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

Look Into the Voting Records of Your State-Level Reps

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Set aside some time to look into the voting records of your state house rep and your state senator, and figure out if they’re people who you can support.

 

Can you name your state-level house rep and senator? Could you do so before November 8, 2016? No worries, none of us at OTYCD could either.

 

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

 

Once you have their names, google them. See what they’ve voted for, and what bills they’ve sponsored. Also pull up their state legislative biography pages and see what committees they’re on.

 

Do they represent you well? Dig deep into what you find, and give yourself time to think about it all. State-level politics allows for less ideological rigidity. It doesn’t guarantee it, but it allows it. Conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans are extinct on the federal level, but there are some at the state level. Stay alert. The folks who call themselves Democrats may not match your values, and those who call themselves Republicans could well be the better choice.

 

You need to get acquainted with the voting records and overall performance of your state-level reps so you’re better informed when it comes time to vote.

 

If you’re like us, you followed this procedure when you found yourself in the voting booth and faced with the need to pick a state-level rep:

 

Is this person a Democrat?

 

Has this person done anything embarrassing, awful, or glaringly incompetent?

 

If the answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, they get the black check. If not, no.

 

That strategy is no longer good enough. Schedule some time to really learn who your state-level reps are, and learn if they’re people who you can get behind.

 

If they are, think about what you can do to support them when they run again, be it donating, door-knocking, putting a sign on your lawn, whatever.

 

If they’re not, start scouting for candidates who you can support.

 

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 Democrat Sara Campbell-Szymanski, Who is Running for State Representative In Pennsylvania’s 150th House District

Support Democrat Sara Campbell-Szymanski, who is running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 150th House District.

 

Campbell-Szymanski is a 2007 graduate of Ursinus College who worked in a biology lab until pain in her hands forced her to quit. She was ultimately diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The results of the 2016 election convinced her she had to do more than just show up and faithfully vote.

 

Her number one issue is fighting gerrymandering, which dilutes votes in Montgomery County, where she lives. As someone with a pre-existing condition, Campbell-Szymanski understands the importance of defending Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion. She would fight any attempts to allow development in Pennsylvania state parks.

 

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 Campbell-Szymanski’s campaign website:

https://citizensforsara.com

 

 

See her “About Sara” page:

https://citizensforsara.com/about-sara/

 

 

See her “Issues” page:

https://citizensforsara.com/issues-2/

 

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://citizensforsara.com/donate/

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SaraCampbellSzymanski/

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@CitizensforSara

 

 

Campbell-Szymanski earned the endorsement of Run For Something. See its Candidates page:

https://www.runforsomething.net/candidates

 

Elections · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · GOOD UPDATE! · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Danica Roem WON Her Virginia State Legislature Race

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

YES YES YES! Democrat Danica Roem beat incumbent Republican Bob Marshall for a Virginia state senate seat. Roem becomes the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia, defeating an anti-LBGTQ Republican who had described himself as his state’s “chief homophobe.”

Read more about Roem’s historic win:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/11/07/transgender_democrat_danica_roem_defeats_bob_marshall.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/danica-roem-will-be-vas-first-openly-transgender-elected-official-after-unseating-conservative-robert-g-marshall-in-house-race/2017/11/07/d534bdde-c0af-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?utm_term=.47cf6cdd6923

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/359271-first-openly-transgender-state-legislator-elected-in-virginia

 

Support Democrat Danica Roem, who is running for a seat in the Virginia state legislature.

Flippable, the organization created after the 2016 elections to focus on state and local elections, has identified the state of Virginia as, well, flippable. All 100 seats in its House of Delegates are up for grabs on November 7, 2017.

We at OTYCD hope to prep and post items on the five Virginia candidates in the districts that Flippable has deemed most worthy of your time and money.

Roem is a lifelong Virginian who has worked as a reporter for more than a decade. If she wins, she will be only the third transgender candidate elected to a state legislature. She’s going up against an incumbent, Republican Bob Marshall, who has supported anti-LBGTQ bills, including an anti-transgender bathroom bill.

Her big issue is traffic–specifically, fixing Route 28 to improve its horrific rush hour. She would also advocate for universal pre-K and for increasing pay for public school teachers. She wants to protect students from bullying and discrimination and supports measures that make Virginia more welcoming to all.

 

See Roem’s campaign website:

http://danicaroem.ngpvanhost.com

 

See her About Danica page:

http://danicaroem.ngpvanhost.com/about-danica

 

See her Top Issues page:

http://danicaroem.ngpvanhost.com/traffic-jobs-schools-equality

 

Donate to Roem’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/danica-for-delegate

 

Phone-bank for Danica:

http://danicaroem.ngpvanhost.com/phone-bank-danica-0

 

Like Roem on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/danicafordelegate/

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@pwcdanica

 

See Roem’s Flippable page:

http://elections.flippable.org/elections?id=SVAH013

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Danica_Roem

 

See Flippable’s ‘Why Virginia?’ page, which will also lead you to the other four chosen candidates:

https://www.flippable.org/virginia-house#wsimg

 

Read other articles about Roem’s historic run:

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/transgender-candidate-danica-roem-wins-virginia-primary-makes-history-n772486

https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/ev4gep/this-trans-metalhead-stepmom-is-making-a-historic-run-for-office-in-virginia

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a12217328/danica-roem-interview-transgender-candidate-virginia/

Community Activism · Elections

Join Flippable and See Which State-Level Races Need Your Help

This OTYCD entry originally posted in December 2017.

 

Join Flippable, which alerts you to state-level house and senate races with Democratic candidates who could use your help.

 

Flippable is one of many civic-minded organizations founded in the wake of the 2016 election. It points itself at state legislative elections, an aspect of the political scene that does not get the attention that it deserves.

 

In particular, Flippable exists to rebuild our country by electing Democrats at the state level. Democrats control too few state legislatures, and it’s the states that tend to serve as a farm team for future political talent–remember that Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator before he won a special election to serve as a senator from Illinois, and moved upward and onward from there.

 

 

Visit the Flippable home page:

https://www.flippable.org

 

 

Read the Flippable blog:

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

 

 

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!

 

 

Learn about other upcoming elections that could use your help:

https://www.flippable.org/upcoming-elections/

 

 

Like Flippable on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/flippableorg

 

 

Follow Flippable on Twitter:

@flippable_org

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

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Elizabeth Guzman WON a Seat In Virginia’s State Legislature

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

YES YES YES! Per Flippable, Democrat Elizabeth Guzman won her race for a seat in the Virginia state senate. Hooray!

Original text of this post follows.

Support Elizabeth Guzman, a Democrat running for a seat in Virginia’s state legislature.

Flippable, the organization created after the 2016 elections to focus on state and local elections, has identified the state of Virginia as, well, flippable. All 100 seats in its House of Delegates are up for grabs on November 7, 2017.

We at OTYCD hope to prep and post items on the five Democratic Virginia candidates in the districts that Flippable has deemed most worthy of your time and money.

Guzman is an immigrant from Peru who has lived in Virginia for more than 15 years. She works for the City of Alexandria as the division chief of administrative services for its Center for Adult Services.

She wants to invest in Virginia public schools and increase the number of mental health counselors in particular. She wants to expand Medicaid and increase the minimum wage. She would protect the state’s environment, with an eye toward preserving its farmland. She favors allowing undocumented Virginians to apply for driver’s licenses. She has gained the endorsements of Planned Parenthood Virginia, Daily Kos, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, the Latino Victory Fund, Emily’s List, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, among others.

 

See Guzman’s campaign website:

http://www.elizabethguzmanforvirginia.com

 

See her Meet Elizabeth page:

http://www.elizabethguzmanforvirginia.com/about-me

 

See her Our Plan page:

http://www.elizabethguzmanforvirginia.com/issues

 

Donate to Guzman’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/flipva31-17?refcode=31-elizabeth-website-district

 

Volunteer for her campaign:

http://www.elizabethguzmanforvirginia.com/involved

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethguzmanva/

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@guzman4delegate

 

See her Flippable page:

http://elections.flippable.org/elections?id=SVAH031

 

See Guzman’s Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/candidates/5827f9e958388d7e29bfe997/elizabeth-guzman

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Elizabeth_Guzman

 

See her Sister District page:

https://www.sisterdistrict.com/vahod31/

 

See Flippable’s ‘Why Flip Virginia?’ page and see the other four chosen Virginia candidates:

https://www.flippable.org/virginia-house#wsimg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Elections · Save These Tools · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Find Your State Senator and State House Representatives

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

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.

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

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

 

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

 

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!

 

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

 

 

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

Support Democrat Ron Birnbaum’s Special Election Run for the California State Legislature

Update: Birnbaum came third in the special election, which we were unaware was in fact a primary. He tallied 9.7 percent of the vote; the two top vote-getters in the October 3, 2017 contest, Democrats Wendy Carillo and Luis Lopez, will face off in another special election on December 5, 2017.

Read this Ballotpedia page for more:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ron_Birnbaum

Original post text follows.

Support Democrat Ron Birnbaum’s run in a special election to the California state legislature, taking place on October 3, 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.

Again please note: This California special election takes place on October 3, 2017–very soon! For this reason, we’re doing two new posts today–this, and the Fight Trumpcare post.

Birnbaum is a physician and the son of Argentinian immigrants. When it comes to the rank screwiness of the American health care system, he brings the fire. Here’s some quotes from his About Ron page on the topic:

“I have seen the inhumanity that forces families to make wrenching decisions between paying for medications and paying for food and rent. We spend twice as much as most other nations on healthcare but get heartbreaking results, and it’s even worse in California. I can no longer just toil on the sidelines and instead declare, with this great central purpose of reforming healthcare, my run to represent you in the California Assembly.”

He supports having a single-payer health care system in California as well as safeguarding Planned Parenthood by passing the Healthy California Act. He wants to overturn Citizens United, the ruling that opened the spigots of dark money in politics. He wants to make California an official Sanctuary State. He would fight inequality with minimum wage laws. He has earned the endorsements of the California Nurses Association, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (Local 206, AFSCME), VoteVets, the Feel the Bern Democratic Club, and Zephyr Teachout, among others.

 

See Birnbaum’s campaign website:

http://birnbaumforassembly.com

 

See his Meet Ron page:

http://birnbaumforassembly.com/meet-ron/

 

See his Issues page:

http://birnbaumforassembly.com/rons-vision/issues/

 

Donate to Birnbaum’s campaign:

https://act.myngp.com/Forms/2644549689938545152

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/birnbaumforassembly/

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@RonBirnbaumCA

 

See Birnbaum’s 314 Action page:

http://www.314action.org/ron-birnbaum

 

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

 

See Birnbaum’s Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ron_Birnbaum

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

Support Democrat Laura Shaw’s Run for the New Jersey Legislature

Update: While Shaw got the most votes of any Democrat in the November 7, 2017 race, it was not enough to beat the two Republican incumbents, John DiMaio and Erik Peterson. Shaw tallied 21.11 percent to DiMaio’s 29.38 percent and Peterson’s 27.97 percent.

See this Ballotpedia page for results:

https://ballotpedia.org/Laura_Shaw

Original post text follows.

Support Democrat Laura Shaw, who hopes to win a seat in New Jersey’s state legislature 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.

Shaw began coding in high school. She’s worked for Bell Labs as an engineer and an executive. She retired from a 30-year career in telecommunications not long before Trump was elected. Shocked, just as the rest of us were, she realized what her new mission should be.

She supports efforts to fully fund state public schools and shore up the state pension plan. She wants to create affordable housing. She wants to end gerrymandering and bar dark money funding of campaign. She supports civil rights and measures that would fight bigotry. She wants to improve the state’s infrastructure by funding and improving mass transit. She would urge the new governor to put the state back on a path to running itself with clean energy as much as possible.

 

See Shaw’s campaign website:

http://www.shaw4assembly.com

 

See her Meet Laura page, which really doubles as her issues page (look to the sidebar on the right for specifics):

http://www.shaw4assembly.com/meet-laura/

 

 

Donate to Shaw’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/314action_shaw?refcode=314website

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/shawlauraj

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@shawlauraj

 

See Shaw’s page on 314 Action:

http://www.314action.org/laura-shaw

 

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

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Laura_Shaw

 

See Shaw’s Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/candidates/590d0b5c91ae78634b006fe2/laura-shaw

 

 

 

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

Support Democrat Christine Chen’s Race for New Jersey State Senate

Update: Christine Chen collected 41 percent of the vote, but the incumbent Republican, Michael Doherty, drew 59 percent.

Read more here (scroll down to the District 23 results):

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/11/live_election_results_nj_senate_assembly_2017.html

Original post text follows:

Support Democrat Christine Chen’s bid for the New Jersey State Senate. 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.

Chen is a neuroscientist, a health care executive, and a She Should Run alumnus. She was the Chief Operating Officer of the state’s largest residential care provider for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She is a first-generation American. She would be the first Asian-American woman to serve in the New Jersey State legislature.

If she wins, she intends to lower the notoriously high property taxes and shore up the pension system, which has dinged the state’s credit rating. She wants to improve New Jersey’s aging infrastructure as well. She would support civil rights across the board. She wants to end gerrymandering and curtail dark-money funding of campaigns.

 

See Chen’s campaign website:

https://www.chen4senate.com

 

See her Christine page:

https://www.chen4senate.com/christine

 

See her Priorities page:

https://www.chen4senate.com/priorities

 

Donate to Chen’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/314action_chen?refcode=314website

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/christineluichen

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@Chen4Change

 

See her page on 314 Action:

http://www.314action.org/christine-chen

 

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

 

See Chen’s Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Christine_Lui_Chen

 

See her Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/231648/christine-lui-chen