Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2020 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but for obvious reasons, we are updating and reposting it for 2020.

 

2018 was a huge test for us all. We stepped up. All the texting, phone-banking, canvassing, postcard-writing, and general beating-of-the-drum paid off. Democrats claimed control of the House of Representatives, and our efforts helped limit likely Democratic losses in the Senate during a cycle that favored the Republicans. Had things been closer to normal, the GOP could have picked up six to nine seats. While we lost two Senate seats, we gained two, and the GOP didn’t come close to their 2018 goals.

 

So! On to 2020. We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2020–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress, PLUS choosing a voting rights organization to support:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/02/01/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020-2/

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Obviously, you will need to read up on the Democratic nominee for president as well, once that person is chosen.

 

Once you feel like you have those five under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. State and local races will take place, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2020 races.

 

Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2020, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2020 races. Almost all of them will end on November 3, 2020, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

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Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Do You Live In Or Near a 2020 Swing State?

Do you live in a 2020 swing state? Find out. 

 

Whenever a presidential election approaches on the calendar, there’s much discussion of swing states–states that seem like they could tilt toward either the Democratic candidate or the Republican, and which should prove critical to a victory in the Electoral College. [A candidate has to rack up a minimum of 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. As of December 2019, the Electoral College consisted of 538 votes.]

 

Things have gotten ever more polarized over the years, which means the number of legitimate swing states has shrunk. But until we get rid of the Electoral College, swing states will exist, and they will matter more to the candidates than will states that are firmly red or blue.

 

In an August 2019 guest column for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Alfred J. Tuchfarber identified six 2020 swing states:

 

Florida

Michigan

Minnesota

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

 

If you live in or near one of these states, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention and devote time and money to bringing about the result that you want to see.

 

In particular, you will want to stay on top of threats to the integrity of the voter rolls–attempts to restrict or suppress residents’ ability to cast a ballot–and you will want to do what you can to fight back.

 

And though Trump is notably weak on a national level, he might show stronger-than-expected poll numbers in specific states. For example, an early November 2019 CNBC piece shows Trump trailing Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin, but faring better against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. [Important note: the  polls discussed took place weeks before the House of Representatives wrote and voted on articles of impeachment against Trump.]

 

A looser definition seems to apply to “battleground” states–those regarded as less important to the overall Electoral College count, but which could be in play in the next presidential election.

 

In an undated piece about 2020 Battleground States, Taegan Goddard counts the six swing states mentioned above and includes:

 

Maine

North Carolina

Georgia

Texas

Arizona

 

If you live in or near these five states, you’ll want to keep an eye on things here as well. That said, if you need to budget your attention, favor the swing states over the battleground states. The six swing states merit mention in both the Sabato and the Goddard articles.

 

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Postcard Campaigns

Join the Postcards to Wisconsin Campaign (Updated February 2, 2020)

Help raise voter awareness in Wisconsin by joining the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign.

 

This post originally ran in December 2019. Because this is a time-sensitive campaign, we at OTYCD will rerun it every few weeks leading up to the mailing date.

 

Updated February 2, 2020: As of now, the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign has distributed 449,460 postcards, and has raised its goal to 600,000.

The folks behind the campaign are also planning a bigger, more wide-reaching second act. In June 2020, they will launch a campaign to send postcards to citizens in Wisconsin and Michigan to remind them to vote in the general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. They hope to dispatch as many as two million postcards in the two states.

 

 

Updated January 25, 2020: The Postcards to Wisconsin folks have amended the mailing dates for the postcard campaign.

 

Postcards should go out between March 26 and March 27, 2020 to ensure that they arrive around Friday, April 3, 2020.

 

If your packet of information stated a later date, IGNORE IT and go with March 26-27 instead.

 

If your packet called for an earlier date (some in states outside of Wisconsin and Illinois got them), stick with that earlier date.

 

And good news! As of January 18, more than 1,400 volunteers had ordered more than 341,000 postcards to prepare and mail for the campaign. Yay!

 

 

Original text follows.

 

Wisconsin will be a key state in the 2020 election. Whichever presidential candidate wins Wisconsin will likely win it all. It’s very difficult to succeed in 2020 without it.

 

Trump’s team knows this, and have already been targeting the state with money, time, and effort.

 

Fortunately, so too are Trump’s opponents. One of the many efforts to secure Wisconsin for the Democrats is the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign.

 

A project of the Indivisible Chicago Alliance, it’s recruiting folks to hand-write and prepare 500,000 postcards to arrive ahead of the Wisconsin primary, taking place April 7, 2020.

 

A few things to know if you wish to participate:

 

The postcards will be written between January 4, 2020 and March 31, 2020.

 

You should use the postcards that Postcards to Wisconsin will supply. Order postcards here, in a minimum count of 100.

 

You’ll receive a package in the mail that includes the postcards you requested, the addresses to which they should go, and a specific date when you should mail the finished cards. DO NOT mail the cards any earlier than the date you are assigned. 

 

****     IMPORTANT! THE MAILING DATES HAVE BEEN CHANGED!!! See Below.      ****

 

The Postcards to Wisconsin folks have amended the mailing dates for the postcard campaign.

 

Postcards should go out between March 26 and March 27, 2020 to ensure that they arrive around Friday, April 3, 2020.

 

If your packet of information stated a later date, IGNORE IT and go with March 26-27 instead.

 

If your packet called for an earlier date (some in states outside of Wisconsin and Illinois got them), stick with that earlier date.

 

****   End of update. Additional vital information appears below.  ****

 

 

As per usual with postcard-writing campaigns, you must supply the postcard stamps. They cost 35 cents each.

 

If you can’t participate, you can donate to the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign instead. Its organizers say that $10 allows them to reach 194 Wisconsin residents.

 

See the Postcards to Wisconsin website.

 

Like the Postcards to Wisconsin Facebook page.

 

Follow the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign on Twitter.

 

Boost the related hashtag #Postcards2WI

 

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Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Believe It, You Matter, Part VIII: No Matter What the Polls Say, Act Like Your Candidates Are Ten Points Behind

This OTYCD post originally appeared in August 2018. As we head into 2020, and the fight that it promises, it’s time to repost some classics.

 

No matter what the polls say, always act like your candidates are ten points behind.

 

If you’ve been watching the polls on “generic Democratic Congressional candidates” vs the GOP, you know that they’ve been all over the place–sometimes giving the Dems a huge lead, sometimes showing the GOP closing the gap.

 

Ignore those polls.

 

Ok, let’s be more specific. No matter what’s happening with the polls, always act like the candidates you’re supporting are ten points behind. Even if they’re not.

 

2018 promises to be the most consequential midterm election in several decades, and possibly the most consequential since midterms began. [Do I need to tell you that 2020 will be bigger than 2018? Yeah.]

 

You need to focus and stay focused on your candidates. (You’re using the Core Four technique, yes?)

 

Keep talking to friends and family about them. Keep volunteering for them. Keep donating to them regularly (small sums given monthly are better than a big lump sum given once). Keep boosting them on social media.

 

Stick to your schedule of self-imposed breaks. Burnout is a thing. We need you. Yes, things are bad and this election is crucial, but still, don’t try to do everything all the time or you won’t be able to do anything.

 

And! Keep talking to friends and family about voting, and make sure everyone you know is registered to vote, knows where the polling place is, and knows how they’re getting there on the day.

 

Polls say many things. Don’t be lulled into complacency if your candidates are doing well.  Keep putting in the same amount of time, money, and effort that you’ve put in all along, and encourage everyone you know who’s game to do more than show up and vote to do whatever else they’re willing to do, whatever that is.

 

Stay strong. Stay steady. Stay focused.

 

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

Support Your Local Library, Always and Forever

This OTYCD post originally appeared in January 2018.

 

Support your local library, always and forever. 

 

Libraries are many things to many people. They’re often the heart of the community, or at least a vital organ that helps it survive and thrive. Its employees respect knowledge and provide the tools to fight back against fake news and attempts to undermine the truth.

 

Librarians are also foot soldiers in the resistance, both the capital-R Resistance going on now and resistance efforts in the past. When Trump declared his Muslim travel ban, librarians pushed back with “Libraries Are for Everyone”–imagery, book displays, and declarations that underline the fact that libraries are, indeed, open to one and all. Several leading library organizations also condemned the ban.

 

You have many options for supporting your local library.

 

The biggest and most effective one is to use it regularly.

 

Don’t have a library card? Get one, and make sure everyone in your family has one.
Go to the library often. Follow it on social media. Attend library events that interest you, and bring friends.

 

Spend liberally at library book sales. Check out books and other media, and bring them back on time.

 

If you don’t use your library you do run the risk of losing it.

 

You can also volunteer, join a “Friends of the Library” group, or donate money. Please stay alert to state and local legislative efforts that might affect library funding and access.

 

As for donating books–first, ask the librarians if they’re accepting book donations and if so, what types of books they’re currently seeking. They may not need what you have; don’t be offended if they turn you down.

 

Also, run the used books’ ISBN numbers through Amazon’s trade-in link to see if they’re actually worth anything (see link below). Don’t donate them unless they are. And don’t be offended if the library ends up selling your donated books.

https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Books/b?node=2205237011

 

 

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Read about how libraries and librarians have been leading the resistance to Trump:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/librarians-protesting-trumps-executive-orders/

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/21/us-libraries-join-struggle-to-resist-the-trump-administration

http://mashable.com/2017/02/21/library-donald-trump-resistance/#h2S2kJpDDmqV

Librarians must resist trumpism

 

 

Read this GOOD article on how librarians have historically been in the forefront of resisting Nazis and other enemies of the truth:

https://www.good.is/articles/rogue-librarians-save-history-and-the-truth

 

 

Follow the Libraries Resist account on Twitter:

@LibrariesResist

 

 

Read about ways to help libraries:

http://www.ilovelibraries.org/get-involved

https://mastersreview.com/8-ways-to-support-your-local-library/

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-ways-you-can-support-your-local-library-47363

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Democrat Maxine Waters for Re-Election to A House Seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District (GOOD UPDATE July 2019)

Update July 2019: Okay, you’ve long since figured this out, given her fierce and unrelenting work against Trump, but we at OTYCD feel it’s important to lace the feed with good updates wherever possible.

 

Democrat Maxine Waters won re-election in 2018.

 

She’s more than worthy of inclusion in your 2020 Core Four. Please keep her in mind.

 

Update, June 9, 2018: Waters came first in her district’s top-two primary on June 5, winning more than 71 percent of the vote. We congratulate Waters and encourage you to support her re-election campaign.

 

Support Democrat Maxine Waters, who’s running for re-election to a House of Representatives seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District.

 

Initially, we at OTYCD were not going to devote a post to Maxine Waters and her re-election campaign. We can only write so many posts about 2018 candidates–we could fill the whole queue with ‘support this person’ stories–and for that reason, we tend to favor challengers, not well-established incumbents.

 

What changed our collective minds? Assholes are gunning for Waters, explicitly, openly, and overtly, and they have been for a long while now.

 

A full roster of professionally awful people have teamed up to support an individual Republican aiming to take her down (we won’t dignify him by typing his name). Think of the worst, most repulsive Trumpistas you can, and yep, they’re almost certainly on the anti-Waters bandwagon and actively raising money to defeat her.

 

Nothing annoys a Trumpista more than a powerful black woman, and Waters annoys them all the more because she calls out lousy Republican behavior effectively and successfully, time and time again.

 

But that Republican twerp who we don’t care to name is not the only Republican who will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. There are four others as well.

 

True, Waters is not facing Democratic opposition, and the Cook Political Report rates California’s 43rd Congressional District as Solid Democrat, but hey, you know the score. Since November 2016, you’ve helped out any number of special elections and state elections that Democratic candidates were not supposed to win.

 

Is she going to be OK? Is she going to win re-election? Yeah, probably. She beat that Republican twerp three to one in 2016. That said, he hadn’t bat-signaled the troll army then. The minute you think Waters will do fine with what she has is the minute when she might need your help.

 

Auntie Maxine needs us. Let’s help her out.

 

 

Visit Maxine Waters’s campaign website:

https://maxinewatersforcongress.com

 

 

Also see her Congressional website:

https://waters.house.gov

 

 

Add Maxine Waters to your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/22/choose-your-fabulous-four-for-2018/

 

 

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!

 

 

Donate to Waters’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/maxine-waters-2

 

 

Right around here is the point in the tail-end resources where we’d drop a link to merch if we had one. We’re trying to find an online store that sells ‘Reclaiming My Time’ products with the proceeds funding Waters’s campaign. If you know of one, please go to the About & Subscribe page and email us the info.

 

 

Like Maxine Waters on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MaxineWaters/

 

 

Follow Maxine Waters on Twitter:

@MaxineWaters

 

 

Of course, Maxine Waters is on Luvvie’s list of black women running for elected office in 2018. See our post on this invaluable reference:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/01/13/look-over-luvvies-list-of-black-women-who-are-running-for-office-and-support-them/

 

 

Read a November 27, 2017 Los Angeles Times piece that covers how pro-Trump folk are deliberately and explicitly targeting Maxine Waters for defeat in 2018:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-waters-gop-challenger-20171027-story.html

 

 

Read about how Waters’s late July 2017 remark during a Congressional meeting about “reclaiming my time” went viral on the scale of “nevertheless she persisted”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/08/01/reclaiming-my-time-is-bigger-than-maxine-waters/?utm_term=.b1c676d118e5

https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/31/16070822/reclaiming-my-time-maxine-waters-mnuchin-meme

 

 

Learn how Maxine Waters became Auntie Maxine, hero of the Resistance:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/darrensands/how-auntie-maxine-became-a-meme-and-the-hero-of-the-anti?utm_term=.ngqeW26L3A#.bj0q7o30aB

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Make an Appointment to Donate Blood Every Time You Hear About a New Mass Shooting

This OTYCD post originally appeared in November 2018.

 

When news breaks of a new mass shooting in America, make an appointment to donate blood (if you’re eligible to do so). 

 

Because the majority of Americans are in fact sane, we are sickened when we learn of a new mass shooting. It makes us feel powerless as well (and don’t even ask about the decades, yes, decades of effort many of us have devoted, and will continue to devote, to trying to get our gun laws changed).

 

After the June 2017 shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice, we at OYTCD suggested that readers donate to the three charities that benefit from the game and also consider donating blood, even if they didn’t live in or around Washington, D.C. Blood donations drop in summer, what with vacations and the other schedule disruptions that come with the season. And Steve Scalise, the Congressman who suffered the worst injuries, definitely needed blood transfusions and continued to need them.

 

So here’s something to consider. Every time you hear about a mass shooting, consider making an appointment to donate blood at a facility near you.

 

Ok, we can almost read your mind–“But I won’t have any blood left if I do that!” If it’s too early for you to donate blood, offer to escort a friend. Or offer to volunteer at a blood donation facility. Or if you’re due to renew your driver’s license and you haven’t indicated you’re an organ donor, do that.

 

Or substitute some other bit of routine community activism that fits. Spend an hour at the library tutoring someone whose first language isn’t English. Donate peanut butter and tuna fish to a food bank. Do something to make your community better that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

 

Answer an act of random violence by making the world better. Every bit helps, however small it might seem.

 

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