Indivisible: Conejo Weekly Newsletter

Ventura County Activists Unite for Justice,

Oppose Kavanaugh Court Nomination

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As Countdown To Midterms

Begins, Indivisible Calendar

Fills with Electoral Actions

With Election Day just 10 weeks away, and history's course (both locally and nationally) riding on the results, there will be little time to sit still between Labor Day and November 6. Indivisible: Conejo and its local partner organizations have built an action-packed calendar of volunteer opportunities: canvasses, phone banks, postcard parties and more, all to swing this fall's all-important races for Congress, the state legislature and the Conejo Valley USD board.

See & Save Indivisible: Conejo's Midterm Action Calendar!

ur August 19 ON TO VICTORY! General Meeting blended inspiration and exhortation, with representatives from the campaigns of Katie Hill (CA-25), Rep. Julia Brownley and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin laying out their fall agendas, and Conejo Together founder Mary Anne Van Zuyle offering a detailed description of that group's plans to restore sanity and good governance to our school board. The meeting closed with the introduction of our Midterm Action Calendar, linked above, which offers almost daily activities integral to our efforts to restore progressive values at every level of government.

Conejo Together co-founder Mary Anne Van Zuyle presents the group's efforts during our ON TO VICTORY! General Meeting on August 19.

Conejo Together co-founder Mary Anne Van Zuyle presents the group's efforts during our ON TO VICTORY! General Meeting on August 19.

Van Zuyle encouraged activists to sign up for CT's "virtual canvassing" effort via the online voter-outreach program Voter Circle. The tool, developed for local races like this one, allows participants to email local friends and neighbors using one of several persuasive "voices": active parent, student, teacher, activist, VIP, etc. Voters reached via the program are encouraged to contact their own friends and neighbors, creating an expanding universe of influence that can be more effective than traditional advertisements or direct-mail pieces.

Conejo Together already is generating significant momentum via social media, in support of its three endorsed candidates: retired teacher/counselor Bill Gorback, local attorney Jenny Fitzgerald, and Conejo Schools Foundation director Cindy Goldberg. With current school board president John Andersen having decided not to seek a second term, longtime foe of good governance (and fan of "values"-based censorship) Mike Dunn is the only incumbent on the ballot (for three seats). However, two like-minded candidates familiar from recent battles over CVUSD's new core-literature policy -- pharmacist Amy Chen and biotech employee Angie Simpson -- have joined Dunn to run from the far right.

To further combat them, Conejo Together will begin weekly phone banks on Thursday evenings after Labor Day, along with weekend canvasses that will begin in September and become weekly in October. CT-specific Postcard Parties also are in the planning stages.

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CVUSD school board candidates Jenny Fitzgerald, Cindy Goldberg and Bill Gorback

Another local race, for Thousand Oaks City Council, was upended in June when current Mayor Andy Fox announced his retirement. Three seats are available there as well, with incumbents Claudia Bill-de la Pena and Joel Price running. The key progressive on the ballot for the open seat is retired firefighter and Manna board member Bob Engler; right-wing figures in the race include two who joined last spring's rabble-rousing against California's "sanctuary state" law, Kevin McNamee and Thomas Adams.

The Ventura County-centered races for both the California state assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives feature incumbent Democrats against upstart, "populist" Republicans in the Trump mode. Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin is running against attorney Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy, a recent local arrival (from Pasadena) with an affinity for Dinesh D'Souza-esque conspiracy theorizing. Meanwhile, Rep. Julia Brownley faces actor/model Antonio Sabato Jr., a political neophyte who models himself after (and indeed parrots as frequently as he can) Trump himself. Brownley and Irwin will be sharing a campaign headquarters in Camarillo this fall, and Indivisible: Conejo will keep activists updated on canvassing and phone-banking opportunities there. Meanwhile, the Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley will support our legislators with phone banks beginning in mid-September, and canvasses in October.

Neither challenger is benefiting from much Republican Party money -- the GOP is consumed with holding onto the congressional seats it has, and with more serious contenders than Baldwin-Kennedy so far appears to be, in what appears to be a terrible year for the right. Still, as 2016 proved, progressives must take nothing for granted -- and Republican red-meat issues such as California's new gas tax and SB 54 may draw more conservatives to the polls than have been projected.

Those same issues may be all that saves Rep. Steve Knight, the Trump toady (Knight votes with him more than 95% of the time) whose House seat representing Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley is perhaps the most imperiled in the nation. While she enjoys terrific fundraising to date, Katie Hill recognizes that the key to flipping CA-25 is a Blue Wave of grass-roots effort. To that end, her campaign has aggressively scheduled canvasses in her district's three suburban centers -- three per weekend day. (See the calendar in this newsletter for details.) Indivisible: Conejo activists have been writing postcards for Hill all summer, and will continue to do so; Hill-specific phone banks begin on Tuesday, September 11.

There will no doubt be surprises sprung, and curveballs thrown, between now and November 6 -- and Indivisible: Conejo will respond when necessary with additional electoral actions and other volunteer opportunities. Please stay up to date using our Midterm Action Calendar, and try to participate in as many of these activities as you can! 

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Join Indivisible: Conejo


Saturday, September 22,
 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza


Indivisible: Conejo is thrilled to be the "Builder Sponsor" of this first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride festival in our community. Please sign up here to help run our booth!

IndivConejo Healthcare Action Team

Launches Educational Offshoot

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Indivisible: Conejo has watched with pride as members of our Issue Action Teams have branched out, forming new organizations to drive the local political conversation in new directions. This summer, members of our Healthcare team began hosting events under the name California Healthcare Conversations. They're picking up the baton dropped by the CA state legislature when SB 562 stalled last year -- educating the electorate about our broken healthcaresystem and creating Healthcare Voters.

Their events center on screenings of the documentary Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point, followed by Q&A. The next California Healthcare Conversation is scheduled for Saturday, September 22 from 10-11 a.m. at the Simi Valley Public Library, located at 2969 Tapo Canyon Road.





Conejo Council PTA Forum featuring
Candidates for CVUSD board

Saturday, September 15, 10 a.m.
Scherr Forum, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Thrive Conejo Forum featuring
Candidates for CVUSD board

Thursday, September 27, 6-8 p.m.
Lundring Events Center, California Lutheran University

Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce Forum featuring
Candidates for Thousand Oaks City Council, CVUSD board
& Ventura County Community College District (VCCD)

Thursday, October 11, 6-9 p.m. 
Lundring Events Center, California Lutheran University