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Say No to Political Blackmail

The 2023 federal fiscal year ends at midnight September 30, ten days from now. Due to Republican obstructionism, not a single 2024 appropriation bill has been passed. None of them is even close to passing. Without continued funding, large portions of the federal government will shut down at the start of the new fiscal year, on Sunday, October 1. To keep our government functioning, a Continuing Resolution (CR) must be passed by midnight September 30. This would permit federal agencies to continue operating with their current budgets. 

But the MAGA Republicans who call themselves the “Freedom Caucus” have declared they will block a CR unless it includes poisonous policy provisions they have been unable to enact using democratic legislative procedures. This is political blackmail: they are telling us, “Accept our extreme right-wing demands or we will shut down the government.”

The MAGA caucus is making these extortion demands:

  • Slash domestic safety-net and human-investment spending; increase defense/police/border spending.
  • Demonize and persecute immigrants of color. 
  • Impose far-right culture war policies on the US military.
  • Block continued federal prosecution of crimes by Trump, election sabotagers, and insurrectionists.
  • Support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine instead of backing Ukraine’s fight for survival.

If we’ve learned anything over the past decades, it’s that appeasing political terrorists by giving in to their demands only leads to more blackmail. President Biden and Democratic Party leaders have condemned and opposed Republican political hostage-taking and insisted on a “clean” CR. We need to let them know that we support them. America does not surrender to violent terrorists—and we should not surrender to political terrorists.

Call President Biden and your Members of Congress and tell them: “Hold fast! Do not surrender to political blackmail—even if it means a government shutdown!”

Smoke update

The smoke that came down from wildfires in Northern California yesterday and is still here today should be gone after tomorrow, per the forecasts as of yesterday evening. The Chronicle reports that tomorrow’s ocean winds should blow the smoke back out of our area.

The San Francisco Public Library sent out an announcement yesterday about which branches will serve as Air Respite Centers, and which branches will either remain open or close during smoke:

Air Respite Centers: Main Library, Chinatown and Mission Bay.

Branches that will remain open with normal hours of operation: Main Library, Chinatown, Excelsior, Mission Bay, Ocean View, Ortega, Potrero, Richmond, Visitacion Valley and West Portal.

Branches that will close when AQI exceeds 150: Anza, Bayview, Bernal Heights , Eureka Valley, Glen Park, Golden Gate Valley, Ingleside, Marina, Merced, Mission Temp Site, Noe Valley, North Beach, Park, Parkside, Portola, Presidio, Sunset and Western Addition.

We have a list of things you can do to protect yourself against smoke events like this one and prepare for future ones.

Tax Day is coming up next month. Are you ready?

You may remember that the state and federal tax deadlines for almost all Californians were deferred earlier this year due to the winter storms. The revised deadline is October 16, and that date is less than a month away.

If you haven’t already submitted your state and federal taxes for tax year 2022, now’s the time to get on it. Don’t wait until the last minute; get your paperwork in order and contact your tax preparer today.

Heads up: Cell phones will play an emergency alert on October 4

FEMA and the FCC have planned a nationwide emergency alert test for October 4, starting at 11:20 AM our time and running for approximately half an hour. If it’s postponed, the backup date will be October 11.

If at that time you need your cell phone to remain quiet, either put the phone into airplane mode until such time as the noise would no longer cause a problem, or turn it off outright for the same duration.

It’s vaccination season!

To keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors safe from respiratory illnesses that can cause long-term complications, it’s important that we keep up with our annual vaccinations.

The new 2023 COVID-19 vaccine is recommended by the CDC for everyone six months and older. It just began to roll out last week, but availability is still ramping up and demand is high. Keep trying—the 2023 COVID-19 vaccine provides excellent protection against the current variants, so it’s worth the wait. KQED has suggestions on how to get the new 2023 COVID-19 shot; in the meantime, you should be able to get flu and RSV shots without much difficulty.

There are two shots to get every fall: one for COVID-19, and one for flu. For people 60 and older, there’s also a new vaccine for RSV. Make your appointments today to renew your protection into the new year.

2023 is an election year. Are you ready to help get out the vote?

Join us in phone banking, postcarding, and more for critical elections from now into November in Ohio and Virginia, among other places. Help us win victories in 2023 and build momentum for 2024 to protect democracy and our civil rights! Find your next action on our (Get Out The) Vote page.

f 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.

Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, September 28, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!

TODAY: Swing Left SF Bay Area Coalition Phone Bank: Wednesday, September 20 (and every Wednesday), 2:30–4:30 PM. Join Swing Left SF and the Bay Area Coalition to phone bank for all the key 2023 elections, as we organize swing states for key elections in 2023. RSVP here.

True to Blue IN-PERSON Phone Bank for VA, OH, and CA: Saturday, September 23 (and every Saturday), 10:00–12:00 PM at 541 Castro Street. Join an in-person phone bank with the Bay Area Coalition to make calls to voters in key states for critical elections in 2023 and 2024. RSVP here.

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 graphic is a photo of Speaker McCarthy and President Biden discussing the debt ceiling earlier this year from the White House Flickr account.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Since the January 2017, more than 4,000 San Franciscans have united as Indivisible SF to march in the Women's Marches, protest the Muslim Ban, meet regularly with our Members of Congress, and make thousands of phone calls to their offices to pressure them to do everything in their power to counter the policies and politics of Trumpism. There is much work in progress and many actions to come.

Members of Indivisible SF are defined by our action and find solidarity in our shared opposition to Trump and Trumpism. Each of us explicitly reserves our individual stances on specific issues for other forums as we believe resisting Trump is more important than any single issue. We adhere to a Code of Conduct that welcomes and respects everybody.

Members of Indivisible SF come from all kinds of backgrounds and political persuasions. Some of us are first-time activists and others have been at this for decades. We are citizens and non-citizens. Most importantly, we are all patriots that want the best for our country and are willing to work for it.

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