IC-SS Weekly Update: December 21, 2020
Thanks for All Your Work in 2020
It’s been a year. Many people have been profoundly affected by the pandemic and the related crises of unemployment and housing instability. Our democracy and voting rights have been threatened, and the Biden-Harris victory over Trump-Pence was hard won. Thank you for your efforts to turn this year around.
Looking back, we can feel proud of the work that Indivisible Chicago-South Side members did both before and after COVID-19 hit. Together in our group or individually, we:
- Held public Candidate Forums for the Illinois State Senate in the 13th District and for the US Congressional race in the 1st District.
- Formally endorsed Marie Newman for Congress in IL-03, Robert Emmons in IL-01, and Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney.
- Canvassed for Marie Newman, Robert Emmons, and Wisconsin candidates.
- Phonebanked and textbanked with Indivisible Chicago Alliance, national Indivisible, and other organizations for down-ballot candidates in MI, WI, IA, and IL Districts 3 & 14 (for Marie Newman & Rep Lauren Underwood). After the primary, we promoted the Biden-Harris ticket and Congressional seats as well.
- Started the year writing hundreds of Marie Newman postcards to voters in IL-03. Well practiced, we went on to write tens of thousands of postcards with Postcards to Swing States/Indivisible Chicago and letters with Vote Forward to likely Democratic voters in swing states. Then thousands more to GA!
- Demonstrated in support of the US Post Office and joined demonstrations supporting the Civilian Police Accountability Council ordinance (CPAC), free and fair elections, the appointment of qualified judges for SCOTUS, and more.
- Registered new voters, including many high school students turning 18.
- Informed voters about the issues and about voting procedures in person and via social media.
Much appreciation to our Co-Leader Esther Peters, who efficiently – and cheerfully – handled the South Side postcard distribution hub from May through December, as part of the citywide operation managed by ICA’s Denise Poloyac, Jessica Droeger, and Jason Rieger.
We were deeply grateful to work closely with the Indivisible Chicago Alliance, to which we belong – thanks to the ICA leaders for providing so many opportunities to act and to learn how. Big shout-out to our friends at Indivisible Illinois and Neighbors Who Vote, including super-activist Julia Kline.
And very special thanks to Doug Bishop, founding Co-Leader of Indivisible Chicago-South Side, who organized tirelessly for four years. This year, Doug planned and implemented two Candidate Forums and steered IC-SS’s endorsements before stepping aside to devote himself, as a molecular biologist, to the effort against COVID-19.
There’s still so much to do. Stay with us in 2021 and beyond!
NEW INFO: Mail Those Postcards EARLIER
Writing postcards to voters in Georgia? Indivisible Chicago Alliance just let us know that, based on new data, we need to send our postcards earlier than planned. If you’ve already finished your postcards, mail them on Wednesday Dec 23rd. Otherwise, send them ASAP bySaturday Dec 26th. (If you absolutely can’t finish all by that date, then Monday December 28th). You’ll help get out the vote on Georgia’s Senate run-off election day!
Do postcards and letters really make a difference? There’s evidence they do! IC-SS member Steve Kagan shares the latest from Vote Forward, the letter-writing project. Check out Vote Forward’s impact report.
2020’s Last Zoom: Looking Back & Forward
Last week, 18 members of IC-South Side gathered for one last 2020 Zoom. In addition to penning our postcards to Georgia voters, we looked back on 2020 and ahead to 2021 and beyond.
At our Dec 15th Zoom, participants shared some of these activist highlights from 2020:
- Endorsed and worked for Marie Newman – and she WON.
- Directly reached voters in swing states during the pandemic by speaking to them on the phone and providing info to encourage them to get out and vote. Appreciated the superb training and support offered by Indivisible Chicago Alliance and the many opportunities they offered to phonebank and textbank.
- Learned how to textbank – a new way to reach voters. “You can have a real conversation with a voter via text.” “Through textbanking and the training, I learned a lot about what was happening in other states. Great to be involved in races around the country.”
- Made a difference by writing postcards and letters to voters in swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania; there’s evidence that postcards and letters really do get out the vote and can make a difference in close elections. Also: “I get a lot out of writing letters and postcards. It was something to do when I couldn’t sleep at 4:00 in the morning because I was concerned about our political situation.
- Worked on justice and policing issues in Chicago, including pushing the City Council to pass the ordinance for CPAC. “We could be a model for other cities.”
- Registered and informed voters in high schools and at South Side locations. “People were excited to vote.”
- Used social media to help get out the vote – especially to encourage people to vote by mail.
- Felt inspired that neighbors and family members kept hope alive and got active. “My 20-year-old daughter voted in her first presidential election!”
- Saw hard proof that local and statewide races can affect national politics. For example, we helped elect Jill Karnofsky to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. And just last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 against Trump’s bid to throw out more than 220,000 ballots from two largely Democratic counties.
- Biden and Harris won the election, and the challenges are falling away.
Registering new voters in high schools
Looking toward 2021 and beyond, we all agreed that our work must continue as fiercely as ever. We must fight to undo the damage the Trump administration and its supporters are wreaking on our voting, civil, and human rights, as well as on our planet.
Ideas included helping progressive candidates run for seats vacated by new Biden appointees; working for candidates in the 2022 midterm elections; fighting for voting rights and fair districting; supporting community efforts on issues including concerns about gentrification, displacement, housing, and justice; continuing to register and inform voters; and identifying more groups to partner with and more people to join the effort.
Let’s all take a little time to rest and recharge and be ready for the work in 2021!
December Giving: Mutual Aid & Non-profits
Looking for local places to donate this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions from IC-SS members:
- Casa Michoacán
- Good Kids Mad City
- Growing Home
- Hunger Programs – Hyde Park & Kenwood Interfaith Council
- Hyde Park Neighborhood Club
- Hyde Park Refugee Project
- KOCO – Kenwood Oakland Community Organization
- Local music programs: Hyde Park School of Dance + Hyde Park Youth Symphony + Marsha’s Music + Music Teachers of Hyde Park
- Local schools, eg Kenwood, Ray
- Mutual aid and related organizations in Chicago, including many on the South Side – listed by Maxwell Evans of Block Club Chicago
- Support local restaurants, e.g. get Christmas /Christmas eve dinner from La Petite Folie
Help the Georgia Effort
Pick Your Time to Phonebank for Rev Warnock & Jon Ossoff
The Georgia Coordinated Campaign has reached out for help from citywide Indivisible Chicago Alliance (ICA). An initial surge of volunteers has tapered off, and they’re getting through only about 20% of their phone bank lists.
Our help is needed immediately to call:
- Voters who haven’t turned in their absentee ballots
- Thousands of Early Voters who have new polling places assigned since they voted in November by GOP planners trying to suppress their voting rights
The Indivisible Chicago Alliance phone bank leadership team is responding with new phone bank shifts. Sign up here for all of ICA’s upcoming Georgia phone banks or click on the individual links below:
- TONIGHT – Monday, December 21, 5-7pm
- Wednesday, December 23, 5-7pm
- Monday, December 28, 5-7pm
- Wednesday, December 30, 5-7pm
These phone banks will feature the same leaders, same high-touch training & support as those ICA ran for the Presidential race. All that’s missing is YOU!
These times not good for you? Sign up directly with the Coordinated Campaign for the times that work best for you. Phone banks are open daily 9am-7pm Central. Please choose as many shifts as you can in these remaining days.
Bilingual English/Spanish caller? Your help is needed to reach Latinx voters. Join the coordinated campaign phone banks Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Help Democrats Warnock and Ossoff win by supporting them with your dollars. You can also support Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight to promote fair elections in Georgia and the New Georgia Project to register voters.
- Donate to New Georgia Project
- Donate to Fair Fight
- Donate to Warnock & Ossoff campaigns at once via ActBlue
Find lots of ways to help on Indivisible Chicago Alliance Georgia run-off webpage.
Newsletter Takes a Week Off
Coming Up in January 2021
The IC-SS newsletter will be on holiday during the week between Christmas and New Year’s; there will be no newsletter on the 28th. Watch for the next newsletter on Monday, January 4th.
Coming Up in January 2021
- The People Lead event – January 13
- ICA Inaugural Party (online) – January 20
- Announcements on upcoming leadership elections for IC-South Side
Indivisible Chicago-South Side
Co-Leader: Esther Peters
Acting Co-Leaders: Betsy Rubin, Teri Watkins, Sarah Lincoln
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