Actions Previous 2023

Previous Actions from 2023


For the Week of Nov 27, 2023

???? Tuesday Nov 28 is Giving Tuesday. In the spirit of giving rather than spending in this season of excess, we have gathered some ideas from our steering committee for some of our favorite organizations who are doing important work. If you are able to donate, they would greatly appreciate your help, however modest. In no particular order they are:

NAMI Eastside, Hopelink, Doctors Without Borders, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, Northwest Community Bail Fund, World Central Kitchen, Lifewire, Seattle Humane Society, Renewal Food Bank, and Northwest Abortion Access Fund.

???? Indivisible Eastside is proud to co-host History of Exclusion: Kirkland Edition – Dec 2nd, 1-2:30 pm. Hear from Speaker Lorraine McConaghy, Ph.D., author and award-winning public historian, formerly of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). This free, in-person event examines our area’s history through a lens of racial equity, transportation, and housing – with a focus on Kirkland. Indivisible Eastside will have a table at this event – please stop by and say hello! Although there is no cost, please register to attend.

???? Indivisible’s national group have stepped back from Twitter. In their statement they say “Our movement was born online. It grew thanks to the reach that Twitter afforded us. But the Twitter we knew is largely gone. This dangerous cesspool of hate and disinformation is bad for progressive organizing. So we’ve decided to step back from X (formerly known as Twitter).” Instead they are using several of the emerging alternative platforms and have put together a handy guide to some of them for you to check out. (Helpful hint – if you decide to join Bluesky and don’t want to join a waiting list, please reach out, either via email at hello@IndivisibleEastside.com or on our Facebook page as current members often have spare ‘invite codes’ that will get you in immediately.)

Here are your 2 actions this week.

✊ Action 1 – Ask our Members of Congress to support a bill to reform a secretive surveillance program

From Wired magazine

A little-known surveillance program tracks more than a trillion domestic phone records within the United States each year, according to a letter that was sent by US senator Ron Wyden to the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently, challenging the program’s legality. The surveillance program, previously called The Hemisphere Project but now known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) has for more than a decade allowed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims. The program targets not only those in direct phone contact with a criminal suspect but anyone with whom those individuals have been in contact, such as family, friends and work associates. Senator Wyden wrote that he had “serious concerns about the legality” of the DAS program, adding that “troubling information” that he had seen (which remains confidential) would outrage many Americans and Members of Congress.

The DAS program is run in coordination with the telecom giant AT&T, which captures and conducts analysis of US call records for law enforcement agencies, from local police and sheriffs’ departments to US customs offices and postal inspectors across the country. It comes under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows the government to engage in the mass warrantless surveillance and collection of Americans’ international phone calls, text messages, emails, and other communications with little transparency, oversight, or accountability. This Act expires at the end of this year and civil liberty advocates are advocating that if it is to be reauthorized, fundamental reforms are essential.

Senator Wyden has introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill, the ‘Government Surveillance and Reform Act’ (S.3234), which contains numerous provisions that would patch most if not all of the loopholes currently in use, effectively rendering the DAS program, in its current form, explicitly illegal. Currently only one of our US representatives (Rep. Jayapal) has signed on in support. Given the importance of outlawing this problematic program and updating our protection from surveillance unrelated to security concerns, please contact your Members of Congress (both senators and representatives) and ask them to co-sponsor this bill.

☎ Sample Script:

Hello,

My name is [NAME] from [CITY], and I am a constituent. I want to express my concerns about the surveillance program known as Data Analytical Services (DAS), which allows federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has revealed numerous violations of US privacy rules and requirements. For example, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was used to surveil a sitting state court judge as well as Black Lives Matter protesters.

Therefore, I support the bi-cameral bill recently introduced by Senator Ron Wyden, the ‘Government Surveillance and Reform Act’ (S.3234). This bill would reauthorize Section 702 of FISA with key new protections and new accountability measures.

Please sign on to S.3234 as a co-sponsor and give it your full support. We expect to be protected from surveillance abuse and to have our national security preserved without the loss of our civil liberties.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – What are your priorities for the state legislature in 2024? Let us know!

The new session of the state legislature starts in just six weeks! This year will be a ‘short session’ of sixty days, so it will be intense. The team from Washington Indivisible Legislative Action (WILA) is busy planning for the new session in order to bring you actions that can help determine the fate of a bill but for this to be most effective, we need your help!

Please fill out this survey to let us know your legislative priorities for next year. It helps WILA to plan their bill tracking resources and focus on those areas that people are most passionate about. WILA would also love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a bill tracker, or just helping with research in a particular area. You can use the same survey form to indicate your interest. Training for new bill trackers will be scheduled soon so please let us know if you would like to participate.

Calendar of Events

  • Sat Dec 2, 11 am-1 pm – A Joyful Jam: Year End Celebration, a community potluck and a live jam session! Hosted by Eastside For All at the Together Center, 16305 NE 87th Street, Suite 110, Redmond. RSVP to attend.
  • Sat Dec 2, 1-2:30 pm – History of Exclusions: Kirkland Edition – In-person at Kirkland Community Center. Free, but please register to attend.
  • Sun Dec 3 – Indivisible Eastside Group Meeting – CANCELED – see you in January!
  • Sat Dec 9, 10 am – 2 pm – NAMI Eastside Smarts for Advocacy. A hands-on mental health advocacy training program that helps people living with mental illness, friends and family learn to be skilled advocates. Together Center, 16305 NE 87th Street, Redmond, WA 98052. Register to attend.
  • Sat Dec 16, 6-8 pm -Eastside LGBTQIA+ Holiday Potluck , by Pride Across the Bridge, in coordination with the City of Kirkland. Location provided after registration.
  • Sun Dec 17, 11 am – 3 pm – 41st LD Dems Holiday Party. Congressman Adam Smith will speak about and sign his book “Lost and Broken.” Location will be provided with registration confirmation.

Save the Date

  • Sat Jan 6, 12-1:30, location tbd – Pro-Democracy Sign-waving and Rally. Hosted by Indivisible WA-8th District, to remember January 6 and re-dedicate ourselves to upholding democracy.
  • Wed Jan 17, 7:30 am – 4 pm – FairVote WA Lobby Day, Olympia, to support Ranked-Choice Voting Bill. Register for information on training and attendance.

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of Nov 20, 2023

???? Most election results are settled, although they are not officially certified until Nov 28. However, as of Nov 18, of the 105 school board races tracked by WA Stop Moms for “Liberty”, less than a dozen are too close to call (less than a 75 vote difference), and of the remainder, at least 68 Christian Nationalist candidates are losing, and 26 or more are winning. The same pattern was seen across the country. It’s not too late to help contact voters whose signatures have not been accepted. Reach out to the campaign emails listed next to the candidate’s names in the link and they will let you know how you can help.

???? Indivisible Eastside is proud to co-host History of Exclusion: Kirkland Edition – Dec 2nd, 1-2:30 pm. Hear from Speaker Lorraine McConaghy, Ph.D., author and award-winning public historian, formerly of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). This free, in-person event examines our area’s history through a lens of racial equity, transportation, and housing – with a focus on Kirkland. Indivisible Eastside will have a table at this event – please stop by and say hello! Although there is no cost, please register to attend.

???? As we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you enjoy sharing time and good food with friends and family, let’s remember that especially in the context of Native American Heritage Month, there are two sides to the story. Many of us grew up only hearing about one of them so please take the time to learn and share about the perspective of the first Americans and acknowledge that it is a complex holiday.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Urge the Biden administration to Designate Palestinian Territories for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

Senator Patty Murray and Representatives DelBene, Jayapal, Kilmer, and Smith are among over 100 Members of Congress asking the Biden administration to designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians present in the United States. TPS and DED would enable Palestinians currently present in the U.S. to be protected from a return to dangerous conditions in their homeland, allowing them to remain safely in the U.S. and to work legally to support themselves and their families. In the bicameral letter that was submitted on Nov 8th the lawmakers wrote that “in light of ongoing armed conflict, Palestinians already in the United States should not be forced to return to the Palestinian territories, consistent with President Biden’s stated commitment to protecting Palestinian civilians.”

Conditions in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank are desperately dangerous, leading the U.S. Department of State to extend a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Gaza due to ‘terrorism, civil unrest and armed conflict’ and a Level 3 Travel Advisory for the West Bank earlier this month for terrorism and civil unrest. Republicans in Congress have introduced a bill that would ban Palestinians from entering the U.S and revoke visas, as well as refugee or asylum status granted to Palestinians on or after October 1. It would also bar the granting of TPS status to people with Palestinian passports. It is important therefore that protections be put in place by the Biden administration to protect Palestinian civilians who may be here as students, tourists, or for temporary employment. Please submit a letter asking President Biden to designate TPS or authorize DED for Palestinians presently in the United States.

☎ Sample Script:

President Biden,

My name is [NAME], from [CITY], [STATE]. I am writing to ask you to designate TPS or authorize DED for Palestinians presently in the United States, in accordance with the letter submitted by Senator Durbin and over 100 Members of Congress on Nov. 8th.

Conditions in the Palestinian territories are so dangerous that they are subject to Level 3 and 4 Travel Advisories by the US State Department. In accordance with your commitment to protect Palestinian civilians, providing TPS and/or authorizing DED would protect Palestinians in the United States from being forced to return to these clearly dangerous conditions. There is no question that this designation and authorization would save lives.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – Ask your Members of Congress to refuse to participate in a closed-door commission to cut Social Security and Medicare

As part of recent (late September) failed budget discussions in Congress to defeat a stop-gap spending bill that would have funded the government until the end of October, 198 Republicans voted to create a closed-door fiscal commission to discuss cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs. Such cuts are a long term goal of theirs in order to purportedly cut the deficit, despite the fact that Social Security doesn’t contribute a single penny to the national debt. It is fully funded by the contributions of American workers and other dedicated revenue. Tellingly, raising taxes on the wealthy does not feature as part of their plans to address the deficit.

Republicans now have a new champion in Speaker Mike Johnson, who has a long history of proposing cuts to programs that millions of Americans depend on. He has thrown his full weight behind the proposal for a closed-door commission. His party desperately wants Democrats to provide cover for Social Security cuts, which are rightfully unpopular with voters of all parties. This is why their 2024 budget calls for a ‘bipartisan’ commission. It also includes the same cuts as their previous budget but uses opaque language to propose raising the retirement age and slashing middle class Social Security benefits. The plan also creates a path to privatize Medicare, trading the program’s guarantee for an inadequate coupon to purchase insurance on the private market.

Democrats should refuse to cooperate. Instead, they should continue to work to protect and expand Social Security through regular Congressional order. Please contact your Representatives in Congress and let them know that they should refuse to have any part in this sham process.

☎ Sample Script:

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY]. I am writing to urge you to refuse to participate in any closed-door commission set up by Republicans which would include changes to Social Security and Medicare in any discussions about deficit reduction, as suggested by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and supported by his successor, Speaker Mike Johnson. Such a commission, under the appearance of ‘bipartisanship’, would only serve their agenda to propose cuts to programs that millions of Americans both rely on and strongly support. Please do not give this any legitimacy by participating in a sham commission.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Calendar of Events

  • Nov 9 – 22, M-F 8 am – 4 pm – Traveling Anne Frank Exhibit – Bellevue
  • Sat Dec 2, 1-2:30 pm – History of Exclusions: Kirkland Edition – In-person at Kirkland Community Center. Free, but please register to attend.
  • Sun Dec 3, – Indivisible Eastside Group Meeting – CANCELED – see you in January!
  • Sat Dec 9, 10 am – 2 pm – NAMI Eastside Smarts for Advocacy. A hands-on mental health advocacy training program that helps people living with mental illness, friends and family learn to be skilled advocates. Together Center, 16305 NE 87th Street, Redmond, WA 98052. Register to attend.
  • Sun Dec 17, 11 am – 3 pm – 41st LD Dems Holiday Party. Congressman Adam Smith will speak about and sign his book “Lost and Broken.” Address will be provided with registration confirmation.

Save the Date

  • Sat Jan 6, 12-1:30, location tbd – Pro-Democracy Sign-waving and Rally. Hosted by Indivisible WA-8th District, to remember January 6 and re-dedicate ourselves to upholding democracy.
  • Wed Jan 17, 7:30 am – 4 pm – FairVote WA Lobby Day, Olympia, to support Ranked-Choice Voting Bill. Register for information on training and attendance.

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of Nov 13, 2023

???? “Yesterday was a bad day for extremism in the United States of America. In Ohio, voters enshrined the right to abortion in the state constitution; in Kentucky, voters reelected Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, for another four-year term; in Pennsylvania, voters put Democrat Daniel McCaffery, who positioned himself as a defender of abortion rights, on the state supreme court; in Rhode Island, Gabe Amo, a former Biden staffer who emphasized his experience in the Biden White House, won an open seat in the House of Representatives to become Rhode Island’s first Black member of Congress; and nationwide, right-wing Moms4Liberty and anti-transgender-rights school board candidates tended to lose their races.” – Heather Cox Richardson from her Nov. 8 Letters From an American substack. Please read for an excellent overview.

Here in Washington results take a bit longer. Of the 102 school board races with Christian Nationalist candidates tracked by WA Stop Moms for “Liberty”, 54 are losing, 21 are winning and 27 are too close to call (less than a 150 vote difference). If you’d like to help contact voters whose signatures have not been accepted, reach out to the campaign emails listed next to the candidate’s names in the link.

???? Indivisible Eastside is proud to co-host History of Exclusions: Kirkland Edition – Dec 2nd, 1-2:30 pm. Hear from Speaker Lorraine McConaghy, Ph.D., author and award-winning public historian, formerly of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). This free, in-person event examines our area’s history through a lens of racial equity, transportation, and housing – with a focus on Kirkland. Indivisible Eastside will have a table at this event – please contact Louise at indivisibleeastside@gmail.com if you’d like to help.

Here is your ONE action this week.

Action 1 – Pause and Expand Your Perspective

Now more than ever, strongly held opinions are being shared online. Indivisible Eastside Steering has been busy monitoring the Facebook group, and weighing in when things get heated. We’ve been told simultaneously that we’re not doing enough to protect the lives of Palestinians, and that calling for a ceasefire is antisemitic. We’ve also received emails thanking us for the work we’re doing. We appreciate all the feedback.

IE’s focus in this moment is on the humanitarian fallout from the 80+ year Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’re against rationalizing violence against civilians, regardless of atrocities committed recently, in the distant past, or ongoing for generations. What we strive for is a learning attitude and a willingness to keep asking hard questions, even when answers are complex or difficult to navigate.

We hope you’ll find a quiet hour or two to pause, read the following advice from Barack Obama then listen to or read some of the resources to expand your perspective.

From the Pod Save America interview with Barack Obama Nov. 6, 2023:

Question: “Last week you wrote this thoughtful nuanced statement on the situation in Israel and Gaza. Unfortunately the debate online, especially on social media is not that. It can be very strident and dug in and a lot of people fighting and talking past each other. I imagine there’s a lot of people in this room or people listening at home who see what’s happening, care deeply, want to be educated, want to participate in the conversation, but they’re scared of saying the wrong thing, hurting someone’s feelings unnecessarily or just kind of not knowing enough to participate and therefore they kind of tap out. What’s your advice to people who want to participate in these debates that can feel so fraught about what the path forward is?”

[The podcast includes ~4.5 minutes of discussion here about the social media vs. the power of in-person conversations]

Advice from Barack Obama: “If there’s any chance of us being able to act constructively to do something it will require an admission of complexity and maintaining what what on the surface may seem contradictory ideas – that what Hamas did was horrific and there’s no justification for it – and what is also true is – that the the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable – and what is also true is – that there is a history of the Jewish people that may be dismissed unless your grandparents or your great grandparents or your uncle or your aunt tell you stories about the madness of antisemitism – and what is true is – that there are people right now who are dying who have nothing to do with what Hamas did – and what is true – right I mean we can go on for a while and the problem with the social media and trying to TikTok activism and trying to debate this on that is you can’t speak the truth. You can pretend to speak the truth – you can speak one side of the truth – and in some cases you can try to maintain your moral innocence by virtue of just grabbing that slice of the truth – but that won’t solve the problem and so if you want to solve the problem then you have to take in the whole truth and you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean – that all of us are complicit to some degree.”

Here are some resources Indivisible Eastside Steering Committee members have found particularly helpful in learning more about this unbearable situation. We HIGHLY recommend you choose some that may appear to be counter to beliefs you currently hold – to expand your perspective and knowledge. If you have resources you’ve found that have helped you, please reply to this email and tell us.

Podcasts:

NYT The Daily Podcast – 1948 – How the events of that fateful year shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades to come.

NYT The Ezra Klein Show Podcast – Why Palestinians Feel They’ve Been Duped. First of two part series.

NYT The Ezra Klein Show Podcast – What Israelis Fear The World Does Not Understand. Second of two part series.

Articles:

The Question of Palestine – United Nations

Israel and Palestine: a complete guide to the crisis – The Guardian

What are the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict? – The Guardian

More from Barack Obama:

Pod Save America Podcast – Barack Obama on Democracy, Gaza, and 2024 – Podcast version of full Interview (skip to about 58:25) or YouTube (skip to about 54:54)

‘Nobody’s hands are clean’: Obama breaks with Biden on language around Israel support – summary of the above interview

Oct 23rd Thoughts on Israel and Gaza – Barack Obama

Calendar of Events

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of Nov 6, 2023

???? Call 206-296-VOTE if you haven’t yet received your ballot or need a replacement. The Eastside Vote Center at Bellevue City Hall will be open Mon & Tue 8:30 am-6 pm for in person accessible voting. If you haven’t yet filled out your ballot, here is a one page Progressive Voting Resource to help with some of those non-partisan races.

???? Join Indivisible Eastside steering members Allison, Louise and others to support IE member and Bellevue city council member Janice Zahn and other Bellevue candidates on Monday Nov 6, 4-5 pm for sign waving! We’ll be at the NE Gateway Entrance to the downtown Bellevue Park (corner of Bellevue Way and NE 4th). Let us know by noon if you need a sign (email). The more the merrier – please join us!

???? If you’re able, please participate in the Seattle Humane pet food drive “Warm Hearts, Full Bellies”.

???? Thanks to those who donated to Indivisible Eastside during the October matching period, Indivisible National will be depositing $135 in our ActBlue account!

Here are your 3 actions this week.

✊ Action 1 – Call on President Biden and Congress AGAIN to Demand an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

As of November 2, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza has risen above 9,000, with airstrikes hitting hospitals, UN shelters and schools, evacuation corridors and the Jabaliya refugee camp among many other infrastructure targets. Coverage has shown widespread scenes of destruction and a desperate search for survivors, many among them children. The violence has also extended into attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank (which is not controlled by Hamas) by extremist settlers and persecution of Arab citizens and visa permit workers from Gaza. The families of the hostages held by Hamas are also rightfully expressing anger and concern about the safety of their loved ones in the bombardment zone.

The Biden administration and Congress have shown no support for a ceasefire, despite polling showing majority support amongst Americans (80% Democrats, 57% Independents, 56% Republicans) and receiving strong internal and external condemnations. Gaza is in a full blown humanitarian crisis and we need to continue to push for a ceasefire to stop the indiscriminate bombing and civilian death toll in Gaza and to facilitate negotiation for the safe return of the Israeli hostages. Both the lives of Israeli and Palestinian noncombatant civilians must be treated as precious.

In this interview with Democracy Now, Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks on his experience in the West Bank and offers a poignant reflection on the ethic of nonviolence and the corrupting influence of dehumanization.

This is a humanitarian crisis, and the Biden administration, while roundly condemning the actions of Hamas, should push for an end to the siege and bombing of innocent and helpless residents of Gaza, which is home to 2.2 million people who are unable to leave due to decades of blockades by Egypt and Israel. Collective punishment is considered a war crime by the Geneva Convention and should be condemned.

Please call on President Biden and Congress again for an immediate ceasefire:

☎️ Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

THE WHITE HOUSE: I’m urging you to use all your diplomatic powers to enact a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. The violence and escalating crisis in Gaza is resulting in untold numbers of deaths of innocent civilians – mostly women, children and the elderly. Stand on the side of humanity.

US HOUSE: I’m urging [REPRESENTATIVE NAME] to support House Resolution 786, which calls for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. The violence and escalating crisis in Gaza is resulting in untold numbers of deaths of innocent civilians – mostly women, children and the elderly. Stand on the side of humanity.

US SENATE: I’m urging [SENATORS NAMES] to support an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. The violence and escalating crisis in Gaza is resulting in untold numbers of deaths of innocent civilians – mostly women, children and the elderly. Stand on the side of humanity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[IF LEAVING VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.]

Action 2 – Educate our Member of Congress about Gun Violence

From Healthcare Advocacy

Gun deaths are now the number one cause of death for people 19 and under – about 13 children die daily in the US from guns. Almost 50,000 people are killed by guns each year and the number is rising.

On October 8, 2023, the American College of Emergency Physicians officially joined the ranks of several other medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, in declaring gun violence a public health crisis in the U.S.

Read more from Healthcare Advocacy, then take the following action.

It is time to educate our Member of Congress on this dangerous situation.

☎️ Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

I am your constituent and I want you to know that on October 8, 2023, the American College of Emergency Physicians officially joined the ranks of several other medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, in declaring gun violence a public health crisis in the U.S.

In the 1990s, at the behest of the NRA, Congress made it illegal for the government to collect gun violence statistics. However, non-governmental organizations estimate that gun deaths are now the number one cause of death for people 19 and under – about 13 children die daily in the US from guns. Almost 50,000 people are killed by guns each year and the number is rising.

I urge you to enact legislation that restores the government’s right to collect gun violence data so we can develop regulations that will help keep all of us safe.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[IF LEAVING VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.]

Action 3 – Support Bike Bellevue!

From Cascade Bicycle Club

Bellevue just launched a modest and much needed “Bike Bellevue” plan to add 11 new routes to the downtown bike network. Voices in support of this plan are needed NOW to make sure the city moves forward with the plan, and doesn’t water down or delay its completion.

Click HERE to send a letter to Bellevue decision makers to support Bike Bellevue and ask for rapid implementation. For bigger impact, add your personal story about biking in Bellevue and how this plan will improve safety for all.

Calendar of Events

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of October 30, 2023

???? It was great to see everyone at our monthly meeting yesterday where we socialized, talked politics and filled out our ballots! Call 206-296-VOTE if you haven’t yet received your ballot or need a replacement. The Eastside Vote Center at Bellevue City Hall will be open Sat 11/4 10 am-4 pm, Mon & Tue 8:30 am-6 pm for in person accessible voting. If you haven’t yet filled out your ballot, here is a one page Progressive Voting Resource to help with some of those non-partisan races.

???? There are two days left in the matching fundraising campaign from Indivisible National. October 31st is the deadline for us to receive matching funds.  Donate to Indivisible Eastside HERE.

Here are your 2 actions this week. 

✊ Action 1 – Call on Congress and President Biden to Demand an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

Our actions from last week called for donations to aid organizations to help children in Gaza and for Congress to support de-escalation of the Israel government’s bombardment of Gaza citizens to allow for humanitarian aid.

In the days since then, the Israeli government has escalated their response, moving to indiscriminate bombing and cutting off all communications (internet, cellular and landline), resulting in profound numbers of civilian lives being lost. The Hamas attacks of October 7 are correctly condemned as horrific, but the disproportionate response of the Israeli government has moved past acceptable self-defense and now endangers all of those trapped in Gaza, including the hostages still held by Hamas.

The Biden administration’s minimalizing of Israel’s actions and the reported death toll is deeply irresponsible and callous amidst the first hand reports we are seeing from both social media and outside news and aid organizations on the ground.

From 5calls:

This is a humanitarian crisis, and the Biden administration, while roundly condemning the actions of Hamas, should push for an end to the siege and bombing of innocent and helpless residents of Gaza, which is home to 2.2 million people who are unable to leave due to decades of blockades by Egypt and Israel. Collective punishment is considered a war crime by the Geneva Convention and should be condemned.

Please use the 5calls script to call on Congress and President Biden for an immediate ceasefire:

☎️ Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

WHEN CALLING HOUSE: I’m calling to urge [REPRESENTATIVE NAME] to support H.Res.786 which calls for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. Enough innocent lives have already been lost.

WHEN CALLING SENATE: I’m calling to urge [SENATOR NAME] to support an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. Enough innocent lives have already been lost.

WHEN CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE: I’m calling to urge you to use all your diplomatic powers to enact a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel. Enough innocent lives have already been lost.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

IF LEAVING VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.

Action 2 – Urge Senators Cantwell and Murray to join the Mental Health Caucus

From NAMI

Last week a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators came together to form the Senate Mental Health Caucus. The Caucus is a bipartisan way for Senators and their staff to collaborate, raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote bipartisan mental health solutions. The bipartisan Caucus aims to improve prevention and early intervention efforts, expand the country’s mental health professional workforce, enhance our nation’s crisis response services, and increase access to evidence-based mental health treatment and common-sense solutions. Please call or write your Senators to ask them to join the Mental Health Caucus.

☎ Sample Script:

I am a constituent in [City, Zip] and would like to ask you to join the newly formed Senate Mental Health Caucus. The purpose of the bipartisan Caucus is to improve prevention and early intervention efforts, expand the country’s mental health professional workforce, enhance our nation’s crisis response services, and increase access to evidence-based mental health treatment and common-sense solutions. 

Significant progress has been made to address the ongoing mental health crisis, but more work is needed to help people affected by mental health conditions in Washington. I hope I can count on you to join the Senate Mental Health Caucus today.

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Calendar of Events

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of October 23, 2023

???? We would love to see you for our monthly meeting: the Ballots and Brews party this Sunday, October 29th, from 3:30 – 5:30. We will gather at Cascadia Pizza Company in Bellevue to have some refreshments, socialize, and discuss local electoral races. Please sign up HERE and use the access code ‘indivisible’. Bring your ballots, voter pamphlets, questions, and a friend or two!

???? You should have already received your ballot for the November 7th election. If you have not, please call 206-296-VOTE.

  • The Progressive Voters Guide from FUSE is out! It’s an excellent source for candidate information.
  • Please check out the candidate forums in the Calendar section. There’s an upcoming forum in Woodridge, Bellevue (Oct 26), plus the recordings of previous candidate forums, listed below the Calendar.
  • Check your Democratic legislative district website for endorsements. (1st, 5th, 41st, 45th, 48th).

???? From October 1st through 31st, all of the funds our group raises through donations will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $500 per group by Indivisible National. Donate to Indivisible Eastside HERE.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Donate to help Children

From Save the Children, Unicef, Doctors Without Borders

Children have no part in starting wars, but are victims of their violence. The existing humanitarian situation for families in the occupied Palestinian territory is dire. Approximately 2.45 million people need humanitarian assistance, 1.2 million of whom are children. Right now, children are under increasing emotional and psychological pressure as they bear the brunt of the world’s worsening crisis.

Save the Children has been providing essential services and support to Palestinian children impacted by the ongoing conflict since 1953, and have had a permanent presence in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1973. Save the Children’s team in the occupied Palestinian territory has been working around the clock, pre-positioning vital supplies to support people in need, and working to find ways to get assistance into Gaza. In Egypt, Save the Children is partnering with the Egyptian Red Crescent to send supplies to the Gaza strip as soon as a safe passage for aid across the border is established.

One of our steering committee members has a friend affiliated with this organization who sent this message: “In meeting on Gaza now. Our Trucks are crossing the border from Egypt into Gaza with water trucks and hygiene kits now. I feel so much relief knowing this has begun and especially that the refugees are being aided.”

Your donations will help replenish their emergency fund to allow continued emergency relief.

????Save the Children donation link

Unicef is a reputable organization helping children across the world (and doing good work in Palestine).

????Unicef donation link

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is actively working on preparing medical and humanitarian supplies to be sent to Gaza when access is open, and they are reiterating calls for the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including via the Rafah crossing. MSF calls for the urgent establishment of safe spaces and safe passage for civilians trapped in Gaza. Wounded and sick people must receive medical care. Medical facilities and personnel must be protected and respected; hospitals and ambulances are not targets.

????Doctors Without Borders donation link

Action 2 – Protect Gaza Civilians

From Seattle Indivisible

Hamas carried out a brutal massacre and mass kidnapping of Israeli civilians on October 7th. We are outraged by this attack, for which there can be no justification. We are mourning with the Jewish community.

We are also horrified by the Israeli government’s response: the bombardment of civilians, mass displacement, and the blockade of food, water, medical and other supplies. As the death toll of this war climbs and the risk of regional escalation rises, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Biden has struck a deal to allow limited aid to Gaza in through Egypt, but it’s not enough. Israel has cut access to water and electricity in Gaza, and this collective punishment of civilians must stop. Indivisible National is calling for de-escalation.

Please call all your members of Congress and ask them to protect Gazan civilians and de-escalate this crisis.

☎ Sample Script:

My name is [NAME] from [CITY, ZIP], Washington, and I am a constituent. I am outraged by Hamas’ brutal massacre of Israeli civilians. I am also horrified at the civilian death toll in Gaza, the blockade of life-saving supplies, and the mass displacement. I am worried about the escalation of the conflict. Please call on President Biden to do everything he can to protect Gazan civilians, stop the indiscriminate bombings, allow more supplies through, and persuade Israel to turn the water and electricity back on. Please include protections and relief for Gazan civilians in any aid package.

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Calendar of Events

Save the Date:

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of October 16, 2023

???? Ballots will be mailed out on Oct 18th for the November 7th election.

  • The Progressive Voters Guide from FUSE is out! It’s an excellent source for candidate information.
  • Please check out the candidate forums in the Calendar section, including a new one in Woodridge, Bellevue (Oct 26). Recordings of previous candidate forums (listed below the Calendar) have been updated to include Eastside For All forums in Kirkland (Oct 11) and Redmond (Oct 12).
  • Check your Democratic legislative district website for endorsements. (1st, 5th, 41st, 45th, 48th).

???? Save the date – our next meeting will be a Ballots and Brews party on October 29th, from 3:30 – 5:30. We will gather at Cascadia Pizza Company in Bellevue to discuss local electoral races, have some refreshments and socialize. Please sign up HERE and use the access code ‘indivisible’. Bring your ballots, voter pamphlets, questions, and a friend or two!

???? The latest edition of the Washington Indivisible Podcast features an interview with Sen. Patty Kuderer about her candidacy for State Insurance Commissioner in the 2024 elections. You can find it at:

Podcasts – Apple l Soundcloud and Video – Facebook l YouTube

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Last chance to support stronger fuel economy rules by commenting on CAFE standards

From Interfaith Power and Light

We know that our country’s 286 million passenger vehicles are a major contributor to climate pollution. One way that the operation of gasoline vehicles can be made less polluting is by improving their efficiency. There is currently an important opportunity to make vehicles cleaner by increasing the fuel efficiency standards, known as CAFE standards (for Corporate Average Fuel Economy). The public has the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the current fuel efficiency standards until Oct. 16th.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing new federal CAFE standards for vehicles sold in 2027 and beyond. The preferred alternative in NHTSA’s proposal includes:

  • 2% per year improvement in fuel efficiency for passenger cars, and 4% for light trucks
  • New standards to begin in model year 2027 and ramp up through model year 2032
  • Potential for average fleet fuel economy of 58 miles per gallon to be reached by 2032

Since they were established by Congress in 1975, these fuel economy standards have saved more than two trillion gallons of gasoline. Even as we move to electric vehicles, millions more gasoline-powered vehicles will be sold, and these vehicles must be as efficient as possible. If finalized as proposed, this alternative would:

  • Save consumers more than $50 billion on fuel over the vehicles’ lifetimes.
  • Reduce our dependence on oil by saving more than 88 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050.
  • Prevent more than 900 million tons of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of taking more than 233 million vehicles off the road from 2022 through 2050.

IPL (Interfaith Power and Light) has come up with an easy way to submit comments to the NHTSA. Please click on this link by Oct 16th and let the NHTSA know that you support stronger fuel efficiency standards.

Action 2 – Avoid using Antisemitic and Islamaphobic rhetoric when discussing the Israel – Gaza conflict

The recent events in Israel and Gaza are shattering and will have repercussions for years to come. We are all shaken by them and our hearts go out to friends and family affected by the ongoing situation there. The situation is fast moving and tense and there is little that we can say to add to the thousands of words that have already been produced. A few things should be highlighted though. There are no winners here. As ever, civilians have made up most of the victims on both sides of the conflict and understandably, emotions are running high. One thing that we can all do is to avoid speech that is Antisemitic or Islamaphobic. The UK-based organization Solutions Not Sides is re-sharing their guide to avoiding Antisemitism and Islamophobia. It contains excellent recommendations to help us to remember that:

  • These are our fellow human beings who are suffering missile attacks, bombings, and unimaginable horrors.
  • Celebrating the appalling desecration of human life on either side is abhorrent.
  • This is a time to stop and think before you post, like, or share.

Both their website and their recent Instagram post have many resources to promote understanding of the complexity of the region and the importance of talking about what’s happening without using Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim tropes.

As things currently stand, we watch with concern the potential for further loss of innocent lives in Gaza. This letter from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Representative Jayapal, expresses the concern that a response based on international law is of paramount importance.

Calendar of Events

Save the Date:

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of October 9, 2023

???? Ballots will be mailed out in a couple of weeks for the November 7th election.

  • If you haven’t yet had a chance to hear the candidates please check out the candidate forums in the Calendar section. There are also some recordings of a few previous forums.
  • Check your Democratic legislative district website for endorsements. (1st, 5th, 41st, 45th, 48th). This is also the place to go to find out how you can help to Get Out The Vote.
  • Interviews with school board candidates in Spokane and Kitsap County can be heard on the Washington Indivisible Podcast via Apple, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook. They are up against some vocal right wing opposition and are well worth a listen. Please share with people you know in those areas!

???? Many of you have generously supported Indivisible Eastside with your contributions since we switched to using ActBlue earlier this year. Through the end of October, any funds donated will be matched by Indivisible, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $500. You can find the secure donation form here. Thank you for your support! Funds raised go towards expenses such as software costs and meeting expenses.

???? Save the Date for a fun in-person meeting on October 29th at 4 pm. More details to come soon!

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Help to provide care packages and other support for newly arrived migrants

From WAISN

The news about the recent decision of the Biden administration to deploy funds to build a wall along a portion of the southern border is extremely disappointing. Despite the explanation that they are legally required to spend the funds in this way, this goes against every Democratic pronouncement on the border wall since it was begun under the former president. We will watch for more news about whether there will be opportunities to push back on this. The situation along the border is very complex but this cannot be regarded as an acceptable solution.

In the meantime, WAISN (Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network) has come up with a way to help newly arrived migrants, who are sent all over the country with no supplies or means to take care of themselves and their families. WAISN has set up a Mutual Aid program to deliver essential hygiene items, grocery store gift cards, and Know Your Rights information in Spanish, Somali, French, Portuguese, and English. Since April, WAISN’s efforts, with the support of community network partners, have so far amounted to $7,100 in gift cards, 60+ delivered care packages, and 400 Know Your Rights and Mutual Aid Care Package flyers. They are also connecting people seeking support to resources through the WAISN Deportation Defense Hotline.

There are a couple of different ways that we can help this effort. Specific items can be donated for their Mutual Aid Care Packages, using this list, or a direct monetary contribution can be made here, with a note that you’d like it to go to the Mutual Aid Care Package Program. Please consider making a contribution of some kind if you can. This great organization works hard to provide support for those who have left their own countries with next to nothing in the search for a better life for their families.

Action 2 – Support rules to ensure parity for mental health coverage by insurance plans

From NAMI

The federal government is considering a proposed rule that would hold insurance plans accountable for equal coverage and access for mental health care. Parity is the basic idea that mental health conditions and substance use disorders should be covered and treated at the same level as physical health conditions. The public has a chance to comment on the proposal, and the number of comments matters. We can help by contributing to the number of comments to the federal government. The deadline has been extended to Oct 17th so there is still time to get comments in.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has provided a template to send in comments, which become part of the public record. It is especially helpful to add personal stories if you or a loved one had difficulties accessing mental health or substance abuse disorder treatment. (There are some helpful examples in the link of some typical barriers that people face in seeking treatment.) If you don’t wish to provide a public comment, NAMI would still appreciate hearing from you about your experience. If you don’t have a particular story to add, you can just submit the comment as it is written in the template.

Calendar of Events

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of October 2, 2023

???? Six Indivisible Eastside steering members joined 50 others last weekend at Washington Indivisible Network’s group leaders gathering in Sammamish. We met our new Indivisible Regional Organizer Hannah, connected with others around the state, heard about their current and past activities, participated in an incredible DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) seminar, learned tactics for building our membership and helping members grow into leaders. We also talked about strategies for engaging in the 2024 elections and learned about new tools to help us stay organized. It was a fantastic weekend and we so appreciate the WIN organizers who ushered it into being including our own Kat Pipkin!

????Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. The annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. You can participate in Banned Books Week (Oct 1-7) by:

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Tell ATF: Close the online and gun show loopholes!

From Everytown for Gun Safety

For decades, people have exploited loopholes in federal law that let them sell guns online and at gun shows without conducting background checks. It’s been a recipe for disaster that puts more guns in the hands of dangerous people and worsens our country’s gun violence crisis.

Now, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has proposed a regulation to help close these loopholes—building on the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that Congress passed in the summer of 2022.

But for ATF to finish the job on this life-saving action, it needs to know that the public supports closing these dangerous loopholes. ATF needs to hear from us.

Use Everytown’s online form to submit your comment today: Tell ATF to close the online and gun show loopholes!

Action 2 – Protect the endangered Gulf of Mexico whale from extinction

From EarthJustice

The Rice’s whale, also known as the Gulf of Mexico whale, can be as big as a railroad boxcar and as heavy as a typical fire truck and is the only large whale species that lives year-round in the waters of the United States. And because of fossil fuel exploration development and other human activities, it is also the most endangered large whale species in the world. Fewer than 100 of these rare whales remain, and government scientists have concluded that the death of even a single reproductive-age female would jeopardize the existence of this species.

Use Earthjustice’s online form to urge the Biden administration to fully protect the endangered Gulf of Mexico whale from extinction by taking measures such as developing emergency rules that would require vessels to slow down and take other measures to reduce the risk of a fatal collision when transiting the whales’ habitat.

Protect the endangered Gulf of Mexico whale from extinction

Calendar of Events

Recorded events to check out:

… and More:

Resources:


For the Week of September 25, 2023

???? Evergreen State voters are increasingly encountering petitioners out in public. They’re working ferry lines, store entrances, and large events, hoping to score signatures for half a dozen schemes to defund Washington’s essential public services and wreck government. These schemes are backed by a wealthy Republican donor. If you see signature gatherers when you’re out and about, Decline to Sign!

  • I-2109: Repeal the capital gains tax on the wealthy
  • I-2117: Repeal the state’s cap and invest system
  • I-2111: Prohibit the levying of any income taxes
  • I-2124: Sabotage the state’s new long term care system
  • I-2113: Allow dangerous police pursuits to resume
  • I-2081: Implement a “parental notification” scheme for school curricula

???? The Crisis Care Centers initiative, approved by King County voters in April 2023, will begin implementation in 2024 to create a countywide network of five crisis care centers, restore and expand mental health residential treatment beds, and grow the community behavioral health workforce. Learn more and Provide Feedback.

???? Please provide feedback to the City of Bellevue’s Bike Bellevue program. You can view and comment on 11 different concept plans.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Become a Certified Election Observer for the Democratic Party!

King County Elections request that volunteers from each of the political parties come to observe ballot processing weekdays during the election cycle to ensure the electoral process is transparent and accountable. Get certified now and you will be all set to observe in the 2024 presidential election since training is good for 2 years! Only 10 participants from each political party are allowed at each of these trainings, so slots will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Choose from five 2-hour trainings Oct 16-20. You need only attend ONE training. We need you now! Sign up HERE.

Action 2 – Donate to Struggling Abortion Access Funds

From The Guardian

When the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade, Americans rushed to rage-donate millions to abortion funds and clinics scattered across the United States. Now, with the first year of post-Roe life in the rearview mirror, much of that money has been spent and the flow of donations has dried up for many organizations. And yet, as states continue to enact new bans and restrictions, the demand for help – and the cost of providing that help – has only grown.

In August, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund had to stop funding abortions. It’s now closed until January 2024. In mid-June, just three days before the anniversary of Roe’s overturning, Indigenous Women Rising announced that its abortion fund had hit its monthly budget and would cease operations until July. The Mountain Access Brigade, which serves people in Appalachia, closed its support hotline for 10 days in July to save money. By mid-July, the Utah Abortion Fund announced that it had already exceeded its monthly budget and would close until late August.

If you are able, please donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of September 18, 2023

???? In April, King County voters approved the Crisis Care Centers levy, a $1.2 billion nine-year levy that will create five Crisis Care Centers, restore and increase mental health residential treatment beds, and grow the workforce that provides mental health and substance use disorder services. Now the county is undertaking the work to implement the levy and need your input. You can take a survey and attend community meetings to learn more. The Community meetings are monthly, 3rd Tuesday, 1-2 pm (next meeting 9/19), and will provide an overall update on the Levy planning process and its paramount and supporting goals. Register here.

???? If you’re interested in housing issues and have maybe the read the book The Color of Law: A forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, take a look at this event with the authors, Nov 2 at 2 pm.

???? Postcard writers, don’t forget that Postcards For WA will be at the Crossroads Starbucks in Bellevue (1350 156th Ave NE) on Tuesday mornings from 10-12. With the October mailing date approaching and lots of great candidates to write for, it’s not too late to sign up to help out.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Urge Senate committee leaders to hold Supreme Court Justices accountable

From Indivisible National

All summer long, we’ve seen a barrage of revelations about Supreme Court justices and their apparent inability to adhere to basic ethical rules and regulations. This Indivisible webpage about SCOTUS ethical violations, which went out as an email on September 9, provides background. Here are some brief highlights:

Justice Clarence Thomas: Justice Thomas has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts and travel, school tuition for a family member, and rent payments for his mother, all from wealthy MAGA donors.

Justice Samuel Alito: Justice Alito has taken multiple questionable actions, including accepting free luxury travel from a person with business in front of the Court. Justice Alito later took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend his corrupt behavior and claim, unbelievably, that “No provision in the Constitution gives [Congress] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period.” It seems as if Justice Alito missed “separation of powers” day in law school, or possibly an entire semester’s worth of Constitutional Law. Congress does, of course, have the constitutional authority to restore integrity to the Supreme Court.

To address this blatant corruption, Indivisible National has put together a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin. The letter urges thorough investigations, with subpoenas of Justices Thomas, Alito, and their billionaire benefactors, as well as a Senate vote on the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act. This Act would require the Supreme Court to adopt and abide by a code of conduct. (You can read the full text of the letter in the link below, before signing.) The sign on period for the letter closes September 28!

Action: Read and sign the letter to Senators Schumer and Durbin

To ensure that this letter has real impact, Indivisible will take it, with all the signatures, and hand-deliver it to Leader Schumer and Chairman Durbin.

Action 2 – Tell Senate to oppose the KOSA act

The Kids Online Safety Act would place various requirements on websites and online platforms in order to protect children, but it would also empower state attorneys general, who are mostly elected politicians, to dictate what content younger users can see online. Trans rights organizations, the LBGTQ+ community, and data privacy groups are sounding the alarm about the harm this could cause trans kids in states with right wing attorneys general. We know exactly what right wing attorneys general would do with this kind of authority: bully platforms into suppressing content related to LGBTQ issues, gender affirming care, abortion, racial justice, and other important topics.

Even the Republican lead sponsor, Senator Blackburn, has said the quiet part out loud that “protecting minor children from the transgender in this culture” should be among the top priorities of conservative lawmakers.

The bill has been endorsed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as by President Joe Biden, so we need to communicate with our Senators about it. Fight for the Future has drafted this email template that anyone can take talking points from, or you can use the sample script below to voice your concerns to Senators Schumer, Murray, and Cantwell. This is particularly urgent due to the support from many Democrats in the Senate. Senator Cantwell voiced some concern over the bill, but in the end voted in favor of it in a voice vote during its most recent markup.

Also send emails to:

You can email all of the above congressional staff by clicking on this EMAIL link. It will generate a prefilled email for you. Please review the email carefully and sign your name before sending.

☎ Sample Script (when contacting the offices of Senators Cantwell or Murray, add “and I am a constituent” to the first sentence):

Hi, my name is [NAME] from [CITY], Washinton. I am writing to urge your office to OPPOSE the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA, S.1409). While I strongly support regulation of Big Tech companies and agree that their data harvesting business practices are harming young people, human rights, and our democracy, I stand with dozens of other LGBTQ+, social justice, and civil liberties organizations who believe that KOSA would make kids less safe, rather than more safe, while specifically endangering transgender and LGBTQ+ youth. We cannot leave this in the hands of rightwing attorneys general who use this kind of authority to bully platforms into suppressing content related to LGBTQ issues, gender affirming care, abortion, racial justice, and other important topics.

Please consider alternatives to KOSA. Lawmakers can address the harm of Big Tech by passing strong data privacy, antitrust, and algorithmic justice legislation, rather than advancing a dangerous and misguided proposal like KOSA that violates the constitution and would do more harm than good.

Thank you.

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of September 11, 2023

???? Thanks to all who joined us on Sunday for our September General Membership meeting! It was great to see everyone after our summer break. Here are the notes from the meeting.

???? Online presentation: A virtual tour of Community Responder Programs, Monday, September 11, 7 pm. Register here. Across the country, communities are implementing new approaches to public safety that reduce reliance on police for individuals experiencing mental and behavioral health crises. Community Responder Programs match a health-first, care-centered response to calls for help with behavioral health needs. Join this Zoom presentation for a tour across the U.S. to look at cities that have added this kind of response. A 20-minute presentation by local experts will be followed by an opportunity for questions and answers. The presentation is made by Eastside neighbors who are working towards a network of community responders across our cities. This presentation will help prepare you to speak up in your own community about making this investment.

???? Postcard writers, don’t forget that Postcards For WA will be at the Crossroads Starbucks in Bellevue (1350 156th Ave NE) on Tuesday mornings from 10-12. With the October mailing date approaching and lots of great candidates to write for, it’s not too late to sign up to help out.

Here are your 2 actions this week

Action 1 – Get ready for voting by attending candidate forums

The November election is rapidly approaching and these local odd year elections can be really tricky. Many candidates know they cannot get elected if voters know they are Republicans, so they hide their leanings through clever wording, and strategic campaign colors (we don’t see a lot of red signs around the Eastside). A great way to be an informed voter is by attending candidate forums.

We have compiled a list of area candidate forums on the Eastside. Check it out HERE and attend the ones that interest you.

Action 2 – Donate Blood to Save Lives

It takes 1,000 donors a day to sustain a blood supply for patients in our community. Donating whole blood is easy and doesn’t take long. There are mobile blood drives put on by area organizations. They have monthly give-aways. If you donate in September you can enter to win a chance to see Katy Perry in Las Vegas! Schedule your donation today at Bloodworks Northwest website!

Note that we’re entering a new era of blood donation. Since the 1980’s gay men have been prohibited by the FDA from donating blood, but that restriction is coming to an end this year. When Bloodworks Northwest implements the new criteria by winter of 2023, all potential donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, will be asked the same set of questions.

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For the Week of September 4, 2023

???? Please join us Sept 10, 3-4:30 in Bellevue for our first group meeting since June. We look forward to gathering together IN PERSON with friends old and new. We’ll have:

  • Speakers, including candidates for city council positions in the November election. Come and hear Osman Salahuddin, candidate for Redmond City Council; Janice Zahn, candidate for Bellevue City Council, as well as Othman Erekaini, Chair of the Redmond Salary Commission who will talk about the recent discussion on Redmond council members’ salary.
  • Updates from Schools Workgroup – what’s happening in WA and around the country.
  • Refreshments and time to socialize.
  • See details about location, parking, and masking HERE.

???? The 6th annual celebration of Welcoming Week in East King County will be from September 8th through the 17th. Organized locally by the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition, it is part of an annual national campaign to celebrate communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. There will be events hosted by local nonprofits, neighborhood associations, the King County Library System and the cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Sammamish. You can see many of the events listed here or check out your own city’s website.

???? Postcard writers, don’t forget that Postcards For WA will be at the Crossroads Starbucks in Bellevue (1350 156th Ave NE) on Tuesday mornings from 10-12. With the October mailing date approaching and lots of great candidates to write for, it’s not too late to sign up to help out.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Provide input to the development of a robust behavioral health crisis program

In recent years, agencies in north King County have worked together to create an important new program to address the needs of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis.​​ (Behavioral health generally refers to mental health and substance use disorders, life stressors and crises, and stress-related physical symptoms.) The Regional Crisis Response (RCR, pronounced ‘racer’) Agency, formed in 2022, is a collaborative effort among the north King County cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline that will provide consolidated and standardized regional mobile crisis response services for the five-city region.

RCR is planning Community Visioning Sessions to help shape the community’s future and the delivery of crisis response services. These workshops aim to gather various viewpoints and establish success parameters for the RCR and the Crisis System in North King County. Three workshops are planned, with two in-person and one virtual.

In-person workshops are on:

Mon Sept 11, 2-3 pm at Shoreline City Hall, Room 301.

Wed Sept 13, 6-7 pm at Kirkland City Hall, Houghton Room.

The virtual workshop is on Thur Sept 14, 3-4 pm on Zoom. The meeting ID is 832 6240 0228, and the passcode is 054790.

Please plan on attending a workshop, even if you are not in one of the communities developing this program. It is important to show support for programs such as these so that other communities can see their value.

Action 2 – Consider becoming a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) to help get out the vote

If you have been wondering about how to be more engaged with efforts to get out the vote for candidates that you support, a good first step is to connect with your local Democratic party organization. If you go to your legislative district’s Democratic party website, you will find plenty of information about how to get involved, as well as which candidates they have endorsed. (Those in our core area are the 1st, 5th, 41st, 45th, and 48th LDs.) If you’re not sure which legislative district you’re in, you can check here.

One of the most effective ways to turn out voters is to become a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) in your LD. Precincts are small geographic areas within a Legislative District. PCOs are the building block of the Democratic Party and are the grassroots organizing base for all of the Legislative District’s activities. Their primary responsibility is to contact voters in their precinct before each election to remind them to vote.

There are several different types of PCOs. You can be elected to a 2-year term as PCO in the August primary in even-numbered years. At other times you can be appointed as a PCO by your LD in your precinct, if there isn’t anyone currently in the position, or as an acting PCO in a neighboring one. There are lots of vacancies, with training and plenty of help! Please consider becoming a PCO.

Steps to becoming a PCO:

For a good overview of the importance of PCOs in increasing Democratic turnout, this Hacks and Wonks podcast, featuring King County Democratic Chair Carrie Barnes, is helpful.

This is a vital way to help Get Out The Vote, and be an important part of the Democratic party. When Indivisibles get involved with the Democratic Party, it moves the party toward being more progressive.

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For the Week of August 28, 2023

???? Please join us Sept 10, 3-4:30 in Bellevue for our first group meeting since June. We look forward to gathering together IN PERSON with friends old and new. We’ll have:

  • Speakers, including candidates for city council positions in the November election
  • Refreshments and time to socialize (email hello@indivisibleeastside.com if you can bring something to share)
  • Updates from Schools Workgroup – what’s happening in WA and around the country

See details about location, parking, and masking HERE.

???? Eastside for All are holding a forum on Eastside Renters in Crisis on Aug. 30th, 6-7:30 pm, at the Redmond Library. Local legislators and legal advisors will be in attendance to answer your questions.

???? There are several opportunities for Bellevue residents to attend community meetings coming up:

  • The City of Bellevue is hosting a Human Services Update focus group for older adults at North Bellevue Community Center (4063 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007) on August 28th from 1 – 2:30. This is an opportunity for residents to speak up on the needs of older adults in our City. Please register to attend.
  • The Bellevue Centers Communities of Color Coordinating Team comprises a diverse group of people who live and work in Bellevue and are dedicated to improving opportunities and racial equity across Bellevue. They are seeking input from community members through community dialogues in order to provide recommendations to the City Council later in the year. (Although the link refers to meetings in July and August, there will be more meetings in the fall.) If you or anyone you know is interested in participating, please register HERE for more information.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Urge Redmond City Council to develop a Community Responder Program to respond to mental health emergencies

Community members from Redmond and other Eastside city neighbors are advocating for the development of Redmond’s Mental Health crisis response. We want to see our Eastside cities establish a network of unarmed community responders, who can provide a more appropriate response than the police can to mental health emergency calls.

We are calling for the City Council to follow through on initial plans to hire additional skilled positions that can provide the behavioral mental health support lacking at this time and expand capacity for a non-police response for appropriate calls and increase access to community care. Although the Council set aside resources to expand our crisis response, the current proposal is to use those resources to expand case management instead. We need to ensure a more comprehensive approach.

Avoiding what happened to Andrea Thomas Churna in September 2020, when she called for help during a mental health crisis and was killed by a Redmond police officer, calls for us to pursue an emergency response that provides the help needed for those vulnerable in our communities.

This is a critical time. Please email the Redmond City Council as soon as possible, before their next session on September 11th. Urge them to develop a Community Responder Program to respond to mental health emergencies. For greater impact, please add some of the talking points from THIS ACTION to your email.

☎ Sample Script:

Dear Redmond City Council,

I am writing to you concerning the development of Redmond’s Mental Health crisis response. I strongly advise that the response to the mental health crisis is done with an approach that can address all barriers that arise when connecting our most vulnerable residents to adequate care.

To address needs in our community, I urge you to make sure that (1) the three new positions you authorize are used to hire people with the appropriate skills to serve as members of community responder teams, (2) those new hires, along with sufficient EMTs, are fully trained to serve as community responders, and (3) external experts experienced with community response programs work with Redmond dispatchers to prepare them to identify situations where community responders are most appropriate.

Thank you for your efforts towards addressing the mental health crisis here in our community.

[NAME]

[CITY]

Action 2 – [US Senate] Ask your Senators to support legislation for a Supreme Court Code of Ethics

It seems like every month we hear of further instances of Supreme Court justices accepting lavish gifts from supporters and not reporting those gifts, raising serious questions about conflicts of interest. The justices are nominally subject to the same ethics rules as other federal judges but in practice govern themselves. The response from Chief Justice John Roberts is that he is mulling ways to address worries about “standards of conduct.” A much stronger response is needed to these potential ethical violations.

Sen. Sheldon Whithouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary committee, has introduced a bill that would “create a much-needed process for investigating misconduct at the Court, strengthen recusal standards for judges and disclosure rules for special interests trying to influence the courts, improve disclosure of travel and hospitality for judges, and mandate the creation of a binding code of ethics.” The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act (S359) has had a recent hearing and has a companion bill in the House (H926). As the most likely chamber to take action will be the Senate, please ask our senators to support this bill.

☎ Sample Script: (credit to Stand Up America)

Hello,

My name is [NAME], from [CITY], Washington. The Supreme Court needs an overhaul. There’s a troubling pattern of corruption from several justices. We’ve seen wealthy donors footing the bill for Clarence Thomas’s vacations, mortgage payments, and family tuition; Samuel Alito failing to disclose his luxury vacation with a billionaire with business before the Court; and Neil Gorsuch selling property to an executive that often has business before the Court, just nine days after his lifetime appointment was finalized.

All point to clear conflicts of interest and conduct that is blatantly unethical. But unlike every other federal judge in the nation, Supreme Court justices aren’t beholden to any structured code of conduct.

This has to change. That’s why, as a voter and your constituent, I’m urging you to stand up and rein in this Court by passing the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (SCERT). It would require the Court to adopt and abide by a code of conduct, create an investigative board to review ethics complaints against the justices, and set transparency standards.

No one is above the law—not even Supreme Court justices. It’s time to hold them accountable.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

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For the Week of August 21, 2023

???? Ever wonder what it takes to run a global hub for air cargo, millions of passengers, and a thriving fishing industry? Go behind the scenes with this free experiential adult education series. Click HERE to learn more and register for Duwamish River 101 – Sept. 7th, 4-6:30 pm and/or Ship Canal 101 – Sept. 14th, 4-6:30 pm. (Cargo 101 and Airport 101 are sold out.)

???? Policies are being developed for the Wilburton Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) area to guide the transformation of this area into Bellevue’s next trail- and transit-oriented mixed-use community. You are invited to share your feedback with Engaging Bellevue by taking the survey. 

???? Move Redmond is recruiting people to speak briefly in person or virtually at the Sound Transit board meeting on August 24th at 1:30 pm. To read about the Eastlink Starter Line approval, and to RSVP, click HERE. Move Redmond will provide you with talking points. 

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – [US SENATE] Speak out against the GTN Xpress pipeline expansion

From Columbia River Keeper, 350 Seattle, and others

The Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress project is a pipeline expansion proposal from TC Energy (the company behind the Keystone Pipelines) to increase the volume of fracked gas by 150 million cubic feet per day through the aging Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Pipeline in the Pacific Northwest. The expansion would lead to the emission of millions of metric tons of CO2 equivalent every year, worsening climate effects such as increased droughts, wildfires, and floods. It would also encourage more fracking on Tribal lands.

It’s time to raise our voices to help stop this pipeline expansion. In July of this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decided to delay a vote on GTN Xpress until at least September 21, 2023, after receiving dozens of letters opposing the project. Serious concerns have been raised about GTN Xpress by the Tribes and various Northwest officials, including both Oregon Senators, Governors Inslee and Kotek, and the Attorneys General of Washington, Oregon, and California. But Senators Cantwell and Murray have not spoken out against the project! Both FERC and our Senators need to hear our concerns.

For more background, see Sightline’s detailed article and this video from Columbia Riverkeeper and other organizations.

Action 1A: Contact FERC:

Use Columbia Riverkeeper’s online form to send a comment to FERC. Because it is complicated to submit a comment to FERC outside of a comment period (such as the period immediately after an Environmental Impact Statement is filed), we recommend using this form. Consider personalizing your message with a sentence or two about specific concerns, for example, the impact of climate change on young people, the terrible wildfires destroying Canadian forests and blanketing our region with smoke, or the destruction caused by the fracking of gas.

Action 1B: Contact Senators Murray and Cantwell:

Sample Script for Senators:

SUBJECT: Please oppose GTN Xpress pipeline expansion project

Dear Senator,

My name is [NAME]. I live in [CITY], Washington, and I am a constituent. I am reaching out today to urge you to oppose TC Energy’s GTN Xpress pipeline expansion project, currently under review by FERC. This project would add to the many impacts of climate change that we are already suffering from, including wildfires, droughts, and smoke-filled air.

Many important members of our community publicly oppose GTN Xpress, including the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, both Oregon Senators, Governors Inslee and Kotek, and the Attorneys General of Washington, Oregon, and California.

It is time for Washington Senators to also speak out against GTN Xpress. Please do everything you can to oppose this pipeline and comment to FERC against this environmental injustice and climate hazard. FERC may make a decision on this project as soon as September 21, 2023. Now is the time to speak out against it.

Thank you for your previous efforts to reduce Washington’s carbon emissions and work toward a just transition to clean energy. Please continue to stand up for a clean energy future, and speak out now against the GTN Xpress pipeline expansion.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – [US House and Senate] Ask your Members of Congress to support the Save Medicare Act

Adapted from Healthcare Advocacy Newsletter Action

Many people say they have Medicare (public insurance paying private providers) and aren’t happy. What they may really have is Medicare Advantage (Part C). They are often shocked to see that they have networks to abide by, need a referral to get to a specialist, and lots of other headaches. Medicare Advantage was put together years ago as a privatization of Medicare and a giveaway to the private insurance companies. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers the program and pays $1000/month to private insurance companies for each person they sign up. If they code you with something “serious” they can collect hundreds a month more. It is by far the most profitable health insurance for sale in the US. In fact, some companies have stopped selling other insurance and now only sell these plans to retirees.

Ads on TV sound like you’re getting Medicare but what they are selling is Medicare Advantage. Here are some of the problems:

  • They require pre-authorizations and can have significant denials. 
  • They also insert copays where you might least expect it, like in hospitalization (Medicare Part A). 
  • While monthly premiums may be cheaper than some Medigap plans, when intensive and expensive care is needed, prior authorizations, co-insurance, copays and out-of-pocket maximums to be paid can make these MA plans a real disadvantage to some enrollees.
  • Confusing the consumer to sign up for these makes insurance companies richer and costs the consumers far more.

HR 732, the Save Medicare Act in front of Congress. It would prohibit using the word Medicare when selling Part C (Advantage) plans. Part C plans will be called Alternative Private Health Plans.

Action: Let’s tell our Congressional Representatives and Senators that enough is enough. Stop letting insurance companies trick people into getting Medicare Advantage instead of Medicare with misleading ads. Make them call the plans they are selling Alternative Private Health Plans. Pass HR 732, the Save Medicare Act. 

For more background, check out this TV ad describing what the bill proposes, or review this YouTube video or New York Times article that explain the issues with Medicare Advantage.

☎ Sample Script:

I am your constituent and I am tired of seniors being tricked into Medicare Advantage plans when they think they are getting Medicare. I want you to support and pass HR 732, the Save Medicare Act, that will relabel Medicare Advantage Plans as Alternative Private Health Plans. An informed consumer can make better choices. Please help them.

Thank you.
[NAME],
[CITY, ZIP]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

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For the Week of August 14, 2023

????Many of us in Washington state have strong ties to folks in the state of Hawai’i, and are devastated by the loss of life and property due to the wildfires in that state. Many residents have lost their homes and need help. Consider donating to the Hawai’i Community Foundation Maui Strong fund.

????We have an update to last week’s Action #2 to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the high fuel prices in WA State. The right wing advocacy group “Let’s Go Washington” is gathering signatures to repeal the carbon pricing system passed by our legislature. Decline to sign any petitions by Let’s Go Washington.

???? The City of Bellevue is recruiting for their first ever cohort of Climate Challenge Team Leaders. Community members in the program will become climate leaders by guiding a team of their choice through the Bellevue Climate Challenge. Team Leaders will meet with city staff monthly throughout the program for training, resources, and support. The first cohort will begin in October 2023, and run through June of 2024. Attend an Informational Session about the program on August 15th from 5:30-6:30 pm. Participants will learn more about what it means to be a Team Leader and have time to ask questions. An additional Informational Session will be held on September 26th.

???? The City of Kirkland is seeking adult volunteer applicants to apply for two current vacancies on the Transportation Commission. The Transportation Commission meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6:00 pm. Applications are due by August 24th at 4 pm. More information and the application are HERE.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Spread the word: positions open on the Citizens’ Election Oversight Committee

Interested in elections? Help spread the word, or consider running, for these opportunities to serve on the King County Citizens’ Election Oversight Committee (CEOC). The CEOC is a 16-member committee of volunteers, who have interest or expertise in elections. They produce an annual report to the King County Council on their observations, findings, and recommendations on election-related matters. Currently, the CEOC has the following unfilled positions:

One representative of the Vietnamese-speaking community. The term of this position ends in December 2023. The Council may appoint the successful candidate to complete the current term as well as serve for an additional term of three years.

One jurisdictional representative from a junior taxing district or a city with a population of under twenty thousand. The term of this position ends in May 2025. The Council may appoint the successful candidate to complete the current term as well as serve for an additional term of three years.

The applications are requested to be submitted by September 26, 2023. For more information on how to apply, please visit www.kingcounty.gov/ceoc.

Action 2 – Halt the Kroger-Albertson Merger

From Seattle Indivisible/The Stand

Kroger and Albertsons are pushing for a colossal corporate merger. This could potentially grant them unprecedented control over retail food prices, grocery store access, the food supply chain, and the wages and benefits of essential retail workers. This is unacceptable.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the ability to stop this merger if it finds that the effect of it would substantially lessen competition. Tell the FTC we stand with union workers!

Action: Contact the FTC!

Use this one-click tool developed by UFCW 367 to send an email to the FTC, letting them know that this merger should be stopped: https://p2a.co/sMnYrMk

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For the Week of August 7, 2023

???? Thank you to IE members and others who came out to silently (mostly) protest the rightwing book banners at Bellevue Library on Saturday. They were significantly outnumbered by protestors supporting LGBTQ+ rights and the freedom to read.

????Would you like to meet some of the amazing Postcards4WA-supported candidates? Join with other writers Sunday August 20 at 7 pm to write postcards, ask questions, and meet some candidates. New and seasoned writers welcome! Register to attend. https://bit.ly/P4WA-2023. Sign up to write with Postcards4WA at http://www.postcards4wa.org/

???? The upcoming season of Town Hall Seattle features two outstanding guest speakers in the Fall. Michael Harriott will be speaking on Sept 24 and Heather Cox Richardson will be there on Oct 6th. They both have new books coming out and will be in conversation with Seattle journalist Marcus Harrison Green. Get your tickets soon!

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Expand the impact of the 988 Lifeline so everyone can get the crisis care they need

From NAMI

July marked one year since the launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, the nationwide number established to help people in a mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis. In just one year, nearly 5 million people have reached out to 988 for support.

988 is already making an impact in our communities and saving lives, but there’s more work to be done to ensure everyone can get the help they need in a crisis. Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have reintroduced bipartisan legislation (H.R.4851) to ensure that our communities have the resources necessary to fully implement 988. This recent article illustrates how Washington is struggling to fulfill the promises of the original bill and many states are in even worse straits.

NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has an easy way for you to reach out to your Congressional representative to ask them to co-sponsor this new bill, which will fund call centers, crisis centers, and workforce development, and support the expansion of mobile crisis teams.

Please contact your legislator via this link and ask them to co-sponsor this important bill to ensure that every community has crisis services in place to help every person who reaches out to 988.

Action 2 – Urge your legislators to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable

From Washington Conservation Action

In recent years the Washington legislature has passed several bills that will help to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. One important example is the law that makes polluters pay for their emissions. Known as the Climate Commitment Act, this bill caps Washington’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and imposes a compliance obligation on large polluters. For transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel, this responsibility falls on the company supplying the fuel. It went into effect on Jan 1, 2023.

Oil companies, however, are mounting a campaign of disinformation to say that this legislation is the cause of high fuel prices in our state – the highest in the nation. In fact, oil companies posted record profits during the first quarter of this year. Supporters of the bill claim that oil companies are using the bill as an excuse to raise prices and pad profits. They’re looking at a strategy in the 2024 legislative session that would involve anti-price-gouging legislation and new transparency requirements for the oil firms.

Washington Conservation Action has a tool that makes it easy to contact your legislators and ask them to hold firm and keep the oil companies accountable for the pollution that they cause. Legislators must work towards increased transparency and address price gouging so that we will see the benefit of the legislation that was passed. Please use this petition to send them a message that you stand behind the promises of the Climate Commitment Act.

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For the Week of July 31, 2023

???? Primary election ballots are due at 8 pm on Tuesday. August 1st. If you vote close to the deadline, using a drop box will ensure that your vote is counted. Locations are HERE. For information on candidates a good resource is FUSE’s Progressive Voters Guide.

???? Postcards4WA is adding more writing campaigns every week! New additions are David Edwards for Woodinville City Council, Pos. 2 and Cindy McMullen, Keith Clark, & Debra Long — Central Valley School District Pos. 1, 3, 4. Click the names to see why we are supporting David and the CVSD slate. Sign up for 2023 and request addresses HERE.

???? When an office attracts no candidates during May’s candidate filing week, it’s subject to a special filing period to give folks another chance to add their name to the ballot. Here in King County, our special filing period will be open from August 2 at 8 am to August 4 at 5 pm. The 19 offices included in this period are primarily school, fire, and other special purpose districts. Follow this link for the full list of offices and information on how to file.

???? The City of Bellevue is gathering information on human services needs in Bellevue. The data will be compiled in the 2023-2024 Human Services Needs Update, which helps guide the allocation of the city’s human services funding. You can respond to the survey here or pick up a hard copy at several locations. The survey is open from July 27 to Aug. 28.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Protest against the military’s contribution to climate change

From meaningfulmovies.org

If it’s mid-summer it must be time for Seafair in Seattle. As we know, a large part of the festivities center around the display by the Blue Angels over Seattle and Lake Washington. Several local organizations (the Mt Baker Meaningful Movies group, South Seattle Climate Action, and Veterans for Peace) are questioning the legitimacy of the show in the context of the large contribution the military makes to climate change. The US military is one of the world’s single largest institutional users of fossil fuels and contributes significantly to emission levels of greenhouse gases (GHG). Because of negotiations in past climate agreements such as the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Accords, there is no requirement for countries to report military GHG emissions as part of their total emission levels.

Air shows are not necessary for national security so there is a strong argument for doing away with them if we are serious about fighting climate change. “Each Navy Blue Angel or Air Force Thunderbird burns approximately 1500 gallons of expensive jet fuel per hour – 68,000 total gallons is consumed for a weekend show. This means that each airshow adds 650 metric tons of CO2 into the air, contributing to climate change more than 10 cars would by driving 150,000 miles each – for just one weekend’s entertainment.”

Community members and members of Veterans For Peace Chapter 92, 350 Seattle, and Extinction Rebellion Seattle will be protesting military jets at Seafair. Please join them if you wish to add your voice to the movement to bring greater awareness of the military’s contribution to the worsening climate crisis.

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6, 10 am-12 noon and other times and locations TBD.

Where: Lake Washington Blvd S & 43rd Ave S, across from Stan Sayres Memorial Park, Seattle 98118.

Action 2 – Support fairness in trade negotiations at the APEC conference

From Washington Fair Trade Coalition

Seattle is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, starting July 29. Officials from Washington DC and countries throughout the Asia Pacific region will meet for closed-door, invite-only talks on trade and the global economy. In response, the Washington Fair Trade Coalition is partnering with other organizations to host a series of events to demand transparency, labor rights, environmental protection, and consumer privacy in ongoing trade negotiations.

On Monday, August 7 there will be a Seattle Town Hall on “Digital Trade” (4:00 pm, University of Washington, Seattle. Exact location TBD). Join U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, plus local and national labor, civil rights and consumer leaders, for a town hall spotlighting Big Tech’s attempts to rig trade deals in ways that undermine personal privacy, data security, AI accountability and anti-monopoly policies at home and around the world. This is the newest front in trade policymaking, and decisions made this year could impact people for decades to come. RSVP Here for Details.

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For the Week of July 24, 2023

???? Strategic messaging can make a big difference in our efforts to fight back effectively against extremist attacks on our public schools. Attend a briefing on Wed July 26 at 11:30 am Pacific Time (that’s 2:30 Eastern time, as shown in the link) to be among the first to see the results of a new national study. The study tested how different messaging approaches perform against the authoritarian attacks that we are seeing nationwide.

???? Last Summer, Redmond City Council passed a proposal to extend some new rights to renters, such as caps on late fees, and more notice before rent increases. Despite this, landlords are still raising rents, imposing fees, and making life difficult for renters who simply want an affordable, stable, and well maintained home. Click to Tell Redmond City Council Renters Deserve Rights.

???? Postcards4WA has launched two more writing campaigns –Tim Hattenburg, Spokane Valley City Council, Pos. 6 and Davida Haygood, Puyallup School District, Pos. 5. Sign up for 2023 and request addresses HERE.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Help Habitat for Humanity help more people in Bellevue to become homeowners!

From Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties

Habitat for Humanity has a great new opportunity to help more people in Bellevue to become homeowners! They have a new 25 unit Holy Cross/Orchard Gardens development coming up! As the process requires, they will be having a Virtual Public Hearing on Tuesday, July 25th, 6 pm – 8 pm.

The hearing is to give the public an opportunity to voice their concerns around the development proposal. If comments are overwhelmingly negative, the proposal is less likely to pass and 25 families will lose the chance at affordable housing and homeownership.

As proponents of affordable housing, we know the need is significant.

The more people who attend the meeting in support of this development the better. Will you please attend and stand with Habitat to support the building of more affordable units in the Bellevue area? You will not be required to speak, unless you choose to. Just your presence in the meeting is enough to show support for this development.

This forum will be a major opportunity to show the community and the Bellevue City Council that there’s support for this project. We have a chance to ensure individuals and families have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home in Bellevue.

Microsoft Teams meeting Tuesday, July 25th, 6 pm – 8 pm

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 288 125 438 634 Passcode: Mo8gVJ

Download Teams | Join on the web

Or call in (audio only)

+1 206-452-7011,,207909798#

Action 2 – Show up for freedom of thought on August 5th and support the libraries from the book banning horde

People who want a Christian theocracy are having a national day of action at libraries on 8/5, and guess what? They’re holding one at the Bellevue library. Their explicit goal is to remove progressive influences from children’s lives — starting with the books available in schools and at libraries.

Like any civic group, they have the right to use public meeting space for their meeting. They DO NOT have the right to dictate our library policies around book selection. This is an overt salvo in their war on freedom of thought.

Let’s show up at 11 am to peacefully, passively show that libraries are free spaces, open to all.

Wear your favorite pro-book, pro-freedom, anti-book banning shirt, and sit and read for an hour at the library.

Saturday 8/5, 11 am-12 pm at the Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Ave NE, Bellevue.

You can check if there’s a “See you at the Library” group scheduled at your King County Library by going to https://rooms.kcls.org/spaces/bookings?lid=2360&gid=0, choosing the library branch, and selecting a custom date of August 5th.

Background: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/kirk-cameron-book-publisher-report-sabotage-pro-faith-parent-groups-ahead-library-event.amp

FB Image from Hanna’s Canada trip – in the Action Proposal Thread.

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For the Week of July 17, 2023

???? If you have not received your ballot yet, please call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683). The Fuse Progressive Voters guide is a great resource.

????The Bellevue PTSA Council is hosting a Bellevue School Board Candidate Forum on July 18th at 6 pm.

???? Postcards4WA has launched its first writing campaign for Susanna Johnson for Snohomish County Sheriff. Request addresses HERE.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Decline to Sign 101

This action comes from our friends at: Washington Indivisible Network Schools Workgroup and Stop Moms for Liberty.

Moms for Liberty and other groups are gathering signatures for R-101, to repeal SB-5599, which M4L describes as “legalized kidnapping.” In reality, all SB-5599 does is involve DSHS when a runaway or homeless teen uses a shelter and says that they lost or left their home due to LGBTQ or reproductive care reasons. This offers LGBTQ+ teens protections similar to those offered to youth who say that they are fleeing a parent who is addicted or physically abusive: a social worker investigates the safety of reunification and offers family services if needed rather than requiring the shelter to immediately notify the parents. However, the disinformation surrounding this bill is enormous: M4L is claiming that the state will remove non-runaway kids from their homes, immediately assume full custody, provide gender surgery (that is not even available to youth under 18 in most circumstances), etc.

Let’s keep this bad referendum off the ballot, and ensure that safe shelter is available to youth who need it! Spread the word to friends and family: Decline to Sign R-101.

Learn about R-101: Referendum description on Secretary of State website

Editorial: Ballot measure isn’t about parental rights

Fact checks:

  1. FACT FOCUS: Posts distort Washington estranged minors law
  2. Article in The Stranger: No, Washington Did Not Just Pass a Law Allowing the State to Kidnap and Transgenderify Children

Learn about Moms for Liberty: Inside Moms for Liberty’s summit: Big money and even bigger conspiracy theories

New! Download our toolkit with social media graphics and printable flyers https://bit.ly/DeclineToSignR101-Toolkit

Action 2 – Run the Eastside Starter Line!

From Move Redmond

Light rail on the Eastside has been delayed due to construction on the I-90 bridge. All of the stations between Bellevue and the Overlake neighborhood of Redmond are nearly complete, and Sound Transit is considering opening service between South Bellevue Park and Redmond Technology Station until the construction on the I-90 bridge is complete. Running the Eastside Starter Line will increase access to work, school, health care, and economic opportunities! Take action today and let the Sound Transit Board Members know that you support running the Eastside Starter Line before the Sound Transit Board Meeting on July 26th.

You can email the Board of Directors by using this email address: emailtheboard@soundtransit.org.

Subject line: Please run the Eastside Starter Line

☎ Sample Script:

As a resident of [CITY] and a person who supports regional transit, I am excited about the potential of an Eastside Starter Line to improve connection to communities on the Eastside. Every single light rail station that opens supports the mobility of the entire region. Opening Lynnwood Link Extension and opening an Eastside Starter Line creates more opportunities for more people to utilize transit. Each station that opens supports access to jobs, school, healthcare, and economic opportunity, including opportunity that was not previously available to one out of four Washingtonians that don’t have a driver’s license. Along with every transit investment, it’s a step towards helping us meet our climate goals by reducing vehicle miles traveled.

The Eastside Starter Line would connect six stations between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology Center, improving the connection between these two rapidly growing communities on the Eastside. Currently, the Rapid Ride Line connects Overlake to Bellevue Transit Center in 24 minutes, whereas light rail would make that connection in 10 minutes, significant time savings for transit riders. Finally, the Eastside is unique in that it has led the way in building Transit Oriented Development in both Bellevue’s Spring District and Overlake’s Esterra Park. These two communities have people moving in and new businesses opening, but they lack the transit that lured them to the neighborhood in the first place.

Opening both Lynnwood and the Eastside Starter Line in 2024 would show the public that Sound Transit values transit riders and is dedicated to delivering transit service as soon as possible to the growing region.

Thank you for your dedication to building out a world-class transit system in the Puget Sound Region.

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For the Week of July 10, 2023

???? The City of Kirkland is holding a town hall on Monday, July 10th from 5-7 pm to discuss the future of Park Lane in downtown Kirkland, to determine whether it should be a pedestrian only zone. Register HERE to attend this online event. More information on the study that was conducted, plus the Zoom information, are at the Future of Park Lane website.

???? Are junk fees affecting your budget? Bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate dealing with junk fees, and the Biden Administration has put out a guide to states on how to crack down on junk fees. Indivisible National is trying to get the scoop on junk fees from Indivisibles across the country. If you have a few minutes, take their survey here.

????The City of Bellevue is inviting community members of color to participate in a new series of dialogues in July and August as part of the community-led initiative, Bellevue Centers Communities of Color. The dialogues will be offered at various dates, times, and locations, covering topics on racial equity and social justice in Bellevue in order to draft proposals for new city policies. Food will be provided. Please register to indicate the dates you are available to participate in a dialogue.

To learn more about the community dialogues and to sign up for email or text alerts, visit Bellevue Centers Communities of Color Initiative.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Get informed about candidates on your ballot and VOTE!

Ballots will be mailed out on Wednesday, July 12th for the August Primary Election. You should receive your ballot by the weekend, but if you have not received it by Monday, July 17th, please call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683). There are some important primary races on the ballot for us on the Eastside including City Council races in Bothell, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, and Renton. Mercer Island and Bellevue School Districts both have one race each with a primary, so please make sure you research the candidates before you vote. The Bellevue PTSA Council is hosting a Bellevue School Board Candidate Forum on July 18th at 6 pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about candidates so you can be an informed voter.

You can find all the candidates on the primary ballot HERE. Candidate websites are listed on the page for the particular race (Kirkland City Council race example) or you can look at the Public Disclosure Commission to see where candidates get their money and where they spend it. Also, if you have the means to help candidates in the primary financially, check out the Progressive Donors Guide from Fuse WA.

Action 2 – Protect the Health Of Our Waterways from Coal Pollution

From Sierra Club

Coal ash – the toxic waste that’s left after coal is burned to generate electricity – has been dumped in unlined pits next to our nation’s lakes and rivers for decades. Although the EPA has acted on this issue before, the earlier regulations included dangerous loopholes. The loopholes exempted legacy impoundments (coal ash ponds at retired power plants) and inactive landfills (landfills where ash hadn’t been dumped since before 2015). Coal ash from these ponds and landfills has been allowed to contaminate groundwater and surface water.

Sierra Club and other environmental, civil rights, and community groups, represented by the organization Earthjustice, sued EPA to close those loopholes, and thanks to that effort, EPA proposed important updates to the rule in May. The comment period on updated rules for coal-ash disposal closes July 17, 2023, so now is the time to add your voice in support of closing the loopholes!

For more background, see the Sierra Club’s press release and the EPA’s information page about the proposed updates.

Action 2A: Quick and easy: sign the Sierra Club petition.

Action 2B: More effort, but also more impact: Write your own comment to the EPA, using the sample below. Please personalize it with a sentence or two about what concerns you most about this issue, for example, the importance of clean water for all, the environmental injustice of forcing some communities to live next to toxic coal ash dumps, or the importance of protecting growing children from the toxins in coal ash.

Submit your comment at the EPA’s comment page for the updates, using the green SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT button.

Sample comment

I am writing to urge you to strengthen the draft Legacy CCR Surface Impoundment Rule to ensure that all coal ash is regulated, without exception.

We cannot continue to allow power plant owners to avoid cleaning up the toxic coal ash that they have been dumping for decades. These dumps pollute countless waterways and expose communities to carcinogens and neurotoxins. The coal ash disposed of or stored at power plant sites is toxic regardless of whether or not the plant is in operation, and remains toxic if it is dumped elsewhere or used as construction fill. We must require complete plant site cleanup and closure of coal ash dumps everywhere.

Toxic coal ash has contaminated drinking water supplies in many places. This contamination will worsen unless EPA ensures all coal ash dumps are regulated and enforces the federal rule aggressively.

Thank you for defending communities who live near toxic coal ash and creating a plan that requires site owners to monitor and clean up all coal ash at a given site. The EPA must mandate safe closure and cleanup of coal ash nationwide and must make enforcement of the rule a priority.

Thank you for considering my comment.

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For the Week of July 3, 2023

  • In response to the vandalization of the 1st Pride Crosswalk in Kirkland, Eastside Pride PNW is planning on overwhelming the Marina Park sidewalks with messages of LOVE.  Join together on Monday, July 3rd, 4 to 6 pm, to create sidewalk chalk art with positive messages.  If you have sidewalk chalk, please bring it (paint is not allowed). Eastside Pride PNW will have a banner of support that all can sign to be presented at the Kirkland City Council meeting on Wednesday night.    Wear your Pride colors, bring signs, flags and show support!  Spread the word and share with other supporters!  Hate has no place here. Check back on social media on Monday for any last minute updates.
  • The City of Bellevue Transportation Department is interested in learning what community members think about speed limit pavement markings. Learn more and take the survey HERE
  • Don’t miss the latest Washington State Indivisible Podcast in the Recorded Events section below on the First Mile Circle giving program which supports candidates of color.  
  • Have an enjoyable and safe 4th of July Holiday! Here is your 1 action this week. 

Action 1 – Learn about the Supreme Court’s No Good Very Bad week

In light of the activist Supreme court’s terrible rulings last week, consider: 

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For the Week of June 26, 2023

  •  Our in-person meeting Sunday was terrific. It was great to re-connect as well as hear from trans rights activist Bryce Cannatelli about advocating for social justice and establishing more protections for LGBTQ+ people. If you missed the meeting you can view the meeting slides HERE, as well as her presentation to the King County Council in April HERE.
  •  You may have heard about budget cuts and school closings around the state. The Seattle Times is hosting a webinar Tuesday at noon with a panel to discuss this alarming topic. Read Why schools across the state are slashing their budgets which includes a good Q & A section, and sign up for the webinar at st.news/schoolbudgetlive.
  • Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Join a Sister District National Phonebank to turn Virginia Blue!

From Sister District Project

Indivisible Eastside has worked with Sister District Project over the last six years to help elect top-priority Democratic candidates in Virginia. Virginia holds its legislative elections in odd years and Sister District is supporting some terrific and diverse candidates. Come one, come all! No experience necessary. Each virtual shift over Zoom is led by Sister District staff with full training & check-ins.

Sign up on Mobilize for the following opportunities:

  • Mondays with Ashton for Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg
  • Tuesdays with Nicole for Del. Danica Roem or Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg
  • Wednesdays with Ashton for Del. Danica Roem
  • Thursdays with Joshua Cole (we worked to elect him in 2019, but he lost his seat in 2021)
  • Fridays with Emma for Del. Danica Roem

Coming Up!

  • Candidate Schuyler VanValkenburg joins our phone bank on Tue June 27
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 contestant Elliott with 2 Ts joins our phone bank on Thur June 29
  • Candidate Joshua Cole joins our phone bank on Thur July 6

This works. Last year, each National Phonebank averaged 4 local volunteers recruited and 12 Undecided Voters Identified. We only call voters in the ballpark. Join us & make a concrete impact.

Action 2 – Stand with Immigrants Detained at the Northwest Detention Center

From La Resistencia

The Northwest ICE Processing Center (aka The Northwest Detention Center), the infamous private prison for immigrants in Tacoma, is once again the staging ground for the fourth hunger strike this year. This peaceful protest started due to the indifference on the part of both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and NWDC’s private operators GEO Group in meeting promises made in February when both entities negotiated with over 80 hunger strikers to end their protests. Due to the lies and continuing worsening of detention conditions, detained immigrants sent La Resistencia a list of demands including a diet that met cultural and religious needs of a group of Indian men, as well as access to yard time at adequate hours, and access to information on their individual cases.

June 19th marked a federal holiday celebrating the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. However, our country continues to unjustly imprison and enslave Black and Brown people in prisons and detention centers.

La Resistencia calls on the larger community to come together in solidarity with those detained and demonstrate that they are not alone in their fight for humane treatment. This will be the fourth hunger strike at the NWDC this year and ICE and GEO Group, the prison’s private operators, have yet to fulfill promises made to over 80 strikers in February.

Read the full La Resistancia email HERE

Ways to Take Action:

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For the Week of June 19, 2023

???? Today is Juneteenth! Learn more about the holiday and the meaning of the official flag, or attend the City of Bellevue Juneteenth celebration on Tuesday, June 20 at Bellevue City Hall. The event will include a panel discussion with influential Black leaders and musical, spoken word, and dance performances from local artists. A catered reception will follow. Also, read this call to Recommit to Black Freedom from Indivisible National.

???? Please mark your calendars for our next group meeting on Sunday, June 25th from 4:00- 5:30. You must register to attend this in person meeting. We will be hearing from trans rights activist Bryce Cannatelli about advocating for social justice and establishing more protections for LGBTQ+ people.

???? The Eastside’s State Senator from the 45th LD, Manka Dhingra, has announced her campaign for WA State Attorney General recently. Hear more about her campaign on the Washington Indivisible Podcast: Apple | SoundCloud | YouTube | Facebook

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Help Seattle Food Banks

Most of us don’t even think about how we will get our next meal, but for some people it is a never ending question. The food banks are struggling in Seattle after the pandemic swelled numbers of people served to 1.1 million. It was expected that number would drop post-pandemic, but that hasn’t been the case, and the federal assistance that was being received during the pandemic has now ended.

Action A: Small monthly donations keep things running and predictable. Set that up HERE.

Action B: Volunteer work is also desperately needed. Volunteer HERE.

Action 2– Rethink your spa day – Boycott Olympus Spa

Self care during these fraught political times is really important, and many use spas to unwind and decompress from a stressful world. A local area spa has been in the news recently after a transgender woman filed a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) against Olympus Spas policy of only admitting “biological-women.” Transgender people are a protected class in Washington, and the administrative code is clear: Under the law, trans people are allowed in single-sex spaces including bathrooms, locker rooms, and spas like Olympus. Initially it looked like the problem had been solved, with the spa coming to agreement with the commission to change its policy and retrain its employees. However, 2 years after the initial complaint the spa filed a lawsuit. After a judge dismissed the case and in that motion named the complainant, there was a flood of right wing media coverage, and the harassment and death threats began. What was a simple desire for a woman to have the right provided under the law to enjoy a spa day, became a nightmare of hate and harassment.

Read more about How a Campaign Against Transgender Rights Mobilized Conservatives.

Action: Take your self care somewhere inclusive to all people as Washington State law provides. Do not patronize Olympus Spa in Lynnwood or Tacoma.

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For the Week of June 12, 2023

???? The Justice Department released its indictment of Donald Trump in the classified documents case on Friday, detailing the government’s allegations against him. The document is easy to read and is quite compelling. Here is a PDF version or read the New York Times annotated version here.

????On Saturday June 17th there will be an event honoring Juneteenth at Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland, starting at 11:30 am. There are many activities planned, including a performance by the fantastic Delbert Richardson and his Unspoken Truths American History Traveling Museum. Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help with this event. If you are available you can let them know by filling out this form.

???? Please mark your calendars for our next group meeting on June 25th from 4:00- 5:30. We will be gathering outdoors at an IE member’s house in Kirkland. The address will be provided to all who register at this link. We will be hearing from trans rights activist Bryce Cannatelli. In preparation, we would encourage you to check out Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, or this Transgender Reading list to learn more. You must register on Eventbrite to attend this in-person event.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Decline to sign and spread the word!

From Olympia Indivisible

WA State “parents rights” advocates are collecting signatures for Referendum R101 that seeks a statewide ballot measure in 2023 for voters to approve or reject SB 5599. SB 5599 removes barriers to safe shelter for youths that seek gender-affirming or reproductive health care and was passed by our legislature and signed into law by Governor Inslee.

The Everett Herald editorial “Ballot measure isn’t about parental rights” states: “Voters asked to sign the referendum petition should decline. Should the referendum make the ballot, they should vote to affirm the law.”

As stated by the Southern Poverty Law Group (SPLC): Today’s so-called parental rights activists rhetoric takes on marked anti-LGBTQ, racist and nationalist themes while excluding from their parental concern large demographic segments of American society. In this Crosscut article on SB 5599, Senator Marko Liias and others point to a recent New York Times report outlining how national right-wing groups are using the issue to capture high emotions amid a broad shift in gender norms. It is being widely distorted and presented as an anti-parent bill, with claims that the bill would result in children being legally taken from their parents if they did not consent to their child’s “gender transition.” None of this is true, as this article explains.

Do not sign Referendum 101 in public or online.

Help spread the word about the misinformation surrounding the new law.

Action 2– Tell Congress: Pass a Permanent Solution for Immigrant Youth

From NILC Immigrant Justice Fund

Some 580,000 individuals make up the current DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) population, and they live in communities all over the U.S. Last week, a federal judge held a hearing in a case in which Texas and eight other Republican-led states are looking to completely shut down DACA and expose community members to the threat of deportation. The judge’s ruling on the legality of DACA will come any day now. Congress has stalled on providing a pathway to citizenship for these immigrants, despite there being a bill introduced in the Senate (S.365 – Dream Act of 2023) back in February. Neither of our Senators have co-sponsored the bill. Our representatives need to hear us loud and clear: We cannot wait for another court decision to determine the futures of immigrant youth in this country. We need the permanency and stability of a pathway to citizenship NOW.

☎ Sample Script:

I am writing/calling as your constituent from [CITY, ZIP] to urge you to take swift action on DACA. The forthcoming court ruling out of Texas makes it clear that the only path forward is for Congress to follow through on its commitments and deliver a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth.

DACA is a successful and commonsense policy that has transformed lives, improved our economy, and strengthened our nation. It has allowed hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to pursue their dreams and contribute to this country, which is their home.

Immigrant youth need the permanency and stability of a pathway to citizenship. The public widely supports this solution, and it is now up to Congress to act. Please work together to do what is right for immigrant youth and for our country. Please sign on as a co-sponsor to the bill S.365 also known as the Dream Act of 2023.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

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For the Week of June 5, 2023

???? Celebrate our LGBTQ2+ Eastside community through art and storytelling at the Rainbow on the Eastside – 2023 Pride Month Art Show. It will be held on June 8th, from 6-8 pm at Centro Cultural Mexicano (7945 Gilman St, Redmond, WA 98052-3839) There will be live music, food, and special giveaways. There is no cost and all ages are welcome!

???? On Saturday June 17th there will be an event honoring Juneteenth at Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland, starting at 11:30 am. There are many activities planned, including a performance by the fantastic Delbert Richardson and his Unspoken Truths American History Traveling Museum. Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help with this event. If you are available you can let them know by filling out this form.

???? Please mark your calendars for our next group meeting on June 25th from 4:00- 5:30. We will be gathering outdoors at an IE member’s house in Kirkland. The address will be provided to all who register at this link. We will be hearing from trans rights activist Bryce Cannatelli. In preparation, we would encourage you to check out Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, or this Transgender Reading list to learn more. You must register on Eventbrite to attend this in person event.

???? The latest Washington Indivisible Podcast features an interview with Arezou Bagan and Azadeh Forouzandeh, two women activists with the Voice of Iran. This is a non-partisan, multi-faith advocacy group that supports and amplifies the voice of the Iranian people as they fight for basic human rights and a secular democracy. Please join host Stephan and Producer Kat to hear about the ongoing crisis.

podcast: Apple | SoundCloud video: YouTube | Facebook

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – It’s not too soon to learn about Indivisible’s plans for the 2024 election

The national organization of Indivisible (our ‘parent’ organization) has a plan to take back the House in 2024, which Republicans hold by just nine seats. The project is called Unrepresentatives and focuses on eighteen Republicans who won districts in the House in 2022 that President Biden carried in 2020. These seats are in generally Democratic-leaning districts and the Republicans who won pitched their campaigns accordingly to appeal to moderates. Once in power, however, they have supported every bad idea that has come out of Republican leadership in the House since they were elected.

The campaign’s strategy is to hold the eighteen to account by exposing their support for extremist positions via their votes in the House. Indivisible will use the grass-roots power of its groups that are already in the districts and, in combination with its national resources, work to bring their actions to both local and national attention.

There are a couple of ways to help at this early stage. Donations are of course always needed to set up and maintain a project of this scale. Another way is to sign up for text banking. Indivisible is re-launching its peer to peer textbanking outreach campaign to engage voters across these eighteen districts to take action with Indivisibles in their area and mobilize locally to flip their seats. It’s a technique that they have used before to great effect.

Check out the website, learn about the Unrepresentatives and consider signing up for early training to help unseat these candidates and take back the House in 2024.

Action 2– Tell Attorney General Garland: Let the Youth Climate Case Be Heard!

From Our Children’s Trust

While hard work to protect the climate goes on in the legislative and executive branches (pushed by determined activists!), important fights are also happening in the courts to say that young people have a right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate. This work in the courts is a slow process, and we don’t hear about it all the time. But at certain crucial moments, our support is needed.

In 2015, 21 young Americans filed a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, against the U.S. government. They assert that the government’s fossil fuel energy system and its affirmative actions that cause climate change violate their generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and to essential public trust resources like air and water. Their case has been delayed again and again by complex moves within the judicial system.

Despite previous delays, on June 1, 2023, Federal Judge Ann Aiken, of the U.S. District Court in Oregon, granted a motion that puts the case back on track (details here). Evidence of the young people’s claims can now be heard in open court. A victory in this case would mean that U.S. climate and energy policy—whether executive or legislative in nature, and regardless of political majority or party—would need to adhere to the court’s judgment.

But these young people need support at this crucial moment! U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ may oppose this case, using an extreme legal tool (a “Writ of Mandamus”) used repeatedly during the Trump Administration. They have indicated willingness to use this tool. They need to hear that this is not acceptable.

Action 2A: Call the Department of Justice comment line at 202-353-1555. Press 1 and leave a message for Attorney General Garland. (For pronunciation of Writ of Mandamus, listen to the first few seconds of this video.)

☎ Sample Script:

My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [CITY, STATE]. My message is for Attorney General Merrick Garland: end Department of Justice interference with the trial of Juliana v. U.S. It is the right of these 21 young Americans for their evidence to finally be heard in open court regarding the unconstitutionality of the U.S. fossil fuel energy system. Do not follow the path of the Trump DOJ by filing a seventh extreme Petition for Writ of Mandamus to block this case.

It is vital that these young Americans present their evidence, which you can then cross examine and challenge as with other cases. Our DOJ must earn a reputation of opening the courthouse doors to our nation’s children, not closing those doors to our most vulnerable citizens. Juliana v. U.S. must be allowed to move forward!

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2B: Use the actions listed on the page created by Our Children’s Trust to leave a more detailed phone message or take other action. You can also use the list of resources at the bottom of that page to learn more.

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For the Week of May 29, 2023

???? June is Pride Month and as part of their celebrations the City of Kirkland will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the installation of a new crosswalk modeled after the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride flag at the entrance to Marina Park at Kirkland Avenue and Lakeshore Plaza. This will take place on June 2nd at 5 p.m. Unfortunately their Facebook post announcing this event has been subject to a host of vile comments. It would be great to have a show of support for the LGBTQ community and the City’s efforts on Friday afternoon!

???? The City of Kirkland want to hear what you think about the future of Housing and Human Services in the City. They have a short survey that you can find at this link. Your input will help to form the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

???? Do you want to help make banned books available for young people to read this summer? The organization Red Wine and Blue is proposing funding Banned Bookmobiles in areas affected by this increasing problem. They are aiming to set up twelve bookmobiles as part of their Book Ban Busters project and need help with funding. You can donate here to this worthy project.

???? Mark your calendars for our next meeting on June 25th from 4:00- 5:30. We will be gathering outdoors at an IE member’s house in Kirkland. The address will be provided to all who register at this link. We will be hearing from trans rights activist Bryce Cannatelli. In preparation, we would encourage you to check out Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, or this Transgender Reading list to learn more. You must register on Eventbrite to attend this in person event.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – [Senator Cantwell] Ask Senator Cantwell to back new legislation to establish a Task Force to regulate A.I.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the potential for A.I. to wreak havoc on many aspects of our lives is real and demands an urgent response from our legislators. This Op-Ed from Congressman Ted Lieu lays out the possibilities in stark and realistic terms. He rightly points out that there are benefits to A.I. which we already enjoy. A.I. thinks exponentially faster than humans, can analyze orders of magnitude more data than we can and sees patterns the human mind would never see.

Despite its benefits, A.I. can, and has already, caused harm. From education and media, where it can be impossible to determine if a piece is original, to its potential to create dangerous and provocative social media posts as well concerns about civil surveillance and privacy, there are increasing signs that there needs to be regulation around its use. The Biden White House has recently updated its plans to ‘Advance Responsible Artificial Intelligence Research, Development, and Deployment’, which does begin to address the problem but is likely to take a long time to produce results. Congress is also starting to address it but more urgency is required.

In April Senator Michael Bennet (D-COLO) introduced legislation to establish a cabinet level Task Force to, among other things, ‘recommend specific legislative and regulatory reforms’ as described in this one-pager. Such an entity could do much of the groundwork required for a robust response to address the issues around A.I. and could produce results relatively quickly. As the bill is in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, we have an opportunity to ask the Chair of the committee, Senator Maria Cantwell, to support the bill and help ensure its progress through the Senate.

Please call or email the Senator and ask her to support this legislation in any way that she can to expedite the creation of an A.I. Task Force.

☎ Sample Script:

My name is [NAME], writing from [CITY] with my concerns about the proliferation and potential for abuse of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). While there are undoubted benefits to the technology that we all use in our daily lives, the dangers of its unregulated use are too numerous and call for a robust response from Congress in order to address them.

As Chair of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, you will be aware of recent legislation (S. 1356, the Assess AI Act) introduced by Senator Michael Bennet, which proposes the establishment of a cabinet-level Task Force to address the issues presented by the increasing use of A.I. in our lives.

I am writing to urge you, as Committee Chair, to do everything that you can to support this bill and to speed its passage through your committee and the Senate. As the technology rapidly evolves, it is vital that Congress address this with the urgency that it demands.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – [Members of Congress] Ask your Member of Congress to support new legislation for Medicare for All

From healthcareforallwa.org

On May 17, Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Debbie Dingell (MI-06) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2023. The bill aims to establish a Medicare-for-all national health insurance program that would expand the existing Medicare program to everyone in the United States and allow them to obtain primary, vision, dental, reproductive, and mental healthcare; prescription drugs; substance abuse treatment; and more. The Medicare for All Act of 2023 also includes universal coverage of long-term care with no cost-sharing for older Americans and individuals with disabilities. It prioritizes home and community-based care over institutional care.

More than half of the Democratic caucus (112) in the House has signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, including 13 powerful ranking members of congressional committees. The only Washington co-sponsor is Adam Smith (CD9). If you are represented by another Member of Congress please ask them to add their name to the list and give some momentum to the movement to improve access to comprehensive healthcare for all Americans. If Representative Smith is your congressman please email him thanking him for his support of the bill.

The bill was also introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders (S.1655) and was supported by fourteen of his colleagues. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell are not co-sponsors. Please also send a message asking them to join their colleagues in supporting this legislation.

☎ Sample Script for all EXCEPT Representative Smith:

Hello,

My name is [NAME], a constituent from [CITY]. I am writing to ask you to support the Medicare For All Act (H.R. 3421/S.1655) which was recently introduced by Representatives Jayapal and Dingell and Senator Sanders. This bill seeks to establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program. We need a Medicare for All health care system that would end health disparities, effectively control costs, and assure that everyone has equal access to an excellent standard of care.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

☎ Sample Script for Representative Smith:

Hello,

My name is [NAME], a constituent from [CITY]. I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring H.R.3421, the Medicare for All Act, which was recently introduced. We need a Medicare for All health care system that would end health disparities, effectively control costs, and assure that everyone has equal access to an excellent standard of care. I appreciate your support of legislation that seeks to accomplish this goal.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

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For the Week of May 22, 2023

  • Filing week for 2023 elections has ended. To see who is running in your area, go to the VoteWA.gov Primary Elections site, choose a county, then specify the District Type (e.g. school or city). ???? We enjoyed two excellent presentations at Sunday’s group meeting. Please see the NOTES from meeting, including a link to the recording. 
  • Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Indivisible. $370 will be matched by Indivisible National! There’s one week left for us to double up to $130 more. If you’re able, please donate to Indivisible Eastside through ActBlue.
  • Care about trees in Bellevue? The Planning Commission is taking input on tree code changes now through June. Take their survey!
  • Here are your 2 actions this week.

✊ Action 1 – Tell the Washington UTC to reject PSE’s bad gas plan!

From the Washington Clean Energy Coalition
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) recently submitted its 2023 Gas Integrated Resource Plan (the second plan shown on their Current IRP Process page) to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) for approval. This 26-year plan describes how PSE will provide fossil gas to customers and meet the requirements of Washington’s 2021 Climate Commitment Act (CCA). The CCA requires the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or pay for emissions that exceed the state’s targets.

But PSE’s plan is terrible! Instead of taking steps to achieve significant emissions reductions, PSE’s “Preferred Portfolio” proposes only meager improvements. Meanwhile, the company would charge customers $10 billion to pay the CCA penalties for its enormous emissions. This would delay real progress until after 2050, putting the burden on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.

The UTC is asking the public what they think of PSE’s plan. A local non-profit called the Washington Clean Energy Coalition (WCEC), led by Don Marsh, has done research and put together two great resources: a petition and a strong letter to the UTC, analyzing PSE’s plan and advocating for better alternatives.

Action 1A: Quick and easy: sign WCEC’s Change.org petition at https://tinyurl.com/RejectPSEGas.

Action 1B: More effort, but also more impact: Write your own comments to the UTC, using the sample below and/or text from the petition. If you want more background, download WCEC’s detailed letter to the UTC. Email your comments to recordscenter@utc.wa.gov, including your name and the docket number UG-220242before June 5.

Sample email:   Subject: Docket number UG-220242

I am a PSE customer and I am very concerned about PSE’s 2023 Gas Integrated Resource Plan and its “Preferred Portfolio,” which offers only meager progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using unproven technology that isn’t available yet. Meanwhile, the company would charge customers $10 billion to pay the Climate Commitment Act penalties for its enormous emissions. In its plan, PSE rejected viable alternatives that would achieve real emissions reductions, stabilize energy costs, and avoid unproven technologies.
I strongly agree with the Washington Clean Energy Coalition’s letter, dated May 8, 2023.
Please reject PSE’s Gas Integrated Resource Plan. Thank you.
[NAME], [CITY, ZIP]
 

✊ Action 2 – Learn about Washington Community Alliance

Louise attended a fascinating presentation by Kamau Chege of Washington Community Alliance – a coalition of over 70 organizations, led by and working in communities of color. You can learn more about one of WCA’s projects by viewing the recorded presentation Data: It’s Absolutely Everything.

One of the resources Kamau demonstrates is WCA’s Elections Dashboard. Feed your inner data wonk by exploring this user-friendly visual landscape of election results backed by real data across the state. This is an amazing tool to dig deep into voter engagement across the state.  

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For the Week of May 15, 2023

  • Please join us Sunday May 21st at 3:00 pm for Indivisible Eastside’s next Group Meeting.  La Rond Baker, Legal Director for the WA State chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our featured speaker. Attorney Baker will address some of the high-profile issues that she and her team are working on in Washington including voting rights protection and access to voting for those currently and formerly incarcerated. She will also share their work around protester rights, including litigation around the BLM protests, and will address the book banning issues she sees in our state. Please take this opportunity by signing up at https://bit.ly/IE-Monthly-2023.
  •  Thank you to the 6 people who have donated $260 to Indivisible Eastside! $150 of that is eligible to be matched by Indivisible National, as well as any contributions we receive until the end of May. We’re hoping this will enable us to operate Mailchimp, Zoom, and our website for at least a year without asking for funds again. If you’re able, please donate to Indivisible Eastside through ActBlue. $10, $20 or $30 will make a difference!
  •  Do you live, work, or play in Bellevue? IE Member Chris Randals needs some help to support a bigger, bolder, and better bicycle network in Bellevue. Information HERE.

Here are your 2 actions this week.

✊ Action 1 – Oppose Further Criminalization of Drug Possession

From Washington Indivisible Legislative Action

Legislators are holding a special session beginning May 16 to pass legislation determining the penalties for drug possession. Current law expires July 1, and because the legislature didn’t pass a bill during the regular session, many local jurisdictions have already begun imposing penalties of their own.

Right now, legislators are leaning toward making simple possession a gross misdemeanor and imposing other restrictions that will make harm reduction more difficult. This approach reflects a continuation of the failed War on Drugs that has disproportionately impacted people of color.

Let your legislators know that you support an evidence-based approach recognizing that substance use disorder is a public health issue, and sending people to jail is not the answer.

  • Derek Stanford (1st LD): Olympia 360-786-7600 | EMAIL
  • Davina Williams Duerr (1st LD): Olympia 360-786-7928 | EMAIL
  • Shelley Kloba (1st LD): Olympia 360-786-7900 | EMAIL
  • Mark Mullet (5th LD): Olympia 360-786-7608 | EMAIL
  • Bill Ramos (5th LD): Olympia 360-786-7852 | EMAIL
  • Lisa Callan (5th LD): Olympia 360-786-7876 | EMAIL
  • Lisa Wellman (41st LD): Olympia 360-786-7641 | EMAIL
  • Tana Senn (41st LD): Olympia 360-786-7894 | Bellevue 425-453-3037 | EMAIL
  • My-Linh Thai (41st LD): Olympia 360-786-7926 | EMAIL
  • Manka Dhingra (45th LD): Olympia 360-786-7672 | EMAIL
  • Roger Goodman (45th LD): Olympia 360-786-7878 | Kirkland 425-739-1810 | EMAIL
  • Larry Springer (45th LD): Olympia 360-786-7822 | EMAIL
  • Patty Kuderer (48th LD): Olympia 360-786-7694 | EMAIL
  • Vandana Slatter (48th LD): Olympia 360-786-7936 | Bellevue 425-453-6424 | EMAIL
  • Amy Walen (48th LD): Olympia 360-786-7848 |Kirkland 425-822-1114| EMAIL

Suggested script (please add one or more of the talking points):

Hello, I’m a constituent of yours living in [CITY, ZIP]. Substance use disorder is a public health issue that should not be handled by the criminal justice system. We know that our BIPOC communities have been disproportionately impacted by laws criminalizing drug possession, and we also know that research shows that throwing people in jail does not help people recover or make our communities safer.

Please ensure that any legislation passed during the special session focuses on treatment-based solutions instead of punitive ones. Thank you.

[NAME]

Additional Talking Points:

  • Washington has criminalized the acquisition and use of certain drugs for over a century, and this approach has neither decreased rates of substance use disorder nor reversed the current overdose epidemic.
  • Increasing penalties for drug possession and relying on jails and prosecution as a pathway to treatment simply repeats the mistakes of the past and continues the failed legacy and racist outcomes of the War on Drugs.
  • Providing community care is a more effective method of preventing overdose-related deaths and other harms caused by substance use disorders.
  • The bill’s emphasis on punishment allows law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts to be the gatekeepers to services, instead of health care providers.

✊ Action 2 – Important Federal Action on Snake River Salmon Recovery

From Snohomish County Indivisible

An important comment window to the Federal Government Mediation & Conciliation Process (FMCS) on Snake River salmon recovery has recently opened. These comments will be viewed within the Federal Government by a broad range of agencies so if you have commented directly to President Biden or Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the past it will be important to repeat your comments. You can, however, just cut and paste from your previous work.

Washington state secured 7.5 million dollars in its 2023-25 budget to fund steps in replacing the services of the lower Snake River dams, but it cannot be achieved by state actions alone. We must address in unison; we need federal action! For background information, take a look at the FAQ from Our Northwest Opportunity.

The deadline for comments is July 3, but the earlier the better. 

Action: Begin by going to this Federal Register notice link. Click on the green button at the top labeled “Submit A Formal Comment” and follow the instructions (lower on the notice there are other links for commenting but they use a different tool that is hard to follow so we recommend avoiding those and using the green button).

Sample text: Northwest salmon and steelhead are on the brink of extinction, and our Southern Resident Orcas are starving.  The greatest opportunity we have to prevent extinction and restore salmon abundance is to remove the four lower Snake River dams. The recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report identified dam removal as an urgently needed “centerpiece action” for salmon and steelhead restoration.  Senator Murray and Governor Inslee concluded their in-depth process which confirms the importance of removing the dams.

It’s time to take action. I strongly support the removal of the lower Snake River dams.

Calendar of Events

Save the Date

For the Week of May 8, 2023

  • King County is offering several ‘Repair Events’, where you can take small household and personal items to be fixed by skilled volunteers at King County libraries, instead of sending them to the landfill. Please check their website or the Calendar section for local dates.
  • Speaking of libraries, congratulations and thanks to Seattle Public Libraries, who have opened their collection of e-books and audiobooks to teens and young adults ages 13 to 26 living anywhere in the U.S. as part of the Books Unbanned project started by Brooklyn Public Library.
  • Are you interested in learning about affordable housing in our region? May 7-13 is Affordable Housing Week, with the theme being Housing Equity. Please check the event calendar for a full schedule of education and advocacy events. Of particular interest to the Eastside are the sessions on Transit Oriented Development (May 9) and Exclusion on the Eastside (May 11).

Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – [US HOUSE]  Ask your Representative to support a bill to regulate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in political ads

In recent weeks we have seen examples of the use of AI in political ads. A notable one is the Republican National Committee’s response to President Biden’s announcement that he would be running for re-election. This comically dystopian ad was made entirely by AI imagery. Such political ads are likely to become more common as AI technology proliferates. While the RNC ad did have a small disclaimer that its content was generated by AI, there is no requirement for one to be in place. Republicans in particular have had a distant relationship with truth and accuracy in recent years but the increasing accessibility of these sophisticated tools can only lead to further use of deception as a campaign tool.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) has just introduced a bill that would require disclosure of AI-generated content in political ads. The bill, known as the the REAL Political Ads Act (H.R. 3044), would amend federal campaign finance law to require that political ads include a statement disclosing any use of AI-generated imagery. Interestingly, a similar bill (SB5152) recently passed in the Washington state legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Congresswoman Clarke’s bill is brand new and so far does not have any co-sponsors. It would be great to see our congressional Representatives sign on in support of it. Please send them a message indicating that you support honesty in campaign advertisements and asking them to co-sponsor H.R.3044.

☎ Sample Script (please edit to personalize):

Hello,

My name is [NAME], a constituent from [CITY]. I am writing/calling to ask you to sign on to co-sponsor H.R. 3044, the REAL Political Ads Act, recently introduced by Representative Yvette Clarke. This bill seeks to amend federal campaign finance law to require that political ads include a statement disclosing any use of AI-generated imagery. As we have seen recently from the RNC, it is increasingly easy for campaigns to produce deceptive ads, with no requirement for disclosure about their use of AI. I am concerned about the impact of such ads on voters, particularly with the 2024 election just around the corner.

Please support Representative Clarke and co-sponsor H.R. 3044.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – Respond to King County’s survey on budget priorities

From Councilmember Claudia Balducci

In the coming years, King County’s General Fund will be facing a $100 million shortfall. In response, King County will be considering an adjustment to this fall’s mid-biennial budget that will include cuts to General Fund programs. These advance cuts will help prevent deeper cuts in the upcoming 2025-26 biennial budget and give time for affected programs to wind down.

These budget cuts are required because of Washington state’s regressive tax system that forces local governments to rely on limited resources like property and sales tax to fund essential services.

In advance of making these hard budget choices, King County has launched a community survey to hear from you about what discretionary programs you want to prioritize. This feedback will inform the Executive and King County Council’s policy and funding decisions.

Please provide input to the county on funding priorities by responding to the survey before May 18.

At about 14% of the total budget, the King County General Fund pays for functions of county government, such as the Sheriff’s office, and critical day-to-day services that are not supported by dedicated revenues. Nearly three quarters of the General Fund (72%) goes to support state-mandated criminal justice and public safety services. The remainder pays for other programs, such as health and human services. More details available here.

Calendar of Events

Save the Date

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 

For the Week of May 1, 2023

????  As Mental Health Awareness Month, May is a time to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues, as well as highlighting the ways how mental illness and addiction can affect all of us. Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning and affect one in five Americans

Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to let everyone know that mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race, religion, or income. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing and cannot be overcome through willpower. But they are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

????  Bellevue residents, there are a couple of opportunities coming up to participate in discussions about the city’s plans.

  • The Comprehensive Planning Team will be hosting a Virtual Lunch & Learn on Wed, May 3 from 12 – 1 p.m, where they will offer an opportunity to discuss the results of their recent survey on the city’s Comprehensive Plan. 
  • Also related to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been released. This considers the potential environmental impacts of Bellevue’s plan for growth over the next 20 years, and residents are invited to submit comments until June 12.

???? Once again, the Calendar section is packed with interesting events. Don’t forget to check it out!

???? Here are your 2 actions this week. As we’re in a legislative lull, this edition of the newsletter will be devoted to actions connected to Mental Health Awareness Month.

Action 1 – Continue to support provisions for better access to behavioral health care

Action 1a – From NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

As we begin Mental Health Awareness Month, we applaud King County voters for passing the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers levy, as well as our state legislature for passing several bills that will enhance options for care and treatment for people with behavioral health needs. These measures will go a long way towards addressing the lack of options for those seeking care in our state. 

Unfortunately there are still many deficiencies in services for those in need of resources. People with mental illness are overrepresented in our nation’s jails and prisons. When someone is released from incarceration, they face additional challenges as they return home to their communities, including increased risk for overdose and death by suicide in the weeks following release. Without connections to community mental health supports and health care, people transitioning into the community are unfortunately also at a higher risk of returning to involvement with the justice system. 

The Reentry Act (HR2400/S1165) would change that. This bipartisan legislation would provide Medicaid coverage for health care, including substance use and mental health treatment, for people who are incarcerated starting 30 days before their release. That means people would better be able to connect to and access community mental health services. This bill has the potential to make a significant difference in the health and wellbeing of people with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Please take advantage of this easy tool provided by NAMI to email your Senators and Representative, none of whom have co-sponsored this bill, to ask them to do so and provide some momentum for this important legislation.

Action 1b – Join Representative Adam Smith for an online panel discussion on May 2 at 6:00 pm on expanding access to quality behavioral health care resources. He will be joined by community leaders from organizations working to meet the behavioral health needs of people in our region. The discussion will focus on the behavioral health crisis we face today and share insights on the next steps we should take to address it. Please RSVP here to attend. You can submit questions for the panel in advance here.

We thank Representative Smith for his interest and involvement in addressing behavioral health needs at the federal level. He has just introduced H.R. 2977 – ‘To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants for the purpose of establishing, operating, or expanding one-stop crisis facilities, and for other purposes’.

Action 2 – Learn how you can be trained in Mental Health First Aid

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Several of us in Indivisible Eastside have taken this course and found it to be a valuable source of advice and practical action. The training offers an opportunity to practice through role plays, scenarios, and activities and makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation. No previous experience in the field is neccessary. Just as with CPR training, the idea is to be able to help in a crisis situation, at various levels, with no expectation of diagnosis or further treatment by the first aider. 

Please visit the website of mentalhealthfirstaid.org for an overview and follow the link to ‘Get trained’.

Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 

For the Week of Apr 24, 2023

???? In case you missed it – Notes and Slides from yesterday’s excellent In-Person Meeting! 

???? To celebrate Earth Day, help friends and family make good choices and live litter free. The WA Dept. of Ecology has partnered with Fred Meyer stores across Washington to give away free car litter bags, available at the front customer service counter at Fred Meyer locations. 

???? Don’t miss the Calendar section below – there are LOADS of great learning opportunities. And just below the Calendar see the most recent Indivisible Podcast How We Defeat the Maga Default Crisis.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week. 

Action 1 – Learn about current threats to Washington Public Schools and join the fight

From the WIN Schools Workgroup

What’s happening:

The WIN Schools workgroup is learning that the dark-money funded Florida-based group Moms For Liberty is setting up chapters in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and other Washington counties. This group claims to be for “Parents Rights” but are in-fact ANTI-LGBTQ, ANTI-DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion), ANTI-CSE (Comprehensive Sex Education), ANTI-SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), and basically ANTI-public schools. 

What we are doing:

Louise and other members of the WIN Schools Workgroup have connected with two awesome national pro-public education organizations pushing back against M4L and other Christian National groups. Defense of Democracy is a nonpartisan group advocating for an inclusive public education system.  Stop Moms for Liberty is “fighting against the takeover of our public school system by Moms for Liberty.” For various reasons, the two groups are separate, but leaders are in communication and there’s much cross-pollination of members. On the Stop Moms for Liberty site, scroll down to learn more about M4L.

As election season approaches, voters and donors need to know which candidates’ views align with Moms For Liberty. We need to research if candidates belong to a Moms For Liberty group, or have expressed similar views online or in public comment to school district employees. Voters and donors need to know the facts in order to choose the candidate they feel will best support their public schools. 

Filing week for the November election of School Board directors is May 15-19. Although the positions are non-partisan, the candidates often have an affiliation that can be discovered with a little sleuthing. Once candidates have filed we will have a huge need for research into candidates. We can supply researchers with tips on where to look and a list of “red-flags” that would require more digging.

Join the fight by taking 1, 2 or all 3 of the following actions:

Action 1a:

Email schools@indivisibleeastside.com if you’d be interested in joining the WIN Schools workgroup and/or being a researcher in late May through mid-August. We need lots of help! Let us know your phone number, city and school district and we’ll be in touch. 

Action 1b:

Donate to one of the following organizations supporting honesty in education. 

Action 1c:

Check out and share the amazing resources and actions in Unite Against Book Bans’ Right to Read Day of Action toolkit which includes 1. read a banned book, 2. attend your school or library board meeting, 3. write a letter to your local newspaper or elected official and 4. report censorship.

Action 2 – Tell Our MoCs to Hold Clarence Thomas Accountable

From Indivisible Washington’s 8th District

Serious revelations of Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethical lapses continue to emerge. Justices must file full financial disclosure reports annually but, did Justice Thomas disclose –

  • Gifts of luxury trips worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from Harlan Crow, a billionaire from Texas with a history of donations to conservative causes and the GOP?
  • Flights on Crow’s private jet, island hopping on his superyacht, and stays at his various properties?
  • Over $686,000 that his wife, Ginni, was paid by the Heritage Foundation from 2003-2007?
  • The fact that money changed hands between Crow and Justice Thomas when Crow bought properties from Thomas and his family in 2014?

Answer: No to all of the above.

We need to have confidence that justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court follow the rules and behave ethically, and that their decisions are free from undue political influence.

Congress has a role in holding federal judges and justices accountable, and our Members of Congress have options – from public calls for resignation, Congressional hearings and investigation, to impeachment. Call your Members of Congress today and let them know that doing nothing in the case of Justice Thomas is unacceptable.

Contact your members of congress to insist on action!

☎ Sample Script:

We need to have confidence that justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court follow the rules and behave ethically, and that their decisions are free from undue political influence. Serious revelations of Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethical lapses continue to emerge. 

Congress has a role in holding federal judges and justices accountable, and you have options – from public calls for resignation, Congressional hearings and investigation, to impeachment.

Please do not let this slide. Doing nothing in the case of Justice Thomas is unacceptable.

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Background:

 Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Apr 17, 2023

???? Please join us April 23, 3-4:30 in Bellevue for our first IN PERSON Group meeting in more than 3 years! We are thrilled to be able to gather together once again with friends old and new. 

  • Giveaway: Earth Day – a small action for a big impact
  • Activity: Help write Thank You cards to Public School employees – we’ll bring all the materials and stamps.
  • Door Prizes!
  • Refreshments and time to socialize (email hello@indivisibleeastside.com if you can bring something to share)
  • Updates:
    • WA Legislative Session (session ends April 24)
    • Schools Workgroup – what’s happening in WA and around the country
    • Public Safety Workgroup
    • Celebrate Good News!
    • And more …
  • See details about location, parking, and masking HERE

???? King County and three other jurisdictions will have measures before voters. Ballots have been mailed today and Election Day is Tuesday, April 25. All ballot drop boxes across the county are open and, as always, ballots must be in by 8 p.m. sharp! Vote today!

???? Ballot alerts. King County Voters can sign-up forBallot Alerts through an online ballot tracker. Get text or email notifications about when your ballot is mailed, received at Elections HQ, when the signature has been verified and the ballot can be counted. Sign-up today!

???? The City of Kirkland is launching its new Kirkland Initiative civic engagement program in May with the goal of diversifying public participation in local government and making City Hall accessible to all.  The City is now accepting applications for the first cohort of the program. See all the details at The Kirkland Initiative.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – It is time the Equal Rights Amendment became the law of the land!

Were it not for an arbitrary, unprecedented deadline in the preamble of the Equal Rights Amendment, it would be the law of the land. House Joint Resolution 25 and Senate Joint Resolution 4 were introduced this year in the U.S. Congress to remove that deadline and affirm that all requirements have been met to be the 28th Amendment.

Please contact your Members of Congress in support of these resolutions to remove barriers for certification of the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

☎ Sample Script for Senators Murray and Cantwell:

Thank you for co-sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 4 which removes the arbitrary deadline for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). I strongly urge you to do everything you can to pass it at this critical time of increasing attacks on women’s reproductive autonomy and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Equal Rights Amendment states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” This language would affirm and enshrine gender equality in our Constitution, creating an explicit prohibition against sex discrimination in the nation’s foundational document. Seventy-five percent of Americans support the ERA.

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

☎ Sample Script for Representatives:

I strongly urge you to do everything you can to pass House Joint Resolution 25, which removes the arbitrary deadline for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

The Equal Rights Amendment states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” This language would affirm and enshrine gender equality in our Constitution, creating an explicit prohibition against sex discrimination in the nation’s foundational document. Seventy-five percent of Americans support the ERA.

Thank you.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Customize your script with additional information:

  • Certification of the ERA is broadly supported. National organizations including League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, National Organization for Women, and Planned Parenthood of America are among the more than 300 national, state, and local organizations that actively support passage of the ERA.
  • A 2020 Associated Press poll shows that about three in four Americans support the ERA. Nearly the same number of Americans, 72%, incorrectly believe men’s and women’s equal rights are guaranteed under the law as part of the Constitution. They are NOT.
  • The Joint Resolutions also have bipartisan Congressional support, and Congress must take action now.

Action 2 – Help Southwest Alaska Tribes Fight the World’s Largest Pure Gold Mine

From Earthjustice

The world’s largest pure gold mine, proposed in one of the world’s largest river deltas, has received most federal and state permits needed to begin construction. But the mine is being challenged in court.

The Donlin Gold Mine could soon be built along a tributary of the Kuskokwim River, within an ecosystem hugely important for fish, wildlife, and Alaska Native people, who have continued their traditional ways of life in the region for more than 10,000 years.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Tribes, represented by Earthjustice, are challenging Donlin in state and federal court. 

Take action: join “Mother” Kuskokwim River protectors in asking President Biden to revoke a key federal Trump-era permit allowing the filling of wetlands and requesting a more thorough environmental study for the mine.

 Calendar of Events

Save the Date

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Apr 10, 2023

???? Save the date! On Sunday April 23rd we will hold our first in-person meeting in three years. The venue is in Bellevue – we will have more details closer to the date. We plan on celebrating the good news about last week’s elections in Chicago and Wisconsin, among other things. Hope to see you there!

????  Ballots are arriving for Prop 1, the King County levy to fund 5 behavioral health crisis centers and implement other support for behavioral health needs. 

  • For information about the levy you can listen to the April 4th Hacks and Wonks podcast to hear an interview with King County Executive Dow Constantine. There are links to additional resources on the podcast home page.
  • For an opportunity to ask questions about the levy there is an educational forum offered by the Seattle Times and the League of Women Voters on Thurs April 13. (Register to attend).
  • To volunteer for the campaign you can sign up here. 

???? The City of Bellevue is looking for people to serve on a variety of boards and commissions, including Arts, Planning, and the Parks and Community Services Board. These are influential bodies who help to shape city policies. Applications can be made online and are due by April 15.

???? Earth Day is coming up on April 22! Check out the Earth Day activities in the Calendar of Events.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Ask Marriott Hotels to stand by their corporate policy and not support hate groups

In the ongoing attacks on public schools and LGBTQ rights, one organization in particular stands out for its rapid growth and relentless determination to spread their Christian nationalist ideology. Moms for Liberty started in Florida but now has groups nationwide, including King County. It purports to be a grassroots organization but is supported by major players in the right wing ecosystem. Moms for Liberty is a hate group that is anti-diversity, anti-inclusion, and anti-LGBTQ. They claim that all members of the LGBTQ community are “groomers,” an anti-Gay trope used for decades to malign and isolate the community. GLAAD (the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization) has recently added them to their Accountability Project. 

Moms for Liberty is ​​preparing to hold their national summit in Philadelphia from June 29-July 2 at the Downtown Philadelphia Marriott. Marriott has a clear corporate policy on diversity and inclusion and has been awarded a 100% score for the past nine years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for policies and practices relating to LGBTQ equality and inclusion. It is a violation of Marriott’s corporate policy and an insult to their LGBTQ employees and all Americans for them to allow Moms for Liberty to use their property.

The organization Defense of Democracy is hosting a petition to ask Marriott to refuse to allow Moms for Liberty to hold their national convention or any other event at a Marriott property. Please sign and share this petition to support the LGBTQ community and our public schools and to hold Marriott accountable.

You can learn more about Moms for Liberty on the latest Indivisible podcast, ‘How to Run for School Board (and why you should!)’

podcast: Apple | SoundCloud l video: YouTube | Facebook

Action 2 – Encourage your young friends and family to get involved in politics this summer

Action 2a – Do you know a high schooler (rising sophomore or older) or college student (or recent graduate) in the 1st or the 8th Congressional Districts who would be interested in participating in a Democratic Fellowship program this summer? If so, program participants Rep. Susan DelBene and Rep. Kim Schrier invite them to apply for the National Democracy Summer program, which was started by Rep. Jamie Raskin and is dedicated to training the next generation of political activists and leaders. The six-week program will take place from Monday, June 26, 2023 – Monday, August 7, 2023 and requires a commitment of 10-15 hours per week. Participants receive a $500 stipend for the summer. Additional information and the application for the Fellowship can be found HERE. The priority deadline to apply is April 14th.

Action 2b – Do you know a high school student who is curious about how cities grow, change, and develop? Have you ever wondered how governments decide where train lines go? Do you have ideas about how to make our communities better places for everyone? If so, you should apply for the Summer Planning Academy (SPA)! Details at Summer Planning Academy (SPA): Apply Now!

Action 2c – The City of Bellevue is looking for diverse youth and adult candidates for 2023-2024 Bellevue Youth Link Board openings. The City of Bellevue encourages anyone interested to apply online by 5 p.m., Monday, May 15.

Calendar of Events

Save the Date

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Apr 3, 2023

???? Save the date! On April 23rd we will hold our first in-person meeting in three years! Along with presenters and our usual great discussion, we’ll have a celebration of the indictment (at last!) of a certain former president. Details to come.

???? Please continue to advocate for Prop 1,  the King County levy to fund 5 behavioral health crisis centers and other support for behavioral health needs. See our meeting notes from our March meeting which include a recording and helpful links if you were not able to attend. There are volunteer opportunities starting this week to help the campaign. Please sign up here if you are interested. Election Day is just three weeks away, on April 25th!

???? Indivisible Eastside is now part of the ActBlue universe for fundraising purposes, and as such is eligible for Indivisible National’s fundraising matching program. For the months of April and May, our National organization will match all funds raised dollar for dollar. If you have been thinking about donating this would be a great time to do so! We appreciate all of our members and their support, financial and otherwise – thank you! Indivisible Eastside ActBlue Donation Page

???? If you live in Kirkland, your city council is asking for your input to a Sustainability, Climate and Environment Survey. This will help to Identify key issues to study during the Comprehensive Plan amendment process.

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Add your voice to the fight against the Alaska Willow Project

Environmental and indigenous groups have filed two separate lawsuits challenging the enormous Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope after the Biden administration approved the oil drilling venture recently, calling into question the administration’s climate policies. The project’s sheer size is stunning. It is slated to produce a peak of 180,000 barrels of oil per day, roughly 40 percent of all current daily production in Alaska. At a time when scientists say emissions must start to drop to address climate change, Willow would lock in an estimated 9.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year — equal to driving nearly 2 million gas-powered cars — for potentially 30 years. 

Please consider adding your voice to the thousands who have already spoken up in opposition to the Willow Project. Many climate and environmental organizations have a format for you to participate. Among them are protectthearctic.org, sierraclub.org and earthjustice.org. Please choose an action that suits you and, if you are able, consider donating to one or more of these organizations to support their legal work to stop the Willow Project.

You can also write a letter to President Biden at:

The Whitehouse

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senator Maria Cantwell has been a strong voice against this development and released a statement after the decision to proceed was announced. If you would like to thank her for her stand you can contact her at:

✊ Action 2 – Ask Lawmakers to adjust their budget proposals to address the homeless crisis

From the WA Low Income Housing Alliance

In Washington state, document recording fees are the state’s main source of funding for all homelessness services. But the state is facing a loss of up to 50% of these funds, because of the decrease in real estate activity and the associated document recording fees. If the operating budget doesn’t make up the difference, every county in the state will experience a significant reduction in homelessness funding starting this July. With a growing crisis and an already underfunded homelessness prevention sector, cuts are unacceptable.

Budget negotiations in the House and the Senate will be happening in Olympia over the next few weeks. Both operating budgets need to make up the revenue shortage from document recording fees that are a primary source of funds for homeless services across the state. Please use this form to send a letter to your lawmakers today in support of fully funding homelessness services. Thank you.

 Calendar of Events

Save the Date

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Mar 27, 2023

???? At our March meeting, King County councilmember Girmay Zahilay spoke about the King County Levy to fund 5 behavioral health crisis centers and other support for behavioral health needs. See our meeting notes which include a recording if you were not able to attend. 

???? Good news! The WA Supreme Court has upheld the Capital Gains tax passed in 2022. It applies a 7% tax on profits above $250,000 on the sale of financial assets such as stocks and bonds. It does not apply to real estate or retirement accounts. The tax is projected to bring in about $1 billion in the upcoming two-year budget. “Today’s decision provides much needed certainty for budget writers as the Legislature continues to craft our state’s next two-year operating budget,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “We are eager to expand support for working families, and today’s ruling locks in dedicated funding to increase access to affordable early learning and child care.”

???? Take Action Network (TAN) Training offered by Kevin L of Indivisible Bellingham 

???? Here are your 2 actions this week. 

Action 1 – Voice your support of 2 Gun Safety Bills before the March 28 10:30 am Hearing

From Washington Indivisible Legislative Action (WILA)

Two Gun Safety bills, HB 1240 and HB 1143, will be voted on in executive session in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 28. As there is strong organized opposition (for example HB 1240 sign-ins Pro: 1683 Con: 6183), it’s important to voice your support for these bills to ban assault weapons and require safety training and a waiting period for firearms purchases. 

Senator Dhingra and Senator Kuderer serve on this committee and are co-sponsors of the companion senate bills SB 5265 and SB 5211. Senator Wellman is a co-sponsor of SB 5265. Let them know we have their backs!

???? Sen. Derek Stanford (1st LD): Olympia 360-786-7600 | EMAIL

???? Sen. Mark Mullet (5th LD): Olympia 360-786-7608 | EMAIL

???? Sen. Lisa Wellman (41st LD): Olympia 360-786-7641 | EMAIL

???? Sen. Manka Dhingra (45th LD): Olympia 360-786-7672 | EMAIL

???? Sen. Patty Kuderer (48th LD): Olympia 360-786-7694 | EMAIL

☎ Sample Script

I want you to know that I strongly support HB 1240 and HB 1143. 

HB 1240 prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, selling, and offering for sale of assault weapons.  HB 1143 requires firearms safety training and a 10-day waiting period. It requires a background check before firearms can be transferred, and it updates more consistent firearms transfer and background check procedures.

These changes will make our communities safer from gun violence.

[For Senator Dhingra and Senator Kuderer, ADD:]

Please ensure these bills are passed out of the Law & Justice committee on March 28.  Thank you for co-sponsoring the companion bills SB 5265 and SB 5211.

[For other senators, ADD:]

Please vote YES when these bills come up for a vote. Thank you for doing all you can to protect Washingtonians from gun violence.

Thank you,

[NAME]

[CITY, ZIP]

Action 2 – Help Protect and Expand Immigration Legal Services

From Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP)

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is one of several organizations facing the prospect of significant cuts in funding unless state legislators take action in the coming weeks. Governor Inslee is proposing to cut funding for immigration assistance services at a time when the need has grown significantly and the cost of providing these services is growing. Please support the request of a coalition of organizations led by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to expand immigration and naturalization funding in the upcoming budget.

Write your representatives and senator to prevent significant cuts to immigration legal service and services to victims of crime. Basic language is provided below but please personalize the message as much as you can as this will be most effective:

☎ Sample Script:

I am writing/calling to urge you to ensure that immigration and naturalization assistance is protected and expanded in the state budget. I was disappointed to learn that Governor Inslee is proposing to cut funding for immigration assistance services at a time when the need has grown significantly. Please restore and expand funding for the Legal Support and Community Safety program, funding for the Washington New Americans program and for the DSHS Naturalization program.

I am also asking you to protect critical services to victims of crime in our state by fully funding the $132 million request for crime victim services. I am deeply concerned about the potential for cuts to services that support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. This funding will help protect the stability and continuity of survivor services.

Thank you,

[NAME],

[CITY]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Background: Help for Crime Victims drops to ‘Crisis Level’ in WA

Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Mar 20, 2023

???? Please join us Sun, Mar 26, 3-4:30 pm for Indivisible Eastside group meeting. We’ll be hearing from King County councilmember Girmay Zahilay who will speak about the King County Levy to fund 5 behavioral health crisis centers and other support for behavioral health needs.

???? Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin joined The Rachel Maddow Show on March 7th to discuss the launch of Unrepresentatives, a program to take back the House by targeting the 18 GOP members of Congress who represent districts that President Biden won in 2020. Learn more and get involved at unrepresentative18.org

???? The latest Washington Indivisible Podcast has dropped: Can Washington Protect Out-of-State Abortion Rights? listen here: Apple | SoundCloud or view here: YouTube | Facebook

???? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Stand with Native youth to prevent salmon extinction

From Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

In 2021 The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Youth Council began a petition to the Biden Administration advocating recovery of salmon and other species by breaching the lower Snake River dams. Help CTUIR youth reach their goal of 35,000 signatures before April 15, the date they travel to Washington DC and present their petition. Go to the CTUIR Youth Council’s Change.org page to sign the petition.

“America made a deal and promised that we would be able to fish forever. We can’t fish if there aren’t any salmon left.” – Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Youth Leadership Council in their letter to President Biden

Action 2 – Continue pressure on Walgreens to restore access to abortion medication

From Chop Wood Carry Water Substack March 6 and March 7

This is a follow on to last week’s action ✊ Ask Governor Inslee to Join California in Shunning Walgreens. Walgreens has decided to collude with politicians who want to decree what a woman can and can’t do with her own care. If you’re angry about this, please take one or both actions below (and last week’s action if you haven’t already).

Action 2a. Call the office of the Walgreens CEO Rosalind Gates Brewer to protest the new policy and to inform Walgreens that you will cease shopping in their stores until the policy is repealed.  

Rosalind Gates Brewer, Walgreens’ CEO, at 847-315-2500. You’ll get an operator – ask for the CEO’s office. 

☎ Sample Script:

My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [CITY, STATE] because I am very upset about Walgreens’ decision to stop selling abortion pills. Why is your company playing politics with my healthcare? I will not be shopping at Walgreens or any of its subsidiaries until you reverse this decision, and I’m going to encourage everyone I know to do the same. Thanks.

Action 2b. Click to Email Senior Vice President, Pharmacy and Healthcare Rick Gates and Senior Vice President, Operations Lisa Badgley

(or paste these addresses into your email program: lisa.badgley@walgreens.com, rick.gates@walgreens.com, wcrexecresponse@walgreens.com)

Subject Line: Restore access to safe, legal abortion medication

☎ Sample Script:

To the Leadership Team at Walgreens,

I’m writing because I’m appalled that, due to pressure from Republican Attorneys General, Walgreens has chosen to stop selling the abortion medication Mifepristone in 10 states where abortion remains legal. This decision is cowardly and appalling, as pregnant people will be placed in horrible and even dangerous situations because you chose not to help when you could. 

An article in Popular Information reported that Walgreens has donated $80,030 to the Republican Attorney Generals Association (RAGA) and $123,500 to 39 members of Congress who received a failing grade in the latest scorecard from NARAL Pro-Choice America. This group includes 12 co-sponsors of the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2021, a bill that would ban abortion nationwide after 6 weeks — before many women know they are pregnant.

Your recent actions, combined with your generous donations to anti-choice politicians, prove that Walgreens does NOT care about the healthcare of 50% of the population, but instead stands against reproductive freedom. 

Until you restore access to safe and legal Mifepristone, I will stop shopping at your stores and encourage others to do the same.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

[CITY, STATE]

Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Mar 13, 2023

???? The state legislature has passed the halfway mark, with most bills either moving on to the opposite chamber or dying. While there have been some great bills passed (yay assault weapons ban and middle housing!), there have been some disappointments too (e.g. most police accountability bills) and some interesting moves by Democratic leaders. If you have questions for your state legislators, this is the season for Town Halls. Please check the Calendar section to see what we could find for Eastside districts. Not all districts have them scheduled so if that’s the case in your LD you could ask your legislators why!

For an overview of messaging on key legislative bills please listen to the latest Indivisible podcast featuring Reiny Cohen of Fuse WA. 

Podcast:  AppleSoundcloud  Video: YouTube | Facebook

???? If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch the presentation by Eastside For All (and others) on the History of Exclusion on the Eastside, you can now watch it on YouTube. It’s a fascinating deep dive into the history of East King County through a racial equity, transportation, and affordable housing lens.

???? Here are your 3 actions this week. 

Action 1 – Ask Governor Inslee to Join California in Shunning Walgreens

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is officially pulling back the renewal of a $54 million state contract with Walgreens after the company said it will not dispense the drug Mifepristone in four states where the drug remains legal. The decision comes after attorneys general in 21 states, mostly with Republican governors, have warned Walgreens and CVS they could face legal consequences if they sell abortion pills in their states.

Mifepristone is a pill that, when combined with another pill, will end a pregnancy. The USDA approved the pill in 2000 for use in up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Today, more than half of all abortions in the U.S. are done by pills, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. Mifepristone has also shown promise in trials for other health conditions such as cancer and PTSD. Those trials are now in jeopardy as its availability is compromised.   

This latest attack on reproductive healthcare is just part of a widespread right wing plan to shut down  access to such care nationwide. Mifepristone is also the target of a lawsuit that could be decided any day now which could ban the drug entirely, even in states where abortion is still legal. 

While that lawsuit plays out we must ask our elected officials to do everything that they can to protect access to this important drug. Please take action to ask Governor Inslee to pull our state out of any contracts with Walgreens and show support for Governor Newsom’s action. 

☎ Sample Script: (Please edit to personalize)

Dear Governor Inslee,

I’m a Washington resident from [CITY] and I’m concerned about reproductive healthcare in our state. Walgreens has said that it will not distribute the abortion medication, Mifepristone, even in states where abortion is legal, bowing to pressure from anti-abortion lawmakers and lawsuits.

Governor Newsom said “California won’t be doing business with Walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.”

I’m asking you to join Governor Newsom and pull our state out of any business contracts that it has with Walgreens. 

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – Help to find great school board candidates and fight the anti-public school agenda

The Nonpartisan Guide to Running For School Board – A Pro-Public School Approach (https://bit.ly/RunForSchoolBoardGuideWA) was conceived, edited, rewritten, reorganized and made beautiful by a small team of “Totally Grassroots Patriotic Pro Public School Pals”. This is meant to appeal to anyone who believes in and cares about public school, in a time when we see concerted efforts to send public funds to private or religious schools, ban books, or not allow educators to teach honest history. Please share freely with anyone you think might be thinking of serving, or wanting to help someone run for school board.

If that person is running in a bluer area, and is more progressive, there are resources to serve that type of candidate in a “Slightly Spicy Addendum for our Progressive Friends” https://bit.ly/RunForSchoolBoardAddendum

There WILL be revisions so ALWAYS share using the bit.ly links as they will always point to the latest and greatest revision.

Action 3 – Help to stop a MAGA takeover of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court

As we shared in a previous newsletter (Action 2), the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 4 will be very significant nationally for abortion rights, gerrymandering, and voting rights. Wisconsin is one of the most politically competitive states in America and often determines the outcome of the presidential election. In the Primary, two candidates emerged, one democrat-leaning (Janet Protasiewicz) and one very right wing (Dan Kelly). Despite an early fundraising lead by Protasiewicz, a Maga-funded PAC has now dropped a $3.2m donation to Kelly, which they are using to fund attack ads against her. If you are able to support the Protasiewicz campaign with a donation, it will be put to good use fighting back against these ads and telling Wisconsinites the truth about Kelly’s record.

Another way to help is by signing up to write postcards through either Mobilize or Blue Wave Postcards. If you are signed up with Postcards to Voters you should have had an email with details about their campaign for this race. Please help fight off the MAGA movement in this important election.

Calendar of Events

  • Tues Mar 14, 6:30-8 pm – Bellevue Behavioral Health and Transit Safety Community Meeting on the rollout of the Community Crisis Assistance Team (CCAT) and the proposed Police Transit Team. North Bellevue Community Center, 4063 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007. You can also join remotely by using this link. (MS Teams)
  • Thurs Mar 16, 6-7 pm – 45th LD Telephone Town Hall. The  automated system will call out to landlines in the district. All you have to do is accept the call and press *3 to ask questions. To ensure you are called, you can sign up here. If you do not receive the call, you can still participate by dialing 877-229-8493 and using ID code 116292, or by going to this website.
  • Sat, Mar 18, 10 am-1 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum at Crossroads Community Center. This will be a drop-in event. Sign up to attend.
  • Sat Mar 18, 11:30 am-1 pm – 45th LD In-Person Town Hall, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034, West Building, Auditorium
  • Sun Mar 19, 1-2:30 pm – 1st LD In-Person Town Hall, Cascadia College, Bothell
  • Tues Mar 21, Noon – 1:30 pm – Rally to Stop Dirty Banks that fund fossil fuel projects, Bellevue Downtown Park. (Also see the map for other local actions to Stop Dirty Banks.)
  • Tues Mar 21, 6-8:30 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum at East Shore Unitarian Church. This will be an interactive workshop and presentation with opportunity for in-depth, small-group discussion. Sign up to attend.
  • Thurs Mar 23, Noon-1 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum virtual event. Hear a short presentation from city staff with time for questions. Sign up to attend.
  • Thurs Mar 23, 6:30 pm – 48th LD Telephone Town Hall. Sign up at least an hour before the meeting.
  • Sat Mar 25, 11:30 am – Congressman Adam Smith Town Hall, Carco Theatre, Renton. Sign up to attend.
  • Sun, Mar 26, 3-4:30 pm – Indivisible Eastside group meeting. Register once for all 2023 meetings. 

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Mar 6, 2023

???? State legislature bill tracking continues, with many of the good bills that we support passing out of their chamber of origin. We are now at the session’s halfway mark and this will be a busy week trying to get bills over the line. Bills that don’t make it out of their chamber of origin by March 8th will be dead for this year.

 You can get an update on the legislative session so far on the new WIN podcast, featuring several expert bill trackers in various policy areas. (You might want to watch this on video, since it includes slides.) 

Podcast: Apple | SoundCloud   Video: YouTube l Facebook 

???? If you live in Bellevue there are several opportunities coming up to get involved in your city.

  • The City Council is seeking candidates for vacancies on Bellevue’s Parks & Community Services Board. Interested residents can apply online. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 15.
  • There will be three forums with varying formats seeking your input on housing options in Bellevue that will help to shape future policy. Please try to attend at least one and share your views. They are on March 18, 21, and 23. Details are in the Calendar section.
  • We welcome information from other cities to share with our members! Please send it to hello@indivisibleeastside.com.

????Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Speak up against the Biden administration’s new policy on asylum seekers

Despite President Biden vowing at the start of his term to restore a humane approach to the border crisis after the harsh immigration policies of his predecessor, his administration recently announced problematic new measures to crack down on asylum seekers. It would allow rapid deportation of anyone who had failed to request protection from another country while en route to the United States or who did not notify border authorities through a mobile app of their plans to seek asylum. 

However, the mobile app, in use since January, has been overloaded by huge demand and plagued with glitches since tens of thousands of migrants staying in shelters on the Mexican side of the border began using it. This proposed policy will present a formidable barrier to those hoping to submit applications for asylum in the US.

The ruling comes in anticipation of the May ending of Title 42, a Trump-era health emergency rule that has allowed border authorities to swiftly expel migrants back to Mexico. While the administration has attempted to distinguish its asylum ban from Trump’s policies, it has the same effect: denying asylum seekers the protection they need in the United States.

Community members are able to submit comments until March 27 on the new rule. Please use this link from the Immigration Justice Campaign to send in your comments but to make sure the government counts and considers your comment, please edit the pre-drafted suggestion to make it unique – duplicate comments will otherwise be lumped together and responded to as one.

Action 2 – Take a stand against Fox ‘News’

From IE member Sally F.

You probably read the unsurprising news recently about Rupert Murdoch acknowledging under oath that Fox News knowingly endorsed the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and that he could have stopped Fox’s falsehoods but chose not to. This disclosure emerged from the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News. 

Fox News has been described as being at the apex of the ecosystem of disinformation in this country. While we wait for the long legal process to play out, we can play a part by calling to account the advertisers who still fund Fox News’ online operation. The organization checkmyads.org explains how the system works and offers a way to contact the ad exchanges who place online advertisements for companies. They need to be told to stop placing ads with FoxNews.com, which will help defund the platform.  Here’s the link to take action: https://checkmyads.org/fox/

Calendar of Events

  • Thurs, Mar 9, 6:30-7:30 pm – 41st LD Town Hall – Facebook Live. Submit questions in advance HERE
  • Tues, Mar 14, 6:30-8 pm – Bellevue Behavioral Health and Transit Safety Community Meeting on the rollout of the Community Crisis Assistance Team (CCAT) and the proposed Police Transit Team. North Bellevue Community Center, 4063 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007. You can also join remotely by using this link. (MS Teams)
  • Sat, Mar 18, 10 am-1 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum at Crossroads Community Center. This will be a drop-in event. Sign up to attend.
  • Sat Mar 18, 11:30 am-1 pm – 45th LD In-Person Town Hall, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034, West Building, Auditorium
  • Tues, Mar 21, 6-8:30 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum at East Shore Unitarian Church. This will be an interactive workshop and presentation with opportunity for in-depth, small-group discussion. Sign up to attend.
  • Thurs, Mar 23, Noon-1 pm – Bellevue Housing Forum virtual event. Hear a short presentation from city staff with time for questions. Sign up to attend.

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

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Resources: 


For the Week of Feb 27, 2023

? As we heard at IE’s Group Meeting on Saturday, the legislative session is nearly half over. So far Washington Indivisible members reported using Take Action Network (TAN) to take 11,922 Actions! IE members were responsible for more than 10% of those! With more people using TAN we can have an even bigger impact. Are YOUR Legislators Hearing From YOU? If you’re not signed up, please see IE’s TAN website page for details on how to sign up and be part of making Washington better for all.  

? Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that health care providers, seekers, and helpers in Washington have a new avenue to obtain pro bono legal assistance to facilitate abortion access. Read the Press Release HERE.

? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Help feed and transport Refugees, including Ukrainians, Turks and Syrians

February 24, 2023, marked one year since Russia unjustly invaded Ukraine and plunged its people into a life filled with war. During this time over 7,000 civilians have been killed, 8 million people have fled to safety, and almost 5 million more remain displaced, in their own country. Stand in solidarity with all those who have been impacted by war or natural disaster, and their right to human dignity no matter the circumstance. These forced migrants still urgently need to reach safety. 

Miles4Migrants needs help to continue removing transportation barriers for millions of individuals experiencing the horrors of war, persecution, torture, and climate disaster. Your unused miles, credit card points, and cash can make a huge impact. If you can donate, your support will go to the most urgent cases, which may include Ukrainians along with refugees and asylum-seekers from all backgrounds who are in need of airfare to reach safe homes. Please help make this possible.

Acton 1a. Donate to Miles for Migrants if you can

World Central Kitchen provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes to the frontlines with urgency to start cooking and providing meals to people in need. Good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis. Your donation today will be used to support our emergency food relief efforts. 

Action 1b. Donate to World Central Kitchen if you can

Action 2 – Get Involved in the WI Supreme Court Race

From Seattle Indivisible

The April 4, 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race might be the most important election this year: if it tips the balance of power to a liberal majority, the court could un-gerrymander their legislature, legalize abortion, and defend free elections in 2024.

Take action to help progressive judge Janet Protasiewicz win the WI supreme court race. Here are three great options:

  1. Donate to WI Democrats through SwingLeft
  2. Write 5 – 20 letters to WI voters with Vote Forward, to be mailed on March 28
  3. If you’re a Postcards To Voters writer, you can request addresses for candidate Janet Protasiewicz by texting Hello to 341-444-2229

Calendar of Events(* items shared by members at the IE meeting)

  • Mon, Feb 27th, 9 – 9:30 am – * Rally to Shut Down the King County Jail * 500 Fifth Ave. Seattle – Livestream on Instagram @decrimseattle 
  • Tues, Feb 28, 6-7 pm – * Futurewise Floor Vote Frenzy Kick Off * – to mobilize 1000 Washingtonians to get 5 priority Environment and Housing bills passed off the floor. 
  • Tues, Feb 28th 6-8 pm – Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) Eastgate Community Gathering regarding the Men’s Shelter on Eastgate Way, Seattle Humane, 13212 SE Eastgate Way, Auditorium A (in Bellevue)
  • Tues, Feb 28, 7-8:30 pm, Crosscut Origins: Refuge After War Film Screening – Includes interview with LD 41 Rep My Linh Thai
  • Wed, Mar 1, 11 am – * Protest U.S. support for Saudi brutal war on Yemen * – At Rep. Adam Smith’s District Office 101 Evergreen Building, 15 S. Grady Way, Renton
  • Thurs, Mar 2, 2-5 pm – Totem Pole Journey to protect Oak Flat – East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 SE 32nd St, Bellevue
  • Thurs, Mar 2, 6 pm – * Save Coal Creek – Public Hearing Bellevue City Council on the Isola Development Proposal * – Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave NE, Bellevue
  • Thurs, Mar 9, 6:30-7:30 pm – 41st LD Town Hall – Facebook Live. Submit questions in advance HERE
  • Sat, Mar 18, 11:30 am – 2 pm 45th LD In-Person Town Hall – Lake Washington Institute of Technology, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034, West Building, Auditorium

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

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Resources: 


For the Week of Feb 20, 2023

? Please join us for our group meeting on Zoom – Feb. 25, 3-4:30. We’ll be sharing some exciting news from the WIN Schools workgroup. Register once for all 2023 online monthly meetings. Also, we’re considering going back to in person meetings – reply to this email to let us know what you think.

? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Learn what’s happening to address the healthcare cost and access crisis in WA

In an effort to address the healthcare cost and access crisis here in Washington, the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) is endorsing a slate of bills in this year’s legislative session, taking aim at things like mergers, prescription drug costs, and protections for our frontline healthcare workers.

EOI’s healthcare policy advisor, Sam Hatzenbeler, explains the big issues on the Washington Indivisible Podcast.

Action 2 – Help Support an Ordinance Banning Discrimination Based on Caste

With over 150,000 people from South Asia now calling Washington State home, caste has become a political issue, with reports of caste-based discrimination in both the public and private sectors. People from a caste-oppressed background often live closeted lives, hiding their caste to avoid discrimination, particularly in the workplace. When their caste is “outed,” they can experience devastating discrimination in work and community.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has introduced an ordinance that would ban discrimination based on caste, and if passed, Seattle would become the first city in North America to pass such legislation. On Feb 17th, 140 Washington organizations wrote a letter to the council urging them to pass it. The council is set to vote on the measure on February 21st.

Tech worker Raghav Kaushik explains the big issues regarding caste discrimination on the Washington Indivisible Podcast last week.

We are asking everyone, not just those residing in Seattle, to listen to the podcast and do a 1-minute action. 

  • Action 2a:  CLICK HERE to send a pre-drafted email to the Seattle City Council. Make sure to fill in your name and city at the bottom.
  • Action 2b: Listen or watch the Podcast: audio: Apple | SoundCloud | video: YouTube | Facebook
  • Read more about this issue HERE.

Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

… and More:

Resources: 


For the Week of Feb 13, 2023

? The news from Turkey and Syria continues to be heartbreaking. As the death toll climbs in the strongest earthquake in the region in 80 years, organizations are scrambling to provide aid across the area. Syria faces additional hurdles due to the humanitarian crisis, compounded by more than a decade of civil war.

You can help by donating to organizations of your choice if you are able – there are many to choose from. Charity Navigator rates charities on the cost-effectiveness and overall health of a charity’s programs and has recommendations for donations in a variety of categories. 

If you are looking for a local connection, the Turkish American Cultural Association in Bellevue and the Salaam Cultural Museum Medical Missions team in Seattle are combining efforts to get monetary and in-kind donations to Turkey.

? The Working Families Tax Credit launched on February 1st. This new annual tax refund for Washington residents is worth $50-$1,200 depending on your income level and how many qualifying children you have in your household. Check the Working Families Tax Credit Coalition website to see if you qualify and how to apply.

? Save the date for our next group meeting on Zoom – Feb. 25, 3-4:30. Register once for all 2023 online monthly meetings. (We’re considering going back to in person meetings – let us know what you think.)

? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Take a deep dive into issues being debated in our state legislature

The current session is moving along apace and that is where the energy of Indivisible groups locally is currently focused. For a partial overview of the session, try KUOW’s legislative issues list from January or the House Democratic Caucus’s Newsroom postings. There are some great bills under discussion and some terrible ones that we need to keep our collective eyes on. Feb 17 is the cut off date for bills to move out of their policy committee in either the House or Senate and we will update you on where things stand next week. 

Among the major policy areas with important legislation this year are Housing, Gun Safety, and Police Accountability. The Washington Indivisible Podcast team has been busy interviewing experts in all of these areas recently and you can listen to them in a variety of ways. Please take some time to hear about the hard work of advocates in these fields. They represent some of the groups that we rely on for expertise when we write Calls to Action for TAN and we are so grateful for their work.

Podcasts can be heard via  Soundcloud or Apple and watched on Facebook or YouTube. (Please note that legislation referred to will probably be at a different stage from when the podcast was recorded.)

For members who are new (welcome!) or if you haven’t participated in TAN (Take Action Network) yet, you can learn all about it HERE. For those without a TAN profile, click the green button to accept the invitation from Indivisible Eastside to sign up. For more information or if you need a refresher you can use the red and yellow buttons.

If you already have a TAN account, please take a few minutes to take the following steps: 

  • To ensure that TAN emails arrive in your inbox, click HERE and follow the directions. That’s it. You should be set to receive action emails from TAN. 
  • If you’ve changed Legislative or Congressional districts you may need to update them in TAN. From the TAN Profile → Contact Info menu, review and correct your districts if necessary.

Action 2 – Explore more great resources for Black History Month

We hope that you were able to enjoy some of the resources we shared last week for Black History Month. Here are a few more free events to learn about Black history and culture.

We know that our public libraries provide a wealth of literature that we can easily access, including curated book lists, but they also have terrific online events. Please explore some of these upcoming events to learn more about the Black experience. 

  • Precarious Lives of Free Blacks Pre-1865

    Tues Feb 21, 6-7:15 pm, Please register

    What was life like for Free Blacks prior to 1865? This presentation discusses how freedom was obtained pre-Emancipation in British, French and Spanish colonies as well as the new nation of the United States. Speaker Janice Lovelace, PhD, has more than thirty years of experience in genealogical research and has presented nationally on methodology, DNA, and ethnic minority genealogy. She is author of the National Genealogical Society’s course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective. 

  • Author Voices: Clyde W. Ford

    Wed Feb 22, 7:30-8:30 pm, Please register.

    Join a discussion with Clyde W. Ford, author of Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth. As Ford reveals, in tracing the history of almost any major American institution of power and wealth you’ll find it was created by Black Americans, or created to control them.

Throughout the month of February PBS is streaming a variety of programs that showcase Black excellence. Collectively called The Block Party, the series will showcase music, documentaries, and history.

Calendar of Events

Previously Recorded Events of Interest:

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For the Week of Feb 6, 2023

?February is Black History Month, with the theme this year being Black Resistance. We have several actions that you can take to honor, celebrate and learn about the Black experience and community  but let’s start with the words of President Barack Obama: 

 “This month should be more than just a commemoration of particular events. It’s about the shared experience of all Black Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, whose lives have shaped, challenged, and ultimately strengthened America. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.”

? In a victory for years of activism, the EPA has issued a final determination under the Clean Water Act that bans the disposal of mine waste in part of the Bristol Bay, Alaska watershed, in effect killing the Pebble Mine project. The outcome of this twelve year fight to protect the sockeye fishery there is wonderful news (although we should note that it could be undone by future politicians). We should also note that Senator Maria Cantwell has long been a champion of this cause and we thank her for her work to help to achieve this great result.

?Positions are open on many of the City of Kirkland’s Boards and Commissions. Residents are encouraged to run for a position and have a voice in the shaping of city policies. Applications are due by Feb 16. Please see the City’s website for more information.

?Be sure to check out the Calendar and Recordings section at the end of the newsletter for new additions.

?Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Celebrate and learn about Black History Month

Before it was Black History Month, “Negro History Week” was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. He is considered the “Father of Black History.” Initially, the intended purpose of “Negro History Week” was to encourage coordinated teachings of Black history in America’s public schools, although it took a little while to catch on.

How ironic that the College Board has chosen the start of Black History Month to announce that they will strip important content and resources from the AP African American Studies course. These resources include the works of writers and scholars such as Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Roderick Ferguson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and bell hooks, who have all made important contributions to discussions about race, feminism, class, and gender.

Here are some opportunities to learn about Black lives and experiences that need not be limited to this month. We’ll share more next week. 

Action 2 – Help Wisconsin to protect abortion access and ensure fair redistricting

On February 21st, Wisconsin will hold a Primary Election (with 4 candidates running) to determine the two candidates who will appear on the April 4th General Election ballot. While the race is non-partisan, two candidates identify as progressive and two identify as conservative justices. The court currently leans right so this is an opportunity to flip the balance of the court.

In decisions that they will likely start making this summer, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will determine the fate of abortion rights, gerrymandered legislative maps, the Wisconsin governor’s appointment powers and possibly influence the state’s 2024 presidential election. Currently, abortion is illegal in Wisconsin since the overturning of Roe v Wade, under a law that was enacted in 1849. This is being challenged by the state’s Democratic attorney general in a case likely to come before the court this year.

The election, which has been called ‘the most important election that nobody’s heard of’ by the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, is hugely important in this swing state. Funding to support the conservative justices, both of whom have ties to Donald Trump, is coming from some of the biggest donors to right wing causes. The Democratic party and other organizations in Wisconsin are working hard to flip their Supreme Court. A win would help to keep the focus on fighting for abortion rights across the country and help in the battle against gerrymandering, which could have national implications for future elections. 

Please find a way to support those efforts by choosing one or more of these actions. 

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of Jan 30, 2023

?It is with heartbreak that we bring you our first Action below – to read and reflect on the words of Bear Bellinger, a member of the Indivisible Black Staff Caucus, on the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols.

?Our newsletter last week, which opened with a greeting for what is typically a joyous occasion for many in our community, was written before the news broke about the mass shooting in Monterey Park, CA at a Lunar New Year gathering. We want to take a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting and their loved ones, and recommit our energies and actions to countering the many linked factors that give rise to such tragedies.

?The King Conservation District (KCD) is holding its annual Board of Supervisors Election – this year for Seat #3. The KCD Board of Supervisors oversees a roughly $8 million dollar budget paid by residents of King County through rates and charges. Voting is open now until February 14, 8 pm. Click the link to read candidate statements, and check out the recent League of Women Voters Seattle-King County candidate forum.

?Would you like to be considered for an appointed position on KCD’s Board of Supervisors? The Washington State Conservation Commission will appoint a supervisor to Seat #5  to serve on King Conservation District’s board in 2023. The window for applications for the appointed seat is January 1, 2023 through March 31, 2023.  See more details HERE and scroll down to Appointed Positions.

?Here are your 2 actions this week. 

Action 1 – Read this message from the Indivisible Black Staff Caucus

Tyre Nichols

Action 2 – Provide feedback to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA)

When we shared a survey asking you for your top 3 concerns, housing came in at #3 out of 15 categories. 

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) is tasked with developing a Five-Year Plan which will act as the agency’s roadmap through 2028.

They are seeking feedback from community members in King County on the Five-Year Plan before it is approved by KCRHA’s Implementation Board and Governing Committee. There are 7 goals and 24 strategies detailed in the plan, so they are also seeking feedback on which items are priorities for the community. The feedback collected from this survey will be shared with KCRHA’s governing bodies.

Action: 

  1. Please read the: Executive summary | Complete list of goals, strategies, initiatives, and metrics |Glossary of terms.
  2. Please complete this form by February 8, 2023 to ensure your feedback is considered.

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of Jan 23, 2023

?Happy Lunar New Year! The Lunar New Year that begins Jan. 22 ushers in the Year of the Water Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac calendar and the Year of the Cat in the Vietnamese one. It’s a time to call in prosperity, health, and good luck.

?If you missed the really engaging group meeting Saturday, you can catch up by viewing the Notes | Slides | Recording. The next meeting will be Saturday Feb 25, from 3:00 – 4:30 pm Register to attend (new link for 2023).

?Reminder: Voting opens for King Conservation District election on Tues Jan 24 at 8 am. 

?Here are your 2 actions this week. 

Action 1 – [State Legislature]  Four quick actions to support Reproductive Freedom before Jan 24th

From Washington Indivisible Legislative Action (WILA)

The landmark supreme court case Roe v. Wade was decided 50 years ago on January 22, 1973. Many people reading this witnessed the passing of this decision and the changes and opportunities it brought for reproductive rights, and we thank all who have contributed to this activism up until now. 

The Washington State Legislature is holding hearings on a number of bills to shore up and safeguard protections for Washingtonians and those from neighboring states who need reproductive healthcare. Please take these quick actions to support 4 bills. 

Please check out Indivisible Eastside’s TAN Resources page to learn more about Take Action Network (TAN) and join the hundreds of others taking quick and easy actions each day. To see more actions you can take on Gun Safety, Housing, Police Accountability, Environment and Education, visit Washington Indivisible Legislative Action’s page on TAN.

Action 2 – [US HOUSE & SENATE] Tell Congress: Don’t sign insurance industry letter promoting private plans in Medicare

From Healthcare is a Human Right (HCHR)

This week, industry lobbyists from American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) will swarm Capitol Hill asking Representatives and Senators to sign an annual letter to CMS requesting strong support for private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Healthcare is a Human Right (HCHR) is asking people to contact Congress right away urging them not to sign the AHIP letter. Last year, sadly, 80% of House Members signed the AHIP letter – including all WA Reps except Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith. 

Here is the HCHR letter sent on January 13 to WA state’s Congressional delegation, with documentation of how large insurers in the MA program have engaged in inappropriate delays and denials of care and fraudulent practices to increase their profits, essentially stealing from the Medicare Trust Fund. This is a time bomb that will eventually bankrupt Medicare at the worst possible time, when seniors and disabled folks need it most. 

You can help this week by contacting your Members of Congress asking them NOT TO SIGN ON to the AHIP letter.

Subject: Protect Medicare. Don’t sign the AHIP letter praising private medicare plans. 

☎ Sample Script:

Hello, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY]. I am calling/writing in support of Health Care Is a Human Right (HCHR) Washington’s January 13th letter urging you not to sign the annual AHIP letter addressed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, praising and supporting Medicare Advantage. 

According to research and findings from Congress, reports from the Inspector General at Health and Human Services, articles in the New York Times and other journals, large insurers in the Medicare Advantage program have engaged in inappropriate delays and denials of care, upcoding, and fraudulent practices to increase their profits. They are essentially stealing from the US Government and taxpayers which is resulting in a significant threat to the Medicare Trust Fund. In the year 2020 alone, the New York Times estimated that $12 billion was defrauded from the Medicare Trust Fund.  

For more details please see the Letter sent to you on January 13th. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h1FdCzTt4gX-L2Vcb3wB_W03W-2U6eCb/edit 

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of Jan 16, 2023

?We are looking forward to seeing you at  our first group meeting of 2023. It will be on Jan 21, from 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom. We will talk about what’s going on at the state legislature as well as hearing about the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the ongoing legal fight for abortion access. Register to attend (new link for 2023).

?Jan 16 is the celebration of what would be the 94th birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. For opportunities to celebrate his life and give service to your community please check out this list. Of particular interest is the re-opening of the Northwest African American Museum, with many events throughout the day. 

? The 2023 Legislative session started on Jan 9 and bills are already moving into and through committees. 30 Indivisible members from 12 different groups around the state are tracking bills in priority areas such as Environment, Healthcare (including mental health and reproductive health), Gun Safety, Democracy, Criminal Justice Reform, Police Accountability, Education, Housing, and Online Privacy. If you aren’t yet signed up for TAN and would like such actions delivered to your email inbox, you can sign up by going to this link.

For an explanation of all things TAN please go to this link. If you are new to the process start with the green button and for more information click on the red and yellow buttons.

? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 –  [US HOUSE] Ask your Members of Congress to support C-Span’s request to control the cameras in Congress

During the first week of this session when the Speaker was being elected to the House and before the Rules package was approved, C-SPAN was able to use its own cameras to film the proceedings. Historically the nonprofit cable network relies on a live feed provided by House officials but in this instance it was able to capture all of the drama that ensued. This turned out to be compelling viewing, as reflected in the large numbers of people who tuned in to watch. 

On Jan 12 Representative Mark Pocan introduced a resolution (HRes.35) to amend the current House rules to require the broadcasting of the House Chamber to be similar to how it was broadcast from Jan. 3-6, during the election for Speaker. He currently has the support of over twenty colleagues (including Rep. Jayapal). Multiple groups, including C-SPAN, have sent letters of support to Speaker McCarthy to allow greater camera access to the chamber.

Please call or write to your Members of Congress and ask them to support this resolution. Giving broader access to C-SPAN’S cameras would improve transparency and encourage greater engagement of the general public in the political process.

☎ Sample Script:

Hello, my name is [NAME], from [CITY]. I am calling/writing to ask you to support the resolution introduced by Representative Pocan for an amendment to the House rules to require fuller broadcasting of the House Chamber during legislative business by allowing greater camera access. As we saw during the first week of the new session of Congress, this change would allow for greater transparency and encourage greater engagement of the public with the political process.

Thank you.

[NAME]

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action 2 – Participate in decision making in your community

Action 2a – Get involved in the endorsement process for local election coverage

We hope that you have had a chance to get acquainted with the Urbanist newspaper over the past few years. Founded in 2014 as a Seattle-based online publication, it has become required reading in the areas of transportation, housing, land use, and local politics. Since last year we have had the good fortune of having increased reporting on the Eastside, something which has been severely lacking from other local media. The issues that the Urbanist addresses are equally relevant on this side of the lake and we don’t always have the information that we need to make informed decisions. 

As part of its mission to inform and educate readers the Urbanist has an Elections Committee which interviews candidates across the area and issues endorsements for local elections. The committee is currently seeking passionate, knowledgeable Eastside volunteers to help guide their political endorsements for the 2023 cycle. The more Eastside volunteers they have, the wider the coverage can be. If you are interested in participating please fill out this form and submit it by Mar. 1.

Action 2b – Most cities have websites where you can give your feedback about active projects, including the important Comprehensive Plan updates that cities are currently undergoing. A regular check of these will enable you to participate in decision making via surveys and questionnaires. You can also sign up for email notifications of updates and be ready to have your say.

Calendar of Events

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For the Week of Jan 9, 2023

? Welcome back, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to us! It’s been six years since a small group met to set up this group and I think it’s safe to say that, with a lot of hard work, we are more organized and focused than ever. The first order of business is the new session of our state legislature, which begins today, January 9th. More on that later. While we survived and even thrived in 2022, with a successful midterm performance by Democrats, don’t forget that there are no off years, as far as elections are concerned. This year will see important city, county and school board elections and we will be keeping a close eye on all of these to provide you with information and ways to take timely action. 

? With a new Congress comes a new version of the Indivisible Guide, titled A Practical Guide to Defeating MAGA. This whole movement started with a team of former congressional staffers writing a guide on navigating a Trump presidency back in 2016. Since then, Indivisible have continued to put out guides for every new Congress, updating the state of play and consolidating tactics for the new year in one place. The 2023 guide will break down the stakes, go over the game plan, explain the framing for both Democrats and Republicans, and bring together big-picture tactics for how we want to activate in the new session. Of particular interest is the section ‘What to Do if You Have a Democratic Member of Congress’ on p.18. Please take a minute to look it over!

? Save the date for our first group meeting of 2023. It will be on Jan 21, from 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom. We will talk about what’s going on at the state legislature as well as hearing from a speaker about the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade and the ongoing legal fight for abortion access. Register to attend (new link for 2023).

? Here are your 2 actions this week.

Action 1 – Get ready for the 2023 state legislative session: sign up for Take Action Network and verify that emails are arriving in your inbox

The new legislative session starts January 9 and ends April 24. This will be a ‘long session’ (105 days) which means there is more time to pass bills and negotiate a brand new biennial budget for 2023-2025, with the fiscal year starting July 1, 2023. 

The best and most effective way to be engaged is to sign up for Take Action Network (TAN), our Washington-state Indivisible portal that helps you find and organize actions to take. In 2022, Washington Indivisible Legislative Action (WILA) bill trackers published 238 Calls to Action resulting in 8,175 actions taken by users of TAN statewide. This year WILA will be tracking bills and publishing actions on TAN concerning Healthcare (including reproductive health), Environment, Gun Safety, Housing, Police Accountability, Criminal Justice, and Democracy. 

Get ready to be part of this. Click HERE to learn about TAN – or refresh your memory (red and yellow buttons). For those without a TAN profile, click the green button to accept the invitation from Indivisible Eastside to sign up.

If you already have a TAN account, please take a few minutes to take the following steps: 

  • To ensure that TAN emails arrive in your inbox, click HERE and follow the directions. That’s it. You should be set to receive action emails from TAN. 
  • If you’ve changed Legislative or Congressional districts you may need to update them in TAN. From the TAN Profile → Contact Info menu, review and correct your districts if necessary. 

The legislature will continue to offer the ability to sign in Pro or Con for a bill remotely before a committee hearing. TAN makes that action VERY easy, and leg.wa.gov allows you to keep track of these actions. 

Whether you use TAN, another organization, or both to take action, if you create an account on Leg.wa.gov, your sign-in actions will be saved to help you keep track so you don’t accidentally duplicate. Additionally, you can modify sign-ins if you changed your mind or made an error. To do this, follow the instructions on the Create a leg.wa.gov account to keep track of your sign-in actions

Action 2 – Vote in the King Conservation District election

From the League of Women Voters, Seattle King County

King Conservation District (KCD) is holding its annual Board Supervisor election Jan. 24 – Feb 14, 2023. The 2023 election has three candidates running for the position. April Brown, Csenka Favorini-Csorba, and Chris L. Porter are all competing for the seat. Candidate statements and access to online voting can be found at kingcd.org/elections. The League of Women Voters will be holding a candidate forum on Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. You can register for the Zoom webinar or watch on their YouTube channel.

For the fourth year, the King Conservation District election will primarily rely on electronic ballot access. Ballots will be available to eligible voters online from Jan. 24, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. through Feb. 14, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. Voters may return ballots electronically through the online ballot access system or reach out to KCD for assistance. Democracy Live operates the online ballot access portal and King County Elections will tabulate all ballots and report all results.   

KCD is a special purpose district committed to helping people engage in stewardship and conservation of natural resources, and serves over two million people in 34 cities and unincorporated King County (excluding the cities that are not member jurisdictions: Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific, and Skykomish). KCD assists private residents with forestry management, streamside and shoreline enhancement, farm conservation planning, and other environmental efforts. It works with cities and community organizations to support community gardens, urban forest canopy, and local food systems. KCD is funded primarily by a per-parcel rates and charges fee paid by residents of the district.

Calendar of Events

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