Minutes from the June 20, 2021 meeting

Bruce Jackson approved, on our behalf, a letter sent by numerous progressive California organizations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. You can find the text in his post below. The letter has gotten quite a bit of press, as seen in Bruce’s post.

Unfortunately, we continue to see stories that suggest Sen. Feinstein has memory issues. ACTION ITEM: It is worthwhile to FAX Feinstein and/or Padilla a short letter urging them to support voting rights including S.1 and the John Lewis Act.

There is an election this June 29, only in Assembly District 18 (parts of Oakland). This is a special election to fill the seat Rob Bonta vacated when he was appointed State Attorney General. You can sign up to be a poll worker here. Younger workers are especially useful. If they can’t work on June 29th, encourage them to sign up for the next election, which will be in November.

I talked for some time about the Manchin Kabuki Theater. Manchin’s Voting Rights Bill has been pared down to essentials that can be opposed only on totally dishonest grounds. (That isn’t so true of H.R.1/S.1.) Seeing how Republicans are still refusing to accept it is a learning experience. Which way he goes is hard to say; there are not any clues. Today, unfortunately, his partner in waffling, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, wrote a ridiculous pro-filibuster piece in the Washington Post (no link on purpose). As far as anyone can tell, there is literally no agenda she finds more important than approval from the Republican Party. If we can go +2 in the 2022 Senate elections, Sinema and Manchin lose all their leverage.

Sally and I talked about Bryan Osorio’s Zoom call. Osorio has declared for CA-21. He is young and earnest. (He also, surprisingly, does not speak good Spanish: his parents thought it was important for his future to use English at home.) Demographically, he may be a better fit than ex-Rep. TJ Cox. The district is extremely close. We will, of course, be working for whoever is the candidate. It will help if he develops some gravitas in the meantime. We will include Osorio in our fund-raising starting in a month.

Bill Marthinsen talked about the revised East Bay Activist Alliance Fellow program, who, unlike interns, will receive a stipend. The best way to do this is through the campaigns themselves, sending them checks marked for “EBAA Fellow”. The candidates, as in the last cycles, are Alex Askew [checks payable to Friends of Alex Askew] and Nancy Guy [Guy for Delegate]. To support the Fellows, send your checks to us and we will forward. (We will add Askew and Guy to our thermometer, but money donated directly at ActBlue will not count towards the Fellowships.)

ACTION ITEM:

Write a Giving Circle email. Here is an example, based on one from Jody Lerner.

Dear Friends and Family,

I am asking you to join me in supporting Alex Askew and Nancy Guy, Delegates in Virginia, who are up for re-election this year. Perhaps you’re tired of election stuff. I know I am. I hate to be a downer, but our democracy is in jeopardy, and that’s not hyperbole. We don’t have the luxury of ignoring the incessant attacks on our electoral process.

With gratitude for all you do, (Your name)

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