Andrew’s Actions is a part of Santa Cruz Indivisible and was formerly known as Indivisible Santa Cruz before the groups merged. Look here for archived emails.
Apologies for the long time between emails. As I went to write today’s email I realized that I had neglected to send the last email that I wrote and it was stuck in my drafts.
Since my previous emails, we’ve seen protests increase across the country. We’ve seen genuine movement on police reform issues in many local and state jurisdictions (but, sadly and predictably, nothing in the Republican-controlled Senate). We’ve also seen a number of horrific police killings and instances of police brutality continue (and some old cases have new information or video come to light). We’ve also seen polls that show that increasing numbers of Americans are fed up with Trump’s racism, lies, and refusal to do anything to stop the coronavirus or police misconduct. Early results out of the New York and Kentucky primaries show sky-high voter enthusiasm, long lines (which is a bad sign in a well functioning democracy), and early leads for progressive candidates (including over some longtime incumbents). Although these are good signs, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to ensure the free and fair elections (and good results) in November that we so badly need. Let’s keep making calls, sending emails, and talking to friends and family. Indivisible, Swing Left, Crooked Media and many other groups are doing helpful training sessions. The Crooked Media ones can be seen at any time on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOOwEPgFWm_NqC_YZiJ2_96WoghNjchW1
There’s an upcoming vote in the House to make DC a state, which should absolutely happen. DC residents currently have very little representation and are at the mercy of the federal government. When there’s an authoritarian government, like now, we see how bad the outcome can be (federal agents teargassing peaceful protesters to clear a path so Trump can have a photo op in front of church that didn’t want him there). Let’s call our representatives and push them to support DC statehood!
Let’s also tell our representatives (federal, state, and local) that we want more oversight and accountability for police departments. We need public information on civilian complaints and disciplinary actions. We need officers who were fired for cause to lose the ability to get hired by other departments. We need demilitarization of police departments and equipment. We need bans on choke-holds. We need racist and sexist and homophobic officers to be fired. We need reform and accountability. We also need less funding for treating the symptoms of social issues (police, prisons, and jails) and more funding for treating the causes of social issues (housing, addiction, mental health, abuse, and other issues). Let’s invest in our communities rather than investing in prisons and jails.
Here is something I wrote for the last email to help work through some of my feelings. Since I didn’t send the last email I’m including it here:
Black Lives Matter. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
Of course, Black lives matter. Or at least they should. But here in the United States, like many other places, we haven’t done a good job of acting like it. Certainly not during slavery and when the country was founded and not during Jim Crow and the Tuskegee experiments and not when single-residence zoning and racist real estate agents and gerrymandering school zones worked to keep segregation in effect after segregated schools and deed restrictions were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and not during the Civil Rights Movement when Martin Luther King, Jr. was beaten and arrested and assassinated and many other peaceful protesters were beaten and murdered and not during the Vietnam War when young Black men were sent to jungles in Southeast Asia while rich white kids feigned bone spurs and got extra degrees and not during the late 80s or early 90s when police departments like the LAPD would beat people like Rodney King with impunity and not last month when it took 10 weeks and a video to become public for white guys in Georgia who chased and killed a Black jogger to get indicted for murder and not last week when George Floyd was killed by a police officer as other police officers stood by while helpless bystanders pleaded for his life or today when Black maternal mortality rates are far higher than whites’.
So, yeah, I get the slogan.
But Black lives aren’t the only thing that matters. To become a better country and better society, we need more than Black people merely surviving. Survival should be the bare minimum. We should want Black people to thrive. So we should also demand dignity for Black people. And respect. And love.
Because while it would be so much better if George Floyd had survived, he still should not have been handcuffed and thrown on the ground for allegedly forging a check or using counterfeit cash or whatever bullshit he was suspected of doing.
And it would be incredible if Breonna Taylor hadn’t been shot and killed in her own apartment, but it would be even better if plain-clothes officers did not use no-knock warrants in the middle of the night looking for drugs.
And it would be so wonderful if Trayvon Martin had survived his encounter with George Zimmerman, but in addition to seeing their twentieth birthday, it would be great if Black teenagers could go buy skittles and walk home without being harassed by gun-toting vigilantes.
And while I wish so dearly that Sandra Bland had survived her time in jail, she should not have been forced out of her car or violently arrested for failing to signal.
And my heart would feel so much better if Tamir Rice had survived being shot by a police officer, but no 12-year-old child should have to deal with the trauma of being shot at by police while playing in the park.
We need massive change. We need meaningful civilian oversight boards for police departments. We need to get rid of qualified immunity for police officers. We need to outlaw certain maneuvers, including, but not limited to, choke-hold maneuvers and strangleholds. We need to require de-escalation. We need to require warnings before shooting. We need to allow police officers to use lethal force in only the most necessary situations. We need to stop outfitting our police departments with tactical and military gear. We need a duty to intervene when other officers are engaging in brutal or illegal actions. We need to ban shooting at moving vehicles. We need to require all force to be reported. We need community policing. We need all people and all communities, including and especially Black ones, to get the same kind of policing that rich white communities receive.
And we need to teach our kids, and friends, and parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents, and siblings and cousins, and acquaintances and colleagues to love and respect Black people (while also loving indigenous people and Asians and Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Christians and Buddhists and atheists and Latinx … and LGBTQ people … and on and on).
We need to educate ourselves and our communities. Register. Vote. March. Call. Write. Scream if necessary. Not just today. Not just tomorrow. But for as long as the work is necessary. And it is so necessary.
Black Lives Matter. Let’s act like it.
There likely will be many close state races in November. There are training and lots of opportunities for remote actions. I adopted Arizona. Please consider adopting a state: https://votesaveamerica.com/states/
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for families worldwide, and Santa Cruz is no exception. If you’re able, please consider supporting local businesses and/or charitable organizations. The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County has a local pandemic response fund, which is one great way to help:https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID
We have already plenty of opportunities to help with the elections in November by writing post cards, registering voters, and making calls via Indivisible and Swing Left:
Senator Feinstein’s SF office number is (415) 393-0707.
Senator Harris’s DC office line is (202) 224-3553. Senator Harris has a new SF office. Here’s the info:
333 Bush Street, Suite 3225
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone (415) 981 – 9369
Jimmy Panetta’s Santa Cruz office line is (831) 429-1976 and his DC office line is (202) 225-2861.
Anna Eshoo’s local district office line is (831) 335-2020.
If you need to look up your House representative, check here:http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
You can find your state representative and links to contact information: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ (Also, one of the benefits of lobbying state representatives is that they have closer offices than senators so you can go in and speak to their staff and convey how important issues are to them)
333 Bush Street, Suite 3225
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone (415) 981 – 9369
Recent News and Upcoming Events
JCoronavirus numbers around the county, state, and country are really bad right now. Please stay safe and healthy. Please don’t go back to life as normal. Please stay distanced and wear masks. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-24/gavin-newsom-coronavirus-fauci-new-cases
The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County has created a fund to help a number of important local nonprofits that will be working to reduce the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic locally. Read about it here, including how to donate if that interests you: https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2020/03/20/community-foundation-creates-fund-for-pandemic-relief/
Stay health, be well, and get ready to do some hard work this summer and fall.
ALL IN-PERSON EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED OR POSTPONED FOR NOW.
Defeating Trump will be our most important task since Indivisible was founded. If you want to help support the eventual nominee you can donate to the Unify or Die Fund that was put together by Swing Left and Crooked Media. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/unify-or-die
If you’re getting this email then you’ve signed up for our Mail Chimp campaign. Thank you. If you know anyone who would be interested in getting these emails, here’s a link you can send them: http://eepurl.com/cDkAUX
For New Members
New members, welcome!
When making calls, be sure to identify yourself with your address so you get marked down correctly and please mention Santa Cruz Indivisible so our influence grows
Please invite friends and family to join. We want to build the largest group possible to ensure that our voices are heard and our officials represent us.
For those of you who haven’t read the Indivisible Guide, please read it: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/download-the-guide It has a lot of good, important information in it. Also, there’s been some activity/suggestions that contradict it and although we may deviate from it in some ways, we’re going to try to focus our efforts (at least initially) on the things it suggests, which are mostly about our representatives and focusing on visits, calls, and letters rather than emails/petitions. Thanks.
There have been a number of questions about petitions and emails to national politicians. If possible, please focus (per the Indivisible Guide) on our representatives and providing local pressure. Our priority list of actions is (1) in-person, (2) live phone call, (3) voicemail, (4) letter, (5) email, (6) petition.
Andrew’s Actions is a part of Santa Cruz Indivisible and was formerly known as Indivisible Santa Cruz before the groups merged.
Here are archived emails: https://us15.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=d4a4051872bbb131ee1396b37&id=a572c507d0
Here is a new site from Indivisible dedicated building power in each congressional district: https://indivisible435.org/ https://indivisible435.org/
Here is our Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/santacruzindivisible/
The email address for this action newsletter is email@example.com
Here is contact information for Senator Harris: https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator
Here is contact information for Senator Feinstein: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
Here is contact information for Rep. Panetta: https://panetta.house.gov/contact
Here is contact information for Rep. Eshoo: https://eshoo.house.gov/contact/
If you need to look up your House representative, click here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Swing Left allows you to find your nearest swing district to help turn the map blue: https://swingleft.org/
Daly Action will text you alerts if you like (or follow them on Twitter): https://dailyaction.org/
Let America Vote is a group started by Jason Kander to protect voting rights: https://www.letamericavote.org/
Move On is a great source of information and advocacy: http://front.moveon.org/
Fair Fight, led by Stacey Abrams, is working to ensure fair elections and voting rights: https://fairfight.com/
Run For Something helps recruit and train new progressive candidates to run for office: https://runforsomething.net/
Flippable is working on flipping red state government seats to blue ones: https://www.flippable.org/
Pod Save America and Pod Save the World are my favorite political podcasts: https://getcrookedmedia.com/here-have-a-podcast-78ee56b5a323#.nji4mg4b6 https://getcrookedmedia.com/pod-save-the-world-7cc67d64dd56#.y48jh0htz
Here are sites that allow you to track federal legislation: https://www.govtrack.us/
Here’s a great project from member Emily Coren: Ever have too much kids art? Not sure what to do with it? Send it to Congress! Come participate in positive civic engagement through art. It’s simple! We are decorating postcards with art and mailing them to our representatives. If you want to learn new art skills, make new friends and teach our kids how to constructively participate in civics then come join us. To learn more about the project go to: https://kidsartcongress.com/about/