Monday, March 27, 2017: Electoral Integrity with CAVO, FairVote, and We the People

The headlines are filled with news about potential electoral compromise with possible Russian involvement in our elections. There was controversy when, like John Kerry and Al Gore against George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but Donald Trump was elected President. Super delegates, the favoritism of party machinery that progresses one candidate over another, voter suppression — this year may have seemed different with more controversy in the electoral process due to the volume of discord but — up until the Russian connection — the other controversies were actually the same as every other year in the past century. Yet, even that is just a small part of how our electoral process works. This town hall took a deeper look into how we elect our officials.

The electoral process encompasses everything from campaigning (finances, tactics used), choosing the candidates (primaries, party machinations), to the actual voting (voting day, voter suppression) and tallying of votes (the systems used, protocol, delegates).

In our last event we concentrated on just three of these issues. Watch the Facebook Live Stream here.

One, brought up by Brent Turner of CAVO is the actual systems used to tally votes. Currently, the voting software and hardware are proprietary and corporations dictate their use. CAVO is fighting for an open source system so the entire process is transparent, secure from any bugs (planted or otherwise), and with a clear chain of command. The letters to be sent can be downloaded here and our calendar will reflect CAVO’s upcoming rallies and meetings. You can also subscribe to their feed to be kept up to date.

Pedro Hernandez of FairVote spoke about the current system and explained why the popular vote is discounted, how the majority is not represented often, and why ranked voting (where voters choose a first, second, and third choice) is a more fair way of ensuring all voices are represented and the popular vote is in fact, the winner. Their immediate goal is to bring rank voting into specific areas and to push for voting day to be a national holiday. That is one easy way to ensure everyone who wants to vote, can.

Finally, We the People works across the nation on phone banking, just one campaign tactic for candidates. Eric Johnson spoke on how phone banking works, what do you say, and how to get involved. There are phone banks on April 2, 2-4pm (RSVP here) and April 8, 1-5pm with multiple shifts (RSVP here for 1-3pm and here for 3-5pm)

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017: Huddle & ACLU Webinar 

Huddle: Action 2 of the Women’s March 10 Actions, 100 Days.

Led by Esther Selks, people wrote down and shared their vision for what headlines on January 1, 2021 could look like.

Attendees posted on what they have already done since November 8th. The answer: a lot!

Webinar: Key points available here including Action Steps due Feb. 10th! Learn about the legislative process here in California, and the pressure points where your action can have the greatest impact. We have serious work to do here in California to limit the impact that federal policies can have on our most vulnerable communities. Your engagement in the California legislative process is essential to civil liberties!

During the webinar, we learned about California legislation, how to effectively reach reps, and informed attendees how to critical action on California AB 165. This bill guts existing privacy protections for students and teachers, putting at risk sensitive information about them and their families—information such as their religious practices, immigration status, health, or political activism.  

Facebook Live Video available.

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Mon. Jan 23, 2017: TOWN FORUM, Redwood City Main Library

Our speakers included: Tessa D’Archangelew of ACLU-Northern CA, Lupe Rodríguez of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Paola Estanislao of the Human Trafficking division of the Santa Clara county District Attorney’s office and Priya Murthy of SIREN.

Local activists provided initiatives and tools to make becoming an active citizen easier: Katie Miserany of callsforchange.com. Gabriella Musacchia and Sita Wilson-Stukes of Together We Will – San Francisco Bay Area (membership portal here), and Brent Turner of CAVO.

Thank you to the 70+ attendees, our local allies and citizens. Whatever party you are, democracy works only if we’re engaged. We heard your feedback and strive to incorporate our community’s needs!

If you missed the event, there is a Facebook Live recording available on our Facebook page.

If you have more pictures or videos of the event, please email us at amisha@amisha.tv.

PANELISTS

tessaTessa D’Arcangelew
ACLU-Northern California, Leadership Development Manager

Tessa is the Leadership Development Manager at the ACLU of Northern California, where she manages the ACLU chapter program across Northern California. She is also an organizer with the technology and civil liberties team.

In her work with the chapter program, Tessa provides support and connects chapters to resources within the organization as they pursue local monitoring and advocacy, community education, and participate in state and federal campaigns. She leads efforts to provide chapter board members and local activists opportunities to build skills and experience in local organizing and advocacy tactics. Tessa loves the opportunity to get to know our amazing activists with diverse stories and captivating histories of political engagement.

Tessa leads the ACLU-NC campaign to help cities and counties adopt ordinances that create mechanisms for transparency, accountability, oversight and meaningful community input when considering surveillance technology. Several major cities and counties in the bay area are currently working to adopt such an ordinance.

Prior to joining the ACLU-NC, Tessa worked as a Field Assistant for the Yes on Prop 34 Campaign – a statewide movement to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. She also managed a political canvassing office for a range of international aid organizations. In 2008, she worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign in Charlottesville, Virginia and on the campaign of congressional candidate Tom Perriello.

Tessa also worked as a Programming Assistant at the Intercultural Community Center and as a DJ for student radio at Occidental College. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs.

guadalupe-rodriguezGuadalupe Rodríguez
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Director of Public Affairs

Guadalupe “Lupe” is Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country. Previously, Lupe was the Program and Policy Director and interim Executive Director at ACCESS Women’s Health Justice.

Lupe served on the board of directors of Essential Access Health (formerly the California Family Health Council), and now chairs the board of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, and is the treasurer of the board of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She is serving her third term as the Chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women, and was recently elected to the board of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN).

In 2010, Lupe was honored with the ‘Generation Award for an Emerging Leader’ from the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, and she received the “30 Under 30” Health Care Leaders award by Silicon Valley Latino magazine in 2013. She has a BA in neurobiology from Harvard University.

priyamurthy-sirenPriya Murthy
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN), Policy and Advocacy Director

As the Policy and Advocacy Director, Priya develops, manages and implements the policy advocacy and community organizing programs at Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN). She monitors and analyzes policies affecting immigrants in Silicon Valley and represents the organization in coalitions and before policymakers.

Prior to joining SIREN, Priya served as the first Policy Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national immigrant and civil rights organization based near Washington, DC.

Previously, she practiced immigration law, representing clients facing removal, worked for various immigration courts, and worked at Amnesty International’s National Refugee Office. She currently serves on the National Governing Board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and as the State Advocacy Liaison for the American Immigrant Lawyers Association Northern California Chapter. Priya received her Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School and her Bachelor of Art in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Priya was born in India and raised in Mountain View and Cupertino.

paolaestanislaoPaola Estanislao
Deputy District Attorney, Human Trafficking, Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office

DDA Paola Estanislao earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and law degree at Santa Clara University School of Law. Paola has been a prosecutor for over eight years, having worked in the Los Angeles and San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office before coming to Santa Clara County. At UC Berkeley and in law school, Paola developed an interest in anti-human trafficking efforts when she learned about the plight of Filipina domestic servants in the United States and all over the world.  Paola co-heads Santa Clara County’s L.E.I.H.T. (Law Enforcement Investigating Human Trafficking) Task Force and aims to develop an expertise in labor trafficking. She is fluent in Tagalog.

LOCAL ACTIVISTS

www.callsforchange.com : Katie Miserany has ten years’ experience leading large-scale marketing initiatives for successful technology companies, including RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce) and Tiny Prints (acquired by Shutterfly). She is currently the head of marketing for LeanIn.Org and serves as a marketing advisor to GoPro and several VC-backed startups.

Together We Will-San Francisco Bay Area: Gabriella Musacchia and Sita Wilson-Stukes are currently an administrators for Together We Will (TWW) San Francisco Bay Area and have leadership roles on the TWW Call 2 Action & Political Strategy Advisory Board.

Dr. Musacchia, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Speech-Pathology and Audiology at University of the Pacific and a Research Scholar in the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department at Stanford University Medical School. Ms. Stukes is a 2017 New Leaders Council 2017 Fellow and was formerly a Program Director for Eating Disorders Information Network.

CAVO: Brent Turner was instrumental in the creation of the San Francisco County Voting Systems Task Force and his efforts are endorsed by the National Organization of Women. Brent has been recognized as a ground breaking activist for sustainability, and dedicates himself to local, state and federal election issues. He currently is on the board of directors for the National Association of Voting Official, West Coast coordinator for Democracy Spring, and an Assembly District Delegate for Assembly District 24. Mr. Turner is a graduate of Lincoln Law School in San Francisco and a community activist whose efforts have included volunteer work for the homeless as well as environmental issues.