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.