2021 proved worrisome as it soon became clear that the Democratic Trifecta would not provide the majority we needed in the Senate to overcome the filibuster or to eliminate or amend it.
We worked tirelessly straight through the summer with other Indivisibles to demand passage of voting protections such as the For the People Act/Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but to no avail as Senators Manchin and Sinema refused to amend the filibuster, allowing the minority to dictate what bills were debated or voted upon, and ultimately efforts to protect democracy failed.
Protecting the Results of the November 3rd election has been (and still is) a major concern of Indivisibles and other organizations. We knew that the president and his enablers would try to sow discord and chaos on election night by either proclaiming a premature victory or casting doubt on the results. Indivisible collaborated with hundreds of organizations, including large groups like MoveOn and Stand Up America along with local labor unions and faith based organizations, to attempt to counteract this with a positive “Count Every Vote” narrative.
Indivisible Outer Cape did its part by helping to organize a rally on November 4th at the Hyannis rotary as well as an Overpass Light Brigade to send our message to travelers along Route 6!
While President Elect Biden is already filling the leadership vacuum and doing his best to prepare for what is a monumental job, we are not yet in the clear. There are important mid-December dates that must be watched and the ongoing worry of the president’s fomenting unrest between his base and the rest of the law-abiding public.
Say what you will about the year 2020, but one thing is for certain: INDIVISIBLE OUTER CAPE members were busy!
Starting with the 2020 Vision Plan we created in January, we set our sites on some of the key states of the November election – including Georgia. We began Do Something Sundays with the Provincetown Brewing Company and started writing postcards and raising money for Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight.
Due to the pandemic, our Do Something Sundays events shifted into Activism To Go – and we completed well over 25,000 postcards and 7,000 letters to voters in key states by distributing packets out of the back of our cars every week!
Starting September 1st, Indivisible Outer Cape and Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard held fun-filled, supportive Zoom sessions as we texted together to get out the vote! Together we completed 53k texts to voters across the country, asking them to register or to vote or to remind three friends to vote!
BET ON KENTUCKY BLUE! #DITCHMITCH2020!
OUR SUMMER KENTUCKY FUNDRAISERS WERE A HUGE SUCCESS ($20K!)
and helped Indivisible Kentucky!
We want to thank everyone who made the 2019 summer fund raising parties to help Indivisible Kentucky to #DitchMitch2020 such a big success! All monies raised went straight to folks on the ground in Kentucky to build their grassroots capacity and to spread the word that Mitch is bad for Kentucky – and bad for the country!
Why this is important: McConnell himself has bragged that he is the ‘grim reaper of progressive legislation’ and many hold him personally responsible for the degradation of our democracy. Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, spoke recently about the serious danger McConnell poses to representative democracy. Even if we win all three branches of government in 2020, if McConnell is still there, he will block every progressive bill via filibuster. You can read more about the strategy to #DitchMitch2020 in the blog section of our website.
We will not forget his blocking of Obama appointees to SCOTUS and “Our House” of Representatives has already passed more than 40 progressive bills which are now stalled because McConnell will not allow them to come for a vote. These bills are all teed up and ready for 2021, but we need to put Mitch out to pasture in order for them to passed!
Indivisible Outer Cape, Lower Cape Indivisible, Martha’s Vineyard Indivisible, and Indivisible Nantucket joined forces for this series of fun summer fundraisers.
Please continue to help grassroots organizers in KY; you can go to indivisibleky.org to just make a donation!
Let’s Can Collins Fundraiser!
Based on the success of our #DitchMitch2020 fundraising, we are held a similar action to help Mainers #CanCollins!
Indivisible Outer Cape partnered with Women’s Week organizers and Provincetown Brewing Co. to help our fellow Indivisible members at Mainers for Accountable Leadership raise funds to build grassroots capacity and inform voters of Senator Susan Collins’ bad policies. The event was held on Friday, October 18, 2019, from 5-7 pm at the PBC at 141 Bradford St. Attendees enjoyed their first round of beer, and a snack, all while knowing they were doing their part to help Mainers rid the Senate of #Sidekick Susie!
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.
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!
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 about these issues and get them to pressure their Representatives.
Indivisible Outer Cape has collaborated with other Cape Cod groups and allies to hold several Cape-wide rallies to protest the violations of human rights at our nation’s border and are following the progress of MA Safe Communities Act.
Ballot Question 3 Passed in MA in 2018!
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 members have collaborated with Cape Cod Women for Change to develop strategies and 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. One of the most successful tactics was to engage other Indivisible MA groups across the state, to write postcards to constituents of legislators who are on the fence about the bill. Over 16k postcards were written from August to November of 2019!
The ROE Act is still in the Joint Judiciary Committee and has been granted an extension which we hope is a position indication of its passage. 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.
On March 14, 2018, we held our successful seven site Stand Out for Students 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. 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 have followed this bill and advocated for its passage out of committee with letters and petitions. We are hopeful that the TUE Committee’s extension to consider H2810 will result in a positive vote.
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 and sharing their events.