Toolkit: A Just and Fair Election During COVID-19

Intro

Last night Greenpeace hosted a training all about how a fair and just election during COVID-19 can and should look in 2020. Featuring members of Greenpeace’s democracy campaign.

This toolkit will provide everything you need to catch up if you missed the call. Check out the slides. Watch the recording

We hope to keep growing and expanding our impact, from calling on Congress to holding corporations responsible for polluting our communities and ecosystems.  Our action doesn’t stop at the call. 

Below is everything you need to take action with Greenpeace! 

What we learned

KNOW: The principles of a fair and just election.

DO: Protect the right to vote. 

FEEL: Empowered to advocate for a safe, fair, and just election during COVID-19. 

Our Democracy Campaign

Greenpeace members participate in a rally at Federal Plaza to demand our leaders take immediate action to address the climate crisis on Friday, September 20, 2019 in Chicago. People across the U.S. left their homes, workplaces, and schools for a youth-led Global Climate Strike. They marched and rallied to demand transformative action to address the climate crisis, and called on leaders to choose to side with young people, not fossil fuel executives polluting the planet for profit. 

What does the Greenpeace democracy campaign do?

Fight for the health of our planet through fighting for people power and our collective right to dissent. 

Democracy Campaign Theory of Change 

  • People power is necessary for transformation;
  • Organizing people power to fight corporate greed and the influence of the fossil fuel industry helps us to heal our communities and our planet.

Topline Projects

  • Electoral Reforms
  • Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)
  • Anti-Protest Laws

Electoral Reforms: Our Outlook

  • To ensure that the rights of all voters are protected, that elections are conducted fairly and free from outside or partisan interference, and that elections are conducted safely
  • No one should have to choose between their health and their right to civic engagement.

COVID-19 and the Election

How has COVID-19 impacted the election? 

We are feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in every aspect of our daily lives and it threatens to impact the upcoming November general elections in significant ways.

In March, a list of states (OH, LA, MD) cancelled their primary elections and in an even more recent example: today, Georgia cancelled state Supreme court election, making way for the governor to simply appoint the someone to fill the seat. 

Since then our Democracy campaign has banded together with a coalition of groups like (Stand Up America, and Declaration for American Democracy) to pressure the Congress and Senate to include necessary funding for electoral within newly proposed stimulus packages. 

  • Enacting national Vote-by-mail infrastructure during this pandemic and into the November elections
  • (we’re also working to) Mandate same-day voter registration efforts
  • Repeal Voter ID Laws that suppress the vote
  • And enhance ballot access on Tribal Lands

Where we are now? In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Corporations exploiting this crisis for their personal gain, for example large industries are receiving loans, leases, bailouts and what I’d refer to as “sweetheart deals” from our current administration. As it stands over 113 million dollars of our taxpayer funding has been allocated to the fossil fuel industry alone. 

We are experiencing a real-time ‘shock-doctrine’ wherein polluters and government allies are pushing through unpopular policy changes during this public health emergency.

  • People being stripped of their ability to survive and provide necessary resources for their loved ones
  • Attacks on our right to dissent
  • Corporations exploiting this crisis for their personal gain
  • And more…

Principles of a fair & just election

A sign outside a post office in Fairfax, Virginia. US Postal Service (USPS) workers have been declared essential employees to keep mail and packages moving during the coronavirus. The USPS is a source of liberation for the most marginalized, providing medications for neighbors, family and friends, as well as actively supporting mailing in tribal and rural communities.

  • Advocating for expansion of voting rights and opportunities to access the ballot;
  • Fighting for increase funding so people have access to the resources to survive;
  • Empowering, and working with, workers and the labor movement; AND
  • Advocating for powerful “people before polluter” legislation.

We are fighting back. 

  • Empowering, and working with, workers and the labor movement to get them the support and care they need.
  • Advocating for powerful “people before polluter” legislation, like the recently proposed HEROES Act – allocating necessary 3.6 billion in funding needed to enact vote-by-mail in every state – we’re also fighting for the inclusion of the ReWIND act legislation – stopping fossil fuel industry loans and leasing bailouts (a a time when families, workers and our democracy so desperately need attention). 

Developing a relationship with your representative

Our goal in advocacy work is to build relationships with our elected officials by advocate for our community and making our voices hear on issues we care about. 

What is the most effective way to contact/influence your rep? 

  • Ways to put pressure on your representative: bringing folks to town halls, virtual town halls, tweetstorms, phonebanks, letters to the editor, moving ‘social distance’ protesting, etc. 

Goals

  • Goal is to build a long-term relationship
  • Always be clear about you subject of interest
  • Be yourself at all times
  • Use personal experiences in outlining your position and why you are for or against an issue

Key Steps

  • Introduce yourself and be clear on your reason for the meeting
  • Make your key points in concise, clear language
  • Respect the time constraints and provide a brief written synopsis of issues and key points as a “leave-behind”
  • Discuss, don’t debate (or argue) 
  • Whenever possible, get a firm commitment of support

Tactics for Engaging Our Reps

  • Call-In Days
  • Sending letters/faxes 
  • Tweetstorms
  • Phonebanking
  • Letters to the editor / Op-Ed
  • Hosting town halls (including virtual)
  • Office Visits
  • Lobby Day

Why is contacting your rep important/ why developing a relationship with your rep is important?  

  • Every elected official needs reminders about people power and what our communities needs 
  • Persistence and planning are key

Call to Action

ACT: Asking your elected official to vote Yes on the HEROES act (and not bail out polluters during this pandemic). 

TEXT “DEMOCRACY” TO 877-877, NOW! 

Issue Area: Asking your elected official to vote Yes on the HEROES act (and not bail out polluters during this pandemic).

Context:

  • You’ve spoken with your elected official before
  • A crucial vote is coming up in the next week
  • Your representative typically doesn’t commit to supporting in your meetings

On the call, pick 1-2 pts that are important for you to mention in their voicemail 

Hi, my name is {insert name}. I am a concerned constituent calling with an urgent request to pass the HEROES act in support of families, jobs, our country’s health and democracy during these uncertain times. 

  • Safeguard our right to a more healthy and people-powered democracy by paving the way for infrastructure like national vote-by-mail (and other reforms) to ensure voters can participate in our elections more safely during the pandemic; 
  • Improve working conditions for Essential Worker with personal protection equipment and paid sick leave;
  • Provide needed economic relief for individuals and families hit hard by this pandemic, with stimulus payments of up to $6,000 per household; 
  • Providing necessary funding to save the United States Postal Service –– and beloved institution that provides over 600,000 jobs and has supported our country through crises for centuries. 

Senator {X}, I encourage you to vote YES on this legislation for the health, safety and security of constituents like myself and others throughout our country. 

Stay in the loop & Join future calls

Take Action Tuesdays are new, so make sure to stay in the loop. 

  1. Check out our other calls – including Earth Day Live next week and then Take Action Tuesday – in our volunteer call calendar!
  2. Join our Greenpeace Action Calls where we will learn together, take action together, and build community during these difficult times. Sign up here to access our Volunteer Call Calendar and get updates on upcoming opportunities! 
  3. Join our Greenpeace slack to talk with other Greenpeace volunteers, ask questions and be the first to hear about new opportunities to take action.
  4. Weren’t able to make the call? Check out the slides. Watch the recording

Thank you for taking action & staying positive,

Supporter Mobilization (SupMob) Team at Greenpeace USA

Got any questions?

Supporter Mobilization Team in a recent Zoom Meeting

If you have any questions or run into any issues, reach out to the Supporter Mobilization Team at [email protected]