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

Three data points from the recall

Good job. Although in the end, I don’t think our postcards were the difference between winning and losing. The Republicans got stomped beyond my most optimistic prediction. (Margin is 27 at the moment.)

I want to point out three data points that are not getting the attention they warrant.

First, the recall is losing in Orange County by 6 (it was over 10 in the early mail ballots). In 2018, the big Democratic year where we flipped the OC Congressional seats with several upsets, Newsom won Orange County by 0.4. I am excited about our prospects to re-take some of the seats that the GOP took back in 2020.

The Republicans have no one to run against Newsom in 2022. Our second datum is 44%, Larry Elder’s share of the replacement vote. He crushed his pre-election polling and humiliated real politicians like Kevin Faulconer and John Cox. Elder is doubtless salivating over the new, even more lucrative, media earnings that will be bestowed on the leading Black White Supremacist. But a great many people didn’t make any choice for the replacement. Whether it’s Elder against Newsom in 2022 or another Trump follower, it’s clear the GOP base is all in on promoting someone who will capture at most one-third of the statewide vote.

The LA Times has spared me the effort of doing the following chart myself. Basically, the Recall Map by County is the same as the COVID–19 Map by County.

Plot of vaccination percentage vs no-on-recall percentage

As an alternate way of seeing the data, maps from the NY Times.

Covid case per capita by county
Recall results by county

[N.B.: Yes, Biden won Orange County by even more than the recall, while the Dems lost House seats there. But that was before the full identification of state and local Republicans with Trump.]

Minutes from September 5 meeting

I gave a cautiously optimistic update on the California Recall, and expressed some annoyance at the constant requests for money from Democrats in tight campaigns who are perfectly well funded but ascribe some totemic meaning to contributions that will somehow reduce the opponents’ votes.

Bruce provided more useful information. The Courage California ‘No To The Recall’ page for texting and other volunteer activities. PDF (from a Slack conversation) on how to help our Indivisible colleagues in Texistan.

The implications of bringing abortion to center stage for Republicans with their already-waning share of the educated and suburban vote are probably, in a cynical way, favorable for Democrats.

We discussed locations for anti-recall flyering. We have some left, and also large posters. After the recall our attention turns to Virginia. (Not a place the Republicans want to run on opposition to Roe.) We have reprinted the postcards with the “Paid for by” disclaimer pre-printed, and on paper that should be easier to write on. For those who are using the original batch, I have lots of “Paid for by” stickers if you need them.

In memory of 9/11 and in honor of one of the century’s first real heroes, Rick Rescorla, here’s Charlotte Church (at age 13½) singing Men of Harlech.

Field trip report

No on recall sample ballot

Five of us went down to Fruitvale Station on Sunday. We discovered Sunday is not the best day of the week to go there, fairly low traffic in and out of Bart. (Of course, Bart ridership is still down from covid.) The adjacent East 12th Street had more people, mostly Spanish speaking, some not citizens. We did engage several people in conversation and tried to raise awareness. And we still have the large signs to use elsewhere, e.g., College and Ashby.

I did not expect such good food by the station, but there is a nice café right by the entrance that we used for nourishment.

Minutes for August 22, 2021 meeting

Virginia: Recent polls show the top of the ticket Democrats 6 to 8 points ahead, consistent with the results of recent cycles. I ordered more postcards without the slick (address side) front.

California: Extensive discussion of stop-the-recall strategy. Also, whether to vote for a replacement on Part Two of the ballot. No consensus.

We have been having trouble finding addresses for postcard writing. I received 25 addresses to be targeted in Spanish from Activate America (formerly Flip the West). I also asked for 100 regular (English), didn’t yet receive. However, since yesterday’s meeting, Tony the Democrat has added the Newsom Recall. (It’s still not on his postcardstovoters website. Keeping websites up to date is hard.)

Tony’s instructions to get No on Recall addresses:

Postcard postage goes up to 40¢ on the 30th, but stamps that just say “Postcard”, like the barns and the fish, remain valid for the full value, whatever it is.

The official Democratic campaign has gone up on the air, but we notice an absence of yard signs. Indivisible Northridge has recall swag, including yard signs, here. You can always make your own, too! Thanks to Bruce for the link.

The major decision from the meeting is that Indivisible Elmwood is going on a Field Trip to Get Out the No Vote. Join us at Fruitvale Bart on Sunday, August 29, 2:00pm to 4:00pm. We will have flyers, a blown-up ballot showing how to vote No, and a good time. There is parking at the station if you want to drive.

I wanted to put an Apple Calendar file here, but WordPress doesn’t support it. Remember, you can subscribe to the Indivisible Elmwood calendar with this webcal link. Your calendar program, Apple or otherwise, should know what to do with it.

No meeting August 8

We will resume on August 22.

Also: postage rates are going up August 29. The new rates are 58¢ for a letter and 40¢ for a postcard. Remember, stamps denominated “Forever” are always good for a letter and those denominated “Postcard” are always good for a card, so there is no need for add-on stamps. You can stock up now at the lower price! (Reminder: I have never had a problem with stamps sold out at the Orinda Post Office.) Did anyone else notice that international postcards are now the same price as international letters ($1.20 now, $1.30 after increase)? Seems like a bad blow to the postcard industry.

Another reason our post office is strapped is that our rates are significantly lower than other industrialized countries’. A second-class letter in the UK is £0.66 (=92¢) and first-class in Canada is C$0.92 (=74¢).

Minutes of July 25, 2021 meeting

I pointed people towards work by sociologist Brooke Harrington on how to reach people who have fallen for conspiracy theories. What’s most effective is finding people who were similarly conned, to help the marks cope with loss of face (“social death”). Sending facts doesn’t help; at some level the mark knows he has been conned and does not plan to admit it.

See separate post for upcoming Activate America (=Flip the West) event.

We intend to raise $5000 for Virginia Assembly candidates. Send the link to our ActBlue page to your friends.

We have fresh Virginia postcards, featuring Bruce’s design. We also have another 100 Dr. Ben Moses (HD-59) addresses. Both will be available in packs of 25 on our porch.

N.B. The Virginia postcards are to be mailed mid-September, to coincide with the start of early voting, which you can reference in the text. Virginia requires a disclaimer “Paid for by [Someone], not authorized by any candidate” on each card. I have printed small sticky labels with my name that you can use, which will be with the cards. Please return the cards to us after you write them, and we will stamp them. That keeps everything straight for the campaign finance rules.

I have slightly modified my sample postcard for Ben Moses in accordance with the campaign instructions, but as usual they wanted to cram in more than anyone will look at.

This election we have a chance to make Dr. Ben Moses a Delegate in District 59. He’s an Army vet, ICU doctor, and wants to invest in Rural Virginia and Health Care for All. Early voting has started. Vote by November 2 for Dr. Moses and the Democratic ticket.

Sample postcard

Vote Forward is also conducting a letter campaign for Virginia. They claim 325 thousand written already!

Bill Marthinsen is your contact if you want to canvass in Virginia. Note that because of the expanded (excessive?) Early Voting window, campaigns are not sure when the optimal canvass campaign would be. So, no dates yet.

In our next two meetings we will discuss the Newsom recall attempt, because we don’t want any accidents.

You, too, can post to this site. If stuck, ask me.