Phone PA – Recruit Volunteers

Fridays: Make a difference in 2022 and build long-term Democratic strength in swing districts. During our phone bank sessions, you’ll talk with like-minded people who often welcome an invitation to re-connect with local efforts. Callers re-energize local volunteers and signal how valuable their contributions are. 

Right now callers are recruiting local volunteers to re-elect Susan Wild in PA Congressional District 7. We’re working directly with Congresswoman Wild’s campaign, calling people who have volunteered or expressed interest in volunteering in the past. Every voter that comes out for her will also be voting on an open U.S. Senate seat, competitive State House races, and a new Governor. 

Join Volunteers TBD (Taking Back Democracy) as we re-energize people who’ve supported Democratic campaigns in the past. Make a difference in 2022.

Questions, please contact VolunteersTBD@swingbluealliance.org

Climate Change and Economic Renewal in Nevada

By Barbara Head, 5/1/22.

Nevada, a working-class blue state, is steadily turning purple!  Working-class voters, which include many people of color, have long supported the Democrats but are turning away from party policies and candidates. Working-class voters now disagree with Democrats on many issues. Economy is number one. Climate change is another area of disappointment among many voters. 

Many Nevadans are feeling severe economic pain from the shutdown of the Las Vegas tourist industry due to Covid. They feel that the Democrats are not listening.  As Leo Murrieta, director of liberal advocacy group Make the Road Nevada, noted: “They are not wrong. It’s hard to talk about the possibility of tomorrow when your todays are still torn apart.” Such feelings lead many working-class voters to favor Republican policies, especially to open up the economy.

Latinos, who make up nearly a third of Nevada’s adult population, traditionally have voted for Democrats. Working-class Latinos are experiencing much of the same disaffection with Democrats, and many are turning to Trump and the Republican party for solutions. Democratic voters overall have rated health care as a top issue. However, the issue that stands out for Latinos as a group is climate change. 

Recent polls show that Latinos view climate change as a more pressing issue than health care or immigration. One reason may be the strong connection many immigrants feel with their home countries in Latin or South America, which are being impacted strongly by extreme weather events. Excessive temperatures are increasingly a problem in Nevada, the driest state in the U.S. Many Latinos in Nevada work outdoors, where the oppressive heat affects their health and their livelihoods, when heat waves shut down workplaces and impact employment. And the heat negatively impacts quality of life for their families. 

In Nevada, a majority of voters in all groups agree that elected leaders are not taking adequate action against climate change. This is an issue that the Democrats could use to help recapture their base. But they must listen to their constituents and start addressing climate change quickly and effectively. Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who is strong on this issue, has an opportunity to win back voters by highlighting her commitment to the climate change issue. This is the basis for the Nevada postcard action we offer this month on Turn Purple 2 Blue. 

Empowering Marginalized Voters

By Barbara Head. 5/1/22, updated 5/14/22.

We cannot save our democracy if we do not join forces with our communities of color. While our allies within these communities lead the way with their highly effective grassroots organizing, the rest of us can offer advocacy and support their efforts.

There are multiple ways in which people of color are marginalized by political leadership in their states. Extremist Republican-led voter suppression legislation in many states, including Arizona, is a deliberate effort to silence their voices. But blue states, such as Nevada, are guilty in their own ways. Democrats who traditionally count on communities of color to deliver votes are often accused of ignoring these constituencies post-election. Democratic leadership also is regarded by many as being out of touch with voters of color. 

In Arizona, Latino and Native American tribal groups have been consistently and deliberately excluded from the voting process by the anti-democracy legislation pushed by state Republicans. Grassroots organizers in Latino- and indigenous-led groups as LUCHA, RAZA, and NE Arizona Native Democrats are mounting a vigorous response to voter suppression but request help from out-of-state volunteers in the form of donations, postcards, and phone banks to support their efforts.

Nevada’s political makeup departs from that of Republican-led Arizona in that Nevada has a Democratic majority legislature. However, many working class voters, particularly Latinos, who make up almost one-third of the Nevada adult population, are unhappy with the Democratic leadership. These voters feel marginalized by leaders who, they say, do not listen to their concerns, particularly in important areas such as climate change. Democratic leaders who ignore these concerns encourage this historically blue demographic to vote Republican. 

The editors of Turn Purple 2 Blue strive to assist the empowerment and efforts of communities of color by offering relevant postcards and other projects. In Arizona, postcards are being sent to voters on tribal lands at the request of Northeast Arizona Native Organizing Campaign. In Nevada, our postcards support the re-election of Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina in the US Senate, by highlighting her advocacy in the areas of climate change and reproductive rights. 

Read on for more about how we can reach Arizona and Nevada voters! 

On the Precipice in Arizona

by Denise Gieseke, 5/1/22.

Political power in Arizona is balanced on a razor’s edge. In many ways, the 2022 Arizona midterms epitomize the struggle for the soul of our nation.

There are must-win races this November to reelect Democratic Senator Mark Kelly and for the governorship that Republican Doug Ducey is vacating. We need to gain just one seat each in the state senate and state house to tie for control. We can’t undervalue the position of Arizona Secretary of State, which has been essential in upholding the results of the 2020 presidential election. Upping the ante, Arizona has no office of Lieutenant Governor, rather the secretary of state is next-in-line for the executive seat, should the governor leave office for any reason.

Nearly every day, Republicans in Arizona introduce or make progress in passing legislation introduced by the radical right, and try to keep the Big Lie alive in an attempt to undermine free democratic elections.  Earlier this week, a bill allowing parents to sue teachers who parents believe have “usurped” their rights by including “objectionable” content in curriculum, set sail for Ducey’s desk. Demoralizing educators and withholding education from constituents is a favorite, and particularly effective, mechanism of maintaining oppressive control. Other recently introduced legislation designed to keep the iron grip of the heteropatriarchy intact:

  • Outlaw video recording of police within 8 ft of interactions, without permission from law enforcement officer
  • Limit access to voting drop boxes, which is particularly punitive to rural and tribal communities
  • Force teachers to ‘out’ LGBTQIA+ students to parents, even if doing so could lead to abuse or abandonment
  • Ban abortions after 15 weeks
  • Allow concealed carry of guns on campuses
  • Legalize use of deadly force to protect property
  • Attack minimum wage and prohibit public workers from organizing union members

We need every Democratic vote, including and especially those of our latinx and Indigenous allies.  BIPOC leaders on the front lines in Arizona want our help, and they’re creating actions for out-of-state volunteers like us. Let’s remind Arizona voters of recent Democratic accomplishments, find out what issues are important to our allies in this key swing state, then follow through by helping them elect progressive leaders who will effect meaningful change.

Write AZ-Dems Deliver!

These postcards from Progressive Turnout Project will spread the message “Democrats Deliver!” Biden is only the second Democrat in 70 years to win Arizona. In the final tally, he beat Trump by 10,457 votes, or 0.3 percent of the nearly 3.4 million ballots cast.  Since then the shenanigans have been ongoing with multiple fraudits and the radical right agenda of rescinding LGTBQ rights, banning abortion, and suppressing the vote. We can change this by turning out the Democratic vote. Up for Grabs: One Senator (the good one), a Governor, a Secretary of State, and gaining one seat in each state senate/house to flip the legislature. The media is uninterested in telling people what Democrats deliver. So it’s up to us!

Packets contain 25 postcards, stamps and directions
-Short script!
-Reimbursement is $10 per packet.
-Mail your cards as you finish them, but no later than May 31st. 

Pick-up location:

Littleton (Christine’s house). To pick up in Littleton, please email: Christine@indivisibleacton.org and let her know how many packets (of 25 postcards) you’d like. More detailed pick-up and payment instructions will be given then.

General Directions:

  1. Please print. Many people cannot read cursive.
  2. Decorate or use a highlighter, but please use waterproof ink.
  3. Please DO NOT change the script.

Here’s the exact Script:

Hi [Voter’s First Name],
Our votes delivered funds to support families and small businesses during
COVID. Democrats kept America working and funded roads & bridges.
Vote this year so we can make childcare, education and Rx prices more affordable.
– [Volunteer’s First Name], A Volunteer

Phone NV

Saturdays: Join Field Team 6 in calling eligible voters (likely Dems) in Nevada!

You’ll be reaching out to get people registered as Democrats, or signed up to vote from home (vote by mail) if they’re already registered.

Making sure people are registered to vote, and that they can vote safely from home, is a super-effective way to make a difference. 

But we need your help. Join us as we turn voices into votes! All training provided!

ALSO NOTE: All times listed are Pacific Time! But just to be abundantly clear, the event will be taking place from 10a-12n PT/ 1p-3p ET

Phone NH – Dialing for Democracy

Updated 6/6/22: Tuesdays at 4:30-6:30pm

Having conversations with voters is the best way to connect! Join in with the SBA team and Organize NH to connect with New Hampshire voters to insure Senator Maggie Hassan, Congressman Chris Pappas and down ballot candidates can win! We will be ID’ing support for candidates, using Deep Canvassing techniques to move the needle towards Democrats, and cleaning up the voter rolls.

Phone + In Person, NH- Deep Canvass Training with Team Pappas

Updated 6/6/22: Wednesday June 16 5-6:30 PM

This is a great training on deep canvassing techniques – I highly recommend it!

A Deep Canvassing conversation gets voters talking about personal experiences and draws on emotional connections. It’s research-based, and has been found to be a highly effective persuasion technique. Our plan is to use these techniques to listen to voters’ concerns and help hone the issue message for the campaign. These techniques can be used on the phones and at the doors.

For future training events please contact Steve Vogel at steve.vogel@swingbluealliance.org

Pennsylvania – Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher!

PA played an outsized role in the 2020 election and will need to do it again in the midterms! In 2022, PA will have two of the most important elections in the country, for the US Senate and Governor: 

Must-Flip US Senate seat! – This Senate race can win a desperately needed seat to enable us to fight for nationwide voting rights and push Biden’s agenda through a fractured Senate. This Senate seat is vacated by retiring Republican senator Pat Toomey. Several strong Democratic candidates are running in the primary, making this one of our best opportunities for flipping Toomey’s seat. We must make this happen – the stakes couldn’t be higher! 

Save Pennsylvania! The gubernatorial race is a battle for nothing less than the soul and future of PA. Democratic champion Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited, has been vetoing the tsunami of voter suppression laws from the radical GOP legislature for years. Democrats have an outstanding candidate in Josh Shapiro, but there is a strong GOP field so we can take nothing for granted. We must unite to elect Shapiro and save PA! 

Autocracy in Massachusetts

David Pepper’s new book Laboratories of Autocracy examines the crisis of the Anti-democratic (small d) condition of Statehouses across our nation, using Ohio’s experience as a test case.

But we’re safe here in Massachusetts, right?

Unfortunately, we are not immune.  First, there are the obvious anti-democratic forces.  PAC money is flowing into our state to spend thousands of dollars on radical candidates for Select board, School Committee, Board of Health, Library Trustee, etc.  David Pepper explains why:  They want to inflame the culture wars to distract us while they undermine all levels of government.  Why?  It drives good people out of government and keeps regular people from participating.  This allows corruption to flourish.

Second, the Massachusetts Statehouse is crippled into inaction, a very sneaky way for conservatives to keep their regressive policies.

We’ve talked for years about the lack of transparency in the MA Statehouse, how it is ranked in the bottom fourth of the nation, how it often takes a decade for laws with popular support to get passed.   Our Statehouse suffers from many of the problems that David Pepper outlines, it just has a veneer of blue. 

What’s happening?  

  1.  If you want to get elected, you need a D beside your name. But anyone gets to call themselves a dem no matter their policies.
  2. The real choice is made during the primary, with many fewer voters participating.  Even some DTCs won’t endorse in the primary.
  3. Incumbents are protected, rather than held accountable for what they did (or usually DID NOT) do.

It’s hard to hold them accountable because our elected representatives don’t have to tell us how they voted on a bill.  Just because they cosponsored a bill doesn’t mean that they voted to pass it or even advocated for it at all.  They do what “leadership” i.e. the Speaker of the House, tells them to do.

Why?  The Speaker controls

  1. Committee chair appointments and significant salaries. 
  2. Elected official’s staff, who report directly to the speaker.
  3. Elected official’s office space
  4. The culture of the Statehouse, which is to bully and shun anyone who dares to speak up.

Basically if the Speaker doesn’t like it, it doesn’t happen.  And that is why the position created (and money allocated to) to mitigate the rampant sexual harassment in the Statehouse is…not filled after 15 months.  

It’s why bills aren’t passed, even though we have a supermajority. The Speaker is concerned that Charlie “might” veto it.

It’s why we didn’t get election day registration– the leadership didn’t want college students to be able to register and vote on election day.  Why?  They might not like the fact that it took 10 years to pass the Family Mobility Act and that the Safe Communities Act and Healthy Youth Act are currently in that same repeat cycle.  They might not like that climate legislation is often watered down before it is passed, or it is quietly undercut.  They might vote for someone that understands what they want and need:  maybe a younger person, or a person of color. Heck even a woman! See the lack of diversity at the Statehouse 

This year is an important year for elections across the nation, but also here in Massachusetts. We have two Republicans running for governor trying to out-trump each other.  We have an anti-vaxxer Republican running for LT governor.  They are going to put the culture war front and center.

There are also important races for State Auditor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.  We know how the State Secretary of State and Attorney General can protect or damage elections.  But did you know that the State Auditor is charged with holding state government accountable? Accomplishments in Accountability But also  See this law about birth control that was never implemented

Wow- What Can We DO?

You’ve taken the first step – broken through the silence surrounding the corruption and radical agenda engulfing Statehouses across the nation, including ours.   It’s a crucial year, because we need to work in other States too. It’s up to us to devote the time and treasure to fight anti-democratic forces in every State in the Union. David Pepper has a list of 30 steps to Promote Democracy for inspiration.  So roll up your sleeves and bring a friend.  Let’s take action this week and every week!

30 STEPS TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY

Recording of David Pepper’s presentation to Indivisible Mass Coalition

Indivisible Mass Coalition Toolkit for Action