From Democrats of Indian River <[email protected]>
Subject Get Informed - Information in Bulk!
Date July 29, 2021 5:39 PM
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** Happy Thursday Democrats!
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Olympic Medal Count - Top Ten

FEDERAL


Filibuster, Filibuster, Filibuster

“What is the filibuster, and where did it come from?” Senator Elizabeth Warren has a great explanation of the filibuster:

Here's what it is, and here's why it stinks:

For a vote on a bill to take place in the Senate, a few things have to happen.
1. A bill is brought to the Floor.
2. Senators debate the bill.
3. Senators end debate
4. Senators vote on the bill, majority wins.

That’s the way the Founders intended it to go, at least. Here’s the hitch: In 1806, Aaron Burr — yes, the one who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel — said the Senate had too many rules and should get rid of some.

One rule that got tossed in the trash can? The rule that said any senator could propose a vote that would cut off debate. Senators didn’t see a need to keep this rule on the book, so they tossed it.

That means step #2 (Senator’s debate the bill) could, in theory, go on forever — if enough Senators were willing to speak long enough on the floor in debate.

For years, business generally went on as usual. No one wanted to be “that guy.” But then, Senator John Calhoun realized he could exploit this rule change to seize more power for southern slave-holding states. He was the first to attempt to stop the Senate from voting on legislation by filibustering.

In 1917, President Wilson — tired of a Senate that was obstructing more than voting — pressured the Senate to pass a rule to make sure debate wouldn’t hold up voting forever and ever.

The Senate responded with a rule, called Rule 22 — also called a “Cloture Vote.” It looked like the other rule Aaron Burr had thrown in the trash can, except for one enormous difference: To end debate, Rule 22 required a supermajority or two-thirds of the Senate.

Rule 22 didn’t solve the problem of endless filibustering. It encouraged gridlock. Because now, a small minority in the Senate could force a bill to get through two votes. A supermajority vote to end debate, and then a simple majority vote to pass the bill. It made no sense.

The effects were almost immediate. The year after the Senate established Rule 22, an Anti-Lynching bill was introduced. A small group of Senators hell-bent on upholding white supremacy decided to flex the new rule and filibuster the legislation.

The law — which would make the heinous act of hanging Black Americans by trees a crime — took 100 years to break a filibuster and still isn’t law. It didn’t pass the Senate until 2018 — and it’s still not law.

During the Jim Crow era, southern Senators continued to use the filibuster as a tool to block civil rights legislation — and only civil rights legislation.

Today, the filibuster is more common than ever. There are some loopholes, for court appointments and bills on the budget. And Mitch McConnell can use it as a veto on almost every other bill Democrats want to pass.

Here’s the kicker in all this — today, the filibuster has become so common that it practically happens automatically, whether or not senators actually come to the floor to insist on it.

Right now, HR1 is sitting before the Senate. It expands voting rights, reforms campaign finance laws, and limits partisan gerrymandering. It already passed the House, and it deserves a vote in the Senate.

But because of Rule 22, a bill has to get through two votes in the Senate. A supermajority vote to stop debate (even though debate is not required or even happening) and then a simple majority vote to pass a bill. Like I said before, it makes no sense.

Even after a historic election where Americans voted for Democrats to control the White House, the Senate, and the House, the filibuster gives Mitch McConnell a veto on policies that the majority of Americans support. That’s why we need to fight as hard as we can to end the 60-vote threshold and get rid of the filibuster once and for all.


The Unending Conservative Assault on Voting Rights

At the beginning of the month, the 6-3 conservative-majority US Supreme Court essentially gave Republicans carte blanche to racially discriminate against voters.

Through its ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee ([link removed]) , the Court mangled the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, whose protections had already been eroded in 2013.

The case was a sobering reminder that, while some Democrats like to respond to Republicans’ maneuvering to block access to the polls by saying that voters just need to, well, vote, the problem isn’t that constituents aren’t turning out.

After all, in the 2020 presidential election ([link removed]) , Joe Biden won a record 81 million votes, even as the US was in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic.

The issue is that, all across the country, Republicans continue to enact legislation ([link removed]) that restricts voting for those Americans—largely people of color—they don’t believe deserve political representation.

See, for instance, Georgia, which is facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice ([link removed]) over state voter suppression laws that activists and Democratic lawmakers say target Black Americans.

“Just saying ‘I will vote’ was not enough following slavery & Reconstruction; nor is it an adequate response to current historic systemic attacks on voting rights,” Black Voters Matter co-founder Cliff Albright wrote in a recent tweet ([link removed]) .

Put a little differently, Republicans have made clear their eagerness to abuse and twist voting rights to their advantage—and without legislative action and meaningful court reform ([link removed]) to defend the sanctity of the ballot box, the party will eventually insulate itself from voters.

Here are a few major voting rights stories that underscore the stakes of this history-making political moment.

Texas Democrats’ Drastic Move

What’s happening: Earlier this month, Texas Democrats suddenly left the Lone Star State for Washington D.C., in an extraordinary attempt to deny their Republican counterparts the quorum necessary to pass anti-voting rights legislation.

Why you should care: Already, Texas is the most difficult state to vote in, according to a 2020 analysis from Northern Illinois University ([link removed]) . Together, the two voting bills of concern—SB 1 and HB 3
([link removed]) —would increase that difficulty by imposing mail-in ballot restrictions, banning drive-thru voting and empowering partisan poll watchers (who, notably, have a fraught racial history
([link removed]) ), among other things that would disproportionately disadvantage people of color and other Democratic-leaning groups.

“The secretary of state’s office in Texas told us that our elections ran smoothly, securely, and were a success,” Texas Democratic state Rep. John Bucy III told CNN’s Erin Burnett ([link removed]) . “So, you have to question what is the problem these bills are trying to solve? Clearly, all they are trying to do is make it harder for the people of Texas to vote, specifically
individuals with disabilities, women and people of color.”

As the journalist Adam Serwer recently put it ([link removed]) , “Public feedback is necessary for democracy to function. If politicians can get elected without regard for what the public thinks of them, then they have no reason to hew to the public’s preferences or respect their rights.”

Native Americans’ Fight for Political Representation

What’s happening: In South Dakota, Native Americans are suing the state.

The reason is that the state, they say, has repeatedly violated the National Voter Registration Act, aka the Motor Voter Act, a federal law that requires state governments to help people register to vote when they’re seeking services through the Department of Motor Vehicles or other offices that provide public assistance.

Why you should care: In violating the act, South Dakota has made it disproportionately harder for Native Americans to cast their ballots.

The plaintiffs have minced no words in pointing out how their voting experiences in deep-red South Dakota echo a Republican-fueled trend across the country—including in states such as
Arizona ([link removed]) and Montana
([link removed]) —toward shrinking the power of Democratic-leaning groups.

“We see routine violations of federal law,” Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project, said ([link removed]) . “That’s why we’re joining this suit. We’re battling a long history of racism and current nationwide efforts to install new Jim Crow-style laws,” he added.

The Unsettling Foundation Being Set in Arizona

What’s happening: Republicans aren’t inflicting all this damage on voting rights on their own. The US Supreme Court’s conservatives are helping.

“Tragic”: That’s how Justice Elena Kagan described the Court’s July ruling ([link removed]) in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee that clobbered what remained of the Voting Rights Act following 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder.

“The Court decides this Voting Rights Act case at a perilous moment for the nation’s commitment to equal citizenship,” Kagan wrote in a withering dissent. “It decides this case in an era of voting-rights retrenchment—when too many states and localities are restricting access to voting in ways that will predictably deprive members of minority groups of equal access to the ballot box.”

Why you should care: While at issue in Brnovich were two Republican-backed restrictive voting laws in Arizona—where the Navajo Nation played a crucial role in helping Biden put the reliably red state in the Democratic column for only the second time in 68 years—the Court’s decision will certainly embolden Republicans far and wide.

Kagan’s conservative colleagues are playing the long game. And it ought to be obvious which constituents they’re setting up to be the biggest losers.

(Source: CNN Race Deconstructed)



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STATE

Fair Districts Groups Want Lawmakers to Pledge Redistricting Compliance

The groups that pushed through constitutional amendments to end gerrymandering in Florida and then successfully sued the Legislature to have the Legislature’s set of redistricting maps thrown out a decade or so ago, are asking lawmakers to sign a pledge assuring an open, fair, and legally compliant effort this time.

You can read more about their efforts here:

** [link removed] ([link removed])


Equality Florida is Hiring!

Equality Florida fights year after year to ensure that Florida continues to become a truly equal place for our LGBTQ community. It is important, now more than ever, to get involved in the fight for equal rights. That is why we are proud to share that we are hiring a South Florida Field Organizer! We are looking for someone who has a passion towards progressing Florida forward with LGBTQ rights.

Our South Florida Field Organizer will be responsible for recruiting volunteers, managing events, hosting Days of Action for the election cycle, and more! They will work to create a network of leaders and volunteers to mobilize in the South Florida region and to increase Equality Florida’s visibility and presence.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be a part of Equality Florida’s Field Department, please apply on our website at [link removed].

If you have questions, please contact:
Wes Davis
Field Director
[email protected]
C. 772.473.1718

LOCAL

Indoctrination of our Children?

Erin Grall's Parental Rights Bill has now been signed into law by Governor DeSantis. Tuesday, at the School Board Superintendent Workshop, Grall admitted that she didn't know the ramifications of the bill and that she was sure there would be caselaw out of it. What? She worked to get this bill passed for three years and she doesn't understand it? What was admitted is that our LGBTQ students are potentially put in harm’s way with this bill. What is also known, is that the Koch family is financially supporting the organizations that are sponsoring this event. If you care about the children in this community, please show up and let these groups know that their voice isn't the only voice in Indian River County.

Gifford Vendor Day – Save the Date


Adopt a Classroom


As the new school year approaches, teachers and students need our support more than ever. The Education Foundation of Indian River County is currently looking for donors to Adopt-A-Class. If you would like to do that, you can go to their website here ** [link removed] ([link removed])
to pick a classroom.

Once school starts, the opportunity to fund a project will also be an option.


GET INVOLVED

If we are going to be successful in 2022, we need to ensure that our organization is strong.

If you are not interested in being a Precinct Captain, but still want to be involved, the following volunteer positions are available.

Associate Precinct Captain

A Special Category of Volunteers who wish to help in a substantial way but are not willing to take on the responsibilities of Precinct Captain can be Associate PC’s. Associates might take on designated tasks such as forming a street team or a condominium building team. They may help the Precinct Captain on projects or tasks.

Precinct Data Captain

• Collect and manage all precinct data for the team: precinct voter lists, unregistered voters and voter contact data
• Help create call and canvassing lists for team activities in collaboration with the Data Team
• Collect precinct data regularly

Canvass Captain

• Lead / Launch door-to-door canvasses, in collaboration with others
• Get data & supplies to the proper people/places before and after each canvass

Volunteer Recruitment Captain

• Recruit precinct volunteers
• Match and connect volunteers with roles that fit their skills

Neighborhood Captain, Gated Community Captain & Building Captain

Residents of restricted access communities can contact voters from the inside, where the Precinct Team cannot go. Neighborhood Captains contact voters in a particular neighborhood, condo, gated community, directed by their Precinct Captains.

Other Opportunities

Volunteers are an essential part of the IRC DEC grassroots efforts to get-out-the vote and help in a number of ways including, but not limited to:
• Participating in table events: Attend community events, help register voters, help voters complete the request form for vote by mail ballots and recruit volunteers.
• Registering Voters: Help members of your community register to vote!
• Canvassing: Knocking on Democrats’ doors to inform them about upcoming elections, complete voter registration forms and requests for vote by mail ballots, volunteer opportunities, etc.
• Phone Calling: Calling Democratic to inform them about upcoming elections, help them change their voter registration, if needed, let them know how they can request vote by mail ballots, information about volunteer opportunities, etc.
• Writing letters and/or Postcards: Reminding voters about upcoming elections, that they can vote by mail, need to register, etc.
• Involved in Community Outreach: Introducing the IRC DEC to possible community partners/volunteers.
• Assisting with Communications: Helping with social media, website, newsletter and other communications needs.
• Fundraising: Helping the IRC DEC raise funds to support electing Democrats.


If you are interested, and want to learn more about these positions, please email Stacey at ** [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])



DEMOCRATS OF INDIAN RIVER




Volunteer of the Month(s)

We are a couple of months behind on recognizing our Volunteers of the Month. But that is okay, because the May and June Volunteer of the Month are a 2 for 1. Where one goes, so does the other. They are a team and have been for 51 years. Al and Nancy Griffiths have volunteered for the Democrats of Indian River for years and have done everything from handyman work at the office to bookkeeping to precinct captain to running for office to running our event booth to merchandise to being officers in the Democratic Executive Committee and Club. You name it, the Griffiths have helped do it. They are trustworthy and always willing to lend a hand. Thank you Al and Nancy, for all you do!



Democratic Club of Indian River – Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to help check in members and guests at the Democratic Club meetings. It is a fun way to meet like-minded people and make them feel welcome. If you are available, please contact Valerie Daley at [email protected]

For those who wish to join the Democratic Club of IRC, contact Al Griffiths, [email protected], 203-537-1762 (voice/text).

Democratic Women’s Club

We See It All: Liberty and Justice in an Age of Perpetual Serveillance by Jon Fasman is the next Book Group selection. The virtual meeting will start at 2:00 pm on August 27th. If you are not a Book Group member and would like to attend please contact Rita Milelli at
** [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
.

CALENDAR

Friday, July 30, 2021

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Downtown Friday, Downtown Vero Beach, 14^th Avenue



Tuesday, August 3, 2021

8:30 a.m. – Vero Beach City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to
** [link removed] ([link removed])




Wednesday, August 4, 2021

9:00 a.m. – Orchid Town Council
For agenda and meeting information go to
** [link removed] ([link removed])



4:30 p.m. – Democratic Club of Indian River Board Meeting. Contact Al Griffiths via email at [email protected] or text 203-537-1762 to receive the Zoom link.



Thursday, August 5, 2021

7:00 p.m. - Fellsmere City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to
** www.cityoffellsmere.org/citycouncil ([link removed])




Friday, August 6, 2021

10:00 a.m. - Democratic Women's Club Board Meeting. If you are not a DWC member and would like to attend, please contact Pat O'Hara at [email protected]

COVID UPDATE, EVENT AND VACCINATIONS


Covid Update

Covid-19 cases are on the rise due to the new Delta variant. Yesterday, a local Democrat who was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic hospital (not Covid related) was put in a room with 6 others and given a chair to sleep in over night due to lack of rooms and beds. Indian River County Covid cases are back to the levels we saw in January.

The CDC has advised that even if you are vaccinated, you should wear a mask indoors.

You can read more about Covid cases on the Treasure Coast here:

** [link removed] ([link removed])




“Undecided” Minds Want to Know!





Vaccinations

You can search for vaccination locations and details by clicking here:

** [link removed] ([link removed])




TIDBITS

The Lincoln Project has come up with some new language for a “Democracy Glossary”.



That's All!

See you next week!

Stay Safe and Well!

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