Saturday, August 8, 2020

IP July Update

 Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all doing well and survived the storm. I apologize for the delay, but the July update requires electricity and internet access and…well, you know the rest.

First, for those of you who don’t use the Indivisible Facebook page, here’s a message from Meg about out next meeting:

Friends!

After months of turning our attention in so many different directions I am hoping we can come together 400-strong to work together on defeating Donald Trump and flipping the Senate.

Our next meeting will be held virtually on SEPTEMBER 13th at 3pm. Zoom link will follow.

In advance of the meeting you will be hearing from Karin Rhines with an update from the primaries and plans for a calendar of events and volunteer opportunities.

 

Lots to do and we've got September and October to do it! I hope you'll join us!

 

Now for the Update:

We asked how you voted in the Primary and got these responses: 18 Absentee, 2 Early, 3 on Primary Day. A big “Thank You!” to everyone who responded; your feedback is helpful.

Democratic Primary.

It took more than 2 weeks, but we finally got results.

Joe Biden for President.
Mondaire Jones for Nita Lowey’s seat.
Tom Abinanti for State Assembly.
Mimi Rocah for County District Attorney.

State Senator Pete Harckham didn’t have a Primary, but is running against Rob Astorino.

I haven’t found opponents for our other local candidates for November, so if anyone knows who is running against them, please share.

Get Out the Vote

As you know, Indivisible Pleasantville does not endorse candidates; however, we do encourage members to support the candidates of their choice. That being said, we have lots of work to do in the upcoming months.

I need your help. I’m trying to put together a calendar of volunteer opportunities to help candidates and information about their online events. Please send me information about phone banks, postcard parties, door knocking, online and real world appearances. This information will be placed on the calendar on the IP website and emailed every 2 weeks.

Primary Problems

Now for safe and fair elections. All of us living in Mt. Something got misinformation on our early voting site from the Board of Elections mailing. Some of us had problems receiving our Absentee Ballots.  Sleepy Hollow voters who wanted to vote early had a 45 minute drive each way and then were challenged to actually find the Mt. Pleasant Community Center. As a long time Election Inspector, I’m still frustrated with how poorly managed the Primary was. The County Board of Legislators (BOL) is working with the Board of Elections (BOE) to make things better, but they can still benefit from our experiences and suggestions.

Here are some ways we might engage:

Write to Margaret Cunzio (https://westchesterlegislators.com/email-district-3) our legislator, to request that the BOL monitor the situation and give the BOE all the assistance it needs to resolve past problems. Please be sure to cc:
Benjamin Boykin (https://westchesterlegislators.com/email-district-5) Chair of the BOL, 

Reginald LaFayette (ral4@westchestergov.com), Democratic Commissioner, BOE, 

Douglas Colety (dac7@westchestergov.com), Republican Commissioner, BOE

George Latimer (https://www.westchestergov.com/e-mail-ce), County Executive

Write to the two BOE Commissioners encouraging them to advocate for all the resources they will need to run a smooth November election. CC: the others above.

Write to Governor Cuomo (https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form) requesting him to allow no-excuse Absentee Ballots for November.

Election Inspectors

The majority of Election Inspectors (EIs) are seniors and many were unwilling to work the Primary – for good reason. (In addition, many of the usual polling places were unwilling to host a possible swarm of people.) To try to recruit more – and younger – EIs, the BOE is offering $350 for working the November 3 election. I received notice that training may be done online, but have not heard a final decision yet. In the past, prospective EIs were paid $25 for each of the 2 required training sessions.

If you know anyone who is interested in becoming an EI, they can sign up at the BOE website as either a Democratic EI or a Republican EI.

As for my fellow seniors who sat out the Primary, but would kind of like to work November 3, if you have reservations, please talk it over with your physician. I did this before the Primary and got the go-ahead, but with the usual caveats of mask, hand sanitizer, good ventilation.

Save the USPS

All our hard work could be for naught if the Post Office can’t deliver ballots to voters and return them to BOEs in a timely manner. Newly installed Postmaster General DeJoy has eliminated overtime, ostensibly as a cost-saving measure to the financially fragile UPSP. This is resulting in reports of a backlog of unprocessed and undelivered mail. This could be a disaster for mail-in voting.

Here are some things we can do:

Write our Federal representatives urging them to provide funding for the USPS.

Senator Chuck Schumer https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Representative Nita Lowey https://lowey.house.gov/contact (contact info, no email)

Write Governor Cuomo, newly elected Chair of the National Governors Association, to use his influence to get Congress to fund the USPS and assure timely processing and delivery of mail-in ballots.

The same message can go to Attorney General Letiticia James (https://ag.ny.gov/contact-attorney-general-letitia-james).

2020 Census

The 2020 Census is being cut short for no clear reason. Mt. Pleasant is still short of its 2010 participation and counting every person is important. Remember, each person counted brings about $2,500 a year to NY State for 10 years and those dollars come back to us in aid to schools, infrastructure grants, Medicaid for our residents and on and on. Please remind everyone you know to complete the 2020 Census if they haven’t already.


I know this is long, but July was an eventful month. Please choose a candidate and choose an issue and let’s make this happen!

Stay safe and wear your mask.

Karin