Indivisible first called for impeachment in 2017, following Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice during the investigation into the 2016 election, and Indivisible activists have been front and center on the impeachment fight ever since. In 2019, Indivisible members drove over 12,000 calls to Congress the same day the House formally announced the first impeachment inquiry and teamed up with our partners in the progressive space to form the Nobody is Above the Law Coalition to push forward impeachment. That work paid off in December of 2019, with the historic vote in the House that impeached Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. That fight continued into 2020. Indivisible activists called and texted voters in key states and connected them with their Senators to demand that they publicly support a fair and open impeachment trial.
On the evening of January 2nd, 2020, Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Major General Qasem Suleimani, the second most powerful person in Iran, without congressional authorization or any apparent strategy. Trump put the lives of Americans and our allies in jeopardy and brought us to the brink of war with Iran. That's why we pushed back against the warmongering efforts of the administration and took action to prevent any further escalation of tensions. We teamed up with our partners in the progressive space, including MoveOn, Win Without War, About Face: Veterans Against the War, and NIAC, and coordinated a national day of action on January 9th, 2020 to prevent a new war with Iran. Alongside a broad coalition of over 40 different organizations, Indivisible groups held nearly 200 events across the country to demand #NoWarWithIran.
As the pandemic ramped up in the U.S., Congress began discussing possible relief packages. Some proposals offered a bailout for corporations without providing real relief for those struggling. Indivisibles heeded this call to action and drove over 28,000 calls and 26,000 emails to Congress in the spring of 2020 to demand that Congress prioritize people-centered relief packages. Core to this work was ensuring that the most vulnerable and marginalized communities were given access to relief, regardless of immigration status. Throughout 2020, we advocated for packages like the HEROES Act -- which not only included economic relief and $25 billion for USPS, but was also the most inclusive economic recovery proposal ever passed in the House. Our policy team also helped create the THRIVE framework as part of the Green New Deal Network, which seeks to revive the economy by addressing the interlocking issues of mass unemployment, racial injustice, public health, and climate change. We were proud to help ensure that the THRIVE agenda was introduced last year with over 100 cosponsors and the vocal support of Sen. Schumer, including his commitment to fighting for the pillars of THRIVE when he became Majority Leader. We know that the fight for equitable recovery is far from over. As we look to the future, we’ll advocate for THRIVE in 2021 and demand that Congress provide long-overdue financial relief to workers and families.
In 2020, the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others sparked mass mobilizations as folks everywhere came together to say ‘no more’. Indivisible took our responsibility as an ally to the Black Lives Matter movement seriously, coordinating with and following the lead of our racial justice partners within the progressive movement. Groups across the country hit the streets to protest (with masks on!), raised money for bail funds and mutual aid, and held their own racial justice and equity trainings to educate their membership and their communities. In coordination with BIPOC led groups, they pushed their local and state governments for real substantive changes to address the issue of police violence. For example, Indivisible Austin worked with Black and POC-led groups in the city and advocated for a significant decrease in the police budget -- and they succeeded in winning a one-third cut! Groups in Arizona advocated funding for a Civilian Police Oversight Board in Phoenix, and in the end won an increase from $400,000 to $3 million.
At the national level, our training team provided critical support to our groups through our help desk, virtual summits, and training programs. We held workshops to better equip folks around relational organizing amid racial tension and violence; Our workshop in June 2020 had 6,470 participants! We launched Taking Action in Solidarity with Minneapolis, a resource that outlined how systemic racism and police brutality led to George Floyd’s murder and ensuing unrest, immediate steps for action, and information on the need for long-term systemic change. There is so much work left to be done, but Indivisibles are committed to the fight for racial justice.
Reforming our courts is a key component of democracy reform. So throughout 2020, we worked closely with Take Back the Courts and Demand Justice to educate our movement and respond to potentially undemocratic and discriminatory rulings from the Supreme Court. And in June of 2020, we hosted a virtual rally on court reform with a star-studded guest list, including Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna, and Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer. Over 300,000 people tuned in as we discussed term limits, court expansion, ethics, and expanding the lower federal courts!
When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in September 2020, Indivisibles were left grieving and fearful of the future. They held candlelight vigils across the nation to honor her contributions while also engaging in protests as they called for Trump to refrain from filling the now-open seat less than two months before an election. During Indivisible Andover’s vigil and protest, their President Molly Beams pointed out, “The Supreme Court seat is being filled faster than any COVID-relief package. It seems like the priorities are upside down.” Though we knew it would be an uphill battle, and Amy Coney Barrett was eventually confirmed through a vastly illegitimate process, our groups fought hard and pushed their senators to do the right thing. And in 2021 we will continue to fight to unrig the courts.
We reached out to over one million voters through Indivisible Civics’ nonpartisan voter education program. With the pandemic complicating voting procedures and laws in states across the country, Indivisible made sure that voters had the information they needed to vote safely. We answered questions on deadlines, voting methods, regulations, and ID laws, and confirmed polling locations. In total, Indivisible Civics sent 1,758,653 nonpartisan text messages and made 51,964 nonpartisan calls in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and South Carolina. We partnered with State Voices and Alliance for Youth Organizing, who shared voter contact data with us to make these texts and calls possible. And thanks to the energy of our volunteer network, we were able to get out the vote ahead of November 3rd.
We knew that our ability to pass progressive legislation in 2021 would depend on our success in setting the agenda during the interregnum (sometimes called the lame duck period). So we got to work!
In 2020, the importance of engagement and advocacy at the state-level had never been more evident. As the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered our country in March, Indivisible identified new group-initiated voter education campaigns on election changes due to the pandemic in Arizona, Florida, New York, and Tennessee. Local Indivisible activists were concerned about communicating the changes in state-level regulations on how to request vote by mail and feared that false messaging about the security of vote by mail might depress turnout. To ensure voters were getting the right information about how they could safely cast their ballots in the fall, we supported these initiatives with national resources and policy expertise to clarify new laws, coordination with other state-level initiatives, peer-to-peer texting tools, and shared best practices for virtual phone banking.
Indivisible expanded group education to increase advocacy impact at every level of government in 2020. Our team produced two skill-based learning videos. We held a state advocacy focused workshop and trained our groups to be effective advocates at their statehouses. We put all that education into practice by running several legislative campaigns in key states. We advocated for and helped get a suite of democracy bills in New York passed, which included online requests for absentee ballots and no-excuse absentee voting electronic receipts. We helped Georgians go on the record opposing new voting restrictions within the state and worked hard to help reduce the harm of voter suppression election rules that would limit the number of voters per machine in the state. In Arizona, after aiding our groups in putting constituent pressure on the Governor; they were able to secure mail-in ballots for the state. We also joined the in-state efforts in Tennessee to ease the existing restrictions on voting at home, including absentee ballot usage. State governments are typically the first to limit access to the ballot -- luckily, Indivisible was uniquely positioned to support groups in states nationwide in demanding that elected officials provide safe and accessible options for voting in 2020.
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