration has to be done sometime in October in order to allow voting in November.

Back in 2016, a number of my out-of-state or just out-of-town students didn’t get their absentee ballots until after Trump had already been elected (I would not actually be surprised if there’s something fishy going on at our post office).  And a lot of students just don’t vote because they don’t think of it until it’s too late to get an absentee ballot.  If they’re registered locally, then they can vote on election day when they notice what is going on, even though it’s midterms.

Last Spring I did an hour or so training to become a deputy voter registrar.  I’ve registered one voter so far last semester, but I’ve also taken a bunch of forms to the registration office for one of the pro-active student workers in my building who is also a deputy registrar.  (I’ve also watched the kids so that DH could register folks at a few events.)

This year we decided to be more proactive.  We requested a table at student orientation for our major.  The request was granted.

Then the dean told the department heads that he’d signed us up for a competition with our counterparts at rival schools– which school can get the largest number of students registered.  Since I’d already requested the table, I got put on that initiative.  My hope is to get more of these kids to get deputy registrar training so they can go out and register people where they live and socialize.

Making it easy for people to vote when the bad guys are trying to make it hard is vitally important this election.  What can we do to help?  Here’s some links.

How to become a deputy registrar in your state

How people can check their own registration

Donate money to get people voter ids

Let us know in the comments your thoughts and ideas for helping people vote!

Another email from indivisible: Stop ACA repeal and replace

The following is excerpted from an Indivisible email.

News just broke that two Republican Senators—Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah—will oppose TrumpCare. That means that Republicans DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES to pass the bill.

But let’s be clear: this fight isn’t over. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will pull out all the stops to pass an ACA repeal bill. In fact, after failing to get enough votes to pass this most recent version of TrumpCare, McConnell has now indicated he will try to ram through a straight repeal bill. This is a last-ditch effort—and the only thing that will finish TrumpCare off for good is a wave of constituent power.

Mitch McConnell will keep trying to gut the Affordable Care Act because he would rather cut taxes for billionaires than let 32 million people keep their health insurance—the number that would lose insurance with a full repeal. But every day we stop him is a victory. Stay in this fight with us.

Call your senators today to tell them not to repeal and replace.  5calls doesn’t have a script up yet (I will update later today), but you can just say:

“Hi, I’m calling from [your town and your zipcode], and I would like to request that Senator [name] vote NO on repealing and replacing the affordable care act.”

Here’s a link with phone numbers:  http://myreps.datamade.us/ and you can also google your senator’s name to find phone numbers for regional offices if you can’t get through to the DC office.

An urgent email from Indivisible re: AHCA

The following is an email from Indivisible

Just as a preface: we don’t normally send “Help! The house is on fire!” emails like this because they can seem fake and alarmist. But we feel the tone of this email accurately represents how dire the TrumpCare situation is right now. Forgive the urgency—we promise to do this rarely.

What’s in this “new” TrumpCare bill.

After weeks of total secrecy, this morning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Senate TrumpCare bill. And what a cruel, ugly bill it is. It destroys Medicaid, it increases health costs for the middle-class families, it cuts coverage for pre-existing conditions, it eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood…and it does this all in order to green-light a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. Oh, and it will likely get worse once it gets to the Senate floor.

But this isn’t over yet. Senate Republicans don’t have the votes…not yet. We have time to fight back, and it doesn’t matter if you have a Republican or Democratic Senator—you are needed in this fight. Here’s how to fight back.

People don’t realize how dire this is. We’re trying to get the word out to amp up public pressure on Congress NOW by launching a digital campaign to turn out more people against TrumpCare. Join us.
 Increase the pressure today 

How the TrumpCare fight will play out

Senate Republicans have promised a vote by the end of next week. But there are still several steps between now and passage of TrumpCare. Here’s how the former congressional staff at Indivisible Team think the fight will unfurl:

  • Tomorrow, we’ll get a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, which will quantify exactly how many millions of Americans will be screwed by this bill and in what ways.
  • On Monday or Tuesday, Republicans will officially announce the vote is happening by the end of the week and start debate on “the bill,” which is just a draft bill intended to make it look like they’re being transparent but in reality is a trick to hide just how awful their finished product will be.
  • Over the next couple days, Senators will submit amendments, most of which will fail and none of which would make this bill redeemable.
  • On Thursday, the Senate will plan to vote on the legislation, but first they will vote on all submitted amendments (known as “vote-a-rama”).
  • At the last possible minute, Senate Republicans will replace the entire bill they just got finished “debating” with an alternative TrumpCare bill secretly crafted behind closed doors.
  • By the end of Thursday, there will be a final vote in the Senate.
  • As soon as that same Thursday, the House may then pass the legislation and send it to Trump to sign. This could take longer, but this is the worst case scenario and quite possible.
  • Next weekend, one week of congressional recess begins. They’ll either have the bill done by then, or they’ll have to wait another week.

Throughout this process there will be precisely zero public hearings in the Senate. Make no mistake, this is a historically partisan, secretive, and undemocratic process for one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of our generation. This is atrocious.

So let’s fight it. All you need to pressure your Republican Senators, including DAILY scripts and new materials, is on our TrumpCareTen.org website. Need more background materials? We’ve got ‘em for you here. It’s critical that you’re showing up and that when you’re not showing up, you’re calling your Senators every single day.

TrumpCare Facebook Live tonight!

Join Indivisible for a special Facebook Live TONIGHT at 8:30pm ET. We’ll give an update on where the legislation stands and answer your TrumpCare questions.

Don’t like this TrumpCare bill? Help us amend it ASAP

Got a Democratic Senator? You’ve still got work to do. As mentioned above, one of the final stages of the TrumpCare bill is a little-known process known as “vote-a-rama” where ANY Senator can submit as many amendments as he or she wants. And here’s the thing: EVERY amendment takes time to be introduced and voted on. We’re collecting THOUSANDS of amendments and submitting them directly to Senate staff.

Please please please: submit your amendments here, and get your friends and family members to submit amendments. We know this is working already. Senators are reading these amendments on the Senate floor. But we need thousands more.

This is about applying your constituent power directly to the process. This tactic can delay the bill and make it more politically painful for Republicans to move forward. It’s not a silver bullet- McConnell and Senate Republicans can still blow up Senate rules and cut off the amendment process. But to do that they’ll have to go on the record literally silencing the victims of TrumpCare in their own states, which they really don’t want to visibly do.

We’re amping up the pressure, giving us money will help

Here’s the hard truth: McConnell’s strategy of secrecy is working. National and local press aren’t covering the TrumpCare fight, so fewer people know about it. That means there’s less public pressure on Congress, and it’s easier for Senate Republicans to move forward. If we drag this TrumpCare bill out into the light, it will rot. That’s our job right now.

We’re trying to get the word out ASAP. We’re running a comprehensive digital ad campaign around the country that’s reaching new people and producing roughly 1 new amendment through our amendment tool for every 10 cents we spend. This rate of reach is ridiculously effective and efficient—it’s a rate almost unheard of in the digital marketing space. But we need help getting the message out, and this costs money. Every dollar we raise over the next 24 hours—up to $25,000—will go toward digital ads to turn out more people and to our social media staff to focus on stopping TrumpCare.

We want EVERYBODY rising up to kill this TrumpCare bill. To do that, we need to invest more in our anti-TrumpCare outreach work NOW. If you want more people in this fight, please donate. $15, $28, $50—any amount will help us reach new folks. We’ll be expanding our reach DIRECTLY in response to your donations.

We are under no illusions that victory is assured here, but victory is possible. Every member of Congress voting on this bill will eventually have to get your vote to be reelected. That’s the source of your constituent power. That’s what makes them responsive to pressure. Remember in March when Paul Ryan embarrassingly called off his first TrumpCare vote? That happened because of public pressure. That happened because of you.

We’re not going down without a fight. Let’s stand stand indivisible again. Let’s win this.

In solidarity,

Ezra Levin
Co-Executive Director, Indivisible

 


www.indivisibleguide.com | Donate

I love you (and links)

One would think that after more than a decade and a half of years in marriage and 20-odd years together that I wouldn’t be learning new things about you.

But this year I did learn something new.

One of the things you said you loved about me back when we were teenagers was how much I cared about things.  You’ve generally been calm and have tended not to pay much attention to current events.  But you liked about me that I wasn’t and I did… you said you admired that.

Generally when something has been important enough to me, I’ve been able to ask you to do something and you’ve done it.  I’ve always thought that you’d gotten out of your comfort zone in those cases because of your love for me and because I thought things were important.

But this time you’re doing more than I’ve ever asked.  I asked that you attend a university anti-hate rally, go to the women’s march, and make calls with the weekly actions from one of the lists.  You’re doing that, but so much more. You’re paying attention to the news and occasionally send me links.  You’ve volunteered for all sorts of things with the local democrats [and now indivisible].  You’re helping the local group that works with immigrants.  You’ve become a certified voter registrar.  You’ve gone so far out of your comfort zone with all this activism.  And you’re not even unemployed yet!

And I asked you why, and you said because it matters.  Because you need to do something about all the horrible things going on.  Because it’s the right thing.  Not because I think it’s the right thing, but because it is the right thing.  You don’t seem to be enjoying all of this– you’re still an introvert who dislikes politics and are much more comfortable with playing games on a virtual landscape or with the sterile world of saving lives through engineering.  But you’re doing it anyway.  Because you’re a responsible person.  A good person.

You told me this morning that you’d slept poorly because you’d had a nightmare about gunslingers and then when you woke up you kept thinking about politics and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Usually that’s me who is doing that (and usually I wake you up and you talk to me until I fall sleep again).

I don’t know what life is going to be like in a few months when this post posts.  I don’t know who our president is going to be or what kind of links will be following this post.  Right now as I type this, the news is about lies about ties to Russia as the President’s men are recusing and resigning.  Remember that?

But I do know, whatever the future holds, where ever we are this June 17th or next or any June 17th after, I am lucky to have been able to spend my life with you.  I admire you.  You are the best person I know (our children, as always, included, as they came from you).  And, as always, I love you so very much.  Thank you for sharing your life with me.

And now for some links!

***********************************************************************************************************************

Juneteenth is this weekend (technically it’s Monday, but the weekend is better for celebrating)!  Celebrate the actual end of slavery!

What can you do if your senators are Democrats?

Republican senators are unable to explain even what they are trying to fix with the AHCA.

Republican health care bill would raise insurance premiums

Russia may have actually hacked some voting.

Counter-protests last weekend

Another thread on sexism and HRC

Celebrate bureaurcracy

Stop pretending you’re not rich

#2 will live seemingly forever

Maybe I need a writing hat!

Saliva DNA and migration

I cleaned out my email inbox a bit… here’s some scholarly articles:

Ugh Uber

Manager bias decreases work output for minorities (get rid of racist managers!)

Gender diversity and performance in venture capital

The lifecycle of scholarly performance across fields

Head Start works even better when followed by better funded K-12

The presidential election was bad for health

/end scholarly articles

Modern love fairy tales

Ow, the title on this.

Get Old Man’s War for free through June 21st

This is a nice mansion

This is a cat house

Interview with Seanan McGuire

Nerd!  Also, Sweet

What kind of activism does your community need?

It’s summer– if you’re one of our academic readers, you may finally have the feeling that your head is above water and you can start paying attention to the world again.  If you’re not an academic, this post still applies to you.  :)

Right now, there’s a huge groundswell of support for the resistance.  Change is finally possible.  People want to do things, aren’t sure what to do.

(There may also be some burn-out given how it seems like we’re treading water and still being dragged under.  But things would be much worse if we weren’t resisting at all.  Hang in there!)

What best to do depends on where you live… blue states often have organizations and networks.  Groups tend to know what is out there and they’ve got connections.  It’s pretty easy to join something that matches your interests and become a foot soldier for justice.

Unfortunately, even liberal cities in red states may not have these kinds of networks. Instead they may have lots of separate little groups that each do their own thing.  This ends up leading to duplication of effort, especially if, for example, the local democratic party is small and disorganized and hasn’t tried to pull things together.

There are some things that you can do in these situations that may have a big effect:

Just figuring out what the groups are and introducing them to each other can multiply the effects of what each group is doing.  Leaders can coordinate on bigger events.  They can let each other know what’s going on.  They can do better crowd-sourcing of simple things.  They can share effort.  First you need to find out what these groups *are* and how to contact them.  A more advanced step would be to invite all of the leaders to a leaders meeting so that they can meet each other and share their abilities and needs across the community.  My DH nudged the local dems to do this in our area.  My sister got together the leaders in her major city– she rented out one of the big library spaces and put out the call.  It’s possible this has already been done where you live which is great, but if my sister’s major red state (blue) city was fragmented, then yours may be too.

Another problem with some of these organizations is that they don’t realize some of the problems that they have with their systems.  For example, our local dems had no idea that they had a huge backlog of people signing up to join from their webpage back from November until DH met with the head of the dems in January or February and asked her to look into it.  Turns out their automated email system wasn’t working and they’d had no idea.  If things aren’t running smoothly, sometimes it just takes a small check to find that there’s been a technical glitch.  If you’ve tried to join a group and met with silence, it may be worth following up.  There may be other systems that could benefit from a little bit of streamlining.

Both of the above in our town resulted from a 30 min meeting DH had with the head of the local dems.

More standard things you can do (in order of how hard they seem to us):

  1. Check your voter registration.  Register to vote
  2. Get on a weekly mailing list and follow their instructions (or a subset of their instructions)
  3. Fax
  4. Call
  5. Find and visit the local groups in your city
    1. Figure out who is doing things well and join them
    2. Figure out who is doing things poorly and fix them (either via nudging or taking over small parts– nobody seems to get upset when you fix their technical problems).  Make sure if you take this step that you’re actually helping/doing the work and not just bro-splaining that people are “doing it wrong”.
    3. Connect local groups to each other
  6. Get other people to be active.  I haven’t yet figured out how to get the bros who complain (loudly, in the hallway) but do nothing to lift a single finger, but there are a lot of people out there who want to do stuff but either need a little nudging or a little direction.  Talk to folks– you might be surprised!
  7. Go to protests
  8. Become a voter registrar for your state
    1. Register voters
    2. Get other people to register voters!
  9. Call harder
  10. Write letters to the editor
  11. Figure out where your rep is going to be, be there, and say something
  12. Do a district office visit with your representatives
  13. Start your own #indivisible or #resist group
  14. Run for local office
  15. Run for state office
  16. Run for federal office

BTW, today (Wednesday) is national “Call your senators about the AHCA day”.  Here’s a link from 5calls.  If you can’t get through and would rather fax, you can do that here.

Grumpy nation– what am I missing?  What resources have you found or are you using?  What else should/could we be doing?  Suggestions for activism links?

I am going to register as a Republican

I mentioned this to two of my colleagues and they told me they already had!  One of them grew up in a red state and said that’s the only way she’s been able to affect politics– through primaries.  The other said he did it after the presidential election.

It seems messed up, but our local Indivisible group has said that their goal is not to run a dem but to find a moderate republican with morals to primary our tea party congressman.  I agree that’s a good goal given our current district stats, as much as I miss the blue-dog dem we had before he was gerrymandered out of existance.

I will still, of course, vote straight blue ticket in the main election, so I hope the dems find someone to run.