Domestic (In)justice Activism Opportunities

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Primaries): Support Progressives in New Hampshire on 9/11 and Rhode Island on 9/12

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th.

    With the exception of Louisiana, the Senate and House candidates for the Midterms are nearly set. We want to remind you that the Massachusetts primary is coming up on September 4th and Delaware primary is on September 6th. If you missed our spotlights on those states, head to best of the left dot com slash activism.

    You can still make a difference by getting involved, no matter what state you live in. Both Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress offer Get Out the Vote online calling and texting tools, with scripts on individual candidates, allowing you to talk to voters from the comfort of home. This is a great way to make a real impact. 

    Today, we’re going to talk about New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

    SEPTEMBER 11TH

    NEW HAMPSHIRE (Reg. Deadlines: Primary & General: Same day registration & voting (*see details); NO online registration)

    1st District: Brand New Congress candidate and New Hampshire state representative, Mindi Messemer, is running for congress in a Democratic primary field of 11 candidates. She’s one of only two candidates not taking special interest or PAC money. A former environmental scientist, her whistleblowing on cancer-causing water contamination from a landfill in her community and the difficult fight to address it lead her to run for State Rep. New Hampshire’s 1st district is known as a district that constantly swings and Trump only won the district by less than 2 percentage points. On the Republican side, two candidates are spending way more than they are taking in while duking it out over which one of them is the “Trumpiest.”

    Governor: New Hampshire’s Republican Chris Sununu is up for re-election this year. The Democrats vying to run against him in November are State Rep Molly Kelly and Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand. Both are focusing on Sununu’s hindering of the sate’s renewable energy industry. Neither Kelly nor Marchand are championing Medicare for All, but Kelly says health care is a right while healthcare is not an issue listed on Marchand’s website. Both are opposed to a major hydro project and natural gas pipeline project proposed in the state.

    Important Dates: New Hampshire voting is sadly restrictive. Unregistered voters can theoretically register in person and vote on primary day, but details vary by locality and required documents and voter ID laws apply. If you want to be registered before primary day, your physical registration form must be received 10 days head of the election since online voter registration is not available. We’ve included a link to a list of contact information for all New Hampshire Local Election Offices in the show notes for your convenience. If you plan to vote in the general, don’t wait to start this process.

    SEPTEMBER 12TH

    RHODE ISLAND (Reg. Deadlines: Primary: August 13th / General: Oct 9th)

    Governor: In the race for governor of Rhode Island, Justice Democrat and former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown is running to take the nomination away from the Democratic incumbent Gina Raimondo. Brown has entered the race to roll back Raimondo’s restrictions on abortion, end her corporate giveaways at the expense of locals, fight for Medicare for All, and build a sustainable local renewable energy economy. Brown is also co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize nominated organization Global Zero, which works to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.

    Lieutenant Governor: As for Lieutenant Governor, Justice Democrat Aaron Regunberg is hoping to knock out incumbent Democrat Daniel McKee. Regunberg has endorsements from Rhode Island chapters of Our Revolution. Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Clean Water Action, and many more.

    Important Dates: The voter registration deadline to participate in the Rhode Island primary was August 13th. The deadline to vote in the general election is October 9th.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE:

    *Reminder! Massachusetts on 9/4 & Delaware on 9/6*

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    PHONE BANK with Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”  & Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer & Voter Circle

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)

    SEPT. 11TH - NEW HAMPSHIRE

    NH Voter Info from Rock the Vote

    List of NH Election Offices

    1st district: Mindi Messemer 

    Governor: Molly Kelly vs. Steve Marchand  (Further Reading: NHPR | Concord Monitor)

    SEPT. 12TH - RHODE ISLAND

    RI Voter Info from Rock the Vote

    Governor: Matt Brown 

    Lt. Governor: Aaron Regunberg 

     

    Posted August 31, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1206: The war on journalism, truth and democracy itself

     

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Primaries): Support Progressives in Massachusetts on 9/4 and Delaware on 9/6

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th.

    We want to remind you that primaries in Arizona and Florida are right around the corner on August 28th. If you missed our spotlights on those states, head to our Activism portal or click the link in the previous sentence.

    You can make a difference in all remaining primaries by getting involved, no matter what state you live in. Both Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress offer Get Out the Vote online calling and texting tools, with scripts on individual candidates, allowing you to talk to voters from the comfort of home. This is a great way to make a real impact. 

    Today, we’re going to talk about Massachusetts, which holds its primary on September 4th, and Delaware, which will hold its primary two days later on September 6th.

    SEPTEMBER 4TH

    MASSACHUSETTS (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - August 15th/ General - October 17th)

    3rd District: There is an extremely crowded field of Democrats in Massachusetts’ 3rd District, where Justice Democrat and Latino Victory candidate Juana Matias is running for congress. With the incumbent retiring, this is the first contested Democratic primary for the seat since 1994. Matias is currently a state representative and is running a grass roots campaign against establishment candidates with big money behind them.

    7th District: In Massachusetts’ 7th District, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is a Justice Democrat making waves. She is primarying incumbent Michael Capuano who, to be fair, is a life-long champion of progressive policies before they were mainstream and has held this House seat since 1998. Though they both believe in progressive ideals, the two have very different approaches to solutions and identifying root causes. A video of Pressley, who is black, in which she shares her thoughts on identity politics and representation during a recent debate, has gone viral. According to the Boston Globe, the 7th district is one of the most diverse and economically unequal in the state.

    Governor: When it comes to Governor, Massachusetts is one of those deep blue states that more often than not votes in a moderate Republican. Mitt Romney wasn’t the only one. Current Governor Charlie Baker is another moderate Republican up for reelection this year and he’s popular because he doesn’t often rock the boat with Democrats. But although he says he accepts climate science, he’s a big proponent of new fossil-fuel infrastructure. The people of Massachusetts have better options this year. One of them is Democrat Bob Massie, a lifelong national healthcare system advocate and climate activist who founded both the New Economy Coalition and the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston. He recently received the endorsement of Our Revolution and Massachusetts Peace Action.

    Important Dates: To participate in the Massachusetts primary on September 6th, you must have been registered to vote by August 15th. Absentee ballot requests must be received by August 31st and ballots must be received by September 4th. If you aren’t registered yet, make sure you are registered by October 17th to participate in the general.

    September 6TH

    DELAWARE (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - August 11th / General - October 13th)

    U.S. Senate: The Senate race in Delaware is a stark example of establishment vs. bold new progressive blood. Friend of big banks and incumbent Senator Tom Carper has held political office of some kind in Delaware since 1976, and he’s got an endorsement from Joe Biden. His primary opponent is Kerri Evelyn Harris, a Justice Democrat and and veteran with backing from Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Harris is running a low budget campaign funded by the people and is working hard to expose the myth that making corporations happy is good for the people. If she wins in November, she would be the first woman, first African-American, and first openly LGBT candidate to be a U.S. Senator for Delaware.

    Important Dates: To participate in the Delaware primary on September 4th, you must have been registered to vote by  August 11th. Absentee ballots must be requested by September 5th at noon and ballots must be received by September 6th at 8pm. If you aren’t registered, make sure you register by October 13th to vote in the general.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Quick links!)

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Phone bank with Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”  & Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)

    SEPT. 4TH

    MASSACHUSETTS (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - August 15th/ General - October 17th)

    3rd District: Juana Matias

    7th District: Ayanna Pressley (Further reading)

    Governor: Bob Massie (Voter Circle) (Further reading)

    SEPT. 6TH

    DELAWARE (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - August 11th / General - October 13th)

    Senate: Kerri Evelyn Harris (Further reading)

     

    Posted August 25, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1204: The past, present and future of international trade

     

     

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Primaries): Support Progressives in Arizona and Florida on 8/28

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th. (Quick links at bottom of the page.)

    As the primaries keep coming, progressive candidates are proving their message resonates across the country, and religious, racial, and gender barriers are being broken down along the way. You can help keep this progressive tide rolling by getting involved, no matter what state you live in. Both Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress offer Get Out the Vote online calling and texting tools, with scripts on individual candidates, allowing you to talk to voters from the comfort of home. This is a great way to make a real impact. We’ve included the links to both tools in the show notes.

    Today, we’re going to talk about Arizona and Florida which both have primaries coming up on August 28th.

    ARIZONA  (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - July 30th / General - Oct 9)

    Senate: In Arizona, Deedra Abboud is a Justice Democrat and immigration and estate planning attorney running for Jeff Flake’s soon to be empty Senate seat. Her campaign is focused primarily on getting special interests and lobbying money out of politics and she has been endorsed by the National Organization for Women, Vote Pro Choice, and more. She also happens to be a former Christian who converted to Islam and has faced threats on her life and online abuse during this campaign from far right groups.

    2nd District: In Arizona’s 2nd district, Mary Matiella is running for congress. Matiella is the former CFO of the US Forest Service, former Assistant CFO of Housing and Urban Development, and was nominated by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Army. She is also a Justice Democrat who has endorsements from Demand Universal Healthcare, Democracy for America and Common Defense.

    3rd District: Raul Grijalva is a Justice Democrat and Latino Victory incumbent running to retain his congressional seat in Arizona’s third district. He faces a write-in candidate in the primary, but it very likely to win. (Not featured on air for time.)

    Governor: Veteran and former teacher, David Garcia, is leading in the Democratic primary for Governor of Arizona. Garcia supports Medicare for All, tuition free public college, wants Arizona to become a solar superpower, and is not accepting lobbyist campaign contributions. He’s been endorsed by Latino Victory, The Working Families Party, People’s Action, NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona, and more. If he wins, he will face current Arizona Governor and Republican Doug Ducey in November. Garcia is already facing some of the 7 million dollars in opposition efforts from the Republican Governors Association which attack his position to replace ICE with a system that quote “reflects our values.”

    Important Dates: The voter registration deadline to participate in the Arizona primary was July 30th. If you were registered by then, early voting is going on right now. A heads up that the voter registration deadline for the general election is October 9th.

    We now turn to Florida.

    FLORIDA  (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - July 30th / General - Oct 9) 

    7th District: Veteran and civil rights activist Chardo Richardson is a Justice Democrat and Brand New Congress congressional candidate for for Florida’s 7th district.

    8th District: In Florida’s 8th district, Sanjay Patel is a first-generation immigration and former small business owner running for congress. His campaign focuses on ensuring fair wages and a reasonable cost of living for all working people and, of course, he supports Medicare for All.

    18th District: In Florida’s 18th district, Pam Keith is a Justice Democrat running to unseat Republican Brian Mast. Her campaign is focused on reform of the broken criminal justice system and closing the income gap.

    26th District: In Florida’s 26th district, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is running for congress. She has been endorsed by End Citizens United, Latino Victory, NARAL, Common Defense, Planned Parenthood and Moms Demand Action.

    27th District: Michael Hepburn is a Justice Democrat and Brand New Congress candidate running in Florida’s 27th district. Hepburn is a former Fortune 500 Company Executive and Academic Adviser at the University of Miami Business School. He is advocating for universal pre-K to tuition free public colleges, universities and trade schools, a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, end of mass incarceration and rebuilding the economy with renewable energy and infrastructure repairs.

    Senate: Florida’s Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson, is up for reelection and facing Florida Governor Rick Scott in November.

    Governor: Since Rick Scott has reached his term limits and is now running for Senate, Floridians will be voting for a new Governor. Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, has recently been endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Women’s March Florida and is picking up steam in the polls against his primary opponent, Gwen Graham. He is fighting for a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, abolishing ICE, a ban on assault weapons, an end to the Stand Your Ground law, marijuana legalization, restoration of voting rights for felons, and more. As we’ve mentioned, the national importance of this race is that whoever holds the office will be involved in the state’s redistricting process following the 2020 Census.

    Important Dates: You must have been registered to vote by July 30th to participate in the Florida primary. Early voting is going on now. If you didn’t make the cut off, be sure to be ready for the general by registering by October 9th.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE:

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Phone bank with Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”  & Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)

    AUGUST 28TH

    Arizona (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - July 30th / General - Oct 9)

    EARLY VOTING: Aug 1st-28th

    U.S. Senate: Deedra Abboud 

    U.S. House 2nd District: Mary Matiella 

    U.S. House 3rd District: Raul Grijalva (incumbent; will likely win primary) 

    Governor: David Garcia

    Florida (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries - July 30th / General - Oct 9) 

    EARLY VOTING: Aug 18th-25th

    U.S. House 7th District: Chardo Richardson

    U.S. House 8th District: Sanjay Patel 

    U.S. House 18th District: Pam Keith

    U.S. House 26th District: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 

    U.S. House 27th District: Michael Hepburn

    Heads up for Nov. 6th! U.S. Senate: Bill Nelson (incumbent; uncontested in primary; running against Rick Scott in Nov)

    Governor: Andrew Gillum

     

    Posted August 21, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1203: The causes and dangers of the international rise of the right

     

     

     

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Primaries): Support Progressives in Alaska and Wyoming on 8/21

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th.

    As we produced this episode, primaries wrapped up in four states where, altogether, thirteen Justice Democrats were vying for congressional and gubernatorial nominations. If you’re kicking yourself because you wish you’d taken more action to support progressive and liberal candidates in those primaries, time to double down.

    Hawaii’s primary is August 11th and primaries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Vermont are on August 14th. Check out the links to our previous spotlights on the races in these states and then, whatever state you live in, take action. Both Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress offer Get Out the Vote online calling and texting tools, with scripts on individual candidates, allowing you to talk to primary voters from wherever you are. This is a great way to make a real impact. 

    Today, we’re going to talk about Alaska and Wyoming which both have primaries coming up on August 21st. Although these are states where Democrats, let alone progressives, don’t often thrive, there are a few candidates trying to change that this year.

    AUGUST 21st PRIMARIES:

    ALASKA

    Governor: Alaska’s current governor, former Republican and current Independent, Bill Walker, and his Democrat Lieutenant Governor are up for reelection this year. But former Senator Mark Begich, a solid Democrat, threw his hat in the ring, causing Walker to run as a petition candidate. This has created a three way race that could divide left-leaning voters and so things may get very ugly as Begich and Walker each try to knock each other out. In July, the expected Republican candidate had a 5 point lead on Walker. Begich has the voting record of a relative moderate, but Walker was a former oil and gas lawyer with a long GOP history. Begich’s running mate is Debra Call, an Alaska Native and former executive of multiple Alaska Native organizations. Unfortunately, all candidates - on both sides - support the sale of drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As with every race for governor, the national importance is that whoever holds the office will be involved in the state’s redistricting process following the 2020 Census.

    U.S. House At Large: Alaska’s sole congressional seat is currently held by anti-woman, anti-environment, anti-LGBT Republican Don Young, the longest serving member of Congress. The two viable candidates running for the Democratic nomination are both political newcomers. Progressive Democrat Dimitri Shein supports Improved Medicare for All, investments in renewable energy and his campaign does not accept corporate PAC contributions. Independent Alyse Galvin is a public schools advocate who supports investments in renewable energy and believes responsible natural resource development is possible, though she opposes the Pebble Mine Project.

    Important Dates: Alaska Democrats have an open primary, but your registration must have been received by July 22nd to participate. Early voting is going on right now and we’ve included the link to the early voting locations in the show notes. Mailed ballot requests must be received by August 11th. Absentee ballots must be requested by August 20th and completed ballots must be received by August 31st.

    WYOMING

    We turn now to Republican controlled Wyoming, where, believe it or not, the state Democratic Party is feeling optimistic. A few state legislative seats appear likely to swing to the Democrats and others are at least plausible pick ups.

    Governor: Wyoming’s current Governor, Republican Matt Mead, has reached his term limit and six climate science-denying GOPers are in a tight primary race for the nomination. But there is a clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary: former state representative, Mary Throne. She is the only candidate proposing the absolutely necessary tax increases to resolve Wyoming’s deficit after years of cuts by Mead. But unfortunately, she’s still pandering to Wyoming’s energy sector. Her opponents, Rex Wilde and Ken Casner, both lean more toward renewables. Wilde is advocating legalization of marijuana to increase tax revenue and tourism. Again, the national importance of governorships is that whoever holds the office will be involved in the state’s redistricting process in 2020.

    U.S. House At Large: Like Alaska, Wyoming has just one congressional seat for the whole state and its held by Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick Cheney. Cheney is up for reelection this year but facing two GOP primary opponents. The Democrats eyeing Cheney’s seat are Travis Helm and Greg Hunter. Hunter wants to expand Medicaid in the state in the short term and supports “Medicare for All” as the long term solution. But this guy is from Wyoming, so when it comes to guns, he only supports more stringent requirements for AR-15s, not any ban of any kind. Hunter used to be a Republican, but switched parties in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq. His opponent, Travis Helm, has a similar political transition story, supports a public, universal healthcare system and keeping public lands under federal control.

    Heads up! U.S. Senate: Wyoming’s Senate seat is also up for grabs this year, but Gary Trauner is the only Democratic candidate so he will move on to November. Six Republicans are running for the GOP nomination even though incumbent Republican John Barasso is running for reelection. So far, ninety-five percent of Barasso’s fundraising has come from outside the state.

    Important Dates: If you’re a Wyoming resident, your registration must have been received by August 6th to vote in the primary. However, Wyoming does offer election day registration and voting, so you have another chance. Absentee ballot requests must be requested by August 20th and completed ballots must be received by 7pm on August 21st.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    To check out our previous Midterms Minutes segments, go to BestoftheLeft.com/activism.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (QUICK LINKS):

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Phone bank with Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”  & Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)

    August 21st Primaries:

    ALASKA (Reg. Deadlines: Primary: July 22nd / General: Oct. 7th)

    Early voting happening now! Find locations 

    Governor - Mark Begich and Dana Call

    U.S. House At Large - Dimitri Shein (Dem) vs. Alyse Galvin (Ind)

    WYOMING (Reg. Deadlines: Primary: Aug. 6th or day-of in-person / General: Oct. 22nd)

    Governor: Mary Throne  vs. Ken Casper vs. Rex Wilde

    U.S. House At Large - Greg Hunter vs. Travis Helm

    Heads up for Nov. 6th! U.S. Senate - Gary Trauner (uncontested in primary)

     

    Posted August 7, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1200: The Democratic autopsy and the progressive path forward

     

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (Primaries): Support Progressives in Connecticut and Vermont (and MN and WI) on 8/14

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngWelcome to The Midterms Minute: a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th. (Quick links at bottom of the page.)

    In our last two segments, we spotlighted the Minnesota and Wisconsin primaries which are both happening on August 14th. If you missed those segments, check out our previous episodes or visit bestoftheleft.com/activism. Today, we’ll round out the August 14th primaries with spotlights on Connecticut and Vermont.

    AUGUST 14th: 

    CONNECTICUT (Reg. Deadlines - Primary: Online, mail, or in person by Thurs. Aug 9th / General: Oct. 30th)

    Governor: There is a competitive Democratic primary for governor in Connecticut. Businessman Ned Lamont is the state Working Families Party choice and is running on criminal justice reform and a $15 minimum wage. His opponent is currently mayor of Bridgeport, but previously went to jail for seven years after being convicted of extortion and bribery while in office. Lamont is polling neck-and-neck with the expected Republican nominee. Politico has called this a race to watch, because, as you may recall, governors elected this year will be involved in their states’ redistricting process following the 2020 Census.

    5th District: Connecticut’s 5th district is another race where Republicans have a chance in November. And so, the Democratic primary has been heated. But Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, has grabbed national attention with her energy and inspiring life story. Unlike her opponent, she supports single-payer and has received endorsements that include the Working Families Party and AFL-CIO Connecticut. If she wins, she could become the first African American to represent the state. Connecticut’s Democratic Party establishment has expressed concern about her lack of political experience, but she was drafted to run and has a strong ally in Senator Chris Murphy.

    Important Dates: If you’re a Connecticut resident, your voter registration, whether online, mailed, or in-person, must be received by August 9th.

    VERMONT (Reg. Deadlines - Primary: Early voting has begun. Must be registered by Aug. 14th / General: Nov. 6th)

    Representative At Large: Turning now to Vermont, Democratic incumbent Representative Peter Welch is facing a primary challenge for his congressional seat, which is the only House seat Vermont has. A few months ago, it came to light that Welch received campaign contributions and bought and sold stock from the very companies lobbying for the prescription drug bill he championed. Thank goodness Vermonters have a choice. Doctor and veteran Daniel Freilich is running a campaign primarily focused on campaign finance reform and anti-corruption that also includes medicare for all, a green revolution, and other progressive policies.

    Governor: Also in Vermont, Republican Phill Scot, a first term and well-liked governor, is up for reelection. As we’ve already mentioned, governorships are critical this year. In the Democratic primary there are two front runners. Christine Hellquist is the former CEO of the successful Vermont Electricity Cooperative. She’s running on a progressive platform, touting her leadership experience in utilities, and her campaign is the first ever in Vermont to organize a union contract with campaign staff. If she won in November, she would also be the first openly transgender governor in the country. Environmentalist, James Ehlers, is the other primary front runner. He’s also running on progressive policies, although the self-proclaimed “provocateur” has some strange tweets about unions and abortion in his past. He says his views have evolved since then and the AFL-CIO has endorsed him. It’s also worth noting that a 13 year old - Ethan Sonneborn - is another legitimate candidate in this primary race. Though he likely won’t win, he’s taking his campaign very seriously with a message that is all about inspiring young people to get politically engaged. 

    U.S. Senate: And finally, Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, the most well-liked politician in the country, is facing two primary opponents. One is a self proclaimed “Clintonian” and “Obamacrat” who moved to Vermont after the 2016 presidential election with the specific goal of unseating Sanders. The other is a farmer running as an Independent with a focus on fighting climate change. He says he likes Bernie but is concerned that his focus is too national and that he’ll leave the office to run for president again in 2020.

    Important Dates: If you’re a Vermont resident, early voting has already begun and you must be registered by primary day, August 14th, to vote in the primaries.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE:

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)

    August 14th Primaries:

    Connecticut (Reg. Deadlines - Primary: Online, mail, or in person by Thurs. Aug 9th / General: Oct. 30th)

    Governor (Dem. Primary) - Ned Lamont

    5th District (Dem. Primary) - Jahana Hayes (Heads up! Republicans are vying for this seat in November.)

    Heads up! General Nov. 6th - U.S House - 2nd District - One large county in District 2 pivoted for Trump in 2016. Incumbent Dem. Joe Courtney will run against Republican Dan Postemski in the general.

    Vermont (Reg. Deadlines - Primary: Early voting has begun. Must be registered by Aug. 14th / General: Nov. 6th)

    U.S. House (statewide Rep.) (Dem. Primary) - Daniel Freilich (Read about incumbent Pat Welch corruption)

    Governor - Christine Hallquist vs. James Ehlers vs. Ethan Sonneborn 

    U.S. Senate - Bernie Sanders 

    *Minnesota (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Online: July 24th, In person: Until August 14th / General: Oct. 9th) 

    *Read our MN spotlight*

    U.S. House - 5th District: Ilhan Omar 

    U.S. House - 8th District: Michelle Lee 

    U.S. Senate (Dem. Primary for Nov. Special Election) - Tina Smith 

    Governor (Dem. Primary) - Erin Murphy 

    *Wisconsin (Reg. Deadlines - Primary: Post-marked by July 25th, or in-person by Aug 10th / General: post-marked by Oct. 17th, in-person by Nov. 2nd)

    *Read our spotlight*

    U.S. House - 1st District: Randy Bryce vs. Cathy Myers

    Star Tribune Article on Bryce’s arrests & Bryce’s response 

    U.S. House - 4th District: Incumbent Gwen Moore will very likely win her primary.

    U.S. House - 7th District: Margaret Engebretson

    Governor: Tony Evers | Mike McCabe

    Heads Up! General Nov. 6th: U.S. Senate - Incumbent Tammy Baldwin is running for reelection in Nov. and facing $8.5 million in conservative money against her. 

     

    Posted July 24, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1198: All we have to fear is fear itself (Our Culture of Fear)

     

  • Tell Congress: Punitive Drug Policies Don’t Work. Harm-Reduction Does. via @DrugPolicyOrg

    Drug_Policy_Alliance_.pngThis month, in the midst of the chaos of yet another major east coast snowstorm, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo “strongly encouraging” federal prosecutors to apply charges that bring the death penalty in certain drug cases, including “dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs.”

    As this is part of the Trump administration’s response to the opioid crisis, many, including myself, have wondered aloud if Sessions would advocate using capital punishment on pharmaceutical executives.

    The ACLU responded to Session’s memo by calling it absurd and unconstitutional, stating, “Drug trafficking is not an offense for which someone can receive the death penalty. The Supreme Court has repeatedly and consistently rejected the use of the death penalty in cases where there has been no murder by the convicted individual.”

    Beyond that, the organization Drug Policy Alliance has extensively detailed reports on why what are called “drug-induced homicide” laws are counterproductive and inhumane. At the peak of the War on Drugs in the 1980s, the federal government and many states passed these laws to punish people who provided drugs that led to accidental overdose deaths with sentences equivalent to those for manslaughter and murder. They were rarely used, but with the recent spike in overdose deaths, they have been revived by police and prosecutors. There was a 300 percent increase in these charges from 2011 to 2016.

    As with most drug laws, drug-induced homicide laws disproportionately affect the poor, people of color, and those with felony records who have a difficult time getting jobs. Not only that, but they can provide a disincentive to call for help when witnessing an overdose if that person has provided the drugs. And we’re not just talking about selling drugs to a stranger. Many have lost loved ones from an accidental overdose after sharing drugs with them and then lost their freedom, and sometimes children, because they were the ones who provided those drugs.

    The Drug Policy Alliance is encouraging people to respond to Session’s memo by writing and calling your members of congress. On their campaign page, which we’ve linked to in the show notes, they have provided a sample letter that you can send immediately to your members of congress. That letter can also double as a call script guide.

    The Drug Policy Alliance advocates for the expansion of harm reduction services and effective treatment, including establishment of safe consumption services, drug checking, syringe access programs, 911 Good Samaritan laws and evidence-based drug education. The organization also advocates for the Marijuana Justice Act that would end federal marijuana prohibition, support racial justice, and help repair communities most devastated by the war on drugs. But, as you know, we need to take back the House and Senate this November if we ever hope to see that legislation passed. Head over to DrugPolicy.org to learn more.

    So, if opposing failed policies and adopting the solutions that will save lives instead is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Telling Congress that Punitive Drug Policies Don’t Work. Harm-Reduction Does. via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Tell Congress: Stand Against Harsh Drug Penalties via Drug Policy Alliance 

    Tip: Use the sample email as guidance for a call script. 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    An Overdose Death Is Not Murder: Why Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Are Counterproductive and Inhumane (Drug Policy Alliance)

    Experts React to Trump’s Plan to Escalate Drug War and Impose Death Penalty for Drug Offenses (Drug Policy Alliance)

    Read: Jeff Sessions’s memo asking federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers (Vox)

    Legal pot business owners ponder the possibility of death row after Trump administration policy shift (NBC)

    Eleven countries studied, one inescapable conclusion – the drug laws don’t work (The Guardian, 2014)

     

    Posted March 27, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1174: Renewed and repackaged racism (Drug War)

     

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