What is the connection between winning in 2022 and protecting voting rights? EVERYTHING
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), center, talks with those gathered on the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 4, 2012, as part of the 19th annual reenactment of the "Bloody Sunday" Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march across the bridge in Selma, Ala. (Kevin Glackmeyer/AP, File)
The Republicans have consistently demonstrated that they are better at suppressing the vote than Democrats are at mobilizing the vote. In 2020, the Democrats won one battle, and the election. Predictably, the Republicans are now increasing their efforts at suppressing the vote, since that strategy has worked very well for them, and is likely to again in 2022 unless the Democrats begin NOW to combat their efforts and protect the vote. Passage of HR 1/S 1, the “For the People Act” is central to that.
The good news is that HR 1 passed out of the House 220-210 last week. The not so good news is that passage in the Senate will likely require 60 votes (because of the filibuster, see our Call To Action on the filibuster). The Republican party is already claiming that HR 1 is unconstitutional and signaling their strong opposition. Imagine that, the party that has perfected the art of voter suppression is accusing the Democrats of attempting to manipulate voting by restoring voting rights!
What can OI members do to solidify the gains we made in the 2020 elections and improve our chances of success in the critical elections in 2022? Letting our Senators know that you support the Senate taking up the For the Peoples Act as an urgent matter is one. Another is to increase your voice by joining the Advocacy Team of CommonPower, which is organizing actions at both state and federal levels to protect and strengthen voting rights laws. Indivisible and 192 other organizations have joined with CommonPower for this mission.
Action: There are two avenues to make a difference on this important action.
Contact WA Senators
Script: My name is ______, I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. Now the House has passed HR 1, the “For the People Act”, it is up to Senator _______ to work to assure passage in the Senate. Without federal legislation protecting voting rights, too many Republican-controlled state legislatures will do everything they can to disenfranchise voters in order to maintain minority control. 2020 proved that we can register and organize voters, but it also proved how narrow our margin of success is at present. Our 2020 gains at ensuring that all US citizens have equal access to voting are under attack, federal legislation is essential at protecting those rights. Please make that one of your highest priorities this session.
It’s Time for Our Own Senators to Support Reforming the Filibuster
I would get rid of the filibuster,” Klobuchar says. “I have favored filibuster reform for a long time and now especially for this critical election bill.”
Many OI members have contacted Senators Murray and Cantwell urging them to end the filibuster. Although they have remained open to the idea, it is time for them to take a public stance. Here’s why:
The way the current filibuster rules are practiced, senators can kill any legislation by threatening a filibuster. This gimmick has been used by Mitch McConnell to block almost everything the Democrats have tried to accomplish for decades. Ending the filibuster will likely not happen because 2 Democrats (Senators Manchin and Simena) have stated they will not give up the tradition of debate in the Senate.
This article shows a way to reform the filibuster to get around their objections. But none of this can happen unless EVERY DEMOCRAT in the Senate agrees to reform the filibuster. Senators Murray and Cantwell must speak out now and join the other Senators that are ready to move ahead with reform. Democrats can’t kill the filibuster. But they can gut it.
Action: Take 3 minutes and call Senators Murray and Cantwell.
Contact WA Senators
Script: My name is ______. As a member of Olympia Indivisible I do not understand why Senator _______ has not publicly spoken out and supported filibuster reform as Senator Klobuchar did last week. If keeping the tradition of debate is important to Senator ____then the filibuster rules can be reformed. The filibuster should no longer be used to require a super majority for regular legislation. It’s time to end this gimmick and make real progress for the American people. Speak out this week. We are waiting.
Support SHB 1156 - ranked-choice voting!
Ask key legislators to support ranked-choice voting! There is some urgency here. In the last week there has arisen a coordinated backlash campaign against RCV and some of the previously pro legislatures are reconsidering. Please give RCV your support before Tuesday when there may be a vote.
Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is a simple improvement to the way we vote. With RCV you get to rank the candidates on your ballot in the order you prefer them: 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, and so on. If your first choice can’t win, your vote still counts for your next choice.
Fair Vote WA explains Ranked-Choice Voting
League of Women Voters Supports HB 1156
Action: Before 3/9/20 at 10:00 A.M., use our easy one click email found in OI Take Action Network or format your own email:
To: Representatives Callan, Caldier, Entenman, Fey, Graham, Goehner, Leavitt, Morgan, Volz, and Ybarra.
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
Subject: Support SHB 1156 - ranked-choice voting
Script: As a voter in Washington, I hope you will support SHB 1156. For too long, voter turnout has been low in local elections. This results in governments that are unrepresentative and unresponsive to their constituents. We need to do better.
I think ranked-choice voting is a solution. Evidence shows that elections that use ranked-choice voting engage more voters and increase turnout. That’s why I support SHB 1156!
Thank you for your public service,
[NAME] from [CITY], [ZIP]
Save The New Market Forest in Tumwater
July 13, 2020 Port Commissioners Joe Downing and Bill McGregor voted to cut down 200 acres of forest and allow Panattoni to build warehouses. The Port’s commitment includes using our tax dollars to pay up to $100,000 per acre for potential environmental remediation.
Many of us are concerned about the Port’s lease option to mega-warehouse developer Panatonni for 200 acres. The Tumwater City Council listened to our concerns, and expressed strong reservations about this to the Port. They will discuss it again this Tuesday 9 March.
Tumwater needs our support, to hold the Port to higher standards for the safety of our community.
Action: Contact or email the Tumwater City Council by March 9. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Script: Thank you for hearing public concerns about the Port of Olympia’s lease option with Panatonni in July 2020. While I support sustainable development, I oppose the Port/Panatonni proposal.
Developing large warehouses along Kimmie St. will permanently damage our community and environment. Warehouses return little economic value, exempt from many taxes and providing far fewer jobs than comparable developments (Thurston County Buildable Lands Report).
The Port now proposes to give Panatonni an additional 10% discount on a low lease rate. Port assurances - that heavy truck traffic will not impact Bush Middle School or residential neighbors – are not credible. And Port logging of over 100 acres of urban forest is inconsistent with Tumwater’s wise commitment to the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan. I ask Tumwater to enforce tougher restrictions on Port development in New Market District 4, to protect and benefit our community.
Cookies and Conversations 2021, Progress and Pushback, Wednesday, March 10, 7:00 pm
What Is Cookies & Conversations?
Cookies & Conversations is a living room conversation with cookies (which we have transitioned to Zoom to get through COVID). It's a chance to meet and chat with Olympia Indivisible members about things that matter!
What Is Progress And Pushback?
In our nation, when there is progress, pushback inevitably follows. David Domke, Founder of Common Power, recently delivered a brilliant two-part lecture about this on Youtube. "Emerging from the Trump Presidency" illustrates how the progress/pushback cycle works so that we can prepare for what is ahead in 2021.
Action: Sign Up To Participate? It's as easy as three steps:
Questions? Email C&C host Glen Hubbard or give him a call at (360) 539-7990.
If you don't have time to view the lectures or want to see some comprehensive notes compiled by one of our local heroes, send Glen an email or call me at 360-539-7990 and the PDF will be sent to you.
Calling all Armchair Activists!
Make the world a better place right from your easy chair! Become an action-taker with Take Action Network (TAN), a powerful database that makes influencing the course of progressive legislation as fast and easy as one-click bill pay.
You can help make Washington a more equitable, safe, just, and resilient state by learning how to use TAN, a powerful free online platform which allows you to weigh in on bills and policies that mean the most to you, with targeted efficacy and one-click ease.
Action: Register Here for Take Action Network 101 training and learn how fast and easy it is to use TAN. After registering, you will immediately receive a confirmation and a link to the Zoom meeting.
Take Action Network 101 gets you set up with TAN, shows you how to use it, answers your questions and provides support.
Next Training: Friday, March 12, 2021, 5:00 to 6:00 PM Register Here
Washington Legislature Mid-term Review
WIN Town Hall with WILA bill trackers:
Our expert bill trackers convene to talk about:
Action: Register at bit.ly/WALeg_MidTerm
During registration we'll ask for your congressional district (CD) and state legislative district (LD). If you don't know them you can easily look them up at https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/. Thank you for helping us assess our engagement across Washington.