Summary of 1.22.17 Action Call

Tonight was the Action call hosted by MoveOn.org, Indivisible and Working Families Party. The purpose was to help those individuals that want to take action (and keep taking it) post march. Their first call to action is to visit our congressmen/women this Tuesday, January 24th. They urged us to come together in groups and go to our local District Offices. The plan is to go every Tuesday to your representatives' offices for the first 100 Days. Here are the closest offices to Boulder for our three congressmen:

Jared Polis (House Rep): 1644 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80302 8:30am-5:30pm

Cory Gardner (Senator): 1125 17th St., Ste 525, Denver, CO 80202 (no hours listed on his site)

Michael Bennet (Senator): 1127 Sherman St., Suite 150, Denver, CO 80203 (no hours listed on his site)

Ezra (one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide), started out with sharing the Principles that bring us together:

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He next shared the Principles of Nonviolence and De-Escalation:

Next, he shared the methods that allowed the Tea Party to gain momentum and traction with their grassroot efforts. Their focus was local and constantly having their congressmen defending their positions on issues.  

Next they shared some key points on how we can have an impact at the local level:

  • Act locally.
  • We need to ensure our reps have our support.
  • Be consistent in our efforts and don't lose the momentum.
  • The first week of this Congress, they were going to cut the Ethics Committee that oversaw Congress. Constituents across the country went to their Congressmen's/women's local offices voicing their concern over this cut. Due to those efforts, Congress backed off on killing that committee.
  • This Tuesday (1/24), go to your Senators' local offices and make them listen to you.
  • Bring friends with you (that live in their district/state).
  • Let the press know before you go, you may be able to get news coverage (ways to contact them outlined below).
  • Do not notify the office before you go. There have been efforts in the past to block constituents from getting in. Don't take "no" for an answer. Ask to speak to the highest level staff in the office. If they won't let you in, ask for someone to come out to speak to you.
  • Record everything you do. Take photos, make videos, take selfies; as proof you were there and tried to speak with your congressman/woman. If cameras/phones are rolling you can get footage of the meeting. If they act poorly (like the Congressman Coffman in CO last week), you can show this to the media and on social media.
  • Empower our Democratic members to be bolder. It's important for new senators to also hear from their constituents from the beginning. 
  • Have a plan: a) Determine who will have which speaking rolls before you get there; b) Have your list of "asks": what are they working on, how will they vote on X issue/appointment; c) Have personal stories that you can share of their constituents; d) Let them know that we will be watching everything they do, especially these first few weeks.
  • After meeting, make a recap video to share on social media (be sure to include #Indivisible and they will push out your posts too). They listed a few hashtags you can use as well.

They also shared what it may be like to visit your district office:

They next shared how you can do your own outreach to get more people involved. Try to make your local group be as inclusive and diverse as you can.

The specific efforts for this Tuesday (1/24/17) will be to make our voices heard against the cabinet appointments the Senate is reviewing now. Trump has had a campaign of "clearing the swamp", so they have coined the hashtag #swampcabinet.

These are some traditional media points they shared:

  • Our reps don't want to be shown in a bad light. Getting the local media to cover the story can go a long way in our favor. 
  • Write up a Press Release: a) Use local quotes; b) may be able to find a template online; c) look up local media outlets and get the name and email of the reporter(s) that cover politics.
  • Call the reporters you reached out to after you email them the Press Release.
  • See if they can join you on Tuesday.
  • Even if the reporters you reached out to did not come to your event, send them a video and/or pictures after the event as they may run the story post event.
  • Try to get a meeting with the Editorial Board of your local paper for possible Op Ed.

Next they shared some points on how you can De-Escalate an event should you come across others that are in opposition of your agenda. 

  • Stay calm - avoid confrontation
  • Be intentional to use language that is non-violent and inclusive.
  • Ignore opposition @ public events and ask them to leave if at a private event.

Indivisible has also created a Toolkit for group leaders to use. It covers a lot of the points from the phone call as well. 

February 20-24th is when Congress is not in D.C. and should be in their District Offices. Their websites should list any public appearances they have scheduled. We will try to have that information released as soon as we get it. 

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter where we can let you know when we have updates for you. 

Dianna Rands