July 6, 2020 Newsletter
Dear OSTPDX Members,
There is no way to describe what is going on in this country other than all out chaos. COVID-19 cases continue to spike nationwide including here in Oregon, anti-maskers on the right carry on with their rejection of science and common sense, and Black Lives Matter protests continue to demand justice that can’t come soon enough. It’s a lot to digest! The convergence of multiple crises highlights the urgent need for change and progressive policies.
Read on to see how you can stay engaged with your activism right now, what OSTPDX’s proposed plan is for endorsements this November and how you can help the OSTPDX Climate, Energy and Environment team with what they've been working on.
Has endorsed the following five candidates in the November election:
-Joe Biden, President
-Jeff Merkley, Senator
-Shemia Fagan, Secretary of State
-Ellen Rosenblum, Attorney General
-Tobias Read, State Treasurer
In making these endorsements, COIN took into account the fact that nearly every Indivisible group nationwide (including One Small Thing PDX) took the pledge to support the eventual Democratic nominee in the presidential campaign to defeat Trump. COIN also took notice that the other races are ones that are “must wins” if we are to continue to enact and carry out progressive policies in Oregon.
Given the extraordinarily high stakes in the upcoming election, One Small Thing is seriously considering to join COIN (with which it is affiliated) in making these endorsements. What this will mean is that we will add our logo to the COIN logo in amplifying these endorsements. We will also give these campaigns permission to use our name and logo in publicizing these endorsements. We will encourage our membership to support these candidates. But we will not share our membership lists with these campaigns.
However, before we move forward, we want to hear from you. Please contact us with your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 16.
Actions & Events
OST-PDX Encourages Democratic Convention to Take a Strong Stand on Climate and Climate Justice Here Are Ways You Can Help
Two important sets of recommendations have recently been released to offer guidance to the Democratic Party on climate and climate justice policy as the Democrats prepare for their “virtual” national convention August 17-20. One set of recommendations emerged from the DNC Climate Council, formed by the Democratic National Committee to encourage the Democratic Party to take bold, ambitious action on the climate crisis and other environmental issues. The DNC Climate Council’s Environmental and Climate Policy Recommendations for the 2020 Democratic Party Platform are available here: https://www.dncclimate.org/the-platform. One Small Thing-PDX joined many national and grassroots organizations in endorsing the recommendations; OST-PDX founding member Jeff Hammarlund served as an adviser to the DNC Climate Council.
The other set of recommendations was unveiled by the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Their report, titled Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America (https://climatecrisis.house.gov/news/press-releases/climate-plan-press-release)
offers a Climate Crisis Action Plan, with detailed, ambitious, and actionable climate solutions that Congress should enact. According to an independent analysis, this plan would save more than 60,000 American lives each year due to reduced air pollution, and save nearly $8 trillion through 2050 thanks to health and climate benefits.
Despite these encouraging signs, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is also facing pressure from the more conservative factions in the party to back away from some of his relatively strong positions on climate policy to secure the support of voters in states that are heavily reliant on coal and other fossil fuels. This more conservative approach has not been well received by many younger and more progressive voters who believe that strong climate and climate justice measures should be essential features of a vision for a national clean energy economy.
OST-PDX provided the following statement to accompany its endorsement of the DNC Climate Council recommendations: We heartily endorse the recommendations of the DNC Climate Council. These actions must be commensurate to the climate crisis that impacts the entire world. We encourage the Democratic Party to adopt these recommendations to support healthy, just, and sustainable communities and to address the disproportionate damage climate change has caused to our most vulnerable communities. Joe Biden can help our nation heal from Trump, Covid, and the economic meltdown, but we need to ensure that this recovery includes a clean and just energy economy. Let’s take advantage of this window of opportunity to do it right.
How You Can Help
The Democratic Party has now invited “regular folks” to weigh in on what should be included in the official 2020 Democratic Party Platform. They have made it easy to offer your suggestions on climate change, or any other topic, by providing three options.
You can email your comments to email@example.com;
You can submit comments using this link:
And/or you can even record a short video that offers highlights of your recommendations here: https://www.stories.demconvention.com (click on “record your video”.) The videos are available for others to view and “like.” There are some great ones posted already.
The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee is expected to vote on the entire platform as early as July 15, so we have a short window of opportunity to offer suggestions.
OST-PDX Activist Reading Group
The OST-PDX Activist Reading Group met every 4 weeks until we switched to zoom meetings every 2 weeks – partly to decrease the isolation many of us were feeling in the early days of COVID self-isolation. At our June meeting we decided to go back to meeting every 4 weeks.
The next meeting will be Thursday, July 16. Subsequent meetings will be every 4 weeks: August 13, September 10, October 8, November 5, etc. We will continue meeting at 7:00pm-8:30pm (by zoom) for now.
The topic of the July 16 meeting will be Reparations. So far we have 2 readings:
”It Is Time for Reparations: What Is Owed” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, NY Times magazine, June 24, 2020
”The Case For Reparations” by Tanahisi Coates, The Atlantic, June 2014
If you are interested in joining our meetings, contact Ken Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Media Training
What will you do to elect Democrats? Do you have a Facebook or Twitter account that you could use to amplify candidates?
Scott Reeves, a long-time activist with OneSmallThing PDX, Indivisible Oregon, and DemCast, among many other roles, has recently completed a series of successful social media training sessions for members of those groups throughout the state.
Scott has offered to continue the trainings so this is your chance to learn how to use Facebook or Twitter to:
reach and motivate people outside your bubble to take action
promote your groups, your actions or your candidates
make your voice heard
Scott aims to teach us:
How we know social media is an effective way to reach people.
How to apply what you know about activism to social media.
How to recognize the difference between effective posts (those that help bring about change) and the majority of political posts that are ineffective (those focused on news, outrage or entertainment).
How to find and write effective posts for activism.
Why posts from some people get a much bigger response than yours.
We will learn how to spend less time on social media, but make a bigger difference and apply these lessons to our most powerful tool: social media blasts.
If you’re interested in participating in the training, please email email@example.com.
Virtual Swing Left & Vote Forward Letter Writing
Vote Forward and Swing Left are working together to increase civic participation by sending letters to voters. If you’re interested in printing and writing letters on your own, click here for more information. Listed below are some virtual letter writing events and you may search for others here.
Write Letters to Voters Virtually with Swing Left:
Virtual Letter Writing with Swing Left/Vote Forward/IndivisibleNWPortland: Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m.
Write Letters to Voters Virtually with Indivisible Oregon and Swing Left! Saturday, July 11th at 12:00 p.m.
Write Letters to Voters Virtually with Indivisible Oregon and Swing Left! Saturday, July 18th at 12:00 p.m.
Super State Kickoff and Letter-Writing Events: CO Kickoff, CO Letter-Writing, FL Letter-Writing and Southern Letter-writing
Virtual Indivisible Tuesday at Sen. Wyden & Rep. Blumenauer's: Tuesday, July 7th at 11:30 a.m.
Meet the Candidates for Arizona Legislature: Wednesday, July 8th at 6:00 p.m.
Community Dialogue on Police Crowd Control Practices: Wednesday, July 8th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dolores Huerta-Nuestra Gente Presente! Thursday, July 9th from 5-6:30 p.m.
Public Meditation: Black Lives Matter: Tuesday, July 14th from 7-8 p.m.
Bynum Re-election Kickoff Party! Sunday, July 19th from 3-4 p.m.