Diving In Deeper
A Message from Jennifer, Gina & Jon
Welcome to the first issue of Indivisible: Conejo's weekly newsletter! Even as membership via our website has grown above 500 local citizens, and our Facebook following has neared 1,300, we've been listening to members who wanted another means of keeping track of the organization and its activities. In this weekly email, you'll always find news about our recent actions -- both the full organization, and our 15 Issue Action Teams. You'll also find a calendar of upcoming events, and messages from Indivisible: Conejo's leadership about the organization's achievements and future direction.
Many of you have jumped right in during our first eight weeks, joining an Action Team and attending our events. As we move forward, resisting the Trump agenda and defending progressive values, we're going to offer more and more ways for you to pitch in at the local level. We'll keep organizing Daily Actions, team meetings, rallies and other events to spark your activism, but we'll also offer opportunities to participate more deeply in, and help us grow the organization. Here are some new initiatives that will give you a chance to dive in deeper!
Tailoring Daily Actions to Your Needs
Many thanks to the dozens of you who already participate in our Daily Actions on a regular basis. Your work and dedication are making a difference! Your calls to congresspersons and legislators have an impact, even when you dial the phone knowing they agree with your position; your efforts give them courage and strengthen their resolve. Don't believe it? Read this perspective from a Democratic congressional staffer.
Many of you respond to our Calls to Action directly from Facebook or Twitter, while others look to our website (www.indivisibleconejo.org) for information. Recently, though, we have heard from several members who frequent neither social media nor websites but would prefer to receive information about the organization and our Daily Actions via email.
We need your help with our efforts to serve you better! Please click this link and respond to a survey asking how you prefer to receive information about Indivisible: Conejo and our Daily Actions. On Monday, March 20, we tested an "email blast" featuring that day's Daily Action as well as details of upcoming rallies opposing Republicans' healthcare "replacement" bill. If a significant number of our activists tell us they'd like to receive more such communications from us, we'll add daily emails to our repertoire!
We're Looking for a Few Good Leaders...
Indivisible: Conejo's growing membership has the potential to unleash great influence over our elected officials, but only if we are mobilized and motivated to act! As the organization becomes more established, and particularly as the 2018 elections approach, we'll be looking for leaders to help us all support each other in implementing our Daily Actions and other activities effectively. If you're interested in joining our leadership team in this role, please fill out this application form.
Meeting Volunteers & Location Scouts
We need some assistance in scouting, reserving, and setting up meeting sites for our General Membership Meetings. Are you a natural organizer? Love to arrive early and hand out name badges? Please contact Field Organizer Jennifer Eis. And if you know of locations you think would be perfect for our general meetings, Issue Action Team meetings, phone banks, or other events, please use this Space Suggestion Form to give us the scoop.
Join Our Phone Bank Strike Team
There are Special Elections going on right now that need our help. If you are an experienced phone banker, please sign up -- we could be needed at any moment. For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of phone banking, we’ll conduct some intensive training during our General Meeting on April 2. Here's our Phone Bank Strike Team application.
We Don’t Take Donations, But…
We all know that, in this day and age, contributing money to the causes that resonate with us is a key element of social and political activism. Indivisible: Conejo does not solicit donations, per se ... but we invite you to consider directly covering a portion of our operating expenses. Up to now, any expenses we have incurred have been covered by one of the organization's co-founders. Because we are not incorporated as a nonprofit -- at least, not yet -- we can only ask our members to contribute financially by paying one of our expenses directly, or trusting us to not lose or misuse your money.
We strongly encourage the first option -- an in-kind donation made directly to a vendor on the organization's behalf. Here are some examples of potential in-kind donations: you could pay $10 for one month of our bulk-email service, directly to the software maker; or you might pay the facility rental fee for an event we hold; or you could buy name badges, pads of paper, pens, etc., and give them to us to use for phone banks, meetings, etc. If you're interested, this form suggests some expenses you can "adopt" on our behalf.
It's important to know that because we are a political organization, no donation you make to Indivisible: Conejo, or on our behalf, is tax deductible.
Mark Your Calendar!
UPCOMING ACTION TEAM MEETINGS:
Last Week's Indivisible: Conejo Daily Actions: March 13-21
News from the Issue Action Teams
During the team’s second meeting on March 19, former (and future?) congressional candidate Bryan Caforio (CA-25) spoke about his experiences challenging Rep. Steve Knight this past November, and how to use the enthusiasm we’re seeing this year to turn that district blue in 2018. Among the insights Caforio shared: Knight is best known on Capitol Hill for his golf game, and otherwise hasn’t made much impact. The Swing Districts team also created three subgroups focusing on constituent outreach, political coordination, and election research.
The team is organizing the Save the ACA rally on Thurs., 3/23. Otherwise, members are monitoring the progress of the Republicans’ ACA replacement through the House and tracking both the recent changes to the bill and the loss of coverage it will entail both locally and nationwide.
Gun Violence Prevention
In late February, the team co-hosted a lecture featuring Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who addressed gun safety issues at the federal, state and local levels. Recently the team has been focused on opposition to a bill in the House of Representatives that would remove from the federal background-check system thousands of at-risk veterans who have been deemed mentally incompetent.
Racism & Voting Rights
The team's most recent meeting featured guest speaker Shante Morgan from Concerned Parents of Black Children in Moorpark, who discussed that group's recent interactions with the Moorpark school board over recent episodes of race-base bullying and harassment. The Moorpark board emerged from those discussions adopting new strategies for preventing and responding to such incidents – strategies that team members discussed sharing with school administrators in other communities.
Women’s & Reproductive Rights
The team is following the House’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood as part of the Affordable Care Act replacement bill, and is tracking the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as they pertain to women’s rights issues.
The team is focusing on SB54, the California Values Act, which is nearing passage in the State Senate and would bar state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration agents in tracking, rounding up or deporting CA residents. The bill is subject of the Daily Action on Tues., 3/21.
Jobs, Wages, and Workers' Rights
The team (previously named Economic Justice) is monitoring efforts in Ventura County to advocate for a statewide Farm Worker Bill of Rights, which would ensure protection of wages, fair working conditions, and health and safety measures for the state's farm workers.
The team has met twice and created subgroups monitoring the House, Senate, and state legislature. The teams are monitoring regulation rollbacks and new bills rescinding clean water and air protections, rolling back climate research funding and emissions cuts, loosening pollution rules, permitting the slaughter of endangered species, and even abolishing the EPA altogether.
The team is seeking ways to engage in youth outreach and planning future events in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Separation of Church & State
At the federal level, the team is focusing on Trump’s rescinded executive order on “religious freedom,” and the likelihood of congressional legislation that might enable companies to discriminate or opt out of the nation’s laws for religious reasons. Team members also are tracking local politicians in the wake of this winter’s controversy over implementing the state’s FAIR Act.
Science & Technology
The team is monitoring the massive cuts to scientific research included in Trump’s budget proposal, and preparing to lead Indivisible: Conejo’s contingent attending the March for Science, planned for Sunday, April 22, in downtown Los Angeles.
The team is in the process of developing new tools for collaborating with local and national education-advocacy groups, and has begun researching issues related to school voucher programs, the rollback of regulations affecting the "Every Student Succeeds Act", and more.