July 23, 2018 NOPE Meeting Notes

NOPE NEIGHBORS

July 23, 2018 MEETING NOTES

We had an inspiring meeting last week. The house was filled with over 45 people anxious to know what they could do to stop the madness.  And then we Skyped with two remarkable candidates who are running for Congress in flippable districts (more about them follows). The bottom line - the Blue Wave is real and it is us.  Here are our Nope meeting notes and information on what you can do to save our democracy. Our next meeting is on Monday, August 27th, hope you can join us, here's the link to RSVP.

Save Our Democracy Candidates

Our Nope Neighbors Kitchen Cabinet has selected 4 outstanding candidates for us to support now through the end of September: Abby Finkenaur, IA1; Aftab Pureval, OH1; Danny O'Connor, OH12; and Colin Allred, TX32.  We recommend these candidates because they are in flippable districts where our donations can make a difference now. They are running strong campaigns, and are well-positioned to be among the 23 congressional seats Democrats need to win majority in the US House and finally put a check and balance on the White House. 

At our July meeting, we Skyped with Colin Allred. A civil rights lawyer who worked in the Obama administration and is a former NFL player, Allred is running against Pete Sessions in the 32nd CD of Texas, a Dallas suburb. Allred was absolutely inspiring during our Skype conversation.  Leading political analysts consider the race a toss-up, it's just too close to know who will win this one.  The 4 candidates we are supporting met one or more of the following criteria:  they are running against a particularly notorious Freedom Caucus member or a notorious Republican leader; they are running in a district that overlaps with state legislative districts that if won, could help flip the state legislature; and they have shown a commitment to advancing science and truth.  Here's a link to a one-page description of the 4 candidates.  Please give now to our Save Our Democracy candidates.  Here's the link.  Your single donation will be divided among the 4 candidates so please give generously.

Virginia Is For Democracy Lovers

For the month of June and July NOPE supported 4 outstanding Virginia women running in flippable districts through our Virginia Is For Democracy Lovers fundraising campaign. We Skyped with one of those candidates during our meeting - Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operations officer, who is running to represent VA's 7th CD. Another inspiring candidate who is working tirelessly to uphold our democracy. We have raised $39,245 for the 4 candidates to date, giving each about $10,000 to help win their congressional seats. If you have not yet given to them here's our Virginia Is for Democracy Lovers donation link. You can learn more about Elaine Luria, VA2, Leslie Cockburn, VA2, Abigail Spanberger, VA7 and Jennifer Wexton, VA 10 at this link.

Best US House Races - Be An Informed Political Consumer

Here's the link to the complete list of US House seats that we believe are flippable. The list has been compiled by Jim Shelton whose data we worked with in our winning Virginia 2017 efforts. The strategy is to support candidates where additional money would be most helpful now. To date, NOPE has supported 9 candidate who are highlighted on the list including our 4 current Save Our Democracy candidates. You are encouraged to support these NOPE candidates as well as make wise decisions in donating to the many other worthy candidates running this cycle.

Canvassing - Now and the Big Push after Labor Day

Carol Krafka, an active member of our NOPE crew, has generously agreed to take the lead on coordinating our canvassing with efforts. NOPE Neighbors will be managing canvassing launches that leave from upper NW, DC and near the Friendship Heights metro stop. Here's a list of upcoming canvasses being organized by NOPE, J Walkers, Swing Left 31st Street. and Virginia Democrats Forward. Most of these canvasses will occur after Labor Day. So rest up in August - we have a lot of work to do September through Election Day!

Virginia Blue Wave 2019

Virginia has elections every year - yes, every year - because their gubernatorial and state legislative races are in off years, 2017, 2019...  Our friends with Virginia Blue Wave 2019 have identified 20 Delegate districts and six State Senate districts that Democrats need to hold or flip in 2019 to finally win a majority in the VA State legislature.  They have created an easy way for you to make a monthly contribution to help flip VA blue.  Here's the link where you can make a monthly donation of $16, $32, or more, starting today.  And if you make your donation now you will be invited to a wonderful Boating Party in Falls Church on August 18th.  Here's the link to the invitation - it's quite funny and well worth taking a look.

A Big Reach Senate Candidate Worth Supporting Now - Mike Espy for Mississippi

NOPE is not involved in Senate races this year.  However, we work closely with Jim Shelton, of 31st Street Swing Left, for advice on targeting candidates, and he has made a case for the importance supporting Mike Espy for Senate in Mississippi.  The Senate is so incredibly important and the current balance is 51-49 in favor of the Republicans.  There are good prospects to pick up 2-3 seats in AZ, NV, and TN, but several Democratic seats are highly vulnerable.  Winning Mississippi could make all the difference!  Here is the complete list of Senate races and the link to support Mike Espy's campaign through 31st Street Swing Left.    

Neighbors Rising - Helping our Immigrant Families -  Book Drive

This is the 1st anniversary book drive for Identity’s after school program for 3rd and 4th graders.  There's a Neighbors Rising book wish list online at Politics & Prose at https://www.politics-prose.com/wishlist/991.  The goal is to collectively purchase 25 copies of each of 10 titles.  You can ship the books to Identity at 414 East Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 or order them for store pickup and a Neighbors Rising representative will pick them up approximately once a week.  Neighbors Rising wants to expand its members so they can continue to send the message that people in our greater DC-metro area embrace and support our immigrant neighbors who are made more vulnerable by the increase in anti-"other" sentiments.  With that in mind, buy a few books AND get five others to buy books too!  

Racial Justice Working Group

Our Racial Justice Working Group has been involved in educating ourselves about the history and current issues facing our African American neighbors. Convened after one of our neighbors was arrested for partying-while-black, working group members continue to learn and develop an action plan. To join this group, email Jean Simons at jeansimons@gmail.com.

Maryland Governor’s Race, Flip it Blue

Ben Jealous is a civil rights leader, community organizer, investor, educator, former investigative journalist and a Rhodes Scholar who has spent his life bringing people together to get big things done.

Susie Turnbull has held leadership positions in government, business, non-profits and politics for over 40 years creating opportunities for everyday people to access their government.

Ben and Susie are running against incumbent Ben Hogan to reclaim the Promise of Maryland, which includes once again making Maryland's public schools the best in the nation, building an economy that works for everyone, and making healthcare more affordable.  Their bold agenda includes creating tuition-free public college, creating a Medicare-for-all system, and ending mass incarceration.

To learn more about Maryland Governor/ Lt. Gov. Candidates Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull and to contribute to their campaign go to:  https://benjealous.com/.  

Fly Your Own Trump Baby Balloon

“Baby” versions of England’s Trump Baby Balloons are starting to appear for sale on Amazon. Let’s stock up on them so we’ll all have our own balloon to fly when the right moment arrives! Will that be the day the Blue Wave takes over the U.S. House? The day Mueller releases his report? Impeachment day? All three???

Here are two options on Amazon (although they are made by the same company). Both are made using Aluminum film and after inflation are about 19.6 inches (widest) x 23.6 inches (highest) or approximately 1/10 of the original.  It looks like bulk prices might be available. Let’s discuss this at our August meeting!

1.  Presale Baby Trump Baby Party Balloons - $19.99

https://www.amazon.com/Trump-Balloons-PRESALE-Donald-20Inches/dp/B07FJL41MH/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1531944512&sr=8-3&keywords=trump+balloons#customerReviews

2.  Trump Baby World Trip Party Balloon - $18.99

https://www.amazon.com/Ballon-Balloon-inches-Inflatble-Presale/dp/B07FC5431N/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1531944512&sr=8-5&keywords=trump+balloons

Attend a Protest Rally at Lafayette Park

The blue wave is coming but it is also time to PROTEST Trump's actions.  People have been rallying at Lafayette Park (across from the White House at Pennsylvania Ave and 16th Street NW.  It looks as if the protests will continue August 9-12.  Keep posted about the plans on the Occupy Lafayette Park Face Book page. 

Also read:  https://www.newsweek.com/white-house-protests-set-continue-7th-day-after-organizers-raise-50k-1036214.