Domestic (In)justice Activism Opportunities

  • Voting Is Not Enough: FINAL PUSH! GOTV & DONATE STRATEGICALLY!

    Final_Push_GOTV_and_Donate.pngNext 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.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    GOTV: Swing Left | Field Team 6 | Vote Save America | Indivisible

    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)

    How Biden — or Trump — could win 270 electoral votes (Vox)

    Stop giving your money to presidential campaigns, donate to local races instead (Business Insider)

    Vision 2020: How soon will we know the US election outcome? (AP)

    US Election 2020: When will we get a result and could it be contested? (BBC)

    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

  • Voting Is Not Enough: GET OUT THE VOTE!

    Get_out_the_vote_final_2_weeks.pngIt’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?

    Ignore it.

    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.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    TheLastWeekends.org

    SwingLeft.org/funds

    FieldTeam6.org

    VoteSaveAmerica.com

    Voting problems?

    Call 866-OUR-VOTE or 866OurVote.org

    Help Voters: Volunteer at ProtectTheVote.net

    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE

    The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President (The Atlantic)

    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

  • Voting Is Not Enough: Fight Voter Suppression & Help Restore Native Voting Rights

    Fight_Suppression_-_multi_org_image.pngAs of the publishing of this episode (Oct. 13th), there are only 3 weeks left until Election Day. Just 21 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.

    Voting is happening NOW in record numbers, but at the same time we’re also witnessing desperate attempts by the GOP to suppress votes in any way they can - legally and illegally

    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.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    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: Work to Overcome Racist Voter Suppression in Yet Another Election Without the Full Voting Rights Act via @VoteRiders @votedotorg @natlvoterregday @fieldteam6 @NAACP @morethanavote @fairerelections

    VoteRiders.pngAs of the publishing of this episode, there are exactly 42 days until Election Day. That’s 6 weeks. A month and a half.

    To make sure every one of those days to count, we’ve launched our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not. All of the segments and information can be accessed from the “Voting is Not Enough” banner at BestoftheLeft.com, or directly at BestoftheLeft.com/2020action.

    We want to start today by acknowledging the devastating loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. May her memory be a blessing, and a revolution. Justice Ginsburg, using the law as her tool, dedicated her life to making our society more equal and to protecting rights of all kinds, including voting rights. When her conservative colleagues gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, she famously wrote in her passionate descent, “Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

    As we face yet another national election without the key protections of the Voting Rights Act, we have to work 100 times harder to ensure marginalized groups get access to the ballot. New, strict voter ID laws, proof of citizenship laws, increased purging of voter rolls, increased closing of polling places in predominantly poor, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities…these are the fallouts of losing the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

    So, how do we overcome these racist and oppressive hurdles? Here are a few ways…

    1) Confirm Voter Registration & Talk to Purged Voters: As we mentioned in our last segment, voter registration is key. But it’s not just about getting new people to register - though that’s important - it’s also about making sure registered voters haven’t been purged and have updated their address or name change. Having an updated registration can be the difference between a regular ballot or a provisional ballot on election day. With voter registration deadlines coming up fast, commit to helping people register and check their status. Visit Vote.org for all the links you need, or visit NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org and look under Resources for the Toolkit for Individuals.

    This year, Grassroots Democrats HQ and Field Team 6 have made it possible to volunteer to phone or text bank actual purged voters in key states and help them get re-registered! Many people never know they have been purged until it’s too late, so help alert these voters to their status and get them registered again. Go to FieldTeam6.org and check their Calendar of Events for opportunities.

    2) Help People Get Necessary Voter IDs: Voter ID laws aren’t going away any time soon, so Vote Riders has begun providing voter ID assistance to help every American cast a ballot. VoteRiders will help you identify the documents you need to get an ID, request and pay for the documents, pay the DMV fees, and even drive you to the DMV for free. 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, you can become a volunteer to help make sure voters know the information they need and/or donate to support their sadly necessary work.

    3) Increase Black Voter Turnout: The NAACP’s Black Voices Change Lives is using indirect relational voter turnout to mobilize Black voters this fall. This means engaged Black voters call unengaged Black voters in specific battleground states where the data shows that the Black vote is the determining factor in the outcome. If you don’t identify as Black, you are still welcome to volunteer. Go to BlackVoicesChangeLives.org for more.

    4) Become a Poll Worker: As we’ve previously mentioned, becoming a poll worker is one of the most effective things you can do to help fight the closing of polling places and reduce long lines. Go to WorkElections.com to find out how to sign up in your state, or go to MoreThanAVote.org which is specifically recruiting poll workers in heavily Black districts across the country.

    We know the Supreme Court nomination and Senate races are at the top of everyone’s mind right now, but fighting voter suppression is essential to making sure we have a shot at saving our democracy come November. We’ll be focusing on the Senate races next time, but we’ve included links in the show notes today to get you started. Use the time saved to ponder how we came to have a system where the passing of one, 87-year-old-woman caused tens of millions of people to be gripped with justifiable fear and existential dread.

    So, if making sure disenfranchised voters have a voice this November is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Working to Overcome Racist Voter Suppression in Yet Another Election Without the Full Voting Rights Act via social media  - or, uh, maybe call a few friends instead? - so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    Fight Systemic Voter Suppression:

    1) Confirm Voter Registration & Talk to Purged Voters:

    Vote.org

    National Voter Registration Day Toolkit

    Call purged voters: Field Team 6 Actions (with Grassroots Democrats HQ)

    2) Help People Get Necessary IDs to Vote:

    VoteRiders Free Help

    3) Increase Black Voter Turnout:

    NAACP Black Voices Change Lives

    4) Become a Poll Worker:

    WorkElections.com

    MoreThanaVote.org

    **React to Ginsburg's Passing with Action**

    Volunteer with SwingLeft to Flip the Senate & Target Super States

    Donate to Targeted Super States via SwingLeft

    Special Elections (Winner sworn-in in November!):

    AZ: Unseat McSally. Give to Mark Kelly.  (leading by 9% points) (CPR Rating: Leans D)

    GA: Unseat Loeffler. Give to Rev. Raphael Warnock(down by 4% points) (CPR Rating: Lean R)

    Tightening Polls Toss Ups:

    MT: Unseat Daines. Give to Steve Bullock. (down by 1% point)

    GA: Unseat Perdue. Give to Jon Ossoff. (down by 2% points)

    IA: Unseat Ernst: Give to Theresa Greenfield. (leading by 3% points)

    ME: Unseat Collins. Give to Sara Gideon. (leading by 5-7% points)

    NC: Unseat Tillis. Give to Cal Cunningham. (leading by 6% points)

    CO: Unseat Gardener. Give to John Hickenlooper. (leading by 7% points)

    Close Polls Lean R & Likely R:

    AK: Unseat Sullivan. Give to Dr. Al Gross. (tied)

    SC: Unseat Graham. Give to Jaime Harrison. (down by 1% points)

    TX: Unseat Cornyn. Give to MJ Hegar. (down by 2% points)

    KS: Open seat. Give to Bollier. (down by 2% points)

    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE

    7 Years of Gutting Voting Rights (Brennan Center for Justice)

    In 2013 the supreme court gutted voting rights – how has it changed the US? (The Guardian)

    Here's *exactly* how Democrats win the Senate (CNN)

     

    Posted September 22, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1369: The Business Model That Ate the World (Facebook)

  • Voting Is Not Enough: Know Your State’s 2020 Voting Rules & Voting Best Practices & Help Others

    Know_the_rules_and_vote_asap.pngAs of the publishing of this episode (Sept. 15th), there are exactly 49 days until Election Day. That’s 7 weeks. Less than 2 months.

    To make sure every one of those days to count, we’ve launched our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not.

    From now until election day, we’ll be highlighting different ways you can be spending time and/or money to support a free and fair election, as well as Democrats down the ballot and all the way up to the Biden-Harris ticket. All of this information can be accessed from the “Voting is Not Enough” banner at BestoftheLeft.com, or directly at BestoftheLeft.com/2020 Action.

    As you’ve heard today, the Republican attacks on the United States Post Office are nothing new. But in an election year, with an authoritarian wannabe as president and a pandemic gripping the nation, these attacks have reached a new level with dire consequences for democracy.

    By design, damaging the Post Office not only puts more of the burden on the voter to figure out the best way to vote, but also forces them to weigh their personal health risk. The resulting voter suppression should not be underestimated. While many will vote no matter what, millions of people are feeling overwhelmed.

    That’s why it is critical to understand and share the resources that make the new 2020 rules and voting options as clear and concise as possible. The statistical analysis publication, FiveThirtyEight, has put together a regularly-updated project called “How to Vote in the 2020 Election.” It color codes each state by how easy or difficult it is to vote by mail, then you can click on each state to instantly see everything form the voter registration deadline, to early voting information, to how to request a ballot, to how to vote in person. It also provides a brief summary with links on any pending lawsuits related to voting and notes whether any plans to close polling places have been announced. New rules in place for 2020 are noted so you can easily see what, if anything, has changed.

    But even if you know all of the rules, there are still some best practices to follow:

    #1: If you are planning to vote absentee, request your ballot NOW. Do not wait one more second. The ballot will be mailed to you, so you must factor in not only delays, but the unfortunate possibility that you never receive the ballot at all. You’ll need time to re-request one or find out if you can pick up the ballot at your local election office.

    #2: When you get your absentee ballot, do not wait to vote. Time is of the essence, but be sure you follow your state’s absentee ballot rules to the letter. There are many reasons a ballot could get rejected, like you forgot to sign it, or your signature doesn’t match the one on file, improper marking, or the ballot arrives too late. The Associated Press reported just last week that absentee ballot rejections could triple in battleground states because voters who usually vote in person are unfamiliar with the absentee ballot rules. So, be methodical!

    #3: Find your local drop boxes. If you are concerned about relying on the Post Office - and that’s a valid concern - go to your state’s secretary of state website or call your local election office to find out the location of ballot drop boxes. During the primaries, these boxes were often located at local city halls, but more rural areas may have more options.

    #4: Track your ballot. Most states provide a way to track your ballot online and see if it has been received and accepted. The sooner you submit your absentee ballot, the sooner you will know wether or not your vote counted and the more time you’ll have to try to resolve any issues that may arise. To find the tracker, first find your state or local election office

    And finally, voting in person is still an option (find your polling place). Experts are saying that as long as safeguards are in place - like mask requirements, 6 feet distance rules, and frequent wiping down of surfaces - your risk is relatively low and about the same as a trip to the grocery store. However, this is America and the sad fact is that you cannot always rely on your fellow citizens to abide by the health rules. Additionally, if we don’t have enough poll workers and polling places, lines could be extremely long. We say all this not to discourage you, but to help you make an informed decision and to help you help others in your life as well.

    So, if making sure every vote is accepted and counted is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Knowing Your State’s 2020 Voting Rules & Voting Best Practices via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Explore and share the "How to Vote in the 2020 Election" Project (FiveThirtyEight)

    Remember & Share These Voting Best Practices: 

    1. Request your absentee ballot ASAP! RIGHT NOW! 

    2. When you have your ballot, vote ASAP but follow ballot rules to the letter to avoid rejection!

    3. If you don't want to mail your ballot, find local ballot drop boxes through your state's Secretary of State website or by calling your local election office. Find my state or local election office

    4. Track your ballot online to ensure it was received and accepted! To find the tracker, first find your state or local election office

    Voting in person is still an option, but be prepared for people to disobey health rules, and for long lines and reduced polling places. Find your polling place

    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE

    Voter Registration Deadlines (Vote.org)

    Voting by mail in a pandemic: A state-by-state scorecard (Brookings)

    How to Vote by Mail in All 50 States (Vice)

    The Most Important Mail You'll Ever Send: A Ballot (NPR)

    In battlegrounds, absentee ballot rejections could triple (AP)

    A white person and a Black person vote by mail in the same state. Whose ballot is more likely to be rejected? (NBC News)

    If You Can Grocery Shop in Person, You Can Vote in Person (The Atlantic)

     

    Posted September 15, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1367: The Post Office and the Census, Unmaking the American Institutions That Most Bind Us Together

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