Carol’s Minutes from Last Meeting


  1. Senate and House races

The meeting began with a report led by Andy regarding upcoming House and Senate races.  We need to evaluate campaigns prior to committing to any of them. Andy prepared a list for both the House and Senate for races to watch by state.  Overall it looks like Senate races are NOT going to need money as Democrats are pouring money into them. It’s important for our group to look at bottom of ticket races.

Senate races were categorized as follows: Long shots that people are swarming to anyway KY: McConnell vsMcGrath. TX:  Cornyn vs Hegar. SC: Graham vs. Harrison. It was noted that candidates in KY, TX and SC are swimming in money and do not need donations.

More categories: Long shots no one is paying attention to.  Competitive.   Confusing.  Andy suggested that races in Alaska and Kansas in the category “Long shots no one is paying attention to” but maybe we should pay attention to.  

Alaska: Sullivan (R) is running against Dr. Gross, Independent running as a Democrat. Andy has contributed to his campaign and met with him. Per report, J. Street did not endorse this candidate due to his position on the Middle East.  Dr. Gross’s plan for Alaska is to do outreach to native villages and underrepresented areas to get people to the polls. 

Kansas: Kobach (R) lost the governor’s race. He is running against Bollier (D) a female M.D. She is a state legislator who changed political parties (R to D) in 2018.  Would be considered a “center right wing Democrat” and has a chance to win.

Competitive races AZ: McSally vs Kelly. Kelly will need boots on the ground as this is McCain’s territory. But Kelly will not need money.AZ will be a place where Sister Districts/Indivisible groups in So. Cal are active. No need for turnout work by our group. CO: Gardener vs Hickenlooper. Andy predicts name recognition for Hickenlooper. CO has been trending positive. No need identified for money from I. E. unless there is a dire circumstance. AL: Doug Jones vs Some Republican. Jones won’t lose for want of money. He needs Dem. support in a Republican zone.   ME: Collins vs Gideon. Collins is not polling well in Maine. However is popular for constituent services in her state, in spite of her voting record. Andy’s analysis is that no money should be donated to Sarah Gideon as she already has an active Maine group behind her. NC: Tillis vs Cunningham.  It was pointed out that Dems will pick up 2 Congressional seats due to the de-gerrymandering. Two Republicans are not running for reelection. No one knows what the up ballot results will be in NC.  It was suggested that the strategy of getting people to vote the bottom of the ticket will support candidates at the top.

Confusing: Senate races in Georgia are subject to voter suppression. Loeffler and Purdue are Republican incumbents. Loeffler is a “nobody.”   I. E.  should consider supporting the candidate running against L. if the race is potentially winnable.

House races: Per Andy, if Democrats lose the House then they lose everywhere else.

Indivisible Elmwood flash news per Naomi about CA candidates: Campa- Najjar is running in Southern Cal. for the slot where Hunter had to resign. It is possible that Darryl Issa will run. Najjar was endorsed by J. Street and is of Palestinian heritage. Issa is also of Arab descent.  It should be an interesting race, per Andy and Naomi, who suggest we may want to support it.

TJ Cox: Per Andy, Cox has the most poorly educated district; rural, poor, Spanish speaking working class people. Suggestion made to give money to Cox’s campaign and not to Harder who is pounding hard for contributions almost daily.

  • Voter Suppression and Voter Participation discussion

Action items:

Naomi suggested we attend the fundraising event sponsored by “Reclaim Our Vote” in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday February 4, 6-8 p.m.   Cost $25.  Berkeley City College Auditorium. You will meet the founder, Andrea Miller, at this event.

Why do we need a RECLAIM OUR VOTE campaign?

Community of color voters are being placed on “Inactive” or “Unregistered” lists at a 16% higher rate than whites. The ability to vote of people in minority communities was already being systematically undermined over the last decade, by the imposition of strict new voter ID laws, by the reduction in polling places and early voting, and through many other tactics.

One of our members, Ann suggested that we also consider making a donation NOW to Voter Participation Center.

Since 2003, VPC helped register more than 4 million American voters through pioneering   mail and online voter registration programs. In 2018 nearly 400,000 people were registered.  Using direct mail and face to face impact campaigns, the goal is to generate 1.5 million registration applications in the 2020 election cycle. They focus on unmarried women, people of color and young people who may be first time voters.

Our member Bruce suggested we look at the NYT article about Community Change Action.

Communities of color worked successfully from within to get more people out to vote in 2018, than people coming in from the outside.

Our member Lanny agreed to take a deeper look at voter registration groups and strategies to evaluate which groups are focused on registration of under represented voters.

  • Action items for now and for the future.

Postcards: Naomi will take this project on for now. She will have them on the porch and will supply addresses for anyone who wants them. 

Texting: Will be up and running in the future meetings. It will be decided whether to have an early 30 minute session prior to I.E. meetings for texting exclusively. We all may to relearn how to do it.

Internship program:  Bill Marthinson is the contact person. He took on the project of finding an intern and placing that person in a campaign in Virginia in 2019. He will be available after Feb. 25th to revisit this topic. Janice will follow up meanwhile. It was decided by the group to put off sponsoring an intern until it becomes clearer what is cost effective.

Out of state action: A group of our members are considering summer travel and political action.

Online auction: 20 items are available for an online auction for fundraising.  A date for this action will be decided in the future.

The final message is that this was our first meeting. Therefore we are getting up to speed for 2020.  More focus to come in the future. For now, the intention for Indivisible Elmwood is to HAVE FUN in the process, while doing all our activities. It was great to see everyone gathered again. HAPPY NEW YEAR

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