Hot off the Press
The election is over. The nation has spoken. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will officially become our next President and Vice President. The House maintained its Democratic majority and the Senate became a 50/50 split, with Kamala Harris giving Democrats the majority when votes are tied. This was a historical trifecta win on many fronts.
Yet, with all of the exciting positive outcomes this election provided, while congress performed the procedure of what has historically been the perfunctory process of counting the electoral votes to finalize the 2020 election results, an insurrection occurred at our nation’s capital. Trump supporters stormed the capital, desecrating the offices of elected officials, stealing computers and vandalizing many areas within the building. The threat to our national security has yet to be fully determined, but suffice it to say, this attack on our nation’s capital will be a source of concern and study, for years to come.
Because of President Trump’s incitement of the insurrection at the capital, and his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election, House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump on Monday, according to two Democratic aides.
According to reports, more than 150 House Democrats, well over half of the caucus, have signed on to articles of impeachment written by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland that focus on the breach of the Capitol complex and accuse the president of inciting an insurrection.
Congressman Peter DeFazio has already announced that he supports the impeachment and removal of this president, as have both Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley. It is unknown of Oregon District 2 Congressional Representative Cliff Bentz has signed the articles, or supports impeachment as of this posting.
Please take a moment to contact your elected officials and let them know we want Trump removed from office as soon as possible. While he has less than two weeks in office, he has demonstrated he is unfit to lead this country.
Congressional District 2 Cliff Bentz – DC (202) 225-6730 or (541) 776-4646
If you encounter issues with his website – you can email his staff person: email@example.com
Congressional District 4 – Peter DeFazio – DC (202)-225-6416 or (541)-440-3523
Senator Jeff Merkley – DC (202) 224-3753 or (541) 608-9102
Senator Ron Wyden – DC (202) 224-5244 or (541) 858-5122
You can also text RESIST to 50409 and it will automatically send your message to your elected representatives.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. It is time that we all get more involved.
Many died for the rights we have. We cannot sit by idly and expect others to do the work for us.
THE JOSEPHINE COUNTY DEMOCRATS
NEED YOUR HELP!
Please join us as we expand our grassroots efforts. It is unfortunate, but southern and rural Oregon democrats are often left out of the conversations at the state level. We hope to change that with your help, as we amplify our voices by building a stronger local party and working with other rural groups to create change that moves beyond partisanship.
Many of our members “don’t do politics” but do their duty come election time by turning in their ballots. Others make monetary donations, which is necessary and very much appreciated, as we get little to no funding from the state or national party; but only a small group of our local democrats get their hands dirty and get involved with developing and growing the organization.
We invite you to join us – democrats and progressives alike. You will be surprised to see that you are not alone in this otherwise sea of republican voters. Working with other democrats and progressives can also bring support and comfort during these trying times.
There are many ways you can help depending on your interests.
- Become a leader in your neighborhood as a Precinct Committee Person
- Focus on healthcare issues, affordable housing, environmental issues, gun issues and/or LGBTQ issues by joining one of our caucasus. (Caucasus are groups within the party that focus on specific issues.)
- Work behind the scenes to build a strong party as part of our Communications, Rules, Finance or Membership committees.
- Join our campaign committee to recruit and support candidates.
We have specific caucuses you can join that may offer you an opportunity to be involved in issues you are passionate about. Being involved as a precinct leader will allow you to help shape the local party rules and by-laws, which also affects how the party makes endorsements!
Please contact us here to learn more about ways you can help and be a part of creating meaningful change locally.
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING SINCE THE ELECTION?
While we would like to have relaxed after the electoral college votes were all certified, the efforts of some republican representatives to overturn the will of the people has made it difficult to fully celebrate the Biden/Harris win.
Side note, our own Congressman elect for CD2, Cliff Bentz, has signed on with other republicans asking for a congressional investigation and review into states where they claim “election irregularities” were observed.
Click here to share your thoughts about this issue with Congressman-elect Bentz.
Additionally, with the balance of the Senate still undecided, many Josephine Democrats, and other volunteers from Indivisible Southern Oregon, and ORD2 Indivisible, have continued to work on getting out the vote. Locally, southern Oregon activists have sent more than 6,500 postcards and letters, and are also helping the Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock campaigns with phone banking and texting to Georgia voters in an effort to help flip the senate. If they are able to flip the Georgia senate, we can look forward to more meaningful change in 2021.
There are still opportunities to help with their campaigns – go to https://fairfight.com to see how you can assist.
JANUARY MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday January 12, 2021 starting at 6:30 pm
Social starts at 6:30 pm. Meeting sarts at 7:00 pm.
Agenda and December meeting minutes will be posted soon at this link. Special guest speaker(s) to be announced on the agenda.
Advanced registration required to attend the meeting! Registor here to join us.
INAUGURATION WATCH PARTY & CELEBRATION
Wednesday January 20, 2021
We are still working out the details, but we hope to host a Zoom Watch party to celebrate the inauguration of our 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the first Vice President to be a person of color and female, Kamala Harris.
THE OFFICE IS STILL CLOSED
Except by Appointment!
Due to COVID restrictions, the office will remain closed except by appointment. Call 541-916-8352 to set up an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check changing office hours on our website: josephinedemocrats.org
We ask when you visit to wear a mask and keep the 6 ft distance. We all want to stay healthy! Remember, it is your mask that keeps others around you ok.
YOUR DONATIONS MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!
As we mentioned above, the Josephine County Democrats do not get regular funding from the state or national democratic parties. All office supplies, signs, postcards and postage, advertising and other promotional materials are paid for with your generous donations.
Our efforts had an impact on this election with more local democrats turning up to vote than ever before. Help us keep this momentum!
If you haven’t contributed to us yet this year, please consider helping us grow. A $5/monthly donation goes a long way to pay for our year-round office. If not monthly… a one-time donation is always appreciated as well.
The Trump administration is clambering to deliver on a final promise: to definitively open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most remote and ecologically pristine areas in North America, to oil and gas drilling –> https://sc.org/2UMdAKo
Trump in his final hours, just announced plans to sell the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to his fossil fuel cronies and campaign funders. This is our National Wildlife Refuge one of the most remote and ecologically pristine areas in North America and Trump is selling it to the highest bidder.
To make it hard for us to weigh in they are only accepting public comment via regular mail on the lease sale🙄 but since we are all social distancing and have plenty of time on our hands this isn’t that much to ask, is it. We need letters, 1000’s of them.
The deadline to receive letters is the 17th of December, but please mail it by the 10th to
State Director, BLM Alaska State Office
222West 7th Ave
Mail Stop 13
Anchorage, AK 99513-7504
Here is a sample letter. Use it, change it, make it your own, but send something!
RE: I am Against any and all lease or sale of oil or gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!
Exploration and development of gas or oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will create a web of roads and pipelines and could harm the waterways, wildlife, the pristine delicate landscape of this precious unique country.
Encompassing more than 19 million acres, the Arctic Refuge is the largest national wildlife refuge in the United States. It has no roads or facilities. Tucked in the northeast corner of Alaska along the Beaufort Sea, its delicate arctic landscape provides breeding grounds for caribou, denning sites for polar bears, and habitat for migratory birds, among other ecological rarities.
Extracting these oil and gas deposits can result in lasting damage to the environment. Specifically, oil and gas exploration and development causes disruption of migratory pathways, degradation of important animal habitats, and oil spills—which can be devastating to the animals and humans who depend on these ecosystems.
What national interest could be so compelling to put all that at risk? America is setting records, with oil exports anticipated to overtake those of Russia and approaching those of Saudi Arabia. America is flush with oil.
Please protect this beautiful National Wildlife Refuge
Oregon has only a modest tax on harvested timber that just supports the industry. Unlike Washington state, Oregon doesn’t tax the value of trees when cut to compensate counties for reduced property taxes while the timber was growing.
Read about it: Timber Tax Citizen concept
… and more: How to Protect Our Water
Here are some questions to get you thinking.
What is the best severance tax design and use?
- What percentage should be returned to the counties as property tax?
- Who should be taxed? And what rate?
- Revenue to protect watershed/drinking water
- Best mechanism to incentivize better forest management?
- Which forest management characteristics are most important for drinking water, fish protection and fire hazards?
- Is fire protection an important use of this revenue? What aspects-fire resistant building materials, defensible space or fire suppression?
A rural community coalition has already designed their own tax bill.
Let’s discuss the details of their plan as laid out in the handouts attached or linked here and see what you would like to see accomplished!
Strategy: How will we make a tax severance plan happen?
- What organizations do we need onboard?
- Are county commissioners supportive?
- Do we have the votes for a 3/5th majority?
- The industrial timber industry is a powerful lobby, what would you say to counter their opposition?
Want to get involved? Contact Catherine Thomasson or Jody Wiser with the Tax Fairness Oregon 503-819-1170
The voting is over, and the nail-biting continues. The Trump campaign and the Republican Party will certainly petition to have the votes recounted in certain states like Wisconsin and Michigan, so the results of the presidential election may yet be weeks away. Stay tuned to find out if there are things Democrats in Oregon can do to support our fellow Democrats in those states where recounts may happen. You can peruse this pamphlet for ideas of what to expect in the coming weeks and what you can do about it: Hold-The-Line_-A-Guide-to-Defending-Democracy.pdf
Nearer to home, The Josephine County Democratic Party has helped send Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio back to Washington to continue their great work for us, and we have made our next redistricting secure by electing Shemia Fagan to the office of the Secretary of State. We also helped return State Treasurer Tobias Read and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to their offices with our votes. Thank you Alex Spenser, for making a good run of it in Congressional District 2.
Although none of the Democratic candidates running for the state legislative seats that cover Josephine County won, we must remember that they had uphill battles in districts that lean two-thirds conservative. The fact that we had excellent candidates running in these positions is important because Republicans too often run unopposed here, and our candidates were instrumental in sharing alternative solutions with the public about pressing issues in Josephine County and southern Oregon. Hats off to Jerry Allen, Mary Middleton, Kat Stone, Calla Felicity, and Jerry Morgan for being willing to step up and make our voices heard.
Locally, we will have several new city council members in Grants Pass, including Vanessa Ogier, Brian DeLaGrange, and Robert Pell, plus a new mayor, Sara Bristol. The new perspectives and energy they will bring to the council are much needed and welcomed. Here, here for transparency!
We want to give a great big thank you to our many volunteers. They have given their time and energy to staff our office, watch the ballot processing and the ballot box sites, write letters and postcards, phone bank and text, and do the behind-the-scenes technological work necessary that made all of our voter outreach possible. During this election season, our volunteers attempted to contact every Democrat in Josephine County. Our Neighborhood Leader Program contacted 3392 Democrats here with calls, texts, or letters, and we attempted to contact all of the rest of the Democrats in the county with postcards, phone calls, or texts to encourage them to vote. As of this writing, the Democratic Party turnout in Josephine County stands at 85.4%.
Lastly, we want to give a big thank you to all the donors who supported us financially. You paid for our voter drive and kept our office doors open; without your help none of this would have been possible. We’re humbled by your generosity.
There are only 8 days left until Election Day!
It is no longer safe to mail your ballot and expect it to arrive before the deadline.
You will need to take your ballot to one of the following
Official Ballot Drop Box locations:
County Clerk’s Office – 500 NW 6th Street Room 170, Grants Pass
Josephine County Courthouse – 500 NW 6th Street, Grants Pass (Corner of 6th/C)
Washington Federal Bank – 290 Union Avenue, Grants Pass (Front parking lot)
Josephine Community Library – 200 NW C Street, Grants Pass (Rear Parking Lot, Enter from C Street)
Cave Junction City Building -222 West Lister Street, Cave Junction
Umpqua Bank – 3600 Merlin Road, Merlin (Corner of Monument Dr./Merlin Rd)
Hidden Valley Market – 7200 Williams Highway, Murphy
If you have questions or need additional information, call 541-450-1749
David Bianculli is a TV critic. He provides daily video recommendations. Why post this?? Continue watching beyond the recommendation to see the first political video ad. Interesting.
Join Team DeFazio for a phonebank to help re-elect our Congressman! Sign up here.
Before your shift, you will be emailed all the information you will need to have a successful phone bank, including a how-to video, scripts, and more. The campaign also has a community Zoom room that is always staffed by someone from Team DeFazio in the event a volunteer has questions or wants to hang out while making calls.
Please contact Chelsea at Chelsea@DeFazioforCongress.org, or 541-357-7768, with any questions.