Meeting Notes – Whole Group Meeting, May 21, 2017

Preamble to the Constitution
Introductions

Numbers to date:
204 Facebook members
13 Newsletters sent out
115 people on the mailing list
1 Phone Bank

Shout-outs/Recognition

Guest speaker: Pat Young, State Delegate District 44B
Topic: Communication and building relationships with your representatives
See associated post

Committee Reports:

Logistics:
-Next meeting scheduled for July 15, 10 am – 12 pm
-Survey to be issued for feedbak on goals, suggested events, eaker topics, etc.
Immigration:
-Canvassing ongoing for 287(g) proposal in Baltimore County
-Shout-out to outreach group for attending Love Thy Neighbor dinner at local mosque
-Potential to join CASA bystander group to support immigrants when they check-in with ICE
-Potential for helping immigrants with citizenship test and process
Outreach:
-Organizing for 4th of July parade float
-Evaluating potential community service projects
-Form passed out to see if members have relationships with groups that we could coordinate with or conduct outreach
-Listening campaigns
-Upcoming things to be aware of include Precinct Captains Training (June 3), Progressive -Democrats of Baltimore Meeting, MD Progressive Caucus meetings in Annapolis, upcoming re-elections (Hogan, District 1, Co executive)
Health Care:
-Committee minutes to be sent out
-Focusing on pulling together health care committees from all Indivisible groups to describe impacts of health care through stories
-Evaluating pricing for commissioning a mobile billboard against Harris to focus on his ACA vote
Education:
-Trump education budget leaked with deep cuts for K-12, aftercare, low income programs, Perkins loans, reduced subsidy loans, etc with most funding going toward vouchers and voucher research. Committee will be researching process to fight these cuts, including through personal stories
Environmental:
-Some recent victories including fracking ban, Empower billboard
-Pressuring Hogan to fund the CBP
-Comment on TransCanada pipeline under the Potomac
-Support for styrofoam ban, pollinator bill, climate change bills
-Proposal for restaurant “bring your own container”
Electoral:
-Quist phone bank May 21, Miller Branch Library, 2:30 – 4:45 pm
-Ossoff phone bank June 7, Catonsville Library, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Upcoming Events:
-Summer Social on June 30, 5 pm at Patapsco State Park, Avalon Area Shetler 104; potluck, BYOB, door prizes; sign-up sheet forthcoming; donations need to cover cost of pavilion rental.
-287(g) public hearing on May 30 2 pm, 400 Washington Avenue, sign up to comment between 1-2 pm.
-Voter Registration training scheduled for June 22 at Catonsville Library, 7-8 pm

-Investigating July 4th reading of the Declaration of Independence

 

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

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

Swing Left – It Starts with the House

At our next Catonsville Indivisibles meeting, we want to discuss medium and long term actions for resistance. One strategy has been proposed by Swing Left, which consists of steps to take back the House in 2018 by supporting progressives in “swing districts”.

If you haven’t already, please take a look at SwingLeft.org. Some notes on this below:

  • A Swing District is a district that was won in the last election by 15% of the vote or less.
  • There are 52 Swing Districts.
  • We need to win 80% of all Swing Districts to take back the House. If we win all 17 Democratic held Swing Districts, we need to flip 24 of the remaining Republican ones.

Virginia-10

The closest Swing District to us is Virginia 10. Virginia-10 basically extends from Fairfax and Prince William Counties westward to Frederick County, VA. The district is currently represented by Republican Barbara Comstock, elected in 2014. Prior to this, since 1980, the seat was held by Republican Frank Wolf (who did not run in 2014). In 2014, Comstock won by about 16% of the vote, and in 2016, she won by 6% of the vote. This district is considered up for grabs, because Obama won Virginia-10 in 2008 and Clinton in 2016 (although by a slim margin).

Maryland-1

Some people have expressed interest in working to “swing” Maryland-1. Maryland-1 includes parts of Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties as well as all Eastern Shore counties. Currently the district is represented by Republican Andy Harris; however, it was previously held by Democrat Frank Kratovil, Jr. who was defeated in 2010. Andy Harris was then re-elected in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Maryland-1 is not shown as a “Swing District” by SwingLeft. This is because Harris won by much more than 15% of the vote in 2016. In 2010, Harris only won by about 12%, but in 2012, 2014, and 2016 he won by about 36 to 41% of the vote. So, whether or not this district can be “swung” is probably up for debate.

To help these efforts, you can:

  • Research a swing district – register as a researcher at SwingLeft.org/actionitems
  • Start talking to voters in your swing districts – register at SwingLeft.org/actionitems
  • Host/attend a Swingleft house party for more information.   Lucky for us, one has already been organized – see below & please join!!

Where: Catonsville Library

When: March 4, 3-5 pm

RSVP at https://swingleft.org/host or contact host Melinda Frost at: buddha198@gmail.com

Drinks provided, please consider bringing a snack to share.

Meeting Notes – February 19

It was a great meeting on Sunday!    Below are some notes from the meeting on Sunday, including those from the group and the Logistics Committee.

Notes from the meeting:

Suggested Short Term Actions:

  • Voter registration training upcoming on Feb 26, 3pm at Woodlawn Library (contact Cheryl Trivelli through Facebook page)
  • Scheduled calls and postcard sessions in a group to inspire people to action
  • Pre-prepared post cards at meetings, 3-5 topics
  • Assign subcommittees for issue topics/bills (suggested – Andy Harris 1965
    Education Rights Bill, GA 6 – Tom Price’s seat)
  • Outreach to other communities, faith groups
  • Attend other group’s meetings and report back (ideas, actions, events)
  • Get alerts when ICE is conducting raids, help vulnerable immigrants
    (Text “Here to Stay” to 877877 for ICE raid alerts)
  • Keep up with daily events (see http://www.weprotest.today for Baltimore protest calendar)
  • Have regular meetings
  • Communicate with the press

Notes from Logistics Committee:

  • Investigate best option for adding a matching calendar with events to both the website and Facebook page
  • Investigate different options for email, e.g. email access and different accounts/options for access by different committees
  • Assign admin access to others for the Facebook page
  • Pat will continue to monitor and respond to emails
  • Continue to send out newsletters twice a week, one for updates and one for actions
  • Solicit information from committees to help with the newsletter
  • Meetings with committee spokespeople every 2 weeks and one meeting with entire group per month
  • Next meeting will be scheduled for March 19 at Arbutus Library
  • Investigate options for future meetings, preferably with no fee