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Action Steps 1/10/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 1/10/18

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Double Check that You’re Registered to Vote

 

It’s not too early to start thinking about voting in 2018 elections. Now is a great time to double check whether you’re properly registered to vote. Have you moved? Changed your name? Had some other life event that might have affected your voter registration? Check into it now so that you have plenty of time to register should you need to.

 

Help Ensure the Youngest Voters Can Vote

 

Did you know that, in Illinois, 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the date of the next general election are eligible to preregister to vote? Yet voter education for soon-to-be voters is both vital and sorely lacking. That means there are classrooms of high school students who will be eligible to vote in the November gubernatorial election, but who may not know they can take care of registering to vote now. Share that info with all the 17-year-olds in your life, then reach out to your local high schools and teen organizations to ask what they’re doing to support voter preregistration among their students.

 

Ask Your Employer to Make Voting Easier

 

In Illinois, employers are legally allowed to give employees two hours of paid time off on general election days to vote. Many organizations and employers don’t make use of this law, however, and voter turnout at elections—in particular midterm elections, like the one coming up in November—is routinely dismal. Make a plan to talk to your supervisor or your HR department about all employees being able to vote on work time if that makes voting easier for them. Use these resources from ElectionDay.org to help make your case.

 

Want to Vote by Mail? File Your Application

 

Illinois registered voters who are interested in voting by mail in the 2018 primary election may now file the application to cast their ballots via mail in advance of election day. Head to the State Board of Elections website to download the application and for more information. Vote by mail applications for the primary will be accepted through March 15.

 

Make Your Sign & Get Ready to March

 

Reminder! On Saturday, January 20, Women’s March Chicago has organized the March to the Polls, a massive demonstration a year after the 2017 Women’s March. This march is an opportunity to show that women and their allies are a voice to be reckoned with when it comes to political activity in this country. It’s also an opportunity to emphasize the importance of registering to vote and voting in all upcoming elections this year. Make sure to get the details on your calendar, and find out more here.

Action Steps 1/3/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 1/3/18

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Hear from Illinois Attorney General Democratic Candidates

 

On Sunday, January 7, from 1:45-4 p.m., local chapters of Democracy for America will be sponsoring a candidate forum at the Irish American Heritage Center. As we gear up for the 2018 elections in Illinois, make plans to hear from the candidates who are hoping to earn your vote and become the Democratic candidate for Illinois Attorney General. Tickets for Sunday’s forum are free; claim your spot here.

 

Plan Your Calendar for Voter Activism

 

2018 is a significant election year, with major races across the country that could turn the Senate and the House of Representatives blue as well as a gubernatorial election here in Illinois. Getting the progressive representation in office that this country and state need is going to be an all-hands-on-deck affair, so get yourself pumped and prepared to engage in activities to get out the vote throughout the year. Take a look at this calendar from ActLocal, which gives you a concrete idea of what you can do in coming weeks, months, and seasons to ensure that progressive voices are heard in upcoming elections.

 

Assist Detained Immigrants

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative is looking for attorneys, law students, and people fluent in English plus a second language to serve as volunteers assisting detained immigrants with their legal paperwork to seek release. Volunteers are able to work remotely, so if you care about immigrant rights and have expertise you can share, check out the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative’s site for more information and to help out.

 

Make a Resolution for a More Energized, Joyful 2018

 

Activist Jen Hofmann regularly posts information about calls you can make to your representatives, issues in politics, and ways to sustain your energies in the resistance. Her post this week provides three excellent new years resolution options, all of which will help you to have a mentally calmer and more joyful year. Take a look at her three options and determine what would be best for you to have a more tuned-in, fellowship-filled, recharged year.

 

Get Your Marching Shoes Laced Up

 

On Saturday, January 20, Women’s March Chicago has organized the March to the Polls, a massive demonstration a year after the 2017 Women’s March. This march is an opportunity to show that women and their allies are a voice to be reckoned with when it comes to political activity in this country. Make sure to get the details on your calendar, and find out more here.

Action Steps 12/27/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 12/27/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 begins, now is the perfect time for resistance reflection and goal-setting. During this week as the calendar changes to a new year, spend some time thinking about these questions to wrap up your 2017 resistance work and to set yourself some goals for 2018.

 

What did you do to resist in 2017? Thinking back on the full year, what did you do to contribute to resistance efforts? Did you attend a march or protest? Circulate or sign petitions? Phone bank for progressive candidates in typically red states? Make a list of all you did to resist this year, and note the activities that left you feeling particularly energized and empowered.

 

What would you like to do more of in 2018? Consider your 2017 activities, especially those that left you feeling like you were making a difference, and set some measurable goals to engage in those types of activities again in 2018. For example, if you felt powerful while canvassing to get local candidates on the 2018 ballot, make a commitment to spend time in 2018 canvassing or phone banking for those candidates as the midterm elections near. Add a recurring reminder to your calendar so you’ll get nudges throughout the year to follow through on your goals.

 

What issues are most important to you? One thing we learned in 2017 is that we could all easily stretch ourselves too thin by trying to take action on every topic that matters—there are so many issues that need attention and action. The resistance is large, however, which means that individuals really can make a substantial difference by focusing on just one to three issues that are most important to you. So sit down, make a list of the issues that move you the most, and think about two ways you can support progress on each issue. For instance, if you care most about immigrant rights, you can commit to donating to immigrant legal defense organizations and demonstrating and making calls to demand a DREAM Act. Don’t underestimate the value of donating to the causes you care about—funding is vital to helping make our ideal, equitable nation a reality.

 

What do you still want to know more about? It would be an understatement to simply say there’s been a lot of news this year; often it’s felt as though the main news stories have changed so quickly that it’s hard to stay informed. We all have topics on which we don’t know as much as we’d like or we should, so for 2018 make a commitment to learn about that topic, that legislation, or that idea that you keep hearing about but don’t quite understand just yet. Better yet, commit to exploring a new topic each month, or every week. A more informed citizenry makes our country stronger. Make sure you utilize reputable information sources as you grow your brain.

 

Do you know people who don’t or can’t vote? 2018 is a midterm election year, and the stakes—while always high—are particularly so this year. In Illinois, we have the opportunity to kick Governor Rauner out of office and elect a progressive governor; neighboring Congressional districts have the chance to send a Democratic representative to D.C. and help turn the House of Representatives blue. Commit to helping friends and neighbors register to vote if they’re not already, then commit to ensuring they can and do get to the polls on Election Day. It’s months away, but making the commitment now and being on the lookout for ways to help everyone vote—especially those who are typically marginalized—is a first step toward taking back our elected offices.

 

Together we can make our voices and our actions even more powerful than in 2017. Keep resisting.

Action Steps 12/20/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 12/20/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Demand a DREAM Act

 

On Wednesday afternoon December 20, starting at 3 p.m., demonstrators will be participating in a sit-in at the office of Senator Dick Durbin downtown at 230 South Dearborn. This sit-in, an action from the #OurDream Alliance, is one of many demonstrations happening nationwide this week to demand that Congress pass a clean DREAM Act as part of their spending bill, which must be authorized by Friday, December 22 to avoid a shutdown. Find this and other events at the Fight for Our Dream website.

 

Learn from the Alabama Senate Special Election

 

Democrat Doug Jones won the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions early this month in a special election. He won by an extremely narrow margin, and exit polls show his victory hinged on the votes of black Alabamans showing up to the polls. Many states don’t make it easy for people of color and other historically marginalized people to get out and vote—and voter suppression tactics tend to mean people who would typically vote on the liberal side of the ticket never get their voices heard. Gear up for the 2018 midterm election battles by reading up on the main lesson from the Alabama Jones win: that it’s vital to ensure black voters can cast their ballots.

 

Take some time to educate yourself on voter suppression tactics currently being used across the country to keep the poor, people of color, and the youngest and oldest potential voters from casting their ballots. Visit Spread the Vote to learn more, and consider donating to help Americans in districts requiring voter IDs to secure the documentation necessary to exercise their right to vote.

 

Be Prepared for Potential Demonstrations

 

There has been an uptick in chatter recently of conservative officials and pundits calling for the removal of special counsel Robert Mueller from the Department of Justice investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Groups across the country have put together rapid response demonstration networks that are ready to spring into action should Mueller be fired over the next few weeks. Find your preferred demonstration location and add your name to the list of those to be notified in the event of a Mueller firing.

 

Move On is also putting together a contact list for individuals who want to be kept informed of demonstrations that may follow any event deemed necessary of a crisis response, from an attack within the United States to an attack on the civil liberties of Americans. Add your name to ensure you’ll be in the know should any sudden event inspire a demonstration in response.

Action Steps 12/13/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 12/13/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Urgent! Last Chance to Choose Your Health Plan!

 

December 15 is the final day of open enrollment for those seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means it’s your last chance to change or add coverage for yourself and your family, and also to make sure all your friends and neighbors know it’s time to enroll, too. Visit the Get America Covered project’s website for resources and support to make sure all your friends and family know that enrollment lasts only through December 15.

 

Indivisible Illinois is also organizing daily phone banking to alert Illinois residents to the Affordable Care Act enrollment period. Whether you’ve got just a few minutes to spare or can gather groups of friends to make calls together, it’s not too late to sign up to participate in the phone bank. You’ll be doing your part to ensure everyone in Illinois who needs health insurance through the ACA is able to choose their coverage during open enrollment.

 

Preserve National Lands

 

The president has taken steps to drastically reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, two federally designated public lands created to preserve and protect the landscape—which has sacred import to several Native American nations. Read about the impact of this reduction from a Native perspective, then take steps to support Native peoples and these lands by working with the Bears Ears Coalition and Patagonia.

 

Demand Unbiased News Coverage of LGBT Issues

 

There’s been much discussion of the gay rights case that was recently before the Supreme Court, in which a Colorado baker refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Mainstream television news programs have covered the topic, including disgracefully biased content as seen on Megyn Kelly TODAY. Read more about the problematically biased coverage of this case and take action to demand our news sources do a better job of objectively and informatively sharing the news.

 

Make End-of-Year Calls to Your Representatives

 

Our elected representatives here in the IL-9 have aggressively upheld progressive values this year, no small accomplishment considering the political environment we find ourselves in. Take some time at the end of the year to call your representatives to thank them for their hard work—and to remind them of the issues that are most important to you, including the necessity of passing a DREAM act. Get contact information for your federal representatives here.

Action Steps 12/6/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 12/6/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Make Calls for the Alabama Senate Race

 

The Alabama Senate special election will take place on Tuesday, December 12, which means all hands are on deck to get out the vote for Democratic candidate Doug Jones. Jones offers the type of Democratic representation the state needs—and that’s without taking into account that Jones’s Republican challenger, Roy Moore, is embroiled in allegations of his history of dating, pursuing, and harassing underage women. Use this tool to phone bank to predominantly African American voters in Alabama, who have the power to elect Jones to the Senate if they show up on election day next week. Login instructions and scripts are available in the tool.

 

Refill Your Well

 

Resistance efforts draw strength from the energy of resistors, which means it’s vital to take time to recharge throughout the year. Indivisible Evanston will be hosting an end-of-year potluck celebration for people to gather in fellowship and support. The event, which will take place on Wednesday, December 13, from 6:30-8:30 at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, will center on stories of success and hope since the 2016 election. Bring a dish to share.

 

Refill the Well of an Incarcerated Woman

 

Chicago Books for Women Prison is a local charitable organization that works to connect incarcerated women in Chicago with books to feed their brains and skillsets. After a successful #GivingTuesday campaign in which over 350 books were donated to local women, the organization is hoping for continued community support during the holidays. Take a look at their wish list of titles and give a gift that will bring both education and opportunity to some of the most disenfranchised and overlooked members of our community.

 

Reminder: Choose Your Health Plan—And Remind Others to Sign Up, Too

 

We’re approaching the end of open enrollment for those seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means it’s time to change or add coverage for yourself and your family, and also to make sure all your friends and neighbors know it’s time to enroll, too. Visit the Get America Covered project’s website for resources and support to make sure all your friends and family know that enrollment lasts through December 15.

 

Indivisible Illinois is also organizing daily phone banking to alert Illinois residents to the Affordable Care Act enrollment period. Whether you’ve got just a few minutes to spare or can gather groups of friends to make calls together, sign up to participate in the phone bank. You’ll be doing your part to ensure everyone in Illinois who needs health insurance through the ACA is able to choose their coverage during open enrollment.

Action Steps 11/29/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 11/29/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Raise Your Consciousness

 

Our neighbors in Wisconsin are currently impacted by voter suppression efforts in that state. Whether you’re simply interested to learn more about voter suppression tactics or aim to help support voting rights for all, make a plan to attend the “Voter Suppression/Voter I.D. in Wisconsin” event on Sunday, December 3, from 2-3:30 p.m. in Evanston. RSVP for the free event here.

 

Help Our Puerto Rican Neighbors

 

Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico are still dealing with the aftermath and struggles of Hurricane Maria—a shameful reality when we consider how little our government has done for Puerto Ricans as compared to hurricane victims in mainland states. As we approach the winter holiday season associated with giving, make a plan to contribute to the Puerto Rican recovery in any way you can.

 

Get Ready to Flip Some Seats

 

With less than a year until the 2018 mid-term elections, now is the time to get to work to take back the House and the Senate from Republicans. That’s the precise mission of Flippable, an organization that enlists volunteers across the country to help current red districts to go blue in the next election. In a district with strong progressive representation, residents of the IL-9 can channel their energies into regions where more progressive voices are needed to make a difference. Sign up to volunteer with Flippable here.

 

Reminder: Choose Your Health Plan—And Remind Others to Sign Up, Too

 

It’s time! It’s now open enrollment for those seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means it’s time to change or add coverage for yourself and your family, and also to make sure all your friends and neighbors know it’s time to enroll, too. Visit the Get America Covered project’s website for resources and support to make sure all your friends and family know that enrollment lasts through December 15.

 

Indivisible Illinois is also organizing daily phone banking to alert Illinois residents to the Affordable Care Act enrollment period. Whether you’ve got just a few minutes to spare or can gather groups of friends to make calls together, sign up to participate in the phone bank. You’ll be doing your part to ensure everyone in Illinois who needs health insurance through the ACA is able to choose their coverage during open enrollment. You can also use this sign-up form if you’d like to phone bank about tax reform.

Action Steps 11/22/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 11/22/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Reminder: Choose Your Health Plan—And Remind Others to Sign Up, Too

 

It’s time! It’s now open enrollment for those seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means it’s time to change or add coverage for yourself and your family, and also to make sure all your friends and neighbors know it’s time to enroll, too. In the past few months, the current administration has done plenty to try to undermine signups; but that tactic isn’t working, and the ACA website is seeing record enrollments. Visit the Get America Covered project’s website for resources and support to make sure all your friends and family know that enrollment lasts through December 15.

 

Indivisible Illinois is also organizing daily phone banking to alert Illinois residents to the Affordable Care Act enrollment period. Whether you’ve got just a few minutes to spare or can gather groups of friends to make calls together, sign up to participate in the phone bank. You’ll be doing your part to ensure everyone in Illinois who needs health insurance through the ACA is able to choose their coverage during open enrollment. You can also use this sign-up form if you’d like to phone bank about tax reform.

 

Raise Your Consciousness

 

Having honest, productive conversations, especially with those whose views differ from our own, isn’t just a useful skill for family holiday meals—it’s vital for our democracy. Organizing for Action and Swing Left are partnering to offer training webinars on the topic of Effective Conversations over the next several weeks, with the next training taking place online November 29 at 7 p.m. Sign up for the training here and equip yourself to have the types of discussions our country needs.

 

Are you a fan of podcasts? These free, on-demand audio programs are a great way to stay informed about national and local politics. If you’re looking to hear more about politics and resistance in Chicagoland, try the Indivisible Chicago Podcast. If national politics is your area of interest, the NPR Politics Podcast offers in-depth coverage and explanation of political goings-on multiple times per week. And if you’re the sort of person who wants to start the day with the latest news and highlights in digestible snippets, trying NPR’s Up First or The Daily from the New York Times.

 

Plan Ahead

 

If you’re the sort of person who likes to plan ahead when it comes to your civic engagement and resistance activities, take some time to peruse the resources from ActLocal, a network of leaders dedicated to promoting allyship and cooperation in the progressive movement. Their handy chronological list of things you can do to get more progressives in office is a must-read for anyone in resistance for the long term.

Action Steps 11/8/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 11/8/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Share Your Thoughts for Education

 

In October, the Secretary of Education released a draft of her priority areas for competitive grant programs for the coming years. These priorities set the bar for what types of educational programs can—and cannot—look to federal funding for support. Through November 13, the Department of Education is seeking feedback on these priority areas. Take a few minutes to submit a comment on what you and your school communities feel are the educational areas needing the most attention. Now is the time to advocate for what sectors of education will most benefit from funding, from school libraries with certified librarians to afterschool enrichment programs.

 

Get Inspired

 

One of the biggest cultural shifts since the 2016 presidential election is in the number of women who are now pursuing elected office. Emily’s List reported in 2016 that 920 women were preparing to run for elected office. That number today is 20,000, and the 2017 results from various states show just how successful women can be when they run. Whether you’re among those ranks or you simply wish to learn how to better support the women in your community who aim to serve, take some time to watch She’s the Ticket, short web videos featuring five women who are stepping up to the challenge.

 

Choose Your Health Plan

 

It’s time! It’s now open enrollment for those seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means it’s time to change or add coverage for yourself and your family, and also to make sure all your friends and neighbors know it’s time to enroll, too. In the past few months, the current administration has done plenty to try to undermine signups; we cannot let this tactic work. Visit the Get America Covered project’s website for resources and support to make sure all your friends and family know that enrollment lasts November 1 through December 15.

 

Ongoing Autumn Action

 

Through November 15, volunteers will be calling Illinois registered voters to encourage them to contact Governor Rauner and insist that his Family Foundation cease distributing false information aimed at denying climate change. Governor Rauner’s Family Foundation has distributed scientifically inaccurate information to over 200,000 teachers across the country, negatively impacting students. Sign up here to phone bank on Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

 

Raise Your Consciousness


Brooke Gladstone, host of the NPR radio program On the Media, was recently in town to give a talk for the Chicago Humanities Festival. Gladstone spoke about her recent book The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time. It’s now one full year since the 2016 presidential election, and if you’re still looking to make sense of the result—or even if you’re just curious to better understand why the nation still feels so divided—The Trouble with Reality is a great, short read to add to your list. Bonus: If your local library has a service called Hoopla, you can read it immediately for free on any internet-connected device with your library card number.

Action Steps 10/18/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 10/18/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Boots on the Ground

 

If you’re reading this newsletter early on Wednesday, October 18, consider making your way to O’Hare’s Terminal 5 for the #NoMuslimBanEver rally. The demonstration stands opposed to the newest executive order on immigration, colloquially dubbed Muslim Ban 3.0. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and will take place even after a Hawaii judge blocked the order from going into effect. Find out more at the event Facebook page.

 

Add Your Voice

 

The Department of Health and Human Services has just released their draft Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2018-2022, and their proposed revised mission statement would be a blow to reproductive rights and activism in this country. The new plan states that the “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of 61 activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” Including the language “beginning at conception” is new, and it asserts that the department will pursue activities aligned with anti-choice ideologies. Take advantage of the brief public comment period ending October 27 to add your voice to those saying that a federal department’s strategic plan is no place for partisan posturing and that women’s lives are at stake with the current proposed wording.

 

Support Voting Rights

 

Are voting issues some of your issues of choice in your resistance work? If so, consider attending the Indivisible Evanston meeting on Tuesday, October 24, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, where the major topic for the meeting will be voter registration and rights for the 2018 elections. The meeting will also feature a guest speaker from the Sister District Project, which pairs consistently blue districts with “sister” red districts across the country that could go blue in upcoming races with enough voter outreach. RSVP for the meeting here.

 

Ongoing Action on Health Care

 

In the past month, the current administration has done all of the following to sabotage the Affordable Care Act: pull funding from the ACA’s advertising budget; announce that they’ll be taking down the ACA website for so-called maintenance every Sunday but one during open enrollment; and end subsidies that stabilize insurance marketplaces. All of these moves serve to make it harder for the people who rely on the ACA for their health insurance to actually access coverage. We cannot let this tactic work. Join the thunderclap to remind members in your community of the upcoming 2018 ACA signup dates via your social media platforms.

 

Grab Your Phone

 

Now through November 15, volunteers will be calling Illinois registered voters to encourage them to contact Governor Rauner and insist that his Family Foundation cease distributing false information aimed at denying climate change. Governor Rauner’s Family Foundation has distributed scientifically inaccurate information to over 200,000 teachers across the country, negatively impacting students. Sign up here to phone bank on any upcoming Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

 

Bonus Action for Every Day: Believe Women

 

That’s it, really: believe women when they tell you they’ve been harassed, made to feel uncomfortable, assaulted, catcalled, hurt… Don’t ask what they were wearing or what they might have done to invite the inappropriate (and often illegal) behavior or whether they just misinterpreted what happened. Believe women. Believe women. Believe women.