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:
https://johnolszewskijr.com/

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:
rmark@workingfamilies.org
•  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
http://buytickets.at/marylandlegislativecoalition/127095

-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.

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Meeting Notes – Whole Group Meeting August 19, 2017

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

Moment of Silence – Solidarity with Charlottesville

Welcome all! Thanks for attending and warm welcome to all new attendees.

Shoutouts/Data Update – Thanks for everything people are doing to resist Trump’s agenda. A snapshot of a few of these things are below:

  • ACA Defenders: Special thanks to those who participated (called, wrote, attended rallies, etc) in defense of the ACA!!! Coffee and snacks are provided as thanks.
  • Phone Banks
    -Quist Phone Bank: ½ dozen people made over 100 calls.
    -Ossoff Phone Bank: 6 people, 78 calls made
    -Dial to defend ACA: 5 people; 276 calls made into Maine.
  • Trainings
    -CASA Bystander Training: Several members went and learned how to observe and collect information.
    -Voter Registration Training: 14 people trained, several members
  • Rallies
    -Numerous to support ACA & attendance for John McCain’s historical vote
    -Women’s March Against the NRA
  • Other
    -Catonsville Indivisibles Picnic:  68 people attending from many organizations, including several representatives and members from Catonsville Indivisibles, Together We Will, Towson Indivisibles, & North Baltimore Co. Indivisibles, great food and company.
    -Attendance at vigil, and shoe donations for Queen Anne and Kent County Indivisible Art Installation Project
    -Official comments in Federal Dockets (Fed Energy Reg Commission to oppose fracked gas pipeline in MD; against US EPA rolling back various environmental regulations)
    -Calls to MOC’s/Scott Pruitt (EPA) in support of keeping the US in the Paris Climate Agreement
    -Shout out to all group leaders for keeping up with everything happening, and for organizing events and the newsletter.

Guest Speaker: Robbie Leonard on recent voter and turnout trends
Robbie spoke about the analysis of historical voter and election information as a cause for optimism in the 2018 mid-term elections. For example in the last 35 out of 38 mid-term elections, the minority party picked up a significant number of congressional seats. This is also more likely when presidential approval is less than 50%. However, despite being optimistic, we must still be cautious. We need to stay aggressive, not be over-confident, and put in the necessary work. It is easy to get discouraged, especially with the recent special elections to fill the empty seats resulting from Trump’s cabinet picks (e.g. Ossoff, Quist, Parnell, Thompson, but, we need to keep two things in mind: 1) those cabinet picks were made because they were safe republican seats where republicans would be reappointed, and 2) the democratic candidates in those races lost by very small margins, especially given the margins the prior November. In Maryland, 2014 was a great year for the GOP – they currently have more seats in the state house/senate than since the 1920s & Hogan is a popular governor. We need to increase voter turnout through voter registration and education on early voting. The importance of knocking on doors and communicating directly with voters cannot be overstated. Phone banks and canvassing are very important. Get involved with Precinct2Precinct, increase group diversity, find out what is important to voters, move past Hillary and Bernie.

  • Large Group Discussion
    The Precinct to Precinct program was explained. This is a program to connect with voters by walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors, to initially, find out what is important to voters, and to later to encourage people to vote. Walk lists are provided for neighborhoods. Training is provided periodically in Towson, or can be arranged by speaking to the District field coordinator.
  • The billboard to highlight Andy Harris’ health care vote was discussed and the design for the billboard was shared.
  • The Catonsville Vigil Against Hate is planned for August 31 from 7-9 pm at the Immanuel Church of Christ on Edmondson Ave. Speakers will include community leaders and representatives. Help is needed with organization.
  • Meeting attendees voted that a monthly meeting is preferable to a bi-monthly meeting, especially to regain momentum following the summer. Therefore a meeting has been scheduled for September 23.

Healthcare Committee Report – Defense of the ACA

  • The committee held several postcard and letter writing campaigns to senators to urge them to vote against the BCRA. Daily letters were written to all senate members regarding negative impacts of the BCRA.
  • Several members visited the GOP senators offices in June and handed them personal story postcards and talked with staffers about the benefits of the ACA.
    Committee members participated in several ACA rallies hosted by MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, etc., on the grounds of the Capitol.
  • Members attended the Walk in Our Shoes rally in Chestertown, Maryland, sponsored by the Kent and Queen Anne’s County Indivisible Group. One member was a speaker and discussed how Harris’ vote against the ACA was a vote against his constituents.
  • Members coordinated efforts with Housing Works, Inc., and Center for Popular Democracy to support civil disobedience efforts twice in July. Members assisted those arrested at the Senate Office Buildings.
  • Members visited senators on the day of the vote and sat in the Senate gallery to witness the debate of the amendments and the historic vote. They joined the rally outside the Capitol afterwards to hear Senators discuss the ACA and the need to fix the weaknesses in the law.

Upcoming Catonsville Indivisible Events:
Next Full-Member Meetings, September 23 and October 21, 2017, 10 am, Emmanuel Lutheran
Voter Registration Training, Catonsville Library, September 26, 6:30 pm
Voter Registration, October 24, 8-10 am, Maryland Food Bank Mobile Pantry

Other:
Precinct to Precinct Training (1 hour, 2 people minimum needed):
8/26 Saturday in morning
8/27 Sunday in morning
9/1 Friday around 6 or 7
9/8 Saturday in morning
9/9 Sunday in morning

August 27, 5:30-7:30 – How you can help take back America, Canvassing 101, Columbia
https://actionnetwork.org/events/how-you-can-help-take-back-america?source=direct_link

October 27 to 29, 2017 – Women’s Convention (Women’s March), Detroit

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

  • It was 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Organizers 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