Dear SOMA Action Conflict of Interest and Corruption Committee Members,
Hope you are all safe and sound today in the winter storm.
To follow up on Sunday's all hands on meeting, we would like to welcome all new committee members! Our next in person committee meeting will take place on Saturday morning, March 18, 9am at Able Baker. We will then have a table in Maplewood in front of Bank America from 10-12, with the Environmental Committee again, to publicize the Tax March in NYC on April 15 and the People's Climate March in DC on April 29. Please let us know if you can make it to the meeting, and/or for the tabling. Three hours is a lot, but even if you can only come for one of the three hours, that would be great. Hoping for better weather than last Saturday (and today).
More immediately, as we discussed on Sunday, we will be working with a group out of Maryland that has drafted a letter to all Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate Trump's Russian ties. Menendez is on this committee. Four other NJ anti-Trump groups are also participating. Apparently, electronic signatures are fine. The letter goes "live" on Thursday. Signatures are to be delivered to Senator's DC and local offices on Tuesday, March 28th. I volunteered to ours to Menendez's Newark office and two NJ groups will be able to deliver the signatures to the DC office. (I am cutting and pasting below this morning's email from the Maryland group which explains this effort better than I am.) Part of this campaign is to focus public attention, so the Maryland group is producing a press release. We can work with our communications committee on this part. On Sunday, we discussed getting support for this from our local elected officials. Since both our towns passed anti-corruption resolutions, we should definitely to this. We should also discuss at our meeting how else we would like to publicize and participate in this campaign. If you have time to read the letter, Niki (of the Maryland group) is asking for comments. I didn't have any, but you may have some. You can email her directly. I have asked her if real signatures are acceptable, since we will be tabling in our town. If not, I wonder how we can bring a computer to the table and figure out how to get online signatures (assuming good weather...)
So, the agenda for Saturday (please add or comment):
1. Signature Campaign for Independent Investigation of Trump's Russia Ties.
2. Signature campaign for our own petition to support proposed legislation on tax release and divestment of Trump's financial interests (is this overkill?).
3. Publicizing SOMA Action's 10:30 Midtown Direct Train to Tax March on April 15. Possibly creating a SOMA Action banner to march with and a flyer to post around our towns.
4. Creative effort to pull together exploding information about Trump's financial conflicts of interest for public/local consumption. We could have fun with this.
Thanks everyone. I will forward the signature letter to Menendez as soon as I get it.
Hi New Jersey Resistance Groups!
Thanks again, for agreeing to help with the petition to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations calling for an independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. We have had a great response, and we have groups in nearly every state that has a senator on the Committee collecting signatures and delivering petitions in person on March 28!
- Review draft. I have attached a DRAFT letter to the Committee. Please review it today, if you can, and let me know today if you have any concerns or edits about content.
- Check link. The form for collecting signatures is at: https://goo.gl/forms/j2jPMmsDTVjsN3KG3
Note, all required fields, except for email address, are needed for congressional offices to verify that the signers are real constituents.
The letter goes “live” for signature at 7am Eastern on Thursday, March 16 and stays open until 8pm Eastern on Monday, March 27. Nothing entered before the site is live will be saved. So, please do *NOT* begin distributing the letter and form until Thursday.
- Get back to me. If you haven’t already, verify that I can share your name/email with others in your state, for coordination purposes.
Starting Thursday, collect signatures: Share the link to your members and any other interested parties. Let’s make sure the committee knows how strongly Americans feel about this!
Coordinate delivery of the petitions: I will send you a copy of the letter and the signatures for your state on the evening of March 27th so that you can print it out for delivery the next day.
- In New Jersey, four groups have already expressed interest in delivering petitions in person on March 28, including two groups that may be able to send folks to join us in DC! Is anyone else interested in delivering locally, or in joining us?
- By the end of the week, I will send a contact list for all groups in NJ so you can get in touch with each other, to coordinate the best way to deliver the petitions in person (e.g., have several groups deliver to all district offices; or get together as one big group and pick one district office, etc.).
Generate media coverage: Indivisible Montgomery has a request in with Indivisible HQ to try to get broader media attention for this event. Generate local coverage, if you can. I will send you a press release template or talking points that describes the national effort (number of groups, etc.) to help with that.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, again, for your hard work and enthusiasm!
National Engagement Committee