Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Evangelize (In a Good Way)

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018. 

 

Learn, and practice, how to tell the story of the candidates you support, and become an evangelist for them.

 

One of the most important things you can do to push back against Trump is convince people to come out and vote against his democracy-destroying agenda. But if you really want to be effective, you want to immerse yourself in the merits and the story of a non-Trumpish candidate, fully master it, and be ready to make a powerful, personal, eloquent case for voting for them.

 

Now, a personal confession. Sarah Jane here. I’m the founder of the OTYCD blog and the lead wrangler of research and of its anonymous writers. This is my 2016 story.

 

So it’s late 2015 or so and the election is starting to gear up. I resign myself to voting for Clinton. I’m meh on her but I don’t think Bernie can do the job, the Republicans are all thoroughly horrible, and the third party options look miserable, too.

 

But at some point I see clips from that eleven-hour Congressional Benghazi hearing.

 

And I see Clinton own those Republican twerps like the boss she is. Own. Them. Completely and thoroughly. She cleans the floor with them till she can see her face in it, and she doesn’t even break a sweat. She slays. She dominates. She destroys. Through her actions and her attitude, she reveals the hearings for what they are–a formal, coordinated attempt to kneecap her 2016 presidential campaign–and she ain’t havin’ it. At all.

 

And I realized: She can do this, and she wants to do this. She is crazy-smart and ludicrously skilled, and she has a skin as thick as a rhino’s, and she actually wants to be president. She’s been through hell and back so many times, from so many different directions, she could write a guidebook on it for Lonely Planet. She has taken far more than her allotted ration of shit in this life. She has long since earned the right to walk in the woods and play with her grandkids. But she wants to do this. Damn. Whoa.

 

In that moment I became a Clinton convert. The scales fell from my eyes. I went from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’ I was *excited* to vote for her. Not as much as I was for Obama, but I was excited.

 

Now, here’s my sin: I didn’t tell anyone about my change of heart. At no point before the 2016 election did I speak up to anyone else and say why I was excited to vote for her.

 

I donated to her campaign. I voted for her in the primary. I stayed on top of the issues. I watched all three debates. I voted for her for president. But never did I ever sit with friends and family and spontaneously say why I was so jazzed to vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

I live in a state that went overwhelmingly for Clinton. I can tell myself that not speaking well of her once I started thinking well of her made no difference.

 

But c’mon. What if more of us had shown genuine enthusiasm for voting for her? What if more of us had evangelized for her?

 

What if our friends and family made note of that, and passed the word to others–that there are people out there, sane and fine people, who actually like Clinton and want to vote for her?

 

Don’t get me wrong–I realize she had a fine contingent of folks who did speak well of her, early and often, and I realize a goodly number of them read this blog. I’m wondering how things might be different if that contingent were bigger, and if folks who share my Clinton journey had stepped up and joined it.

 

The overriding perception was that those who cast votes for either major presidential candidate in 2016 did so while holding their noses.

 

Remember the ‘Giant Meteor 2016’ bumper stickers? Judging by the way the election was covered, no one would blame you for thinking it was a giant nationwide game of ‘Would You Rather?’

 

It wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t for me. I liked Clinton, and I still like her, and what she stands for. And I’ve gone from being irked to pissed to stabby about how the right wing noise machine has done its level best to smear her for 30 goddamn years.

 

It’s too late to do right by Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate. But you can devote yourself to becoming a better evangelist for non-Trumpish candidates running in special elections and in 2018 who will restore and defend our democracy. (“Non-Trumpish” candidates include Republicans and conservatives who have spines, btw.)

 

You don’t have to formally join their campaigns to be effective. Heck, you might be more effective if you don’t. Just do your damnedest to learn about them, and what they stand for, and figure out what it is about them that you connect with most, and tell others why.

 

You have power. You have friends and family who listen to you and value what you have to say. Hearing people you trust speak happily, and authentically, about a candidate for office helps that candidate’s chances of winning that office.

 

Speaking up is scary. Some people will challenge you, talk over you, even yell at you and try to shout you down. But you need to speak up anyway. It’s too important. Do not succumb to silence. Do what you have to do to learn how to speak up, and get good at it, and start working on it now, in summer 2017, well before the primaries.

 

We need you. We need every voice. Our democracy depends on it.

 

Update: Since I wrote this I realized (headsmack) that many of those who stuck up for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign got shouted down, and they’re still getting shouted down months later. I can only point back to my own experience.

 

I know most of my crowd was pro-Clinton, but no one expressed spontaneous enthusiasm for her. I don’t think I would have felt any pushback if I had voiced my enthusiasm in real life (online is of course another matter) but I can’t know because I did not think to try.

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Help #EndCrosscheck, That Data-sharing Program Used to Disenfranchise Voters

This OTYCD post originally ran in June 2018.

 

Help #EndCrosscheck, a data-sharing program that’s been used to disenfranchise voters.

 

You’ve probably heard of Crosscheck, an interstate data-sharing program that has effectively disenfranchised voters across the country. It got its start in 2005 but devolved into a problem in 2011 after Kris Koback gained control of it.

 

As of April 2018, Koback is Kansas’s secretary of state and was the vice chairman of the Presidential Commission for Election Integrity, created after Trump claimed that around three million votes in the 2016 presidential election–not coincidentally the difference between the 62 million he received and the 65 million Hillary Clinton received–might have been cast illegally. Koback claims that voter fraud is widespread, despite evidence that shows it isn’t.

 

Crosscheck might be his favorite tool for spotting potential double votes, or the same person casting a ballot in two states. He favors it despite Crosscheck’s tendency to generate a startling number of false positives and despite flaws that leave sensitive voter data vulnerable. It also seems to flag voters of color more often than white voters.

 

As of 2017, a total of 28 states participated in Crosscheck (Massachusetts has since left the program). #EndCrosscheck formed after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked the states for their voter data (fortunately, most refused, and the commission was ultimately disbanded).

 

Many of #EndCrosscheck’s members are affiliated with Indivisible Chicago. It is devoted to doing just that–ending Crosscheck–by helping people learn what Crosscheck does and urge their states to leave the program or refuse to adopt it.

 

 

See the #EndCrosscheck webpage:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/

 

 

Learn if your state is a member of Crosscheck (and if you scroll down, you can see if your state was once part of Crosscheck but isn’t now):

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/is-my-state-in-crosscheck/

 

 

See its Crosscheck FAQ:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/crosscheck-faq/

 

 

Join the fight to end Crosscheck in your home state and other states:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/join-the-fight

 

 

Follow #EndCrosscheck on Twitter:

@endcrosscheck

 

 

Follow Indivisible Chicago on Twitter:

@IndivisibleChi

 

 

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Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Learn If Your State Is Passing Laws That Restrict Voting, and Fight Back

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

Is your state trying to pass laws that make it harder to vote? Consult the Brennan Center’s info and maps, and if the answer is yes, fight back.

 

Voting restrictions are a scourge on democracy, but as long as they benefit Republicans, Republicans will try to pass them. We feel that if you are eligible to vote, and you want to vote, you should be able to vote, and you should be given many options for doing so to let you choose what works best for your schedule.

 

The Brennan Center for Justice, located at the New York University School of Law, tracks state bills that intend or have the effect of making it harder to vote.

 

First, read the Brennan Center’s Voting Laws Roundup for 2017, and see if your state is mentioned:

https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-laws-roundup-2017?utm_content=bufferba0df&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Also see the Brennan Center’s interactive map of New Voting Restrictions in America:

https://www.brennancenter.org/new-voting-restrictions-america

 

Once you know what’s going on in your state, call your state-level reps to speak out against laws that restrict voting.

 

Don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are? Plug your address and zip code into this search tool (note–the address is key. If you only give your zip code, you won’t get the two names you most need):

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Then click on the names of your state house rep and state senator. Their contact info will come up.

 

Here’s a sample script that you can modify accordingly:

“Dear (State Senator/House Rep Lastname), I ask you to oppose (House/Senate bill ####), which will have the effect of making it harder to cast a vote. Everyone who is eligible to vote, and wants to, should have the opportunity to do so. Bills and laws that make it harder to vote are inherently anti-democratic. Please do not sponsor, co-sponsor, or support bills that stop people from voting. Thank you.”

 

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Candidates · Community Activism · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Learn Who the Minority Members of the House Intelligence Committee Are So You Can Vote Them Out in 2020

Learn who the minority (aka Republican) members of the House Intelligence Committee are so you can vote them out in 2020.

 

In late March, the nine minority members of the House Intelligence Committee (all Republicans) demanded that Chairman Adam Schiff resign his post.

 

This led to Schiff’s epic “You Might Think That’s OK” speech.

 

This story, from CBS, covers the Republicans’ demands and includes a link to Schiff’s response:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-intelligence-hearing-gets-heated-as-republicans-call-on-schiff-to-resign/

 

The Republicans are scared of the powers that Schiff has to expose the president. He can subpoena the Mueller Report, and he has the right to see it in its unredacted form.

 

Schiff is no Devin Nunes, and that’s a good thing. Schiff is doing the right thing with his powers, and that terrifies his GOP colleagues.

 

Their call for Schiff to step down is wholly cynical, and another instance of Republicans putting party over country in the service of protecting Trump.

 

We at OTYCD thought you’d find it useful to have a full list of the nine minority members so you can help vote them out in November 2020.

 

If any of these folks are your House rep, call and tell them they should be ashamed to call for Schiff’s resignation. Also tell them you support Schiff’s attempts to let the public know what’s in the Mueller Report.

 

This page will be updated as we get closer to November 2020, and closer to knowing who their Democratic challengers are. [We’re preparing this post in late March 2019, well before most candidates will have declared.]

 

 

Devin Nunes, 22nd District of California, ranking member. Andrew Janz challenged Nunes for his seat in 2018, and fell short. No word yet on whether Janz will try again.

Read OTYCD‘s post on Andrew Janz’s candidacy:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/09/keep-an-eye-on-andrew-janz-whos-running-for-devin-nuness-house-seat/

 

Mike Conway, 11th District of Texas

 

Michael Turner, 10th District of Ohio

 

Brad Wenstrup, 2nd District of Ohio

 

Chris Stewart, 2nd District of Utah

 

Rick Crawford, 1st District of Arkansas

 

Elise Stefanik, 21st District of New York

 

Will Hurd, 23rd District of Texas

 

John Ratcliffe, 4th District of Texas

 

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Call Your MoCs and Voice Support for Releasing the Mueller Report–to Them, and To Us, and Safeguarding the Underlying Documents, Too, March 27 Edition

Update: March 27, 2019. Not strictly an update, but we continue to beat this drum for obvious reasons. The Mueller Report is still not out, and Barr says he’ll let the White House ‘redact’ it before it goes to Congress.

 

That is, of course, unacceptable.

 

Congress needs to see the full report, without any White House meddling or shenanigans, and we need to see the most complete version of the report that can be released to the public, while also protecting ongoing investigations and national security. With his 19-page memo “audition” for the AG job, which caught Trump’s attention, and with his four-page summary letter released over the weekend, Barr has shown that he cannot be trusted to do right by the American people.

 

We need to keep calling our MoCs and making it unmistakably clear that that is what we expect. Nothing less.

 

Watch the NowRightNow bar for links to those who have the freshest updates.

 

Also watch MoveOn and its No One Is Above the Law protest network. Something is brewing. No dates yet, but in general, you’ll go back to the same spot where you protested a few months back.

 

Original text follows.

 

Call your MoCs and voice your support for releasing the Mueller Report–to Congress, in the most complete form possible, and to us, in the most complete form that can be made available to the general public. Also urge them to safeguard the underlying documents as well.

 

So. Damn near everyone was shocked when rumors swirled about Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivering his long-awaited report on Friday, March 22, 2019.

 

And what do you know, he did so late in the afternoon that day.

 

I’m taking a risk by writing this. It’s early Sunday morning and I’m awake for some goddamn reason (not anticipation of the report, fwiw). Attorney General William Barr, who Trump hand-picked to replace Jeff Sessions, who angered him by recusing himself from the Mueller probe, has the report, and has had it since Friday. He is evidently reviewing it and has promised to apprise Congress of its contents.

 

We expect this to happen sometime over the weekend. As I type this, it hasn’t happened yet. [The risk is I’ll write and queue this and something will happen to render the piece obsolete. I’m going to take that risk.]

 

It appears that neither Trump nor the White House has an actual copy of the report yet. They’re allowed to ask AG Barr for it. Actually giving it to them would pose yet another Constitutional issue. Let’s continue to hope he gives it to Congress first.

 

Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by toadies and lickspittles, some of whom have paid to be there. Instead of freaking everyone out with his guanopsychotic tweets, he’s freaking everyone out by NOT tweeting. Yeah. This is where we are now.

 

Anyone who says they know what’s in the Mueller Report, at least as of Sunday March 24, 3:30 am EST, is talking smack. Don’t believe them, don’t retweet them. It’s all speculation.

 

So, aside from engaging in self-care, what can you do?

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, is on it. Shortly after news broke of the report’s delivery, she tweeted:

 

If you’re wondering what we can all do right now? Basically: 1. Call electeds + say you support the report being released to Congress ASAP 2. Ask for a declassified version to be released to the public, 3. Preserving all Mueller-related documents.

 

Some of you have asked when the public gets to see the report. With the understanding I’m not a lawyer, we have to keep in mind Trump might try and cite executive privilege/try something related: [She linked to this Just Security piece titled Executive Privilege and the Public Interest: Why the President Can’t Block Release of the Mueller Report:] https://www.justsecurity.org/60708/executive-privilege-public-interest-president-cant-block-release-mueller-report/

 

In other words, don’t assume there are any guarantees right now. Right now, today, – is the moment to call your electeds and say you support the push for transparency. It’s time to be LOUD.

 

Then she posted this calling script, which covers all three of your Members of Congress:

Script re: the Mueller report - 3/22/2019

 

So, there. You can do that.

 

Another thing to consider is to refresh yourself on where your nearest No One Is Above the Law protest took place. The powers that be at MoveOn are NOT currently calling for a protest over aspects of the release, or the failure to release, the Mueller report, but they’ve signaled that if they do call for a protest, we’re going back to the places we went on November 8, 2018, after Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Acting AG Matthew Whitaker.

 

After you call, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, 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!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Uncategorized

Call Your MoCs and Voice Support for Releasing the Mueller Report–to Them, and To Us, and Safeguarding the Underlying Documents, Too, March 26 Edition

Update: March 26, 2019. Back to this because the Mueller Report is still not out, and Barr says he’ll let the White House ‘redact’ it before it goes to Congress.

 

That is, of course, unacceptable.

 

Congress needs to see the full report, without any White House meddling or shenanigans, and we need to see the most complete version of the report that can be released to the public, while also protecting ongoing investigations and national security. With his 19-page memo “audition” for the AG job, which caught Trump’s attention, and with his four-page summary letter released over the weekend, Barr has shown that he cannot be trusted to do right by the American people.

 

We need to keep calling our MoCs and making it unmistakably clear that that is what we expect. Nothing less.

 

Watch the NowRightNow bar for links to those who have the freshest updates.

 

Also watch MoveOn and its No One Is Above the Law protest network. Something is brewing. No dates yet, but in general, you’ll go back to the same spot where you protested a few months back.

 

Original text follows.

 

Call your MoCs and voice your support for releasing the Mueller Report–to Congress, in the most complete form possible, and to us, in the most complete form that can be made available to the general public. Also urge them to safeguard the underlying documents as well.

 

So. Damn near everyone was shocked when rumors swirled about Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivering his long-awaited report on Friday, March 22, 2019.

 

And what do you know, he did so late in the afternoon that day.

 

I’m taking a risk by writing this. It’s early Sunday morning and I’m awake for some goddamn reason (not anticipation of the report, fwiw). Attorney General William Barr, who Trump hand-picked to replace Jeff Sessions, who angered him by recusing himself from the Mueller probe, has the report, and has had it since Friday. He is evidently reviewing it and has promised to apprise Congress of its contents.

 

We expect this to happen sometime over the weekend. As I type this, it hasn’t happened yet. [The risk is I’ll write and queue this and something will happen to render the piece obsolete. I’m going to take that risk.]

 

It appears that neither Trump nor the White House has an actual copy of the report yet. They’re allowed to ask AG Barr for it. Actually giving it to them would pose yet another Constitutional issue. Let’s continue to hope he gives it to Congress first.

 

Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by toadies and lickspittles, some of whom have paid to be there. Instead of freaking everyone out with his guanopsychotic tweets, he’s freaking everyone out by NOT tweeting. Yeah. This is where we are now.

 

Anyone who says they know what’s in the Mueller Report, at least as of Sunday March 24, 3:30 am EST, is talking smack. Don’t believe them, don’t retweet them. It’s all speculation.

 

So, aside from engaging in self-care, what can you do?

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, is on it. Shortly after news broke of the report’s delivery, she tweeted:

 

If you’re wondering what we can all do right now? Basically: 1. Call electeds + say you support the report being released to Congress ASAP 2. Ask for a declassified version to be released to the public, 3. Preserving all Mueller-related documents.

 

Some of you have asked when the public gets to see the report. With the understanding I’m not a lawyer, we have to keep in mind Trump might try and cite executive privilege/try something related: [She linked to this Just Security piece titled Executive Privilege and the Public Interest: Why the President Can’t Block Release of the Mueller Report:] https://www.justsecurity.org/60708/executive-privilege-public-interest-president-cant-block-release-mueller-report/

 

In other words, don’t assume there are any guarantees right now. Right now, today, – is the moment to call your electeds and say you support the push for transparency. It’s time to be LOUD.

 

Then she posted this calling script, which covers all three of your Members of Congress:

Script re: the Mueller report - 3/22/2019

 

So, there. You can do that.

 

Another thing to consider is to refresh yourself on where your nearest No One Is Above the Law protest took place. The powers that be at MoveOn are NOT currently calling for a protest over aspects of the release, or the failure to release, the Mueller report, but they’ve signaled that if they do call for a protest, we’re going back to the places we went on November 8, 2018, after Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Acting AG Matthew Whitaker.

 

After you call, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, 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!