Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hi Teen Resisters! It's been an eventful summer!
We hope you've all been able to relax and refresh (though hopefully while avoiding plastic straws!). This month has been news-packed, as you all know! Right now, there's a lot happening with legal and criminal things related to the administration, such as Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen's convictions (as well as lots of other rigmarole) and we encourage you to stay educated and understand what's going on. In this list, we have a couple of regular briefings and then a larger ongoing action we urge you to commit to. So let's jump in!
What Went Down
MIDTERMS! + Ongoing Action
Midterm elections don’t sound glamorous. For those of us who care deeply about social activism but have little interest in red-and-blue district maps, midterm elections are unforgivingly political - often a battle of strategy, compromise, and mathematics as much as idealism. And many of us don’t even get the excitement of casting our own ballots. But the fact remains: it is more efficient and more effective in the long run to change the people in power than to convince people already in power to change the way they use it. If we want to really change this country for the better, as least as far as legislation can reach, and if we want to change it in the long term, we have to throw ourselves into electing the right candidates. And we have that opportunity this year!
On November 6th, the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be up for reelection, and Democrats have a shot at taking control of both chambers. Momentum from special elections that have turned deep-red districts blue and a general grassroots energy from Democratic voters all around give us real hope of what’s been called a coming “blue wave.”
But it won’t be easy. We can’t let our guard down. (Hate to mention it, but remember 2016?) We have to put everything we have behind these coming races, and then, maybe, we’ll have a chance to clean the House and Senate floor of hatred and bigotry. Not only that, but important local and gubernatorial (governor) races will change a lot for a lot of people.
There are a few ways to really push for a successful election season:
- Vote (DUH!), if you can, and get your friends and family to do the same. Midterm elections (including primaries) are vitally important, but very poorly attended. Change that this year! Before the elections come around, remind friends and family of the dates of the elections and their polling location.
- If you have the means, donate to campaigns!
- Canvass for people. Find local candidates near you that you could spend a day knocking on doors for. Check out Swing Left to find one near you.
But our biggest initiative centers around a pretty common action effort on this site: calling! One of the best ways to impact an election is to volunteer, something you can easily do from the comfort of your own home with calling. Calling can be done with friends, is incredibly easy, and can be tons of fun! You can interact with voters while growing a passion for candidates. We think it should be a priority for Teen Resisters this fall.
We've selected 6 candidates running in various races in various parts of the US, who we'll bio and explain more about shortly. We encourage you to check out their websites. They all have different ways for you to call/textbank, or even volunteer if they're in your area. Generally, we're aiming to spotlight these incredible candidates that we strongly believe deserve your support. Stay tuned for other developments on how TR will encourage your help with these campaigns.
ZELLNOR MYRIE: If you live in New York and care about gun reform, immigration, gentrification, education, or any one of the myriad of issues pertinent to New York State, you should be concerned about the IDC, or Independent Democratic Conference. While New York's State Senate is Democrat controlled, the decisions about bills being passed (or not being passed) are frequently not progressive. (Examples? Check out the three part video on Ilana Glazer's Instagram) That's because of the IDC (recently "disbanded"), a group of Democratic State Senators who always caucus with Republicans, but run as Democrats. They're the reason Red Flag Laws (which we're big fans of over here) have been so hard to pass in New York State. One such State Senator is Jesse Hamilton, who represents Brooklyn's District 20. Zellnor Myrie is a lawyer and activist who is running to unseat Hamilton in the State Senate. He's the son of immigrants from Costa Rica, and has been a qualified figure in the community for years. He's running an organized, grassroots campaign, and if he wins, there will be a very large, very positive impact for New Yorkers statewide.
More about Zellnor: Go to his website & watch his campaign video.
How to help Zellnor win: If you or anyone you know live in District 20 (or any other IDC controlled district!), PLEASE encourage them/do VOTE in the primaries on (this is tricky) THURSDAY, September 13th! It's so important that you do.
Can't vote yet? Zellnor's campaign needs your help. If you're from the NYC area and are down to knock on doors, do so. If you're not, volunteer by calling or text banking for Zellnor. Click this link to get involved, or call the office at (347)-326-1113. (347) 326-1113
LUCY MCBATH: Lucy McBath received a Bachelor's in political science in 1982, but her political career truly started in 2012, in the wake of her son's death. Her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station in Florida, in a murder that is believed by many to have been a racially motivated crime. The murderer used Florida's lax gun laws to his advantage. Since then, Lucy has been a national spokesperson for Everytown and Moms Demand Action, and she has testified and lobbied Congress many times, as well as serving as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. Lucy's father was the Illinois Branch President of the NAACP, and as a child, she was taken to many demonstrations, and marched with organizations fighting alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights. Now, she's running against Republican incumbent Karen Handel, who infamously beat Democrat Jon Ossoff last year. Lucy is an incredible and passionate candidate.
More about Lucy: Visit her website.
How to help Lucy win: There's a Get Involved page on her website, that you can use to find volunteer opportunities.
STACEY ABRAMS: Stacey Abrams, if elected, would be the first Black woman governor in America. She has a long and fruitful political career, serving as the Minority Leader of the Georgia State House of Reps. She has also founded multiple nonprofit and business projects to benefit Georgians, including the New Georgia Project, and NOW Account. Not only that, she published 8 romantic suspense novels under a pen name (she is the coolest). Her grounding in civil rights and progressive values give her a clear-sighted vision, and her ability to reach across the aisle and carry bipartisan legislation to the finish line makes her an effective leader. Having already won the primary, Stacey is only going up from here- and she is a pretty incredible woman.
More about Stacey: Visit her website.
How to help Stacey win: On the Get Involved page, there are tons of ways to help Stacey: from hosting a house party to simply calling for her.
GINA ORTIZ JONES: Gina Ortiz Jones is running for House of Representatives in Texas, and has tons of qualities that make her an amazing candidate. If elected, she'd be the first openly gay Congresswoman of color from Texas. She was raised by a single immigrant mother, and experienced poverty and state-sponsored financial aid programs as a child. Later, when her mother developed colon cancer, she experienced the ins and outs of the American healthcare system. She's an experienced veteran, having served in the US Air Force in Iraq, as a gay service member under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Since then, she's worked as an adviser on national security, and held other positions as a civic servant. With such close proximity to the border, Gina will also have a lot of say on immigration.
More on Gina: Visit her website.
How to help Gina win: Gina's Get Involved page includes lots of ways to help.
BETO O'ROURKE: Beto O'Rourke is most famous right now for being the opponent of Ted Cruz, and he'd be a game-changing addition to the Senate if he takes Cruz's place. He's a fourth generation Texan, and has served on El Paso City Council and in the US House of Reps. He has an excellent voting record on lots of issues, a 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood Action, and an F from the NRA- what we like to see! He's a staunch proponent of gun reform, and a champion on DACA.
More on Beto: Visit his website.
How to help Beto win: There are ample volunteer opportunities on his website.
JACKY ROSEN: Jacky Rosen is running for Senate against Republican incumbent Dean Heller in Nevada. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, and served as the president of Congregation Ner Tamid, the largest synagogue in Nevada. As president there, she led the team to construct the synagogue's solar array, cutting their energy bill by 70%. Since being elected as a Representative, she's been a champion of early-childhood STEM learning, especially for girls, environmental justice, bipartisanship, voting rights, healthcare, and immigration. She's also a bold advocate for women's reproductive rights. Jacky won her district despite it having gone for Trump, and the state of Nevada as a whole went for Hillary. We won't make you do the math, but that means she has a pretty great shot (knock on wood!).
More on Jacky: Visit her website.
How to help Jacky win: You can sign up to volunteer for her here.
We HIGHLY encourage you to call or text for one of these candidates, and make it an ongoing action. More than anything else, it will truly make a difference.
And for your dog video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSyI3SruMuU. Enjoy!
And enjoy the rest of your summer! We'll see you back here in September with our regular schedule (and on the campaign trail!).
All the best,
These lists include featured organizations, scripts, numbers, news updates and inspirational activists.