There are a few things you need to know upfront about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act: it is not enough, it is not perfect, it will not come close to fixing everything, and it faces a steep uphill battle to get passed by the Senate.
That said, the bill is still historic and sweeping legislation in a country that has done next to nothing legislatively to stop police brutality. The bill includes the creation of a national database of police misconduct, bans federal law enforcement from using chokeholds and from using no-knock warrants in drug cases, criminalizes officer sexual misconduct against detainees, and more.
The key clarification here is that, if passed, the bill would mostly impact federal law enforcement. We’re talking about ICE, ATF and DEA officers, U.S. Park Rangers and police officers and many, many more law enforcement officers working under the federal government. But, as we know, police abuse and brutality happen frequently in these federal ranks and so the bill's potential impact should not be understated.
Two provisions in the bill that would definitely affect local and state police forces are the end of qualified immunity - which currently protects officers from individual liability - and limiting transfer of military equipment to local police departments. It’s important to remember that this bill is also still a work in progress and proposed amendments are still being made. You can help shape this bill by calling and writing to your members of congress.
The BREATHE Act is a project by The Movement for Black Lives unveiled in July 2020. This bill that aims to realign America’s moral compass by reallocating its massive investments in racist injustice systems, prisons and war toward incentives for decarceration, community-led approaches to public safety, and environmental, economic, health, education and housing justice. It’s basically “Defund the Police” on a national scale and an effort to acknowledge and right many of the wrongs committed over centuries. It is being called a visionary Civil Rights bill for the modern era. (See our segment from August 2020)
However, without an end to the racist Senate filibuster, any legislation like this is already stalled. Sure, you can force a vote and put people on the record, but Democrats have the power to end the filibuster and it is their duty to do so. Making sure that happens is an essential first step to any legislative fight right now.
So, should we keep fighting to improve and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act? Yes. Should we keep fighting for the BREATHE Act from the Movement for Black Lives, which goes farther to address root causes of police brutality and its disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous communities? Yes, and yes again.
But remember that in this gridlocked political landscape the local and state level fight for change is powerful and essential. You can get involved by joining a local action group or national organization local chapter fighting police brutality where you live. If you want a starting point to understand the approach to fighting police abuse and brutality locally, the ACLU Fighting Police Abuse Community Action Manual is a great resource.
From the halls of congress to your local city hall, tap into that local people power and make the change we need.
So, if upending our culture of police brutality is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Fighting to Pass the George Floyd Act, BREATHE Act, & Taking LOCAL Action so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Fight to improve & pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
Join a local organization or chapter fighting police brutality: some suggestions
Explore the ACLU's "FIGHTING POLICE ABUSE: A COMMUNITY ACTION MANUAL"
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Explained (Note: Headline updated) (Vox)
Now is the time to revolutionize policing (BREATHE Act) (Vox)
Posted March 28, 2021; Researched and written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1407: Reclaiming the Streets (Defunding the Police and the Sarah Everard Outcry)
With more than 253 bills attacking voting rights proposed in 43 states since the election and the Supreme Court signaling they will dismantle the rest of the beleaguered Voting Rights Act, the fight to defend and expand voting rights is quite literally existential.
So, let’s dive in.
At the federal level, as you’ve heard about today, there are two pieces of legislation that MUST become law. The first is H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which the Brennan Center for Justice is calling the “greatest civil rights bill since the civil rights movement itself.” The second is H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would re-establish the preclearance requirements that were gutted from the Voting Rights Act in the 2013 and establish national preclearance for practices that disproportionately affect communities of color.
You can join the fight to pass these bills by calling and writing to your members of Congress, and putting further pressure on them with safely organized local rallies with local chapters of political action groups. Common Cause has also created an H.R. 1 campaign page that includes all the ways you can take action, including signing up to textbank and phonebank voters in targeted districts connecting them to their Senators to support H.R. 1. Visit common cause dot org to get involved.
Of course, an essential piece of this work is also demanding the elimination of the Senate filibuster that was forged by racists more than a century ago and used by racists in the last century to fight the civil rights movement. It’s worth noting that Stacy Abrams is proposing a bit of a work around. She is calling on the Senate to invoke the elections clause of the Constitution to make voting rights bills only require a majority vote, like budget bills and judge and cabinet confirmations. This may sway conservative Democrats, like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
On the state and local level, get very familiar with reaching out to your state Reps, Senators and Governor if you’re not already. Blue states are not exempt from voter suppression laws - looking at you, New York. So, wherever you are make noise and fight to protect and expand the vote and start helping the opponents of any elected official that supports voter suppression laws.
And finally, many of the new GOP voter suppression laws are voter ID laws. The organization Vote Riders helps fight voter suppression laws and helps voters get the IDs they need to vote. The work they do between elections makes a huge difference on election day and they could use your help now. You can sign up to volunteer with them at voteriders.org.
So, if upholding the core tenants of democracy is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Fighting GOP Voter Suppression Laws so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Common Cause H.R. 1 Campaign - Text & Phonebank & Resources
Demand Elimination of the Filibuster
Support Opponents of Suppressionists in Public Office
Vote Riders - Help Fight Suppression & Help Voters Get IDs They Need
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
Annotated Guide to the For the People Act of 2021 (Brennan Center for Justice)
How to Restore and Strengthen the Voting Rights Act (Brennan Center for Justice)
Blue States Suppress the Vote, Too (The New Republic)
Posted March 12, 2021; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1404: Democracy Under Siege (Voting and Protest Rights)
On November 14th & Beyond, Prepare to Stop a Coup in America via Refuse Fascism & Protect the Results
The first thing I’m going to tell you to do today is go read Naomi Klein’s latest article in The Intercept called “Now We Have To Fight Trump’s Tin-Pot Coup - And Biden’s Worst Instincts.” In the piece, Klein lays out five possible reasons why Republicans are echoing Trump’s baseless election fraud talking points. The last reason she lists is that there could be an actual thought-through plot for a coup. Klein notes that the risk slim, but not nil.
Regardless of whether you think Trump’s “coup-talk” is empty bluster, the public threat of a coup (or autogolpe) in America should be enough for us to call it out and prepare for how to stop it. This is a messaging war that we have to win.
Refuse Fascism has planned mass protests nationwide on Saturday, November 14th - and more will likely be planned. You can sign their pledge to the world that you refuse to accept a fascist America and find a protest near you or organize your own at RefuseFascism.org.
Additionally, Protect the Results is still ready and waiting and has moved out some of the dates of their protests. They now range from November 14th to December 1st and beyond, depending on the event. Go to ProtecttheResults.com to find an event or organize your own.
As we watch this all play out, remember the signs of a coup from the Waging Nonviolence article we highlighted a few weeks ago.
We know it’s a coup if the government:
- stops counting votes (Trump already lost that battle)
- certifies someone a winner who didn’t get the most votes (they are currently working on this), or,
- allows someone to stay in power who didn’t win the election (they are strongly signaling this is their intent)
Most coup attempts are secret then happen quickly, but Trump’s slow-walking style means we are able to prepare and that gives us - the people - an upper-hand.
As Klein points out, unrest in one of the world’s largest economies is not good for capitalists and they are the ones actually in control. So, in an irony no one can enjoy, it may be the capitalist monsters who get Trump and Republicans to stop the power grab. But they will only pull those strings if they see that an uprising is inevitable; we need to give a preview to assure them that it absolutely is.
So, if preventing a coup in America is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Preparing to Stop a Coup in America on November 14th & Beyond so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Protests on Sat., Nov. 14th - RefuseFascism.org
Protests Nov. 14th & Beyond - ProtecttheResults.com
10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup (Waging Nonviolence)
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
This is no conventional coup. Trump is paving the way for a 'virtual Confederacy' (Opinion - The Guardian)
The Damage of Trump’s Voter-Fraud Allegations Can’t Be Undone (The Atlantic - June 2020)
Posted November 13, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1380: The Coup Attempt We Saw Coming Years in Advance
Georgia may go blue - barring a recount - for the first time since the 90s and yet one hard-fought miracle wasn’t enough. Now, because Democrats blew their Senate chances everywhere else, Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock are feeling the weight of the entire country on their shoulders to win not one, but BOTH Georgia senate seats in the January run-off elections.
I want to take a moment to remind our white listeners that the gigantic headline of the 2020 election is that Black voters, organizers and activists did the difficult, grueling ground work that handed the election to Joe Biden. The fact that Georgia is at least purple in a presidential election is a testament to Black activists and organizers and Black youth who turned out in huge numbers. So, white People: We are absolutely not allowed to sit this one out. Maybe you can’t literally move to Georgia like Andrew Yang, but you can still help make a difference.
As we saw in this election, money actually isn’t everything - but it sure helps. GASenate.com allows you to make a single donation that will be split between the Ossoff and Warnock campaigns, and Stacy Abrams’ Fair Fight PAC, which is training advocates to fight voter suppression in Georgia.
To help bolster the youth turnout, you should also consider donating or volunteering with Stacy Abrams’ other organization. The New Georgia Project is a nonpartisan organization with the goal of registering all, eligible unregistered citizens of color in Georgia by the end of the decade, with a focus on youth - the fastest growing part of the state’s electorate. This is important since Georgia residents who turn 18 by January 5th are eligible to vote in the run-offs. Go to NewGeorgiaProject.org to contribute or get involved.
Another major presence on the ground in Georgia is Black Voters Matter, founded by LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. They not only register voters and advocate for voting rights, but help build infrastructure for other Black-led grassroots organizations. Visit BlackVotersMatterFund.org to donate or get involved.
And it’s very important to note that Georgia has a voter ID law, a tool of voter suppression that disproportionately affects low-income, unhoused and Black, Indigenous communities and people of color. You can help more people access the ballot by supporting or volunteering with my favorite organization, Vote Riders. VoteRiders helps voters identify the documents they need to get an ID, request and pay for the documents, pay the DMV fees, and gives a free ride to the DMV. Voters can call or text their help line at 844-338-8743 or go to VoteRiders.org/freehelp to submit an online form and get started. If you don’t need an ID, I strongly urge you to fundraise, donate or become a volunteer to support their sadly necessary work.
So, what are we all gonna do for the next 2 months? That’s right, keep Georgia on our minds.
If putting Mitch McConnell in the minority is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Getting Involved in Our LAST CHANCE to Flip the Senate so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Young people could decide the Georgia runoff races for US Senate (The Civics Center)
#15: If We’re Not Organizing White People, Somebody Else Is (Organizing Upgrade - SURJ)
Next week, exactly seven days from now (Oct. 27th), America will watch the election results roll in. And chances are it will take days, possibly weeks, maybe even months until we know who won.
Your actions this week can build the giant turnout we desperately need to overwhelm gerrymandering, make up for voter suppression and deliver a decisive victory for Biden. Maybe that doesn’t sound exciting to some of you - and I get that - but this is what it will take to have a chance at protecting peoples’ rights and fighting for progressive ideas.
Last time, we highlighted the get out the vote campaigns Swing Left, Field Team 6 and Vote Save America. This week we’ll add Indivisible to that list at 2020.indivisible.org. Handwringing doesn’t help, but talking to likely voters might actually make you feel better. For our full list of volunteering opportunities, voting resources, and much more, visit our Voting Is Not Enough: 2020 Election Action Guide at BestoftheLeft.com/2020action.
Today, we’re going to focus on how you can strategically and effectively donate in this final, critical week before the election. We know these are hard times for many people, so if you can give - please, please do.
SwingLeft isn’t just getting out the vote, they’re also making it easy to donate strategically. The Swing Left Immediate Impact Fund sends 100% of your donation to the candidates in the closest races among the 12 Super States - the most important states to help flip the White House, the Senate and state houses key to rolling back Republican gerrymandering. Or, donate to one of the Super States and 100% of your donation will support close races up and down the ballot just in that state. Go to SwingLeft.org/fundsto donate.
If you want to help the Democrats keep control of the House, the DCCC has established what they’re calling a Frontline Member donation fund. These are House members who won tight House races and flipped districts in the 2018 midterms and are vulnerable in 2020. Go to DCCC.org/frontline to see the list of candidates and scroll all the way down to click to donate. It’s worth noting that this list includes Sharice Davids from Kansas - one of the first two Native American women elected to congress, as well as the first openly gay person elected to congress from Kansas. Lauren Underwood from Illinois - the youngest and first black woman to win in her district. Abby Finkenauer - the first woman elected to congress from the state of Iowa and nearly tied with AOC for youngest member of the House. And Jahana Hayes - the first black woman to represent Connecticut in congress. We don’t want to lose these 2018 gains in diversity and political outsiders.
If you want to help flip more House seats, donate to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program at redtoblue.dccc.org. That list includes Kara Eastman in Nebraska’s 2nd district, who was endorsed by AOC’s Courage to Change PAC and Justice Democrats in the primaries. She was within 2 points of winning in 2018. This could be her year.
(Not in on air segment) If you want to help flip state houses, you don't have to know about every state legislative seat that's in play. EveryDistrict does that for you. Read their blog post - complete with action buttons - about how they can help you strategically donate to help flip state legislatures.
And don’t forget about governorships, which will be critical to protecting civil rights laws and implementing public health measures to fight against COVID-19. Right now, Utah and Montana have an open seat for Governor, while Missouri’s Republican incumbent is in a close race. Indiana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia all have Republican governors up for re-election. Head to DemocraticGovernors.org to donate.
As we get closer to election day, remember that if you or someone you know encounters a problem when trying to vote, call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE or visit 866OurVote.org. If you want to help voters, sign up to assist with Election Protection’s nonpartisan poll monitoring program at ProtectTheVote.net.
Don’t get complacent. Trump could still win this thing. Republicans could still hold on to the Senate or erode the gains in the House. No one wants to wake up on November 4th wishing they had done more, so take action now. Voting is not enough, folks….it’s just not.
So, if giving liberal candidates the resources they need to WIN this thing is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Voting Is Not Enough: GET OUT THE VOTE & DONATE STRATEGICALLY FOR THE FINAL PUSH! so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Swing Left Immediate Impact Fund & Super States (White House, Senate & State Level)
DCCC Frontline Fund (Protect Vulnerable House Dems)
DCCC Red to Blue (Flip More Red House Seats)
EveryDistrict (Flip state legislatures)
Democratic Governors Association (Support Incumbents & Flip Red Governorships)
Voting Problems? Call 866-OUR-VOTE
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
The Battleground States Biden and Trump Need to Win 270 (The NY Times)
A Night of Firsts: The Candidates Who Made History in the 2018 Midterms (The Guardian, 2018)
Posted October 27, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1377: Building a Solidarity Economy for a More Resilient Future
It’s crunch time, folks. There are less than 2 weeks until election day. Just 13 days (as of Oct. 21).
And, yes, there is some positive news floating around regarding polling and fundraising…but, you know what?
Dig deep and remember way, way, waaay back to 2016 when all that good pre-election news did not stop Trump from winning. Remember that every single day the GOP is working at the local level and through the courts to suppress votes. Remember that they may get their Supreme Court nominee through in time for the court to call a close election in favor of Trump. Remember that the right has been spending billions pushing a massive disinformation campaign to help reelect Trump and he has personally invited his supporters to practice voter intimidation at the polls. And beyond all of that, you should know that Republicans are now saying they are hopeful because they’ve seen a spike in Republican voter registrations in key states like Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In fact, they are calling these registrations their “secret weapon.”
So, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get complacent. Getting Trump out is still a major uphill battle and right now - the the last two weeks before the election - we need all hands on deck. If you haven’t made volunteering a priority yet, please, please, please do it now. Even a couple hours a week can make a big difference.
There are many volunteer opportunities out there, but today we’re just going to re-highlight a few of the big ones. To see a longer list of volunteering opportunities, and much more, visit our Voting Is Not Enough: 2020 Election Action Guide at BestoftheLeft.com/2020 action.
First, you can volunteer from anywhere with Swing Left and help them continue implementing their Super State Strategy. This strategy focuses on 12 states that are each critical to the flipping the White House, the Senate and the state houses key to rolling back Republican gerrymandering. Go to TheLastWeekends.org to instantly find and sign up for phonebook and textbank shifts during the final two weekends before the election.
In addition to volunteering, SwingLeft also lets you donate strategically. The Swing Left Immediate Impact Fund sends your donations to the candidates in the closest races among the Super States, or you can choose a Super State and your donations will support races up and down the ballot in that state. Go to SwingLeft.org/funds to donate.
Next, you could get involved with Field Team 6 - a west coast-based get out the vote organization that strategically partners with over 100 state and national organizations to make the most impact. With multiple, remote phone banking and text banking events and trainings held every single day of the week, there is just no excuse to not get involved.
Head to fieldteam6.org to check their Calendar of Events and sign up for a shift. If you’re not on the west coast, just a note that Field Team 6 lists the Pacific time first for all events, so adjust accordingly.
And finally, there is Vote Save America, the get out the vote effort from Crooked Media, which allows you to volunteer from anywhere in six key battleground states. You can also Adopt a State and receive updates on everything you need to know to support the work of organizers and volunteers in that state. Go to VoteSaveAmerica.com to learn more.
Voting is already underway, so if you or someone you know encounters a problem with ballot drop boxes, early voting, absentee ballots, or something else, remember that help is available. Call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE or visit 866OurVote.org. If you want to help voters, sign up to assist with Election Protection’s nonpartisan poll monitoring program at ProtectTheVote.net.
So, if building massive voter turnout that categorically throws Trump out of office is important to you, be sure to tell everyone you know about Voting Is Not Enough - GET OUT THE VOTE so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Call 866-OUR-VOTE or 866OurVote.org
Help Voters: Volunteer at ProtectTheVote.net
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
Behind in the Polls, Republicans See a Silver Lining in Voter Registrations (The New York Times)
Posted October 21, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1376: Tell Stories, Not Myths: America is a Force But Not Always for Good
We’re less than 3 weeks out from Election Day, just 18 days left (as of Oct. 16th). And while we’d rather be encouraging you to join get out the vote campaigns and make sure your friends and family are registered and have a voting plan, instead we have to talk today about the big fascist elephant in the room.
We all know that we have severe structural issues to address when it comes to American elections, from voter suppression laws to gerrymandering to the Electoral College. But this year, the threat includes all of those things and something more: the calculated efforts by Trump and the GOP to do everything they possibly can to subvert and sow doubt about the electoral process…and therefore the results.
Trump is loud about his accusations and aspersions, but the GOP is a whole lot quieter - working behind the scenes at the state level and through their judicial picks to manipulate and pull levers we didn’t even know existed until now.
It’s not pleasant to think about worse case scenarios, but the best case is sadly unlikely. We need to prepare now for the reality that things will get messy and understand what our role will need to be as citizens in that moment.
First, we’ll talk about prevention. The nonpartisan anti-corruption organization RepresentUs has launched “Save the Vote”, which includes 6 steps you can take to protect democracy and the first two are key…
Step 1 is to tell your state’s top election official to count every vote before declaring a winner. An unprecedented number of Americans are voting by mail and we are already seeing record breaking voting. Counting every vote may take a while and at no point should it be stopped before completion. Make sure your state isn’t planning to jump the gun before all of the results are in.
Step 2 is demand your state lawmakers respect the vote count. The Atlantic reported that Trump’s campaign has spoken to state legislatures about trying to bypass the vote tally. State lawmakers can prevent this by committing on record to only choosing a winner based on the vote count.
To take immediate action on these steps, go to Represent.us There you’ll also find the other four steps, which include a toolkit to help fight disinformation and lies about safe voting options, confirming you are registered to vote, signing up to be a poll worker, and encouraging everyone to vote as early as possible.
But Trump has already said he’ll only accept the results if he wins, so what do we do if Trump loses but won’t concede?
Protect the Results is a coalition of organizations lead by Indivisible and StandUp America, laying the groundwork for voters to mobilize if Trump does not accept the results of the election. Events are already being organized by voters across the country on November 4th and you can find one near you or plan one yourself. Go to ProtecttheResults.com to learn more.
And finally, Sunrise Movement has launched “Count on Us”, a plan to defeat Trump and Defend the Election. The campaign is one part get out the vote effort and one part trainings and direct action. And if Trump tries to steal the election, they’re calling for a mass strike, with the idea that Trump can’t govern if the nation’s people are not going to work or school. Go to WeCountOnUs.org to sign up and learn more.
In an article from Waging Nonviolence called “10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup”…because that’s popular reading right now…they point out that “we have to be ready to declare loudly and strongly: this is a coup.” Power grabs don’t have to look like a military coup with the opposition being arrested. If votes stop being counted or the person who lost tries to take or hold power, we have to call it what it is and not shy away from it.
Look, we all hope it doesn’t come to this, but we must be prepared because mass direct action might be our only chance at stopping an attempted coup. Steeling ourselves to be ready gives us a shot if things begin to fall apart.
Every day it just gets more clear: voting is not enough. It’s just not.
So, if stopping an attempted coup in America is important to you (I sure hope it is!), be sure to spread the word about Voting Is Not Enough: Protect the Election Results so that others in your network can spread the word too.
6 Steps to Save the Vote via RepresentUs
Protect the Results via Indivisible, Stand Up America & more
Count On Us via Sunrise Movement
10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup (Waging Nonviolence)
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
The Election That Could Break America (The Atlantic)
Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État? (The Nation)
More than 1600 former DOJ employees: DOJ Alumni Open Letter on Protecting Free and Fair Elections (Medium)
Posted Oct. 16th, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1375: The Militia Movement is Having a Moment
As of the publishing of this episode (Oct. 13th), there are only 3 weeks left until Election Day. Just 21 days.
We need to counter these voter suppression efforts with action. So, if you haven’t volunteered yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Help voters in voter ID law states get the IDs they need with VoteRiders.org.
Phone-bank and text-bank with a get out the vote campaign and arm voters with the accurate information they need to ensure their vote is cast and counted. Go to TheLastWeekends.org to instantly find a shift for the final weekends before the election.
And if you or someone you know encounters a problem with ballot drop boxes, early voting, absentee ballots, or something else, call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE or visit 866OurVote.org. If you want to help, sign up to assist with Election Protection’s nonpartisan poll monitoring program at ProtectTheVote.net.
It’s important to note that Native Peoples have not only been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, but they are also disproportionately affected by voter suppression tactics. In fact, many barriers to the ballot uniquely target Native Peoples.
Native Peoples are less likely to have a traditional street address making it more likely that their voter registration applications will get rejected, and many states with Voter ID laws just flat out don’t accept tribal IDs. Then there’s the closure of polling places and reducing ballot drop boxes in reservation counties, conflicting information from poll workers and lack of interpreters in states with high Native populations. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 only made targeted voter suppression of Native Peoples easier for states like Arizona and Alaska and certain counties in North Dakota. (Source: Brennan Center for Justice)
To help counter this suppression, nonprofits IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance and First Peoples Worldwide, have launched Natives Vote - a get out the vote effort providing detailed information on each state’s voting laws, registration dates, who to contact if issues arise, and more.
In a release, IllumiNative Executive Director Crystal Echo Hawk said, “Exercising our grassroots political power is crucial to rebuilding what we’ve lost and preparing the future for the next seven generations.” Visit NativesVote2020.com to learn more.
You can also help restore and protect Native voting rights by demanding your members of congress to support the Native American Voting Rights Act, which has already been introduced in both the House and Senate. Spearheaded by the Native American Rights Fund (2014), the Act would "create more communication channels between Washington and Native American tribes, direct states to accept tribal ID cards for voting purposes, and establish a clear pathway for Native communities to request federal election observers.”
So, if making sure everyone can access the ballot - especially those we stole this land from - is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Fighting Voter Suppression & Helping Restore Native Voting Rights so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Help Voters Get IDs: VoteRiders.org
Get Out the Vote!: TheLastWeekends.org
Voting Problems? Call: 866-OUR-VOTE | Visit 866OurVote.org
Volunteer as an Election Protector: ProtecttheVote.net
Election Resources for Native Voters: NativesVote2020.com
Tell Congress to Pass the Native American Voting Rights Act (2019-2020)
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
The State of Native American Voting Rights (Brennan Center)
Native Vote Infographic (National Congress of American Indians)
The 5 Million Americans that the 2020 Candidates Refuse to Talk About (Vox - First Person)
How the Native American Vote Continues to be Suppressed (American Bar Association)
Posted October 13, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1374: Tell Stories, Not Myths: Columbus and the Centrality of Colonialism
Voting Is Not Enough: Register Voters & Re-Register Purged Voters in Battleground States via @fieldteam_6
As of the publishing of this episode (Oct. 9), we have less than ONE month left until Election Day. Just 25 days.
Visit BestoftheLeft.com/2020action to explore our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not.
It’s still early October and voter registration efforts are critical right now. Though the deadlines for a few states have passed, there are still many states - including key battlegrounds - where the registration window is still open.
Michigan, Arizona (extended to Oct. 23), Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia (past), Florida (past), Pennsylvania, and more, are the targets of Field Team 6 - a west coast-based get out the vote organization that strategically partners with over 100 state and national organizations to make the most impact. With multiple phone banking and text banking events and trainings held every single day of the week, there is just no excuse to not get involved.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Field Team 6 events also include a unique opportunity to talk to purged voters in battleground states thanks to a new DNC tool. These are purged voters who are likely Democrats or Independents and are mostly younger and Black, Indigenous and people of color. The goal is to not only make these voters aware that they have been purged or labeled as “inactive”, but get them re-registered and on the rolls again with the information they need to vote.
As you know, Republicans in key battleground states have conducted massive voter roll purges this year which had a major impact on primaries that were held during the early days of the pandemic. In North Carolina alone, Field Team 6 has a list of 500,000 purged voters, so every volunteer is needed.
And remember, trying to undo this assault on voting rights is not just about the presidential election. State legislatures need to be flipped too if we want to solidify, protect and expand reproductive justice at the state level with legislation.
So, head to FieldTeam6.org/actions to check their Calendar of Events and sign up for a shift. If you’re not on the west coast, just a note that Field Team 6 lists the Pacific time first for all events, so adjust accordingly.
And finally, just a reminder that relational voting - or contacting your immediate networks to encourage them to vote - has been proven to be a wildly effective get out the vote strategy. Be sure you are reaching out to your friends and family who may be overwhelmed by being an essential worker, job loss, managing their kids remote schooling or - just everything - and offer to help guide them through the registration process or making a voting plan. Everyone could use a little help right now.
So, if making sure people are registered to vote in the most important election of our lifetime is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Register Voters & Re-Register Purged Voters in Battleground States so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Register voters & re-register purged voters in battleground states with FieldTeam6.org/actions
The Shocking Upset That Shows How Democrats Can Crush Trump (The Daily Beast)
Posted October 9, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1373: Post-Roe: The Next Phase in the Fight for Reproductive Justice
As of the publishing of this episode (Oct. 6th), we have exactly ONE month left until Election Day. Just 28 days.
Visit BestoftheLeft.com/2020action to explore our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not.
From the last two years of Obama’s presidency through today, we’ve witnessed the true power of Senate control. Besides his unprecedented refusal to confirm Merrick Garland, Mitch McConnell made it his life’s mission to block Obama’s district and circuit judge appointments. Then, he helped Trump ram 50 of them through - many unqualified, including Amy Coney Barrett. Only a tiny percentage of cases get to the Supreme Court and the appellate courts are the filter, making the quality and fitness of those judges critical to a healthy judiciary branch.
It’s not sexy, but the Left MUST care about the courts. The Senate’s control of the judicial confirmation process makes its power immense. McConnell has abused this power to the full extent, subverting the Constitution and trampling norms. If he still leads the Senate under a Joe Biden administration, we know exactly what we’re in for. So, today we are focusing on what it will take to flip the Senate, because - with everything we have to fix and protect and the looming threat of a hard right court - electing Joe Biden without flipping the Senate would be nothing short of a disaster.
The good thing is that the Senate advantage is with Democrats this year, as Republicans have to defend 23 seats - twice that of Democrats.
Swing Left, the political action organization that helped deliver the Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms, has a plan. They call it the Super State Strategy - focusing on 12 states that are each critical to the flipping the White House, the Senate and the state houses key to rolling back Republican gerrymandering.
In addition to volunteering your time with Swing Left to phone bank, text and write letters, you can also donate strategically. Donate to the Swing Left Immediate Impact Fund which sends your donations to the candidates in the closest races among the Super States, or choose a Super State and your donations will support races up and down the ballot in that state.
Beyond the Super States, there are some surprisingly close Senate polls coming out of other very red states. The Democratic Senate candidates in Alaska, Montana, South Carolina, and Mississippi are all within 1 percentage point of Republican incumbents in the polls. In Kansas, the open seat Senate race was within 2 points until the Koch Brothers’ group dropped a giant cash infusion. Turnout in these states is key and a little momentum could go a long way.
In terms of defending Democratic seats, Senator Doug Jones will likely lose in Alabama. But in Michigan, Senator Gary Peters only just took back a lead in the polls.
And finally, although Trump’s Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation looks very likely - it’s not a done deal yet. According to Indivisible’s Senate Whip Count, there are still 13 Senators who’s confirmation vote is undecided or unknown. Go to ScotusWhipCount.org to see the latest and use the tools to contact those on the fence.
So, here’s the bottom line: any hope of a real course correction depends on winning not just the White House, but the Senate too. And as long as we do the necessary work, it’s within reach. Don’t wait. Get involved today.
So, if making sure we don’t start the post-Trump era with a lame duck Democratic president is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Helping Flip the Senate via Swing Left so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Volunteer with SwingLeft.org
Learn about the Super State Strategy
Tight Races in Other Red States:
AK: Unseat Sullivan. Give to Dr. Al Gross. (tied)
SC: Unseat Graham. Give to Jaime Harrison. (down by 1% points)
MS: Unset Hyde-Smith. Give to Mike Espy. (down by 1% points)
MT: Unseat Daines. Give to Steve Bullock. (down by 1% point)
KS: Open seat. Give to Bollier. (down by 7% points)
MI: Help Sen. Gary Peters. (up by 7% points)
EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
Democrats Will Be Lost Without the Senate (The Nation)
Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America (Rolling Stone)
The Other Way Trump Could Destroy the Next Presidency (The Atlantic)
Posted October 6, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1372: The Supreme Court. Before, During and After Ruth Bader Ginsburg.