History of Indivisible97201

Indivisible97201

 

Four Productive Years of Resistance

January, 2017 to December, 2020

 

­2017:  Ramping Up

 

Establishment of Indivisible97201 by 10 Residents of American Plaza Towers

  • Initial organizational meeting 12/26/2016 after Judy “discovers” Indivisible

  • “Indivisible Guide” adopted as our source document for activism

  • Mission statement: "Sustain Democracy”

  • Goals:  “We are committed to actively strengthening our democratic and pluralistic union in traditional American principles of justice for all, reason in the service of the common good, and social and environmental responsibility with compassion and mutual respect.  We join in common cause to:

(1) advocate for these values as the bedrock of legislative and judicial concerns; and

(2) demand the integrity of the media in documenting and accurately reporting current events in order to hold our government accountable.”

 

Monthly Meetings Established:  4th Tuesday of Every Month

  • 1/14/2017:  Introductory organizational meeting held for all APTCA residents

  • 3/30/2017:  First guest speaker!  Erica Goldman of newly created Indivisible Oregon

  • Happy Half Hour with wine and snacks added soon after! 

  • Subsequent standard of meeting excellence set by a slate of renowned community leaders, organizers, and subject matter experts including Oregonian's Steve Duin, Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCCP), Tuck Wilson on climate legislation, Jody Wiser of Tax Fairness Oregon, 350PDX representatives, PSU political science profs

 

Indivisible97201 Creates an Identity:

  • Steering Committee established with 8-10 members and Phil Gilbertson as Chair to set our working agenda

  • Task Groups:  Events, Media, Monitor of MoCs, and Policy 

  • Mail List established for online messaging

  • Bridge Logo:  Graphic designer Amy produces hardboard posters and personal cards with chapter logo of the Tilikum Crossing Bridge and tag line, "Build Bridges, Not Walls"

  • Social Media:  Judy sets up FaceBook page and Twitter Indivisible9720 account

  • Finance:  Boyd sets up bank account, July 2017, to receive donations as a non-profit

  • Bottle Drop Project:  American Plaza Towers collection, redeemed through Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, for monthly cash gifts to Oregon Food Bank

 

Milestones and Major Actions:

  • World-wide Women's March (1/21/2017) – Our first political action, organizing our members for the largest single-day protest in U.S. history

  • "Resist Trump Tuesdays" – Joined Portland Indivisible groups for alternate weekly visits to Senators Wyden and Merkley offices to receive briefings, encourage legislative actions, and build networks

  • Calling for Action –  Susan and Downer begin "5 Free Faxes" and "Five Free Calls" to Oregon Members of Congress (MoCs) to urge legislation.

  • Postcard Campaigns – Started with Indivisible OR for Mid-Term candidates throughout the US, supported Mirabella, Terwilliger Plaza, and District 2 postcard projects. 

  • Partnerships created with other Portland activist groups, such as Indivisible Oregon, Nasty Women Get Shit Done (NWGSD), One Small Thing (OSTPDX), etc. in planning for Mid-Term elections

  • We opposed "TrumpCare" AHCA health bill (bill defeated), and championed the emerging Oregon Clean Energy Jobs bill (pending)

 

2018:  Our Focus Turns to the Mid-Term Elections

 

Indivisible97201 Cements Its Identity:

  • Policy teams:  Created following based on member interest survey – National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, Kicker Fund, Gun Safety, Criminal Justice.  Clean energy/ climate change then added by Craig.

  • "Resist Trump Tuesdays" added Congressman Blumenauer office visits, and the I97201 poster stands out at every single gathering

  • Mid-Term Campaigns:  We participated in phone banks, canvassing, post cards, and rallies.  Worked on re-election for Governor Brown and Attorney General Rosenblum.  Supported Jamie McLeod-Skinner for ORD-2, Carolyn Long in Vancouver as well as  other candidates. 

  • Postcard Parties:  Downey connects us to Tony the Democrat for voter addresses and he and Susan host the ongoing and ever popular monthly “postcard parties”

  • Partnerships:  with OST/PDX letters to editor (LTEs) for Brown campaign & Ohio calls for voter registration; with OR Democratic Party on Brown campaign calling; with "Mid-Term Squad" of NWGSD, OST/PDX, Persisters, etc. to "Build Blue Wave" for Mid-Term elections. 

  • Steering Committee continues its work as a cohesive team as Phil steps down and Roberta takes the chair

 

Milestones and Major Actions:

  • March for Our Lives – March 24 national/local student-led demonstrations for gun safety.

  • Lobby Days in the State Legislature on NPV, redistricting, climate, plus State ballot measures.

  • ICE immigration protests/vigils:  Surrounding the ICE building on Macadam

  • Children's Trust Rally:  Juliana v. U.S. federal court hearing in Portland

  • Light Up the Vote:  With the Mid-Term Squad, and with Rep. Blumenauer’s support, Roberta and Judy focused on Millennial voter registration in partnership with OR Cannabis Retailers Assn (ORCA) using TurboVote.  This became a regional/national model for outreach.  Amy designed postcards; nearly 10,000 were distributed to cannabis shops throughout OR, WA, and NoCA.

  • Mid-Term Election – Results exceed expectations!  The Blue Wave means +40 House seats won, as a result of the highest Mid-Term voter turnout in a century.

  • COIN:  Charter member of the Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network for lobbying the State Legislature.

  • Outreach:  Judy and Roberta present on Indivisible to the Women’s Law Caucus at Willamette University.  (Attempts to engage PSU to open student chapters unsuccessful.)

 

.Monthly Meetings:

  • More outstanding speakers solidify our reputation:  ACLU on immigration law; Professor Larry Wallack on "Reframing" the message; Stephen Manning of Innovation Law Lab on District Attorney as power position; OR House Majority Leader Williams,; OR Senate Majority Leader Burdick; Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum;  Juliana v. U.S. on climate liability, Clean Energy Jobs bill; Jeanne Atkins for Oregon DNC; Phil Kiesling, former Secretary of State, on Vote at Home; Dr. Chris Shortell of PSU on election results

  • Volunteer recognitions held to thank our members, and gifts to speakers of Judy’s bridge plate initiated

  • Efforts to eliminate room rental charge are unsuccessful, but Elsa secures us the right to serve alcohol at our December celebration

 

Other Notable Events:

  • Book group:  discussion held prior to Dr. Larry Wallack speaking on Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant on reframing the message.

  • Funding Stabilized:  Boyd secures eligibility for $500 matching grants from Indivisible Distributed Fundraising Program to fund the postcard project and website build out.  Thanks to member generosity, we establish and generally maintain ~$1k balance

  • We began to reach out to non-APTC residents for positions on the SC, bringing on Mary and Craig

 

2019:  Oregon Legislative Session and Regrouping for the 2020 Election

 

Indivisible97201:  We Won’t Back Down

  • Website launch!  Indivisible97201.com built by Jack McGlasson

  • Stand on Every Corner:  Susan and Downer initiate our participation in national protests in our own neighborhood, holding 20 biweekly/monthly events from November 2019 up to the 2020 election.

  • Collaborators:  Roberta and Jack join a coalition of Portland activist leaders to use our combined power to push for action.  Plans to sponsor an April 2020 Secretary of State debate canceled due to Covid.

  • Postcards to Voters:  Now averaging 3000/month!

  • Indivisible Survey:  Members participated in letting National know our priorities and values

  • Support for Major legislation:  Oregon gun safety legislation (bills fail), Clean Energy Jobs (bills fail when Republicans walk out)

    • Partnership forged by Craig with OST PDX on climate legislation

  • City Council:  Provide briefings on elections and push for revisions to the City Council Charter.

 

Milestones and Major Actions:

  • Blumenauer Re-election Fundraiser:  Sponsored by I97201 Committee members

  • National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – Adopted by the Oregon Senate June, 2019 following intense lobbying of Senate Lead Burdick by our members; signed by Governor.

  • Indivisible National Conference, August 10-12:  Judy and Roberta in D.C. with 300 participants from across the country to share successful strategies and meet with congressional leaders.  A national week of action supporting immigrants was proposed, and Border to Border was hatched to transport a banner from the Canadian border to San Diego.

  • Border to Border with Love to Defund Hate:  Indivisible97201 partnered with Indivisible chapters along the I-5 corridor to move a banner through Oregon to the CA border.  We received the banner on the Interstate Bridge on 9/9.  A rally was held by the ICE building, and the banner was signed by all before being carried south.

  • COIN Statewide Conference:  2-day December meeting with representatives from Indivisible National and chapters across Oregon; I97201 represented by 5 attendees.  Training on GOTV strategies used by Swing Left/Vote Forward targeting “super states” leads to our Big Send project.

 

Monthly Meetings:

  • We hosted Bobby Michaels, Indivisible Regional Organizer; Kimberly Koops-Wrabek, NARAL Policy Director; Dylan Plummer of Children's Trust;  Sonny Mehta, Renew Oregon and OST on Clean Energy jobs; Shannon Wight, Partnership for Safety and Justice; Jennifer Williamson; Lisa Reynolds, candidate for OR House; Mary Chaffin of OST on impeachment

 

2020:  Oregon Short Session, and Working Towards November 3

 

Indivisible97201:  IN IT TO WIN IT!!

  • Membership grows to over 250!

  • Website:  Continues to develop as Dave takes over; we feature cartoons by Gary Tharler, election updates, events, and more

  • Social Media:  Judy continues work on the FB page and becomes “Queen of Twitter” with >1,000 followers

  • Support for State legislation:  Rallies in Salem; Clean Energy Jobs bills fail again when Republicans walk out

  • OR Indivisible Stamp Assist Program:  We facilitated sending $4600 worth of stamps and donated $1,000 to help rural Indivisible members mail Big Send GOTV letters

  • BLM protests: Participation in national uprisings following murder of George Floyd

  • Alliance for Action (A4A):  Exploring partnership with Arizona migrant support group

  • Beyond Borders was initiated by Judy to create letters to the editor following input from member survey, “Ways we can be active to sustain our democracy.”

  • Secretary of State Debate and Activist Fair:  Scheduled April 5, unfortunately canceled due to Covid

 

Milestones and Major Actions:

  • Bottle Project:  Over $10,000 has been donated to Oregon Food Bank from bottles redeemed through Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative from American Plaza.

  • Indivisible97201 Gets Out the Vote!

    • Postcard Parties:  Can’t be stopped by Covid!  59,565 GOTV post cards written by 150 writers were mailed since 2017 to support 105 campaigns in 27 states!!

    • Big Send:  Swing Left/Vote Forward's BIG SEND GOTV letters total 16,705 from 55 letter writers!!  Over $10,000 for mailings raised or donated.

    • Vote Forward's Georgia Senate Runoff GOTV letters total 2,460. 

  • November 3 Presidential and Congressional wins!  Trump defeated by 7 million votes, House majority held, control of Senate runoff on Jan. 5.

 

­Monthly Meetings:

  • COVID brings a halt to on-site meetings in March, but we are up again on Zoom in April with City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty

  • Other speakers this year have included:  Swing Left's Goldman on Big Send GOTV; Ellen Rosenblum; Mayoral Candidate Sarah Iannarone; Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Jones; Rep. Lawrence Spence, Rep.-elect Lisa Reynolds; poll researcher John Horvick

 

Yay Us!  Congratulations to YOU, the Members of Indivisible97201, for FOUR YEARS of Activism!!

 

And Now:  Looking Ahead to 2021:

 

  • A Merger! Indivisible97201 and One Small Thing PDX will build on the shared interests and formidable strengths of both groups to forge an even more powerful alliance!  This include:

    • Similar demographic membership, bringing both sides of the river together

    • Continued monthly meetings with relevant, influential, knowledgeable speakers

    • Building a powerful online presence with an even more robust website

    • Tapping into OST’s experience with legislative topics

    • Newsletter will keep all members informed on a regular schedule

    • Mail list will be upgraded

    • Shared financial resources will make action possible as needed

 

  • Oregon Politics:  We will be keeping our eyes on the 2021 Legislative agenda and watching for opportunities to influence outcomes

 

  • COIN:  We share in identified areas of interest and will support these work teams: 

    • Rural/urban divide and fighting Timber Unity

    • 2021 Oregon Legislative session

    • Federal issues

    • Recruiting and supporting candidates for office, particularly in rural areas

    • Race/equity issues

 

  •  City Politics:  Keeping our eyes on the progress of the young and diverse Charter Commission as they work towards crafting a renewed charter for Portland’s government