Election Connection: 31 Weeks

Standard

I must apologize for not posting last week.

With all of the COVID-19 reading and researching, organizing and posting, the election (barely) slipped my mind. That is a good lesson to all of us, that every day it is important to make sure that our 2020 Election goes forward despite this Administration’s incompetence in so many areas, and the ongoing pandemic that has consumed all of our lives. Models look like we will be in our homes with businesses and schools shut down for most of the spring, and even when we’re out and about a little bit this summer, we must be prepared for the next cycle of physical distancing. These cycles will continue until there is a vaccine and/or widespread testing for antibodies to know who’s immune and can go back out into the world.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you two Election Connection items:

The first is a new podcast from Joe Biden. I know that Senator Sanders has not dropped out of the race, but I believe that his path forward is too narrow. In my mind, Vice President Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. His new podcast is Here’s the Deal w/Joe Biden, and it is his way of connecting with the voters and the American people while he is also at his own home.

The second is a relatively new tool in the fight against Republican voter suppression spearheaded by attorney, Marc E. Elias, who you may remember from Bush v. Gore in 2000. He represented VP Al Gore. The group is Democracy Docket, and its mission is highlight and bring attention to the ways that voting is restricted across the country.

Election Connection: 36 Weeks: Leave it All on the Field

Standard

Crooked Media is promoting and supporting the 2020 Election. One way they are doing that, in addition to Fair Fight 2020 and Vote Save America is Leave it All on the Field. We know that to win in 2020, we need to be in the field, on the ground, organizing, informing, talking to voters about the future they want to see, and doing everything we can for the Democratic nominee in order to get Trump out of the White House, his cronies out of the Senate and further down ballot, and begin to repair what’s been done to our country.

Leave it All on the Field is starting with Organizing Corps 2020 from the DNC. Their goal is $500,000 and they’re more than halfway there. Let’s get them there!

Happy Birthday Susan B!!!

Standard

Happy Birthday!

It’s been 100 years since women were given the right to vote, and as I’ve written previously we’ve come so far, and yet, not so much.

Susan B. Anthony was born today in 1820 in nearby Adams, Massachusetts. I say nearby because I live several hours from her birthplace and her final resting place in Rochester, New York. Last year, in fact, my family and I were able to visit her grave site, something that felt very meaningful to both my daughter and me in part of the run up to one hundred years of women’s suffrage and women receiving the vote.

Susan B. Anthony’s grave site along with other Anthony family members in Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, New York. (c)2019-2020

Hers was a family of activism and social reform, from abolition and women’s rights and suffrage to opening their homestead up to meetings of many, including Frederick Douglas. She and Douglas were close friends and anti-slavery collaborators (and are buried in the same cemetary), and she is known to have helped some with Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad. Tubman’s homestead is nearby in Auburn, New York.

In 1872, Susan was arrested at the house she shared with her sister in Rochester, for illegally voting. She was convicted and upon refusing to pay the fine, the authorities ceased any further action.

She became the first woman citizen to be featured on a US monetary coin when her image was portrayed on the dollar coin in 1979. I believe I still have one or two somewhere.

If she were alive today, I imagine she’d be astounded that we still haven’t gotten an Equal Rights Amendment in our Constitution. Perhaps, not astounded as much as disappointed. Hopefully, that can soon be rectified as well as ratified before another one hundred years passes. After all, we are more than half the citizenry; we should have at least the equal rights of men.

Meet the Democratic 2020 Presidential Candidates

Standard

Between exploratory committees and official Presidential candidates, as of this writing, there are 18 20 21 24 25 (I think) Democratic candidates*, and to be perfectly honest, almost all of them are better than the situation we have right now in the White House. Obviously, those running for President have their own policy priorities and while everything should not be seen only as a mirror to the Trump Administration, we cannot lose sight of what is at stake. The last two years have been frightening; horrifying at times, and undemocratic with our civil rights at risk.

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the candidates’ official websites as well as their full interviews on Crooked Media‘s Pod Save America podcast. Most of them can be seen on several news shows offering their policies; I have found that PSA has a very good track record of tough questions while remaining fair.

I have a few of my favorites who I am supporting. I will probably express that in future posts. However, I have decided that I won’t include links for candidates who have not officially announced (VP Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams) nor will I include announced candidates that I feel are wholly unqualified (unless there is an interview with Pod Save America). After 2016 I think it’s important to maintain a level of expectation of our candidates, and while we have a big tent, and all are welcome, I don’t think we should pretend that all candidates are equal. I think two years of inexperience and incompetence is enough. We need someone who knows what they’re doing. I will update this as more announce. A link will also be included on my We the People Page for updates as they happen.

Michael Bennet WebsitePod Save America interview

Cory Booker WebsitePod Save America interview

Steve Bullock WebsitePod Save America interview

​Pete Buttigeig WebsitePod Save America interview

Julian Castro WebsitePod Save America interview

Bill DiBlasio Website, Pod Save America interview

Kirsten Gillibrand WebsitePod Save America interview

Kamala Harris WebsitePod Save America interview

John Hickenlooper WebsitePod Save America interview

Jay Inslee WebsitePod Save America interview

Amy Klobucher WebsitePod Save America interview

Seth Moulton WebsitePod Save America interview

Beto O’Rourke WebsitePod Save America interview

Tim Ryan WebsitePod Save America interview

Bernie Sanders Website, Pod Save America interview

Eric SwalwellWebsitePod Save America interview

Elizabeth Warren WebsitePod Save America interview

Marianne Williamson Website, Pod Save America interview

Andrew Yang WebsiteLovett or Leave It interviewPod Save America interview

– – – – 

Websites/No Interviews Currently

Joe Biden

John Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

Mike Gravel

Wayne Messam

Deval Patrick

Joe Sestak

Tom Steyer

Michael Bloomberg

– – – –

* This number changed literally after I set this up to post. I will continue to change it if it needs changing.

Susan B. Anthony: Suffrage and Equality, and How Far We Still Need To Go

Standard

​One hundred ninety-nine years ago today, Susan B. Anthony was born into a Quaker family in Adams, Massachusetts. Her activism began early at her family’s hearth as the entire clan was involved in the anti-slavery movement as well as temperance movements all throughout their lives.

Her birth year of 1820 was coincidentally one hundred years before the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified.

In 1868, she, and her longtime close friend and women’s rights collaborator Elizabeth Cady Stanton published a weekly newspaper called The Revolution, focusing on women’s rights and calling for women’s suffrage as well as highlighting other opinion and discussion pieces in relation to suffrage as well as politics and finance. It’s motto was: “Men, their rights and nothing more: women, their rights and nothing less.”

I think we’re seeing a resurgence of this attitude if not the outright message. Coming to a head in 2017 with the #metoo movement, women are finding their voices and speaking out when they feel ignored or condescended to, which happens in all walks of personal and professional life.

When the 15th Amendment was proposed and ratified (giving former male slaves the right to vote), Anthony was firmly against it, feeling that African Americans and women should receive voting rights simultaneously rather than continue to give men, regardless of race more rights than women.

In 1872, she brought her Declaration of Rights for Women to the nation’s centennial in Philadelphia, wanting to share it at the official celebrations. Permission was denied, but Susan B. Anthony, leading a group of five women interrupted the speaker and handed the Declaration to the him. Leaving, she handed out copies to the crowd, and then found a public space nearby and read it to the crowd that had formed around her.

1872 was also the year in which Susan B. Anthony cast her vote. In doing so, she was arrested and brought to trial. Prior to the trial, she went around the county doing speaking engagements. Her speech was titled, “Is it a crime for a US citizen to vote?” At her trial, she was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine. She refused. Instead of the judge holding her in contempt, he declined any further action, and the fine has never been paid.

‘Failure is impossible’ quickly became the watchword for the women’s movement” according to her Wikipedia article. Those three words were taken from comments made by Susan B. Anthony at her eighty-sixth birthday celebration a few weeks before her death:

“There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause — I wish I could name every one — but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible!”

She and Stanton were the first to lead the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the organization’s name was changed to the League of Women Voters, still a formidable voice for voting rights.

In addition to her house in Rochester, NY named as an historic landmark and her gravesite visited on many Election Days, most especially in 2016 when Democrat Hillary Clinton ran as the first woman nominated by a major party, she was also commemorated on a US postal stamp in 1936 and is the first woman to have her likeness on a US coin when her image was depicted on the dollar coin, first minted and released in 1979.

Commemorative Stamp 1936, US Postal Service. Public Domain. (c)2019

Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin, 1979. Public Domain. (c)2019

In reading the title of her speech: Is it a crime for a US citizen to vote? it made me realize that as far as we’ve come, we still haven’t come all that far. We saw in 2016, an amount of voter suppression that many didn’t recognize in prior years. Some of it was so obvious as to be racist and sexist that it boggles my mind that it was allowed by officials and ignored by the media. The questions asked of Secretary Clinton, and the ridiculously higher expectations and almost impossible to meet standards expected of her in relation to her male opponents was embarrassing. 

Even more embarrassing is the way the media is currently treating the four women candidates for the Democratic nomination. I hear about Sherrod Brown’s ties to working class families, and reflection on Joe Biden’s status as elder statesman, and they haven’t even decided if they are running for 2020. However, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobucher are being lambasted for listening to rap music, eating fried chicken, mocked for family lore, and treatment of her subordinates instead of where they stand on the issues. Is the idea that Amy Klobucher expects her staff to live up to her expectations more problematic than a President who lies constantly about everything, even the insignificant? Bill Clinton played the saxophone on television, Mitt Romney has a car elevator in one of his houses, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is in jail for sexual misconduct, but no, let’s find out if Amy raises her voice trying to get things done. Journalism is in a tailspin, and I thought we were, if not past this sexism then at least pretending to be fair in public.

Also standing out significantly is the Georgia governor’s race in 2018, the Voter ID laws that disproportionately affected the Native American population in North Dakota, also in 2018, closing polling places, shortening voting times, which thereby increased lines and eliminated the working class who can’t afford to leave work early or go in late. Deciding that polling places didn’t meet accessibility requirements for the general election even though there were no problems during the primaries, and those polling places that didn’t meet the requirements were in primarily African-American districts (in Georgia, where the Secretary of State who is in charge of those things was also running for governor. He won. Big surprise there.) There is still a congressional seat in North Carolina that has not been certified because of blatant fraud.

So, how do we combat this?

Should Election Day be a national holiday so more people can vote without losing time and money from work? Why do certain segments of political partisanship want less people to vote, not more despite their being eligible and wanting to vote?

Should we have a standard set of questions to address to each office-seeker when they’re being introduced as a presidential candidate?

Why do we continue to allow the Senate Majority Leader to lie about what the American people want (as shown in poll after poll), and allow him to not bring bills to the floor that have passed the House?

Why do we allow the White House and the President’s enablers in Congress to block investigations into the Russian interference in the 2016 and 2018 elections? I would hope that no one wants a foreign power controlling our votes and who is elected to our national offices, but it seems that some of those politicians blocking access and investigatory avenues are dominated by their monetary reliance on that same foreign power. This is wrong. When will they come to their senses? When will their patriotism extend to real American sovereignty and equal rights instead of their false flag patriotism?

How do we also encourage voting participation?

Why do some from one side think it should be harder to vote, whether because of economics or transportation or accessibility?

This needs to be addressed before the 2020 election. 2020 will celebrate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. We should come together for a comprehensive overhaul of the registration and voting process to make it accessible to all eligible voters. If we wait much longer, we won’t have anything worth voting for.

Election Reflection – 21 DAYS TIL MIDTERMS

Standard

VOTE!

Vote Save America – check your registration. People are being purged and voters, especially minorities and Democratic voters are being suppressed. If Republicans had a message and could take the responsibility of governing, they wouldn’t need to cheat by suppressing legal voters from making their choices.

In Georgia, the Republican running against Stacey Abrams is also the Secretary of State of the state of Georgia, and is the one who validates the security and legitimacy of the election, including certifying the election. Currently, there are 53,000 voter registrations that are being held up. 70% of them are African-American voters.

Georgia Lawsuit is Latest…
The Supreme Court just ruled, merely a few weeks ahead of this year’s election that the North Dakota law requiring street addresses (rather than post office boxes) is legal and upheld. This disenfranchises many Native Americans voters, a voting group that primarily goes for the Democratic party. Living on reservations and on rural routes, the post office does not assign street addresses. This is significant.

Native Americans Decry Supreme Court Ruling on Voter ID in ND

Indiana is trying to purge voters in the weeks before this midterm election.

Federal Judge Blocks Indiana…

Again, I ask, what are Republican politicians afraid of?

We are still at risk from Russian election interference. Nothing has been fortified since the 2016 election that has been proved to have been compromised.

I’m worried.

You should be also.

Check your registration, drive your friends to the polls, and VOTE!

Are we a Nation of States What’s the State of Our Nation?[*]

Standard

i wrote a piece, a second part to last week’s Now What? about Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony and the fall out. It was supposed to post Wednesday morning. I had intended to re-read it, tweak it a bit, and then post, and I did finally do that last night. However, the last two days since the original first draft have been a minefield of emotion and anger. Rage. Continue reading