Whose House? Our House! Day of Action

Indivisible goes on offense on its first day of action in 2019

The North Shore Indivisible 10th District outlines agenda priorities for the First 100 Days of Congress as follows:

The “First 100 Days of Congress” is a period of time during which the new Congress will indicate their agenda priorities for the next two years.

The first major legislative effort in a Democratically-controlled House is expected to be a democracy reform effort (H.R. 1). This legislation is meant to:

  • Strengthen everyone’s right to vote and to have their vote count
  • Stem the tide of big money in politics
  • Root out corruption at all levels of government

Specifically, this package is expected to include:

Voter Empowerment and Access

  • Automatic voter registration
  • Same-day registration
  • Restore the Voting Rights Act
  • Protect against improper purging of voter rolls
  • Require states to upgrade and secure their election systems
  • Restore voting rights to those with past criminal convictions
  • Provide adequate early voting opportunities

Money in Politics

  • Overturn Citizens United – A constitutional amendment is needed to overturn the chaos that Citizens United and related decisions unleashed into our campaign finance system.
  • Amplify small-dollar donations through public financing
  • Encourage small-dollar donations through tax incentives
  • Eliminate “dark money” by requiring disclosure of all political spending (including online ads)
  • Empower the Federal Election Commission to truly enforce campaign finance law
  • Cut off cooperation between candidates and super PACs

Ethics and Corruption

  • Ensure that ethics rules apply to all government officials – demand disclosure of and divestment from the President’s financial interests that pose conflicts of interest.
  • Prohibit bribery and demand full disclosure of information revealing potential and actual conflicts of interest for executive branch and government officials.
  • Write the Office of Congressional Ethics into law and stop Members of Congress from serving on boards.
  • A new code of ethics is needed for the Supreme Court.

Other Key Issues

Other key issues include Net Neutrality and the Dodd-Frank Act (a United States federal law that places regulation of the financial industry in the hands of the government).  Additional asks of our congressman, Representative Brad Schneider, include:

Net Neutrality

Consumer Financial Protection

  • Legislation Strengthening Dodd-Frank
  • Strengthen Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Join/Support Antitrust Caucus

Take Action

For the issues identified above, North Shore Indivisible and its individual members call on Congressman Brad Schneider for the following:
  • Make a public commitment to EACH of the issues identified above
  • Sponsor or Co-Sponsor Legislation
  • Provide a Timetable for Action
  • Communicate to North Shore Indivisible and the public the progress and status of each issue at 90 day intervals or sooner throughout his term.

About

Indivisible:  The Action Network is the progressives’ grassroots response to The Tea Party movement.  It’s “a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to building online power for the progressive movement.”  Indivisible groups are gaining traction throughout the country and recently organized a Whose House? Our House! Day of Action on January 3rd, 2019.

This post has been prepared by Gerri Songer, part of North Shore Indivisible’s delegation in a meeting in the office of Illinois 10th District  Congressman Brad Schneider on January 3, 2019.

Why I Became a Deputy Voter Registrar. You Should, Too.

Become a deputy voter registrar in Illinois

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election it became evident that voter behavior represented the single most important factor in determining the outcome. Not just how many people voted mattered. After all, the majority did NOT vote for Trump. What mattered was who voted and where those who voted lived. Hair’s breaths of percentage points decided electoral votes for entire states. Every vote made a difference. Every person who was qualified to vote but did not vote made a difference as well.

It’s Imperfect But You Can Make the Difference

Yes, the Electoral College process needs a review. Yes, there is widespread gerrymandering of electoral jurisdictions. Yes, there are significant efforts to target and disenfranchise whole swaths of the population. Yes, these and other issues need to be fixed. Yet there is one thing that can be done by each person right now that does not require studies, commissions, hearings or rallies. We can make the effort to register to vote (and then vote).

Easy for Some. Not for Others

While Illinois encourages and provides relatively simple self-enfranchisement, for the truly intransigent non-voter the human touch may provide that extra incentive to become registered. That human touch is the deputy voter registrar. Illinois Election Code provides for deputy registrars who work with the County Clerk’s office to make voter registration to all qualified residents.

How To Become a Deputy Voter Registrar

To become a deputy voter registrar I attended a 1-hour fast-paced orientation conducted by an employee of the County Clerk’s office. The information flew by but we were provided with a short booklet that covered all the material. We were administered an oath and provided a start-up set of registration materials. It boils down to this: Are you able to ask a few questions? Can you fill out a ½ page form? If the answer is yes, you should become a deputy voter registrar.

Small Gotcha. Simple Solution

Prospective deputy voter registrars must first be “designated” by any of a long list of people and organizations. But let’s make it simple. If you look at the calendar on this website and/or search on this site for “voter registrar” you will find both the path and the dates for becoming designated and then getting trained. Really, there is nothing to it. Just do it.

By Sonny Cohen