Take a Break but Don’t Quit: quick guide on what you can do to take political action in 2020

HOW TO BE CIVICALLY ENGAGED IN 2020: from casting a vote to donating to canvassing and everything in between

 The number one thing you can do if you do nothing else, no matter how hopeless you feel, it’s no skin off your back: GO VOTE.

Check in 30 seconds if you’re registered: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/

Find out how to register to vote and deadlines in your state and county here: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

Do you want systemic change? You don’t have to do too much else but vote. And there’s proof.  Community Change Action, along with three others reached out to infrequent and never-voters in Michigan, Nevada and Florida. What they found was astonishing:

When you add new voices and change the electorate, you can shift what is politically possible. ..This method of deep organizing blows up business-as-usual electoral politics. It threatens the huge paychecks of political consultants and strategists on both sides of the aisle who parachute into communities for elections. The progressive political industry spent $5.7 billion on congressional races alone in 2018. Much of that went to the usual Beltway power brokers who focus on tired attack ads or the vote for so-and-so emails. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/voter-turnout-2020.html

I can’t say it any better than Karine Jean-Pierre did in this article, How to take action when you’re feeling disillusioned with today’s political climate:

“Now is not the time to give up. It’s not the time to be silent. And it’s certainly not the time to quit….we can’t afford your disillusionment, no matter what side of the political aisle you are on….

Do something. Do anything! Truly, anything. Sign up to make calls for a local candidate, or your favorite presidential candidate. Commit to canvassing one day a month. Text five friends asking if they’re registered to vote and helping them figure out how if they’re not.”

PROTEST

Join the millions who have protested in Hong Kong, India, Chile, and other countries who are tired of governments bordering on fascism, fueled off hate, supportive of gender and ethnic violence, denying climate change as our earth burns, and preventing progress into a more inclusive, economically and socially just world.

Women’s March is January 18, 2020. The Women’s March has planned a week of action in Washington, D.C. leading up to the march on Saturday. TEXT “WOMEN RISING” TO 40649 for updates.

Visit the Women’s March website to find events near you. If you’re a group leader, check out the Women’s March social toolkit

CAMPAIGN SUPPORT

THE STAKES

Today, January 14, 2020, voters will decide who will win a seat to the Pennsylvania Senate in the 48th District. It’s between Republican David Arnold (District Attorney for Lebanon County) and Democrat Michael Schroeder (college history professor and community/environmental activist) when former Republican Sen. Mike Folmer resigned following his arrest for child pornography in September.

But a lot more seats are empty in Congress and real change with the steps necessary to undo the harm caused by the Trump administration as the nation heals and thrives — needs a progressive Congress that supports a progressive President. Here are the people you can vote out of office, who have been Trump enablers no matter the cost down to overlooking racism, sexism, even crime and their Constitutional duties — and who to support instead.

CAMPAIGNS: DONATE, CANVASS, OR CALL

The House

The biennial election for representatives from all 435 Congressional Districts will take place on November 3, 2020. The Democratic Party currently controls the U.S. House, where 218 seats are needed for control (when there are no vacancies). We need to keep that lead.

https://www.270towin.com/2020-house-election/

Tedra Cobb (D, NY-21) who has spent the past 30 years in public service jobs is running against the incumbent, Rep. Elise Stefanik, one of the leading GOP defenders of President Donald Trump in the House impeachment inquiry.

Shannon Freshour (D, OH-4) has a solid Twitter game and is running against possibly the most obnoxiously loud member of Congress and sexual abuse enabler, #GymJordan aka Rep. Jim Jordan, founder of the far-right House Freedom Caucus.

The Senate

Democrats need to net three Senate seats — and win back the presidency — in order to control the chamber after Inauguration Day 2021. 

M.J. Hegar (D, TX) running in the most flippable Senate seat against Republican Senator John Cornyn. Hegar is a former Air Force helicopter pilot and mom who nearly beat an incumbent Republican House member in the heart of Texas last year. Donate here.

Sara Gideon (D, ME), the Speaker of the House for Maine is running against Sen. Susan Collins, Trump enabler who voted for Kavanaugh and for tax breaks for the wealthiest. Gideon isn’t just against Collins, she’s for progressive policies.

Jamie Harrison (D, SC) running against Trump’s #1 supporter, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Harrison rose from poverty to become a teacher then became the first African American man to become South Carolina Democratic Party chair from 2013 to 2017, and is an associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Amy McGrath (D, KY), former Marine fighter pilot and 2018 congressional candidate coming in strong as a contender for the uber-GOP Trump enabler’s top spot, Mitch McConnell aka #MoscowMitch whom Julian Castro rightly described as the leader who “has done as much or more damage than Donald Trump over the years to our democracy” by packing courts with conservative judges while ignoring hundreds of bills languishing in the Senate, playing dirty to prevent a Merrick Garland appointment while rushing through Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and making obstacles at every step of the way for the Mueller Report and the impeachment trials rather than do his Constitutional duty to investigate a President who may have conspired with foreign powers.

Senator Doug Jones (D, AL) beat Roy Moore, a former Alabama Chief Justice and District Attorney who sided more with sex criminals than the law and was accused by a long list of women of sexual assault, several when they were minors. Even pedophilia didn’t stop it from being a tight race in Trump country. Alabama keeps voting for leaders and policies that keep it as the poorest and one of the most undereducated states in the country. We need to keep Doug Jones.

Mark Kelly (D, AZ) runs against Sen. Martha McSally, appointed after the election to serve part of the late Sen. John McCain’s term. Kelly is a Navy veteran and retired astronaut married to former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and seriously wounded at a constituent event in 2011.

Cal Cunningham (D, NC) and State Senator Erica D. Smith are running against Sen. Thom Tillis , “a man with the backbone of a squid and zealous supporter of President Definitely No Quid Pro Quo Donald Trump, has the lowest approval ratings of any sitting member of Congress, according to a poll from Morning Consult.” Cunningham is an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, an environmental services company leader and former legislator who served as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission. Smith currently represents Senate District 3 in her third term.

FAIR & JUST REPRESENTATION

Voting Suppression

Support Fair Fight. Efforts to discourage and disenfranchise voters—in voter registration, ballot access, or counting of votes—have a catastrophic effect on our democracy and our communities. Nowhere was this more clearly seen than in Georgia’s gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp, who was the Republican secretary of state in charge of state elections before he beat Abrams to become Georgia governor–in charge of the very elections in which 1.4 million voters were purged, majority black voters. Now Stacey Abrams is taking voter rights protection nationwide through Fair Fight.

Redistricting

Support All on the Line. With the redistricting process less than a year away, All On The Line is already in full swing — especially because 2020 is a census year. Here’s what you need to know about the role that the census plays in redistricting. 

→ The census is the foundation for redistricting. Without an accurate count, it will be impossible to create fair maps that truly represent the communities who live there. 

→ The census count will determine how many congressional districts each state will have for the next decade. With 435 representatives total, that means states could gain or lose a district based on population changes. 

→ The Supreme Court stopped the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census, but we expect that map manipulators will try to find new ways to suppress the power of certain communities in an attempt to maintain their own power.  

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