**Note: Names and email addresses have been withheld from these minutes. Please contact Catonsville Indivisibles (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
-CASA Bystander Training: Several members went and learned how to observe and collect information.
-Voter Registration Training: 14 people trained, several members
-Numerous to support ACA & attendance for John McCain’s historical vote
-Women’s March Against the NRA
-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
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
October 27 to 29, 2017 – Women’s Convention (Women’s March), Detroit