If you're here, thank you for taking action with me over the last two weeks. 2020 has been frustrating and felt like we have zero control, but taking action helps (for me at least). Today's action is a culmination of the last two weeks. We're going to take time out to inform our networks. People are 83% more likely to take action when someone they know makes the recommendation, meaning we can have the biggest impact in this election within our networks. 

Talking points:

  • Make a voting plan: Make sure your networks are prepared for election day and that they have researched (and I mean RESEARCHED because we see how they try to hide that information) election day requirements, their polling place, checked their registration status.
  • Who to vote for: Since you did your local election research on day 2, share it with your networks so they approach the polls informed. Let them know who you are voting for for President and why. 
  • The counts: Based on the 2020 primary vote count timelines, historically high mail-in votes, and projected record breaking physical voter turnout = we will not have results on election night. We need to be prepared for this and prepare those around us to keep from falling for conspiracy theories. The vote count will be delayed because of logistics, not a Red or Blue or BLM or ANTIFA conspiracy to turn the election upside down. The more prepared we all are, the more we can speak truth while fake news theories inundate social media.
  • The system: Voting rights are far from equal and it is up to us to fix this. Have facts ready for tough conversations and action steps in your back pocket to encourage your people to take. There is so much power in numbers in this fight.
Can you commit to these conversations with at least five people in your network? 

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 10

Thursday, September 24, 2020


The Issue

Florida continues to be the class embarrassment who causes us all to lose recess on a regular basis, and their latest move to uphold a law requiring felons to pay off all fines and fees is the latest example. Well this time we're not just going to sit in the dark classroom with our heads down (did anyone else have to do that when you owed a recess? Seems borderline abusive now that I reflect on this)- we're taking action to support the 1.4 million voters (yes, 1.4 MILLION) disenfranchised by this ruling.

But fist, let's discuss why this matters so much:

A) It's a poll tax.  

B) It directly suppresses the Black vote (ICYMI Black people are more likely to be arrested, charged, and serve time across the board due to a host of things like bias in the criminal justice system, the war on drugs, the school to prison pipeline to name just a few ways American justice screws over Black citizens. See herehere, here for receipts). 

C) The sh*t show that is Florida does not have a statewide system in place to let potential voters know how much money they owe. I'll take "dumpster fire" for $500, Trebek!

D) Florida is a battleground state with a whopping 29 electoral college votes, the fourth most in the country. Black voters, aka the majority of voters suppressed by this law, overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Republicans, can you at least TRY to not be so obvious? 

E) This ruling was made eight WEEKS before the election. WEEKS. So hoping in the course of a few weeks voters can find out how much they owe, pay it, get it processed, AND register. My life is extremely easy in comparison and I can't figure out why the DMV has't processed my payment for my updated license. So, ok sure.


What We Can Do

The FRRC is a grassroots org run by formerly convicted citizens dedicated to ending disenfranchisement against convicted citizens returning to society. Right now they are working with We Got the Vote to help Floridians pay off their fees and fines and register to vote. 

Click here to donate money towards paying off fines and fees so a Floridian can register to vote ASAP (if everyone participating in this challenge donated $5 we could pay off fees MANY full voters(!!!)). 

Click here to volunteer with the FRRC (remote roles available - data crunchers, dialers, etc!)


TL;DR

We aren't letting Florida get away with disenfranchising felons. Click here to donate money towards paying off fines and fees so a Floridian can register to vote ASAP, click here to volunteer with the FRRC.

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 9

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


The Issue 

I was really trying to find a less dramatic way to say this but 2020 dramatic AF yall! Our voting rights are under attack - between a global pandemic, 45, and blatant voter suppression efforts, things are not looking great. While some states are instituting mail-in ballots a large chunk of states have made the decision they will not modify elections for coronavirus. 


What We Can Do

Democracy means we all have a say, and Elizabeth Warren has set up a platform that makes it easy for us to hold our states accountable. Click here, select your state and you will be directed to a petition to sign, a letter to the editor template that they will send for you, and a platform (with instructions) to record a video for your representatives demanding action for a safe election that the team will get into the hands of your representatives.  


10 days of action to protect democracy: action 8

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Issue

Flipping the Senate and keeping the House Blue has never been more important.

Exhibit A: Congressional Responsibilities

The Senate has the power to block or pass the next SCOTUS appointments. Congress have the power to move progress forward with new legislation and reverse hurtful legislation. 

Pros:

  • Reverse harmful legislation
  • If (prayers up) we have a Biden/Harris administration a Blue Congress will pass through needed legislation on climate change (what up, West Coast), healthcare (what up, coronavirus), bailouts (what up, parents - Uncle Joe has an actual plan to bailout the childcare industry), education (what up, too many people/things to name here), voting rights, all of it. A Red Congress has the power to block all of it.
  • If we (please Lord no) have another four years with the burnt cheeto, they have the power to block harmful legislation. 
  • If we flip the Senate we take power from 2020's Class Clown Mitch McConnell (a Democrat controlled Senate = he would no longer be the Senate Majority Leader = he would no longer controls the Senate).
Cons:
  • Literally zero cons.
Look, I get that the Democratic party has a lot of work to do and it doesn't exactly feel great to be aligned with them, but right now the priority is transferring power so let's do this.

Exhibit B: Congress Makeup 
Representation matters - truly how is a law making body like this making decisions about what I can do with my body? And 3% Black? When we know that 75% of white people have 0 non-white friends, someone explain how such a light Congress can have America's best interests in mind. Note - I added religion in here because these Republicans have a tendency of blurring the line between church and state (I say this as a Christian).




Actions We Can Take

Know Your Ballot

Click here for information on finding your local ballot and how to research the candidates. Spread the word to your friends and while you're at it make sure you and your friends' voting plan is fool-proof. 

Volunteer With Your Local Campaign

Volunteer for your Senator's campaign- you can find the information on their website and hit the ground running. We only have a few weeks to turn this bus around so let's GO. 

Adopt a Candidate

If you live somewhere that doesn't have an important swing election coming up or you're a DC resident who pays taxes but has zero congressional representation (I'm not bitter at all), we are adopting a candidate. Many of these candidates reject PAC and big corp dollars so depend on grassroots efforts.

Tasks for the adoptive citizen:
  1. Donate to the campaign if you are able.
  2. Sign up for the candidate's mailing list to learn about volunteer opportunities.
  3. Volunteer for phone banking, texting, or postcard writing. 
  4. Volunteer for any other remote opportunities (a lot have data analysis roles, copy writing, graphic design, video editing, webinar hosting). These are true grassroots efforts and it is all hands on deck, y'all. 

Candidates up for Adoption:
(this is not a comprehensive list and will change through November)


Other Ways to Donate

Vote Save America's Get Mitch Out or Die Trying initiative collects a pool of donations and evenly distributes to Democratic candidates running tight Senate races to help flip the Senate.

Emily's List's Turn the Senate Blue  campaign distributes donations to Democrat women running for Senate (*Shania Twain voice "let's go girls"*)

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 7

Monday, September 21, 2020



The Issue

Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away Friday night at the age 87. While it is important to take time to mourn and process this loss, it is also a crucial time to take action.

What's at Stake 

RBG dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, equal voting rights, abortion access, women’s health, and social justice. With 43 days to the election 45 will rush to appoint a conservative justice from his short list, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (more about getting him out later this week) has vowed the Senate will confirm 45’s appointee

Axios


45’s appointee would shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court to five conservative justices plus John Roberts, a not-so-dependable right leaning justice - a tilt the U.S. has not seen in over 50 years (MAGA I guess). This gives us five guaranteed conservative justices, three guaranteed liberal justices, and one floater. Either way, this tilt will unwind the progress we have made towards equal rights, social justice, democracy, and fair elections. 

There are three scenarios:

  1. 45 and Mitch rush an appointment in the next 43 days.
  2. Scenario 1 doesn’t happen, Biden wins, 45 and Mitch rush an appointment before Biden takes over in January. (so remember - even if we beat scenario 1 we HAVE to stay awake for this one).
  3. The appointment happens after inauguration.  

A few quick reminders: 

  • What SCOTUS Does: the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution and its application to current cases, setting a precedent that every court in the country has to follow. They do this by taking cases and essentially voting on the outcome. Their passing or striking down decides on everything from the legalization of gay marriage to voting rights to workplace discrimination to abortion access to housing. They protect our rights and the rights of those who lack the privilege to have a voice as loud as our’s.
  • How SCOTUS Justices Are Appointed: The President appoints a justice who then requires Senate confirmation - our Senate is currently 53 Republicans and 45 Democrats. #TBT to 2016 when Mitch blocked the Senate vote for Obama’s appointment because it was too close to the inauguration - a whole 11 months.

What We Can Do

Time to hit the phones and emails yall. Our Senators MUST block the vote for 45’s SCOTUS appointment before the inauguration.  
  • Prior to RBG’s death, a handful of Republican senators said they would oppose filling the Supreme Court seat before the next President takes office. We need to call and email their offices to support them and pressure them to uphold their previous statements about this. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). Find thier contact information here.
  • Contact your Senators to demand the SCOTUS appointment wait until after the inauguration. Find your Senators’ contact information here.
  • While contacting your own Senators is most effective, this is an all hands on deck initiative. As a D.C. resident I don’t have Senate representation so I’m picking every Republican  here and sending my message.

Call Script:

“Hi my name is [name] and I live in [you city, state]. I am sure you, like me, are mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am calling on you to follow the precedent set in 2016 after the passing of Justice Scalia and commit to not confirming a Supreme Court Justice until after the inauguration. Allow the people to make this decision. Thank you.”

Copy/paste email/contact form text:

Subject: Commit to allowing the people to decide on the next SCOTUS Justice.
 
Dear Senator [name],
My name is [your name] and I live at [address]. I am sure you, like me, are mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Today I am calling on you to follow the precedent set in 2016 after the passing of Justice Scalia, and to commit to not confirming a Supreme Court Justice until after the inauguration. Allow the people to make this decision. 

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your action on this important matter.

Sincerely,
[Your name]


Lastly: make sure your's and your network's voting plans are ironclad. Click here to learn more about researching your local ballot, and here for how to plan your voting.

TL;DR

We're calling Senators to demand they commit to not confirming a Supreme Court Justice until after the inauguration. Find Senators to call and email here.

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 6

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Excited to have you here! If you're just joining us, check out the 10 Days of Action information page.




 The Issue

We aren't just voting for President in 47 days, a lot of us also have important local elections on this day as well. These candidates and elections don't get as much air time as the presidential election but are extremely important in the civil rights movement we are in right now. In case you missed this day in Civics 101- or never had this day because we were instead learning trigonometry equations that really when will most of us ever use- I'm going to break down a few of these offices.


Offices @ Federal Level:

Congress: Senate and House of Representatives. Important because they pass bills to make laws. Bad ones pass bad bills and block good bills (recent examples: healthcare, coronavirus relief, bailouts). ALSO IMPORTANT: Senators confirm Supreme Court judge nominations. In the next presidency we will see, at a minimum, two new Supreme Court judges. Whoever wins the presidency will nominate someone who then a simple Senate majority confirms. This could be very, very bad for equal rights.


Offices @ State Level

Judges: Some states elect judges but some don't. Judges interpret laws. Are you tired of seeing Black people unjustly committed? Research the judges on your ballot and make an informed decision on Election Day.

State Legislature: Senators and House of Representatives. Vote on new laws, modify existing laws. Good ones pass good laws and change bad laws, bad ones pass bad laws and change good laws. Change at this level matters, a LOT. Things state legislators across the US have done just this year:

  • Restricted abortion access 
  • Suppressed voting rights Public schools being defunded 
  • Guns in daycares
  • Reduced access to welfare

Research your state legislators on the ballot and make some change.

Governor: Governors handle allll the statewide stuff, the president of your state. How was your state's coronavirus response? How did they respond to BLM? Did they take extreme measures to suppress voters (*cough cough Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas*)? GET πŸ‘THEM πŸ‘ OUT πŸ‘. This might be an off year for their re-election so pay attention to future election cycles.


Offices @ Local Level

These offices look different depending on your city but mayors, city council, sheriffs, county commissioners all play a role in creating and enforcing laws.


The Action 

One of the most important things you can do is show up to the polls informed, and inform those around you. 

Step 1: Check your state's ballot here.

Step 2: Take 30 minutes to research your candidates. The Civil Review Board has done a lot of the lifting by collecting surveys from hundreds of candidates across the country, find your politicians' responses here. Google is also your friend - it's important to understand where politicians stand and their history on issues that impact our democracy and social justice. I break down a lot of these topics in my Instagram highlights titled #WUW.

Step 3: Share your findings with friends. Email your findings and the CRB Survey Results to your network, talk about it with your family and friends.


TL;DR

State and local elections matter more than ever. Research your candidates. Check your state's ballot here, read politicians' survey responses here, google their past and stance on issues that impact social justice.

See yall out there.



10 days of action to protect democracy: action 5

Thursday, September 17, 2020


 

The Issue

Swing states aka battleground states make or break an election. These are states that could go blue or red in the election, and the ones we hear about are those that have the most electoral college votes. Swing states are constantly changing and this election is enough of a toss up with enough insane factors that literally every swing state counts. The 2020 election has brought us something we are calling Super States, learn about them here.


Action We Can Take

The thing about an election in a global pandemic is that campaigns and organizations have created so many virtual opportunities. Today we are adopting a swing state!

Click here for opportunities with AZ, FL, MI, PA, NC, and WI. 

Click here for opportunities with AZ, CO, FL, GA, IA, ME, MI, NC, OH, PA, TX, and WI. 

I adopted Pennsylvania and have done done emails and phone banking. Let's gooo!


TL;DR

Swing states are going to make or break this election, so we are adopting a swing state here or here.

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 4

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


 

The Issue

COVID has significantly reduced many campaign activities, but there are two key activities that have been cut that disproportionately impact minority voters: canvassing and voter registration drives (Black and Hispanic voters are two times more likely to register to vote via registration drives. 

Canvassing is crucial for important conversations with voters (particularly on the fence voters), confirming voters have the information they need to show up to vote, and cleaning data lists to identify campaign segments (learn more about that here). Canvassing increases voter turnout by 4.8% - a make or break number in the upcoming election.

20% of voter registrations historically come from voter registration drives, and Black and Hispanic voters are two times more likely to register to vote this way. People who register to vote via a registration drive are also more likely to show up on election day when they register this way. 

Without canvassing and voter registration drives due to COVID restrictions, the US runs the risk of lower voter turnout and less informed voters in 2020.


Actions We Can Take

Phone and text banking are safe, effective alternatives. For today's action, sign up to phone or text bank. Click here to sign up to phone bank or text for the Biden/Harris campaign. If you're interested in supporting a local campaign in this way google the candidates name + phone baking.

I have phone banked in the past and the process was very straightforward and easy to follow. I didn't need to download any apps or add anything to my computer, and the website does all the work for you - all you have to do is talk. The site makes the dials, shows an interactive script on your computer screen to click through while on the phone, and then directs you how to classify the contact. I got a lot of hang ups but did have a handful of meaningful conversations with people who had not yet registered to vote and had questions, who did not know how to find their polling place, and who were on the fence about who to vote for (the script guides you through policy conversations). There is a Slack channel with campaign staffers and other volunteers who are there to quickly answer any questions or resolve technical difficulties you have during the process.

When I make calls I set a goal to do 50 dials, which I can usually hit pretty quickly because of the number of hang ups or wrong numbers (ha). Any time you can commit to this, be it 20 minutes or two hours, will make a difference. 


TL;DR

  • Things are kind of screwed without canvassing and voter registration drives this year
  • A safe alternative is phone banking
  • Click here to sign up to phone bank or text for the Biden/Harris campaign. If you're interested in supporting a local campaign in this way google the candidates name + phone baking.

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 3

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

 I'm excited to have you join the challenge! For more information click here.



The Issue

Voter registration and voting day requirements are incredibly confusing and can be stressful. Thousands of eligible voters were unable to register for the 2016 election due to nuanced registration requirements (i.e. 90,000 eligible New York voters were unable to participate in the 2016 election because their registration forms were not received in time), and many more are turned away at the polls for lack of proper documentation such as photo ID (note - the definition of "photo ID" varies state by state which is a major cause of mass confusion, watch to learn more). 


What We Can Do

Action 1: Check Yourself

  • Confirm you are registered to vote here.
  • Check your state's early voting schedule here.
  • Considering a mail-in ballot? Specific requirements that vary state by state determine if your mail-in vote is likely to be counted or discarded. Check requirements here and make an informed decision if mail-in voting is right for you.
  • Confirm your polling place here.
  • Make sure you have what is required on voting day here.
  • Create a calendar invite for yourself on the day you plan to vote that includes your polling place and items you are required to bring such as a photo ID - add anyone you know to the invite who lives in your district. 
Action 2: Check Your Community (email template below):
  • People are three times more likely to act on something if it comes recommended by someone they know. Check in on your family and friends to make sure they are set for registration day.
  • Reach out to your networks to ensure they are properly registered and equipped with the knowledge they need to show up on voting day. Think co-workers, professional groups, alumni groups, neighborhood list serves/Facebook groups/NextDoor, church, etc.
  • Students are historically one of the most disenfranchised voting groups, and the pandemic forcing students to change addresses multiple times in a year only adds to the obstacles. If you have connections to student groups (sororities, fraternities, sports groups, FCA, religious groups, groups you may be able to reach through alumni connections) reach out to make sure they have the tools to show up on election day.

Email Template: 
Dear _______,

We are officially less than 50 days from the 2020 election, and it is crucial that every vote is counted. Please take five minutes today to check your voter registration status and ensure you have everything needed for election day. I have included a checklist below and suggest creating a calendar invite on the day you plan to vote that includes your polling place location and any IDs/documents required. 
  • Confirm you are registered to vote here.
  • Check your state's early voting schedule here.
  • Considering a mail-in ballot? Specific requirements that vary state by state determine if your mail-in vote is likely to be counted or discarded. Check requirements here and make an informed decision if mail-in voting is right for you.
  • Confirm your polling place here.
  • Make sure you have what is required on voting day here.
  • Create a calendar invite for yourself on the day you plan to vote that includes your polling place and items you are required to bring such as a photo ID - add anyone you know to the invite who lives in your district. 
Thank you for taking time to go through this checklist and please feel free to forward to any family and friends!

 I'm excited to kick off this challenge today! For more information on this challenge click here

The Issue

We have all had to wait in long lines at the polls or at least seen it happen on the news. No one should have to wait hours to vote- not to mention that hourly employees can't afford to take that much time off, people with illnesses/disabilities are often unable to endure long lines, and polling places have closed their doors with hundreds still in line to cast a vote (they actually can't do this). 

58% of poll workers are over the age 60 and unable to work this election due to their elevated COVID risk, less poll workers = longer wait times. Combine this with projected record breaking voter turnout and we have a disaster on our hands. 


Action We Can Take

Poll workers are essential to make elections happen. They process voters, provide ballots, secure logistics, assist voters with disabilities, and everything else that ensures voters can vote. For today's action, sign up to be a poll worker in your state here.  

I’ll be working in D.C. and the process has been great. You are required to work election day and can opt in to volunteer for additional shifts during early voting. I had to attend a four hour training which, tbh the idea of doing a four hour government training was almost enough to get me to rescind my application, but the training was actually really engaging and hands-on and I learned so much about the inner workings of elections. There are managers and plenty of other volunteers on site on election day to make sure us n00bs don't mess anything up. My work offers Volunteer Time Off, which I will be using for this. 


Alternative Actions

If you have reasons you can’t volunteer for this in-person opportunity or if your state does not need more poll workers no fear - there are other ways to get involved too! 

  1. Volunteer as a poll watcher: See requirements and next steps here. The RNC has recruited over 50,000 poll watchers, including many uniformed police, sheriffs, and military, and voting rights activists warn that this tactic targets minorities and will deter them from voting Let's even it out, yall.
  2. Other election day volunteer opportunities: Sign up here to get matched with an opportunity in your area. All kinds of support is needed-  watchdogging social media, informing voters of their rights, poll watching, and more.

TL;DR 
Sign up to be a poll worker.
  • Sign up to be a poll worker in your state here
  • If your state doesn't need volunteers or you can't participate in this, consider signing up to be a poll watcher here here.
  • Or sign up here for other election day opportunities.

 

10 days of action to protect democracy: action 1

Sunday, September 13, 2020

 


As we head into the most tumultuous election of our lifetime it is our civic duty to not only vote but to engage in the process. I incorporated feedback from the #30DayEducationChallenge to create a more digestable, action-oriented challenge for us to do together to protect our democracy. 


What to expect: Each day will have an action item that takes 10-20 minutes to complete. Action items will include explicit instructions, links to follow, templates to use, etc. Everything can be done from home. We're gonna register voters, adopt swing states, and all kinds of fun stuff. 

When it starts: Monday, September 14 kicks off our 10 days of action. This day is exactly 50 days until the biggest election of our lifetime.

Where to find the action items: We got a few ways to get it done:

  • Action items will post to Instagram every morning by 7 a.m. (share on your stories, encourage others to join the action of the day even if they're not joining the challenge).
  • Action items will post here at LindsSays.com by 5 a.m. 
  • Sign up here to receive the action items to your inbox every morning at 5 a.m.  (note: if you received #30DayEducationChallenge emails you'll get these too) (another note: gmail plays too much - check your promotions tab, your social tab, your spam folder, under the bed... these emails go everywhere).
Why we should do this: Besides our civic duty mentioned above, this is the most important election of our lifetime. Since the 2016 elections, states have disenfranchised voters at an alarming rate (see here and here). I don't think I need to do a point-by-point on what a sh*t show this administration has been, but without action from people on the ground there is a very very high chance that we will have another four years of this. So, we're going to hit the (virtual) streets and make some change. See y'all out there.


New Challenge: 10 Days of Action to Protect Democracy

Thursday, September 10, 2020