For our next gathering, let’s party!

Enjoy a break in November and join us on Sunday Dec 5th 4:00-5:00 pm to celebrate our hard work. Cake, brownies, wine and party favors for all.

Andy will debrief with good news only and we’ll help each other gird our loins for the next round.

Bring a snack and a friend. We’ve helped each other stay focused and active — and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

A mid-day update on Virginia

Since there is little we can do about it.

Turnout appears high in the DC suburbs, a (very) good sign. So far, trending below 2017 in Charlottesville and some parts of Tidewater, not good. No word on rural turnout, which will indicate if Youngkin is getting the surplus he needs to overcome significant early vote deficit.

Great data graphic

This map of early voting in Virginia (from non-partisan VPAP) is fascinating.

Virginia percentage of early votes

The darker blue—more votes already in—are mostly heavily Democratic areas. The yellow areas in the west and the “panhandle” are the Republicans. Early voting was huge, six times’ the last gubernatorial election in 2017. Of course, that was pre-covid, and perhaps the exigencies of 2020 cause a permanent shift in voting patterns. [EDIT: I have learned that early voting in 2017 required an excuse.]

It’s reasonable to conclude that the Democrats have banked a big lead here.

We are certainly going to see a “red shift” if these early votes are announced before the day-of votes. [EDIT: Most of these votes have been counted and will be reported before the day-of votes. However, with the day-of votes, the Republican areas, less dense, report faster. Expect a red shift; and then a smaller blue shift back.] The question is how much. I don’t know at what point we can be certain of the results, but one clue will be turnout in those Republican areas. If historical trends continue, this is about 40% of the total vote for the election. Republicans need very big turnout tomorrow: twice as many people as they got to vote early. Democrats only need about 1 for 1 (one voter tomorrow for every voter who voted early). I know which phone bank I would rather be at.

Actions to help Virginia

(From Ion at Indivisible CA) If you don’t know already: Virginia’s races are really close, but still definitely winnable. Calling over the next four days, especially to inform voters about where and how to vote is a very good use of time. As with CA’s multi-state recall effort winning these elections will have long-term benefits far beyond one state.

How to help out:

– Start here: and jump in. Many of the major efforts from Grassroots Dems to Sister District to the Center for Common Ground (responsible for Reclaim Our Vote among other work) to Activate America (once Flip the West) are there. This is a link to share with others.

Separately here’s a list of links collected by people sharing them on one Slack or another. I’ve tried to include information about who is doing them, when they are happening, what they cover and anything else that stood out. Make sure to double check the times in advance. Apologies in advance if anything is not correct. Nearly all the groups are changing things up as Tuesday fast approaches.

Most of calls are focused on getting out information on how and where to vote. The number of people who don’t vote because they aren’t sure how to is large and reaching them makes a big difference for both them and the outcome.

Note that some calls are focused on areas that are neglected and thus especially important. See the notes under each group.
    – People who are first-time voters or voters who are registered but didn’t vote in the last Virginia election.
    – Assembly races

Virginia Turnout Project

These calls are happening every day and all day(from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern)

Sat Oct 30, Sun Oct 31, Mon Nov 1

Center for Common Ground / Reclaim Our Vote

Center for Common are focusing on voters, particularly voters of color who are registered but didn’t vote in the previous election.

Every Day

If you have had training these calls are happening every day (from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern)
Training is done beforehand by video:

Grassroots Dems HQ

Sat Oct 30

Mon Nov 1

Swing Left

Saturday Oct 30

Sister District

Sister District is focusing on downballot races and VA Assembly seats.

Saturday Oct 30

Sunday Oct 31

Democratic National Committee

Saturday Oct 30

Activate America

Every Day

If you have had training these calls are happening every day (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific)

Monday Nov 1

Call For Change

Sunday Oct 31

Commit to Flip Blue

Monday, Nov 1

Halloween zoom fundraiser

Please join me in welcoming the season the progressive way with a Halloween treat!

Zoom Party Fundraiser for Pamela Price for Alameda County District Attorney, taking place on October 31st at 1pm! 

As you may know, Pamela Price ran for District Attorney in 2018 as the first person to challenge the incumbent D.A. since 1966—and she got 42% of the vote!! She is running again in 2022, and if we all work together, we can elect her in the June primary with at least 50% +1 of the vote!


Alameda County prides itself on being perhaps the bluest county in the bluest state, but we are not living up to our values when it comes to who runs our criminal justice system. Our current Sheriff, conservative Republican Ahern, was featured on John Oliver’s show as an example of how bad Sheriffs are in the entire country, with a rap-list that includes the high rate of deaths in Santa Rita Jail, multiple multi-million-dollar lawsuits and payouts because of misconduct, and a string of racist incidents. Our incumbent D.A. has a record of taking money from Police & Sheriff Associations (the 3rd highest recipient in the state) and is the highest recipient of individual contributions from police officers and Chiefs. According to ACLU data, our incumbent DA has remained neutral or opposed many of the biggest criminal justice reform changes supported by close to 80% of Alameda County constituents. Both of Pamela’s opponents in this race are career DAs in O’Malley’s office who are likely to continue the status quo of “business as usual.”

Come and meet Pamela, ask her your important questions about criminal justice in Alameda County, and learn more about her platform that includes restoring public trust in our criminal justice system, reducing the epidemic of gun violence in our communities, and strengthening our re-entry and rehabilitation services for those leaving incarceration. 

 I’m supporting Pamela because she is part of the nationwide movement to end the disparities in our (in) justice system that disproportionately target and harm people of color and the economically disadvantaged. Pamela will bring accountability, transparency, and compassion to the District Attorney’s office.


Notes from the October 17 meeting

We spent much of the meeting finishing up cards for Virginia. They have all been sent with Virginia postmarks. Hope they work. There have been some sky-is-falling articles on Virginia lately, which I want to put in perspective. First, whatever problems we have in VA are not from lack of money. No one can explain to me what the plan is for money that can not even be spent.

Of course, early vote this year can not be compared to 2020, not just because of Presidential year versus very-off-year, but because the 2020 election was conducted mostly by mail. This year’s is not. Half of requested mail ballots have been returned. In those ballots, likely Democratic voters are a 50-point lead. However, in early in-person voting, the Dems have only(!) a 20-point lead, and combined this is a somewhat smaller D advantage than at this point in 2020. No one seems to be looking at 2017, which is the most valid comparison.

Young voters are even less well represented in the early vote than usual. So, there are opportunities to drive up our turnout by whatever means we get this group out. Our peers are, as usual, voting early if not often.

Rachel Bitecofer brought up a point I would not have thought of. The Youngkin campaign is going all-in on culture wars, running an ad about an unfortunate 12th-grader who got nightmares from reading Beloved. (He did recover well enough to become an attorney for the Republican Party.) This approach means they have given up on driving down the heavy-D margins in Northern Virginia. It isn’t a good sign for their campaign.

There is no meeting on October 31! I will make separate post on Judy’s event for Pamela Price. Those of you with sweet tooths (teeth?): we are planning to put candy outside as part of the neighborhood Covid-safe Trick or Treat project.

Virginia postcards for Oct 17 meeting

It’s the endgame for Virginia 2021. The latest Fox News poll has the Democratic statewide ticket up 5. Let’s run up the score and preserve or expand our margin in the Legislature.

I have put 200 postcards on the porch. These are the ones that are shiny on the address side, but I have slapped on a mailing label that you can write on with an ordinary pen. I also found that Sharpie worked, if you have some unwritten already.

The upcoming meeting will be heavy on writing cards. We have 100 addresses; Postcards for Virginia has more for Ben Moses. I will ship everything we have done Sunday to my sister for a Virginia postmark. Any straggler cards, I think we should just pop into the mail here.

Minutes of September 19 meeting

I started with a review of the California recall. Not much vote counting has taken place since the initial flurry, so we still have Newsom up 27, up 5 in the OC, and behind by a fraction of a point in Fresno County, as of Tuesday morning. Since the meeting, I read this article that rural California is crushed by the results. Note the tired trope that a minority who live in large, sparsely-populated areas are equal to or better than a majority that lives in the cities.

We have received an invitation for a virtual Bryan Osorio Meet-and-Greet for next Sunday.

Osorio flyer, ticket link

There will be an in-person Meet-and-Greet for Tom Malinowski, running for re-election in NJ–07, on Sunday, October 17. [Location available on request, this is a public website.] He won by 1.2% in 2020, so depending on redistricting this can be a cliffhanger seat. Malinowski is a UC Berkeley alumnus, where he won a Rhodes Scholarship.

Recommendations for the Carolina Federation, which is trying to duplicate Stacey Abrams’ Georgia miracle in North Carolina.

Judy brought to our attention the race Pamela Price is running for Alameda County DA. The other candidates are from the same-old law enforcement background.

The Price Is Right Birthday with Danny Glover & Nina Turner
Pamela Price online event

Ticket link. Price’s website. (Not sure what Nina Turner can contribute except expertise in “How to lose a winnable race”.)

After the informational part of the meeting, we moved onto our next election: Virginia. We have postcards and disclaimer stickers available on the porch. Let’s keep up with the big victories over the bad guys. If you need more addresses, Postcards for Virginia has lots. Askew, Guy, Moses, Kathy Tran (2017 Indivisible Elmwood winner) and every other close and Blue long-shot race. Our ActBlue site is collecting for Askew, Guy, and Moses. Link, as always, top of this website.

And, to my mind, the Pulitzer Committee for Cartooning can just stop right now and give the prize for this one by Steve Sack.

Sack cartoon: COVID calls in | Star Tribune
Steve Sack cartoon