Introducing IndiMarin 2019!

We look forward to this new year as we continue our work to advance a progressive agenda, provide opportunities for our members to contribute to this mission, and grow and strengthen our organization in preparation for 2020.

Our general membership meetings will continue on the 3rd Thursday in a speaker series format. In addition, monthly book club meetings, post carding events, and a service project or activity will be held. Please check our calendar and FaceBook page frequently and check our newsletter emails for details!

Here is what is planned for January - please see the Calendar page for details and to RSVP.

January 3rd Indivisible's National Day of Action: Indivisible chapters nationwide will make sure that our Members of Congress know that we activists are engaged and poised for action as the 116th Congress kicks off. We'll also be sending a strong message that we want the passage of a robust H.R. 1 to address the foundations of democracy: voting rights, campaign reform, and government ethics reform. As part of this national action, Indivisible Marin has planned two ways to participate: 1) a postcard writing event where we will write all of our federal and state representatives to kick off a year of advocacy for progressive change, and, 2) a social media event where members can participate online.  Please be sure to sign up for at least one of these events to raise your voice at the start of the new Congressional session.

January 17th at 7 pm: General Membership Meeting: RSVP Here

January 28th at 7 PM: IndiMarin Book Club - Join us for the first meeting of IndiMarin's new book club. We'll be discussing Dan Pheiffer's "Yes We Still Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump."  RSVP Here

January 30th at 7 pm: Postcarding for Progressive Change at The Sports Basement in Novato RSVP Here

We thank you all for your commitment, time, and energy in 2018 and are so glad you are continuing with us moving forward. If you are new to IndiMarin…..welcome! Please feel free to attend any of our events and contact us if you have any questions!

Our Year in Review

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It was an amazing year……Indivisible Marin grew to nearly 1200 members and became a vibrant and productive activist voice both locally and statewide. We attended rallies, marches, and community forums together, met regularly with our elected officials, and held monthly meetings as a source of both education and community for our membership. Individual members became invaluable expert resources for environmental issues, state legislation, and voting rights. Some members took on other leadership roles within the organization by contributing crucial general administrative support and becoming trainers and coordinators for campaign activities (phone banking, text banking, and post carding).

We studied and discussed our district attorney race and then made our first endorsement, held an extremely successful fundraiser to support our campaign activities, and developed a strategy for how to best utilize our time and energy in the midterm general election. We identified winnable races and educated ourselves about the various campaign technologies used by these campaigns. We then developed our own text banking, post carding, and phone banking programs to support those campaigns and trained our membership. With a commitment to making the Blue Wave a reality, together we sent over 500K text messages, wrote 6,000 postcards and made about 1,000 phone calls to elect new, progressive members of Congress - many of them women and people of color. All of the California candidates we campaigned for won their races, but most were extremely close, making our work all that more rewarding. We are especially proud of our work for Katie Hill, who is now the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

Closed Until Further Notice - From Beto O'Rourke

The government of the greatest country the world has ever known, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the planet: closed until further notice.

This shutdown – hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans working without pay during the holidays, basic government functions no longer available to the taxpayers who fund them – didn’t have to happen. The Senate passed a compromise government funding bill two days ago, 100–0. The men and women who can’t agree on what to name a post office were able to unite and unanimously agree on how to fund the entire government.

But maybe it was intended to happen.

Maybe in the face of an investigation that seeks the facts surrounding allegations of collusion with a foreign government and obstruction of justice within our own government… as one aide after another pleads guilty… as the stock market tumbles… as men and women intent on keeping their dignity and their conscience flee his administration… perhaps the President calculates that by adding to the blizzard of bizarre behavior over the last two years and shutting down the government at Christmas, while his own party still controls each branch of it, the institutions that we need for our democracy to function (and to ensure no man is above the law) will be overwhelmed.

From a President who promised action, we got distraction.

But my concern for the country goes beyond the immediate pain and dysfunction that this shutdown will cause. Beyond even ensuring that this President is held accountable. What’s happening now is part of a larger threat to us all.

If our institutions no longer work, if we no longer have faith in them, if there’s no way to count on government even functioning (three shutdowns this year alone), then perhaps ultimately we become open to something else. Whatever we choose to call it, whether we openly acknowledge it at all, my fear is that we will choose certainty, strength and predictability over this constant dysfunction, even if it comes at the price of our democracy (the press; the ballot box; the courts; congress and representative government).

If there were ever a man to exploit this precarious moment for our country and our form of government, it’s Trump. Sending 5,400 troops to U.S. border communities during the midterm elections. Organizing Border Patrol “crowd control” exercises in El Paso on election day. Defying our laws by taking children from their parents, keeping kids in tent camps, turning back refugees at our ports. Calling the press “the enemy of the people” and celebrating violence against members of the media. Pitting Americans against each other based on race and religion and immigration status. Inviting us to hate openly, to call Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, to call asylum seekers animals, to describe Klansmen and neo-Nazis as very fine people. Seeking to disenfranchise fellow Americans with made up fears of voter fraud. Isolating us from the other great democracies as he cozies up to dictators and thugs. Lying again and again. Making a mockery of the United States – once the indispensable nation, the hope of mankind.

So we can engage in the immediate fights about blame for this latest shutdown… fall into his arguments about a wall, or steel slats, at a time of record border security and in the face of asylum seekers – our neighbors – fleeing the deadliest countries in the world… we can respond to his name-calling and grotesque, bizarre behavior… or we can pull up, look back at this moment from the future and see exactly what is happening to our country.

We are at risk of losing those things that make us special, unique, exceptional, those things that make us the destination for people the world over, looking for a better life and fleeing countries who lack our institutions, our rule of law, our stability.

If ever there was a time to put country over party it is now. This is not about a wall, it’s not about border security, it’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about the future of our country – whether our children and grandchildren will thank us or blame us. Whether we will lose what was fought for, made more perfect, by the men and women who risked and lost their lives at Antietam, on Omaha beach, in Jackson, Mississippi… whether we will be defined by greatness and ambition or pettiness and fear. Whether we will continue to live in the world’s greatest democracy, or something else.

In the short term – let’s pass the funding bill that was agreed to by the Senate 100–0 just a few days ago. Send it to the President with the confidence that we represent the people of this country and that we are willing to override his veto if he cannot respect their will. Show that government can work, that we can see past our immediate differences to serve the greater good. To put country over party. To put country over one man. To do what we were sent here to do.

In the longer term – we must strengthen all of our institutions at the very moment they are called into question. Some clear opportunities for Congress: Ensure that our representatives in government reject PAC money, corporate and special interest influence. Demand that they hold town halls in our communities, listen to and respond to their constituents. Show America that they are working for us and for no one else.

Take action on the most urgent issues of our day: climate change, healthcare, endless war, income inequality, immigration, the vibrancy of rural communities and inner cities, education and criminal justice reform. Define the goal in each area, build the coalition to achieve it, find the common ground (between parties, between branches of government), and move forward. Prove that our system of government – whatever its problems – is still the best thing under the sun.

It’s action vs. distraction. One will save our democracy, the other will lead to its end.

- Beto

The Blue Wave Happened....

What’s Ahead?

Checks and Balances

We attained enough power to slow down the destructive GOP/Trump agenda at the national level, gained investigative powers as a check on executive power, flipped many state and local governments which will impact redistricting efforts in our favor, and moved long term Republican states from red to purple or blue.

 A New Activism

A large and powerful grassroots movement was born in the months after November 2016. Progressive organizations now have solid infrastructures in place, extensive campaign experience, well developed organizing and campaigning tools, and hundreds of thousands of activists who saw that hard work pays off – all ready to go in 2020.

 A Shifting Political Demographic

The country moved significantly to the left with the biggest impact in the House of Representatives. Hoping for a pickup of 23 House seats to regain control, the Democratic Party gained 39.  Even in most races where a Republican won, they won by a narrower margin than in recent history.  Blue states became bluer and some traditionally red states are now either blue or purple.   Districts that flipped from Republican to Democrat shifted an AVERAGE of 21 points and the average district shifted 10 points to the left, regardless of whether they were red or blue.

 State Power Shifts

The Republicans have state power grossly disproportionate to the number of Republican voters, but we made huge gains, flipping seven governorships (narrowing the governor gap from double digits to 3), six state legislative chambers, and more than 300 state House and Senate seats.  Democrats have total control in 13 states now, compared to the 21 in GOP hands.

Senate Challenges

The Senate was out of reach in 2018 but 2020 is another story when the Senate map is much more favorable to Democrats. Republicans are defending 22 seats and the Democrats just 12. 

 A Legislative Plan

The House will pass major legislation in areas that people are passionate about, such as health care, campaign finance, gun control, and immigration.  The Democrats have already announced their first bill, which will focus on campaign finance reform, ethics, and anti-corruption measures that encompass presidential tax returns and the Supreme Court.  These measures will not pass the Senate or get signed into law but will be powerful tools in 2020 campaigns. People want solutions and Democrats will have them.

 New Voices

The 2018 midterms launched much needed progressive voices into our national politics, such as Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Women, Muslim, gay, transgender, socialist, people of color, and young candidates are now in office and have a lot to say. 

California Leadership

All major statewide offices are now in Democratic hands, as well as a super majority in both houses of the state legislature. The California Republican Party now ranks 3rd in size behind Democrats and Independents and is seen by some as essentially powerless.

Gavin Newsom will be the first Democratic California governor to succeed another Democrat since the 19th century and will lead a coordinated anti-Trump California agenda. 

Democrats now hold 46 of California’s 53 House seats (including a complete flip in all former Republican stronghold Orange County districts).  California representatives hold powerful positions including Nancy Pelosi as the probable Speaker and Adam Schiff as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the Congressional Russia investigation.

 Marin Matters

Marin’s Congressional Representative, Jared Huffman, will hold one of Congress’s most powerful environmental positions, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.  

82.4% of Marin voters voted in the 2018 midterms, a record midterm turnout. However, 13% of those voters did not vote in the District Attorney race.  Progressive candidate Anna Pletcher, who was endorsed by both the Marin Democratic Party and Indivisible Marin, lost by less than 400 votes (out of over 132,000 cast).

 A Presidential Election – need we say more.....

 

What we learned

Candidates matter. They represented groups that didn’t have a voice in our politics and often didn’t vote.  They were passionate about change and helping improve the lives of their constituents.  They were great speakers.  They ran smart campaigns. They inspired people to vote.

Local is best.  Successful candidates knew their districts and what the needs were.  They understood the issues that mattered most to their voters and had answers to problems. They didn’t follow a national platform.

Grassroots activism works.  Races that flipped and many of those that almost did, were very close.  Accurate targeting of those winnable districts directed financial and volunteer resources to where they could make the most impact.  Thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours made a difference.

 

What We Need To Do Now

Develop strategies to support progressive candidates in future local elections so that people feel as informed voting in those races as they do in high profile ones.

Hold our newly elected representatives accountable  - pay close attention to what bills the state and federal legislatures develop, how our reps vote, and what bills they are personally working on.  Give them feedback.

Work with Representative Huffman to improve our environmental policies as well as policies on other key     progressive issues such as voting rights, economic justice, immigration and gun reform.

Evaluate existing activist structures and tools, improve them, grow our organizations, and mobilize for 2020.

First-ever TRUTH Act Forum in Marin

On Thursday, December 6th at 5:30 PM, the Board of Supervisors will be holding the first-ever TRUTH Act Forum in Marin County in Room 330 on the 3rd floor of the Marin Civic Center. Citizen participation and comments are encouraged at the Forum.

The Forum will be preceded by a rally at 4 PM on the lawn in front of the post office near the Civic Center.

Effective January 1, 2018, The TRUTH act requires City Councils and Boards of Supervisors in California to hold at least one community forum per year if the Police or Sheriff’s department allowed ICE to access at least one individual in their custody in the previous year. The TRUTH Act defines specific rights of immigrants held in local jails, as well as calls for transparency of local jail entanglement with immigration enforcement. 

Our TRUTH Act Forum will include a presentation from the Sheriff's Department, and a presentation from the Canal Alliance with most of the time set for public comments. 

Citizen participation is being encouraged by ICE Out of Marin. According to Lisa Bennett, one of the group leaders, "We see the rhetoric coming out of DC and we see how being undocumented has become a crime in our community. I encourage you to use the Public Comment time during the Forum to voice your solidarity with our immigrant community and demand that our Sheriff cease cooperation with ICE."

The rally is being facilitated by CIYJA (California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance) and will include speakers who are close to the issue of immigration and to the inhumanity of our deportation system.

This is an opportunity to educate our community as well as our Sheriff and Supervisors about the devastating impact ICE has on families and communities in Marin.

Please plan to attend in the Forum and/or the Rally in support of the immigrant community in Marin.

Marin Protest Today!

Trump is impeding the Mueller investigation and has crossed a red line
Activists nationwide are taking to the streets!

Earlier today, after firing Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump installed one of his cronies to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, crossing a red line. This action is a brazen effort to interfere in the Mueller investigation. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has previously outlined in great detail how he would impede the Mueller investigation if he got the chance.

MoveOn and progressive organizations nationwide are activating the "Nobody Is Above the Law" network, meaning there will be actions around the country tomorrow, Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. local time.

The Marin rally is at 5 p.m. at Court Street Plaza in downtown San Rafael, off of 4th St. between A Street and Lootens. It is is being coordinated by a committee representing various Marin-based advocacy groups. If you plan to attend, please sign up here.

A large crowd is anticipated. Over 1,000 people had signed up previously via the MoveOn site to protest in the event of a constitutional crisis related to the Mueller investigation, and new sign-ups are rolling in quickly following news of the national protest via Rachel Maddow and other high profile people.

Public transportation, carpools and services such as Lyft are advisable. If driving, allow plenty of time for parking.  

Please dress warmly and bring a flashlight if you have one. Homemade signs are encouraged.

This will be a peaceful protest and the safety of all participants is our first priority.

We Did It!

Dems win back the House thanks to massive grassroots support!

Last night, citizen engagement put Democrats back in control of the House. The significance of this victory can not be overstated. We now have legal authority to hold Trump to account, and clout to both advance progressive legislation, and derail much of the Trump/GOP agenda.

Members of Indivisible Marin played an impactful role in making this victory possible. Together, we sent over 500K text messages, wrote 6,000 postcards and made about 1,000 phone calls to elect new, progressive members of Congress - many of them women and minorities.

Katie Hill's win, announced just hours ago, is particularly sweet. For Katie alone, our members sent 100K text messages, wrote 5000 postcards, and made hundreds of phone calls. Right now, with more ballots still to be counted, she is ahead by a mere 4000 votes. So, it is no exaggeration to say that the work of our members could have made the difference between a win and a loss in this district for Katie! We are so proud of this awesome team! It really is true that working hard for every single vote is how races are won.

What's next? Now, after resting a bit, we will get back to our mission - advocating for a clean climate; economic justice; health care for all; voting rights; racial, gender and sexual equality; a woman’s right to choose; and respect for the human rights of all citizens.

We need your input - Next week, we will be sending out a survey to all members. We want to hear from you about the issues that you care most about, and the ways that Indivisible Marin can best support you as activists. We hope that all of you who joined us recently to campaign will continue to stay engaged in our ongoing work to advance a progressive political agenda.

Thank you for all you do to contribute your time, expertise, energy, and commitment to help ensure that American values endure.

In Solidarity,
The IndiMarin Steering Committee - Susan S, Lori, Justine, Laurie & Susan M.

We don't like phonebanking, right? But we don't like Trump more!

Hey, we understand that phone banking is not your favorite campaigning activity. BUT, according to campaign staff and much research, phone banking and canvassing are THE MOST IMPORTANT tactic in the final month of the election cycle. Why? Because interpersonal conversations are the best way to connect with and convince individuals to vote. So lets suck it up and do the thing that is most likely to help vote the ba#*#rds out!

The good news is that campaigns are now rolling out a new form of phone banking called predictive dialing. Using a platform called Hubdialer, the calls are made via the platform and you are only patched through when a person answers the phone. This GREATLY increases the efficiency of phone banking, which is one of the key complaints that some people have with this phone banking.

Please go to our calendar, and sign up for some phone banking events. No worries if you have never done it before - we provide training and support. Once you’ve been trained you can call from home at designated times.

We also offer one-to-one training! Please sign up here to arrange to meet with a trainer at a mutually convenient time.

Thanks for doing what is needed to take back Congress!

Good news from Sacramento!

This year’s California Legislative Season has wrapped up, with bills now waiting for Governor Brown’s signatures.  Throughout 2018, Indivisible Marin has taken StateStrong’s lead in making sure that our elected state officials are voting on bills that we care about.  Many thanks to the leadership of Indivisible Marin members Sue Saunders, Susan Spitzer, Holly Bogin, Doug Brown, and Susan Morgan together with Indivisible Sonoma and Indivisibile Sausalito members Heather Young and Lisa Bennett for joining me in making sure that our elected officials Assemblyperson Marc Levine and State Senator Mike McGuire voted with us.  And, thanks to many of you for making phone calls when we put out a call to action.

See StateStrong’s wrap-up for more details about the bills that we were following this year.  Two bills not on that list because they came to our attention in the last two weeks before the end of legislative session, thankfully failed. AB 84 - The Political Reform Act would have put more money directly into the hands of California legislative leaders, giving them greater influence over campaigns. 25 plus Indivisible Groups, including Marin submitted a letter to the state Elections Committee  in opposition to the bill. The other, AB 813 would have regionalized our electrical grid and given away control of the grid to coal-producing states and the Trump administration. Given that this was a high priority of Governor Brown’s, it was kind of a shocker that the bill died before heading to the floor for a vote.

Our legislative team at Indivisible Marin will be gearing up right after the midterm elections in November to make plans for how we will work with Mark Levine and Mike McGuire once the new legislative year starts in January 2019.  Email indivisiblemarin@gmail.com if you’d like to get involved.

-Lori Saltveit, Steering Committee and Public Policy