CAFE Friday Today: 10-11:30 am on Zoom
This week and next, the focus of CAFE Fridays will be writing Vote Forward Letters. If you have already picked some up from one of our Resistance Boxes, terrific! If not, join the group anyway on Zoom, and write postcards or just catch up on all things political. Here's the event with the link to join.
Trying to figure out where the new Resistance Boxes are? We continue to update the Resistance Box document here. You'll be writing and addressing Vote Forward letters to voters in key states and districts or writing postcards to local voters about why they should vote for progressive Dem candidates. Our goal is to have thousands of handwritten postcards to mail before Early Voting starts.
To make this important effort a success, we need to continue to stock up on stamps. Here are three ways to help with that:
1) Buy stamps and drop them in your nearest Resistance Box.
2) Mail stamps to Deborah Wilson-Allam, IMV Treasurer, 2 Laurelwood Drive, New Hartford, NY 13413
3) Make a monetary contribution now to IMV's Act Blue Account. There is currently a match from Indivisible national, so your money for stamps will go twice as far.
Recruit a Poll Worker
There are a million small pieces to making sure that every vote counts. One thing each of us can do is to recruit a poll worker. (There is a dire shortage of poll workers for the November election.) Who among your family, neighbors, friends, and organizations you belong to could be a Democratic poll worker?
IMV and other community partners have formed an election coalition to make sure every Democrat in Oneida County who wants to vote will have their vote counted. Long lines and stressed poll workers make that harder. Pull out your contact list and let’s find some poll workers! Republican poll workers and poll workers in other counties are needed also.
Poll Worker information: You must be 18 years old by election day and a registered Democratic Party voter in Oneida County. Pay is $200 for the day, which runs from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm with breaks for lunch and dinner. An earlier two-hour training session paid at $25 is also required. People who are interested should contact:
Oneida County Board of Elections (Democrats): Call Kate at 315-798-5765, between 8 am and noon Monday through Friday.
Herkimer County: Call Jill Farnham-Us 518-542-6299 for information.
Oneida County Republicans: Call 315 798-5765 and ask for a Republican clerk
Protect the People #BLM Rally in Utica August 7th
IMV will hold a "Protect the People" rally on Friday, August 7th, 4-6 pm at Oneida Square. Two months ago, people came together to rally for #BLM and Justice for George Floyd. Just weeks later, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol joined with law enforcement from around the state and held a press conference to propose a 10 point plan to assert police rights over protesters and demonstrators, a move clearly designed to clamp down on public protests and efforts to end police brutality against Black people and people of color.
We want to see Sheriff Maciol and other area law enforcement electeds repudiate their support for this proposal, and we want to know that our NY State elected leaders do the same. This resurgent white supremacist policing legislation, which was actually brought to the floor of the NY State Senate on July 23rd by Republicans, needs to die a public death.
More to come about this event, including co-sponsors and suggestions for signs. We will wear masks and socially distance. Similar rallies have been held in Binghamton, Cortland, and throughout New York.
If you can't wait until August 7th to express your #BLM support in public, you're always welcome to join the Kirkland Town Democrats and IMV for the weekly #BLM Stand Against Racism at the Clinton village green today at 4-5 pm.
Keep Calling Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand for HEROES
Let's not give up on our HEROES Act! Call our NY Senators and tell them to be a HERO, not a HEAL. We need more money for elections, the unemployed, renters, schools, colleges, states, and local governments. Here's information to use when you call. Or check out Congressman Brindisi's statement about the HEALS Act that McConnell and the GOP Senators have proposed, and why it is totally inadequate to help our communities, our state, and the people live here. The super wealthy don't need any more tax credits and corporate bailouts!
Brindisi for Congress: Ways to Volunteer for the Campaign
In case you missed the announcement last week, lawn signs are IN! Team Brindisi is looking for volunteers willing to deliver them around the district! Drivers can sign up to distribute signs to Brindisi supporters around their area. The campaign is also seeking volunteers who are willing to store signs and act as a pick-up point for others in their area. If you're interested or have any further questions, reach out to Libby Militello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Weekend of Action (100 days out from election day) last Saturday and Sunday was a great success, with many IMVers participating in virtual phone banks. This past week also saw the return of Women Wednesdays phone banking (over Zoom!) Finally, IMV encourages everyone to attend upcoming virtual events this week to meet our local Brindisi campaign organizers. including a new organizer just for Utica, one for northern Oneida and Herkimer County, and one for the rest of Oneida County. These events are listed in the calendar on our website or on the Mobilize America page.
We also continue to encourage all of our wonderful Indivisibles to write Letters to the Editor in support of Congressman Brindisi, not just to the Utica OD but to the Rome Sentinel and all our small local weeklies as well. Needs some inspiration? Check out the Press Releases on his official House page. There's always something new there to inspire a letter so that your neighbors and the community can see the good work he is doing for NY22.
If you want an idea that is hot off the press, then attend Anthony's Telephone Town Hall Monday. It's always a great idea to share in a Letter to the Editor that you attended one and were impressed with what you heard from him.
Youth Summer Program: It's Not Too Late to Help
We are thrilled to tell you that IMV members have donated $3000 to Rebuilding the Village to support the summer youth program at Kemble Park in Utica. Thank you for your generosity! This is a critical way that we are showing up for our Cornhill allies who asked us to fill a gap in their funding. There are still opportunities to provide art supplies, snacks via the meal train, or make a cash donation. Here's the information you need to make a difference.
A Note from the Editor
Congressman John Lewis always gave his very best attention to helping develop and support young people, and a contribution to Rebuilding the Village's Summer Youth Program seems like an excellent way to honor him today.
Another way? Do the political work to fight voter suppression and fight for democracy. As I listened to President Obama's eulogy for John Lewis, I was reminded that in the long American struggle for democracy and civil rights there is no distinction between the personal and the political. There is only the vision and hard work for social justice and true democracy, and the commitment to pursue it consistently, with dignity, kindness, and joy.
There is no way to fight for the franchise without fighting voter suppression. There is no way to fight for social justice without dismantling white supremacy through politics. There is no way to fight for economic justice without taking down "plantation capitalism," as the great non-violent action trainer, Rev. James Lawson, called it. These are things that John Lewis fought for his whole life, with unwavering courage, resilience, and grace.
As I listed to President Obama's eulogy I had to ask myself:
Am I doing as much as I could be doing to honor the legacy of John Lewis? The answer was no, I must do more. And:
Am I doing the work with as much gracious kindness and joyful resilience as John Lewis modeled? The answer, again, no. I must do better.
For three and a half years, we have been at this work together as Indivisible Mohawk Valley. It's the blink of eye compared the work that John Lewis did his whole life as a student organizer, a civil rights leader, and as a member of Congress. Let's keep going. The work is not done yet.