Now that the initial shock of Trump actually being president has faded, and it's attendant compulsion to take immediate action, any action, to try to stop him, let's take stock and take a look at the best ways we can take action given that we are in a deep blue district in a deep blue state.
The Indivisible Guide, calls for lobbying our Members of Congress (MoC) even if they are in a safely blue district or state. While that is not going to hurt, in our case, it's really doubtful if that's going to be the most effective use of your time and/or money.
Regarding contacting MoCs from other states or districts, the Indivisible Guide says "Do NOT switch to targeting other MoCs who don’t represent you. They don’t represent you, and they don’t care what you have to say. Stick with your own local MoCs."
OK, so what else to do??
Here are my top picks on how we can be effective. I hope you'll chime in with what you think is best.
The key challenge is how can we project our values and concerns beyond our district.
There are two resources we have to work with: Time & Money.
Since we're in this sorry state of affairs because we lost lots of elections, I think the most strategic use of our time to start working to win elections! Here are 3 organizations that are focused on winning elections in remote (not our) districts. These are all just getting started, so it's a good time to plug in!
Flippable - "We focus on state races, which play a huge role in national elections but are often overlooked. Information about these races is hard to find, and busy people don’t have the time to sift through it."
Swing Left - focused on US House of Representatives.
Sister District - "In 2017, your Sister Race will be a down-ballot race that is critical to helping Democrats defend or take back control of the states and bring fairness back to redistricting. As 2018 approaches, you will be matched with a swing congressional district, or other strategically important race, so that we can take back the House of Representatives and the State Legislatures."
I think any of these is a great choice. Arguably, working for a state district could be the most effective since they are smaller. We already have one victory in a state election, Stephanie Hansen in Deleware! Winning back more state houses is critical so we can have more say in the 2020 redistricting.
Sister District group that came together in San Anselmo recently, with lots of people from Petaluma also attending. There was talk about holding meetings in Petaluma and perhaps Sebastopol as well. I believe they will be targeting a Washington State race located outside of Seattle.
Swing Left has targeted the weekend of March 4-5 to organize lots of house parties to introduce people to Swing Left and get them involved. There is one set up for this Sunday, March 5th, in San Rafael. More info is here. Even better, sign up to host a house party! They supply everything you need.
CA-10, which includes Modesto. This feels better to me because it is closer ( 2-hour drive) and it is a US House race, so the issues are both local and national, as opposed to state race outside of California, which will focus on exclusively local issues.
I think we can flip CA-10 it in 2018! I've already been out there to canvas with a group and met a very diverse set of voters. It was a great experience!
The notion of working for an election in a remote district is newish and it's is still being figured out, from what I can tell. But you can certainly help with research, graphics and social media support, phone banking, canvassing, and eventually driving voters to the polls!.
It would be a HUGE WIN if we can flip the house in 2018! If we win, we can investigate the Trump administration, and impeach Trump! (I think it would be better to hobble Trump and use him to bring down the entire Republican Party, rather than impeach him, but that is a subject for another thread).
There's also writing & calling other MoC's (calling is more effective, but you often get a busy signal). Again, Indivisible says they don't care what you think, since they don't represent you. Also, most phone campaigns seem to be focused on votes that are just about to happen. I think that often that is too late to sway a vote, but still it is easy and can't hurt and, at a minimum, it might help you feel better! 5 Calls seems to be the leader is this field.
The Women's March continues to be active, including calling for a Day without a Woman for March 8th. And after you take the day off, come join Mrs. Wacco and I at the Fairfax Community Church 6:30 to 9pm to write some postcard to Trump for the Ides of Trump focused postcard event for March 15 ("Beware of the Ides of March!). We'll have postcards, stamps, music, tea & desserts!
What else are you guys doing and what groups are you working with???
Donating money is the easiest way to project you "voice" outside our district. You can, of course, donate to any of the campaigns supported by the organizations above, and there are countless other organizations to support.
Whereas supporting our candidates is playing offense, I see organizations as a great way to play defense, particularly using the power of the courts. So I'm contributing to Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the ACLU are also on the top of the list.
There's also MoveOn.org. From what I can tell, they are most effective when they producing issue videos, but I wonder if they are just preaching to the choir. They do countless petitions, which I consider to be just click bait to get your email address and ask you for a contribution, rather than have any effect.
Got any other favorite organizations that you contribute to?
What advice (or questions) do you have for people looking to be effective in stopping Trump and taking back our country?!?