November 16th Newsletter

 In Action
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November 16, 2019
In this issue – ways to …
Build relationships with organizers on the ground in Swing States
Join organizers who want to set the course for 2020
Sign up to see first-hand views of voter suppression
Find out what Maine voters are thinking
Event Calendar Heading
Postcard and Letter Writing
Boston Saturday, November 16
@ 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Register Voters by Mail in Pennsylvania
Learn more
Florence Monday, November 18
@ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Indivisible Northampton Letters to Encourage Ohio Residents to Register to Vote with
Learn more
Montague Thursday, November 21
@ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Swing Left Pioneer Valley Voter Registration By Mail
Learn more
Pelham Saturday, November 23
@ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Swing Left Pioneer Valley Letters to Encourage People to Register to Vote
Learn more
Sudbury Sunday, November 24
@ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Write Letters to Register Voters in Wisconsin
Learn more
Canvassing and Voter Registration
Phoenix, AZ Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17
@ nan
Swing Left Arizona Weekend of Action
Learn more
Training
Online/Anywhere Tuesday, November 19
@ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Field Team 6 Flippin’ Michigan Voter Registration Training Call
Learn more
Online/Anywhere Wednesday, November 20
@ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Learn Person-to-Person Fundraising from the Pros at 31st Street Swing Left!
Learn more
Online/Anywhere Thursday, November 21
@ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Action Network 103: Email
Learn more
Worcester Saturday, December 7
@ 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Indivisible MA Conference: Together to 2020 & Beyond!
Learn more
Other
Cambridge Sunday, November 17
@ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Boost Turn-Out on Election Day by Assisting FL voters to Vote by Mail
Learn more
Westborough Tuesday, November 19
@ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Swing Left at Middlesex and Worcester Democratic Coalition
Learn more
Cambridge Sunday, November 24
@ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Film Screening on Voter Suppression in Georgia with Guest Speakers
Learn more
Recurring
Acton Saturday, November 16
@ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Indivisible Acton Area Postcard Writing
Learn more
Cambridge Sunday, November 17
@ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cambridge Activist Afternoons
Learn more
Brookline Monday, November 18
@ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm
JALSA Impact Activist Mondays
Learn more
North Andover Wednesday, November 20
@ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Andover Indivisible Postcards to Voters
Learn more
Arlington Friday, November 22
@ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Minuteman Indivisible Weekday Warriors Postcarding
Learn more
Newburyport Friday, November 22
@ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
I-RISE Friday Action Hour Postcards
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Concord Saturday, November 23
@ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Concord Activist Huddle
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Cambridge Sunday, November 24
@ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cambridge Activist Afternoons
Learn more
Want to add your event to the newsletter?
Submit your event at our website by clicking the button below!

NEWS ALERT!
We’re building close relationships with local organizations long before Election Day.
Local Knowledge Makes a Big Difference
The Blue Wave swept over Virginia and Pennsylvania last week. In Virginia, Democrats now control both the House of Delegates and the State Senate for the first time in 25 years. In Pennsylvania, it’s the first time since the Civil War that Delaware County Council isn’t under Republican control, and the county has the first Democratic District Attorney – ever.

At the same time, it’s what we learned from those elections that will be so valuable in 2020. Experiences in both states made it clear that out-of-state volunteers need to establish close relationships with local organizations long before election day.      

If Only We’d Known                              
A Swing Left Greater Boston team working the polls in Colonial Heights, VA, saw Republicans handing out red photocopied “sample ballots” with all the Republican boxes checked. Most voters took the printouts right into the polling location. An African-American woman inquired: “Where are the blue sample ballots?”

It turned out local Dems knew about the practice but couldn’t afford to print their own literature. If we had known, we could have raised the $287 it would have cost to print enough blue “sample ballots” for all of Colonial Heights.



Local Republicans mocked up the local ballot to make it look official.


Another Local Organizer Saves 100 Votes
Andrea Miller, a local grassroots organizer who lives in the district, discovered that the wrong polling location had been given out. She and a group of out-of-state volunteers called all the Democrats in the precinct to let them know about the error. On election day, a single volunteer stood with a sign at the incorrect polling location and redirected over 100 voters to the right location.

The Take Away
In short, we can NOT wait until next fall. We need to start forging relationships with local political leaders and activists right now. We need to be on a first-name basis with Democratic, African American, and Latino leaders on the ground as soon as possible.

Working together across the miles, we can collaborate on the most useful ways our Boston-area base can contribute to push the Blue Wave across every battleground state.

For more info on how Swing Left made a difference in Virginia, click here.
CALL TO ACTION
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Indivisible MA’s 2019 conference will empower you to set the course for Democratic Houses and Senates in Washington and across the country.
Now is the Time:
Restore Democracy in 2020
Want to help lay out a blueprint to restore democracy in 2020? Ready to learn about what works in electoral and advocacy techniques, elections strategy, legislative issues, and tactics?

Then come to this year’s Indivisible MA’ s annual conference, Together to 2020 & Beyond!

No empty speeches or hype, just practical workshops run by leading activists, including Indivisible’ s own Ezra Levin , Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley , and Massachusetts Senators   James Eldridge and Becca Rausch , as well as organizers from:
The ACLU
Act On Mass
Every Voice
MIRA
Our Revolution MA
Progressive Mass
Swing Left


Spend December 7 in Worcester at Together to 2020 & Beyond! and help set the course for Democratic Houses and Senates in Washington and across the country.
Learn more about the conference.
Reserve your spot now.

DID YOU KNOW?
Did You Know Photo
SIGN UP NOW
to see Activist Margaret Bourdeaux speak at November 24 screening of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote.
Come Hear First-Hand Experiences of Voter Suppression
As Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux plans a second run in Georgia’s 7th, she’s counting on a feisty team of volunteers: Her sister Margaret put together a group here in Boston that helped fuel Carolyn’s first run for Congress in 2018. That race gave Margaret a very up-close view of voter suppression. She’ll talk about that on November 24 at Greater Boston Swing Left’s screening of the Brave New Films documentary, Suppression: The Fight to Vote.
 
Voter Suppression: On the ground in Georgia.
By Election Day in 2018, Georgia had purged 1.4 million from its voting rolls, mostly people of color. Voting machines didn’t work. Polling places were shut down. Voters faced long waiting lines.

Two days before voting began, deeper problems emerged. A national cybersecurity expert reported that Georgia’s all-electronic voting system was very hackable. “The server lacked basic security protections,” Margaret says. “Anyone could get in, tamper with voter registration data, and even change vote totals.”

Fighting a rigged system.
To fight back, Margaret’s team could have compared precinct vote totals with the state’s official final counts. They just didn’t have the resources. However, the volunteers did discover thousands of ballots that had been tossed aside because they didn’t meet the state’s “exact match” requirements.

With just a three-day window to verify these voters, volunteers went door to door, helping people correct their provisional ballot information. They were able to restore several hundred votes to Carolyn, winnowing her loss to just 433 votes. With more people to knock on a few more doors, perhaps Carolyn could have won.

There were many lessons coming out of Georgia, Margaret said. “We need to do a better job of reaching out to new voters and address voting suppression barriers. But we also need to confront election security issues — and push for back-up paper ballots — because our all-electronic voting systems simply can’t be trusted.”

Ready to help fight voter suppression in 2020?
Come hear Margaret Bourdeaux and Quentin Palfrey, founder of the Voter Protection Corps, after Greater Boston Swing Left’s screening of the film Suppressed: The Fight to Vote on November 24 in Central Square in Cambridge. Sign up here.
ORGANIZER PROFILE
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50 volunteers knock on 2,000 doors for Maine Weekend of Action
Beating the Cold to Beat Susan Collins
The first annual Maine Weekend of Action over Veterans Day Weekend was amazing. Swing Left’s Paula Joseph ran a two-day canvassing effort, and Rebecca Riccio coordinated daily treks on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Volunteers knocked on doors of both Democrats and unenrolled Independent voters in Biddeford, Scarborough, Lewiston, and Auburn.

It was great turnout for a cold winter weekend in Maine, a full year ahead of the 2020 election. Here’s what volunteers say about their days there:

We were there to listen, and many people were eager to share their views at length.

We talked to ardent Trump-supporting Republicans; people who voted for Obama then Trump; Dems who hate Trump but are unsure about Susan Collins; and die-hard Dems and Bernie supporters — sometimes all living on the same block!

Nonexistent doorbells and long underwear were minor setbacks compared to all we learned.

Susan Collins’ favorability ratings have declined significantly. The impeachment vote may affect her adversely, no matter which way it goes.

So often, I heard, “Collins says she’s a moderate but … Kavanaugh;” ” and “What will Collins do about impeachment?”

People I spoke to believe that Collins isn’t really a moderate or bipartisan, but in the big votes, like the Supreme Court nominations, she always sides with her party.

Unseating Collins is definitely possible — especially if we tie her closely Trump and McConnell — but we will need lots of help to do it.

Of course, everyone over 60 mentioned healthcare and medication costs, as well as the dearth of affordable housing and politicians’ untrustworthiness.

We chatted with Katherine, a 60-something retiree still healing from two knee replacements. When I asked if she’d sign up to volunteer, she was raring to go.

Among the canvassers were seven friends and neighbors from Arlington, two parent/child combos, including an Arlington friend who brought his teenage son, a former college student of Rebecca’s, and a newlywed who brought her mom.

Despite the November chill, most people at least cracked the door open to say hello. They were open to chatting … and adamant about replacing Donald Trump with a Democrat.

What inspires me most is not hope, but people acting on their convictions — putting themselves out, giving up their time, and doing the work that must be done.

Let’s keep this momentum going right through 2020!
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