Meeting Notes

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. For more information about DCNRJ check out this LINK or contact Jean Simons, To be added to the listserve send an email to Jayme Epstein (

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,, 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

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:

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

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 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 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  

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 -

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 (

If you want to host your own postcard party, go to 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 with questions, ideas and your request to join. You can learn more at  

  • 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 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:

NOPE Meeting Notes - August 27, 2018

More than 50 people attended our August meeting. Here are the meeting highlights:


Save Our Democracy

Please give now, here's the link. 

For September we are supporting four outstanding candidates who are running strong campaigns, in flippable districts, where our donation can make a difference now. We Skyped with one of those candidates - Aftab Puraval. He's a dynamic candidate and good on progressive issues. Our other candidates are Abby Finkenaur, IA1; Danny O'Connor, OH12; and Colin Allred, TX32.  Here's a link to a one-page description of the 4 candidates.  Please give now to our Save Our Democracy candidates at this link.  Your single donation will be divided among the 4 candidates so please donate generously.

Multiply Your Donation Many Times Over 

To date our crew of 20+ NOPE volunteers, most of whom are first time fundraisers, have raised $96,000 for 10 US House candidates running in flippable districts.  We do it all by emailing our friends and family,  very rarely does anyone say no, they just ignore your email,  and then often they respond generously.  If you have not yet signed up to be a member of our monthly Giving Circle and/or be a member of our crew of Fabulous Flipping Fundraisers, please go to this link, answer a few questions and we'll send you everything you need to get started.  We'll send you a personal ActBlue link for our current 4 candidates, sample email text, and helpful hints.  Your friends and family  are looking for an opportunity to make a difference, you are helping them be strategic and effective in their giving.    

Best House Races - 60+ flippable seats

NOPE selects its candidates based on good data, candidate research, and strategic decision making on where our donations can have the greatest impact.  We hope that you'll support NOPE's candidates and others too.  Our goal is to identify good candidates for you and help you be an informed political donor.  Here's the data we work with, compiled by Jim Shelton with  Swing Left 31st Street.  Democrats need to flip 23 seats.  The pollsters and pundits believe it's likely to happen, but you know how that went in 2016.  Let's have no regrets on Wed, November 7th. There are many really good candidates running strong races. Money will help put them over the top in what promise to be narrow margins of victory.  Please give now, give generously and give wisely.   


Here's a great article about the effectiveness of canvassing.  Carol Krafka is coordinating our canvassing calendar, crew, and training.  I dare you to say that 5 times fast.... Voter contact is the key to winning in what promise to be very close races. If you're new to canvassing, we'll get you up to speed, we're offering lots of training and team-up opportunities. If you have not already done so join our list of prospective canvassers.  Here's the link  to get updates for canvasses and training.  And here's the calendar of canvassing and training opportunities. If you need more information you can contact  Carol here: A few immediate opportunities follow, check the calendar for details: 

Saturday & Sunday, Sept 8-9,  Beach and Canvassing Weekend, Virginia Beach, VA2, for Elaine Luria Thurs., Sept. 13, 6:30 Training and Pot Luck, Chevy Chase, DC  -  Delicious Dining and Delving into the Delights of Door Knocking 


At our meeting we did postcards for Vangie Williams who is running to represent Virginia's 1st congressional district.  She's an African-American women running a strong campaign in a tough district.  But there's no telling what will happen on Election Day this year given all the upsets we've seen so far, most recently in the Massachusetts primary that elected Ayanna Pressley as their democratic nominee to Congress. So let's do our part to help Vangie win. At our meeting we completed 295 postcards, and we have handed out the other 200 cards to several postcard-writing volunteers (thank you!!).


We welcome all participants in our national efforts, but we are DC-based, so we also focus on what we can do locally. Here are a few opportunities: 

Re-elect Elissa Silverman for DC Council At-large 

One of our active members, Ruby Carmen, is leading the charge for Elissa. Here's her note asking you to join her in supporting Elissa:  Please join me in supporting Elissa Silverman in her re-election bid as At-Large DC City Council member. There are several reasons why I am supporting Elissa in November. I had the opportunity to meet and hear Elissa at two recent gatherings. Her background in fiscal policy and her skill set in budget analysis give her an advantage we cannot afford to lose on our Council. Elissa is an important advocate for the people in this city who care about honest, fair, and equitable governance.  Elissa chairs the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and co-authored the Family Paid Leave Act.  She is very involved in the work of the Education Committee and is often referred to as the “sixth man.” Because Elissa is not taking any corporate or PAC money for her campaign, it is very important that we get behind her and support her in any way we can. Please click on the ActBlue link and give whatever you are able to give.  .  To learn more about Elissa, the important work she is doing for all wards in our city, and how you can help please visit her website: .   And be sure to order a lawn sign here:

Neighbors Rising In Support of Our Immigrants Families 

While we are committed to changing the political landscape our neighbors need help now.  Through Neighbors Rising lead by Jeannie Engel we are providing that help. Here's the link to an update on all their activities.  Most immediately they are doing a book drive for Identity’s after school program:  only 40 out of 275 books to go!  The gift of books reminds our young neighbors, their families and our full community that our community cares about our neighbors and that we stand with our neighbors made more vulnerable by anti-immigrant and anti-other sentiments. Go to the update link for details.

Racial Justice Working Group

The next meeting of the Racial Justice Working Group is Thursday September 13th at 6:30 at Jean's house. RSVP for address. 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.

April 23, 2018 NOPE Meeting Notes

NOPE NEIGHBORS April 23, 2018 Meeting Notes

Elaine Luria, Skyping with our Next Candidate – Angie Craig, Get-Out-The-Vote Phone Bank for the Arizona Special Election, and More…

We had another great meeting on Monday.  Here’s a meeting summary and some post-meeting updates.

Accomplishments Since Our Last Meeting

  • Many NOPE members attended the March for Our Lives on March 24, and 15 volunteered to register voters during the march.
  • We wrote and mailed 880 voter registration postcards to voters in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
  • On April 7, four NOPE members canvassed with Donte Tanner in Clifton, Virginia (Congressional District #10) to help identify Democratic supporters in preparation for the November election.  This is Barbara Comstock’s district and also the district where Donte Tanner lost his bid for the VA House of Delegates by less than 100 votes.
  • We raised $4,300 for Congressional candidate Elaine Luria (Virginia 2nd District).

Giving Circle

As of our meeting, forty-four NOPE members had joined our Giving Circle, pledging a total of $3,100 per month. We discussed how to increase the amounts pledged for our selected candidate each month. We agreed that Debra and Joanna will provide introductory text and a one-page summary of the monthly Giving Circle candidate that members can send to their friends and relatives when asking for their support. We also talked about successes we’ve had when we describe our Giving Circle during every-day conversations with friends. We decided to restart our existing NOPE Twitter account - @NopeDC – more information will be coming soon!

We Skyped with our May Giving Circle Candidate, Angie Craig, who is running for U.S. House in Minnesota’s District 2, south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The district typically leans Republican but is now considered a toss-up because Angie is such a strong candidate.  She ran for the seat in 2016 but narrowly lost. We learned about her progressive positions on a full range of issues, about her wife and four sons, and her passion for service to the people of her district and to our country. She is quite a dynamo and told us that she was excited to talk to NOPE because she loves the idea that she is being supported by Mike Pence's former neighbors!   She said she can't wait to win her election, go to Congress, and introduce herself - along with her wife and four kids - to Pence. Check out our one-pager and her website for more information.

Neighbors Rising

Remember that the Latin American Youth Center’s 50-year anniversary Gala is on Thursday, May 10th starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  You can purchase tickets at  If you would like, please send Jeannie your name and the name(s) of your guests for whom you’ve purchased tickets so she can ask LAYC to create Neighbors Rising tables for us.  Also, if you would like to purchase a ticket for one of the Young Neighbors Rising people (most recently, they led the soccer equipment campaign), please let Jeannie know (at and she’ll send you one of their names.  This is a lovely way to thank them and further encourage their leadership in helping neighbors in need. 

Racial Justice Working Group

The next meeting of the Education subgroup will be Monday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Jean Simons home.  We’ll be discussing the movie 13th by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. It explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.  Please watch the movie before the meeting!  It’s available on Netflix.

Get Out the Vote Phone Banking

Many NOPE members stayed after the business portion of the meeting to make phone calls reminding Arizona voters in Congressional District #8 (Phoenix suburbs) to vote in the April 24 special election. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, an emergency room doctor, ran against former Arizona state senator Debbie Lesko. Lesko won by only 5.2% points in a district that supported Trump in 2016 by more than 20 points.

March 19, 2018 Meeting Notes

Nope Neighbors

March 19, 2018 Meeting Notes

Conor Lamb, Elaine Luria - our next candidate, Vote for Our Lives, Racial Justice, and more..

We had a lively meeting on Monday.  Here are the minutes and a few post-meeting updates.

March for Our Lives, Vote for Our Lives

We're sure you know that there's a March for Our Lives this Saturday (3/24) for responsible gun policy.  But did you know you can also help register voters there? Georgetown Law School is holding a training session near Union Station on Saturday AM.  You can find the details here.  Debra will be there with Nope-sters and others.  Send her an email if you want to connect with her there.

Conor Lamb has officially won!   

His opponent, Rick Saccone, has conceded and Conor Lamb will be sworn-in as a Member of Congress next month.  Bravo to all who did their part, large or small, to make this win possible. If you raised funds for Conor Lamb using our link and want to see if anyone you know donated (so you can thank them), send an email to Debra or and we'll send you the list of 93 donors.  The list does not contain financial data or email addresses.  This information is kept private and we do not use it. We can't say the same for ActBlue, which is the only way to give to most Democratic candidates online.  One way to manage the deluge of emails that you will receive once you donate via ActBlue is to create a separate gmail or other address for political donations.  

Elaine Luria for Congress from Virginia's 2nd district -- Our next candidate to support

At our March 6 meeting, we agreed to create a Giving Circle to support progressive political candidates.  A Giving Circle engages a group of individuals who commit to donating monthly to support a selected candidate, and includes a participatory process to decide which candidate will receive the funds.  Here's the link for a complete description of our Giving Circle.  Last month we supported Conor Lamb. This month, we decided to support Elaine Luria.  Many of the 45 people at our meeting pledged to support her for a grand total of $2,800.  Just fabulous! We expect we will exceed the pledged amount since it does not include people who have signed up for our Giving Circle but were not at the meeting and donations from new members.

You can learn more about Luria and why we decided to support her here.  Luria is a small business owner and retired Navy commander. She was deployed six times to the Middle East and Western Pacific as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer and culminated her 20-year Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Elaine was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program and among the first women to serve the entirety of her career on combatant ships. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter. You can also learn more about her at her website.  We had the opportunity to "meet" her via Skype at our meeting. Attendees were very impressed by her particularly her strong position on gun control.  She'll be marching on Saturday.

If you signed up to be a member of our Nope Neighbors Giving Circle, please make your donation now.  (Nope Neighbors Giving Circle for Elaine Virginia 2).  The next FEC filing deadline is March 31 and Luria needs our donations now to hit her $250,000 goal.

If you'd like to sign up for our Giving Circle please complete this form.

If you'd like to recruit others to our Giving Circle here's draft email text you might consider using.

Postcards, Postcards, Postcards

NOPE members wrote, addressed, 880 postcards before, during, and after the meeting!  Thanks so much to Kim Berman, who organized this effort for NOPE. The postcards were the brainchild of  the Sister District Action Network, which partnered with the Voter Participation Center (VPC) to help register folks to vote in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.  In addition to the obvious goal of encouraging unregistered folks in these states to register, the postcards were used to test the effectiveness of postcarding in boosting voter registration.

Racial Justice Working Group

We continue to learn and plan to take action on this critical issue.  The group has decided to take two directions -- one of learning and one of action.  On Monday, March 26 at 6:30 the study group will be learning about micro-aggressions.  It will be at Jean Simon's home and led by Erika Carlson. To RSVP and to get the address send a note to

Neighbors Rising

Many of our immigrant neighbors are living in fear given the current administration's policies. Neighbors Rising led by Jeannie Engel is helping to make a difference in the lives of these families particularly the young people.  Neighbors Rising has aligned with Identity and Latin American Youth Center.  With that in mind, please consider supporting the Latin American Youth Center at its 50-year anniversary Gala on Thursday, May 10th starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  You can purchase tickets at  If you would like, please you send Jeannie your name and the name(s) of your guests for whom you’ve purchased tickets so she can ask LAYC to create Neighbors Rising tables for us.  Also, if you would like to purchase a ticket for one of the Young Neighbors Rising people (most recently, they led the soccer equipment campaign), please let Jeannie know (at and she’ll send you one of their names.  This is a lovely way to thank them and further encourage their leadership in helping neighbors in need.  So far, Neighbors Rising members have purchased 3 tickets for Young Neighbors Rising members. A few more would be spectacular.  

Women’s Summit 2018 - June 23rd - Herndon, VA

This is an event not to be missed.  The first Women’s Summit last year brought together activists and candidates to kick-off the blue wave that swept VA this past November.  There are so many opportunities to flip seats in VA this coming November. And Debra will be co-leading a fundraising workshop. The Summit will feature opportunities to engage across all 11 Congressional Districts.  The weekend event will feature speakers, workshops, an advocacy fair, gear shop, and most importantly, network opportunities. Register now.

That's all for now.  Let us know what you are up to and what you want to take a lead on.  Your questions and ideas are always welcome. Thanks all for persisting with us.

Bluely yours,

Debra and Joanna




January 22, 2018 Meeting Notes

NOPE Neighbor Meeting Notes

January 22, 2018

Twenty-seven people attended our first NOPE meeting of 2018.  Thank you to everyone for participating! The meeting focused on our next steps in helping to flip the country from red to blue. We also discussed several other NOPE activities. To engage in any of the activities described below send an email to and we’ll connect you with that effort if you’re not already involved.  

Turning Red to Blue

Debra Fried Levin described current plans for our involvement in the 2018 elections.

Congressional Races in Virginia and Pennsylvania. There are at least two U.S. Congressional seats in Virginia that could be flipped from red to blue in 2018:  Barbara Comstock’s seat in the 10th District in Northern Virginia, and Scott Taylor’s seat in the 2nd District (Newport News/Virginia Beach area). The primary will be held on June 12. Once we see who the Democratic candidates are, we will develop a plan for how to support them. There will also be several flippable seats in Pennsylvania (many in the Philadelphia area) that we might support. We anticipate that NOPE activities for both states will include canvassing, postcards, text-banking, and possibly phone calls (if we can use a hub-dialer, which sends us numbers where there are real people on the other end). Resources on Congressional races and statistics are posted on the last page.

State Legislative Races. We plan to focus on state legislative races in Pennsylvania, although there will be some good opportunities in other states, as well. The Pennsylvania primary will be held May 15, with 30 flippable state legislative races as well as races for Governor, Senate, and Congress. After the primary, we will identify the state races we want to focus on. We will renew our Race for Democracy to raise funds for these races, and will sponsor canvassing as well as postcard, text banking, and phone banking  activities.

Special Election, Conor Lamb (D),  PA 18 Congressional District, March 13. In the meantime, we will be involved in the March 13 special election for the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional district (southwest and southeast of Pittsburgh). Conor Lamb (D),, is running against Rick Saccone (R), a state representative who aligns with Trump (Trump and Pence are campaigning for him). The seat was vacated by Tim Murphy, a so-called  pro-life Republican who resigned after he impregnated his staffer and then asked her to have an abortion. This race will be an uphill battle to win, but there is a lot of energy around Lamb and a January 22 poll found Conor Lamb to be only three points behind. We will raise money for him using the Giving Circle technique described below. We’ll also conduct other activities (e.g., postcards, text bank, canvassing). Resources on state legislative races and statistics are posted on the last page. For more information on contributing to Conor Lamb see Contribute to Conor Lamb's Special Election Campaign.

Larry Buc (Swing Left 31st Street, also in Chevy Chase, DC) described a Skype call that his group held with Conor Lamb. He said they are very impressed with Lamb and that they have obtained $35,000 in commitments for him!

Progressive Political Giving Circle. Debra proposed that NOPE organize a Giving Circle – from February through October – for 2018 election candidates. We will be doing Race for Democracy again this year and the focus will be PA state legislative races. Our Giving Circle will focus on congressional candidates or others that will help flip Congress. Each NOPE participant has the opportunity to commit $X a month to contribute to a NOPE identified candidate. NOPE Giving Circle participants will have the opportunity to suggest candidates who they would like to support financially and to provide information about their candidate (e.g., name, district, type of race, money raised to date, percent in the district who voted for Clinton vs. Trump). We will supply a template for gathering these data and provide links to where to find the information. Each month, NOPE Giving Circle participants will review the suggested candidates and select one to support.

We are testing this approach using Conor Lamb, (March 13 Special Election, PA18 CD) as our February Giving Circle candidate. In preparation, Debra asked everyone to indicate on an index card how much they would contribute to Lamb and how much they would contribute on a monthly basis for other candidates. Individual information was not shared and will be kept private. The commitments are not  binding, of course, but it looks as if we’re off to a great start: folks responded that they would give a total of $2,400+  for Lamb (about $100/person, but the range of gifts was from $5 to $500) and $1,400/month thereafter (about $58/person). Most people said they think they can recruit at least one friend to join the giving circle.

There was discussion about how we can increase awareness about Conor Lamb. More to follow on this soon. Larry Buc described a video that we can post on social media and email to friends along with a request to “join me” in supporting Conor Lamb (see ). Larry also invited NOPE members to the national SwingLeft meeting on Saturday, January 27.  See:

Racial Justice Working Group

Jean Simons talked about the NOPE Racial Justice Working Group. At their second meeting (held on January 21), members discussed focusing on affordable housing and gentrification issues in D.C. They  will investigate other groups that are working on these issues [One DC (, Empower DC (, and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (] to determine if we can volunteer with them in some way. Holly Pollinger, who is with a Cathedral Heights group, Neighbors Combating Climate Change, and Jean also discussed looking into the issue of environmental justice.

Neighbors Rising

Jeannie Engel provided an update on recent Neighbors Rising successes working with Identity, and LYAC, These activities included a campaign to purchase soccer equipment for youth participating in a community soccer program, providing Thanksgiving meals, and purchasing books for 4th graders for an after school program. This week, Neighbors Rising raised more than $1,800 for a local family that needed to obtain three U visas to allow them to stay together in their U.S. community.

DC Self Rule

Kathy Stein talked about the Americans for Self-Rule PAC (, which works to protect the democratic will of D.C. residents from Congressional overreach and to promote the District’s right to independent, democratic self-governance. She suggested inviting a spokesperson from the PAC to talk at a future NOPE meeting.

Herd on the Hill

Ellen Boneparth talked about how Herd on the Hill,, enables D.C. volunteers to deliver constituent letters – complete with photos, personal stories, and requests for a response – to Members of Congress and their office staff.  

Catalyzing Impact

Stacy Brustin talked about her work with a group called Catalyzing Impact, which targets states that have restrictive voting practices. The group is working on gerrymandering and redistricting with OneVirginia2021 ( It is also supporting the League of Women Voters in Fairfax County to translate their voter education guide into Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.


Groups Focused on Congressional Elections


Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

Groups Focused on State Legislative Races

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:

Every District:


Forward Majority:

Mobilize 2020:

National Democratic Redistricting Committee:

Sister District:

Sources for Research and Data on Races

Cook Political Report:

Daily Kos Elections:

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, University of Virginia Center for Politics:

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight:

Virginia Public Access Project:

2018 Primary Dates

Here are a couple lists of upcoming 2018 primary election dates and runoff dates. The date for each state covers its primaries for state legislative seats (in 46 states) along with U.S. senators and representatives, governor, and statewide officials. We will post this information on the NOPE website.

National Conference of State Legislatures:

Federal Voting Assistance Program:

Respectfully submitted by,

Joanna Pratt & Debra Fried Levin, Co-leaders

Nope Neighbors website:

Follow us on FaceBook at NopeNeighbors


NOPE! Neighbors Meeting Notes: October 4, 2017

Our October 4th meeting focused on the work we are doing to support progressive candidates in the upcoming Virginia House of Delegates elections. We also discussed several other activities that NOPE is involved in. 

Virginia House of Delegates Elections

Debra described our many activities related to helping progressive Democrats win their House of Delegates elections during Virginia's upcoming November 2017 election. She will send a NOPE email with more specific information on how to get involved in the following actions:

Race 4 Democracy Update on Phase 2: Debra reported that Race for Democracy Phase 1, which we held during August and the beginning of September, raised more than $37,000. We have distributed these funds to eight House of Delegates candidates. Race for Democracy Phase 2 has started, and will end on October 15. We hope to raise an additional $15,000. Join Race for Democracy Phase 2 and follow our progress at Race for Democracy.

Canvassing: Let’s get to Virginia! We have lots of opportunities to canvass for progressive Virginia House of Delegates candidates. Debra is working with Swing Left 31st Street and other groups to organize canvassing on Saturdays and Sundays. We also hope to set up a canvassing "launch pad" near the Booeymonger in Friendship Heights. 

Get out the Vote: NOPE is involved in several activities to remind Democratic Virginia voters that it is crucial for them to go to the polls on November 7.

Text Campaign - NOPE plans to coordinate with a local organization's text message campaign that is asking folks to text ten of their friends who live in Virginia, and remind them to vote on November 7.  More information to follow!

Postcards - We discussed the following two postcard-writing activities:

  • Postcards4VA. We have committed to writing, addressing, and mailing 200 postcards to Virginia voters letting them know that their vote matters. encouraging. NOPE! members have already written about 100 postcards. We'll continue to do these individually, in groups, or at our official postcard-writing party (see below).
  • Postcard Party for the Campaign for a Family-Friendly Economy. This organization has been working working in New Hampshire to build a better future for working people and a more stable economy by fighting for smart policies that lift New Hampshire families and make stronger communities. The group has come to Virginia to help implement a paid canvassing, direct mail, and postcard campaign to support the Virginia House of Delegates races. Mike P.... came to our meeting to tell us about the postcard-writing campaign. We have committed to holding a postcard writing-party in October.

Neighbors Rising

Jeannie Engel provided an update about the group she started to support our immigrant neighbors:

  • Collectively, Neighbors Rising has donated 161 books for elementary school children for a program sponsored by Identity. Identity assists more than 3,000 in-school and out-of-school Latino youth and their families who live in high-poverty areas of Montgomery County and who are most at-risk for poor academic and economic life outcomes.  Book donations can be make here: 
  • Neighbors Rising’s recent “Friendraiser” for Identity raised over $2,000 and that was matched by another donor, resulting in over $4,000 of new general support funds for the organization!
  • We’re developing new ways to support the Latin American Youth Center, and recently collected sheets, pillows, and towels for our hurricane victim neighbors in Puerto Rico.
  • Young Neighbors Rising, a fabulous group of neighbors in their 20s and early 30s, is gearing up for a resource raising campaign – perhaps for soccer equipment for our partner organizations’ teams. 

Racial Justice

Jean Simons described her goals for a new group that will focus on how we can understand the privileges we have solely because we (that is, most of us in NOPE) are white and how to learn to truly support our African-American neighbors. A meeting will be scheduled in the coming months.

Americans for Self-Rule 

Kathy Stein talked about ways to support Americans for Self-Rule, a non-profit Political Action Committee founded to protect the democratic will of DC residents from Congressional overreach, and to promote the District’s right to independent, democratic self-governance. Under the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Congress has the authority to veto the laws passed by the DC Council. Congressional members are currently threatening DC's autonomy over gun control, death with dignity, reproductive rights, school vouchers, and recreational marijuana. Kathy and Susan Sala have "manned" booths at festivals and fairs across DC to talk to citizens about these issues and to raise funds for American for Self-Rule. 

Herd on the Hill

Herd on the Hill offers disenfranchised DC citizens a way to be sure our views are heard on Capitol Hill: we can hand-deliver letters from progressives in other states to their Senators and Representatives! Volunteers meet for lunch once a week and then progress to the Hill to deliver constituent messages. We decided that NOPE will coordinate with Herd on the Hill after the November Virginia elections.

NOPE! NEIGHBORS Meeting Minutes: May 2, 2017

We had a fun and productive meeting on Thursday night (April  27) - thank you to those people who attended!

Here’s a summary of the issues we discussed and the actions we plan to take. Do you want to join a workgroup for one of these topics? Or maybe you’d like to help organize one of our planned events or actions? Let us know by posting on the NOPE Neighbors Facebook page or emailing us at

Issues & Options

For each of the following topics, a member of NOPE described the basic issues to help us frame options for addressing the topic and discuss specific actions that NOPE can take.

HandsOff DC. Kathy Stein started us off by describing the issues surrounding DC’s home rule. We all know that DC does not have representation in Congress. In addition, Congress can interfere in DC home rule because it reviews all legislation passed by the DC Council before it can become law and retains authority over the District's budget. The House Oversight Committee and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Jason Chaffetz, is eager to overturn, weaken, or de-fund many DC laws. Chaffetz has announced he is not running for reelection in 2018, but other Republicans will take his place. The Americans for Self-Rule PAC is collecting donations to help them protect and promote DC self-rule, especially related to our death with dignity, gun safety, reproductive rights, recreational marijuana, and school voucher laws. One of the PAC’s main goals had been to support a Congressional candidate running against Chaffetz in the 2018 election. The PAC is reassessing this approach since Chaffetz is no longer running for reelection. NOPE will continue to monitor the PAC’s activities to see how we can support them. In the meantime, we can help by hosting a American for Self-Rule PAC House Party fundraiser.

Flip from Red to Blue. The key to long-term success will be electing progressive candidates at the local, state, and federal levels. This involves canvassing, advising our family and friends about whom to support in their states, and donating to campaigns. It also requires developing a comprehensive redistricting strategy for 2021, when states will redraw their Congressional and state legislative lines. As Jane Sargus described, many organizations are working to filter information about how to accomplish these goals and to disseminate this information to the public. She is following local and state races through groups such as Democracy for America ( and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee ( We will post her recommendations on the NOPE FB page. At the state level, NOPE will focus on supporting races in nearby Virginia.

Immigration.  Jeanne Engel briefly described the range of organizations that provide immigration services in our area (including Takoma Park Mobilization, Casa de Maryland and La Clinica Del Pueblo, Refugees International, and Council on American-Islamic Relations - CAIR). She suggests volunteering with DC and Montgomery County organizations that are helping young immigrants in the area. Identity serves Latino youth and their families who live in high-poverty areas of Montgomery County and who are most at-risk for poor academic and economic life outcomes ( The Latin American Youth Center offers programs and services to DC, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County youth in academics, arts and recreation, job readiness and safe housing.

The Environment and Climate Change. The People’s Climate March was Saturday, April 29th - the 100th day of the Trump presidency. One of his acts during these first days was to nominate Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. As directed by Trump, Pruitt has sought to overturn the Waters of the U.S. regulation and the Clean Power Plan. And on the night before the Climate March, he dismantled most of the EPA climate change website (see Joanna Pratt has been working with the People’s Climate Movement (  to support the climate march (e.g., six of us handed out flyers about the March at Metro stations) and will continue to gather information on how NOPE can support climate initiatives, attend rallies and marches for environmental issues, and participate in phone calling campaigns.

Rapid Response Network.  Ellen Witman shared insights about how to best advocate on federal issues. As DC residents without representation and MD residents with a delegation of Democrats our goal is to share information in a timely fashion with friends and family who live outside our blue bubble and can have an impact with calls, visits, and faxes. We’ve been taking our lead from Indivisble and pushing information out via FB to our Networks on the big fights - Gorsuch (a loss) and the ACA (a win).  We’ll continue to do that and share tools that keep become available to better target our efforts.     

Upcoming actions

We are planning the following activities for this spring and summer:

  1. Order Hate has No Home Here signs, and sell them through the NOPE FB page and Chevy Chase listserv. Email  if you would like a sign.
  2. Sponsor a bystander training class to learn skills for nonviolently interrupting hate, intolerance, intimidation and harassment. This could be a particularly useful skill at marches and rallies. Check out Swamp Revolt’s website for more detailed information on what this entails:
  3. Hold two phone banks (on May 11 and June 8) for Jon Ossoff, who is the Democratic candidate in the June 20 special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.  As of today he’s leading very narrowly in the polls - 48% to 47% with 5% undecided. This will be very close and every little bit of effort will make a difference.
  4. Hold a fundraising house party for the Americans for Self Rule PAC , whose goal is to protect the democratic will of DC residents from Congressional overreach and promote the District’s right to independent, democratic self-governance. (
  5. Host one or more Dining for Democracy events to raise money for specified VA state candidates. (
  6. Canvass in VA for state legislative candidates.

Upcoming events

Thurs., May 11, Phone bank for Jon Ossoff in CC, DC.  Send an email for details

Wed, May 24,  Immigration forum with  Identity and Latin American Youth Center. Send an email for details

Sat., June 3, March for Truth (Trump & Russia)

Thurs., June 8, Phone bank for Jon Ossoff in CC, DC, send an email for details

Sat., June 10, Pride March