Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Learn Which Three States Prevent Felons Who Have Fulfilled Their Sentences from Voting, And Learn How Other States Handle Felons and Voting Rights

Learn which three states prevent felons who have fulfilled their sentences from voting, and learn how other states handle felons and voting rights.

 

Florida made headlines in November 2018 when about 65 percent of voters who turned out supported Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

 

Amendment 4 could re-enfranchise more than one million Florida voters, many of them black. Naturally, the GOP-controlled state legislature is trying to get around the implications of the new law by attempting what amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax. (Fortunately, Andrew Gillum is on the case.)

 

Three other states are as restrictive as Florida once was with its felons. They are:

 

Iowa

 

Kentucky

 

Virginia

 

We at OTYCD are not aware of any Amendment 4-style efforts in those states to change their laws, but if we learn of any, we will post them here and probably give them separate posts as well.

 

 

In 19 states, prisoners, parolees, and people on probation cannot vote, but everyone else can.

Those 19 states are:

 

Alaska

 

New Jersey

 

West Virginia

 

North Carolina

 

South Carolina

 

Georgia

 

Wisconsin

 

Minnesota

 

South Dakota

 

Nebraska

 

Missouri

 

Kansas

 

Arkansas

 

Oklahoma

 

Louisiana

 

Texas

 

New Mexico

 

Idaho

 

Washington

 

Felons who live in these states could benefit from a public awareness campaign that lets them know that if they have completed their sentences, they are eligible to vote.

 

 

Four states bar prisoners and parolees from voting, but allow those on probation to vote. They are:

 

California

 

New York

 

Colorado

 

Connecticut

 

Again, a public awareness-raising campaign would be useful here.

 

 

Fourteen other states, plus the District of Columbia, only stop people in prison from voting. But, again, ex-prisoners, parolees, and folks on probation may not be aware that they’re eligible to vote. This group includes:

 

Rhode Island

 

New Hampshire

 

Massachusetts

 

Pennsylvania

 

Maryland

 

Ohio

 

Michigan

 

Indiana

 

Illinois

 

North Dakota

 

Montana

 

Utah

 

Oregon

 

The District of Columbia

 

Just two states never take away their residents’ right to vote, even if they’re in prison: Vermont and Maine.

 

Getting as many people out to vote–both in 2019 election and the 2020 election–is crucial. Please know your rights and help others know their rights.

 

See the ACLU’s Felony Disenfranchisement Laws map:

https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights/voter-restoration/felony-disenfranchisement-laws-map

 

See our past post about the ACLU, which includes links to its main page and a donation page:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/12/08/support-the-american-civil-liberties-union-aclu/

 

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!

 

See the OTYCD 2019 To-Do List, which stresses helping register people to vote:

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2019-to-do-list/

 

Support Andrew Gillum’s org, Bring It Home Florida, which helps Floridians register to vote:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2019/03/31/help-andrew-gillum-register-floridians-to-vote-in-time-for-the-2020-presidential-race/

 

See an April 2018 piece from the New York Times on states’ laws regarding felons and voting rights:

 

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Support Juli Briskman’s Run for Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudoun County, Virginia

Support Juli Briskman’s Run for Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudoun County, Virginia.

 

If that name seems familiar, it should. Briskman outed herself as the cyclist who flipped the bird at Trump’s motorcade in that photo that went viral in 2017.

 

When she identified herself, her employer fired her. We at OTYCD wrote about the GoFundMe to raise money to help her out in the wake of losing her job. She ultimately collected $142,000 against a stated goal of $100,000.

 

Now she’s decided to run for something.

 

She’s demonstrated great sense and level-headedness by aiming for a local-regional office. She wants to serve as the Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudon County, Virginia. The election is in November 2019.

 

If you live in Loudon County, this is a perfect fit for your 2019 To-Do List. If you don’t live there, there’s nothing stopping you from donating to Briskman and spreading the word about her campaign.

 

See Juli Briskman’s campaign website:

https://www.briskmanforsupervisor.com

 

See her “Meet Juli” page:

https://www.briskmanforsupervisor.com/meet-juli

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/briskman-for-supervisor

 

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!

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@julibriskman

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/briskmanforsupervisor/

 

 

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Believe It: You Matter.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump. Click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely posts.

 

Never forget: You matter, and your actions matter, even when it feels like they aren’t adding up to much. You. Matter. Never give up the fight.

 

Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough.

 

Trump will go, eventually, but you should not. Your work doesn’t end when his term does. You need to carry on and help reshape America so this sort of crazy nonsense can’t happen again.

 

One of the most insidious things about Putin’s attack on the 2016 election was just that–the attack on democracy itself. Never forget: Putin gains when he can destabilize liberal democracies and make them look broken and dysfunctional.

 

Putin is trying to teach his people that it’s fruitless to resist autocratic leaders like him. And that’s why it should give you pause when you consider that as of early April, Trump has yet to criticize Putin in any way whatsoever.

 

When you feel like what you’re doing to push back against Trump isn’t working, remember this:

 

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Robert Mugabe doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Kim Jong-un doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Bashar al-Assad doesn’t want you to vote.

 

When you vote, or protest, or contact your members of Congress, or run for office yourself–when you pick up an oar and row the endless longboat of American democracy,  you are yelling a big, loud “fuck you” at those who are trying to scare their own people into submission.

 

You matter.

 

You are one among many, but you matter.

 

Never forget. Never despair. You matter.

 

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!

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See the Full List of Sitting Senators Who Are Up for Re-election in 2020

See the full list of sitting senators who are up for re-election in 2020.

 

2018 was a tough year for Democratic sitting Senators. Many more Democrats than Republicans were up for re-election. While we lost two, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, we managed to pick up two seats–Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller in Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema won the open seat in Arizona.

 

Things could have been a lot worse, and would have been a lot worse in the absence of voters highly motivated by the unusually terrible performance of the Trump administration. If a more normal and routine Republican had been president in 2018, the Democrats might have suffered more losses.

 

The 2020 story is different. Many more Republicans are defending than are Democrats.

 

This post is a basic post that simply lists who’s due to run in 2020. It does NOT include notes about who’s vulnerable, etc. That material will appear in a later update.

 

Right now, we want to fill you in on what’s known as U.S. Senate, Class II, so you can make early choices for your 2020 Core Four. If you can start donating to the sitting Democrats now, please do. If you notice a Republican up in your state in 2020, consider earmarking money for that person’s eventual Democratic challenger.

 

The following Democrats are up for re-election in 2020:

 

Cory Booker of New Jersey

 

Christopher Coons of Delaware

 

Richard “Dick” Durbin of Illinois

 

Doug Jones of Alabama

 

Ed Markey of Massachusetts

 

Jeff Merkley of Oregon

 

Gary Peters of Michigan

 

Jack Reed of Rhode Island

 

Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire

 

Tina Smith of Minnesota

 

Tom Udall of New Mexico

 

Mark Warner of Virginia

 

 

The following Republicans are up for re-election in 2020:

 

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

 

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

 

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

 

Susan Collins of Maine

 

John Cornyn of Texas

 

Tom Cotton of Arkansas

 

Steve Daines of Montana

 

Michael Enzi of Wyoming

 

Joni Ernst of Iowa

 

Cory Gardner of Colorado

 

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

 

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

 

James Inhofe of Oklahoma

 

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

 

David Perdue of Georgia

 

James Risch of Idaho

 

Pat Roberts of Kansas

 

Mike Rounds of South Dakota

 

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

 

Dan Sullivan of Arkansas

 

Thom Tillis of North Carolina

 

 

As of now, only Arkansas has both its Senators due to run in 2020.

 

And! There is a Road to 2020 effort, but there are caveats. From what we can tell, it’s only got a Twitter handle at the moment, and it’s unclear if Celeste Pewter is involved (she was a significant part of the Road to 2018).

 

Check out the Road to 2020 on Twitter here:

@2020Senate

 

 

See the official list of senators in Class II here:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/Class_II.htm

 

 

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!

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Help Democratic Candidates for President Make the Cut for the DNC Debates By Giving Them Money

Help Democratic candidates for president make the cut for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) debates by giving them money.

 

The DNC has a good problem. They need to do right by a huge group of Democrats who have stepped forward to run for president in 2020.

 

As of late March, there are already too many people to fit comfortably on one debate stage.

 

To make things more manageable, the DNC set some basic benchmarks for all Democratic 2020 presidential candidates to meet.

 

One of those benchmarks requires candidates to attract at least 65,000 donations overall, and at least 200 unique donors in at least 20 states.

 

The DNC is NOT keeping a leader board that shows which candidates have met these particular thresholds and which has not. The reports you’re hearing about who’s meeting the grassroots fundraising thresholds are coming directly from each campaign. (We assume these reports are not being independently verified, by the DNC or otherwise, but it’d be rull rull dumb to lie about it, so…)

 

The excellent Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) shook out which campaigns haven’t yet announced they’ve met the DNC thresholds.

 

That doesn’t mean they haven’t actually met the thresholds–they simply haven’t gone on record saying they’re there.

 

Still. Several good names are in this group who deserve a place on the stage. If you have a few bucks to spare, please offer them to the following.

 

From Celeste Pewter’s March 23, 2019 thread:

 

Periodic 2020 reminder: new DNC debate rules state a candidate must receive donations from 65K people in at least 20 different states to make the first debate. So if you’re looking for a wide, diverse field? Consider $1 donating to: 1. :

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

 

2. (this is her campaign account):

 

3. :

 

4. :

 

5. :

 

6. : (Buttigieg has already hit 65K)

 

(Also: just in case it’s not clear – these are the candidates who can definitely benefit with a little more support! If they’re not listed here, it means they’ve either publicly announced they’ve hit the threshold or all signs point to them hitting the threshold soon.)

 

We talk a lot about ‘s platform, and concrete policy proposals. Why not donate $1 and lock in her place on the debate stage?

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ew-homepage-hero?abt=twitter

 

Also, for those who want to read up on the rules:

https://democrats.org/press/dnc-announces-details-for-the-first-two-presidential-primary-debates/

 

And! You should show your love for Celeste Pewter, too.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

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!

 

 

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Remember to Donate to Food Banks During the Summer Months, When Schools Are Closed

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Remember to make a point of donating to your local food banks during the summer months, when schools are closed.

 

Students who receive free and reduced-price school meals can suffer during the summer, when their schools close. Their schools are often their most reliable source of nutritious meals. While many communities have programs that feed children under 18 during the summer, not all do.

 

It’s almost a cliche to volunteer at soup kitchens and food banks during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is when the need can be keenest.

 

Food donations are always welcome at food banks, but donations of money are even more effective. Also ask your food bank if they accept donations of diapers, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products, which cannot be purchased with food stamps.

 

 

Find your nearest food bank:

http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

 

 

Donate to the AmpleHarvest.org food pantry network:

http://ampleharvest.org/donate-m1/

 

 

Find the nearest summer meals program in your community:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

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!

 

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Subscribe to My Civic Workout

Subscribe to My Civic Workout, an activist outlet that delivers twice-weekly action items broken down into things that demand a bit of your time, more of your time, and a bit more of your time than that.

My Civic Workout is one of the many online activism outlets that sprung up after the November 2016 election. It belongs to Action Alliance, as does One Thing You Can Do. But it doesn’t seem to get the play or the recognition that some of the others do, so we’re giving it a blog post.

My Civic Workout does an admirable job of picking a timely resistance-related topic and breaking it down into three actions that demand varying amounts of investment.

The “Five Minute Workout” is quick and simple (but not necessarily easy)–donate money, read a short article, watch a video.

The “Ten Minute Workout” is more involved. Read a longer, more densely written article, such as a white paper or an academic article. Type your address into a database and learn about gun deaths in your area, and share it with friends and family. Call your senators, using a script offered by MCW, and advocate for a bill.

The “30 Minute Workout” is even more involved, and sometimes reminds you to do stuff that you should have done ages ago anyway. For example, in the wake of Harvey, it suggested drawing up a comprehensive, personalized disaster plan. During the effort to defend Obamacare, it encouraged setting up a phone tree–recruiting friends to call their senators, and having them recruit friends in turn. One of its post-Charlottesville tasks was to check an interactive map and see if there were Confederate monuments on public land near you, and if so, urge local officials to remove them.

The twice-weekly email finishes with a selection of nice little digestifs: “Second Wind,” a nugget of wisdom related to the overall theme of the email, and “Need a Little Joy?” a bit of pure fun.

My Civic Workout also stands out among the post-2016-election activist sites for its consistency. Sarah Jane, OTYCD leader, has been a subscriber since January at least and she can’t recall MCW missing a week or otherwise dropping the ball. The graphics are elegant, well-chosen, and pleasant to look at. *We say check it out.

 

Visit the website for My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com

 

Subscribe to My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com

 

Suggest a topic to My Civic Workout or otherwise contact them:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/contact/

 

Meet the My Civic Workout team:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/theteam/

 

Donate to My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/support/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/mycivicworkout/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@MyCivicWorkout

 

And while you’re at it, check out Action Alliance, which accepted My Civic Workout and One Thing You Can Do as members who offer and encourage post-2016-election actions.:

https://www.actionalliance.co/#members

 

*My Civic Workout didn’t ask us to write about it. As of late-ish 2017, when we wrote this post, neither MCW or any member of its six-member team followed or subscribed to OTYCD (at least as far as we know). We’ve interacted with whoever speaks for MCW on Twitter. We wrote about MCW because we like it and thought you might like it too, simple as that.