#NY22 Activists: Fired Up, Ready to Go!
There is a lot of energy in the district to come together to do the work to win in November. We saw that last night on the first districtwide Zoom call. It was awesome to have the entire Brindisi for Congress staff join us, including Congressman Brindisi. The campaign and grassroots are on the same page; nothing can get us down or hold us back.
Here’s the follow up document that has One Ask from each of the staff on what we can do individually to help them be successful in their roles. Guess what?! IMV members are already doing many of them. But in order to win, we need to make a plan and commitment to not leave anything on the table.
If you were on the call Wednesday with more than 100 grassroots activists and the Brindisi campaign, you know that we had a technical glitch; halfway into the Zoom video conference, the call ended and we were all kicked off. More than 70 people quickly got back on and we still finished on time. We persisted!
In 2018 there were all kinds of challenges, as you may recall. Anthony was up against an incumbent Trump-backed candidate in a district that went for Trump in 2016 by 15 points. When we phone banked, we didn't have the best phone numbers and people sometimes hung up on us. When we knocked doors, we experienced high heat, and even sleet. Remember the four days of GOTV? It was bitterly cold and pouring raid most of the time! The key to rising above these challenges was to commit to the goal, and keep going.
It's the same with volunteering for a campaign in a pandemic. There's going to be a lot of technology, and so we need to get used to it, and expect some glitches. Let's Zoom and persevere!
Juneteenth and Beyond: More Black Lives Matter Events
We hope that you have been able to participate in one of the many Black Lives Matter events held locally. More are planned, and we continue to add them to the calendar below. We hope that today you will celebrate Juneteenth in a way that is most meaningful to you. If you're white, what commitment do you want to make to anti-racism work in the coming weeks and months? We've seen this online training that anyone can do. If you have similar suggestions, please let us know.
Please use this Indivisible page to learn more about defunding the police to invest in Black communities. It's time to call our local officials and let them know what we want them to do. Along with the 10 policing reform bills passed in Albany last week, Cuomo also issued an executive order Friday requiring local governments and police departments to develop a plan to modernize police strategies and programs. Cuomo said each plan must address specific topics, like use of force, crowd management, deescalation tactics and bias training with input from the community. We expect town hall forums in many communities so be on the lookout to participate.
The Big Send: Write Letters to Voters
IMV has had a postcard writing group for several years, and we know the value of writing to voters to encourage them to vote. We love this new project from Vote Forward that has a goal of writing 10 million letters to voters to encourage them to vote in critical elections around the country. You can sign up here if you are willing to write letters.
We're also looking for a couple people who want to get IMV's postcard project going again, whether virtually or in a socially distant outdoor space, or just coordinating pick up and drop off of cards for people to write at home. If you want to work on postcards, let us know at IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com.
Remember to Vote!
Hopefully you've already voted in the Democratic Presidential Primary if you are a registered Democrat. You could have done so by absentee ballot or Early Voting. Early voting continues through Sunday, and then polls are open on Election Day, Tuesday, June 23. For information about voting in Oneida County, please see the Board of Elections page. For other counties, check your Board of Elections webpage.
Letters to the Editor
Indivisible Mohawk Valley was also a signatory on a letter about Anthony Brindisi that was sent from the NY22 grassroots activism groups to all the newspapers in the district. It was published already in My Little Falls, an online publication, and The Waterville Times. We are looking forward to seeing it published in more papers soon.
Lifting Up Our Values and Taking Action
There were some victories recently in SCOTUS decisions: an unexpected decision that protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from being disciplined, fired or turned down for a job based on their sexual orientation or gender, and another one yesterday that rejected the Trump administration's efforts to end DACA (Yesterday was a great day for the Dreamers!) At the same time we have had some local defeats, including the defeat of the only person of color on the Utica Board of Education in last week's election, and the loss of the only remaining progressive on the Rome Board of Education. Sometimes politics is one step forward and two back.
IMV remains committed to our values of racial, economic, social, and environmental justice, and access and inclusion in the democratic process. Especially today, on Juneteenth, we imagine a world very different than the one we live in now, the one structured around white supremacy and patriarchal white violence. We want to help people envision a world where Black and brown people are not disproportionately impacted by police stops, police arrests, convictions, and imprisonment nor disproportionately affected by poorly funded schools and inadequate health care systems, environmental laws, housing, and social supports like affordable child care.
We imagine this world, and we are also committed to bringing it about. We must elect candidates who share our values, and we must continue to press our elected representatives and leaders to do the hard work on our behalf of transforming systems, laws, funding, and policies for the sake of equity and justice. We hope that you will continue to join us in lifting up those values, by taking action, because...
Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport!