Join the NY22 Virtual Gathering on Wednesday

#NY22 Activists: Together Again on Wednesday

Remember how a whole bunch of grassroots activist groups came together across NY22 in 2017 and then worked together for almost two years to flip our congressional district from red (#OneTermTenney) to blue?

Claudia Tenney is going to have even more money and support from her Trumpie base and the national Trump Republicans this time.  They want NY22 back.  We need to keep it.  It's time to get to work for on the 2020 election.

Here's what you need to do to get involved:  Sign up for the NY22 Grassroots Activists Virtual Gathering on Wednesday, June 17th, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.  Social distancing keeps us alone together, so let’s show our people power and dedication to keeping NY22 blue by attending this fun unity event!   All of the Brindisi for Congress staff joining us. You will feel uplifted and motivated by attending! This event is not open to the public—it is just for grassroots activists like you, so please register today.

Call Assemblywoman Buttenschon: Tell Her She Failed Black Lives Matter

We've heard from many of you who are very unhappy with Assemblywoman Buttenschon's vote this week against the repeal of 50-A, the long standing law that shielded police officers' disciplinary records from being released to the public in NY.   She joined Republican state senators and assemblymen from our area who failed to support this critical policing reform, led by Senate Leader Steward-Cousins and Senator Rachel May, as part of a package of 10 public safety reform bills that passed the Assembly and Senate this week. 

Why is repeal of 50-A a critical policing reform?  Because transparency matters.  When people wonder how Derek Chauvin could have still been on the streets after 18 citizen complaints, it's at least in part because people like Marianne Buttenschon seek to protect unprofessional, even dangerous, police officers over the safety and well-being of their own constituents.  50-A should have been repealed a long time ago, just like Chauvin should have been fired, and George Floyd should still be alive.  

However, the no vote on 50-A was not a one-off for Buttenschon. She also voted against another of the critical policing reforms in Albany this week, a bill (A10608) that would require a law enforcement officer or peace officer who discharges his or her weapon under circumstances where a person could be struck by a bullet to immediately report the incident to his or her superiors. Seems like a no-brainer for safety and transparency, doesn't it?  Even Republican Senator Joe Griffo voted for this one.

These votes demonstrate that Buttenschon has one real constituency: law enforcement in Oneida County. She does not want us to have the transparency and public accountability that allow for real change.  We all know that police disproportionately stop, frisk, arrest, and use violence against Black and brown people.  Buttenschon would rather that unprofessional, racist, and violent actions by police in New York go unreported and stay hidden.  Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol has publicly expressed opposition to the Repeal of 50A and other public safety reforms passed in Albany this week.

If she is your Assemblywoman, call Marianne's office right now and let her know that she voted wrong on 50-A and she voted wrong on discharging weapons.  And tell her that Black Lives Matter to you.  The Assemblywoman's District office:  (315) 732-1055; Albany office: (518) 455-5454. 

In fact, call all your state legislators and let them know how you think they did voting this week, and let your elected law enforcement officials, like Sheriff Maciol, know how concerned you are about reforming law enforcement in light of racial bias in policing.

Herkimer County Democrats' Virtual Picnic Fundraiser

Have you registered the Herkimer Democratic Committee's Sunday's Virtual Flag Day Picnic Fundraiser?  It's this Sunday, June 14th at 3pm.  Theevent is CRITICAL to supporting Democratic Candidates in Herkimer County. And it will be FUN!!  Even in this very red county, there are some impressive progressive candidates running for office, and they need support.  Chad McEvoy is running again for the 101st Assembly.  Jim Barber is running for the open senate seat in the 51st. Part of Herkimer County is in NY21, where Tedra Cobb is challenging super Trumper Elise Stafanik in a challenging congressional run.

Please do what you can to lend support.  Go to to buy a ticket OR just to donate! Send an email to to get a zoom link. You will need to have the zoom app downloaded on your smartphone, tablet or laptop to join in ( anything with a camera and a mic).  Go to for more info on how to log in once you get the link.  See you there!

Letters to the Editor

We saw a fabulous letter to the editor of the Utica OD this past week from IMV member Jill Farnham-Us about the Black Lives Matter march.   Then we got some bad news. With the retirement of Dave Dudajek, longtime Opinion Editor of the paper, and strong racial justice advocate, the Utica OD has made the financial decision to eliminate the daily Opinion page (editorial, Guest Views, Op-Eds, Letters to the Editor) and offer an Opinion page only in the Sunday paper.

That's disappointing for those of us who value the voices that come directly from the community. However, we are undeterred. Continue to send your Letters to the Editor of the Utica OD and other local papers.  we're sad about the change at the Utica OD.  They may not be published but once a week, but they may matter even more since fewer letters will appear.  Keep writing!

Support Local Intern in the Brindisi Office

At our meeting on Tuesday, we learned from Diane Berry, committed IMV member, Brindisi campaign volunteer, and longtime political activist, about a young Burmese refugee from Utica who has been interning for Rep. Brindisi and will continue throughout the summer.   We applaud college students who take political internships but know that for first generation immigrant, refugee, and other low income students of color, it can be very tough to do; families don't always understand the nature of "unpaid" work, nor have the resources to help support it.

We are asking anyone who is motivated to support Yupha and her living expenses this summer to send a check to Diane Berry at 1669 Grandview Ave,  Utica NY 13502 or send funds directly to Yupha's Venmo account: @yupes.  This request came forward because of the way that IMVer have contributed to special requests in the past when we pass the hat at meetings. We can't pass the hat since we've been meeting over Zoom, but please consider contributing if you can through the mail or Venmo.  Thank you!

Please Keep Phonebanking for Anthony!

We've included in the calendar below the remaining June phone bank trainings (Mondays) for the Brindisi campaign, as well as the twice per week virtual meet-ups for phone banking (Thursdays 5-7 and Saturdays 10-12).  This is the most important thing we can be doing right now to support Anthony's campaign and build the momentum to win.  Remember that the campaign is built on a strong volunteer base. That's how we won in 2018, and that's how we'll do it again.

Please sign up to train, or start calling if you're trained. You don't have to wait for the designated times. Once you are trained, you can call during the day or early evening, whenever best fits your schedule.

Our June IMV Meeting Was Amazing Thanks to You!

We had almost 60 people at our Zoom monthly meeting on Tuesday night!  It was great to see so many people, including some first timers who learned about us through recent BLM protests.  We celebrated the three year anniversary of our official beginning as Indivisible Mohawk Valley after several months of activism and organizing in 2017 (although this year there was no cake, sadly).  We talked about all the amazing rallies and marches and vigils that have been going on in our community.  There are still more coming up--see the calendar below for events in Clinton (June 12), Oneida (June 13), and Little Falls (June 20).  And we had a number of Brindisi campaign staffers on the call to give us updates on volunteer opportunities.

We were thrilled to talk with Chelsea Arcuri, the new Community Organizer at Citizen Action -Central New York chapter.  Chelsea is known to many of us because she was involved early on with IMV; she helped phone bank to grow our original membership and assisted with building our first website.  She's now leading the work of Citizen Action in Utica and Rome on childcare, rent relief, education justice, and budget justice.  IMV encourages everyone to become a member of Citizen Action, which builds political power in impacted low income communities and communities of color and fights for economic, racial, and social justice.

The most significant portion of our meeting on Tuesday was a presentation from Sarah Reeske about values-framing, and specifically the Race-Class Narrative that has proven its effectiveness for electoral work in other districts and states.  Here's the slide deck, with lots of practical examples that can be used for letter writing, conversation, and other messaging.

The goal of using the Race Class Narrative is to talk about how the other side (Trump/Tenney), backed by millionaire special interests, is trying to divide us to increase their wealth and power.  We talk about how most of us actually want the same things and share the same values.  White, Black, and brown, we can come together like we have before, to prosper together.  Check out the great ad that Minnesota's put together when they built a coalition based on the RCN called "Greater Than Fear."

Whether you were at the meeting Tuesday, or missed it, please check out the slide deck, especially the ending, where we introduce our meme-based troll training.  We don't need to argue with people who don't share our values.  Our memes will make our point for us.  We just need more pics of cute animals you can find in NY22!

Remember to register for the big NY22 Grassroots Activist Virtual Gathering we're holding on Wednesday, June 17th.  We can't wait to see all of you and Rep. Brindisi, and make our plan to win in 2020!

Come off the sidelines and join Zoom activism!   Democracy is not a spectator sport. 

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