Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.-???
The 2nd annual
INDIVISIBLE: CONEJO SUMMER BASH
The INDIVISIBLE: CONEJO SUMMER BASH is our chance to cut loose with friends and colleagues, and to rub elbows with the candidates who are relying on our help to carry them to victory in November! This year's party promises to be even bash-ier than last year's -- replete with elected officials, candidates and perhaps a surprise guest or two! We're limiting the number of RSVPs for space reasons, so don't wait to make your plans and complete the RSVP form. See you then!
The Primary Is Over; What's Next?
The June 5 California primary has propelled us toward November with new perspective on the state of play in key races, both in the Conejo Valley and across the state.
In the 26th congressional district, Rep. Julia Brownley took well over 50% of the primary vote, which bodes well for her chances in November. Still, her race is sure to draw unusual attention because her opponent, the actor/model Antonio Sabato Jr., is both a (minor) celebrity and a veteran of Trump's 2016 convention. Even in what should be a big Democratic year, Sabato has chosen to tie himself inextricably to Trump ... which probably will garner him some tiny-fingered attention via Twitter, if nothing else.
- In CA-25, Katie Hill has emerged as the November opponent for Republican Rep. Steve Knight, narrowly topping his 2016 challenger Bryan Caforio. Knight's high percentage of Tuesday's vote (53%) is cause for some concern. However, now that the Hill/Caforio/Jess Phoenix battle is over, the Democratic Party will begin flooding the race with money -- and advocacy groups like Indivisible: Conejo, which steered clear of a primary endorsement, will get to work on Hill's behalf. This is expected to be one of the most closely watched congressional races in the nation -- and we will be right in the middle of it!
- Our local Assemblymember, Jacqui Irwin (CA-44), also topped 50% in her three-way primary. But the closeness of her victory margin over Republican Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy, a relative unknown who just moved to the district last year, makes it clear that we will have to work to defend Irwin's seat -- even as we continue to press her occasionally on positions and votes that don't reflect California progressives' values. Her opponent, like Republicans across the state, will be running on opposition to California's new gas tax and "sanctuary state" status. We will need to be ready to celebrate Irwin's support of those laws as we work for her re-election. (We also will be working for assembly candidate Christy Smith, who is challenging Republican Dante Acosta in the district that includes Simi Valley and Santa Clarita.)
- With Republicans' registration numbers across California continuing to tank, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom would appear to have a relatively easy road to the governor's mansion after GOP candidate John Cox rode Trump's endorsement to a distant second-place primary finish. However, the presence of any Republican on a statewide ballot was greeted joyously by the GOP -- particularly in the swing districts that might determine control of the House next year -- as a reason for Republican voters to stay engaged. They needed the boost they'll get from Cox, because...
- Republicans were shut out of the November race for the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Dianne Feinstein won the primary comfortably, with fellow Democrat and state senate president pro tempore Kevin de León earning a spot on the fall ballot. PLEASE NOTE: Because two prominent Democrats remain in the race, Indivisible: Conejo almost certainly will not endorse one over the other this fall.
- In three closely watched Orange County congressional races, where Democrats feared that too many rival candidates would split the progressive vote and send two Republicans onto the November ballot, disaster was avoided on Tuesday. The battle in CA-48 (Newport Beach & vicinity), to pick a challenger for GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, still wasn't over when this newsletter was published -- with Democrats Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda separated by only 45 votes and likely headed for a recount. Meanwhile, in CA-39 (the Fullerton area) Democrat Gil Cisneros advances to face Republican Young Kim as both try to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce (R). And in CA-49 (southern Orange and northern San Diego counties), Democrat Mike Levin and Republican Diane Harkey will square off to replace retiring Rep. Darrell Issa.
Those districts to our south will draw our attention as Conejo Valley activists, primarily via phone banks, even as we work hard on more local races. We will monitor polls closely and adjust our electioneering focus as circumstances dictate -- engaging our activists as effectively as possible, as we work to flip the House and build an enduring progressive majority in California!
Immigrants Rights Activists' Arguments Carry the Day: Thousand Oaks Council Remains Neutral
On 'Sanctuary State' Law
Despite receiving months of pressure from anti-immigrant agitators, the Thousand Oaks City Council decided on Tuesday, June 5, that T.O. won't join other communities that have taken official positions opposing California's "sanctuary state" law, SB 54. Instead, by a 4-1 margin, the council decided to remain neutral on the law, which prohibits local governments and their employees from assisting in federal immigration enforcement efforts.
The result was a vindication for Indivisible: Conejo activists, as well as clergy members and other immigrants'-rights advocates, who organized this spring via the newly established Thousand Oaks Solidarity Coalition. More than 100 of them turned out for the June 5 board meeting, most dressed in green and holding green signs with messages like "SB 54 Makes Our Community Safer" and "We Are a Nation of Immigrants."
The city attorney and legislative liaison, and Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, led off the discussion by pointing out that the city lacks the standing to change either the implementation or enforcement of the law, and that the dispute between California's legislators and the Trump administration will be settled in the federal courts, not by individual cities. Many activists reiterated those points and urged council members not to engage in a purely ideological act that would damage the city's reputation.
One of the evening's most persuasive speakers, Robert Bland, said, “Whatever we decide here tonight after everyone’s had their say, SB 54 will still be the law, and there’s nothing that can be passed by the council to change that. So what we’re really talking about is how this city will come to be known...We’re in a battle for the soul of this city. Will we be known as a city that has given in to the politics of fear and division, or as a community that stands for and respects the value of every human being regardless of their status in life?”
The Thousand Oaks Solidarity Coalition plans to continue working to energize local activists on behalf of immigrants' rights. Indivisible: Conejo will, of course, remain a key part of that effort.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
HELP INDIVISIBLE: CONEJO SPONSOR
CONEJO VALLEY PRIDE!
The inaugural Conejo Valley Pride event is coming up in September at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza -- and we need your help! Indivisible: Conejo and our LGBTQIA+ action team are "bundling" financial contributions from our activists so we can sponsor the event. By joining this effort, you can help CVP reach its fundraising goals while simultaneously helping us raise our profile in the community! Please use this form to pledge a contribution before Sunday, June 3. After that date, we'll let you know when, where and how to submit your donation so it counts as part of our sponsorship. Thanks!
Indivisible: Conejo Daily Actions,
May 25-June 7
5/24 - Flip the CVUSD Board Postcard Party at Stonehaus
5/25-28 - Swing Left Canvasses & Phone Banks
5/29 - What We Actually Can Do About Separated Families
6/2 - National Gun Violence Awareness Day
6/2 - #ResistTheRecall Canvass in Fullerton
6/5 - California Primary
6/5 - Stand Up for CA Values at Thousand Oaks City Council
6/5 - Fight Back Against Censorship at CVUSD Board Meeting
6/6-7 - Flip the CVUSD Board Postcard Parties