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 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 joining forces with groups like SwingLeft and MoveOn as we have done in the past. Our work for 2020 will be to flip the three Cape Cod’s Republican State Representatives and to help in key national races. Flipping three U.S. Senate seats will be imperative to move the many progressive bills the new House of Representatives is working on. In addition, GOTV work is needed in many key districts in other states such as 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)
Lydia Vivante firstname.lastname@example.org (climate and gun control)
Carol Warshawsky email@example.com (democracy)
Deb Raymond firstname.lastname@example.org (immigration)
C-Sue Mrazik email@example.com (LGBTQ)
Laura Gazzano firstname.lastname@example.org (climate)
Sally Bridge email@example.com (LGBTQ and women’s issues)
Tricia Aurigemma firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Phone banking for MA State Senator Julian Cyr happened several times a week in Eastham and several IOC members even helped from home. Once you learned how to do it, it was easy! As the elections drew near, Indivisible even made it possible for us to phone bank for candidates in other states.
We were very proud to have helped Ron Bergstrom to win the Barnstable County Commissioner race. We published an information leaflet and distributed it far and wide and 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 worked to flip a seat from red to blue, although unsuccessfully. 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 influence voters in these districts by informing them on the issues and getting 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
The Immigrant Rights subgroup offers a variety of resources on immigration concerns and laws. They meet on Thursdays and currently promote local, monthly, and FREE Immigration Counseling. This service is provided by immigration lawyer and Coordinator of the Immigration Resource Center, Collin Mickle. Mickle will be in Eastham at the Children’s Place the first Wednesday of every month to answer questions regarding immigration policies and rights. Call 508-771-1727 x 140 to make an appointment.
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! Contact C-Sue if you want to participate or have information about actions related to LGBTQI rights.
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. We are hoping that there will be a reintroduction of HR2282, The Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual and gender identity. 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. Representative Jayapal has introduced a new Medicare for All bill (HR1384) and others are talking about a Medicare After 50 bill. Any new bill needs to be reviewed by the Energy and Commerce Committee and bills are prevented from reaching the floor for a vote unless a majority of the party supports it (this is the Hastert rule). We are watching this issue closely and our Action Team is exploring ways we can work on this topic.
The Trump administration’s policy on Title X is shockingly ill-informed and harmful, especially to small, rural healthcare such as Outer Cape Health. 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. We are watching to see if the House Appropriations Committee can stop this or if a lawsuit from WA may block it.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate Mobilization Outer Cape (CMOC) Contact: David Mead-Fox | email@example.com
Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (5 C’s) Contacts: Sandy Bayne | firstname.lastname@example.org and Moncrieff Cochran | email@example.com
Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer (POCCA) Contact: Laura Kelley | L.Kelley@poccacapecod.org
Outer Cape Energize Plus (OCEP) Contact Dee Morehouse, firstname.lastname@example.org