IC-SS News 12-20-21: Our Year in Review + things to do!

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IC-SS Weekly Update: Dec. 20, 2021

Day of Remembrance & Action: Jan. 6

HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. We won’t forget January 6th, 2021, the day of Trump’s attempted coup and the violent insurrection at the US Capitol. We will remember the lost lives, the injuries, and the existential threat to our democracy and our freedom, a threat we continue to face together.

OUR PLEDGE FOR DEMOCRACY. The new year is upon us. We pledge to continue working to defend and extend the freedom to vote and to ensure free and fair elections. Are you with us?

ACT – On Thursday, January 6th, 2022 at 5:30 pm, citywideIndivisible Chicago will hold a vigil for democracy in Federal Plaza to demand that those who led the attempted coup are held accountable and to pledge to defend our democracy from future attempts. Get info/sign up.


 Our Year in Review

Let’s celebrate our full year of activism during pandemic times. In 2021, whether you focused on one or many types of actions or causes, YOU made a difference.

Some of the 2021 issues and causes we worked for:

  • Democracy and voting rights
    • Freedom to Vote + John Lewis Voting Rights acts
    • Supreme Court expansion + DC statehood
  • Electing or re-electing progressive candidates in other states
  • Black Lives Matter, against police violence
  • Immigrant rights
  • Build Back Better bill
  • Reproductive rights
  • Gun violence prevention
  • Chicago’s Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance for community control of police
  • Other local, state, national, or worldwide issues

Actions on our own or with partner organizations:

  • Called & wrote to our elected officials (alders, senators, etc.)
  • Phonebanked, textbanked, canvassed voters
  • Registered & informed voters
  • Tabled & handed out info to inform passersby
  • Wrote to voters (letters, postcards)
  • Wrote or signed a letter to the editor
  • Attended rallies, demonstrations, marches
  • Attended webinars & other trainings to get informed
  • Consumed books, articles, podcasts, docs by reliable sources 
  • Shared reliable info/resources via conversation & social media
  • Did other activities to make a positive change
  • Organized & helped present any of the above

Membership Drive in January

Anyone is welcome to take part in Indivisible Chicago-South Side’s open meetings, events, and projects. However, only voting members can vote on endorsements.

In early 2022, we will ask continuing voting members to renew their voting membership, and we’ll invite new people to join as voting members. (There is no fee.) The registration form will be live in January; watch for an announcement and link in the January 10 newsletter.


URGENT: Call Voters in Manchin’s District

YOU ARE NEEDED. If you’re dismayed the Senate left for vacation without passing the Freedom to Vote Act (or Build Back Better), you’re not alone. But keep in mind that, last week, NH Senator Maggie Hassan publicly announced she’s now on our side–willing to prevent the filibuster from blocking the Freedom to Vote Act. And Virginia Senator Mark Warner, recently did the same.  We were all enraged when Joe Manchin refused to support the Build Back Better bill, but there is still hope he may come around. Meanwhile, he shows signs he might budge on filibuster reform so that voting rights bills can pass. The time is now to work on Manchin. So we’ll be getting his constituents to call him two Tuesdays in a row: Tues December 21 and Tues December 28.

You can do it! Connect on Zoom with friendly Indivisible Chicago folks, who’ll guide you as you patch people in WV through to Joe Manchin’s office to tell him to fix the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act.
Tuesday, Dec 21 + Tuesday, Dec. 28, 3:00 pm: Phonebank to West Virginia residents – Joe Manchin territory  in support of the Freedom to Vote Act. Via Indivisible Chicago, in partnership with Common Cause. You can join us either Tuesday – or both! Learn more/Sign up

Choose your day: If you can’t make the Indivisible Chicago phonebanks, choose a Common Cause phonebank to call other states on other days. Learn more/Sign up.


Postcards, Letters Get Out the Vote

Get in the winter frame of mind. Grab the cocoa, find a fuzzy friend, write letters to voters to help turn out the vote in key elections.

Perfect for a winter’s day: cozy up with a pal and write to voters (Photo courtesy Steve Kagan)

ACT: Write to voters in one or all of these ways: Vote Forward + Postcards to Swing States + Postcards for Climate.

GET INFORMED: Postcards make a difference! Progressive Turnout PAC summarizes postcards’ effectiveness in turning out the vote: A Gateway to Activism, Postcards Win Close Elections*. The article indicates that “social pressure” messages are the most effective.

*Thanks to Steve Kagan for alerting us to this research summary.


Weekend Rallies for Justice

On Facebook and Twitter, IC-South Side shares announcements about actions in Chicago organized by local groups. We encourage IC-SS members to watch for ways to show up. Check out the rallies Co-Leader Teri Watkins attended this past weekend.

FREEZE-IN & COAT DRIVE. As temperatures plummet below freezing and COVID cases inside Cook County Jail increase, it’s important to demand safe release and conditions inside the jail for our incarcerated neighbors.

On December 18th, SOUL and other organizations gathered at the jail to raise these demands and to collect donated coats in good condition for people being released, often without warm outerwear.

RALLY FOR IMMIGRATION, LABOR, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. On International Migrants Day, December 18th, the Illinois Green New Deal Coalition and its partners rallied to raise awareness of the roots of the immigration crisis: climate change, exploitation of workers by corporations, and the need for better conditions. The demand: include a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better bill.

Act: Use this form to write an automatic letter to Senators Durbin and Duckworth demanding citizenship for all.


Videos: Freedom to Vote!

Last week, you heard about a Chorus for Us All, the democracy caroling event organized by Indivisible Chicago. Now hear some of the carols, paired with the lyrics.

Teri Watkins, Betsy Rubin in photo by Paul Goyette

Listen to the democracy carols (sung by everyday people): 

Thanks to Toma Mengebier for creating the song videos.
Contact our senators:

  • Tell Senator Durbin + Senator DuckworthThank you for supporting the Freedom to Vote Act. Please convince your fellow Democrats to end or reform the filibuster so this democracy bill can actually pass.

Stay Informed on Voting Rights

Stay informed on the urgent need to strengthen and defend our democracy – including voting rights, fair elections, and counteracting the filibuster loophole as an obstacle. Check the IC-SS Democracy Doc – new resources weekly: websites, articles, podcasts, videos, and more.


The Newsletter on Holiday

The newsletter will take a winter break, to return on Monday, January 10. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, for continuing updates. And we’ll send out a quick announcement for any important event during that time. As always, feel free to write to us at Indiv.Chi.South@gmail.com.


Organizations & Opportunities

Indivisible Chicago-South Side shares information and action announcements from other organizations on issues important in our country, state, city, and communities.


 Holiday Support: IC-SS Members Suggest 

At our December 9th meeting, IC-South Side members suggested organizations to consider supporting at holiday time. Here’s a list:

BASIC NEEDS

MEDICAL/HEALTH CARE

EDUCATION

JUSTICE/LEGAL

OTHER


Community Control of Police: Join the Fight!

This summer, the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance (ECPS) was passed in the Chicago City Council.  This legislation gives Chicago residents some of the most comprehensive accountability over city police in the nation. The struggle for police accountability, however, is not done. 

Now we need the City Council to put a referendum on the ballot, so Chicago residents can vote for even further control.

ACT: You can help encourage community members to notify their alders that Chicago needs the referendum. Please sign up to phonebank, drop literature, or table. Contact the CAARPR organization or IC-SS Co-LeaderTeri Watkins


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