April 2020 Newsletter
Politics in the time of COVID-19. And some good news in the midst of crisis.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover!
Think about it – both holidays are about freedom. Both came out of historical events that involved terrible struggle. Both are about spring, feasting together, and eggs. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate right now than working hard to be freed from our current plagues. Oh yes, those plagues know who they are.
The word of the month is: Pivot.
Have you ever learned to pirouette? You fix your eye on a certain spot and then as you turn, you re-focus on that spot with each turn.
Our world changed and we learned to pivot. All of our actions are now virtual and just as effective.
A good way to keep your spirits up is to do something for others, which includes working to vote incompetent Republicans out of office. We can help with that!
We’ve saved our best news for last, so read through, sign up, and find a sweet surprise at the end.
We are phonebanking for candidates in the strategic battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Arizona. Voting rights organizations also need our help to locate and assist citizens who may have been purged from the voting rolls.
For the foreseeable future, our phonebanks are virtual. Beginners welcome! Full training and support is available. All you need is a computer or tablet, a phone, plus ear buds and power cords if you need them. Pick your available times below, RSVP, and our follow-up reply will get you started.
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Textbanks a.k.a. Texting in Place
Our Texting Team spent a good portion of the month preparing to text in place. Eight new and experienced texters joined on March 28 for an intro to texting and using Slack before we dove into a short demonstration using Resistance Labs/Spoke (explained further below). The virtual text bank was recorded for instructional purposes and can be seen here.
Text on your own. This month, the EBAA Texting Team recommends Resistance Labs. The group launched in 2017 as CA Organizes, then morphed into Rapid Resist and is now called Resistance Labs. (Rapid Resist is still their texting arm.) While their texting menu changes regularly, their platforms remain simple to use, and their training tools and tech support are excellent. The group utilizes Spoke to text, which is easy to learn. So what are they serving? Contest Every Race has become one of their main courses. Other activities, as of this writing, are:
A campaign through Black Voters Matter to reach 11 counties across Florida to ensure they have the resources they need to fight COVID-19
Raising funds for Virginia Democrats by texting past donors to the party there
Turnout 2020, a national project to recruit volunteers to call potential voters in swing states and get them to commit to vote
Resistance Labs also has an election arm, which targets primarily low-propensity and unregistered voters of color and women in important races. In 2017, they were one of the key texting groups that helped elect Alabama Senator Doug Jones.
Text with us! We anticipate texting to accelerate as the 2020 elections rev up, particularly as groups such as Working America launch their remote programs, especially in battleground states. Meanwhile, join our 4th Saturday virtual texting party April 25. We are moving just once to the 5th Saturday on May 30 to steer clear of Memorial Day weekend.
RSVP below and mark your calendars. We will send a briefing email a few days prior to the event.
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As always, please let us know how we can support you to text on your own by emailing us.
We are writing with Reclaim Our Vote to reach over a million people in Texas and other states who may have been purged from the voting rolls. Please help!
In Oakland we have presorted bags of 15 postcards, stamps, scripts and labels. You may pick them up from a porch on Arizona Street (Dimond Heights) or on Wellington St. (Glenview). A packet of 15 is $6; you can put cash or check under the mat or through the mail slot. Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal also available. Email Danielle for details and those Oakland addresses. In Berkeley & El Cerrito
For a real deal, our pals at Postcards for America-California offer a pack of beautiful cards with various red, white and blue themes at cost. Pick up packets of 100 postcards for $5 near the El Cerrito Plaza BART (sorry, no shipping available). Make arrangements by emailing them. Or buy your own postcards and stamps (at the post office or online), and get ROV addresses and scripts by emailing Mary.
Please note: ROV has requested that we not use US flag images for these cards. And of course we’ll have campaign-specific postcard projects a bit later in the year.
Fundraising can’t stop.
EBAA is launching its own Giving Circle. Every month, we provide you with a message, which you distribute to your chosen network of friends and family. Each message features two to four candidates or voting rights organizations. Our email describes why these candidates are good choices and what is important about their districts and states. You may send the email as is, just adding your signature, or you may personalize it. The message includes an ActBlue link where each person in your network has the opportunity to donate to all, some, or none of our recommended candidates and organizations. Click here for a full description of this effective and germ-free fundraising effort. The commitment is modest; the need is imperative. Contact us here to get started. In other news, The Blue Wave Boogie has been rescheduled for Friday, July 31. Mark your calendar!
We're exploring the idea of an online auction. If you have experience with hosting one, we could use some advice. Please contact Jody.
Vote by Mail Any CA registered voter is entitled to a vote-by-mail ballot. Request an absentee ballot here. If you enjoy the thrill of the polling place, you can still deliver your ballot in person.
Drum roll please… Introducing our brand new website, https://www.eastbayactivistalliance.org/. With immense gratitude to our web designer Abigail Scott, we can now promote our available actions to the world. Tell your friends! We are so proud of this beautiful creation and have many EBAA people to thank for helping this come to fruition, particularly Elissa, Raymond, Steve, Patricia, Ira, Jan, Holly, Caitlin, and Andrea. Abigail got laid off from her job last week so if you, or anyone you know, needs web design or UX/UI work (computer geeks will know what that means) please send them to her site. It’s the least we can do to say thanks for a job well done. Thank you all for your good work, for pivoting with us, and for keeping your eyes on the prize. Best wishes from your Leadership Team at East Bay Activist Alliance