No, No Nunes!
Reflections from a Weekend of Voter
Registration in the Central Valley
A Message from Jennifer Stokely Eis
Our youngest volunteer was 5 months old, the high for the weekend was 110˚F, and the enthusiasm was unbounded. On Saturday, July 22, a dozen Indivisible: Conejo volunteers joined more than 50 other volunteers from Fresno and around the state to begin the hard work of taking the 22nd Congressional District from Rep. Devin Nunes. The canvassers knocked on hundreds of doors and registered new voters whom we’ll be revisiting over the next year to encourage their participation.
Activists from Los Angeles, Ventura, Ojai, Oakland and San Jose all had their reasons for trekking to hot and sultry Fresno last weekend. Here’s what they said when we asked them why they came:
- “To help unseat Nunes, flip the district from red to blue and show support to all Dems!”
- “To walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”
- “It was a way for me to participate in an action that is directed at saving our democratic government.”
- “I wanted to get a better idea of what voters are feeling outside of my district.”
- “To get the experience of going door to door.”
- “Midterm elections are critical.”
The training launched with a pep talk from Democratic challenger Andrew Janz, who laid out the importance of going door-to-door in this district. San Joaquin Valley Democratic Club President James Williams welcomed us on behalf of the many Indivisible and Democratic clubs who participated in the weekend. The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee office, where we trained, was covered in welcome signs made by local activists.
We received unexpected support from Swing Left, whose National Field Director Saskia Young asked us to serve as a test bed for the scripts they’re perfecting for their upcoming Summer Registration Challenge. It made the work more challenging, but also more interesting, as our activists tried out different approaches and weighed in on the best practices. Our work will impact the entire summer challenge drive for this national organization.
The team's lunches were provided through generous donations of gift cards from Indivisible: Conejo members (the volunteers made a thank you card!). The evening’s pizza party was sponsored by the SJVDC, and the First Congregational Church of Fresno made pancakes for volunteers on Sunday morning.
The heat definitely made everyone’s list of the weekend's biggest challenges. Here’s a sample of what people liked best about the trip:
- “Everything, everyone except the heat! Great group of motivated volunteers, thanks to all!
- “Our volunteers! Met such fabulous people.”
- “Andrew Janz”
- “Having random conversations with people who you wouldn't expect.”
- “Interacting with fellow Americans that have different perspectives.”
- “Finding a couple of enlightened voters who were willing to consider volunteering!”
The next canvassing weekend will be August 19-20, and will focus on Tulare. Groundwork is already being laid for the event, including adding a tabling option to allow canvassers to alternate registering at a table with walking a turf. Sign up here to join us: it’s hot, it’s hard and it’s incredibly fun and satisfying.
Friday, August 18, 5:30 p.m. - ???
Over the last six months we've worked hard to become effective activists and resist the Trump agenda. Now it's time to celebrate our successes -- and all the new friendships we've made! Please join us for an evening of fun, food, music and conversation. The location will be provided after you RSVP. Don't wait -- because this event is being held in a private home, a limited number of RSVPs will be accepted!
This Week in Healthcare Activism: Rallyers Earn Support
in Westlake; #RiseUp Sign Earns Obama's Embrace
Top: Indivisible: Conejo called for an emergency rally in Westlake Village on Tuesday afternoon, July 25, after Senate Republicans voted to open debate on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. More than 30 activists turned out on short notice. Bottom: Indivisible: Conejo co-founder Gina Muscatel greeted former President Barack Obama near the 18th green at Sherwood Country Club on Saturday, July 22, holding a #RiseUp4HealthCare sign. Obama thanked her with a warm embrace.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
UPCOMING INDIVISIBLE: CONEJO TEAM MEETINGS
Indivisible: Conejo Daily Actions: July 21 - July 27
7/21 - Stiffen the Spines of Anti-Repeal Republicans
7/24 - Republicans Playing Russian Roulette with Healthcare
7/25 - #RiseUp4HealthCare Emergency Rally
7/26 - Indivisible Calls to Kill Trumpcare
7/27 - Call, Rally, Phone Bank to Save the ACA