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See If You Have Off-Year Elections Where You Live, And Get Involved

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in March 2019.

 

See if you have off-year elections where you live, and get involved.

 

It’s 2019. The mid-terms were last year. The presidential election is next year.

 

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on.

 

Some states are having legislative elections in 2019, and you might be having local elections in the fall, for mayor, city council, selectmen, and the like.

 

You can find out by checking your local newspaper’s website or the website for your city or town hall.

 

If you have local elections, note the date, and start following information about the elections and the candidates.

 

Figure out where each candidate stands. If you like one, consider donating to or volunteering for him or her.

 

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Live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask Your State Legislators to Kill, Rescind, or Defend Against a Call for a Constitutional Convention

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in November 2018.

 

Do you live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask your state legislators to kill, rescind, or defend against a call for a Constitutional Convention (Con Con).

 

We at OTYCD have written about the long-term right-wing goal of calling a Con Con. The idea of a Constitutional convention isn’t inherently bad, but what its far-right advocates want to achieve IS inherently bad, and needs to be stopped.

 

The best way to stop a Con Con is to elect more Democrats to state legislatures–the entities that can put the call forward, and cancel the call as well.

 

On November 6, 2018, voters in several states did just that–they elected more Democrats. In seven states, they elected enough Democrats to flip one or both legislative chambers from red to blue.

 

In May 2018, we at OTYCD explained how to find out if your state legislature had passed a resolution in support of a Con Con, and explained how to ask your state legislators to rescind the resolution. It’s definitely doable; Nevada, Maryland, and New Mexico all rescinded in 2017.

 

In this post, we’re cross-checking the newly flipped legislatures against the map provided by the pro-Con Con people, so citizens in those states can ask their representatives to rescind a resolution or kill bills that are in progress.

 

We’ll be reproducing some language from that blog post to illustrate these points.

 

But first! If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Also, we should start with the good news: on the pro-Con Con org’s map, states colored green have passed the resolution. None of the states that flipped one or both of their chambers on Tuesday are green on that map.

 

New York flipped its Senate properly blue at long last. New York state is also blue on the Con Con map–that means active legislation was in at least one chamber in 2018.

 

Unfortunately, the map does not identify which of the two chambers the bill is in. (Theoretically, a blue state could have bills in both.)

 

New Yorkers should call or email their state legislators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain there’s a bill in at least one of the state chambers in 2018. Say that you want that bill halted, or better yet, killed.

 

 

The newly flipped Minnesota House is in a blue state on the Con Con map (its Senate is in GOP hands). It’s not clear which of the two chambers the bill is in, but Minnesotans should call their state house rep, explain about the Con Con, and ask them to kill the bill or remain on alert to kill it.

 

New Hampshire flipped both its chambers to Democratic control on Tuesday. It’s on the pro-Con Con map as a yellow state, which means legislation has passed one chamber.

 

As with the blue states, the map does not identify which of the two chambers has passed the bill. It’s also not specified when that yellow-state chamber passed the bill; it could predate 2018. It could predate 2018 by a lot.

 

New Hampshirites should contact their state reps, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that a pro-Con Con bill has passed one chamber, but it’s not clear which, or when. Say you oppose a Con Con resolution, and that you want your state reps to vote no on any Con Con resolution bills that might arrive on their desks.

 

Maine and Colorado flipped their state senates. Both appear on the pro-Con Con map colored white, which, by inference, means there’s no legislation pending there at the moment, and the states don’t appear to be current targets of the org.

 

Even still, it’s probably worth it for Mainers and Coloradans to call their state senators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that while the state is not currently a target, you want your reps to oppose any attempt to push the initiative. It’s the project of a far-right-wing org called COS Action. COS stands for ‘Convention of States.’

 

 

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Learn to Welcome Others to the Movement, Period, Full Stop

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

 

Learn to welcome others to the movement, period, full stop.

 

In November 2016, New York magazine published a fascinating article that didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Titled Why Some Protests Succeed While Others Fail and filed under its Science of Us blog, the story contained mind-blowing revelations about how best to cultivate and direct the anti-Trump energy that arose after the election.

 

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/11/how-should-trump-protesters-organize-themselves.html

 

First, let’s list the takeaways from the piece, as identified by the writer, Jesse Singal. These boil down to:

 

Use Trump to draw people in, but don’t make him your lasting focus. Otherwise, your energy and your momentum will evaporate along with him when he goes.

 

Welcome everyone who wants to protest with youand make them feel welcome.

 

Don’t be violent.

 

The mind-blowing bits appear in the section where Singal discusses the second point, about the value of making people feel welcome. He cites the work of sociologist Ziad Munson, who has studied why people join and become increasingly active in causes such as the pro-life movement. Here are the mind-blowing bits, quoted in full (bold is added by OTYCD):

 

One of the key things he’s found, over and over and over, is that people often get involved in movements without having particularly strong ideological commitments to them.

 

Take the anti-abortion activists who were the subject of Munson’s book The Making of Pro-life Activists: How Social Mobilization Works. “I went back and I tried to determine what were their beliefs about abortion the first time they were involved in some kind of pro-life activity,” whether a protest in front of a clinic, the March for Life, or whatever else, he explained. “At that moment, only half of them would have considered themselves pro-life.” Moreover, a quarter “would have openly said they were pro-choice.” So why do they get involved? Someone asks them to. In one instance, for example, a woman’s eventually intense, long-term involvement in anti-abortion causes began simply because her doctor, whom she respected a great deal, asked her to come to an event. Prior to that, it just wasn’t something she had thought of.

 

Why is this mind-blowing? It shows you how much power you have.

 

Yes, you.

 

You’re doing so much good work to push back against Trump. You have one more task to add to your To-Do List: Ask someone to join you in pushing back against Trump.

 

You don’t have to do it thisverysecond. But you should think about who you want to invite, and when, and what you want to invite them to do.

 

Maybe you ask them to go to a protest with you. Maybe you ask them to go to a League of Women Voters’ meeting with you. Maybe you ask them to phone-bank for a Democratic candidate with you. Maybe you ask them to go to a member of Congress’s next local town hall meeting with you. Maybe you ask them to write and stamp postcards with you.

 

Whatever works. Whatever makes sense. Just do it.

 

Then keep doing it. Keep inviting other people–especially those who like you and trust you–to join you in pushing back against Trump.

 

Keep doing it until Trump is gone and we’ve cleaned up all the wreckage he’ll leave behind.

 

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Help Flippable Support Democrats in State Elections in 2019

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in March 2019.

 

Help Flippable support Democratic candidates in state elections in 2019.

 

Recently we at OTYCD asked you to see if you have state or local elections in 2019.

 

If you don’t (or, hey, if you do and you have the bandwidth to take on more), and you’re up for helping win elections elsewhere in America, throw your weight behind the work of Flippable.

 

We at OTYCD have written about Flippable and its work before. It aims to help elect Democrats at the state level, which helps flip legislatures blue.

 

One of Flippable’s first great successes was the 2017 legislative elections in Virginia. Flippable and the Virginia Democrats wildly overperformed, coming within a coin flip of controlling the state’s House of Delegates–no one predicted that.

 

The winners included Elizabeth Guzman, Kathy Tran, Hala Ayala, David Reid, Cheryl Turpin, Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Danica Roem, to whom we also devoted a Believe It: You Matter post, because she’s just that awesome.

 

You can help any one of those defending incumbents in Virginia by looking up their campaign websites and giving them some money.

 

You can also donate to Flippable and its work helping get Democrats elected and re-elected in key states. Virginia is one of five focus states in 2019. Having done so ridiculously well in 2017, Flippable hopes to defend its wins and build on them to turn Virginia’s legislature properly blue in November.

 

 

See the Flippable home page:

https://flippable.org

 

 

Read the Flippable blog:

https://www.flippable.org/blog/

 

 

Read a February 2019 post Flippable published on Medium about its goals for Virginia.

 

 

Donate to the Flippable fund:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/flippablefund1?refcode=website-home-2donate&_ga=2.45035940.1636322384.1553383692-117533993.1502038586

 

 

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 Flippable on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/flippableorg

 

 

Follow Flippable on Twitter:

@flippable_org

 

 

Read articles from 2017 on the coin flip to decide which party would control Virginia’s House of Delegates:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/22/that-coin-toss-election-in-virginia-dramatic-but-it-pales-in-comparison-to-other-historic-contests/?utm_term=.297c45a6d57b

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/virginia-democrats-house-of-delegates-election/548846/

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Sign Up for Jennifer Hofmann’s Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

This OTYCD entry originally posted in December 2017.

 

Sign Up for the Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience, written by Jennifer Hofmann.

 

Hofmann is a ghostwriter and a teacher who was moved to create her weekly checklist. It includes, per its landing page:

 

Clear, no-hype actions you can take from home to support democracy, freedom, and equality for all Americans.

 

A weekly reading list of selected articles on important issues.

 

Acts of Gratitude praise elected officials when they do something good for all people, no matter which side of the aisle.

 

Good news includes progressive for democracy and people doing kind, heartwarming things for each other.

 

Hofmann’s Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience offers a good mix of things to do, things to read, things to celebrate, and things to reflect upon. OTYCD recommends it.

 

Read the FAQ for the Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience:

Action FAQs

 

 

See a sample weekly checklist:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-lGP06GDMBGXuqCeeiKPn1_PmKTQkiGoc0wDxami4gk/edit

 

 

Follow the Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience on Twitter:

@AoCChecklist

 

 

Read Hofmann’s About page:

About

 

 

Suggest an action for Hofmann to write about in a future checklist:

Suggest an action

 

 

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!

 

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/

 

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Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.

 

The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.

 

Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.

 

Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.

 

 

Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.

 

 

Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

 

Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

 

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!

 

 

See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:

TRAININGS & WORKSHOPS

 

 

For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

 

And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

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Support Ballotpedia, a Peerless Web Resource for Elections on Every Level

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017.

 

Support Ballotpedia, a peerless web resource for elections on every level–local, state, and federal.

 

Launched in 2007 in Middleton, Wisconsin, Ballotpedia dubs itself “the encyclopedia of American politics” with good reason. It has a quarter of a million articles on candidates, races, and districts across the country. And it’s going to continue to grow. As its About page notes, there are 507,000 elected officials in America. Ballotpedia employs a staff of more than 60 writers and researchers. It is committed to neutrality.

 

See the main Ballotpedia webpage:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Read its Our History page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Our_History

 

 

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!

 

 

Read its Contact and FAQ page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Overview_and_contact_information

 

 

Subscribe to Ballotpedia’s weekly newsletter, The Federal Tap:

https://ballotpedia.org/The_Federal_Tap:_New_polls_reveal_sizable_lead_in_one_U.S._Senate_race,_tightening_margins_in_another

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like the Ballotpedia page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia/

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia