Indivisible: Conejo Weekly Newsletter

"Goodbye, Steve, Hit the Road":

A Musical Retirement Party for Rep. Knight!

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On Saturday, January 27, about 100 activists -- hailing from across the 25th congressional district as well as sister districts in Ventura and Los Angeles counties -- gathered to celebrate Rep. Steve Knight's retirement from the House of Representatives. Knight hasn't actually retired, of course ... but his Early Retirement Party nevertheless featured a gold watch, a cake, and hundreds of cards wishing him well (and not-so-well) after he leaves Congress following November's election. Partiers sang along with re-written songs like "Hit the Road Steve," "Happy Trails," and "Goodbye, Steve, Hit the Road" (sample lyric: "You know that we'll get a replacement / Anyone's better than you / All that we want is for the people to flourish / That’s why we’re turning this district to blue..."). Thanks to everyone who turned out, on Saturday and/or for the Postcard pre-parties earlier last week!

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CVUSD Battle Turns Ugly As Dunn Threatens

Retaliation Against Blogger's Employer;

Emergency Team Meeting Set

Tensions surrounding the Conejo Valley Unified School District's extremist school board majority boiled over last week, after far-right lightning rod Mike Dunn emailed threats to the employer of local blogger Jessica Weihe. With the community in uproar over Dunn's petulant and unethical behavior, and a huge crowd expected to face him down at next week's board meeting, Indivisible: Conejo's Education and First Amendment teams will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. to discuss strategies for protesting inside and outside council chambers. RSVP here to receive the address.

Upset by her criticism of him during last Tuesday's board meeting, and on her Anonymous Mommy blog, Dunn emailed Mustang Marketing president Scott Harris and told him that "every time she slanders or libels the school district or a school board member during public comments at a board meeting, I'm going to respond that Jessica she [sic] works for Mustang Marketing and that you support her opinions." This threat to use his public office to harm a private business, and/or to silence a dissenting constituent, violates numerous CVUSD board bylaws -- and it should result in Dunn's immediate removal from the board. It most likely won't, however, because Dunn's fellow board conservatives, John Andersen and Sandee Everett, won't want to lose their 3-2 majority as they try to steer district policy to the right.

In making this threat to the head of a marketing company, Dunn demonstrated not only his mile-wide nasty streak, but his foolishness. Harris responded with witty emails defending Weihe and challenging Dunn to a debate -- responses that finally brought attention to the CVUSD's Dunn-driven controversies from beyond the Conejo Valley, including televised news segments on KCAL and KCBS. Harris now is helping to organize a massive public presence at the next board meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

During our emergency meeting this Thursday, we'll consider messages and tactics for protests at that board meeting. We'll also discuss the most effective strategies for pressuring Dunn's fellow board members -- and other government entities that might weigh in on the controversy -- via emails, letters to the editor in local papers, etc. Indivisible: Conejo activists who have not participated on the Education or First Amendment teams before, but wish to strategize with us on Thursday, are welcome to RSVP and to ask to bring friends. Please note, however, that attendance will be tightly controlled, and we reserve the right to refuse admittance or remove anyone for any reason.

A Successful First Weekend

Of Canvassing in CA-21

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Indivisible: Conejo Immigrant Rights' team leader Julie Diaz Martinez led an initial contingent of canvassers Jan. 20-21 to gather signatures supporting Democrat Emilio Huerta's campaign against Republican David Valadao. Volunteers made their way to the 21st congressional district despite road closure on U.S. 101 and snowy conditions on I-5. For information on upcoming canvassing trips this weekend and in March, see the calendar in this newsletter.




Team leader Celia Sandhya Daniels represented Diversity Collective VC at a Human Rights Campaign meeting, accepting a Community Award and discussing Indivisible: Conejo's work with Rep. Julia Brownley.