Get Back to Legislating

Indivisible NY Week of Action: Legislators, Legislate!

Demand your legislator get back to work (safely and remotely!) and protect democracy and public health.

New York faces a crucial test ahead of the June 23rd primary and again in November as constituents weigh whether to exercise their right to vote or to protect their health during the Coronavirus pandemic. New Yorkers are facing this crisis head on, yet state legislators have decided that they are too busy providing services to their constituents to legislate. It’s imperative for them to do both — do their jobs and get back to work, remotely.

Protecting democracy and public health should be the top priority for state legislators, and they must ensure that there’s a safe way to vote. If other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania can work remotely, so can New York. If the New York City Council can work remotely, so can the state of New York.

After legislators #GetBacktoWork, they need to immediately support two bills that will protect New Yorkers in future elections — instead of relying on executive orders and half measures. These two bills include: S8015A (Biaggi) would add the threat of spreading communicable disease in a pandemic to the temporary illness section of NYS Election Law 8-400. S8130 (Myrie) would allow email receipt of absentee ballot applications.

Tell your legislator that they need to recognize the urgency of getting back to work to do their jobs: protecting New Yorkers’ health and right to vote.

Your ask from your State Assemblymember and State Senator:

  • A clear plan to be in remote session for NY Senate & Assembly: WHEN [will you be in session] and HOW [will it look, will you vote, will you be available for constituent/grassroots outreach] ?
  • Pass S8015A (Biaggi) which would add threat of spreading communicable disease in a pandemic to the temporary illness section of NYS Election Law 8-400
  • Pass S8130 (Myrie) which would allow email receipt of absentee ballot applications

How are we going to do this? First, be ready to take action Tuesday-Friday.  There are four actions targeting NY state legislators, one for each day.  We got this!

Written Word Tuesday, May 26: LTE’s & Email reps (LTE tool here & Emails found here)

Ring-Ring Wednesday, May 27: Call reps (use call page w/script)

Celluloid Thursday, May 28: Post Soapboxx video (Soapboxx link here)

Social Media Friday, May 29: Tweet at reps (Tweet tool here)

Remember that your direct district representative in the legislature is always going to be more responsive your constituent pressure than the executive or representative of a whole state. That’s why we need to take these actions.  Thanks for joining in the fight for health and democracy in New York!

Register Now for Indivisible Rural Summit!

Let’s see IMV represented at the Indivisible Rural Voices Summit on June 27th. The headlining guest speaker will be Trae Crowder–yes, it’s true!  Here’s where you sign up!

Sarah Reeske is looking for photos that help people see that progressive Indivisibles live in small towns and rural areas everywhere.  If you live in a small population, less population dense, or rural area, here is what you can do to help:

1)  Make a poster with the name of your rural town, include the population count if possible and a message such as “progressives live here.”
2) If you can, also get a sign from a candidate you’re supporting as well, if you can.(See if the campaign has branded placards for you to use).
2) Go to your community’s welcome sign or green and white road sign reading “Entering _____. ” Have a friend or family member take a picture of you next to the sign.
4) Use this photo to advance your narrative that your candidate has supporters all over the district.   This action can be social distancing friendly.   Send it to Sarahr@indivisible.org and IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.

Show your rural progressive side, and be sure also to sign up for the Indivisible Rural Voices Summit!

Rocking the Letters to the Editor

Another terrific week for Letters to the Editor!   First off, Dr. Emmie Pizarro (local pediatrician, and manager if IMV’s Twitter account) took on Claudia Tenney’s recent anti-vaccine Tweet which claimed that children were fine to be exposed to the Coronavirus, and in the Rome Sentinel, no less!

Mary O’Neill’s letter in the Utica, OD was a stellar example of a letter that praised Rep. Brindisi for both his legislative work and his responsiveness to constituents in teletown halls.  Very nice!

Keep those letters coming. The Tenney-Trump brigade has been writing up a crazy-storm of letters, and we need voices to counteract them.  We are especially looking for 1) letters within the next few days that congratulate Anthony Brindisi on the HEROES Act, and urge that it be passed in the Senate, and 2) letters that support the Indivisible NY Week of Action urging state legislators to LEGISLATE remotely to protect New Yorkers and take back some control into the people’s houses from a Governor who is trying to control every dollar in the state as if he were king.

Support for MVLA


After Sonia Martinez’s presentation at our last meeting, many of you asked how to help the Mohawk Valley Latino Association (MVLA) during this time.

Sonia says that right now, the best way to help MVLA continue to support evacuees from Puerto Rico is with monetary donations to help pay our monthly rent (3 months of rent at $575) and purchase office supplies to re-open, like PPE (masks, gloves and a thermometer for the office).  Two families have just arrived; they have been waiting for voucher payment for over a month from state funding. They need household items including bed, bedding items, and towels which have to be purchased, and other household items such as curtains and kitchen and household items as well.  

Donations can be accepted via check or online via the MVLA website with a credit card or Paypal.  Checks should be made out to the Mohawk Valley Latino Association and mailed to MVLA, 309 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13501.  MLVA sends their deep appreciation for our support.
 

Citizen Action Rent Relief Rally Tuesday, 4 pm


Citizen Action will be having a virtual rent relief rally on May 26th at 4 pm. Directly impacted tenants and property owners will share their experiences and how they would benefit from the rent relief fund. 

Kari Percopio from the YWCA will be speaking about how the money would also help pay for security deposits for domestic violence victims since Oneida County domestic violence shelters are full. 

Sonia Martinez will be speaking on behalf of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association and will translate for a property owner she has been working with who cannot pay their taxes or water bills. 

Celeste Friend from the Utica Common Council will be speaking and urging Mayor Palmieri to release the funds for Utica’s vulnerable tenants and property owners. 

Join the meeting to learn how you can help pressure the Mayor to release the funds that were secured by Rep. Brindisi in early April, that the Utica Common Council unanimously voted on to be used as rent relief. To date Mayor Palmieri has remained silent and done nothing to help renters with these funds.  

 

Postcards!

We’re gearing up to restart out postcard group.  Maybe it will meet outdoors and work on picnic tables?  Certainly there will be a collection and drop off point for people to work on postcards, and zoom together while doing it, to keep the postcard party conversation alive.  

Until we have more details, here are two options for those who want to make an impact with cards and letters to voters:

The Women Ditch Mitch project is up and running. Just sign up here and be part of the national movement to ditch Mitch McConnell.  

Or, sign up with the VoteFWD project through Indivisible, to write letters to voters.  Indivisible is excited to be partnering this election cycle with VoteFWD. VoteFWD provides activists with names, addresses and a data-driven proven template to write letters to voters in important states. Letter writers will save their letters and send them right before the election so that voters receive them at the perfect, most-strategic moment.  It’s a great way to connect with others remotely, and you can even create letter writing parties and write together!
 

Indivisible National Action Items for Congress and HEROES


In case you missed this email from yesterday, we’re passing on the action items to understand the content of the HEROES Act and support moving it through the Senate.  Keep the pressure on Schumer and Gillibrand.  

  1. Call your Senator and demand they pass the Heroes Act. Last week, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act as the fourth coronavirus package. Now, it’s up to the Senate to vote YES on the bill and secure urgently needed protections for vulnerable families across the country. Unsurprisingly, Majority Leader McConnell is refusing to act and putting corporate greed over the needs of working families. That’s why we need you to call your senators and demand they immediately pass the Heroes Act and oppose any amendments to water the bill down.
  2. Watch and share the first episode of our COVID Corruption series. We’re launching a new YouTube series, COVID Corruption — a weekly series where we highlight how certain people, interest groups, and public officials are attempting to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic. In our first episode, Indivisible’s Policy Manager for Health Care, Eli Gerber, discusses how Big Pharma has tried to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to share and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more updates on this important topic going forward.
  3. Review and share our Heroes Act summary resource. Every time a new coronavirus relief bill is passed, the swirl of punditry to analyze and interpret its contents begins. We know it can be hard to navigate what’s good and bad about each bill, and that’s why we’re here to help: Indivisible’s team of policy experts has been hard at work analyzing and interpreting how this bill stacks up against the issues that matter most to Indivisibles, and they’ve laid their conclusions out in a new Heroes Act summary. Read this and share it far and wide with those in your networks to help spread the word about what this bill really means for people hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis.


So, to sum up this week’s actions:  Once again, we need to act at the state level to push our state legislators, and we need to press to push HEROES forward for health and safety, economic support for the most vulnerable, and for democracy.  

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected, activist friends!   Democracy is not a spectator sport; and now more than ever, we need to use technical tools to play on the field: Zoom, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Phone, Text. 

Our June 9th meeting is at 6-7:30 pm and it will be held over Zoom. If you haven’t gotten on Zoom yet, we really need you to do so.   Our Climate Crisis group meets this coming Wednesday, May 27th over Zoom.   ALL of the Brindisi Campaign volunteer training will be done over Zoom. 

If we want to make an impact in 2020 like we did in 2018, we need to “get our technology on.”  Email us at IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com if you need help getting started. 

Hope you enjoy this long weekend, and have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. People fought and died for our democracy and we honor them most by fighting for it still.   
 

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