Minutes from May 23, 2021

“Minutes”. Long time since I wrote that.

We started with a champagne celebration of being able to get back together again.

I continued with a discussion of the elections held since last November. Although Jon Ossoff raised more than any Senate candidate before, with Raphael Warnock in second place, credit really goes to Stacey Abrams and her ground game. We followed that with a collapse in the TX-06 Special Election. We were going to lose this in the runoff, but we didn’t even make it to the runoff, and the fault seems to lie with Democrats who don’t understand teamwork. I didn’t mention at the meeting, but another good example is the late Alcee Hastings, whose Blue seat will sit vacant until early 2021 through a combination of local Dems who don’t want to resign their current positions early and Hastings’ belief he had to run again in 2020 as an 84-year-old man with advanced pancreatic cancer.

We can redeem ourselves with a good performance in the NM-01 Special Election to replace Deb Haaland, now Secretary of the Interior. This is a Blue district and anything less than a double-digit victory will encourage Team Red. Despite the hysterical emails you receive, early voting, although disappointing in numbers, is excellent in party breakdown.

The focus of odd-year elections is again Virginia. Our old friends Nancy Guy and Alex Askew are running for re-election to the House of Delegates. Their districts seem to have become a little safer. Guy won by 41 votes last time, but Biden won by about 15 points. East Bay Activists Alliance, which has a picture Guy and Askew unlabeled[!] on their front page, will be phone- and text-banking for them again. I have volunteered for a big challenge: HD-59, where Dr. Ben Moses is taking on the Republican incumbent. Trump won this district by 20-plus. Besides having to peel away Trump voters, there is a Libertarian who might siphon conservatives unhappy with the Trump brand. I am going to ask Moses to Zoom into one of our upcoming meetings to give a pitch. Don’t give him your rent money. This is to lay the foundation for the Democratic Party in an area it has been invisible for decades. He is on track to get enough for that.

We also discussed what 2020 California loss we would like to help win back. Naomi and I have become partial to CA-21, where we canvassed for TJ Cox. (Districts may get renumbered in the decennial reapportionment.) There is already a promising D candidate, Bryan Osorio, currently Mayor of Deno. Not Deno nor Deləno. Osorio is a child of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college graduate: Berkeley 2018. Christy Smith doesn’t seem to know how to win her district, and Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy are in strong positions. Bruce and Babette Jackson think we should make a target of McCarthy anyway. Two Democrats are already in the race against him.

Judy Stacey explained that the bill to allow non-LEO sheriffs has been bottled up by Democrats. It was not a good Legislative session for progressives.

Bruce, sometimes known to phone-bank targets as Bruno, has his own post on democracy protection, Joe Manchin edition.

Ann Overton announced an EBAA garage sale to support the Movement Voter Project. The sale itself is not near Elmwood, but you can drop donations off with her on Friday, June 4. Email her first, because only specific items will be sold.

Non-political: Janice Weingrod has a show upcoming at the Moss Gallery, at 2980 College in Elmwood near the movie theatre. Hours are 12:00–4:00 pm, May 27 through June 19.

We discussed how we want Indivisible Elmwood to move forward. Everyone is happy to be meeting in person. Naomi and I would like some other people to host on occasion. This will give us a chance to grow by bringing in friends without asking them to go to strangers’ homes. There was support for this. We would like to be at 20 to 25 active members, realizing not all will attend meetings, but still be available for postcard and phone campaigns.

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