Protecting our HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, EQUALITY AND DEMOCRACY!
The goals of Indivisible Outer Cape align closely with our core values. IOC members believe in the civil and human rights of all people. This means that we will fight for:
HEALTH – This includes quality and affordable healthcare and a society without rampant gun violence. We insist that our legislators find an alternative to the current profit-driven health insurance and prescription drug system and that we care for all people equally. Our country’s gun violence problem is a public health crisis that no other country in the world suffers from and one that we demand Congress addresses.
ENVIRONMENT – Climate change is real and we insist that climate scientists be listened to. We demand action now to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the current administration’s roll-back of all environmental regulations in favor of fossil fuel corporations.
EQUALITY – We demand equal rights for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. We demand that all people be treated with dignity, respect and due process, including immigrants. We will fight the attacks on the rights of women and their bodily autonomy, and the rights of LGBTQ individuals. We will fight for social justice everywhere.
DEMOCRACY – We know that without a healthy and functioning democracy, with all the checks and balances of power, that none of our other goals are possible. The balances have been tipped and many of the checks have been ignored. We insist that voting rights are enforced, and that all votes count. We want campaign finance reform and a repeal of Citizens United. And we want politicians to be held accountable to the people!
The IOC Action Team
Since January 2019, a small, dedicated group of IOC members has been meeting regularly, to implement Indivisible’s new strategies which call for bold, progressive offense at the national and state level. You can read the new guides here. Since our January Day of Action, this team has been working to identify key legislation and bills on the national and state level that we support. You will find some of these explained in our Updates Section.
We have had to learn quickly about the many steps a bill takes and to research the issues and history surrounding these. We have also developed staunch allies with other Indivisible groups here, throughout MA, and even in other states. We have established strong working relationships with our elected officials, Congressman Keating, State Senator Cyr, and State Representative Peake, and are developing collaborations with other activist groups. Our 2019 goal is to plan tactics that will reach and inform the public, encourage their civic engagement, and advance bills on issues that affect all Americans such as healthcare and the environment. Summertime is a busy time for Cape Codders, but it is also an ideal time to reach people of all kinds.
We are concerned that 2020 is approaching quickly, when we know that we will need to shift our attention to elections, here and in other places. Fortunately, many national organizations are also planning for this and we will be offering opportunities for our members to work with groups like SwingLeft and MoveOn as we have done in the past. Our work for 2020 will be to influence Cape Codders to vote on progressive issues that matter to us locally and nationally. Flipping three U.S. Senate seats will be imperative to move the many progressive bills the new House of Representatives has already passed. In addition, GOTV work is needed in many key districts in other states such as ME, WI and FL and we will be doing what we can to help. Post-carding, phone-banking and letter writing are the most important tactics we can employ. We have already held post-carding parties and will be planning many more events in the coming months.
There are two vital ways every voter can make a difference. The first is to regularly contact your Members of Congress! We have learned that the folks on the other side of our issues do call them regularly and, even though you may think our MoCs will vote our way, they need still to hear from us (there is no way our state MoCs should have received more calls opposing the Conversion Therapy Ban, but they did)! So after you’ve done your part, the second is to get other progressive voters to do the same. The best way to do this is through voter to voter contact. That not only means getting your friends and family to call about issues, but to reach voters in other places from Harwich, MA, to Sarasota, FL. This is why so many groups focus on phone-banking and canvassing. So, whether we like it or not, these tactics work and saving our democracy just may depend on coming out of our comfort zones to do it!
Our Action Team members have divided up the issues in order to just keep track of the many aspects of legislation surrounding them, but we come together to share and to plan our work. There is a lot of labor involved in this and if you have an interest in helping, please get in touch!
Laurie Veninger email@example.com (healthcare, women’s issues, Indivisible MA)
Lydia Vivante firstname.lastname@example.org (climate and gun control)
Carol Warshawsky email@example.com (democracy)
Keith Thurlow firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Raymond email@example.com (immigration)
C-Sue Mrazik firstname.lastname@example.org (LGBTQ)
Laura Gazzano email@example.com (climate)
Bob Higgins-Steele firstname.lastname@example.org (climate)
Tricia Aurigemma email@example.com (LGBTQ)
Updates from 2018:
Voting and Elections
Let’s Get Out the Vote!
In the months leading up to the mid-term elections, IOC members worked hard to register voters, to inform them on the issues and the candidates, and to remind them to head to the polls on November 6.
Several of IOC members worked on the “Cape and Islands Vote!’ three day library voter registration drive and we set up shop through out the summer! We arranged tables at Truro’s Farmers’ Market, the Truro Ag Fair, Eastham Windmill Weekend, and at the UU Church in Ptown.
Other registration efforts included a souvenir postcard campaign which had a QR Code that linked to a voter registration website through Indivisible. The QR Code let citizens of 37 states register online through TURBOVOTE. These cards were distributed at events throughout town or in bars or shops.
Some individuals helped with phone banking for MA State Senator Julian Cyr several in Eastham. Once you learned how to do it, it was easy and possible to do from home! As the elections drew near, Indivisible even made it possible for us to phone bank for candidates in other states.
We were very proud that Ron Bergstrom won the Barnstable County Commissioner race. We were pleased to see that the votes from the Outer Cape carried the race for Ron Bergstrom! As you may know, Barnstable County Commissioners represent all Cape Codders, even though it seems one of the current Commissioners, Ron Beaty, has a lot of animosity toward our community and our values. Ron Bergstrom’s election was needed in order to neutralize this Trumpian Commissioner, whose term will be up in 2020 when we will mobilize again!
There were several local Cape Cod races where we also hoped a seat would change from red to blue, but it wasn’t to be – this time. There are three Cape Cod State Representatives (1st, 2nd, and 5th Districts) who consistently vote against the values we identified as important to us. We are continuing to explore ways that we on the Outer Cape can inform voters in these districts and get them to pressure their Representatives.
Our newly formed Action Team has identified several MA State bills that we support and are currently devising strategy and tactics to help them through the legislative process.
The mission of the Immigration Committee, is to be aware of both national and local legislation around immigration rights and respond to this legislation, to make local members of the community aware of legislation and inform them of their rights, providing direct support where needed and possible, and finally to monitor local elected officials and police as they respond to issues around immigration.
Our actions and goals include:
- Visiting detention centers with supplies
- Keeping tabs on our local sheriff
- Creating a line of communication with other local groups- such as Safe Communities Coalition and Outer Cape Indivisible
- Create an Emergency Alert System
Through keeping IOC members informed of legislative actions destroying equality under the law for LGBTQI communities, this subgroup plans to communicate actions members can take to resist!
Ballot Question 3 Passed!
IOC members worked very hard to inform the public about the dangers to the transgender community of repealing MA public accommodation law which guarantees the rights of all people, regardless of gender identity, access to public places. The law was passed in 2016 and conservative groups, based in Washington, DC, immediately began work to repeal it. They intended to make MA the testing ground for the country by using fear and hate in the name of protecting wives and daughters from trans men in bathrooms (no such actual case has ever been recorded!). Repeal of the law would have made it possible to discriminate against a transgender person in any public place, thus denying them of their basic civil and human rights.
IOC members spoke on a local radio talk show, distributed yard signs and pledge cards, and held a forum where State Senator Julian Cyr, State Representative Sarah Peake, representatives from the ACLU and Freedom For All spoke to the public.
Currently, the IOC Action Team is watching national legislation in DC. The Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual and gender identity has passed the House, but as with hundreds of other bills is being blocked by Senate Majority Leader McConnell. We are also hoping to see HR1032 to protect transgender individuals in the military and H. Res. 124 opposing the transgender military ban.
The Trump administration has done its best to decimate our healthcare. Protections of the ACA (like for pre-existing conditions) are eroding and Medicaid faces further budget cuts. We are waiting to see what the new House of Representatives can do to about the ongoing sabotage of the ACA. And even though it seems like everyone is talking about Medicare for All now, there are many different versions and scenarios that need to be hashed out before it can become a reality.
The Trump administration’s policy on Title X is shockingly ill-informed and harmful, especially to small, rural healthcare such as Outer Cape Health Center. Not only have doctors been gagged, which means they are not allowed to even mention abortion, let alone refer a patient to a provider (and there are no providers on Cape), but funds are being diverted to non-medical, faith-based centers rather than actual medical facilities. Because of this many providers have declined Title X funding.
Additionally, Betsy DeVos has proposed harmful changes to Title IX which guarantees protections against sexual assault and harassment in education. We are hoping that legislation will be reintroduced to protect Title IX.
The Indivisible 2.0 States guide emphasizes the importance State legislatures can play in protecting citizens from the most harmful changes coming out of Washington. IOC’s Action Team is beginning its research and hoping to develop strategies and tactics to promote MA State legislation such as the ROE Act, the Healthy Youth Act, and Ending Child Marriage. The ROE Act in MA is a bill that would reform MA abortion law and protect rights here in the event the Roe v. Wade is repealed. You can read more about the ROE Act and our efforts to support it on our Urgent Actions and Events page.
We are pleased that the new House of Representatives has passed HR8 to expand background checks. We are also watching for them to introduce a new assault weapons ban and a rider to the appropriations bill that would allow for the CDC to study gun deaths.
One year ago, we held our successful seven site Stand Out for Students on March 14, 2018, where Indivisible Outer Cape and Lower Cape Indivisible collaborated to support our young people after the Parkland shooting. Both our groups would like to do more, but we are severely under-staffed. So if you are interested in representing IOC and working on this important issue with our neighbors from Lower Cape, please email Laurie Veninger at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in touch! In the meantime we will do our best to keep you informed of the efforts undertaken by many other groups working on meaningful gun reform.
Everyone is excited about the Green New Deal and we are hopeful that the new Select House Climate Crisis Committee will be able to use it as a framework for comprehensive legislation. In the mean time there are several bills on both the national and state level that we are researching and hoping to promote.
One of the bills we are promoting is currently in MA legislature. It is H2810 – An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions or “The Benson Bill.” This bill would charge a fee to fossil fuel companies and use that fee to promote green infrastructure and to offset costs to residents.
We feel that the climate crisis, like the healthcare crisis, is an issue that can speak to people of all political backgrounds. Members of Indivisible Outer Cape and Lower Cape Indivisible will be collaborating on this issue with many of these established climate activists organizations in our area:
350 Cape Cod Contact: Chris Powicki | chrisp@weeinfo
Outer Cape Solarize Plus (OCSP) Contact: David Mead-Fox | email@example.com
Climate Mobilization Outer Cape (CMOC) Contact: David Mead-Fox | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (5 C’s) Contacts: Sandy Bayne | email@example.com and Moncrieff Cochran | firstname.lastname@example.org
Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer (POCCA) Contact: Laura Kelley | L.Kelley@poccacapecod.org
Outer Cape Energize Plus (OCEP) Contact Dee Morehouse, email@example.com