Elections · Postcard Campaigns

Mail Postcards to GOTV for Democrat Karen Gaddis for the Oklahoma State Legislature

Got another postcard campaign for you! Karen Gaddis, a Democrat running for the July 11 special election for the open state House of Representatives seat in Oklahoma’s District 75.

In 2016, Gaddis ran against the incumbent, Republican Dan Kirby, who won with almost 60 percent of the vote. He subsequently resigned rather than face expulsion from the Oklahoma legislature over accusations of sexually harassing a legislative assistant.

Gaddis spent 40 years teaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma public schools and pledges to address the damage done by tax cuts. She was the first Democrat to run for District 75 in more than 10 years, and she is game to run again. Her Republican opponent is Tressa Nunley.

To join her postcard GOTV campaign, you can text OK to 918.992.4434 or email:

Postcards    @   TonyTheDemocrat.org

Tony the Democrat has issued no specific instructions about what to say on the cards, but something along these lines should work:

“Democrat Karen Gaddis is running for the open house of representatives seat in Oklahoma’s District 75. The special election is on July 11. Please come out and vote Democrat!”

You’ll want to get your postcards in the mail on or before July 4.

 

See Gaddis’s campaign website:

http://www.karengaddis.com/home

 

Read a diary entry on Daily Kos that lays out reasons why Gaddis’s chances are good:

https://m.dailykos.com/story/2017/6/9/1670282/-Karen-Gaddis-D-The-Comeback-Candidate-for-Team-Blue-Oklahoma-HD-75

 

 

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Support Spread the Vote, Which Helps Citizens Obtain IDs

Support Spread the Vote, an organization that helps citizens access the ballot by obtaining IDs that their states require.

Republicans have noticed that they are more likely to win when fewer voters turn out. For this reason, they have embraced anti-democratic (small d) moves such as placing restrictions and qualifications on access to the ballot. Requiring prospective voters to present specific forms of identification is a favorite of theirs.

Voter ID laws suck, and they constitute the modern version of a poll tax. It hits the poor, the working class, the elderly, the young, and minorities particularly hard.

Some lack the documents they need to obtain ID, and cannot muster the money needed to hunt down those documents. Some can’t get the time off work to stand in line at City Hall or the DMV to straighten things out. Some are college students, whose college IDs are not generally accepted, and who receive conflicting information about where they can vote (home or on campus).

Enter Spread the Vote. Its mission is to help people get the documents they need to access the ballot. According to its numbers, 21 million people lack a government-issued photo ID, and 31 states require some form of ID to vote.

By helping Spread the Vote, you help expand the pool of eligible voters and defeat bullshit obstacles thrown up by Republicans who find it easier to frustrate citizens rather than develop ideas and policies that people would want to vote for.

Spread the Vote is and has conducted state-specific projects in Virginia and Georgia, but its scope is nation-wide. Please encourage their good work in whatever manner you can.

 

See Spread the Vote’s webpage:

https://www.spreadthevote.org

 

Ask for its help with obtaining an ID so you can vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/vote/

 

Volunteer for Spread the Vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/volunteer/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SpreadTheVoteUS

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@SpreadTheVoteUS

 

Donate to Spread the Vote:

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=58727f25f7e0ab8a674b88bb

 

Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Elections · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Save This Tool That Shows What Laws Your State Is Making Right Now in Six Key Areas

Bookmark a tool by OurStates that shows you what new laws your state might be making in six key areas: immigration, policing and protest, reproductive justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice.

State legislators aren’t just the equivalent of the farm teams for the Democratic and Republican parties–they’re the farm teams for federal laws, too. Well-funded right-wing activist groups have attempted to pass weird, extreme laws on the state level before trying to get Congress to bite.

While there are web-based tools that show what your state legislature is doing overall right now, and tools that show what bills the states are considering on a single issue, there aren’t many that show what all 50 states are doing on more than one issue. In fact, what OurStates built might stand alone. It’s a project of StayWoke, a 501(c)4 organization devoted to pursuing justice and equality. Its planning team includes DeRay Mckesson, Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, and a whole host of smart, perceptive people who you’d be smart to follow on Twitter.

When you click on a category, it colors the U.S. map accordingly: States colored red are working on harmful laws; blue states are creating good laws; and grey states are not currently chasing anything on that topic.

Click on your state, and you’ll open a window that shows you everything it is doing on all six topics. It will describe the law and tell you if the bills are good or bad, as well as which party controls the legislature, what the law would do, and how close the bill is to becoming law.

If you scroll down, the OurStates page will give you a link through which you can find your state legislators’ contact information, as well as advice on how to speak with them.

 

See and use the nifty tool built by OurStates:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

Meet the StayWoke planning team and follow them all on Twitter:

https://www.staywoke.org/about/

 

Donate to StayWoke:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/staywoke-1

 

 

Action Alerts · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Keep an Eye on Dr. Hans Keirstead, Who’s Aiming for Dana Rohrabacher’s California House Seat

Keep an eye on Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher, entrepreneur, and former professor who is aiming to unseat House Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

Canadian-born Keirstead, 50, founded California Stem Cell Inc. and sold it for $100 million in 2014. He is now CEO of Aivita Biomedical. He taught at the University of California, Irvine for 14 years, and has raised well over $100 million in grants and donations in his various scientific jobs. He becomes the fifth Democrat hoping to push out Rohrabacher, who has served as a California house rep for for almost 30 years.

Keirstead supports the ACA, and he specifically supports it over a single-payer system. He says he does not intend to use his own money to campaign for the house seat.

Under his Why I’m Running essay on his campaign site, he says:

“I’ve dedicated my life to using medical science to save and improve lives — but in Congress, medicine and science have been pushed to the side in favor of partisan political games. Politicians like Dana Rohrabacher have used the broken system for their own gain for far too long. We’re not his priority and we need someone new.

I believe our elected leaders should rely on facts to guide policy. I’m not daunted by large obstacles. I’ve launched and managed companies, developed treatments for previously un-treatable diseases and been held accountable for my actions. We need more of that to change Washington and I intend to use Congress as a platform to improve even more lives.”

House Rep Dana Rohrbacher is viewed as vulnerable for his pro-Russia stance, and because his district is showing signs of turning Democrat blue. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the district by less than two points, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County in 80 years. Rohrbacher also supports the AHCA and questions whether human activity is causing climate change. This is galling on its face, but it’s made worse by the fact that he sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology.

 

Visit Dr. Keirstead’s campaign website:

http://hansforca.com/home/

 

Read his website biography:

http://hansforca.com/about-dr-keirstead/

 

Read his full Why I’m Running statement:

http://hansforca.com/why-im-running/

 

Read more about Dr. Keirstead and his campaign for the House of Representatives:

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/337945-stem-cell-scientist-joins-crowded-field-to-unseat-vulnerable-california

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-house-challenger-20170615-story.html

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/06/15/stem-cell-pioneer-to-challenge-rep-dana-rohrabacher/

http://www.orangecoast.com/features/stem-cell-rock-star/

 

Follow Dr. Keirstead on Twitter:

@drhanskeirstead

 

Donate to his campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/keirstead_video

 

Don’t believe Dana Rohrbacher is on the House Committee on Science and Technology? Here’s the proof:

https://rohrabacher.house.gov/legislation/committees-and-caucuses

 

Here’s a Politico story about Rohrbacher’s interest in Russia, titled Putin’s Favorite Congressman:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/putin-congress-rohrabacher-trump-231775

 

And here’s a New York Times story about how the FBI warned Rohrbacher in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him:

Special thanks to 314 Action, where we first learned about Keirstead’s campaign. 314 Action is a nonprofit devoted to electing more people with STEM backgrounds to high office.

Follow it on Twitter: @314Action

Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Support H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act

Support H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act, which would automatically sign up eligible voters when they interact with a relevant government agency.

Voting restrictions are bullshit. That’s the official position of OTYCD. Always has been, always will be. We feel that if you’re eligible to vote and you want to vote, you should be allowed to vote, and you should be offered a range of options for doing so–in-person, by mail, on weekdays, on weekends, at many different times of day within a reasonable, set window of time.

We’d feel this way if voting restriction laws benefitted Republicans and hurt Democrats. Voting is a fundamental right of a democracy. We should be extending it to everyone who ‘s of age and who wants it, and we should be making it easier and not harder to vote.

On June 8, 2017, Senators Pat Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and Robert Brady, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, introduced H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act, which would do just that–automatically sign people up to register to vote when they  apply for a driver’s license or for public services, or enroll in college, or become a naturalized citizen. The Brennan Center for Justice reports that eight states, plus the District of Columbia, have adopted automatic voter registration recently. If it was available in all 50 states, it could increase the voter rolls by 50 million.

Right now, GovTrack rates the bill’s chance of passage at 1 percent. But if enough of us call and ask our MoCs to make it a law, maybe it will.

Sample script: (Dear House Rep/Senator Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to support H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act. Making voter registration automatic just makes sense. People who are eligible to vote and who want to vote should be allowed to vote, and we shouldn’t be placing arbitrary barriers in their way–we should make the process as smooth and as easy as possible. If the bill becomes law, it would add 50 million voters to the rolls. Please support it. Thanks.”

 

Read the Brennan Center for Justice’s release on H.R. 2840:

https://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/members-congress-introduce-legislation-modernize-voter-registration

 

Read the Brennan Center’s argument in favor of automatic voter registration:

https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/case-automatic-voter-registration

 

Read the Brennan Center’s backgrounder on automatic and permanent voter registration:

https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/automatic-and-permanent-voter-registration-how-it-works

 

See the GovTrack entry on H.R. 2840:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2840

 

 

 

 

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Find Your State Senator and State House Representatives

 

Talking often to your federal Congressional representatives is important. But you should also know who your state senator and state house representatives are--the people who stand for you in your state legislature.

Plug your address and your zip code into this web site to find them:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/

Once you know who your state senator and state house rep are, go to the web site for your state legislature (plug “(StateName) Legislature” into a search engine), and find their contact information. Put their phone numbers in your phone. Save their email addresses. If they are on social media, follow them.

Also pull up the pages that each rep maintains on your state legislature’s web site. Look at the bills your reps have proposed recently. Is there anything you like and can get behind? Call them and voice your support. Tell your friends about the bills you like and ask them to voice their support.

Watching your state legislature is important, too. State legislatures are to Congress what Triple AAA baseball is to the major leagues–tomorrow’s stars play here first.

The Who Are My Representatives site will also tell you who your members of Congress are; who the president and vice president; and who else represents you on the state level–your governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, state auditor, state secretary, and attorney general. Please share this web site with your friends.

Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Help Elect Democrat Archie Parnell to Mick Mulvaney’s Old House Seat

Help elect Democrat Archie Parnell to the South Carolina house seat left open by Mick Mulvaney.

The special election to fill the seat takes place June 20. Parnell won the Democratic primary on May 2 with 71.3 percent of the vote. He will learn who his opponent will be on May 16, when the Republican primary runoff takes place.

Parnell is a defender of public education, Medicare, and Social Security. He has worked as a tax attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and will use his experience in that realm to make corporations yield their due.

Ballotpedia rates the South Carolina 5th district as “safely Republican.” As with other Democrats running in special elections in red areas, Parnell faces an uphill battle. But it’s a battle worth fighting.

 

Read more on Parnell and his views:

http://archieparnell.com/meet-archie

https://archieparnell.com/issues

 

Donate to Parnell’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/archie-parnell-for-congress-1?express_lane=true&refcode=header_website

 

Like his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ArchieParnellforCongress

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@Archie4Congress

 

See his Ballotpedia entry:

https://ballotpedia.org/Archie_Parnell