Phone Banks, Gun Violence Protest Mark Big Week for Indivisible Activists
From Oak Park to Camarillo to Thousand Oaks, dozens of Indivisible: Conejo activists devoted their energies this week to flipping a congressional district -- one located all the way across the nation from the Conejo Valley. Phone banking for Democrat Jon Ossoff, who surprisingly is leading next Tuesday's special-election race in Georgia's 6th district, members honed skills they'll be using throughout the 2018 campaign.
On Wednesday, April 12, our Gun Violence Prevention action team co-sponsored a protest (top photo) outside the Simi Valley office of Rep. Steve Knight, a longtime proponent of permissive firearm policies. Knight currently is a co-sponsor of the particularly disturbing Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would require California to allow anyone to possess a firearm in public here, as long as he holds a concealed-carry permit from another state.
Act Locally, And Change A Nation!
Indivisible: Conejo phone bank coordinator Tammy Royce trains a volunteer during a phone bank in Camarillo last Saturday.
A Message from Jennifer, Gina & Jon
Tuesday's special Congressional election in Kansas shocked the GOP, as Republican Rob Estes eked out a 7-point victory over Democrat James Thompson in a district that President Trump won by 28 points last November. Until the last couple of weeks, few thought the Kansas 4th would be a competitive race, and its result gives both the leadership of both parties plenty to think about.
The lion’s share of the credit for the Democrat's competitiveness in that race goes to activists outside the district, who made this election their personal way of fighting back against the Trump agenda. Locally, our charge was led by Indivisible: Conejo’s Phone Bank Coordinator, Tammy Royce, who made hundreds of calls for the Thompson campaign -- even before we began hosting a series of phone banks early last week. Tammy's efforts -- and those of the dozens of volunteers who have manned our phone banks so far -- demonstrate the vital role our efforts can play in elections across the country.
Next up is the race in Georgia's 6th district, where Democrat Jon Ossoff surprisingly holds a lead. Election Day is this coming Tuesday, April 18, and Indivisible: Conejo is hosting Get-Out-The-Vote phone banks in Thousand Oaks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this coming Monday and Tuesday. Please choose a two-hour shift and come by: if Tuesday night’s tight finish has taught us anything, it’s that our calls here in the Conejo Valley really can impact the outcomes of races across the country.
Letters to the Editor Spark Reporting
On City Council Member's Activities
When pastor and Thousand Oaks city councilman Rob McCoy visited the White House two weeks ago, he didn't expect that the photographs he took with Vice President Pence and press secretary Sean Spicer would create a hassle for himself, or a teaching moment for his constituents. But that's precisely what happened after several members of Indivisible: Conejo's action team on the Separation of Church and State sent letters to the editor of the Thousand Oaks Acorn questioning why McCoy had missed a city council meeting to go to Washington, how a "nonpartisan" city council member from a California suburb had gained access to White House officials -- and what McCoy was doing at the American Renewal Project event that followed his DC trip.
Those letters brought attention, in particular, to McCoy's involvement with the Project, which recruits evangelical ministers (like McCoy himself) to run for public office. The Project is led by a member of McCoy's church, David Lane, who has said that “if God allows, we intend to . . . engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.”
As a result of the letters, the Acorn was compelled to do some reporting on the reasons for McCoy's trip and how it was funded. The result was an article that, while allowing McCoy to offer his own account of his White House visit, also noted that McCoy had agreed to pay for the trip out of his own pocket, and featured arguments against the Project's agenda and the impropriety of combining nonpartisan city business with McCoy's extracurricular activities.
Mark Your Calendar!
LAST WEEK'S DAILY ACTION ITEMS
News from the Issue Action Teams
Racism & Voting Rights
The team met on Monday, April 10, and created working groups to monitor several issues: a voter-ID law in Texas that was ruled unconstitutional this week -- for the second time -- by a U.S. District Court judge who said it "was designed to discriminate"; a bill in the New Hampshire legislature that could make it more difficult for students, seniors, members of the military and others to vote; and the softening of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division on pursuing the case of Eric Garner and other African-Americans who have been killed by police.
Women's / Reproductive Rights
The team will hold its next meeting on Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. (RSVP)