Climate Action Is a Winning Issue

Varshini Prakash and John Podesta for The Nation: Donald Trump Wants a Fight on the Green New Deal. So Do We.

New polling from Climate Power 2020 finds 71 percent favor bold government action on climate change, while only 18 percent oppose it. And talking about climate moves votes for Democrats. When presented as a choice between aDemocratic congressional candidate in favor of bold climate action and an anti-action Republican, the vote moves 14 points in the Democrat’s favor. This jump is even bigger—21 points—for centrist Republican and Democratic voters. These numbers are astronomical, and they make clear that running aggressively on climate is the Democratic Party’s biggest political opportunity this election.

…Running boldly on tackling the climate crisis, running on a Green New Deal, these are policies that can be popular in all 50 states. Democrats should run toward, not away from these fights. The evidence is clear: If we loudly make the case for bold climate action, we will win.

Taking Mitch’s Gavel

From a recent email from the wonderful group Swing Left:

Whenever we talk about the Senate, we get some version of the same question in our inboxes: why aren’t we trying to unseat Mitch?

The answer is: we are, just not directly. Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the country. He’s done nothing for his constituents. But Kentucky is a ruby red state, and flipping this one seat, no matter how satisfying, won’t give Democrats control of the Senate—another terrible Republican would just take up the mantle as Senate majority leader.

For the price of contesting his seat, we can have a huge impact on several races across the country—races that could decide control of the entire Senate. Democrats need to flip just four seats to win the majority. So instead of focusing on one seat, we’re working to flip the eight more-winnable Senate seats in North Carolina, Georgia, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Maine, and Iowa. In these races, our dollars and time will make the biggest impact.

If you want to beat Mitch and elect a Democratic Senate that could pass decades of progressive legislation, donate to the Senate Fund today. Every single dollar goes directly to eight Democratic candidates running in the most winnable Senate races.

Do it: pitch in to ditch Mitch.

Write Letters to Voters with VoteFWD

Want to get out the vote in key states from the comfort of your own home? Indivisible is excited to be partnering this election cycle with VoteFWD. VoteFWD provides activists with names, addresses and a data-driven proven template to write letters to voters in important states. Letter writers will save their letters and send them right before the election so that voters receive them at the perfect, most-strategic moment.

This is a perfect way for your group to stay active during social distancing. Writing letters is both a safe, remote activity and proven effective! It’s a way to make an impact from home and can also be a great activity to do “together” over video chats.

It’s easy and rewarding. VoteFWD has quick and straightforward instructions on how to get started and how to mail your letters. They have also run several tests and this particular letter format is proven to increase turnout!

Recruit new volunteers and engage existing members. Letter writing is a perfect activity to bring in new volunteers and engage existing members, since folks may be more comfortable to start with letter writing before working their way up to door knocking and phone calling.

Get started today! Signing up is simple, you can follow the link here. And take a look at this resource for ideas about how to strengthen your group through letter writing.

(Learn more about how to build your group and support fundraising on the Indivisible site.)

Take Action in Solidarity with Black Lives

You’ve probably already started, but this page from Indivisible is a good starting place, too (or a resource to restart). Background, calls to action, resources to learn more, and ways to contribute. A small sample:

We have a national crisis of white supremacist violence against Black people in this country. In the past 10 years alone, we witnessed the deaths of thousands of Black people at the hands of police. Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile are just some of the names of those we’ve lost to racialized police violence. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only created more opportunities for police to question and detain Black people. In New York City, for example, from March 16 to May 5, over half of the summonses issued related to social distancing enforcement were issued to Black residents even though they make up only a quarter of the city’s residents.

One of the key ways to limit police violence in the future is by decreasing funding for police forces and carceral institutions, and investing that money in programs, especially in Black communities, that support people’s well-being —things like schools, nutrition assistance, addiction treatment, social workers, and more. Our recommendation is to follow the lead of the Movement for Black Lives by calling to defund police forces and invest in communities; you can make a call to your local officials using our script here.

Slacktivism’s Not Enough

I transcribed this from an episode of Lovett or Leave It some time ago. I forget exactly which episode, but it was in the Before Times, and I never got around to posting it. It was also long before Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential primary race, and the deeply despondent response of some Bernie supporters to a Biden candidacy brought it to mind again:

When someone says to you, “Oh, I think Trump is gonna win,” say to them, “What did you do this week to prevent that from happening?” That’s all. “Oh, you think Trump’s going to win? You must think that’s a real emergency then. Wow, you’re that pessimistic? Did you donate to anybody? Did you knock on any doors? Did you do anything? Oh, you did nothing? You did absolutely nothing… So you’re just somebody who wants to make everybody feel bad?”

If somebody says Trump is gonna win, you say, “You don’t know that. And if you think that, you need to do something to stop it. Now get the f*ck out of my face.”

It’s harsh, and somewhat joking – it is a comedy podcast – but it’s a serious point. It also came to mind as I read a Guardian article about a pair of new books: EJ Dionne’s Code Red, and Eitan Hersh’s Politics is for Power. I think this, referencing the latter, follows on Lovett’s point:

Hersh, meanwhile, identifies a crucial first step toward righting our water-soaked ship of state: spend less time on “hobbyism or slacktivism”, which mostly consists of preaching to the converted (or picking fights with people we’ve never met) on Facebook and Twitter.

In 2018, Hersh asked a representative sample of Americans how much time they devoted to any kind of political activity. One third said they spent two hours or more each day on politics. But of these people, four out of five also said that “not one minute of that time is spent on any kind of real political work. It’s all TV news and podcasts … and social media and cheering and booing and complaining to friends and family.”

Spending time online, reading Twitter, Facebook, Slack, even this post, that’s one thing. Staying informed, learning, and building community can happen on the internet. But there’s a big difference between the kind of “spending time on politics” described there, and actually working to effect lasting change for our country and for our neighbors’ lives.

You don’t need to read another outrage article about how bad Trump and the Trumpist Republican party is. You knew it before he was elected, and you already know it hundreds of times more than you did then. Close your social media tabs, and get to work.

Resources for Online Organizing

From the latest Indivisible Austin newsletter, some resources for digital activism in the time of Coronavirus:

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Keep Pushing

The following is a copy of the excellent thoughts that Brittany Packnett Cunningham posted on Twitter on March 10, the evening of the Tuesday after Super Tuesday, when Joe Biden had another big night over Bernie Sanders. Regardless of which nominee you back in this one race, these are tough but wise words.

I fear that the popularization of protest has folks confused about it.

Disciplined direct action has a target, strategy, and demands.

When you don’t get what you want, you keep pushing.

If you don’t get the nominee you want, you push the one you get to progressive policies.

The idea that you just quit when you don’t get the first win is not only selfish, it is, to be clear, an affront to the discipline of organizing, protest and direct action.

Your heroes *did not* throw up their hands when they didn’t get what they want. Literally none of them.

Activism and organizing are hard, taxing, long term, personal, relational, intense pursuits that require study, discipline, and COMMITMENT.

It is not episodic. It is not one and done. It is committed to the vision more than the visionary.

Your guy doesn’t clench the nomination? Well, we STILL need clean air, clean water, economic revolution, peace, justice and jobs.

You giving up on all that because your guy doesn’t win means you give up on yourself & the rest of us.

Stay committed. Push the winner. Get it done.

LBJ was a whole racist.

Like, n*ggER, hard -ER racist.

What if MLK has just thrown up his hands like KENNEDY OR NOBODY after the assassination?

He pushed LBJ. We got two Civil Rights Acts and a Voting Rights Act our of it. [link]

Stop tying your power and your freedom up in a single leader.

That is and never will be the pathway to liberation.

I’d rather have someone we can push than Orange Glo, just like I’d rather have had Hillary than this. [link]

Reduce the harm, get to the best possible outcome, then fight like hell to get what you need done.

With discipline, strategy, and clarity.

Public polling for Medicare for all, Free college and the wealth tax are strong.

Obama was a moderate and he, like many other politicians, changed their opinion and support of marriage equality as public polling changed and disciplined public pressure mounted.

If you give up fighting for your principles when the going gets tough, how committed were you to begin with?

Our elders have been fighting whether or not they had a friend in the White House-and they rarely did.

Let’s get over ourselves and get to work.

Typos all up and thru this thing but yall get it, I hope.

Goodnight. The work resumes in the morning. 🙏🏾

Love y’all. All of you.

New Service: Free Email Forwarding

I happened to stumble recently on ForwardEmail.net, a slick, free service that allows you to have email addresses for your domain, but without having to pay for or manage full email service. Instead, messages are simply forwarded to whatever existing email address you already have (GMail, Hotmail, Fastmail (save 10% with that affiliate link, btw), whatever).

Suppose, for example, you run the site IndivisibleMaralago.com. With this service you could have a working email address like info@indivisiblemaralago.com forwarded to an existing email like trumpisbad12345@gmail.com. You can have as many of these aliases as you want, for free.

Why not get real email service for your group? You can sure do that, and it might make sense. But I’ve been involved with managing email for nonprofits in the past, and it can be a real pain in the butt, with little real advantage. There’s a good bit of administration and frequent troubleshooting, all so that the already-busy leaders of your group can juggle yet another email account.

If the main thing you want is the legitimacy of email addresses with your domain name so that people can send you messages, this ForwardEmail.net solution is easy and free. If you decide to upgrade to a full email service provider later, this is easy to turn off and won’t hinder that process a bit.

To be clear, you don’t need me or a site on Indivisible.blue to use this. You can go to ForwardEmail.net and do it yourself, no problem. But if your site is hosted here, then we probably manage your DNS already, and that’s where the configuration for this service happens. Also, I’m here as always to help you set up and manage it! Just tell me what email address you want, and where it should go, and I’ll take care of all the technical details.

If you’re interested, just get in touch via this form (or via this new forwarded address I just set up: hello@indivisible.blue!).

Who is Chip Roy?

Many of the sites we host here on Indivisible.blue are full, primary group sites. They serve Indivisible groups in a city, district, or even state. But because we have the ability to create a new site quickly and easily (and for free, not counting domain registration), there have also been a few special-purpose sites set up. The most recent of these is a great example: WhoIsChipRoy.com.

The activists behind this site have already been getting the word out about it this primary season, from yard signs (below) to promoting it a candidate forum attended by the Democrats hoping to take on Mr. Roy in TX21 in November. That event’s coverage in Austin’s alt-weekly, the Chronicle (“Dem Candidates Wendy Davis & Jennie Lou Leeder Take the Stage”) even included a mention and link to the WhoIsChipRoy.com website.

Interested in an issue- or candidate-specific site? Get in touch!

Who is Chip Roy? yardsign

Enjoy Your Holidays

I appreciated this advice and pep-talk from Jon Lovett of the Lovett or Leave It podcast (you can listen to the clip transcribed below here):

The time for complaining is over, it’s here, 2020 is upon us.

And I just want everybody who can to take a break this holiday. Turn off your phone if you can, tune out as much as possible, sleep late, download a meditation app, sign up for the subscription then never use it again. Do some yoga, ’cause when we wake up on January 2nd, we need to look at that calendar and find a weekend, two weekends, ten weekends, plan a trip to the closest swing state near you.

Tweeting is no longer enough. Protesting is no longer enough. Calling your Congressperson is no longer enough. It’s time to knock on some doors. It’s time to talk to every voter in every swing state you possibly can. If it’s Warren, you’re going to stop worrying about electability, you’re gonna put your boots on the ground. If it’s Biden, you’re going to stop thinking about Corn Pop and his bloody eye and you’re going to put boots on the ground. If it’s Bernie, you’re going to stop complaining about Bernie Bros online, and you’re going to become a Bernie Bro. And if it’s Buttiegieg, you’re going to learn that fucking dance and you’re going to like it!

Enjoy your Christmas. Enjoy your Hanukkah. Enjoy your New Year’s, because 2020 is going to be a long year and the closer we get to the election the more the stakes will weigh on all of us, and I just want us to keep in mind, all the twists and turns, all the emotional highs and lows, all of it will fade when we see the results. And when we’re watching those results, we won’t be in control of what happens, but we want everyone listening to this, eleven months from now, to watch those returns knowing they did all they could to get the results that we wanted.

So, eat up this holiday break, have a great time, because 2020 is the year America hits its goal weight!

I plan to follow this advice, and hope you will, too. Happy holidays, and here’s to 2020!