This is our last newsletter of 2021. Enjoy a restful winter break and we’ll see you again in January! But first, we’ve got a few last-minute ways for us to wrap up the year.
First, we want to thank you for all your hard work! Because of your efforts to Get Out the Vote in 2020, Democrats gained control of the Senate in 2021, even after Republican radicals tried to seize our government by force on January 6. Your work also allowed Speaker Pelosi to keep control of the House, too, so Donald John Trump could be impeached for the second time for his seditious acts, and so President Biden could pass his American Rescue Plan, which has improved people’s lives in all 50 states and boosted economic growth.
Your advocacy also helped encourage the House to stand steadfast with our democratic values. Democrats passed transformative legislation like the For The People Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and the Build Back Better Act. After Republicans would not support an external commission to investigate January 6, Democrats also set up the select committee and got two Republicans to join it, and they’ve already interviewed more than 200 witnesses, with weeks of public hearings planned for the spring.
There’s one more thing you can do before the year is out: encourage the Senate to pass essential legislation before leaving for holiday recess. Remind our Senators, and President Biden, that:the Build Back Better Act provides a better defense against the dangers actually killing Americans today than does the NDAA “Defense Bill”—and it costs half as much the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act are essential to preserving our democracy, and they deserve a filibuster exemption to pass them. Here are some of our 2021 Calls to Action you can use to shape your final outreach calls or emails for 2021.
In the spirit of the season, you may also wish to thank our Members of Congress and other elected officials for their efforts on our behalf, and assure them that we’ll be behind them in 2022 as well, working together to add more Democrats to the House and Senate to work with us to build a more perfect union.
And finally, remind President Biden that he must keep his campaign promise about student loan debt relief!
President Biden pledged to make student loan debt relief a central part of his economic policies, but the pause in student loan payments as part of the American Rescue Plan is set to expire on January 31, 2022, even as new COVID-19 variants emerge to threaten our health and finances. Join us, Indivisible National, the ACLU, the NAACP, and others in calling for the student loan payment pause to be extended until March 31, 2022 at the earliest. Student debt relief has been crucial to building back better and is contributing to the Biden economic recovery we have been seeing. We need to keep it going.
Contact your Senators and the White House and tell them: Keep your promise to ease the burden of student debt! Extend the pause on student loan payments!
ISF Spotlight: No Vacation Without Representation Protest
Our Senators say they support voting rights, but their record shows they aren’t fighting hard enough for them. So on Thursday, December 9, a group of 40 Indivisible activists from across the Bay Area (including Indivisible SF and Indivisible East Bay), together as Northern California Action for Democracy (NCAD), demonstrated outside Senator Padilla’s and Senator Feinstein’s office buildings in downtown San Francisco to insist that they fight harder. (Check it out thanks to Seth Marbin of Songs for Good, who livestreamed and recorded the event.)
NCAD has spent every Friday afternoon for the last three months in front of Senator Feinstein’s office, demanding that she lead on ending the filibuster and passing laws to protect voting rights and elections. Both her Judiciary Committee staff and her state staff told us that while she would follow Senator Schumer’s direction, she would not lead – an utterly unacceptable position for the senior Senator of the largest state in the nation – so we circulated a public letter calling for her to either take a leadership role or step down by December 1 to allow Governor Newsom to appoint a Senator who would. She did neither.
Meanwhile, we asked Senator Padilla to call for the Senate to refuse to adjourn for the holidays until it ended the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act. He, too, followed Senator Schumer’s lead instead of stepping up proactively.
In response, NCAD assembled outside of Sen. Padilla’s office, then marched to Sen. Feinstein’s office, where they staged a “die-in” and other actions to emphasize the urgency of the moment. Read more about the protest on our blog.
Where do we go from here? You can take action from home: Use our guide at freedomtovotenow.org to call our SenatorsSend a message to Senate Majority Leader Schumer through his nationwide contact pageAsk President Biden, via email or via phone at 202-456-1111 (Tuesday through Thursday, 11 AM to 3 PM Eastern time), to call the Senate into special session if they try to adjourn before passing election protections And you can join us in person: Fight Back Friday protest with “democracy caroling” (you can preview the song lyrics and hear audio samples!), at 5 PM on Friday, December 17, at Union Square in San Francisco save the date for voting rights vigils and actions on January 6, 2022Get involved with local Indivisible groups, the Poor People’s Campaign, and other organizations. Keep hope alive, have the courage of your convictions, and don’t let up.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens. Join us at our next meeting on Thursday, January 6. Details on how to register below!
TODAY: CA Indivisible Bill Ideas Brainstorm with Indivisible East Bay: Wednesday, December 15, 7–8 PM via Zoom. Join our friends at Indivisible East Bay to brainstorm ideas for the California state legislature! RSVP here.
LOCATION CHANGE: Fight Back Fridays: Voting Rights Caroling Edition: Friday, December 17, 5–6 PM, at Union Square, Geary & Powell St. Join a coalition of local Indivisibles every Friday for our weekly FIGHT BACK FRIDAYS. This week, we are gathering at Union Square at Geary & Powell St. We will have caroling and LED lights for you! Learn more and register here. If you want to sing with us, download and print our carol sheet!
ISF Federal Working Group meeting: Thursday, January 6, 7:30–9 PM. Register here to join our regular Zoom meeting, where we work cooperatively to develop strategies to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to support a progressive agenda. All are welcome to participate and contribute, even if you’ve never attended an ISF meeting before.
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is a photo posted on Twitter by Indivisible East Bay activist Nancy Latham of a recent Fight Back Fridays protest.
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