Tuesday Activism #55

Lots to do this week!  Check out this week’s newsletter!



Getting Press Coverage at Your Event

For local media contacts, please see below link:


How To Get Press To Cover Your Event (from Indivisible National):

With events and actions revving up this summer, it’s a good time to review your group’s local media strategy. Local media coverage forces your member of Congress and their staff to spend time reckoning with your issues and your stories. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive press coverage guideto help drum up more coverage before your next event! We recommend your group leaders read the full guide, but here’s out quick rundown:

  • Plan an Indivisible event that’s media-friendly. When planning your next event, make sure media coverage is baked in from the beginning. Consider the timeliness of your issue, what visuals you can provide to catch attention, and how your scheduling may impact coverage.
  • Invite media to your local event. We recommend designating a point person for media relations within your group who will handle.
  • No media at your event? No problem. We have lots of tips on how to generate media coverage even when reporters didn’t attend, including sharing photos and video from your event on social media and tagging the reporters you pitched as soon after the event as possible.
  • Consider different types of media. Every reporter will be looking for something different, but journalists from the same kind of media will have similar needs. For example, if you’re pitching a rally to local television and radio outlets, make sure you provide a “mult-box” ready for them to plug into at the event site.

Lastly, make sure your events are registered at indivisible.org/events so we can lift them up too. Any event on the map by Friday at 11:59pm ET will go out in a Saturday email to Indivisibles near your event.

And here’s how you register events:

  1. Group leaders can register events with us at this link.
  2. After registering an event, group leaders will get an email to the email address they provided when they registered, with the subject line “Confirm your local Indivisible event”.
  3. The same link that a group leader clicks to confirm their event will lead them to their host tools. It’s a good idea to star the “Confirm your local Indivisible event” email, as that will be the only place the group leader can find the link to their host tools.

Factors to Consider When Endorsing a Candidate

At the end of the day, you’re endorsing a candidate because you think they’re the best person to hold political office. But making that assessment involves thinking through a lot of factors about who the candidate is, what they stand for, and what their chances are.

Key factors your Indivisible group will want to consider:

VALUES AND POLICIES Candidates should share your values and care about the same bold policies that your group does. What issues does your candidate focus on? What policies do they support? Do they share your values? In order to answer these questions, you may need to define for your own group what’s most important. No one knows your community or your group better than you do, and no one can better assess a candidate than you can. By clearly stating your values, you preferred policies, and what you’re looking for in an elected official, you can help elevate your issues, shape the race and push the candidates to reflect your values.

REPRESENTATION MATTERS Public policy is better when the people at the table reflect the diverse range of backgrounds and experiences of our nation. Americans all have life experiences that impact their understanding of politics and policy, and every elected official—including people of color, women, religious minorities, and disabled and LGBTQ+ Americans—brings their personal background to the table.  When contemplating making an endorsement, we encourage you to recognize the importance of seeking out and supporting candidates from underrepresented groups. A candidate’s race or gender will not be the only factor in choosing whether or not to endorse, but we cannot ignore these factors if we want politicians who truly reflect our electorate and movement.

VIABILITY—BUT ONLY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT Viability is how we describe a candidate’s chances of winning. To be blunt, “viability” is a buzzword for political hacks, and it’s usually used to describe why some upstart candidate has no chance. The thing is, us hacks are often flat wrong. Remember when Trump was considered totally not viable? Yeah. This is why we include the “viability” factor with some strong caveats. In reality, the importance you place on viability depends on the local context and your Indivisible group’s goals. If you’re in a swing district with an open seat, there may be a dozen candidates in the primary, some much stronger than others. Understanding who’s got a strong foundation can help you decide where to focus attention. On the other hand, if you’ve got a front-runner who’s the overwhelming favorite but consistently votes against progressive values, you may want to endorse a longshot progressive candidate—even if they don’t have much of a chance of winning the primary.

(Excerpted from Indivisible Endorsements, A Practical Guide for Endorsing in Primaries and Beyond, https://indivisible435.org/endorsement/)

Rally to Prevent Gun Violence, NRA HQ, April 14, 12-2 pm

Sat., Apr. 14, 12-2 p.m., National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax. (Note: Time change.)
Facebook event here.

All area students and the people who love them are urged to join this protest hosted by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Northern Virginia Chapter. Special speakers will be featured and kids from outside Northern Virginia will attend too.  Signs provided.

Vigils are held at the NRA the 14th of each month in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook, Dec. 14, 2012, as a public reminder that the American people want safe and sane gun laws.

Sponsored by the: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (UUCF).

Travel down with Catonsville Indivisibles on the metro. UUCF will provide transporation to the NRA from the Vienna Subway Station, or you can drive and park on Fairfax Ridge Road across from the NRA.

Contact Gillian if you want to travel with or meet us there:  catindiv@gmail.com

See link below for more information:




Meeting Notes – March 17, 2018

**Note: Names and email addresses have been withheld from these minutes. Please contact Catonsville Indivisibles (catonsvilleindivisble@gmail.com) for contacts or further information on anything below**

1. Shoutouts/Data Update

  • Thanks to all those who helped organize the Gubernatorial Forum!! It can be viewed on You Tube (search for United for Maryland).

2. Large Group Discussion

Health care Update

HB660 – Establishing the Office of Health Care Coverage in the Maryland Department of Health to establish and carry out the HealthcareMaryland Program to provide benefits to State residents who do not receive federal benefits through Medicare/TRICARE. In the house.

HB902/SB1008 – Prohibiting conversion therapy for minors. In the house.

Environmental Update

-Forest Conservation Act (HB766 / SB610).  Passed the senate committee hearing (6 to 5) with “ Favorable with amendment”.  House committee has not yet reported out. 

-Ban on polystyrene, aka “styrofoam”  (HB0538 / SB0651) .  “No recommendation” from senate committee hearing.   House committee has not yet reported out. 

Good news:  Baltimore City Council has passed a bill to have a ban on polystyrene giving restaurants and food vendors 18-months to phase out styrofoam containers, not the 90 days of earlier failed bills. At the end of that time, a $1,000 fine will be levied on businesses that don’t switch to other types of containers. 

Unfavorable reports:

-Ban on Chlorpyrifos  (HB0116 / SB0500) .  Unfavorable report from house committee hearing. 

-Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB1453 / SB732).  Unfavorable report from house committee hearing. 

-100% Clean Energy Act (HB0878).  Unfavorable report from house committee hearing. 

-Regional Carbon Cost Collection Initiative (HB0939).  Unfavorable report from house committee hearing.

Windfarm offshore Distance (HB1135 / SB1058).  Unfavorable report from house committee hearing.

Passed initial readings:

-Offshore Drilling Liability Act (HB1456 / SB1128).  Second reading passed in the house.  Second reading passed with amendments in the senate.  Intent would be to establish that an offshore drilling activity is an ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous activity, and that a person that causes a spill of oil or gas while engaged in an offshore drilling activity is strictly liable for certain damages.

-U.S. Climate Alliance (HB0003 / SB0138).  Third reading passed.  In the second chamber?

Still no news:

-Community Healthy Air Act (HB0026 / SB0133).  No report from either committee.

Bad news:

Columbia Gas succeeded in receiving a permit to build the pipeline under the Potomac.

Other Legislative Updates

HB0152/SB1048 (SARA- Secure and Accessible Registration Act For stream lined and automatic voter registration)- Still in House Committee/ Senate appears to have passed it. Members should call their house delegates if they are on the committee.
HB1461 (SAFE – Supporting All Families Everywhere) – Important bill that clarifies role of Maryland law enforcement agents regarding federal immigration law – Still in House Committee. Call your house delegates ASAP if they are on the committee.

HB0888/SB707 – Ban Bumpstocks | Passed in House; Passed in Senate Committee (probable pass in Senate). Good news!

HB1646/SB1036 – ‘RedFlag’ Law to remove guns from people who pose an immediate and dangerous threat | Passed in House. Good news!

HB1655/SB0287 – MD Net Neutrality | Still in House Committee; Still in Senate Committee

Logistics for March 24 event March for Our Lives – Contact us if you would like to try to meet up at the March.

Logistics for April 14 event at NRA HQ & March for Science – Transportation has been arranged from the train/metro station to this event. Contact us if you would like to participate with us.

Represent Maryland a group focused on getting money out of politics is having a Rally the last day of the Legislative session Tues. April 9th from 6p-8p at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis. They want to partner with us. Basically, our name goes on their material for the event and we are given a 4-minute time slot to speak on topics related to the issue. In exchange we promote the event through our social media channels. It was discussed that Catonsville Indivisibles does want to sponsor the event regardless of whether we have a speaker.

Summer events:  

      • Summer Potluck will be scheduled at Patapsco State Park for around the end of July
      • Organizing is ongoing (targeting a date of Aug 12th – anniversary of Charlottesville) to have an educational event or rally against racism/discrimination. Contact us if you would like to volunteer.

Endorsements: Should Catonsville Indivisibles endorse county/state candidates?

    • If so when? If not, should we send out a questionnaire for all County candidates?

Input was provided from several members that belong to groups that do endorse candidates (e.g. SW Dems, MD Progressives).  Primarily, the input from these members is that a defined process is necessary.  It was decided that, because it is a bit late now given the upcoming primaries, that we would decide at or by the next meeting (April 7).  We determined that we would send out a survey to determine if endorsements are something that people want to do. Keep an eye out for this survey. The process would be laid out similar to that proposed at: https://indivisible435.org/endorsement

Outreach Committee Update:

The outreach committee provided an update on the refugee group we are sponsoring. Their situation is improving with both parents now employed. Better paying jobs would be desirable, so a list of skills will be compiled to this end. The children are in school and are receiving tutoring, although more tutors are needed. A fundraiser will be held for the families on April 29 at St. Johns Church on Rolling Road, consisting of an authentic Syrian meal. Flier to be posted on facebook.

Voter Registration:

The group will be compiling a list of locations where we might register voters, and members will start to seek permission from these locations.  Once we have a list, we will put together a schedule (hopefully by the next meeting).  One idea is to target the end of church services as people are leaving, that way it would not be a big time commitment if we have 2 people signed up each week for about an hour of time.

3. Q&A with Matt Gresick, candidate for Baltimore County School Board. Matt’s website can be viewed at: https://mattgresick.org/

4. Next Steps/Events

April 7th:  Next Full Member Catonsville Indivisibles Meeting – 10 am. Speaker: Mark Weaver, a Progressive Candidate for Maryland District 12.

March 24:  March for Our Lives, Washington D.C: 12 pm, between 3rd and 12th Street

April 14:  NRA HQ Protest & March for Science

May 12th:  Full Member Catonsville Indivisibles Meeting – 10 am.

CI Meeting Minutes – November 17

*For more information on any of the below topics, please contact catonsville indivisibles to be connected to the appropriate committee lead: catonsvilleindivisible@gmail.com

1. Preamble/Welcome/Introductions

2. Speaker: John Olszewski
John Olszewski is a candidate for County Executive who spoke on making Baltimore County government more accessible and responsive. He is a Baltimore County native and attended Sparrows Point High School, Goucher College, and UMBC. From 2006-2015, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates. For more information on John Olszewski, please see his website at:

3. Large Group Discussion/Updates (40 min)
•  Update on Refugee Groups we are Sponsoring
We are currently sponsoring a refugee family from Syria. They will be moving into Catonsville in December. They are currently in need of some bigger items, including bunk beds, a queen bed and mattress, couch, and area rugs. They also need tutoring for the two kids (math and english) who are in first and third grade. The father also needs tutoring for english – a male tutor would be better initially. If interested in volunteering or donating please contact Catonsville Indivisibles to be linked with the outreach coordinator.
•  Earned Sick Leave – Healthy Working Families Act
Last legislative session the earned sick leave bill (HR1) passed the general assembly, but was vetoed by Hogan. It is a top priority to ove-ride his veto this January. Please contact your representatives to pressure them to support this bill, especially if in District 44B (contact Shirley Nathan Pulliam). Support this bill by sending postcards, phone banking, and signing a petition. A story sharing session on sick leave (whether you benefit from it or do not) will be held at 4200 Edmondson Avenue Suite 100 on December 5 at 7pm. If you cannot attend and want to share a story, get a petition, or volunteer, please contact:
•  Maryland Pre-Legislative Summit, December 3, UMBC
The pre-legislative summit will be held on December 3. Catonsville Indivisibles is a sponsoring organization. From 10 am – 12 pm, Maryland Working Families will have a workshop on best practices for interacting with representatives. From 1 pm there will be a number of sessions/tables to discuss priorities for the 2018 legislative agenda.
Tickets at: http://buytickets.at/marylandlegislativecoalition/127095
A gubernatorial forum is also being planned for either January 13 or 20. It is a free event, but donations will be needed.
• P2P Program Update
Currently targeting hard democrats. Volunteers needed to build relationships by knocking on doors, updating databases, etc.
• Healthcare Committee Update
The tax reform bill now includes a provision for cutting the Obamacare individual mandates, which would cause the ACA to collapse. Contact your representatives to oppose this. There will be a December 5 trip to DC to visit the senate offices.
• Harris Billboard Update
We really need for someone in District 1 (Andy Harris’) district to take over the billboard, especially the fundraising component. A meeting will be held with Carroll County progressives to pitch it to them.
• Ideas for voter registration
Start thinking of dates and locations for voter registration. We need to step this up after January. We may also run another voter registration training if there is enough interest.
• December Potluck
The potluck will be at the current monthly meeting location on December 16 from 11 am to 2 pm. It will be informal and you can drop in at any time. Please bring a dish to share. There will be crafts for kids and other activities.
• January Meeting
This will be a meet and greet with Allison Galbraith. Please email if you have a topic you would like discussed.

4. Next Steps/Events
-Maryland Pre-Legislative Summit, December 3, UMBC

-December Potluck – Dec 16th, 11-2 pm – Bring a dish. Families & friends welcome! Crafts for kids!

-Full member meeting, January 27, 10-12 pm – Meet and Greet with Allison Galbraith, candidate for the first Congressional District.