• East Bay Activist Alliance

May 2020 Newsletter

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming, Which Was Already in Progress


We had a plan.

Michigan (3 candidates), North Carolina (2 candidates), Arizona (1 candidate) and fighting voter suppression wherever it may be.

Then COVID-19 hit.

We sheltered in place, figured out how to go virtual, did The Big Pivot, picked up where we left off, and here we are:

  • Three great candidates in Michigan for whom we are already calling, fundraising, and writing postcards

  • Support for Reclaim Our Vote, working to register and re-register voters of color

  • One new candidate in Arizona, see below

  • Stay tuned for our decision about which two candidates EBAA will support in North Carolina and how we plan to help empower all NC citizens to successfully cast their ballots in this southern state that is so rife with voter suppression.

  • And TONS of actions.

All we need is YOU.

See below:

  • Featured events

  • AZ candidate

  • Fundraising

  • Phonebanking

  • Postcards

  • Texting

  • Facemasks for fundraising

  • Internships

  • Vote by Mail


4 Featured Events Why Michigan? – a virtual event presented by EBAA for those of you who want to understand the whys and wherefores of our decision to play a big role in Michigan. (Hint: We select the most strategic swing districts in the nation. Michigan has 16 electoral votes, a very fragile hold election for US Senator Gary Peters, hideous voter suppression tactics, a very flippable State Legislature, and data shows it’s winnable. MI has significantly more Democrats with 47% of the population vs. Republicans who have only 34%. Please support our Michigan candidates here Keep your Zoom armchair available on May 18 at 6:00 PM (RSVP) or on May 24 at 2:00 PM. RSVP for meeting link. Zumba Fundraiser with Michigan Rep. Padma Kuppa on Thursday, May 7, 4-5PM PT. Join Representative Kuppa and Zumba Instructor Michelle Haight for a dance class fundraiser! This 40-minute low impact dance workout will be followed by a 20-minute happy hour chat. There is a $15 suggested donation to be a part of this virtual event. Register and join us! Bhangra Dance Class Fundraiser for Michigan Rep. Padma Kuppa with Detroit Folk Arts on Tuesday May 12, 4-5PM PT. Suggested donation $15. This is a virtual event - link provided after contribution here. To see examples of this fantastic Punjabi folkdance, watch videos under “What is Bhangra?”  Julia Pulver’s Mother’s Day “You Are Invited NOT To Attend” Fundraiser. Make a donation and receive a Zoom link to (not) attend a very important (wink, wink) volunteer call and instead, take a bath, smell the flowers, enjoy some mom time without (or with!) your kids. RSVP.

Introducing  EBAA’s 2020 Arizona candidate!

Coral Evans running for State House in Legislative District 6 (LD-6). Coral, the popular mayor of Flagstaff, AZ, stands for protecting and promoting education, the environment, and small businesses as her top priorities. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s level certificate in Public Management. Coral’s family has been in Northern Arizona for four generations, and she still lives with her daughter in the home her grandfather built. 

LD-6 is regularly identified as one of the top pick-up opportunities for Democrats in Arizona; the previous Democratic candidate came within 0.3% of a win. Democrats need to flip only two seats to flip the entire Arizona State House, and we look forward to making sure Coral Evans and LD-6 is one of them! She is thrilled to have our assistance, and we already have opportunities to phonebank for her candidacy.


Fundraising can’t stop.

In April, EBAA launched our first Giving Circle. In just a few weeks, you helped us raise upwards of $14,000 in small donations! This early money is crucial to help our candidates lay a solid foundation for their campaigns. Without the benefit of direct contact with voters, by far the most effective campaign tactic, we must ‘pivot and persevere’ with remote engagement.

Here’s how it works:  Every month, we provide you with a message, which you forward to your chosen network of friends and family. Each message features two to four candidates or voting rights organizations. Our email describes why these are good choices and what is important about their districts and states. You may send the email as is, just adding your signature, or add a personal note. The message includes an ActBlue link where each of your contacts may donate to all or some of our recommended candidates and organizations.

Click here for a full description of this effective and virus-free fundraising effort and support our candidates here

There are many demands for our money, but we cannot afford another ten years of gerrymandered states, and we need each vote for our candidates to also help flip the US Senate and win the White House! We are stronger together. Contact us to join the EBAA circle or start your own.


Phonebanking


Talking to voters on the phone is more important than ever in this time of COVID-19 and sheltering in place. We are in full swing, calling voters to tell them about our three wonderful candidates for the Michigan State House of Representatives: Julia Pulver (MI-39, challenger), Laurie Pohutsky (MI-19, incumbent) and Padma Kuppa (MI-41, incumbent). We've chosen these candidates not only because we believe in them, but also because their districts are nested within vulnerable federal House districts, and we desperately need to retain Gary Peters' US Senate seat. And let’s not forget Michigan's 16 valuable electoral votes. In light of the coronavirus crisis, we're making sure that voters are requesting mail-in ballots. Our candidates have asked for our help with reaching out to their constituents to do wellness checks, boost name recognition, and identify passionate activists (like us!) who might volunteer with their campaigns.

But phonebankers aren’t all work and no play. The month of May features a Michigan Monday Motown theme that starts with one person choosing a Motown tune for all the phonebankers to dance to. Last week was "Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (For Your Vote)" and this week was "Vote in the Name of Love." Next these wild people will be Dancing in the Street...

Also, we are starting to make calls for our newest candidate, Coral Evans who is running for the Arizona House. Soon we will add calls for 2 candidates in NC State House races.

Since January, we have made almost 20,000 calls for candidates PLUS around 9,000 calls for Reclaim our Vote (ROV) to help re-register voters of color and to get out the vote in southern states. Citizens who had trouble casting a vote in the primary now know to re-register and request a vote by mail ballot well before November.

More than ever, we need to talk person-to-person, voter-to-voter, to make sure that everyone can cast a ballot SAFELY this fall. Please join us - once a week or once a month.  Every call counts and we need all the help we can get.

Here are phonebanks for the next two weeks. Please scroll to the end to view the phonebanks after that. Our whole schedule is always posted here. (Please bookmark that link now.) 

  • Wed. May 6, 4:00 - 7:00 PM Winning Wednesdays & EBAA: Phonebanking, Texting, and Postcarding. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 9, 7:00 - 1:30 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 9, 10:00 - 1:00 PM Tri-Valley Phonebank for ROV. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 9, 11:00 - 1:00 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 9, 11:00 - 1:00 PM Phone Bank with Mackenzie. RSVP.

  • Sun. May 10, 1:00 - 3:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Sundays with Scott Miller. RSVP.  

  • Mon. May 11, 3:00 - 5:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Mondays with Scott Miller. RSVP.  

  • Wed. May 13, 1:30 - 4:00 PM Redwood Heights EBAA Phone Bank for Michigan. RSVP.  

  • Wed. May 13, 4:00 - 7:00 PM Winning Wednesdays & EBAA: Phonebanking, Texting, and Postcarding. RSVP.  

  • Thurs. May 14, 1:00 - 3:30 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 16, 7:00 - 1:30 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 16, 1:00 - 4:00 PM Indivisible Berkeley & EBAA for MI. RSVP.  

  • Sun. May 17, 1:00 - 3:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Sundays with Scott Miller. RSVP.  

  • Sun. May 17, 3:00 - 5:00 PM TWW Albany-Berkeley & EBAA. RSVP.  

  • Mon. May 18, 3:00 - 5:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Mondays with Scott Miller. RSVP.  

  • Wed. May 20, 4:00 - 7:00 PM Winning Wednesdays & EBAA: Phonebanking, Texting, and Postcarding. RSVP.  


Postcards

Power up your pens! Stay safely at home and help the US Postal Service while supporting EBAA candidates and causes. There are three different postcard projects happening right now.

  • We have postcards provided by Padma Kuppa's campaign. These need to be picked up from the porch at Jan’s house in North Berkeley, written (script provided), and mailed bulk in an envelope back to Jan or delivered to her porch. Then we ship them back to Michigan where they will be addressed, stamped and mailed to recipients. Make arrangements to pick up/drop off postcards via email.  And we will have thousands more to write in the next couple of months, so please keep in touch!

  • In Oakland we have presorted bags of 30 postcards, stamps, scripts, and labels for postcards for voting rights. You may get these from a porch on Arizona Street (Dimond Heights) or on Wellington St. (Glenview) for $12 each by putting cash or check under the mat or through the mail slot. Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal also available. Email Danielle for details. 

  • Such a deal! You can pick up blank postcards at a whopping $.05 each (packs of 20 for $1,) near El Cerrito BART station. Check out available designs and make arrangements via email.

Texting

Virtual Texting Parties: We held our monthly 4th Saturday texting party on April 25 in which texters who were new to Slack and TextOut received instruction and the chance to try out a sophisticated program through Open Progress. We texted almost 3000 voters in Pennsylvania and Michigan combined! Our next virtual party is scheduled for Saturday May 30 from 10AM-12 noon (the 5th Saturday to avoid Memorial Day weekend). Because we don’t know which campaigns will have texts available until a few days before the event, we will let registered guests know which campaign and how to prepare 2-3 days in advance. RSVP for the May 30 texting party here.

Learn to Text/Text On Your Own:

Folks who want to learn to text through Open Progress (and generally how to use Slack for texting) can check out Open Progress weekly training sessions.  Open Progress has many campaigns aimed at electing progressives nationwide.

For an easier texting platform (Spoke), you can learn to text and text on your own with Resistance Labs. See their varied campaigns and take the New Texter Training on your own. One of their partners is Contest Every Race, which works with state partners to recruit candidates for uncontested electoral races.

Remember – all texting campaigns are done on an as-available basis. That means one can text only for campaigns that have uploaded their information onto a platform and are monitoring the event, and these campaigns can be almost anywhere.  As always, please let us know how we can support you texting on your own by emailing us. We are here to help!


Facemasks

The Redwood Heights-EBAA sewing team has been in fabric heaven, creating lots of colorful masks and we are offering them in support of EBAA’s Giving Circle candidates and causes. Suggested donation is $10 to $15 each. Masks come in a variety of prints, have nose wire, filter pocket, and adjustable ear loops. AND for each mask you purchase, an additional one will be given to people in need in the community, in senior homes, shelters, etc.

Masks are on a first come, first served basis. We will continue to sew until we run out of supplies. Pick-up sites are in Oakland.

Here is information on how to request a mask from the Redwood Heights-EBAA Crafty Resisters.

Internships

EBAA’s internship program has taken off this year! While in past years, we were able to embed one intern each summer in campaigns in Virginia and Michigan, this year we have 7 interns hard at work already! They are providing critical part-time support to our Michigan candidates, as well as two other high priority flip races in Michigan plus the One Fair Wage campaign. We hope that they will be able to travel to work on the ground in our campaign states this summer, but that remains uncertain for now. The silver lining of sheltering at home is that students have been able to start early on volunteer recruitment, donor and endorsement research, and phonebanking.  We are grateful to these dedicated and enthusiastic young people and to our supporters who have sent them our way.

We are at capacity for interns this year, but we will still welcome student volunteers at EBAA for phonebanking and other events.  Please contact us with questions.

Support an Ally

You can also write postcards to re-elect Congressman TJ Cox in California’s CD-21 in the Central Valley. This was the last unresolved House race of 2018 after a recount that took weeks to settle and TJ won by less than 1000 votes. TJ, who understands his constituents and serves his district well, is being challenged by the same strongly backed NRA Republican who lost to him two years ago. This project requires your own postcards and your own stamps. Addresses for TJ are available via email.

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. Encourage family and friends in other states to request to vote by mail. https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

These are trying times. We are all doing the best we can. When in doubt, remember the most important thing in the world.


Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong.

Your EBAA Leadership Team


Visit us on the web eastbayactivistalliance.org

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More phonebanks…

  • Thurs. May 21, 1:00 - 3:30 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 23, 7:00 - 1:30 PM Padma Kuppa's campaign. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 23, 10:00 - 1:00 PM Tri-Valley Phonebank for ROV. RSVP.  

  • Sat. May 23, 1:30 - 4:00 PM EBAA with Jen. RSVP.  

  • Sun. May 24, 1:00 - 3:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Sundays with Scott Miller. RSVP.  

  • Mon. May 25, 3:00 - 5:00 PM EBAA: Michigan Mondays with Scott Miller.


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