Action this Week – Oct. 4, 2019

Big NY22 News and a Town Hall

Claudia “OneTerm” Tenney  has announced that she is running for Congress in NY 22 in 2020.  That makes four Republican contenders in the Republican primary so far.  One of them (at least) is going to be taking on Rep. Brindisi after June, and it’s going to be a tough race no matter who it is. It is usually harder for an incumbent to win their first re-election that it was to win their race as a challenger.

Here’s the thing:  We cannot go back.  Many, many of us stood in a picket two hours a week in the rain, in the blazing sun, in the freezing cold, in the feet-high snow because she refused to listen to us.  We don’t want to do it again. How many times did we have to protest her uncivil remarks, votes to take away our health care, and her willingness to sacrifice every day workers so that the super wealthy could get their giant tax cuts?  Too many times.

Probably no MVer agrees with Rep. Binidisi on every single vote he takes, but he is the very best person who could possibly represent our purple district in Congress. In a district that has a 29,000 voter registration advantage for Republicans and that went by more than 15 points for Trump in 2016, we flipped the district and we now have a representative who listens to all of his constituents, puts the interests of the district first, and even carefully reads the bills he votes on.  By the way, he votes about 95% of the time with his Dem colleagues, including voting without hesitation for HR 1 Democracy Reform.

So far, there has been no vote at all on impeachment, but when it does happen, Anthony will, no doubt, review the facts, uphold the independence of Congress, and put the Constitution, legality, and morality above anything else.  That would not be possible if we still had “Trump before Trump” Tenney as our Member of Congress.  She would never be sober in the face of historic investigations and commit to reviewing and acting on the evidence.  She would be firing up her extremist base in a feeding frenzy of name-calling.

Indeed we’ve seen in the past week that the impeachment inquiry has energized long dormant local Trump-Tenney supporters.  They’ve held two rallies, one in front of Rep. Brindisi’s Court Street office, and one on the Clinton Village Green this past Saturday, to drum up support for Trump and oppose impeachment.   And, they’ve announced that they will show up at Rep. Brindisi’s Oneida County Town Hall on Thursday, Oct. 10th in New Hartford.  So, unless we want their message on impeachment to drown out ours, then we need to be there, and we need more of us than there are of them.

So, please make every effort to attend, and show up early, because the goal is to fill the front seats and the front rows, and be visible because there will be media coverage.  Bring your questions and your concerns. Anthony is always willing to listen and he answers every question to the best of his ability, honestly and without lying (big difference from his predecessor who did no town halls in the Mohawk Valley!).

Rep. Brindisi’s Oneida County Town Hall is Thursday, Oct. 10th, 6-8 pm, at New Hartford Senior High School Performing Arts Center at 33 Oxford Road.  Keep calling his office to let him know what you think about impeachment.  Remember our goal is that the phone tally every day in both the Utica office and the DC office is in favor of impeachment, so that when the time comes, our MoC will hold the occupant of the White House accountable.

Something’s Happening in ROME

Have you seen what is going on in Rome?  Progressive candidates are out knocking doors, an mobilizing supporters to phone bank and register voters!  Just yesterday, Shelly Gardner, who is running for Rome Common Council in Ward 2 organized a sign waving ninja flash event at a busy intersection.  She’s also been going door to door and registering dozens of new voters!

Cam Tien, who has been in his first term representing the 1st Ward on the Common Council, is facing a rough election from a Republican challenger. He needs help with canvassing as well.  Mike Brown and Leigh Loughran are both running for Oneida County Legislature.  In fact, they could potentially be part of an historic event, if for the first time, Democrats could win a majority of seats on the Oneida County Board of Legislators.

Please canvass for a Roman this weekend if you are not canvassing for your other favorite candidates in Utica, New Hartford, or other Mohawk Valley community. 

Rome Canvassing Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th

  • Shelley Gardner for Rome City Council Ward 2.  Canvassing shifts this Saturday and Sunday 12 to 2:00 and 3 to 5:00.  Meet at Gardner’s Farm to Table Restaurant at 401 W. Dominick St, Rome.
  • Reelect Cam Tien to Rome City Council Ward 1.  Canvassing shift Sunday, 2 pm – 4 pm.  Sally Myhr and Phil Myhr will take lead. Please meet them on their front porch, 712 N. James St, Rome.
  • Reelect Mike Brown Oneida County 12th District Legislator. Canvassing shift Sunday 12 to 2 pm.  Meet at 111 Ft Stanwix Park S., Rome

That’s not all. Everyone is invited to  join Mohawk Valley Drinking Liberally for their next gathering on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6:30-9:00 pm at Copper City Brewing Company, 1111 Oneida Street, Rome. Bring a Roman friend!

Finally, mark your calendars for a Rome Progressives Grassroots Action Presentation on Thursday, November 14th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Jervis Public Library Auditorium, 613 N Washington St, Rome.  Kristina Andreotta, Lead Organizer for Central New York Citizen Action, will be doing a presentation on rallying the local community at the grassroots level to achieve great changes in the issues we care about and how to elect progressive candidates to office who are committed to our issues.

IMV’s Oct. 20th Meeting: A Seven Minute Homework Assignment

Please mark your calendars now for our Oct. 20th IMV meeting. Yes, it is a busy time for canvassing, but we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to come together, socialize, and encourage one another before Get Out the Vote goes into high gear.

At our September meeting it was clear that we all want more practice on framing our issues and talking from our values.  In preparation, our facilitators have asked that everyone take seven minutes (that’s all!) to watch this brief video clip.   It explains ways of talking about immigration that resonate with our values.  The more we strengthen our skills on this, the more formidable we will be in challenging the conservative framing that so dominates media and culture.

Battle Station Opening, Upcoming Training

Hey, we had a canvassing reunion of sorts on Tuesday at the old Briidisi campaign field office, is once again our NY 22 Battlestation!  Rep. Brindisi was there, talking about the work he’s done in Congress and the challenge he faces in next year’s election.  Allison Romer, of the DCCC, whom you may have seen around town helping local candidates and connecting with man of us, has the place open and ready for action.  What action?  She is focusing on training volunteers, voter registration efforts and getting more Letters to the Editor written to lay the groundwork for a successful 2020.

As we’ve discussed at several IMV meetings, one of the areas where we need to be stronger in the Mohawk Valley is getting Letters to the Editor into the local newspapers. If you’re a bit nervous about writing an effective letter, or feel overwhelmed at where to begin, Allison can help. She’s offering training on Monday, Oct. 7 and Monday, Oct. 28th.  See the calendar below and stop by 3899 Oneida Street, in New Hartford on either evening.

That’s not all.  Allison is training volunteers who are willing to take the Notary Public exam (see below) and those who are willing to be “trackers.”  That means keeping track of media coverage and appearances of Republican candidates.  There’s work for everyone, whether out front or behind the scenes.

Here’s the main message:  When we knock doors, we win.  When we do the work, we win.  Everything will depend on how well trained and how well organized we volunteers are in 2019, 2020, and beyond. 

We’re Going to Need Notaries. Can you help?

More people need to become Notaries so that we can gather petition signatures from Independence Party Signatures. Not sure that’s an important job?  It’s worth pointing out the number of votes in the margin between Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney in 2018 was about the number of people who voted on that line of the ballot, which Anthony only held because of people who petitioned to get him on the line.

Allison Romer is holding a notary public training session on Wednesday, October 16, from 6-7:30 pm at the DCCC field office,  3899 Oneida St, NH. This will mean you will be prepared to take the notary exam!  the exam is given once a month on a Tuesday at both 9 am and 10:30 am at the State Office Building in Utica.  Upcoming dates: Oct. 22nd, Nov. 26th, and Dec. 17th.

New Dates for Rome & Kirkland Events

Please note that due to Rep. Brindisi’s Oneida County Town Hall, two local events have been rescheduled.  Rachel May’s talk in the Town of Kirkland will now be held on Nov. 13th.  The Citizen Action event for Rome Progressives has been changed to Nov. 14th. Please make a note in the calendar below.

A Breath of Fresh Air and a Break from Impeachment News

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the daily, no hourly, breaking news related to Trump’s illegal, corrupt, bizarre, and impeachable offenses.  Sometimes you need a break from the breathless reporters and the Twitter craze. That’s when you should get some fresh air, and take a long walk for your mental health.  When you do that, be sure you have  a turf in our hand, some palm cards, and a couple of voter registration forms.

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of early voting, and too many of our neighbors don’t even know there is an election coming up.  The conversations at the door are not about impeachment; they are about citizen engagement and voting.  They are about taking care of our communities and transparency in local government.  They are about electing people we know and believe in who will make us proud on local county, city, and town boards.

Remember that local elections matter. Local offices are how we build our bench, plus it gives us a chance to talk to voters door to door so they don’t think “You only talk to me every four (or two) years.”  Most importantly, if we canvass in 2019, our skills will be sharp in 2020.  And that’s going to be critical because we need to keep NY22  and the House,  and we need to be part of a big blue wave that sweeps the county and takes the White House and the Senate with it.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference in local progressive politics!

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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