Meeting Notes – Whole Group Meeting March 19

Thanks to all who attended the meeting on Sunday, it was a great turnout with a lot of good discussions. Highlights of the meeting (and links to events) below.

  • Request for committees to create events that the committee agrees requires action by the whole group. Format for events should be: “We need X indivisibles to do Y on Z date”. Provide a link to a script, phone numbers, etc, as appropriate.
  • Recap of the Indivisible Guide, Indivisible umbrella groups and organizational structure, and the first Catonsville Indivisibles meeting that was held in February.

Committee Report-Back:

  • Environment – Evaluating issues of national and local interest including Chesapeake Bay funding, tracking local bills, sharing information with Sierra Club and Maryland Indivisibles; focusing on making things as action based as possible.
  • Health Care – Following the ACA repeal closely. The ACA vote will occur in the House this Thursday . On Monday (March 20) there will be a press conference in Annapolis to pressure Hogan to take a stance. Will have to see how things play out during the week and determine next course of action. Update on Maryland legislation for family planning services, passed the House on Thursday.
  • Education – Researching the committee and budget process regarding the BOOST Program for school vouchers, will get this information out to the whole group. Closely following Trump budget with regards to eduction. Oppose HB 610, Harris’ education bill, which repeals to Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 – show up at his town hall in Easton on March 31 to voice opposition.
  • Immigration – Rally on Sunday April 2, location TBD. Planning to conduct outreach to refugees through volunteering and donations. Support Maryland TRUST Act to resist ICE at state level. Outreach to local Islamic mosque that has needed 24 hour surveillance – possible open house.
  • Outreach – Working on definition of outreach as outreach could occur at different levels and with different audiences, e.g., religious groups, neighborhoods, students, political groups. Trying to find out how we can learn from and support these groups, focus on listening.
  • Communication/Events – Exploring what communication should look like and ways to help committees communicate, including through filtering information, using forms, and coming up with a process.
  • Logistics – Discussing logistics for upcoming meeting and events.

Swing Left – Guest Speaker, Melinda Frost

  • Melinda discussed the strategy for SwingLeft and Flippable, which is to take back the House in 2018 through grassroots efforts, including voter registration, phone banking, and house to house canvassing (partnering with KnockEveryDoor).
  • SwingLeft focuses on districts that can be swung (i.e., districts that were won by less that 15% of the vote in the last election).
  • The first two actions that will be undertaken are 1) voter registration and 2) canvassing houses to listen to people’s issues and concerns. Our closest swing districts are Pennsylvania-16 and Virginia-10.
  • A meeting to learn how to canvass is scheduled for April 1, location TBD.
  • SwingLeft is working on a mapping application to track where people have been to canvass and where they are scheduled to go so as not to duplicate efforts.
  • An “Electoral” committee will be formed within Catonsville Indivisibles to focus on voter registration, SwingLeft/Flippable, redistricting, etc.

Upcoming Events/Actions

  • Next Catonsville Indivisibles Steering Committee meeting (committee leads) is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 from 12-2 pm at Panera on Rt 40.
  • Voter registration – will look to schedule a training for registering voters in Maryland, training through the Board of Elections.
  • Phone bank for Jon Ossoff (Democratic front runner for Georgia-6 Special Election) – looking at dates and logistics for this.
  • ACA Rally – Thursday March 23 in DC before House vote to repeal/replace. Official rally begins at 1 pm in Freedom Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania). Indivisibles can meet at Union Station between 9 and 9:30 to march past Senate Buildings, Health and Human Services, down to meeting point. Email Susan Radke if interested: dsusan56@gmail.com
  • Tax March in Baltimore and D.C. on April 15
  • March for Science in D.C. on April 22
  • Climate March in D.C. on April 29

Links

Indivisible Guide: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

SwingLeft: https://swingleft.org/

Flippable: https://www.flippable.org/

Jon Ossoff Campaign: https://electjon.com/

March for Science: https://www.marchforscience.com/

Climate March: https://peoplesclimate.org/

Tax March DC: https://taxmarch.org/

Tax March Baltimore: https://www.facebook.com/events/1260961543950210/

ACA Rally: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/march-rally-fightback-to-save-healthcare-and-protect-families-tickets-32951838837?aff=ampmlt

Introverts Guide to Resisting Trump

Anti-Social Guide to Resisting Trump

(AKA Trump Therapy for Introverts)

So you’re Anti-Social. You watch the dumpster fire that is President Trump everyday, but are too anxious to pick up the phone, and just thinking of a protest makes you want to curl up in fetal.  But there are solutions my friend.

Let’s be real here. Ideally everyone would be okay with all the socializing that’s required to organize at the grassroots.  But we all know that some of this just isn’t our jam. A 2-minute phone call drains us for the next hour. A 60-minute community meeting needs to be followed by a Netflix night. That’s just who we are.

But we also know that Trump is a real threat to our democracy. Everyone is being called to participate in saving America. All of us must make small and large sacrifices to make sure we don’t head towards disaster. And sometimes, us introverts will have to muster up the strength to make the call or gather our fellow introverts to go to a protest. That’s our civic duty. But there are also other ways to #resist that fit our personalities a little bit better.

This guide will cover 4 introvert-friendly resistance tactics. Commit to doing all 4 weekly:

  1. Faxing your Members of Congress (MoCs)
  2. Donating to Congressional Campaigns
  3. Emailing State Legislators
  4. Writing Thank you Letters

Why these actions? AKA Do they even work?

Faxing your MoCs

There’s some debate about the effectiveness of faxing your MoCs. Undoubtedly, phone calls are the best way to make your voice heard. It forces congressional staffers to stop what they’re doing, and respond to you.

However, congress’ technology is stuck in the mid 90s. Their phone systems were not built to keep up with the onslaught of calls since Trump’s victory, and these calls are often sent to full mailboxes. Letters aren’t instantaneous enough to keep up the Republican’s quickening legislative agenda. And emailing and tweeting your MoCs is simply too impersonal to make an impact.

Faxing, though often viewed as outdated, is the next best option. It’s quick. It’s personal. And it is an efficient way to verify you are a MoCs constituent. Sites like ResistBot are making this as simple as possible by turning your texts into faxes. And yup, it’s free.

Contributing to Political Campaigns

Listen Republicans are about to say a lot of dumb sh*t for the next 4 years. Like Jason Chaffetz telling the working poor to “give up their iPhones.” or Steven King speaking about “someone else’s babies.”  But in the words of my wise Facebook friend, “You can hate or you can donate.”

The silver lining of the Trump years is that there are new, bold voices getting involved in politics. The downside is that it is very expensive to run political campaign. The average cost of winning a seat is the Senate in 2012 was about $10.4 million! New political voices often either run out of funds or start to look to corporate donors to lighten the load. And it goes without saying, that corporate involvement in politics is a big no-no.

So it’s up to us to make sure these new voices can run competitive races. Sites like CrowdPac, Democracy for America, and Our Revolution are making it hella easy to do just that.

Emailing State Legislators

While emailing your MoCs is often ineffective, your state legislators are another story. Not burdened by a large number of constituents, emails are often read and sometimes even personally responded to by the Legislator.

Effecting change on the local level is often much easier than on the federal level. Local chapters of notable organizations are a great way to see your voice change society quickly. Sign up for email updates for the state level chapters of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Sierra Club.  These organizations  send email prompts to send directly to your legislator. Find the contact info for your legislator here.

Writing Thank You Letters

Writing Thank You letters is a way to retroactively applaud Congress and encourage similar behavior in the future. Thank you letters are not as time-sensitive as letters of concern, making them an effective to communicate your opinions.

And let’s be honest, Congress doesn’t get many Thank You’s, making each letter that much more memorable.

For your talkative days:

Suggested Weekly Agenda Example:

Agenda for Week of 3/19

Use ResistBot to fax your MoCs about ACA repeal:

Script: Save the ACA. Please vote ‘no’ on ACHA. [insert personal story and facts]

Donate to Kathryn Allen, democratic opponent of Jason Chaffetz.

Contribute to $3-5 to Kathryn’s campaign here. (of course if you feel moved, please donate more).

Check Email Alerts from state chapters of ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Sierra Club

  • Find state chapters by googling “[NAME OF ORG] of [STATE]
    • For example, I am from Maryland. So I would google Planned Parenthood of Maryland
  • Sign up for email alerts for  local chapters of ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Sierra Club
  • CHECK DAILY FOR NEW UPDATES. Email prompts will often be pre-made to be sent to your legislators when legislation is  threatening constitutional rights, reproductive freedom, and environmental justice. Stay woke!
  • Don’t always rely on these orgs to do the work for you. If you find out about a bill in your state that concerns you, contact your legislator yourself. Contact info can be found here.

Write Thank you Letters to your MoCs (and Republicans from other states)  who are speaking out against ACHA (Republican repeal bill)

*** SIDE NOTE***
Rewarding the little political courage left in the Republican party seems like a bizarre idea, I know. But strategically, thanking people on the other side of the isle sends a message about the strength and persistence of the opposition.

  • Find a Republican against ACHA here.
  • Look on your MoCs website, Facebook, or Twitter to see if they have publicly opposed ACHA. Thank them if they are openly against it. Fax them if not.

Other Helpful Introvert Activism Sites

5 ways to protest Trump, silently.

An Introvert’s Guide to Activism

Template For Submitting Items to NewsLetter

Template for Newsletter

When submitting items please use either format depending on the item. It is also OK to combine the two.

Item One: Getting Indivisibles to take an action

  • Committee Name:
  • Name of Action Item:
  • Who: All Indivisibles
  • What:
  • When:
  • How:
  • Learn more here:

Item Two: Providing Updates. Keep update items to about 3-5 sentences. Please make sure photos do not contain identifying information.

  • Committee Name:
  • Update Items:
  • Photos:
  • Learn more Here:

Indivisible Baltimore – Weekly Action 3/6

 

The Maryland Trust Act is important state legislation that would prevent all police in Maryland from assisting ICE in enforcing federal immigration laws, and would make Maryland a sanctuary state. It is sponsored by CASA, ACLU, and SEIU, and we strongly support this bill becoming law! Read more about the bill here: https://goo.gl/BecTba

Currently, the Trust Act is in the Judicial Proceedings Committee. We need you to call the committee main phone number and committee members saying that you strongly support the bill moving through committee and becoming law. If you are represented by any of these senators, please make that known. If not, that’s okay, you can still call and voice your opinion to them as committee members.

We were told by CASA that it is especially important to call Bobby Zirchin’s office because he is the committee chair, and because his District is in Baltimore County. Not sure what district you live in? Check out http://mdelect.net/

The main phone numbers for the committee are (410) 841-3623, (301) 858-3623
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3623 (toll free).

Bobby Zirkin (D) committee chair, District 11 – (410) 841-3131, (301) 858-3131
Delores Kelley (D) committee vice chair, District 10 – (410) 841-3606, (301) 858-3606
James Brochin (D) – District 42 – (410) 841-3648, (301) 858-3648
Robert Cassilly (R) – District 34 – (410) 841-3158, (301) 858-3158
Michael Hough (R) – District 4 – (410) 841-3704, (301) 858-3704
Susan Lee (D) – District 16 – (410) 841-3124, (301) 858-3124
Anthony Muse (D) – District 26 – (410) 841-3092, (301) 858-3092
Wayne Norman (R) – District 35 – (410) 841-3603, (301) 858-3603
Victor Ramiez (D) – District 47 – (410) 841-3745, (301) 858-3745
Justin Ready (R) – District 5 – (410) 841-3683, (301) 858-3683
Will Smith (D) – District 20 – (410) 841-3634, (301) 858-3634