Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Help Andrew Gillum Register Floridians to Vote in Time for the 2020 Presidential Race

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2019.

 

Help Andrew Gillum register Floridians to vote ahead of the 2020 presidential race.

 

Gillum made headlines when he fought valiantly in 2018 in the Florida gubernatorial race. (He was narrowly defeated by Republican Ron DeSantis.)

 

Far from being cowed by the loss, Gillum has devoted himself to fulfilling the promise of Amendment 4, which voters passed last year.

 

The amendment passed with 65 percent of the vote, more than the 60 percent required to make it law. It will re-enfranchise more than a million Floridians–possibly as many as 1.4 million, the numbers vary–who were barred from voting after a felony conviction.

 

Republicans know all too well that the more people vote, the more likely their candidates are to lose.

 

And they also know all too well how critical Florida has been to presidential contests. The 2000 contest hit a serious snag there, with recounts and hanging chads and other absurdities. Ultimately, the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore in a decision that deserves eternal side-eye.

 

Though Amendment 4 was well-written, state-level GOP are doing their damnedest to neuter it. They’re trying to pass a law that would force all ex-felons to pay any and all remaining court fees before they’re allowed to vote again, a move that many have called out as a variation on a unconstitutional poll tax. [Update, June 2019: the state legislature did indeed pass that law, which makes support for Gillum’s efforts that much more important.]

 

Gillum, who had many options available to him after his impressive campaign and close loss, has chosen to invest his momentum in an effort to register as many new Florida voters as possible.

 

Gillum created Bring It Home Florida to ensure that Amendment 4 works as designed, and to make the state as fierce a fight as possible for Trump in 2020.

 

We at OTYCD are going to beat the voter registration drum hard in 2019, but we’re starting here.

 

The most important thing you can do this year, the year before the presidential contest, is to register or help register as many people to vote as possible.

 

We need to recruit new voters and we need to encourage people to vote. The more who vote, the more likely we are to vote Trump out of office in 2020.

 

If your funds are limited, the smartest use of your money in 2019 is giving it to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) organizations such as Bring It Home Florida. Even more so than giving it to candidates, to be honest.

 

If your budget allows, please, do both. But if it doesn’t, put your money into signing people up to vote and removing barriers to voting.

 

An interesting final note on this. Rick Wilson, a onetime GOP operative who lives in Florida, and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies, had this to say about Bring It Home Florida on Twitter on March 21, 2019, not long after Gillum unveiled the initiative:

 

1/ A few words about Andrew Gillum’s plan to register a million new voters in Florida.

 

2/ Once upon a Time in the dark ages of the early 90s the Republican party of Florida got off its ass and started registering voters. This was during the era of Tom Slade, a two-fisted balls-out party chairman and after.

 

3/ Then came the era of complacency and corruption with Charlie Crist and Jim Greer. (Wrote about it in years ago. You can Google it.) Rick Scott hated the party and ran his own independent operation. We kind of slacked off on the whole voter reg thing.

 

4/ Fastest growing voter demo in Florida forever has been non-party affiliated. Basically a tie ball game between the Republicans and the Democrats. Democrats have seen greater greater growth in South Florida, Republicans in North Florida, broadly speaking.

 

5/ Democratic party of Florida is a gigantic trainwreck without the ability to get out of its own way, to mount a serious campaign operations, or to win statewide races by and large.

 

6/ Current #: R: 4.7 D: 4.9 NPA: 3.6 The NPA FL voter in the last 20 years is *broadly* a Shy Tory R voter. Call it 55-60ish%. or may disagree, but we can parse it later.

 

7/ So if is serious, and registers and IDs and *activates* even 500,000 it’s a game changer up and down the ticket. Hillary Clinton’s people talked about doing something similar, but it was a complete Potemkin village.

 

8/ It would be of much greater consequence than a quixotic presidential bid. If roughly half the Democratic field did the same they would alter the shape of American politics, but doing the gut work of politics is boring and hard.

 

So, please, let’s support the guy who passed up a run at the presidency to do the boring, hard gut work of politics.

 

 

See the Bring It Home Florida website:

Home

 

 

Donate to Bring It Home Florida:

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

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like Bring It Home Florida on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BringItHomeFlorida/photos/?tab=album&album_id=787690298266063

 

 

Follow Bring It Home Florida on Twitter:

@BringItHomeFL

 

 

Read about the passage of Amendment 4 in 2018:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article220678880.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/07/665031366/over-a-million-florida-ex-felons-win-right-to-vote-with-amendment-4

 

 

Read about Gillum announcing the creation of Bring It Home Florida:

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2019/03/20/gillums-red-flag-plan-to-stop-trump-1m-new-florida-voters-927053

Andrew Gillum announces voter registration effort: ‘Are y’all ready to flip Florida blue?’

 

 

Read about the Florida GOP legislator’s attempt to neuter Amendment 4 by creating what amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax:

 

 

Elections

Support Erin Zwiener, Who’s Running For a State-Level House Rep Seat in Texas (Good Update March 2019)

Update, March 2019: Zwiener won her 2018 state-level race with 51.6 percent of the vote to her Republican opponent’s 48.4 percent. She faces re-election in 2021.

 

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

 

Update: Zwiener advanced to the Democratic primary runoff, which will take place on May 22, 2018. She came second to Rebecca Bell-Metereau, who pulled in 45.41 percent of the vote to Zwiener’s 30.66 percent.

 

Support Erin Zwiener, who’s running for a state representative seat in House District 45 in Texas. The Democratic primary election takes place on March 6, 2018. 

 

Zwiener might have the best campaign slogan of any Texas state-level candidate: “Let’s put the ALL back in Y’ALL!” She’s a fifth-generation Texan, a children’s book author, and a three-time Jeopardy! champion.

 

She favors expanding Medicaid in her state, as well as fully funding its public school system. She supports LGBTQ rights, immigrants, and taking sexual assault and domestic violence as seriously as other crimes. She would encourage investment in renewable energy sources, promote conservation, legalize and regulate marijuana, and fight gerrymandering and vote-suppressing tactics.

 

 

See Zwiener’s campaign site:

https://www.erinforyall.com

 

 

Donate to Zwiener:

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

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ErinForYall/

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@ErinForYall

 

 

Run For Something is backing Zwiener. See her on its Candidates page:

https://www.runforsomething.net/candidates

 

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Erin_Zwiener

Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Read Alexandra Erin and Courtney Milan On Why You Need to Vote, Even Though 2020 Won’t Be Fair

Read Alexandra Erin’s and Courtney Milan’s tweets on why you need to vote, even though the 2020 election almost certainly won’t be fair.

 

Alexandra Erin is a goddamn genius. We’ve said as much before, and we’re sure to say it again.

 

Her political tweets are marvels of insight and clarity. It’s tempting to devote blog posts to all her threads, and we avoid this only through serious discipline.

 

But she said some things in the wee hours of June 30, 2019 that need your attention. If you’re not on Twitter, or on Twitter and missed it, here you go.

 

It’s about the 2020 election, and what we’re facing, and why we need to vote anyway, no matter what fuckery and nonsense arises.

 

It’s in response to a June 29, 2019 thread by Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) on the same subject.

 

We’re cutting and pasting the tweets as they appeared. Below them you’ll find info about Erin and Milan.

 

Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) kicks it off:

 

A thing that is weird to me is that the Republicans seem to understand how the Democrats win elections, but the Democrats don’t.

 

See, it’s actually very simple: high turn out favors the Democrats. The higher the turn out, the better it is for the Democrats.

 

That’s why the entire Republican playbook is about disenfranchising and setting up stumbling blocks. Yes, some of those stumbling block differential hurt Democrats, but basically, all stumbling blocks hurt Democrats.

 

But the *spoken* words of Republicans and Democrats alike suggest that Democrats lose elections because they don’t convince enough Republicans, and that’s simply not true. Democrats don’t win elections because US voter turn out is abysmally low.

 

And so there’s this game that the media plays—and that Democrats play—and that the GOP plays—where we act like the election will be decided by three coal miners, the same three, every year. When the election will be decided by turn out.

 

If we care about electability, the question we need to be asking ourselves is: Which candidate is going to maximize turnout? Not: which candidate is going to convince three coal miners?

 

If it were easy to vote, we wouldn’t have any red states. We’d have a lot of deep blue states, some light blue states, and a handful of purple ones that would oscillate from year to year.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why the US is so different than their est of the world and—after looking at public opinion polls—I’m actually convinced that our population actually isn’t substantially more conservative than the rest of the world.

 

The issue we have is that a lot less of our population votes, and even if you consider only the voting population, our system is set up to magnify the votes of some segments of the population and to squelch the votes of others.

 

The truth of the matter is that if Democrats could enact laws that permanently got voter turnout to around 80%, the Republican party (at least in its current form) would case to exist in two to three election cycles.

 

 

Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) responds with her own thread:

 

We are not headed for a fair election. Not anything close to one. Probably the worst of my lifetime. Doesn’t mean we can’t win it. We definitely won’t if we don’t try, though, and that’s what the GOP counts on.

 

And this is the thing! This thing is the thing. The thing, it is this. For all that Bret Stephens talks about “ordinary people” like they’re red state racist rust belters, these guys *know* that this country skews blue and at least likes to think of itself as decent. [She’s referring to a late June 2019 Op-Ed in the New York Times.]

 

They know that “ordinary people” have some empathy and recoil from raw cruelty (when it’s not made palatable to them somehow).

 

And so while the digital arm of Trump’s campaign of despair does use incredibly sensitive data targeting, the everyday “ops” are far more broadly targeted.

 

The fewer people who vote, the more easily they can control the outcome. The fewer people who vote, the more the people they *prevent* from voting count, the more any votes that get changed count, the more their own votes count.

 

There is not a solid red state in this country. Whatever state you’re thinking of… nope. It’s got deep blue pockets and every election it could be a serious battlefield. They use gerrymandering and voter suppression to change that…

 

…and use psychological ops to obscure that this is what they’re doing. Call something a red state and half of us are ready to abandon it, even if they’re holding onto it by their fingernails. By the skin of their teeth.

 

The more people here in the US vote, the more progressive candidates and policies will win. If we can internalize that, if we can mobilize on that, if we can use that… then we can win so hard the GOP dies. And then let people choose between different visions of progress.

 

 

Follow Courtney Milan on Twitter:

@courtneymilan

 

See Milan’s website:

http://www.courtneymilan.com

 

See her blog:

http://www.courtneymilan.com/ramblings/

 

 

 

Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter:

@alexandraerin

 

Read her blog here:

http://www.alexandraerin.com

 

Support her here:

https://www.patreon.com/AlexandraErin

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=3OEHAVn8SOrIky4-Et3gYMrIZxIW5Z1nOQZWj5CqEvnfzABpi01GyKbzHqSgZeI3xxfLxG

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel Your Feelings and Vote Anyway

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel your feelings and vote anyway.

 

Hi, I’m Sarah Jane. I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries. I’ve long since forgotten what Roman numeral I’m up to so I apologize if I’ve used 12 before.

 

Anyway. I’m here to talk about voter suppression, in part because the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) bizarrely (and irresponsibly, IMO) threw up its hands (well, five of the nine did) and essentially said it couldn’t do anything to stop gerrymandering, not even the ludicrously extreme gerrymanders drawn to explicitly corral and nullify the votes of one party.

 

This is the latest bit of news that could dispirit us. And hey, it’s OK to feel dispirited about such a thing. But please, please, do not let it stop you from voting, ever.

 

No matter what, show the fuck up and vote, and help others vote, too.

 

Republicans know, and have known, they can’t win if they can’t stop people from voting. Blatant, flagrant cheating, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempting to defang Article 4’s re-enfranchisement of more than a million felons by requiring them to pay assorted fees before they can cast a ballot, is one such move.

 

But the vote-suppressors work in subtler ways as well, ways that get less attention.

 

One of those ways is fostering despair and disgust with the whole voting process.

 

They try to make people feel that voting doesn’t matter, and it’s not worth the trouble.

 

It does, and it is.

 

As we advance into 2020, be alert to attempts to dispirit you and yours about the act of voting. It’s already happening, it’s happening in particular on social media, and not all of it is the work of bots, btw.

 

They’re doing it because it works, even if it’s kind of oblique and hard to quantify. The vote-suppressors don’t have to get everyone to stay home, or specific people to stay home. They need just enough people to stay home to make a difference.

 

You need to carry on talking to you and yours about the importance of voting, and removing obstacles to voting, both literal and figurative.

 

You need to tell people they matter, and their vote matters, and there are people out there who want them to give up and stay home. Fuck those people.

 

Now, when you talk, you should be straight with them. Acknowledge that fuckery is likely in 2020. Trump has explicitly said he would accept information foreign governments offer him about his opponents, which prompted the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission to issue a statement saying that accepting anything of value from a foreign government is a crime. Mitch McConnell has consistently refused to advance bills that would protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

 

Republicans, in particular, are doing whatever they can to suppress the vote.

 

Go out and vote anyway. Go out and vote, faithfully and always, and help others vote, too. Every time. No matter what fuckery abounds.

 

Hell, go vote IN SPITE OF the fuckery. Flip the bird by throwing the lever for a Democrat.

 

Also, keep talking to your friends and family about the importance of voting.

 

Talk about how excited you are to vote for specific candidates, and say their names, out loud, often.

 

Do this even if it feels like it’s not enough.

 

Do it even if you feel like no one is listening to you.

 

Do this even if the crisis du jour is turning your mood grim. If you need to take a break to work through your feelings, do it, and come back.

 

Vote even if the Democratic candidates look like they’re running away with it.

 

Vote, because you matter, and your vote matters.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

Candidates · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Headsup: The FEC Deadline for Q2 is TODAY. Please Donate to Democrats Before Midnight

Headsup: The Federal Election Commission’s donation deadline for the second quarter of 2019 is TODAY. If you can give to Democratic candidates, please do so before midnight.

 

If you have money to spare, now is the time to give to sitting Democratic members of Congress, Democrats who have declared their intent to run against Republicans in 2020, and Democratic candidates for president.

 

Fairly or not, quarterly fundraising numbers are considered a sign of a candidate’s strength. Giving money to a candidate or a Congressperson who’s up for re-election in 2020 before a quarterly FEC deadline is a way to cast a vote for that candidate with dollars instead of a ballot.

 

In addition to giving to members of your Congressional delegation who are up in 2020, you can donate to Democrats who are taking heat from Republicans on the regular, to show tangible support for them.

 

It’s equally wise to cast a “vote” for Congressional Democrats who are quietly getting things done but not drawing any media attention.

 

Because of their importance to candidates and candidates-to-be, we’ll keep doing quarterly reminders about FEC deadlines in perpetuity.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Elections

Support 314 Action, Which Helps Elect STEM Candidates to Office

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

 

Support 314 Action, a nonprofit that helps get people with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds elected to office, and advocates for laws founded on solid science and evidence-based reasoning.

 

One of the most obnoxious and infuriating aspects of Trump’s election, and of the modern Republican party, is its aggressive contempt for science and reason. 314 Action exists to combat that. (Yes, 314 is a reference to Pi.) It aims to get people with STEM experience elected to Congress, it supports laws that reflect and respect scientific knowledge. 314 Action also calls out members of Congress and high-ranking officials who undermine or flout the facts.

 

See the 314 Action home page:

http://www.314action.org/home/

 

Learn about its mission:

http://www.314action.org/mission-1

 

Sign up to volunteer for 314 Action:

http://go.314action.org/page/s/takeaction

 

Run for office with the help of 314 Action:

http://go.314action.org/page/s/run

 

Learn about incumbent pro-science members of Congress:

http://www.314action.org/stem-trailblazers-1/

 

Read a story from The Atlantic about how 314 Action is helping doctors run for Congress:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/congress-the-doctors-will-see-you-now/527244/

 

Follow 314 Action on Twitter:

@314action

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/314Action/

 

Donate to 314 Action:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/314act?refcode=website&amounts=15,25,50,100,250,500,1000&amount=25&recurring=true

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Andrew Zwicker WON RE-ELECTION to the New Jersey State Legislature (Reminder October 2019–He’s Running for Re-election)

Update March 2019: We at OTYCD are nudging this back in the queue because Zwicker is up for re-election in 2019. Please keep him in mind when planning your donations and volunteer work for 2019 campaigns.

 

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

 

YES YES YES! Democrat Andrew Zwicker won re-election to the New Jersey state legislature! Read more here:

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/elections/2017/11/08/bateman-zwicker-freiman-win-surprising-election/841885001/

 

 

Original text of the post follows.

 

Help re-elect Democrat Andrew Zwicker to the New Jersey state legislature. The election takes place on November 7, 2017.

 

In addition to spotlighting five Virginia state-level candidates chosen by Flippable for the upcoming race in November, we at OTYCD are also devoting posts to six candidates chosen by 314 Action whose races fall in 2017. 314 Action is an organization that boosts hopefuls who have STEM backgrounds.

 

Zwicker was first elected to the New Jersey legislature in January 2016, where he serves on the Judiciary Committee as well as the committees for regulated professions and also for telecommunications and utilities. 314 Action helped him then, and is helping him now. He is the only scientist currently serving in the New Jersey legislature. In addition, he is the first Democrat ever to represent his district. He beat his Republican rival by just 78 votes.

 

Zwicker holds a Ph.d in physics from Johns Hopkins University and is the Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and edits the organization’s newsletter.

 

In the legislature, he works to make college more affordable and to expand access to pre-K. He accepts climate change and wants the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative, in which nine states joined forces to reduce climate-harming emissions. He wants to make sure that laws protecting the environment are enforced. And in all things, he will bring the rigor of a scientist, making decisions based on facts and evidence.

 

 

See his campaign website:

http://www.zwickerforassembly.com

 

 

See his About Andrew page:

http://www.zwickerforassembly.com

 

 

See his Issues page:

http://www.zwickerforassembly.com/issues

 

 

Donate to Zwicker’s campaign:

https://act.myngp.com/Forms/2831768608462735360

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like Zwicker on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ZwickerforAssembly/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@AndrewZwicker

 

 

See his profile page on the New Jersey Legislature website:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/bio.asp?Leg=386

 

 

See Zwicker’s page at 314 Action:

http://www.314action.org/andrew-zwicker

 

 

See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:

http://www.314action.org/endorsed-candidates/

 

 

Donate to 314 Action:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/314act?refcode=website&amounts=15,25,50,100,250,500,1000&amount=25&recurring=true