Democracy Summer Camp July Meeting Summary

NSI 2019.7.18 General Meeting 7:00PM @ Deerfield Public Library

We had a nice turnout at this meeting with many active regulars as well as some new friends who are ready to get involved. Themed “Democracy Summer Camp,” we enjoyed our discussion around a “campfire.”

People shared their motivations and favorite actions: Showing up for rallies & marches; calling and writing to elected officials about their opinions on upcoming legislation; filling out online witness slips; writing Get-Out-The-Vote postcards; making GOTV calls (some to their neighbors, some even to help with out-of-state campaigns); door-to-door canvassing–some for specific candidates, others to encourage people to get out and vote. One attendee marched in a couple of parades in support of US Representatives Sean Casten & Lauren Underwood, and emphasized the importance that has in showing the public the support our candidates have.   All agreed that it’s important that we each get involved and take actions that are productive and that inspire us.

Sonny Cohen reviewed some of the ideas that were raised in the last meeting that were brought to life since then, such as the Lights for Liberty vigil on July 12 in Highland Park, and more voter registrar training opportunities sponsored by Tenth Dems.

Some ideas for future activity were also brought up, including: GOTV and voter registration drives on local college & university campuses; getting the message to college students who are home for the summer to register for absentee voting; supporting out-of area campaigns in important races, such as Amy McGrath, running in KY to “Ditch Mitch [McConnell]”. We also learned that there are many volunteer opportunities with Tenth Dems which is based in Highland Park.

And don’t forget to watch the upcoming Democratic Presidential Debates July 30 & 31!

Sonny  also reviewed upcoming events that are featured on the North Shore Indivisible Calendar.

Some of those upcoming events include…

July 21 – Voter Registrar Training in Waukegan

July 23 – Moraine Township Democrats Dinner Meeting

July 24 – Mueller Book Club – Live Testimony Watch Party & Post-Testimony Analysis @ Online

July 29 – Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6) will be holding a Meet & Greet in Highland Park

Aug. 6 – Voter Registrar Training in Libertyville

Aug. 20 – Voter Registrar Training in Waukegan

Aug. 27 – North Shore Indivisible Meeting @ Deerfield Public Library: Focus on Election Security featuring Rose Colacino from Illinois Indivisible’s Election Security & Integrity Voting Rights Team.

Read all the details on the North Shore Indivisible Calendar.

Also, please utilize these resources for finding important actions to take: Americans of Conscience Checklist; 5 Calls; Small Deeds Done.

The Winning Canvass Plan

North Shore Indivisible will be knocking on doors, i.e. canvassing, throughout the Illinois 10th Congressional District to get out the vote (GOTV) to re-elect Congressman Brad Schneider and other candidates. Your participation is eagerly sought. To indicate your willingness to canvass, please sign up here or send an email to You will be contacted with more information.

Here’s more you should know:

Getting Out the Vote

Our focus is on increasing total voter turnout for Democratic candidates. We will knock on the doors of homes that are known, from publicly available information, to vote predominantly for Democratic candidates. The only thing we will ask is to be sure to vote. There is no need to debate issues or argue sides. You will talk to sympathetic voters. They just need encouragement to be sure to vote.

Every Vote Matters

Non-presidential elections do not attract the same enthusiasm and are commonly dismissed as “mid-term” elections. Voter turnout tends to drop. Yet in Illinois we will elect a Governor, state senators, state representatives as well as important County positions. Moreover, the 10th Congressional seat has flipped between Republicans and Democrats. Small increases in Democratic voter turnout can determine the outcome.

Strategic Canvassing

Within the 10th Congressional District there are several state races that may be tight. Money from right-wing sources are targeting these races. Within the 10th Congressional District, we will focus on State District 58, 59 and 62 in support of candidates Bob Morgan (Deerfield/Highland Park area), Daniel Didech (Buffalo Grove area) and incumbent Sam Yingling (Grayslake area).

Canvass Schedule

Our canvass schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 19
  • Sunday, July 8
  • Thursday, July 26
  • Saturday, August 11
  • Tuesday, August 21
  • Saturday, September 8
  • Wednesday, September 26
  • Saturday, October 13
  • Thursday, October 25

Weekdays 5 – 7 PM and Weekends 4 – 6 PM

Canvass Training

Canvass Captains will provide you the tools you need. No experience necessary. We will canvass in pairs. Bring a smile and dress for the weather.

Canvass History

Many of us have been canvassing since last October. We have knocked on hundreds of doors. Now, with less than 140 days until election, we are stepping up the effort. That’s where you come in.

Does Canvassing Work

“Canvassing door-to-door typically raises turnout by 6% according to one study with some results as high as 15% in other studies. Increasing turnout by this magnitude can sway the results of many tight elections.

Will you take this step to take back control of our democracy? This is something you can do.

Pablo Manriquez Highlights January Meet-Up

Roll Call Director of Communications Pablo Manriquez

Good discussions at our January Meet-Up among our group including several new people eager to stop hand wringing and do something. Joining us from DC via skype was Roll Call Director of Communications Pablo Manriquez who fielded our questions about DACA, Trump-Russia col lusion and more.

Pablo has useful insight to help inform us on the issues and left us with a number of resources worth investigating including online news: At the Races, Fox News (yes) “Halftime Report;” and Emily Wilkins at Bloomberg for Education issues, Dean DeChiaro on Immigration and Brian Williams at 11PM on MSNBC.

Yes, Pablo’s image looks a little frightening here. He wasn’t. Good guy. We’ll have him back.

Calling your Representatives, A “Pick Up the Phone” How To:

One of the quickest and easiest ways to let your representatives in Washington DC know what you think on a particular issue is to pick up the phone and tell them.

Red Telephone

Seriously? I can just tell them how I want them to vote on stuff?

That’s right. Our representatives and senators (at least in the IL-10th district) want to hear what you have to say. They actually pay people to sit in a chair, pick up the phone, and tally up how many constituents are for or against a particular measure.

But there’s a dirty little secret they don’t want you to know.

Continue reading “Calling your Representatives, A “Pick Up the Phone” How To:”

Show Your Kids How Change Happens-Come to an Indivisible Meeting!

Participate in Indivisible - Show Kids How Change Happens

It was difficult explaining the Trump presidency to my kids. “We’ll fix it,” I would tell them. But I didn’t know how.

That changed with my first Indivisible meeting. Under the passionate guidance of an Obama campaign staffer, Scott Horwitz, we brainstormed ideas and developed action plans. I loved meeting people who were “doing” rather than endlessly “griping” on social media!

Indivisible provides a forum for you to get involved in any issue in any way that interests you. For me, it’s candidate tracking and keeping our 10th Congressional District Blue in 2018. You might choose to track legislation, register people to vote,or engage with other interest groups networked with Indivisible. There are so many ideas!

Now when my kids are scared by the headlines and manic tweets, I tell them, “Don’t worry. We have a plan. Here’s what I’m doing to change this.”

Come. Listen. Engage.

J.P., Deerfield

I’m Running for Public Office. Indivisible Got Me Here

Theresa Coomer is running for Illinois State Representative in the 17th district this upcoming election.

I’ve entered the ring as a candidate for Illinois State Representative in the 17th district. I’ve never run for public office. How did I get here?

Despair. At First

I woke up on November 9th, 2016 with a heavy heart. I was flabbergasted at the results of the Presidential Election. I somberly started the process of getting myself prepared to face the world, for I had a big job ahead of me, I had to help my students process through what had taken place. The United State of America had elected an unapologetic bully who pushed fear and lies. It was a long winter and Inauguration Day was fast approaching. I felt like I needed to take action. I had decided to take the long drive out to D.C., through the urging of an old college friend, to attend the March for Women. This task gave me purpose and hope, something so many of us desperately needed at this moment in history.

I marched, I chanted, I even made a special shirt for the occasion.
“I marched, I chanted, I even made a special shirt for the occasion.”

You Marched. Now What?

I marched, I chanted, I even made a special shirt for the occasion. The energy surrounding the day was invigorating. But, then I headed home and was confronted with the chorus of critics and an echo of the question, “You Marched, Now what?”

I started the unnerving process of answering that question and sought out opportunities to be more involved. I had also been a student of politics and government and had spent the last decade attempting to instill the importance of civil engagement in my students. I never shied away from political discourse, I attended local government meetings taking the opportunity to speak during public participation, and keep my ear to the ground for news and policy changes at all levels. Still, I was intimidated by taking on a more active role.

Ready to Step Out of My Comfort Zone

That all changed on a cold February evening when I attended my first North Shore Indivisible meeting. After organizer Scott Horwitz presented his vision for the group, I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and dedicate myself to the group. Although I was not quite sure how to proceed, I looked to Scott’s leadership and soaked up as much information as possible from the other Admins. Soon I was taking on leadership roles and giving presentations at our large group meetings. The energy and hope North Shore Indivisible gave me only multiplied.

The opportunity has come for me to take another daunting leap in my journey of civil engagement. The State Representative seat in my district is open and I am throwing my hat into the ring.  I am running for Illinois State Representative in the 17th district this upcoming election. The spark on engagement that North Shore Indivisible lit in me is the major reason that I even considered taking this monumental step.

You Should Run for Something

If you are like me, take the opportunity to engage in a meaningful way. Every little step is important. Come join us at North Shore Indivisible. And if you are in the 17th, look for me. Get informed and get involved.

Theresa R. Coomer