In this week's Dispatch:
- STATEMENT ON RECENT RACIST INCIDENTS
- DEMOCRACY LAB
- THIS WEEK'S DEMOCRACY LAB PARTNER PROFILE: THE MONROE COUNTY BLACK DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
- ACTION ITEM: PETITION TO EXPAND VOTE BY MAIL
- CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
- COMMUNITY COVID-19 RESOURCES
Click on "Read More" Below
STATEMENT ON RECENT RACIST INCIDENTS
Once again, we have been reminded that racism is alive and well in our town. Just this week we have heard of multiple incidents involving racism towards Black men. A few days ago, a former Bloomington High School South graduate, Mr. Darwin Davis, was stopped by a plainclothes member of law enforcement that was out of his jurisdiction, who said that Mr. Davis was suspected of looking into cars. On Saturday, Mr. Vauhxx Booker, was assaulted while out with friends, and no arrests and immediate charges were filed on those who did him harm. These incidents were fortunately recorded, but we shudder to think what if they were not. How many other racist incidents have happened but were not caught on camera? Even worse, what if each of these situations could have escalated--could we have had a more grim outcome?
Members of our community have expressed outrage at Saturday's incident, and the Monroe County Democratic Party stands with Mr. Booker and demands that the perpetrators from Saturday's incident be swiftly arrested and charged. Also, Mr. Booker's incident should be investigated as a hate crime. This is another reminder as to why Indiana needs a comprehensive hate crime law instead of the one that was passed last year. On July 4, 1999, Won Joon Yoon, a Korean student was shot and killed by a white supremacist passing through town. So to those who say that what we are seeing nationally won't happen here locally: It has happened and it can happen again. It's not good enough to be chanting for Black Lives in the streets, wearing "Black Lives Matter" t-shirts, or planting yard signs that say "Not In Our Town;" we are demanding action and policies be put into place to make sure our community is inclusive and equitable for ALL. We are also calling on ALL elected officials in our city and county to unequivocally denounce and condemn racism and white supremacy and to speak up and out and to show it in local legislation. We also call on elected officials to work on being anti-racist. The time is now to stand up for something or fall for anything. Monroe County, we CAN and MUST do better!
To demand that the perpetrators of Mr. Booker's attack be arrested, contact the IN DNR:
IN DNR Division 6 Law Enforcement: 812-526-4101
IN DNR Customer Service: 317-232-4200
After the 2016 election it was made clear that the Democratic Party must develop stronger relationships with progressive groups that are working toward shared goals. These organizations, responding to threats to basic rights and values, represent an activist energy that’s challenging the conservative ascendancy in Washington DC and many state capitals. But many groups are skeptical of traditional political parties and organizing. To be successful in realizing the progressive agenda building trust and learning from and supporting the work of these activist organizations is critical. To that end, the Monroe County Democratic Party has launched the DEMOCRACY LAB.
Most simply, the DEMOCRACY LAB is an incubator space that makes relevant services available for progressive organizations. Participating organizations have access to a large conference room, several co-working desks, a multimedia support room, office amenities, and advice and guidance from staff experienced in organizing advocacy, change, and impact. The incubator is modeled after business incubators that help new start-ups grow by co-locating them together, offering shared resources, and facilitating the adhoc collisions that can accelerate impact. Participating in DEMOCRACY LAB does not involve any affiliation with the Democratic Party, but only renting space and services to help accomplish a group’s goals. It is conveniently located downtown at Monroe County Democrats Headquarters and includes access to parking.
For further details check out: http://www.monroedems.org/democracy_lab_about.
THIS WEEK'S DEMOCRACY LAB PARTNER PROFILE
The Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus is dedicated to the empowerment of African Americans in the planning, decision making, and overall progress of the Democratic Party and the promotion of African American candidates seeking public office within Monroe County.
PETITION TO EXPAND VOTE BY MAIL
Demand Accessible, Efficient Elections for All Hoosiers
Indiana Senate Democrats have made a petition in efforts to expand vote by mail ahead of the November general elections. Read their comments below and please follow the link to sign the petition!
"State officials are already indicating their plans to limit mail-in voting for the general election in November. With the coronavirus pandemic still affecting our state, this would be an irresponsible and dangerous decision to make. Voters all across Indiana have expressed their concerns about not being able to vote this year. By limiting mail-in voting, many Hoosiers who are concerned about their health and safety will be disenfranchised this November.
We have already seen that mail-in voting can be extremely secure and efficient when it’s given the necessary resources and flexibility. In places like Colorado, Washington or Montana, a complete vote-by-mail system helps higher voter participation and allows voters to navigate the challenges of this pandemic with ease. If our state invests the time and resources into giving Hoosiers access to voting by mail, we can see the same success.
Many Hoosiers are more susceptible to COVID-19 due to age, compromised immune systems or pre-existing conditions. No one in our state should have to make a choice between exercising their constitutional right to vote and staying safe from contracting COVID-19."
SIGN THE PETITION AT
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
City of Bloomington Commission Vacancies
The City of Bloomington Office of the City Clerk is accepting applications to fill vacated positions on several of the city’s commissions. Some of these vacancies, and the date the City Clerk’s office sent out press releases soliciting applicants, are listed below:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Commission (5/6/20)
These are great opportunities for city residents to be more involved in local government! To learn more about these commissions, including the mission statements, membership requirements, current membership listing and term lengths, or for online applications, go to the online City system for board and commission information known as “OnBoard” at bloomington.in.gov/onboardMonroe County Governmental Boards and Commissions
The Monroe County Board of Commissioners invites you to apply to serve on a Board or Commission! There are immediate openings on a number of these bodies, including: Animal Management, Environmental Commission, and the Human Rights Commission. For information on each of them, see https://www.co.monroe.in.us/boards/.
The application is available here.
If you have any questions, please contact Julie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org*All event information is based on currently available information and may be subject to change.
The Indiana Democratic Party has a Municipal Monday Webinar series, and recordings of each of these webinars can be found here: https://www.indems.org/webinar-trainings-recordings/
Programs they have covered include:
How to File For Office (Matthew Kochevar)
Campaign Finance (Anna Foster)
Social Media 101 (Trina Thomas)
Pre-Filing Questions / Campaign Goals (Katie Doyle)
Creating A Field Plan (Adi Ben-Yehoshua)
Fundraising 101 (Katie Doyle)
Creating A Campaign Message (Phil Johnson)
Communicating with Press and Media (Phil Johnson)
Municipal Finance (Oscar Gutierrez and Trish Whitcomb)
Building an Absentee Chase Program (Adi Ben-Yehoshua)
Filing Your Pre-Primary Finance Report (Anna Foster)
How To Use Early Vote/Election Day Data In VAN (Adi Ben-Yehoshua)
City Government Offices (Portia Bailey-Bernard).
MCDP “Four Freedoms Circle” Recurring Donors
Thank you to our Four Freedoms Circle donors who contribute monthly to MCDP! To make a donation and sign up for a recurring contribution, click here.
“For the Millions” donors ($25/month)
Richard Bauman & Beverly Stoeltje
Susan & Doug Davis
Trent Deckard & Kyla Cox Deckard
Kaisa Goodman & Nico Sigler
David G. Henry
Don & Carol-Anne Hossler
Peter Iversen & Leah Sinn Iversen
Jeff & Kim Kehr
Tom Miller & Beth McManus
Brad & Amy Swain
Christine Talley Haseman
Sue Wanzer & Melanie Payne
“New Deal” donors ($50/month)
Lorraine Merriman Farrell
John Hamilton & Dawn Johnsen
Jim & Doris Sims
Catherine & Larry Smith
Shelli Yoder & Josh Perry
“Franklin and Eleanor” donors ($75/month)
“Safeguard of Democracy” donors ($100/month)
This GOP administration’s trampling of the tenets of our democracy makes this the ideal time to become a Safeguard of Democracy donor.