Our Giving Circle letter for Feggans

To the Janowitz/Lazarus Giving Circle,

Friends, we are fundraising for only one campaign this year. 

Flipping the Virginia House of Delegates back to the Democrats this November will help protect reproductive rights in Virginia and help gather momentum for 2024. Democrats hold the majority in the Virginia Senate. Flipping two House seats will give Democrats control of the House to act together with the Senate as a bulwark against Youngkin.

Join us in supporting Michael Feggans (House District 97), a veteran who grew up in the district. The ground game he is building is exactly how Democrats will win in 2024. All donations [ActBlue link] go directly to his campaign. With thanks from us and from everyone working on Michael’s campaign! If you have any questions, or trouble with the link, let us know. 

Naomi and Andy

The thermometer is currently at $275.

Minutes from the May 14 meeting

Bruce opened with a list of potential speakers from Cal, whom I won’t list in case they reject us. Also, books he has read or is planning to read.

Highlight was a Zoom with Michael Feggans, campaigning for Virginia House of Delegates District 97 (part of Virginia Beach). Our Act Blue page for him is here. Our plan is to raise $3500. I can’t get the thermometer to embed until a complete re-vamp of the web site. Bill committed to in-person canvassing in November. The rest of us can donate, write postcards, and phone bank. First time visitor Steve gave us a phone bank pep talk; he loves doing it.

Next meeting in two weeks, in sync with the Turkish election run-off.

How to send a fax without a fax machine

There are numerous Internet services that will bridge 2020s technology to 1990s technology (actually, the fax machine dates to the 1920s, with earlier antecedents). My favorite, because it really is free, is FaxZero. Note that there is an option on the main page that brings up the fax numbers of Senators and House members.

Note: Senator Padilla doesn’t receive faxes. No word on whether his office can read cursive.

Minutes of the April 23, 2023 meeting

Sister District is matching local (to us) groups up with Virginia for their odd-year legislative elections. The four candidates they are supporting are Danica Roem, Schuyler van Valkenburg, Joshua Cole, and Michael Feggans. We are particularly looking at Feggans, who is running for the House of Delegate from the 97th District in Virginia Beach. Feggans is an Air Force veteran, a retired Master Sergeant. On paper his views are what we want: pro-reproductive rights, pro-education, etc. Note that redistricting has scrambled the numbers of the districts: the old 97th was a very red rural area. The district is entirely within Virginia Beach and has zero overlap with the old one. It’s 57% White, supported Youngkin 51–48, but supported the Democratic candidates in previous elections by similar narrow margin. We are trying to arrange a Zoom interview with Feggans for an upcoming meeting. His opponent narrowly won the 85th District (similar location) over our candidate Alex Askew by 115 votes. We can do this.

We signed onto a letter from multiple groups asking Dianne Feinstein to retire, and some of us have made similar individual requests.

Bill has remained active with the Central Valley groups trying to get some voter engagement structure, so we don’t give away winnable seats. They have a virtual fundraiser coming up, Thursday, May 5, 5:00 pm.

A wake for EBAA will be held April 30. I’ll attend.

Bruce will read a book for the next meeting.

And I showed that I can connect to an (empty) local WordPress site.

Next meeting is April 23, 4:00 pm, usual place

In the meantime, here is contact information for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office. As you know, a more concerted effort is under way to suggest she retire. There’s a lot of posturing about why no one is demanding that Mitch McConnell step down, as he is still recovering from a concussion, but for me, it’s because I like having McConnell hors de combat.

Happy Orthodox Easter to those who celebrate.

Notes from the March 19, 2023 meeting

Most of the meeting was about reorganization and expansion of the People’s Front for the Liberation of the Elmwood. I committed to looking into redesign of a website, with special attention to a calendar that could be a one-stop shop for East Bay political organizing events. (I just looked at the Indivisible East Bay site, and its calendar for this month is empty.) We’re thinking of guests like Robert Reich and Brad DeLong.

Besides a new name—Another Bunch of Activists seems to be winning—we will be listing ourselves as affiliated with Sister District, but not a formal chapter, and likewise affiliated to Indivisible.

Short takes

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 21) is a Day of Action from Third Act, and organization of over–60s working to save the planet from climate change. Tomorrow is for complaining to your major bank about their dismal record on the environment. Don’t worry which bank you have: the American banks are either bad or worse on energy issues.

As I mentioned, the liberal candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court has over three times the advertising budget as her far-right opponent. She needs turnout, not money. There is also a special election for the Wisconsin legislature, where we are trying to flip a seat. I have no idea if this candidate needs more money, nor if there is any hope for this seat. Her multiple spelling mistakes in the ad pitch are a bad, amateurish sign.

Locally, the GOP has targeted not only Mike Levin and Katie Porter’s open seat in Southern California, but also Josh Harder up here. Well, good luck with that. Be prepared for Harder to fundraise from it.

I had not realized that the civic reform initiative A Common Purpose is a project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, until I followed its link. It will be nice to get back to its high-mindedness.

We’re having a little trouble scheduling the next meeting because of holidays and other commitments. It may not be until April 23; stay tuned.