Are you, or someone you know, dealing with a bad case of cynicism, despair or numbness? If so, please read this list, compiled by Robert Hubbell. It's an important reminder of what has already happened because YOU elected a Democratic trifecta who stood unified - across an ideological range spanning from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin - and PERSISTED - winning these victories despite extreme GOP obstructionism!
Just think what we could accomplish with a couple more Senate seats (allowing us to get rid of the filibuster!)?!
For the safety of our community, we are conducting our meetings online until conditions permit us to resume assembling in person.
Monday August 15th - 7 PM The Legal Landscape for Democracy
The legal landscape in our country (like so many other aspects of our democracy) seems particularly fraught and complex right now. So many laws and norms have been upended in the last 5 years. And now, in what feels like all of a sudden, and after waiting forever, traitors are being called out, subpoenas delivered, searches conducted and maybe - just maybe - some of the powerful will be held to account.
Legally, what, exactly is and is not happening in our democracy, to our democracy? How do we, activists, help strengthen and bring more justice to our rule of law, that no one should be above - including police and presidents?
Join Indivisible Northampton-Swing Left WM
Monday, August 15th, 7pm EDT
when we welcome Bill Newman, Director of the Western Regional Law Office of the ACLU of MA
to help shine a light on just these crucial and timely issues!
And, as always, you'll get to hear what Indivisible Northampton-Swing Left Western MA is up to, and how you can help us save democracy together!
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Sunday, September 4th, 4-5:30 PM
IN-SLWM Outdoor Gathering to ReConnect & ReCharge!
Let's meet up outside IRL
(in real life!!)
to do some spirit-sustaining, joy-inducing, be-ing together!
We'll have beverages and snacks - feel free to add your own or not, LIVE MUSIC - from our own Ellen Schwartz (postcard diva, and member of the jazzy acoustic band, Too Human), and there'll be opportunities to find out more about our current campaigns, write a postcard (or a few!), and hang out and RELAX with your activist community! Stay tuned for other special guests and activities, and
Bring friends & family - it's a party!
Outside the Common House at Pathways Cohousing
25 Mountain Laurel Path
Florence. MA 01062
You can just show up, but if you register here,
we'll know just how many goodies to have on hand!
Should IN-SLWM Endorse in the MA Sec of State Race?
In this time of threats to our democracy, we have the opportunity to strengthen voting access and security by electing a Secretary of State in MA who will protect, strengthen and expand our access to safe, fair and free elections.
In September 6th's MA primary, we have a choice in determining who will be our next SoS - the incumbent, William Galvin, or his challenger, Tanisha Sullivan.
Because of the importance of this race, IN-SLWM is considering endorsing one of these candidates, and we need YOUR VOTE to let us know which (if either) to throw our support behind.
Please vote using this google form, where you'll have the chance to say whether we should endorse a candidate, and if so, which candidate we should endorse.
If we get a minimum of 35 vote and one candidate gets 75% of them, we will give our endorsement.
What does endorsement mean?
Endorsement does not mean that IN-SLWM is committing to working on behalf of the candidate. It simply means that we have determined that this candidate most closely represents the values of INSLWM. We are lending them our name and not necessarily anything else. In addition, this info will go to IMC, which is considering its own endorsement, as well.
And here is a great list, compiled by Robert Hubbell, of the impressive, and not-trumpeted-enough accomplishments of a unified Democratic caucus (across ideological differences spanning from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, no less!) overcoming - again and again - Republican obstructionism. Just for fun. And to share.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
GEORGIA! Phone banks to support
Join us on Wednesday evenings to help us call Georgia Democrats in support of Rev. Senator Raphael Warnock and Stacy Abrams--a dream team of candidates! Both races are very close--we have a lot of work to do. Voting rights have come under serious attack in Georgia and our support can help bring out Democratic voters in large numbers.
We are working with the Georgia Democratic Party to make calls from 6-8pm every Wednesday. We provide training for new callers (or anyone who needs a refresher) from 6-6:30pm, then start making calls after that. The script is great! It's short, straightforward, and easy to get through.
Calling is through Open VPB (Virtual Phone Bank), which means you'll need to find and activate your Action ID. In case you don't have one or can't find it, you can use this linkto create a new one.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the zoom link for the phone bank.
One of our wonderful phone bankers, Hayley Wood, has created fact sheets that provide info and talking points about Warnock and Abrams. Please review ahead of time so you are ready with talking points.
We are excited to offer a campaign organized by Swing Blue Alliance and Democratic committees in Pennsylvania. It consists of letters going to voters in 5 PA counties, and is based upon a very successful pilot project carried out earlier this year. In that carefully designed pilot project, letters, including mail-in ballot applications, were sent to voters in Bucks County, encouraging them to apply to vote by mail. Some of you worked on that campaign last March.
The letters were very successful! Not only did infrequent voters apply to vote by mail, but the letters also increased by a significant margin the likelihood that they would vote. This success was supported by the precision targeting system the Dems have developed, which identifies voters most likely to respond positively, resulting in a significant increase in turnout compared to the control group. Where elections turn on very narrow margins, a campaign like this can have a powerful impact!
It is exciting to participate in a campaign based upon proven effectiveness! We have ordered packets for Delaware County, PA, and are now ready to order more for Chester County. Packets of letters are now available; you can sign up here. This is a different task from that of working on postcards. Each packet has materials to send to 25 Democratic voters. It consists of a letter to the voter (with a brief handwritten message), two PA applications to register to vote by mail, a return envelope for the voter’s use and an envelope addressed to the voter in which to send all the materials. Each letter sent requires a 60 cent first class stamp. Cost for a packet of 25 is $12 without stamps and $24 with stamps. Part of the cost is underwritten by Indivisible Northampton/Swing Blue Western Mass. You will receive an email when the materials are available to pick up; probably in about one week.
We hope that you will share our enthusiasm for this opportunity to turn out the vote in critically important Pennsylvania! Sign up for materials now!
With thanks and best wishes,
Marta for Indivisible Northampton/Swing Blue Western Mass.
Sundays at 4 pm at
Easthampton River Valley Coop
GETTING OUT THE VOTE is crucial to winning elections, so we're writing postcards to voters in Swing States with a variety of messages, many urging them to make sure to vote this year. Sending postcards to voters--cost effective, eye-catching and personal--has been shown to be effective in motivating their participation in voting.
Ready to get out of the house and take the fight for Democracy outdoors??? Join the Post Corps EVERY SUNDAY, 4:00 PM at the picnic tables outside Easthampton River Valley Coop. to sit outside, schmooze with other Democracy Warriors and write postcards to reach out to swing voters. Contact Deb Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
VOTE FORWARD’S 2022 “BIG SEND” LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN IS IN FULL SWING
Vote Forward, a close ally of Swing Left, is a few weeks away from finishing another “Big Send” get-out-the-vote letter campaign. IN-SLWM volunteers have already downloaded and prepared more than 7,000 letters that will go out to infrequent voters in key districts and states at the end of October. There’s not much time left, but new volunteers can still help! To learn more about how this works, click here. If you’re ready to sign up, click here. Every letter helps, so join now!
Some – maybe many – of you have heard about a New York Times op-ed on August 1 that questioned the effectiveness of postcard and letter writing to voters, titled “Fed Up With Democratic Emails? You’re Not the Only One.” Despite the reference to emails, it took a big swipe at postcard and letter writing. Here’s what I wrote to our many Vote Forward volunteers:
First, to clear up one important misconception: Vote Forward is not affiliated with the Democratic Party. It is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which means it can’t engage in partisan political activity. That’s why VF says explicitly that the messages you write must be nonpartisan. The letters only urge recipients to vote without naming a party or candidate. Although letters go mainly to registered Democrats and people in primarily Democratic areas, the message is simply “Please vote.”
Robert Butler, a progressive who publishes a daily newsletter on Substack, responded to the op-ed and cited several excellent responses he got to that post. You can read his comments here.
Please be assured that Vote Forward letters can and do make a difference, especially in close races where an increase in turnout of one percent or even less can make the difference between winning and losing. Many factors contribute to that turnout, but VF data suggests that their letters are effective in turning out infrequent voters.
I would add that Swing Blue Alliance, with whom we frequently partner on postcard campaigns, does extensive research on the effectiveness of their postcarding efforts and found that they significantly increase voter turnout. Other postcarding partners see similar results. We should not be discouraged or doubtful about writing to voters – they often appreciate it. So let’s all Write On!
- Michael Dover
IN-SLWM Activist Texting Group
On hold for the moment. We may start back up closer to November.
Other Ways to Pitch In
BAR INSURRECTIONISTS FROM THE BALLOT
Sign the Petition
Enacted after the Civil War, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from public office any individual who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and then engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gives aid or comfort to those who have.
By inciting a violent attack on Congress in an effort to prevent the certification of his own electoral defeat, Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and violated his oath of office. Free Speech For People and Our Revolution have teamed up to urge Secretaries of State and chief election officials across the country to follow the mandate of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment and bar insurrectionists from any future ballot.
Sign hereto tell Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin to abide by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and bar Trump from appearing on any future ballot in MA.
Join the Indivisible National Give No Ground Program
We need to go all-in to make sure we defend our democracy from MAGA radicals this November.
Whether it’s blocking gun reforms, gutting Roe v. Wade, or attacking LGBTQ+ kids, or gun safety, Republicans will continue to try to roll us back in time. We need to elect Democrats to lead us into the future.
Sign up with Indivisible National Give No Ground Program to join the team.
UPDATE ON IN-SLWM ONLINE FUNDRAISER
Our fundraiser for democracy has brought in almost $24,700 – getting closer to our $30,000 goal. But it ends on October 31, so if you’ve been thinking about giving – now’s the time!
On August 1, we hosted an informative and inspiring meeting, “Targeted Donations as Activism,” featuring speakers from Swing Left and Movement Voter Project. If you missed it, you can view it here. (The discussion on donating begins at the 9-minute mark.) I hope you’ll take this opportunity to listen and learn about what donating to the funds we’re supporting can do.
A few quick takeaways:
Neither SL nor MVP take a cut of the donations to their funds. 100% goes to the campaigns and grassroots groups supported by the funds.
Swing Left’s median contribution is $25.
MVP's grassroots efforts in three key swing states helped increase turnout enough to win the election for Biden in 2020. They’re working hard to elect progressives across the board this year.
Our fundraiser supports two funds: Swing Left’s National Impact Fund and MVP’s Black-Led Organizing Fund. You can read more about these funds here. Your donations immediately go to work helping Democrats win crucial midterm elections. To reach our goal, we need to raise another $5,500 by October 31. Here are 3 things you can do to help us get there:
Please donate what you can. Remember: The sooner you contribute, the sooner these candidates and groups have the use of your gift.
Join feminists from across the state to help organize actions centering on women's rights.
Currently, we're focused on fighting for abortion rights and access through a variety of tactics, including postcarding (to remind voters where their candidates stand on abortion), rallies, podcasts and more.
Here's a continuously updating toolkit with actions to take RIGHT NOW in the fight for reproductive freedom!
Medicare for All (MFAll) will be on the ballot in at least 17 districts for many of us to vote upon in the fall. Mass Care worked intensively with their ally Act on Mass to gather the necessary signatures to get this non-binding question before the voters in as many places as possible.
Medicare for All bills have been introduced in our legislature for more than 20 years and have not passed. The goal of this campaign is to remind our legislators that Medicare for All is extremely popular and that a large majority of Massachusetts voters want single payer health care financing to make medical care available and affordable here.
The non-binding ballot question is a powerful way to keep voters informed about the potential for passing M4All here, and to remind our legislators how important it is to us. In past years, non-binding ballots in several districts showed support of 80-90% for M4All.
For your reference, this is the ballot question:
"Shall the Representative from this District be instructed to vote for legislation to create a single payer system of universal health care that provides all Massachusetts residents with comprehensive health care coverage including the freedom to choose doctors and other health care professionals, facilities, and services, and eliminates the role of insurance companies in health care by creating an insurance trust fund that is publicly administered?”
For those who would like to continue the campaign in the fall, please complete this survey for the next phase of the campaign, to win “Yes” votes on the question.
This is an opportunity for Massachusetts to again lead the country in health care financing and delivery.
This section of our newsletter features one article written by a subscriber and one article selected by our steering committee. Subscribers to the newsletter are welcome to submit writing by email to email@example.com with the subject line "Newsletter Submission".
The opinions expressed in the writings don't necessarily reflect any consensus of Indivisible Northampton.
When you click the link in your confirmation email, a Zoom page will open in your web browser and the Zoom app will open.
If the Zoom app does not open, here are a few things you can try. You will need to know the meeting id, which is embedded in the address of the Zoom page that opened. On the page that opened in the browser, in the address bar you'll see an address that looks something like this: