Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Read Stacey Abrams’s Lead from the Outside and Pre-order Her Next Book, Our Time is Now

Read Stacey Abrams’s book, Lead from the Outside, and pre-order her next book, Our Time is Now.

 

Stacey Abrams is 17 different flavors of awesome. You know this. You watched her fight the good fight in 2018 the Georgia governor’s race, which was rigged against her in such blatantly obvious and ludicrous ways (and she nearly won, regardless).

 

You’ve heard her on podcasts. You’ve seen her on TV. You support Fair Fight, her initiative to protect and expand the right to vote, and Fair Count, which protects and defends the 2020 census.

 

But have you read her book? And have you pre-ordered her next one?

 

Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change was originally released as Minority Leader. It’s part autobiographical, and part motivational. Because c’mon, did you think Abrams was going to let you just sit there and consume her story without taking actual lessons from it that you can apply in your own life? No. She has stuff to teach, and she does it in a straightforward, no-nonsense way.

 

She covers figuring out what you want, and figuring out how to get it, without fear or apology. She discusses how to manage self-doubt, how to confront and repair your own mistakes, how to build a network, how to face down jerks, and any number of other things that seem daunting until she explains how to defeat them.

 

This is not a rah-rah you-can-do-anything-if-you-just-believe-in-yourself book. Abrams brings clear eyes, good anecdotes, and practical knowledge to show you how to do what the title promises: lead from the outside.

 

Abrams has a second book due for release in June 2020: Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America. There’s no reason to believe it won’t be as good as its predecessor.

 

We at OTYCD recommend buying Lead from the Outside from an independent bookstore and pre-ordering Our Time is Now from one, too.

 

Women & Children First, an independent bookstore in Chicago, will allow you to do both.

 

 

Learn more about Fair Fight, Stacey Abrams’s pro-voting rights organization:

About Fair Fight

 

Donate to Fair Fight:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fair-fight–inc–1?refcode=website

 

Volunteer with Fair Fight:

Join Our Fight

 

 

Learn about Fair Count, Stacey Abrams’s organization that’s fighting for a properly administered 2020 census:

About Us

 

Donate to Fair Count:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/faircount#

 

Volunteer for Fair Count:

Commit to be Counted

 

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Uncategorized

Are You Able to Donate Blood? Now–Yes, Now, During A Covid-19 Lockdown–is a Great Time to Give

Are you able to give blood? Now–yes, now, when many states are imposing Covid-19 lockdowns–is a great time to give.

 

In past posts, we’ve asked you to think about donating blood. While there is never a bad time to give blood (there’s always a need), now is an especially good time to do so. And doing it now grants you the extra benefit of a legit reason to leave your damn house.

 

As long as Covid-19 is running rampant, blood drives are cancelled. As you might have guessed, blood banks rely on periodic blood drives to maintain their holdings. Being forced to quit scheduling these events has already started to take a toll on the blood banking system.

 

The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) began raising the alarm about potential shortages in early March of 2020.

 

If you can give blood, please do. If for some reason you are stopped by authorities, bring up this post on your phone and click on the links in the paragraph above.

 

If you’d like to give blood but aren’t sure where to go, start here. Or here.

 

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Candidates · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

All the State Deadlines to Register to Vote in the 2020 Primaries, Compiled by Head Count (Please Spread the Word on This NOW, in February 2020)

This OTYCD post originally ran in January 2020. We’re rerunning it because it is time-sensitive.

 

Are you registered to vote? Do you need to help friends and family register to vote in time for their state’s 2020 presidential primary? Here’s a list of all the state deadlines.

 

If you want to vote in the 2020 presidential primaries, you have to register. If you’re not super-hyper-mega plugged in to politics, you might only notice your state’s primary before it happens but after the voter registration deadline has passed.

 

One of the many ways you can help push back against Trump in 2020 is make sure it isn’t just you going to the polls. You can help friends and family vote, too.

 

The good folks at Head Count have compiled a master sheet of all the state deadlines to register to vote in 2020. Bookmark it and share it early and often.

 

It’s important to start talking to people about deadlines to register to vote in the state primaries NOW because the earliest of those deadlines fall in February 2020, and one deadline — South Carolina’s — takes place January 30, 2020.

 

Head Count is an excellent nonpartisan organization that sets up shop at concerts and helps register newly eligible young people to vote.

 

See its main website.

 

See its voting information page.

 

Learn how to volunteer with Head Count.

 

See the list of upcoming events at which Head Count will appear.

 

Donate to Head Count.

 

Like Head Count on Facebook.

 

Follow Head Count on Twitter.

 

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Community Activism · Elections

Plan Ahead–Take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Off, and Maybe Other Days Too

Plan ahead! Make sure to take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 off from work, and maybe Monday November 2 and Friday October 30 as well.

 

Election Day 2020 is going to be A Thing. You thought the 2018 midterms were a thing? Well, they were, but this is going to be A Bigger Thing.

 

You need to prepare for it.

 

Now is the time to think about what you will do on and around Tuesday, November 3, 2020 so you will be as effective as you can be in defending and upholding democracy.

 

It might make more sense for you to vote early or vote absentee so you can cover for co-workers to free them to head to the polls.

 

It might make more sense to take that Tuesday off from work, and maybe the surrounding days, too.

 

If you know you’re going to be out of town on that Tuesday, devote some time to getting your absentee ballot sorted.

 

Plan ahead, all!

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Social Media

Take the #KremlinAnnex Challenge Before February 22

Take the #KremlinAnnex challenge, a social media effort, before the February 22 deadline.

 

We’ve written about the #KremlinAnnex protests before, and urged you to support them. These are daily protests, held in Washington, D.C., in Lafayette Park. They began in July 2018, not long after Trump’s appalling meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. (Hence the name, and the hashtag.)

 

In a Thread of Uplift started on Twitter by the excellent Walt Shaub (@waltshaub), Kremlin Annexeer Melissa Barlow (@Literary Mouse) mentioned a new social media activity:

 

ICYMI: Me and the #KremlinAnnex crew have a challenge: We need people from all 50 states (plus DC + territories!) to take pics of themselves with signs that say, “I won’t let Trump threaten (insert state here).” Post the pics to Twitter with the hashtag #NoTrumpShakedowns.

 

The deadline to take and share your picture is February 22, 2020.

 

Have at it, folks!

 

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Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2020 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but for obvious reasons, we are updating and reposting it for 2020.

 

2018 was a huge test for us all. We stepped up. All the texting, phone-banking, canvassing, postcard-writing, and general beating-of-the-drum paid off. Democrats claimed control of the House of Representatives, and our efforts helped limit likely Democratic losses in the Senate during a cycle that favored the Republicans. Had things been closer to normal, the GOP could have picked up six to nine seats. While we lost two Senate seats, we gained two, and the GOP didn’t come close to their 2018 goals.

 

So! On to 2020. We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2020–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress, PLUS choosing a voting rights organization to support:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/02/01/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020-2/

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Obviously, you will need to read up on the Democratic nominee for president as well, once that person is chosen.

 

Once you feel like you have those five under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. State and local races will take place, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2020 races.

 

Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2020, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2020 races. Almost all of them will end on November 3, 2020, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

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Action Alerts · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

See One Thing You Can Do’s 2020 To-Do List

See the 2020 To-Do List compiled by this very blog, One Thing You Can Do.

 

With profound apologies for not having this ready to go on January 1, 2020, we have assembled a To-Do list for 2020.

 

We created it as a page on the site, but we realize we should release it as a post as well.

 

Please bookmark it and refer to it often in the months leading up to Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

 

See it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2020-to-do-list/

Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Do You Live In Or Near a 2020 Swing State?

Do you live in a 2020 swing state? Find out. 

 

Whenever a presidential election approaches on the calendar, there’s much discussion of swing states–states that seem like they could tilt toward either the Democratic candidate or the Republican, and which should prove critical to a victory in the Electoral College. [A candidate has to rack up a minimum of 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. As of December 2019, the Electoral College consisted of 538 votes.]

 

Things have gotten ever more polarized over the years, which means the number of legitimate swing states has shrunk. But until we get rid of the Electoral College, swing states will exist, and they will matter more to the candidates than will states that are firmly red or blue.

 

In an August 2019 guest column for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Alfred J. Tuchfarber identified six 2020 swing states:

 

Florida

Michigan

Minnesota

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

 

If you live in or near one of these states, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention and devote time and money to bringing about the result that you want to see.

 

In particular, you will want to stay on top of threats to the integrity of the voter rolls–attempts to restrict or suppress residents’ ability to cast a ballot–and you will want to do what you can to fight back.

 

And though Trump is notably weak on a national level, he might show stronger-than-expected poll numbers in specific states. For example, an early November 2019 CNBC piece shows Trump trailing Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin, but faring better against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. [Important note: the  polls discussed took place weeks before the House of Representatives wrote and voted on articles of impeachment against Trump.]

 

A looser definition seems to apply to “battleground” states–those regarded as less important to the overall Electoral College count, but which could be in play in the next presidential election.

 

In an undated piece about 2020 Battleground States, Taegan Goddard counts the six swing states mentioned above and includes:

 

Maine

North Carolina

Georgia

Texas

Arizona

 

If you live in or near these five states, you’ll want to keep an eye on things here as well. That said, if you need to budget your attention, favor the swing states over the battleground states. The six swing states merit mention in both the Sabato and the Goddard articles.

 

 

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Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support the #KremlinAnnex Protests and Start Your Own #StandOnEveryCorner Protest

This OTYCD post originally ran in July 2018. We’re rerunning it now if you’re feeling the need to protest more often, and at more accessible times than weekday nights on or around rush hour.

 

To find a #StandOnEveryCorner protest near you, check the organization’s website:

https://standoneverycorner.com

…and contact the organizers before showing up, to make sure the standing event is in fact happening.

 

The text below has been updated and amended.

 

Support the #KremlinAnnex protests in Washington, D.C., and start your own #StandOnEveryCorner protest.

 

So, have you noticed things are coming to a head? Yeah.

 

Helsinki was the last straw for a lot of people. Those who were close enough to Lafayette Park, which is near the White House in Washington, D.C., gathered spontaneously on the night of July 16, 2018.

 

It has its own hashtag on Twitter: #KremlinAnnex

 

Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko), a political advisor to Hillary Clinton, is leading an effort to sustain the Lafayette Park protests until we get real movement on Trump–he quits, Congress successfully impeaches him or sidelines his agenda by having three Republican Senators quit caucusing with the party, etc.

 

Parkhomenko has arranged to accept donations to the #KremlinAnnex movement through ActBlue. To be clear–all we have is the ActBlue link, which lists past headliners at the nightly protests. That’s all we have as far as explanation of where the money goes and what it underwrites. If we find an org that’s supplying bottled water, food, free transportation to the protestors, etc., we’ll add it here.

 

ActBlue link for donating to the #KremlinAnnex protests:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/occupylafayettepark?abt=twitter

 

If you don’t live near Washington, D.C. and can’t get there anytime soon, consider starting a nightly protest near you.

 

People are Fed Up with Trump and his evil minions, and they’re not content to wait for periodic word of big, organized protests. Not that long before Helsinki, a few folks around the country had decided to make signs and do daily protests on their lunch hour, or after dinner.

 

As people have seen other protestors’ social media posts about their own spontaneous daily actions, it’s snowballed into a movement of its own: #StandOnEveryCorner.

 

Helsinki and #KremlinAnnex gave it a real push. You can follow the #StandOnEveryCorner hashtag to see what others are doing.

 

The person who started it–who began standing on his local corner a few weeks before it evolved into a hashtagged movement–is Bryce Tache (@brycetache). As of July 19,  2018, he and friends and neighbors in Minneapolis, Minnesota had gathered for an hour every night in Pearl Park for 30 days straight. (They’ve done many more since.)

 

Don’t be content to watch and wait. Make a sign, choose a good place to stand and a time when you can be there every day, and just do it. Invite friends and tweet pictures using the #StandOnEveryCorner hashtag.

 

If you need suggestions on choice local protest spots, pull up MoveOn’s signup site for its No One Is Above the Law protests, which would be triggered if Trump fires Mueller, Rosenstein, or makes other moves to destroy the Trump-Russia probe. Plug in your zip code and see where that protest would take place. See if it works for you. If not, do some thinking and scouting and choose a place that’s like it.

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

 

But! In scouting for a protest spot, make sure that it’s accessible to people who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. They should be able to get to the spot under their own power, at their own pace, and without assistance. If someone has to help them up and over a curb to get there, pick a better place.

 

Also consider bringing a few folding chairs for those who can’t stand for long periods.

 

And it’s a good idea to prep and bring a “wardrobe” of protest signs for passersby who see your #StandOnEveryCorner gathering and want to join you then and there. Make it as easy as possible for them to jump in.

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Postcard Campaigns

Join the Postcards to Wisconsin Campaign (Updated February 2, 2020)

Help raise voter awareness in Wisconsin by joining the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign.

 

This post originally ran in December 2019. Because this is a time-sensitive campaign, we at OTYCD will rerun it every few weeks leading up to the mailing date.

 

Updated February 2, 2020: As of now, the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign has distributed 449,460 postcards, and has raised its goal to 600,000.

The folks behind the campaign are also planning a bigger, more wide-reaching second act. In June 2020, they will launch a campaign to send postcards to citizens in Wisconsin and Michigan to remind them to vote in the general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. They hope to dispatch as many as two million postcards in the two states.

 

 

Updated January 25, 2020: The Postcards to Wisconsin folks have amended the mailing dates for the postcard campaign.

 

Postcards should go out between March 26 and March 27, 2020 to ensure that they arrive around Friday, April 3, 2020.

 

If your packet of information stated a later date, IGNORE IT and go with March 26-27 instead.

 

If your packet called for an earlier date (some in states outside of Wisconsin and Illinois got them), stick with that earlier date.

 

And good news! As of January 18, more than 1,400 volunteers had ordered more than 341,000 postcards to prepare and mail for the campaign. Yay!

 

 

Original text follows.

 

Wisconsin will be a key state in the 2020 election. Whichever presidential candidate wins Wisconsin will likely win it all. It’s very difficult to succeed in 2020 without it.

 

Trump’s team knows this, and have already been targeting the state with money, time, and effort.

 

Fortunately, so too are Trump’s opponents. One of the many efforts to secure Wisconsin for the Democrats is the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign.

 

A project of the Indivisible Chicago Alliance, it’s recruiting folks to hand-write and prepare 500,000 postcards to arrive ahead of the Wisconsin primary, taking place April 7, 2020.

 

A few things to know if you wish to participate:

 

The postcards will be written between January 4, 2020 and March 31, 2020.

 

You should use the postcards that Postcards to Wisconsin will supply. Order postcards here, in a minimum count of 100.

 

You’ll receive a package in the mail that includes the postcards you requested, the addresses to which they should go, and a specific date when you should mail the finished cards. DO NOT mail the cards any earlier than the date you are assigned. 

 

****     IMPORTANT! THE MAILING DATES HAVE BEEN CHANGED!!! See Below.      ****

 

The Postcards to Wisconsin folks have amended the mailing dates for the postcard campaign.

 

Postcards should go out between March 26 and March 27, 2020 to ensure that they arrive around Friday, April 3, 2020.

 

If your packet of information stated a later date, IGNORE IT and go with March 26-27 instead.

 

If your packet called for an earlier date (some in states outside of Wisconsin and Illinois got them), stick with that earlier date.

 

****   End of update. Additional vital information appears below.  ****

 

 

As per usual with postcard-writing campaigns, you must supply the postcard stamps. They cost 35 cents each.

 

If you can’t participate, you can donate to the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign instead. Its organizers say that $10 allows them to reach 194 Wisconsin residents.

 

See the Postcards to Wisconsin website.

 

Like the Postcards to Wisconsin Facebook page.

 

Follow the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign on Twitter.

 

Boost the related hashtag #Postcards2WI

 

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