Indivisible News Letter For Aug 2019 -End the Filibusters
Our Indivisible monthly letter to you: the book is printing, we’re going to end the filibuster, and more. Then Tom Steyer has recorded a live town hall meeting focused on climate change that reveals his plan to get the USA on track for sustainability.
Welcome to your monthly newsletter from us two — Leah & Ezra, the co-executive directors of Indivisible. The purpose of these monthly emails is to give you a sense of what we’re seeing in the Indivisible movement, and to get your thoughts to have a big conversation across the entire Indivisible movement. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
BOOK. IS. PRINTING.
Yes! It’s done! We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump is finally out to the printers and will be shipping to folks on November 5. We can’t wait for this to be in your hands!! We’re planning a book tour around the country and will be sending out dates and locations very soon. We’re not going to be able to go in person everywhere, but we’d love to join your Indivisible group for a talk on the book virtually if you’re planning to put something together. If that’s of interest for your Indivisible group, let us know here. We’ll also plan to do some virtual book clubs events around the week of launch.
Just as a reminder: this book is for the movement — 100% of our proceeds from the advance and book sales are going to Indivisible’s Save Democracy Fund. We want this book to help recruit for the movement and make the push for saving American democracy. We hope it’s helpful! And as always, it would be great if you could pre-order the book here to help us get it on the New York Times best seller list. All the pre-orders count toward the first week of sales, and it’s that first week that’s most important for getting on the bestseller lists.
Follow up on last month’s question: what should saving democracy look like?
Thanks to the more than 1,500 of you who took the time to give us your thoughts on the big democracy reform survey last month! This is heady stuff, and frankly we were a little worried that it was too wonky and in the weeds. But the feedback you shared was GREAT! And we found your responses to the survey fascinating (and helpful!).
In short, within the Indivisible movement, there’s lots of support for all of these proposals, with the one exception of lowering the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds (which had a plurality but not majority support). The quantitative data only tells some of the story — you all submitted a ton of great comments — we hear you on the urgent need for campaign finance reform, anti-gerrymandering, election security, and automatic voter registration. We agree! All of this is in the For the People Act, which the House passed earlier this year, and which Indivisible strongly supports. And thank you too for the podcast and book recommendations! We’re adding those to our list!
So what are we going to do with all this? Behind the scenes, we’re taking these results to media, campaigns, and federal legislatures. We want them to understand how much support there is in general for democracy reform and we want them proposing their own ideas for rebuilding democracy after Trump. We want presidential candidates to try to “out-democracy” each other, and we want congressional leaders introducing new, popular, pro-democracy legislation. As for public work, please stay tuned, we have some big plans on the lead-up to the release of the book on November 5!
Last note on democracy: a couple months ago, we surveyed you all on a related democracy issue — eliminating the filibuster (about 70% supported, 12% unsure, 8% no). Mitch McConnell has pledged to be the “Grim Reaper” of progressive legislation, and he’s called democracy reforms a “power grab” and “socialism”. Then, just last week Mitch penned an op-ed in the New York Times warning Democrats that they better not eliminate the filibuster.
So if you wondered why we were asking you about the filibuster a few months ago, it’s because we knew it was going to become a live issue! And we’re not cowering in response to Mitch’s threats. Instead, Indivisible put together a campaign website to push to eliminate the filibuster. Mitch wants a veto over everything Democrats want to get done in 2021, but we’re not going to let him have it.
What we’re reading: The politics of resisting and defeating Trumpism
We’ve not had this section of the newsletter before, but we thought it’d be fun to share some of the things we’re reading.
Most recently we’re reading this interview with Rachel Bitecofer. Bitecofer is an academic statistician whose political forecasting model was among the most accurate in the business in 2018. And now she has a message about how to win 2020. If we could sum it up, it’d go something like this: when we fight, we win. She finds that Democrats don’t serve themselves by playing gently with Trump. She argues they’ll do best in the 2020 by generating energy and turnout among their base. The interview is well worth a read!
This lines up with another thing we’ve been reading — this new memo from Data for Progress. Data for Progress took a dive into the argument around “electability” by polling specifically in 42 swing districts across the country. What they found was pretty surprising! They’re looking at “net favorable” rating — approval minus disapproval. In these districts, Trump net favorable is lower than the three Democratic contenders they tested — Biden, Warren, and Harris. That’s great news! What they also found: Warren had the highest net favorables, followed closely by Harris, with Biden several points lower. This is a bit counter-intuitive, given that Biden is often presented as “more electable” than Warren and Harris (among others).
What these studies tell us is that there’s a compelling argument for national leaders who want to beat Trump: fight back hard, generate energy, and mobilize your base! This isn’t all just political theorizing — there’s a way to put this into practice right now. In the next 30 days, Congress is going to decide whether or not to fight back against Trump’s funding request for his anti-immigrant agenda. Indivisible is holding a national week of action once Congress gets back next month — you can check out Indivisible’s Defund Hate week of action website here. We believe standing with immigrant communities is the morally right thing to do. What Bitecofer and Data for Progress point to is that it’s also the way we ultimately defeat Trump.
Question for you this month to come: how are we doing?
We’ve been doing these monthly newsletters for about six months now. We like writing them because they give us a chance to sit down and reflect, speak directly to the movement, and gather ideas, concerns, and other thoughts in a systematic way. We love the amount of engagement we get on everything from wonky topics like the filibuster to mobilizing to build support for impeachment (hello Impeachment August!) to input on big, game-changing democracy reforms.
Last month was big long survey, but we don’t want that to become standard practice. We want to keep it easy for you to share your thoughts and feedback. So this month, we’re keeping it simple. How are you liking these newsletters? Are you getting something out of them? Are they too long (the answer is yes — sorry)? Are there things you wish we’d cover? How can we make this conversation with the movement more engaging for you? We really welcome any and all feedback (including criticism!) here.
And with that, we end another another monthly Leah/Ezra newsletter. As always, please feel free to follow up directly with us on Twitter — we’re reachable at @Leahgreenb and @ezralevin. Until next month!
Leah & Ezra
Tom Steyer Town Hall Videos Are Out
See the whole series:
Emergency Broadcast – Climate Change – This Is Not A Test
Tom Steyer Town Hall Meeting
What Tom Would DO On Day One About the Climate.
How Can WE Win This Presidential Election? – By Just Showing Up
We Have An Opportunity To Rebuild Climate Policy
Tom’s fight for a cleaner, more sustainable planet
Tom’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan will bring us into a sustainable, healthy, equitable future, together. He will also establish and fund a community-led Civilian Climate Corps to enable people to develop solutions that work best for their communities. Tom’s plan includes justice-based pollution reduction targets, as well as the creation of new, good, union jobs.
Since 2010, the grassroots movements Tom’s been involved in have put more renewable energy on the grid, kept a proposed dirty power plant out of a heavily polluted community, helped farmers and ranchers hold coal companies accountable, created tens of thousands of new, green jobs, and lowered electricity costs for California public schools. Tom was one of the first to oppose the XL Keystone Pipeline, and has stood at the forefront of the movement to divest from fossil fuel corporations. We must fight for climate reform and climate justice.
Alarming Climate Facts
Since the late 19th century, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit.
The five warmest years on record occurred after 2010.
In the past five years, 47 states have declared states of emergency due to climate and weather-related disasters, and 49 have needed disaster-relief from FEMA.
Between 1993 to 2016, Greenland has lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year and Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice.
Indivisible has news about their book, ending the abuse of the filibuster by Republican’ts so we can move the people’s agendas forward. Plus Tom has videos.
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Indivisible Action is a Hybrid Political Action Committee fueled by the grassroots movement to win elections and build local, independent progressive power nationwide. Read more about the formation of our PAC here. Contributions to Indivisible Action are not tax deductible.