New Republican Voter Suppression Laws (#Voter-Suppression)
Behind the (#Recall) “Recall Newsom” Effort (#Recall)
Valley Historian Involvement in 1776 Commission (#Historian)
Fresno COVID Vaccine and Epidemic Response (#Covid)
Democratic Party HQ (#HQ)
Noha Elbaz is the only Democrat running for a seat on the Clovis City Council. This is not a typical election—it takes place on March 2, 2021.
Elbaz is an active volunteer in the community, a mother, former classroom teacher, former campus president of a local college in Clovis and a lifelong leader in the field of education.
As a young child, her family immigrated to North America from Alexandria, Egypt. Her parents chose to immigrate to provide the best opportunities possible for their family. Elbaz’s parents instilled in her the importance of a good education, hard work and giving back to the community.
Elbaz and her husband chose to settle in Clovis because of its small-town charm, great public schools and being a safe place to raise young kids. On the City Council, she will work to maintain those qualities by supporting local businesses and schools, promoting responsible growth and offering a diverse perspective.
Elbaz is running against out-of-touch Republican incumbents, who have campaign funds pumped in by out-of-city corporate interests.
Learn more about her campaign atwww.NohaElbaz.com ([link removed]) .
Volunteer to elect Noha Elbaz at [link removed].
Check out her recent op-ed in the Fresno Bee at [link removed].
The November 2020 election saw the largest voter turnout in recent decades and, despite well-founded fears about interference from the Republican-controlled Post Office and state legislatures, as well as foreign influences, was remarkably efficient and transparent. In the worst year, against the worst challenges, thanks to the work of our civil servants everything worked. And now the Republican Party is trying to undo all that.
Senior members of the Republican Party and conservatives across the country have advanced Donald Trump’s lies that the election was rigged against him. These claims are not based on any evidence, and the specifics of the conspiracy shift with each telling because the details do not matter. The only goal is to undermine faith in the concept of democracy to convince people the only option is authoritarianism. And simultaneous to attacking the mentality of the public, they are attacking the physical means by which we vote.
Republican state legislatures have put forth 106 bills to tighten election rules and make it harder to cast a ballot. In Georgia, they want to roll back absentee voting by insisting that applicants will require a preapproved excuse.
Arizona is auditing election equipment, but only in Democratic-majority counties, while also aiming at repealing their absentee ballot law and requiring that every mail-in ballot be notarized in person.
Arizona, Mississippi and Wisconsin wish to end the practice of awarding electoral votes by statewide majority and instead by Republican gerrymandered Congressional districts. Nebraska wants to do the reverse, since one of its districts voted for Biden.
Texas wants to cut the time allotted for early voting.
Pennsylvania Republicans want to undo absentee voting expansion just a year after it passed.
These are solutions that would not work for problems that do not exist. But that has always been the Republican modus operandi. Back in the 2016 election, Republican voters consistently stated that one of their primary concerns was the need for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to combat the current surge in immigration, despite the fact that immigration was in fact falling.
However, Democratic legislators in the House and Senate are crafting their response to this threat, a grand framework of national voting protection. It would include allowances for automatic and same-day voter registration, a minimum 15 days of early voting, no-excuse voting by mail and online voter registration, while also requiring states to appoint independent and nonpartisan commissions to draw political boundaries and end the practice of gerrymandering by either party.
Republicans are expected to oppose these rights as strenuously as they can, as they proved last year that they hate the consequence of large numbers of people voting freely.
There is a growing movement among California Republicans to attempt and hold a special recall election to remove Governor Gavin Newsom from office and hold a new election for his replacement. The petition is gathering signatures and has a not-insignificant chance of reaching the required numbers to force a recall election. The campaign needs to turn in almost 1.5 million signatures by the March 17 deadline, although the actual number would likely need to be greater to ensure that a minimum number of signatures are validated.
This campaign has found eager allies in the most dangerous blocs of the conservative movement: QAnon conspiracy theorists, Proud Boy allies, COVID deniers and insurrectionist “patriot” groups readying for battle. Those in favor of Newsom’s removal echo the same anti-government calls that have grown thickly under Donald Trump’s denial of the national election.
The original recall organization insists that these voices are not important, angrily asking, “Do we have to denounce everybody that is involved to move it forward?” They have chosen not to denounce those involved.
We are still deep in the middle of the greatest economic crisis and greatest loss of life since WWII, a death toll we are due to surpass any day if we have not already done so. These dark times fuel the “burn it all down” conservative nationalist movement that values personal freedom above any concern for the welfare of others. People are desperate, and when they get desperate they get mean.
California Democrats cannot afford to ignore this swelling movement in the assumption that it will fizzle. Many of us were tempted to “attention starve” the beast back in early 2016 durring Trump’s initial rise. We need to learn our lesson. The conservative movement’s disconnect from reality does not make them less dangerous. It only makes the danger greater.
Read the Fresno County Democratic Party press release here:
Fresno County is currently administering vaccines to healthcare workers and individuals age 75 and older. The Fresno Fairgrounds is being used as a government-administered site for inoculations, along with the private health facilities of the Sierra Pacific Orthopedics Center and United Health Centers.
Appointments can be made in advance, and the links to do so can be found on the Fresno County Vaccine website. All availability is limited by the vaccine supply. If you or a family member has received the first dose of the vaccine, remember that a second dose must be received for full effect.
For the health and prosperity of all those around you, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing and reduce your incidents of contact with people who do not dwell in your home.
The Democratic Party HQ (1033 U St. ([link removed]) ) is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday–Friday. Call 559-495-0606 (tel:559-495-0606) or e-mail [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re%3A%20Newsletter-02-02-21) for information or to volunteer.
Support your local Democratic Party by making a donation viaActBlue ([link removed]) or by mailing a check to Fresno County Democratic Party, P.O. Box 5795, Fresno, CA 93755.
Our newsletter is prepared by Francis Horan.
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Fresno County Democratic Party . 1033 U Street . Fresno, CA 93721 . USA