- Victoria Miller
We'll Be the Light
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
“When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid The new dawn blooms as we free it For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it If only we're brave enough to be it”
- Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb, January 20, 2021
Let’s congratulate ourselves one more time for working so hard to achieve the "light" of the democratic trifecta.
Now, let’s talk about what we’ll do with this new power. First, there isn’t time to fool around with it. We need to insist that Democrats get busy right away, both because there is so much damage to repair from the horror show of the last four years, and because we need to push a bold agenda to fix our democracy in more permanent, structural ways so it can’t be nearly destroyed again.
Two excellent sources explaining this urgency are below.
1. Indivisible has published the new Guide – Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Fixing our Democracy. It explains this new plan and we at Indivisible Philadelphia HQ ask that you take a look. The new Guide offers the specifics of the need and of the actions necessary to fix our democracy.
2. Ezra Klein penned this excellent opinion piece in the New York Times laying out the urgency for the Democrats to take action. We recommend it to you, again for the urgent action our democracy needs.
We’ll be talking a lot about the Guide's ideas in the coming months and the specific actions to insist that our Members of Congress do all that they can to ensure our democracy is more inclusive and works for everyone. In other words, more democratic. They form the backbone of our plans for 2021 and 2022 that we'll be rolling out in detail soon.
OUR NEXT MEETING: JUDICIAL GERRYMANDERING
First, let's protect the independence of Pennsylvania's judiciary. We have scheduled two meetings to learn about the judicial gerrymandering scam the Republican-controlled PA legislature is trying to have passed as a PA Constitutional Amendment. If passed, this change will put significant political pressure on our judges. It has to be passed by the voters and Governor Wolf cannot veto it. We can’t let this happen.
Join us to learn all about it and what we will do to prevent it. The meetings are at two different times next Wednesday February 3 on Zoom.
We have two phenomenal expert speakers:
Deborah R. Gross, Esq., President and CEO, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts
Carol Kuniholm, Chair, Fair Districts PA
When: Wednesday, February 3, 1:00 pm
When: Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 pm
CALL TO ACTION
Sen. Toomey – Phila office 215-241-1090; DC 202-224-4254; Allentown 610-434-1444; Erie 814-453-3010; Harrisburg 717-782-3951; Johnstown 814-266-5970; Pittsburgh 412-803-3501; Wilkes-Barre 570-820-4088; email link
Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; DC 202-224-6324; Scranton 570-941-0930; Erie 814-874-5080; Harrisburg 717-231-7540; Pittsburgh 412-803-7370; Bellefonte 814-357-0314; Allentown 610-782-9470; email link.
If you live outside Pennsylvania:
Find your Senators’ phone numbers and emails at this link
Last week we focused on DC statehood and why it is important to democracy reform. You can read about it in our earlier newsletters here and here.
Today, we focus on the Senate filibuster and how it's bad for democracy. It's an archaic rule that functions only to ensure numerical minority interests govern over the majority in the Senate. You can listen to this excellent Fresh Air interview by Terri Gross entitled The Racist History Of The Senate Filibuster, with the author of the new book: “Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy.” The interview will tell you all you need to know about why this rule needs to be eliminated. And if you’re worried that eliminating the rule will come back to haunt the Democrats when they’re out of power, the author explains why we shouldn’t worry about it. You can read more in this Indivisible explainer, Eliminating the Filibuster.
The filibuster began as a tool of Southern senators to uphold slavery, later became a mechanism to block civil rights legislation, and was used by Mitch McConnell to block nearly all of Obama’s legislative priorities that the vast majority of Americans want to see enacted (think universal background checks, immigration reform, a public option for healthcare coverage, etc.). As we’ve seen in recent days, McConnell intends to use it again to block President Biden’s agenda. We can’t let this happen. And keep in mind that it’s just a rule, not legislation. So it can be removed by a simple majority vote.
Actions for this week.
1. Today, call Senator Casey to insist that he commit to eliminating the filibuster.
2. Tomorrow, call both senators and demand they vote to convict and to disqualify Trump from ever holding office again.
3. Thursday and Friday, repeat #1 and #2.
JOIN THE TRUTH BRIGADE
You Can Combat the Right’s Disinformation and Lies
We know there is a motherload of disinformation pushed by alt-right and Trumpist mouthpieces. Indivisible has a program to push back against it. It’s called the Truth Brigade and you can sign up at this link. It’s based on science and is really very simple. Indivisible will send you a template message every couple of weeks that states the facts on an issue. You simply revise it to make it your own and post on your social media channel. This works to push back against disinformation because people believe sources they know and trust. You’ll find all the details when you sign up and we recommend this. You’ll feel very satisfied knowing you are helping beat back something that’s harming our democracy.
You can see all of our beautiful items on our website! Here’s how it works:
1. View the selections and pick out what you would like to order.
2. Make a donation for the amount (or more!) listed for each item.
3. Use the email link in the item description and tell us you made your donation.
4. We’ll ship you the item.
5. You’ll enjoy it, and know you donated to a worthy cause!
Before you go -- check this out!
Mural Arts Philadelphia has a new project – the “First 100 Days." They have asked artists to create messages to President Biden and Vice-President Harris to encourage them to support important progressive issues. These great designs are available as posters you could download and print out yourself, to replace your campaign signs.
Ten posters are at this link and here is one below.
Have a great week everyone. And don't forget . . .
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Keep a distance. Be kind.