Looking for a fun
opportunity to move the needle?
Request from Sandy Ma
of Hawaii Common Cause
Some Good Reads
New Lincoln Project Ad
In this newsletter, we’re sharing a number of items that may help get your mojo restarted. We’ve got a big battle on our hands to Save Our Democracy.
- The Drag Queen Olympics for Democracy – Field Team 6 Fun Fundraiser, Thursday afternoon
- Common Cause Fast Action Request / Another Bill for the 2nd Full Week of Hawaii’s 2022 Legislative Session – Request from Sandy Ma
- Vote While it Counts – The Lincoln Project New Ad
- So How Do We Go On? – Recommended Reading
- If Democrats Want to Win, They Must Change the Venue – Recommended Reading
THE DRAG QUEEN OLYMPICS FOR DEMOCRACY – Field Team 6
Voter mobilization is the name of the game in ’22.
Voter registration is where it begins.
Field Team 6 is the best in this business.
Field Team 6 helped register 2.9M new Dem voters in ’20 — for less than the pencil budget at DNC. ($1.2M — 42 cents a new voter…).
They are doing a fundraiser (like none you’ve ever seen) this Thursday — it’s hysterical, and wonderful!
- Thursday, February 3rd, 2022
- 5PM PT | 8PM ET
- Streaming on Zoom and Twitch
- Tickets starting at $10 available at ft6.us/queens
Donate. Buy a ticket. Spread the word. Repeat.
Please. They deserve it, and we will all reap the rewards. And the laughs!!
DRAG QUEEN OLYMPICS FOR DEMOCRACY
LOS ANGELES, January 28, 2022 — “America is in crisis… and she needs a queen!” proclaimed Detox, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race and just one of a bevy of fierce drag queens who will be sprinting, skating, and sashaying for the gold in “America Needs A Queen,” a live-streamed fundraising event taking place Thursday, February 3, 2022 on Zoom and Twitch.
The first-of-its-kind event will raise funds for Field Team 6’s efforts to register progressive voters in key battleground states. “Drag queens from across the country are coming together to help save democracy, and if you want to make America gay again, what else are you doing on the night before the Olympics that could be better than this?!” said Brita Filter, host of the event. “We’re waging the fight of our lives in these states that like to go both ways, and that costs money, honey — so help us snatch the glory!”
America Needs a Queen will feature some of the country’s premier drag talent, including stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Queen of the Universe, Legendary, and more.
“Our goal with this event is to raise $100,000, which would translate to roughly 200,000 new Democratic voters,” said Field Team 6 organizer Cory Alpert. “That could easily be enough to keep Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate.”
Common Cause Fast Action Request / Another Bill for the 2nd Full Week of 2022 Legislative Session! – Request from Sandy Ma, Common Cause
Aloha Good Government Activists! Another bill needs your support in this second full week of the 2022 legislative session!
Please remember that testimonies are due 24 hours prior to hearing dates and times. Written testimonies must be submitted through the Capitol Website. You can submit written testimonies and sign up to testify remotely watching this link here. If have already signed up to submit written testimonies through the Capitol Website, you do not need to create a new Capitol Website account!
House Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee has scheduled HB 1883, relating to elections, for hearing on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, at 2 pm. This HB 1883 requires the exterior of the envelope containing the ballot package to include instructions on how to obtain language translation services in Hawaiian and certain foreign languages. Please SUPPORT this PRIORITY BILL! Your testimony is due Wed., Feb. 2, 2022, before 2 pm.
Talking Points for HB 1883:
- The recent Decennial Census shows that Hawaii is the most diverse state in the nation with a diversity index of 76.0%. See https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/racial-and-ethnic-diversity-in-the-united-states-2010-and-2020-census.html (retrieved Jan. 31, 2022).
- The April 2016 DBEDT Research and Economic Analysis Division report on Non-English Speaking Population in Hawaii indicates that non-English speakers at home in Hawaii increased by 44% from 1980 to 2014. See https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/data_reports/Non_English_Speaking_Population_in_Hawaii_April_2016.pdf at Executive Summary (retrieved Jan. 31, 2022).
- Ilocano, Tagalog, and Japanese were the top three most common non-English languages spoken at home in Hawaii. See https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/data_reports/Non_English_Speaking_Population_in_Hawaii_April_2016.pdf at Executive Summary (retrieved Jan. 31, 2022). However, English proficiency among the non-English speaking population varied substantially by language with proficiency being low — less than 40% of the Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Ilocano speaking population speak English very well. See https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/data_reports/Non_English_Speaking_Population_in_Hawaii_April_2016.pdf at Executive Summary (retrieved Jan. 31, 2022).
- Voting is a fundamental right preservative of all other rights.
- Amendments to the Hawaii State Constitution in 1978, including the reinclusion of the Hawaiian language as an official language of the state of Hawaii, were intended to require the State to institute measures to revive the Hawaiian language.
- HB 1883 will help our limited English proficient citizens more fully participate in the electoral process.
The Talking Points are just food thought! Please feel free to use your own words and add your own reasons why you support or do not support a bill! If some of these bills / talking points look familiar, that may be because you submitted testimony on the House (or the Senate) version of the bill. It is crucial to submit testimony every time a bill is heard in a committee! Your testimony may be the same. The legislature just needs to hear from you in every committee and every time! This way the legislature knows that there is support or opposition against a measure.
Again, the Capitol is closed and all written testimony must be submitted on line through the Capitol Website 24 hours in advance of the hearing date! You must register for an account to submit testimony. And you can learn how to here. If you previously registered for an account, then you should be set to go! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!!!
Many thanks for testifying and participating in our democracy. Please be safe and well!
VOTE WHILE IT COUNTS –New Ad from The Lincoln Project
February 1, 2022 — Today, The Lincoln Project has released a new ad — “Vote While It Counts” — with a clear message: Democracy is on the ballot.
All across this nation, at all levels of government, Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it harder for Americans to cast their ballots. What’s more, these Republicans, in addition to restricting the right to vote, are working to grant themselves the right to overturn the will of the people — like in Arizona where the GOP-led legislature is pushing a bill which would allow them to overturn an election without even a hint of evidence.
The Lincoln Project is proud to be building the largest and most diverse political coalition in recent memory — The Union — which will take on the fight to preserve, protect, and defend democracy. Members of The Union are working to ensure we win this fight against the anti-democracy, authoritarian Republican Party.
“We urge Americans to vote in the 2022 midterm election, because if Republicans win this fight, there is a real possibility their vote may not be counted in future elections,” said Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen. “The fight to achieve democracy some 250 years ago was hard-fought and took an all-hands strategy; in 2022, we’re again called to the fight. Diverse coalitions, like the one we’re building, give us the best chance at beating back the GOP’s authoritarian lurch and preserving the democracy we won all those years ago.”
The full ad can be viewed here.
SO HOW DO WE GO ON? – Recommended Reading
Marty Perlmutter, shared on 2020 Progressive Mobilization List ServeI hear this and feel it in my progressive colleagues all ’round. Covid exhaustion. And all of us are survivors of what Aram Fischer (Middle Tier) calls the Class of ’16. Hell, we’ve been at this longer than the US was in World War II. No, seriously. Now, in one bitter week a single atavist from West Virginia (with 61% approval back home) has sunk BBB, and an odd bird from Arizona (whom we elevated to her present position when she sang another song) has given the filibuster new life — to screw everyone and everything with its clubby, out of date, majority-ridiculing ignominy.
So how do we gather ourselves for the next assault?
If you want to know, ask any African-American activist with whom you’re acquainted. You just DO. Real agents of change don’t fold when they’re smacked. John Lewis lived that truth. So did Martin. You keep on walking. With pride in the honor of leading a struggle that must, can and will be won.
If you doubt our inevitability, talk to pretty much any adolescent or college age kid. Ask her about her plans. Talk about climate and voting rights, gender equality and economic inequality. They sing from one hymnal. And they are — without any question — the future of, well, everything. Voting included.
As for the mega-bummers strewn by Manchinema — voting behavior scholars report that people who want to vote pretty much always get to vote. I know, I read the same articles about Georgia, Arizona, Texas et al. If you’re Latinx living in El Paso and your voting booth has been moved 10 miles, you can find a ride there. You really can. And you will, if you care. And I wouldn’t want to be the redneck who tries to stop Stacey’s voters outside Atlanta next fall. No, we don’t fold.
The filibuster — is not going to be modified, or carved, or whatever right now. But it is going to be eliminated in just a few years. Because that’s what happens when you try to stop a tide.
For now, we just keep working. Sure, call your uncle in Arizona. Definitely send money to the Let’s-Primary-Sinema team. Let’s support legal defenses of voting rights everywhere. Let’s keep our eyes on redistricting in our own backyards. Who are you supporting in your local city council race? How ’bout sheriff? Know the answer to that, and work for the right folk in those crucial posts. Make friends with your Assembly rep. Get to know their legislative aides. Do the hard daily real work of pushing laws you want, and countering the ones that suck. (Like our stupid California PUC that wants to tax solar panels and kill homeowner solar…We saved Newsom from recall; he better save his own sorry skin by countering his pals on the PUC.)
Ask yourself this: Was I in this just to get rid of what’s-his-name? Or am I a dedicated progressive working for changes I know we need — economic opportunity, racial equality, quality childcare, prison reform…you know the holy list.
If you’re in this for the long haul, tie your laces tighter, take a breath, relax for the weekend — and on Monday, remember what that guy did, what he sacrificed so we could stand at this verge of a new birth of freedom.
Onward, beloved partners in change!
Recommended Reading: OPINION – IF DEMOCRATS WANT TO WIN, THEY MUST CHANGE THE VENUE
The Washington Post
Jennifer Rubin, Jan 16, 2022
Our democracy is already badly injured. One political party flirts with violence and seeks to undermine the sanctity of elections. And many voters seem indifferent to the fate of democracy going into this year’s midterm elections.
When Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), the man most likely to be House speaker should Republicans retake the chamber, snubs a committee investigating the former president’s involvement in an insurrection, we know the rule of law is crumbling. And when Republican “leaders” cannot curb a batch of conspiracy-theory spouting, violence-infatuated crackpots — e.g., Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.) — we know we are staring at an era of chaos.
Democracy took more hits last week. Senate Democrats, thanks to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), will not be able to protect democracy without asking permission from their Republican colleagues, who are rooting for fewer voters and partisan election administration. It would be funny if it were not so morally vacuous.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has lost credibility as a guardian of democracy and constitutional government. Its right-wing justices seem untethered to the Constitution or statutory text. On Thursday, they made up a new requirement that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cannot regulate workplace hazards (i.e., covid-19) unless they appear only in the workplace. This is not textualism; it is partisan hackery. Such a distinction appears nowhere in federal law.
This follows the Supreme Court’s handiwork in neutering democracy by undercutting enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, making mincemeat of the “effects” provision in Section 2 of the law and eliminating Section 5′s preclearance provisions. The court also seems ready to throw out decades of precedent protecting the right to an abortion. This is not how our democracy is supposed to function.
President Biden, having reached these dead ends in the Senate and in the courts, must fight on different terrain. This is different from dumping what his critics complain is an excessively “progressive” agenda. (If voting rights is now only a progressive issue, we are in deep trouble.) He and his Democratic allies need to seek different venues to bolster democracy, not surrender to authoritarians.
When it comes to voting rights and, frankly, all constitutional rights, Biden must take his case outside the Beltway. The theme is simple: Do not let politicians control voters. Preserve Americans’ control over their government and their own lives.
That means Democrats need to double down in support of state-level, pro-democracy referendums akin to anti-gerrymandering initiatives that have succeeded in curbing partisan redistricting. Voters can insist on nonpartisan redistricting and shield election workers from removal without cause. They can also block abortion “bounties” and other schemes that impair women’s physical autonomy.
Democrats also need to win elections for state judges to ensure that those interpreting state laws and constitutions value democracy and privacy rights. Democrats should likewise heavily invest in state legislative and executive races (i.e., governor, secretary of state, state attorney general). If they win more of these contests, they can hamper Republicans’ agenda. Quite simply, this is a battle to prevent authoritarians from thwarting the will of the people and the rights of individuals.
Yes, Democrats will have to overcome voter suppression and gerrymandering. But that does not mean they are incapable of winning more statewide races, firing up and expanding their base, making headway in state courts and enlisting popular support for voters to maintain control over politicians (not the reverse).
Broadly speaking, this is putting democracy on the ballot. In concrete terms, it means stopping Republicans from disempowering voters. Arrogant incumbents who figure out ways to avoid getting voted out of office can pursue wildly unpopular policies — from dismantling gun safety measures to allowing the government to decide when a women will bear children.
Impairing democracy is central to Republicans ability to retain and expand power. Only their status as a minority party has prevented their radical agenda from becoming reality. They have already signaled that once in power, they are not going to focus on covid, inflation or the climate, but on demonizing immigrants, impeaching the president and sowing chaos (e.g., shutting down the government, threatening to default on the debt).
If Democrats cannot convince voters that Republicans up and down the ballot want to minimize voters’ power and instead pursue their own unpopular, extremist agenda, we will surely find ourselves ruled by anti-democratic, radical MAGA soldiers answerable only to their cult leader. Put differently, if Democrats cannot persuade voters that Republicans are the party that covers up a violent insurrection; roots for book burning and removing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. from school curriculums; plots to overturn elections; and wants to force women to give birth, we are headed for an era of radical GOP rule.
Biden cannot remake the Supreme Court. He cannot change Republicans, nor can he reason with Manchin and Sinema. What he can do is get more Democrats elected. The way to do that is pointing to Democrats successes (addressing covid, increasing jobs, investing in infrastructure) and making sure voters understand how Republicans plan to impose their extremist vision on Americans.
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