July 22, 2019 Monthly Meeting

Draft Agenda

NOPE Neighbors Monthly Meeting

July 22, 2019

6:30 - 7:00 Orientation for those new to NOPE, canvassing orientation, and socializing

7:00 - 7:05 Welcome

7:05 - 7:15 Virginia elections

7:15 - 7:20 Democratic Dozen Fundraising

7:20- 7:30 Canvassing

7:30 -7:35 Postcard Update

7:35 - 7:45 Local Priorities

  • DC Neighbors for Racial Justice - Brookland Manor

  • Neighbors Rising

  • DC Statehood

  • Herd on the Hill

7:45 - 8:05 Skype with Sheila Bynum-Coleman (VA HoD 66)

8:10 - 8:30 Skype with Phil Hernandez (VA HoD 100)

8:30 Close Meeting and Announce Next Meeting

NOPE Meeting Notes - July 24, 2019

New Members – Orientation

Many, at least 12, new attendees listened to Laurie and Kathy’s orientation that included the NOPE history, our mission, and goals. NOPE’s principal mission is to defend democracy by flipping red districts to blue. Fundraising is our central method for achieving our goal, but there are opportunities to participate at many levels through important and necessary actions, such as canvassing and post-card/letter writing.

Why come to NOPE for the first time? Several said that they had donated to NOPE in the past or canvassed, but now felt that it was time to do more. A representative from Congressman Raskin’s office came to learn about NOPE and how we plan to support candidates in Virginia in 2019. One new attendee asked how we do fundraising and if we have events or other activities to raise money. (No, we use emails to friends!) Another liked the idea of a meeting and asked how often and regularly we get together. (Every month!)

Laurie concluded by passing out the NOPE information sheets and NOPE’s 2018 and 2019 slate of candidates for fund raising.


Joanna opened the meeting with a welcome and asked new members to tell us where they live.

Introduction to the Virginia 2019 Elections

Debra got underway by telling the story of how NOPE came together with 10-15 people and then became involved in the 2017 elections in Virginia. In 2019 Virginia could become an all-blue state and we’re determined to make that happen. Two seats in the House and two in the Senate are needed to take back the General Assembly. The 2020 election is coming up, but state and local elections are critical to democracy. NOPE has selected a “Democratic Dozen,” candidates for whom we are raising money and supporting to flip Virginia blue in 2019.

Joanna introduced Alfonso Lopez, Minority Whip, from the 49th District in the VA House of Delegates and gave us a history of his impressive credentials, accomplishments and service.

House of Delegates Minority Whip, Alfonso Lopez

Alfonso thanked NOPE on behalf of Virginians for all the work we’ve done. The 2019 election is an “off off election year” when Virginia elects its entire House and Senate. Because of this, voting participation can be as low as 27% and turn-out is critical. In 2018 turnout increased and there were victories for progressive candidates, candidates who have made a direct difference in Virginians lives with improvements such as better health care and higher teachers’ salaries. The recent Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering has significantly altered district lines. Many powerful Republicans now find themselves in Democratic districts and the chance to flip the House of Delegates in Richmond is excellent. Alfonso asked for our continued support. He reviewed a list of candidates who need our support now: Josh Cole, Nancy Guy, Alex Askew, Phil Hernandez, Sheila Bynum-Coleman, Larry Barnett, Rod Willett, Wendy Gooditis, Hala Ayala, Kelly Fowler, Clint Jenkins, Karen Mallard, Starla Kiser, Lindsey Dougherty, Martha Mugler, Dawn Adams, Shelley Simonds, and Dan Helmer.

Many of these candidates are already part of NOPE’s Democratic Dozen and we may switch candidates in and out as the campaigns unfold. Alfonso closed by telling NOPE that Virginia has a national megaphone this year. Democrats in Virginia have a chance to be a bell weather for the nation.

Fundraising Strategy

NOPE’s fundraising is an opportunity to defend democracy and we do it with peer-to-peer emails. No fundraising events. Since 2017 NOPE has raised $302K by asking others to “join me” in supporting candidates likely to flip seats red to blue. Laurie told us about the Giving Circle, how it works, and why we should be enthusiastic to join.

Canvassing and Postcards

Carol is gearing up for canvassing! She promised to make it easy and fun with opportunities for canvassing both near and farther into Virginia. More details to come. Ruby organized 500 GOTV postcards for Dan McCready in North Carolina last week. Postcards will be key in the coming months. Stay tuned for more postcard writing times and places to support the 2019 candidates.

Dori had two principle messages for NOPE: 1) there will be canvassing in North Carolina for Dan McCready on election weekend, September 10, and 2) an announcement of the launch of Silver Spring Progressive Action (SSPA). Silver Spring Progressive Action kicked off with 26 people and has a growing email list. The North Carolina special election is being held due to voter fraud and irregularities in 2018. Also, remember to send an email to Amy McGrath to encourage her to run for Senate and defeat Mitch McConnell. Don’t forget to contribute to the “Ditch Mitch” effort.

Local Priorities

Nick from the youth-oriented PAC Blue Future is organizing students to get involved in the fight for social change in 2019 and 2020. He is connecting Democrats from schools in the District and elsewhere to participate in the Virginia elections. Note: the Democratic Party does not fund college Democrats! NOPE can help to mobilize students by offsetting expenses and offering carpooling for canvassing.

Joanna and Betty summarized the activities coming up for Neighbors Rising, DC Neighbors for Racial Justice, DC Statehood, and Herd on the Hill. Details on a Fourth of July protest on the mall is still to come, but Joanna indicated that Code Pink is working on it. Finally, NOPE now has business cards, book marks and stickers and a revised and improved web site! The swag be available for purchase next time.

NOPE Meeting - June 24, 2019

Our next meeting is on Monday, June 24th when we'll kick-off our VA Is for Democracy Lovers 2019 campaign with peer-to-peer email fundraising, canvassing and postcarding.

Here's a preview of the candidates who are running. We will be joined by Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Minority Whip for the VA House of Delegates. He'll give us an insider's view of what's happening with the VA candidates running in 2019, the impact of flipping so many seats in 2017, and what to expect in 2020.

The full agenda is:

6:30 - 7:00 Orientation for those new to NOPE and socializing time for others

7:00 - 7:05 Welcome

7:05 - 7:15 Introduction to the Virginia 2019 elections and Why Virginia Matters

7:15- 7:45 House of Delegates Minority Whip

Alfonso Lopez, 49th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, parts of Arlington and Fairfax Counties: An insider’s perspective on the VA 2019 elections and run-up to 2020 election

7:45 -8:00 Fundraising strategy for our VA Democratic Dozen through peer to peer emails and our Giving Circle

8:00 -8:10 Canvassing & Post Carding plans for VA and NC (Sept. 10 special election)

8:10 - 8:20 Local Priorities (DC Neighbors for Racial Justice, Neighbors Rising for Immigrants, DC Statehood, Herd on the Hill for constituents around the country)

8:20 - 8:30 Other Local Issues - July 4 rally, NOPE swag

8:30 Close Meeting and Announce Next Meeting - July 22

NOPE Meeting Notes - May 16, 2019

We had a good meeting on May 16. Luis Auguilar, director of CASA in Action Virginia, told us about its work to advance fundamental rights for immigrant women, families, and low wage workers. His story was compelling as he told us about how DACA has allowed him to be an organizer. You can read more about him in his op-ed.

Luis and CASA are doing critically important work. We decided to direct our Defend Our Democracy fundraising to CASA VA for May and June because they are on the front line of making sure that Latinx citizens are registered, have absentee ballots where needed, and can cast their votes for pro-immigrant, progressive candidates. As we move into the summer months we're turning our focus to flipping the Virginia state legislature. By supporting CASA Virginia now we are both advancing voter empowerment and helping to flip VA from Red to Blue in 2019 (as well as making sure it stays blue in the 2020 presidential balloting). Please give generously to CASA in Action VA as a one-time donation or as a member of our monthly Giving Circle at this DONATION LINK.

And if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to donate to our other two voter access organizations:

DC Vote: More than 700,000 people, about 48% of whom are African-American, live in DC. Although we pay federal taxes, we do not have representation in Congress and we do not have the right to govern ourselves. There is currently a lot of momentum for statehood (thanks, in part, to the new progressive Dems we helped elect to Congress) though it won’t happen until we also flip the Senate and White House. DC Vote is coordinating with other local and national organizations to fight for statehood for the District of Columbia. Here is the DC Vote donation link.

Fair Fight Action, led by Stacey Abrams, is working to make sure that every citizen in her state of Georgia has the opportunity to vote. The group promotes fair elections in the state, provides voter education and outreach, engages in targeted voter registration, and lobbies the state legislature to support election reforms. Here is the Fair Fight Action donation link.

During the May meeting we received updates from the following local partner groups:

DC Neighbors for Racial Justice

We are supporting the Brookland Manor Initiative, May 30, 6:30pm. In this campaign, we’re working with lawyers from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and advocates from One DC to help fight the displacement of low-income black residents from Brookland Manor in NE DC. We’ll be hearing from the Residents Association on May 30th about what steps our group can take. Let Alex Bailey, co-coordinator of DCNRJ, know if you'd like to attend the May 30th meeting or if you want to be part of this initiative. Alexandraomb@gmail.com. For more information about DCNRJ check out this LINK or contact Jean Simons, jeansimons@gmail.com. To be added to the listserve send an email to Jayme Epstein (jaymerepstein@gmail.com).

Herd on the Hill

Herd on the Hill brings constituent speech directly and physically into congressional offices by delivering constituent letters from around the country. Volunteers from DC who work with Herd are highly motivated, as we have no voting representation in the House or the Senate. You'll be paired with an experienced Herder, and also receive training before making your first deliveries to Congressional offices. Please contact Betty Hawks, bettyhawks@gmail.com, for more information.

DC Statehood

There are many upcoming events:

51st for 51: Tuesday, May 21, at 11am on the East Lawn of the Capitol. This is a campaign to build awareness and pressure so that the threshold for passing a statehood bill is the same for a Supreme Court Justice: 51 votes. It aims to ensure that the filibuster will not stand in the way of making DC the 51st state .

Statehood Filmfest on May 24.

D.C. Statehood Hearing: Super Important! DC Vote is starting to get people organized to make sure we show up to the D.C. Statehood Hearing in the House this summer. Sign-up here to make sure we are ready to be a part of this historic event to help show Congress & the nation this is what we want & deserve..

For more information and to join the DC Statehood email list contact Jacqui Lieberman at jacquilieberman@gmail.com

Neighbors Rising

Identity is honoring Neighbors Rising on September 26th, Save the Date!

Over the past few years Neighbors Rising has helped support our Latino neighbors most challenged by anti-immigrant sentiment and action. Our network of neighbors demonstrate that our DC-MD metro community cares and capably stands up for our low-income neighbors experiencing life within today’s vulnerable immigrant context. In recognition of all this, Neighbors Rising will be among the 3 honorees at Identity’s 20th anniversary gala, a NR partner organization. All honor goes to Jeannie Engel for creating and leading Neighbors Rising. For more information, contact her at: EngelAssociates@att.net

NOPE Network - Video Conferencing to Share NOPE’s Secret Sauce

If you know of groups that would like to learn more about our peer-to-peer email & giving circle fundraising, canvassing coordination, power postcarding & more, send them our way. We’re hosting regular Zoom calls and webinars to share what we’ve learned with each other. For more information contact: Debra Fried Levin at dflevin15@gmail.com

Our next NOPE meeting is Monday, June 24th when we'll kick-off our Virginia Is for Democracy Lovers 2019 campaign with peer-to-peer email fundraising, canvassing and postcarding. Here's a preview of the candidates who are running. We will be joined by Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Minority Whip for the VA House of Delegates. He'll give us an insider's view of what's happening with the VA candidates running in 2019, the impact of flipping so many seats in 2017, and what to expect in 2020.

We do hope you can join us. Let us know that you'll be there Monday, June 24th by RSVPing here.

NOPE Neighbors Meeting: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Our next NOPE meeting is on Thursday, May 16th. We will be joined by Luis Aguilar from CASA in Action - https://www.casainaction.org/virginia - as part of our current focus on voter access and empowerment and Virginia.

Here is the preliminary agenda:

6:30 - Orientation for those new to NOPE (Neighbors Organizing for Power and Equality) & socializing for others

7:00 - 8:30

  • Defending our democracy by supporting groups that are working on voter access and empowerment . April/May focus is on CASA in Action in Virginia - Luis Aguilar, CASA VA political director, will join us and talk about their work in VA

  • Help flip VA's House and Senate, finish what we started in 2017

  • Advance DC local priorities - racial justice and immigrant support

  • Advance national legislation with Herd on the Hill - Replicate our model near and far via NOPE Network - Update on 2020


NOPE Notes March 18, 2019

New Members - Introduction to NOPE

Kathy led the introduction to NOPE for six first-time attendees to NOPE. She gave a summary of NOPE’s history, our strategy for flipping seats from Republican to Democrat, our past activities, and what to expect in 2019. Attendees asked about the kitchen cabinet, our partnership with Swing-Left, and the beneficiaries of Neighbors Rising.

Welcome and Introduction

Joanna welcomed everyone, introduced the evening’s agenda and asked the crowd to identify themselves by where they live.

NOPE Priorities for 2019

Giving Circle - Voter Access and Empowerment

Debra summarized NOPE’s fundraising in 2017-2018 and spoke about our priorities in 2019. Hosts of the April gatherings stood and gave dates and a brief description of their planned events. Sign-up sheets were circulated. Debra emphasized that the gatherings were to learn from and share with each other. She also gave updates on fundraising for Fair Fight, our new target DC Vote and spoke about future activities for VA House of Delegates and Senate races. Finally, Debra introduced upcoming NOPE webinars to help other groups focus and expand efforts for political organizing. She encouraged everyone to let her know of anyone who may be interested.


Carol reviewed the results of a survey sent to 105 people who canvassed with NOPE in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2018. About a third responded, with nearly half having canvassed more than three times. A key question asked for suggestions about how canvassing arrangements could be improved to encourage individuals to canvass more. A theme emerging from the suggestions was that the campaigns could do a better job at launch sites, to include, for example: 1) streamlining the on-site orientation so experienced canvassers can get out to knock doors sooner and 2) providing NOPE with turf that maximizes our efficiency, given that we’re carpooling together from distances that are an hour or more away. A couple of people mentioned that campaigns should be encouraged to continue making paper walk packets an option for canvassers. A suggestion that NOPE expects to take up this year is to create a best practices list. Cathy Sunshine, Liz McNichol, and Dale Kaufman were introduced as members who will help train or lead canvassers in 2019.

Advancing Local Priorities


Jean welcomed all to attend RJWG meetings and introduced the subject of the next meeting. The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless will present on the displacement of Brookland Manor residents in NE DC. She also invited everyone to sign up for emails even if they cannot attend all of the meetings.

Neighbors Rising

Jeannie introduced Neighbors Rising as a “simple operation with a big impact” and explained how it supports the Latin American Youth Center and Identity. She spoke about the upcoming LAYC gala and the ways to contribute.


Betty said that 9 attendees at the February NOPE meeting signed up to receive info on Herd events. While no new NOPEsters were available for the next event, Herd on the Hill had a good turnout to deliver letters to Senators midday on March 14. Kevin Mulshine and Betty delivered more than 110 letters and shamrock messages, the dominant issue in most was non-support of Trump’s Emergency Act. Later that afternoon, the Senate passed the resolution against his state of emergency. She explained how the group works and invited others to participate.

DC Vote – Barbara Helmick

Jacqui spoke about the importance of DC statehood, suggested that tactics used in Virginia campaigns might be applied to DC statehood, and then introduced Barbara Helmick.

Barbara first said that the strategy was to “win and not to get closer” to statehood. She gave a history of DC’s efforts from 1993 under the Clinton administration through the campaign in 2007 to get a vote in the House. She explained the fundraising effort in 2015 which comprised of canvassing house-to-house with paid staff and the change in strategy – the goal of statehood rather than a vote in the House and push-back on congressional overreach. She described coordination with the mayor’s office and the specific focus on meeting the criteria for statehood. To date, 201 House Democrats and 30 Senators have signed onto HR 51. DC Vote’s goal is to get co-sponsorship from 90% of the House and Senate.

Barbara closed her presentation by telling us that the way to talk about DC statehood is by talking about voter suppression and that the progressive candidates we support in 2019 should be clearly on board.







NOPE Neighbors Monthly Meeting

March 18, 2019

6:30 - 7:00 Orientation for those new to NOPE and socializing time for others

7:00 - 7:05 Welcome  

7:05 - 7: 20 NOPE Priorities for 2019

  • Giving Circle focus on Voter Access and Empowerment

    • Stacey Abrams update (February/March)  

    • DC statehood/voting rights (March/April)   

    • Voter empowerment group to support in May (North Carolina special election, Latino voter empowerment, other?)

  • Virginia House of Delegates and Senate Races (June and July)

  • Canvassing survey results

  • Introducing the NOPE Network (replicating our model near and far)  

7:20 -7:45 Advancing DC Local Priorities and Other Actions

  • Racial Justice Working Group (Jean Simons)

  • Neighbors Rising (Jeannie Engel)

  • Herd on the Hill (Betty Hawks)

  • April Neighbor to Neighbor small gatherings (Debra)

7:45 - 8:30 DC Statehood  - Barbara Helmick, DC Vote

Write Postcards for Elissa Silverman

Monday October 29

We WIll write postcards to GOTV for Elissa Silverman for DC CIty Council on Monday, October 29. RSVP for either time:

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Cleveland Park, The Broadmoor)

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 6:00-8:00 PM  (Chevy Chase, DC)

We’ve all been laser-focused on turning competitive races blue in states near and far, but never forgetting our own DC Council race.  If you’re committed to retaining Elissa Silverman – fierce independent and guardian of taxpayers’ money, who owes nothing to special interests – as one of our At-Large Council members, then please volunteer to help her campaign* in these remaining 11 days. 

NOPE will hold a GOTV postcard-writing party for Elissa on Monday, October 29. Postcard-writers will complete 20 cards on-site (@ $8/ to cover costs), so we can mail them the next day. If you prefer to pick up a batch of cards to write at home and mail yourself, it’s crucial to mail them Tuesday or no later than Wednesday – cards may convince recipients to vote early, which is possible prior to 7 pm Friday Nov 2, or on Election Day.

We’ll have the postcards, pens, sample message(s), even some decorative materials, as well as some light refreshments to keep up our energies – all we need is your RSVP by this Saturday to help us plan for adequate numbers of cards, etc.

Please RSVP by Saturday to bettyhawks@gmail.com for the time period you want to attend on Monday, October 29. (Please include your name, email address, and phone number.) You’ll receive an email confirmation with the address.

See you on Monday, Oct. 29!!

* for other volunteer opportunities for Elissa, go to:  www.elissa2018.com/volunteer

Monthly NOPE Meeting - Monday, October 22, 2018

Please join us at our October NOPE Meeting on October 22, 2018 at Debra’s House in Chevy Chase DC



6:00 - 6:45 Postcards and text banking for congressional candidates

7:00 - 8:30 Meeting

  • NOPE's Flipping Fifteen competitive US House candidates - fundraising update

  • "Meet" via Skype one of the VA candidates for whom we will be canvassing and Getting Out the Vote

  • Canvassing update - the all out, final push through Election Day

  • Racial Justice Working Group and Neighbors Rising for immigrant families - updates

NOPE Meeting Notes - September 24, 2018

Here's a way to respond to the Kavanaugh hearings besides fuming: Be part of the Blue Wave.  We can flip House - in fact we just gotta flip the House and reclaim at least one lever of power.  There are now only 35 days until the midterm election, let's make them count.  We can't be complacent.  You don't have to have been at our meeting last week to take part in any or all of the action steps that follow.  Please give generously, canvass often, ask others to join you, and repeat.  

We hope you can join us at our next meeting on Monday, October 22, RSVP here. 

P.S. Here's a link to our meeting email "hand-outs" and the videos we saw about our candidates.   

TO-DO list from our meeting:

  1. NOPE's Give for Democracy 6 Candidates - Please give now

We are now focused on supporting 6 outstanding candidates who are running strong campaigns, in flippable districts, where our donations can make a difference now. Our candidates are: Lauren Underwood, IL4; Amy McGrath, KY6; Sean Casten, IL6; Antonio Delgado, NY19; Kara Eastman, NE2; and Gina Ortiz Jones, TX23.  Here's a link to a one-page description of the 6 candidates

Your next steps are: 

1) Donate now to our Give for Democracy candidates at this link.  Your single donation will be divided among the 6 candidates so please donate generously.

2)  Multiply your donation many times over by joining our crew of Fabulous Flipping Fundraisers who have so far raised $111,000 for 10 US House candidates How did they do it?  By emailing  friends and family. Rarely does anyone say no, they just ignore your email - and often they respond generously. Your friends and family are looking for an opportunity to make a difference, you are helping them be strategic and effective in their giving. Here's all you need to get it done: 

a)  This link is your email draft text. Adapt it freely, make it authentic, and get it out asap.  A list of helpful hints follow and here are a few do's and don'ts.   If you'd like a personal ActBlue link for this effort, request one from Debra  at dflevin15@gmail.com.  

Send a personal email (Dear NAME) to at least 5 people. You should get a 20-50% response. This is the best way to do email fundraising. The more you send, the better the response. 
Blast it to a larger list (Dear Family and Friends) but expect a 1-5% response.
Post a note and the ACTBlue link on social media.  Don't expect much of a response but follow up with an email to those who like it.  

b) If you like to join our Fabulous Flipping Fundraiser crew, please go to this link, answer a few questions and we'll send you everything you need to get started.  

c) If you have ANY questions, give me a holler, I'm here to help, Debra - dflevin15@gmail.com

2. Strategic Giving 

NOPE selects its candidates based on good data, candidate research, and strategic decision making on where our donations can have the greatest impact.  We encourage you to be an informed political donor to NOPE supported candidates and others too.  Please give now, give generously, and give wisely.   

NOPE's Flipping Fifteen -- These are all the candidate NOPE is supporting this election cycle.   

60+ Flippable US House Races  -  This is a spreadsheet of all the data that NOPE uses for strategic political giving.

Key Senate Races - NOPE is focused on flipping the US House. But some believe there's a glimmer of hope for flipping the Senate. We encourage you to support Swing Left 31st Street's Senate efforts.

3. Canvassing - Every vote will matter. Canvassing is effective.  Join us in making sure every one of our voters goes to the polls on November 6th.  

NOPE led and Other Selected Canvass Opportunities

Sign-up form for:

Saturday, October 6, Canvass for Leslie Cockburn and

Monday, October 8 Canvassing Training in Chevy Chase, DC

Persuasion Canvassing - A 22 min. Training video produced by Swing Left 31st Street

A Guide to Canvassing - Why and How To Do It

4. Postcards  

If you have completed your Get out The Vote for Spanberger postcards from the last meeting, please return them to Debra's back porch or let Joanna know so she can get them from you We still have 90 addresses left, so if you'd like to write postcards from home, please contact Joanna (prattsamuels@gmail.com)

If you want to host your own postcard party, go to Postcards4VA.com to get started. Joanna can also give you some guidance once you've decide to host a party.

 5. Neighbors Rising for our immigrant families  

Through Neighbors Rising, we remind our young neighbors and their families, that the DC-MD community cares about those who have been made more vulnerable by the increase in anti-immigrant and anti-“other" sentiments.  Please see this week’s Washington Post editorial for another fresh reminder of Neighbors Rising’s importance.  Help raise the volume of our message by:  

  • Joining the Neighbors Rising list serve.  Contact Jeannie Engel directly at  EngelAssociates@att.net with questions, ideas and your request to join. You can learn more at www.NeighborsRising.org.  

  • Helping right now by supporting the Latin American Youth Center's upcoming events: 

    • Breakfast for Heroes on October 18 - here's the link  and their  

    • 10K or Marine Corps Marathon team - Support a youth runner at this link    

6. Racial Justice Work Group

Meetings are held in Chevy Chase, DC. RSVP jeansimons@gmail.com for information on the next meeting. For information about the history and structure of this effort, check out this link to the Racial Justice Working Group Update. Our goal is to create a multi-racial group to fight against racial injustice locally.

7. Spread the Vote  

This is another way to help our voters vote. Spread The Vote obtains government-issued photo IDs for eligible voters. They help voters get the IDs they need for job, housing, voting, and more 365 days a year PLUS Election Day. There are currently active chapters in Northern Virginia. For more information go to: https://www.spreadthevote.org/about-us/