Ossoff campaign very deserving of your support

OssoffBy Stan Boyd

I have just returned from four days of voter canvassing in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on behalf of the Jon Ossoff campaign. This is a special election to fill the Congressional seat of Tom Price, #45’s  current Secretary of Health and Human Services. I recommend Jon Ossoff’s profile on the campaign web site for reader’s consideration. He running against Republican Karen Handel. Ossoff is a Democrat and there is a clear and opposing distinction between the two candidates. Ossoff is the distinct and clear progressive choice.

I have not canvassed in an election for many years. I reported to the Rosswell campaign office in north Atlanta outside the perimeter highway. These headquarters were staffed by very tech-savvy, personable and dedicated young people, most of them under 25 and some likely under 20. They were the nerve center and coordinated the canvassing outreach. The effort is extremely competent and well organized.

When a volunteer arrives at one of the campaign headquarters, a political canvassing app, “MiniVan” is uploaded onto the volunteers’ smartphone or, in my case, iPad. The volunteer is then given a packet for an assigned territory and list of targeted addresses of potential voters in that territory. Each packet has the campaign literature to be presented to the listed potential voter or left at the targeted address if no one is accessible. The packet is number coded. That number is keyed into the MiniVan app on the device. Once done, the targeted addresses come up. Clicking on an address brings up the potential voter(s)’ name, a locator map, the voter(s)’ name, and considerable detail, history of prior contacts phone numbers, email addresses age, gender…

The addresses are aggregated by proximity for efficient access. There is a script and protocol to follow. After each contact, the results of the contact are entered into the app. Periodically the entered experience is synched to the data base for updating.

On a personal experience note, the challenge negotiating labyrinthian highways in dense traffic at, for me, high speeds. I was often lost, pulling into parking lots and studying Google Maps, which were not totally reliable.

The people that I called on were generally courteous, and encouraging. The lists are pre-screened for an indication of probable support. The first priority on contact is to urge early voting.

The campaign had arranged for me to stay at the home of an Ossoff volunteer. My host was very gracious and generous with support and a nice meal at the end of my day.

I made friends that I hope to stay in touch with. The experience, apart from being intimidated by traffic and being frequently confused about direction, was very rewarding.

Election day is June 20th. There’s still time to volunteer for canvassing. I have volunteered to phone bank on the days remaining to the election. Here is the link to join into the phone bank:

Ossoff phone bank

Thanks a ton for reaching out, we’re looking forward to you setting up phone bank parties for Team Ossoff!

Let’s Do the Right Thing

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By Carol Corbin

I am ashamed to be an American. Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which made him and his country look stupid. He didn’t have his facts right about the agreement, and in speaking for all Americans, he makes us all the dumb pariah nation of the planet.

His action essentially removes the U.S. from any leadership role in the future of the world. Certainly, many states, corporations, and individuals will continue to work against climate change, but the U.S., as a whole, will be seen as only taking care of itself. The greedy, ugly American image is once again reinforced.

In its history, the U.S. has been the major polluter on the planet. We are largely responsible for the climate change that has already occurred, according to a 2011 article in The Guardian. Compared to China, which is currently the largest polluter, every American uses three times as much fossil fuel as every individual Chinese. China’s vast population and expanding industrialization is what has pushed it into the lead in emissions.

How will the future—our children and grandchildren—look at this act? Are the profits of a few corporations in the U.S. worth more than the long-term livability of the planet?

Maybe Trump can spur each of U.S. to action. Now is the time for U.S. to look at our own carbon footprint and reduce it. Hang a laundry line; ride a bicycle; open windows and turn off the air. We need to join Pope Francis in his belief that the wealthy need to take responsibility for this planet. Living more like the poor is both fulfilling and the ethical thing to do—now more than ever.

Why do we keep looking away from the poor?

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By Lisa Allen

I just finished the book “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond. As heart-breaking and illuminating the book is, it is the chapter “About This Project” that is most disconcerting. As a sociologist, Desmond expected to find earlier research about the prevalence of eviction in the United States. Nope. He found studies on public housing efforts and subsidies, but those cover only 33 percent, one third, of those who need housing.

The other 67 percent? Tough. As a society we entirely ignore those who can’t afford housing and aren’t lucky enough to win the assistance lottery. Read the book to get a clear understanding of the impossible task of living on $600 to $800 a month, especially if there are children involved. Read the book to understand very clearly how landlords get rich—very, very rich—by cycling people through inhabitable housing.

As Republicans continue to slash taxes, this will only get worse. You already can see that in South Carolina where the state continues to blatantly ignore a federal court decree to spend more on education. Get this: homeowners of South Carolina don’t pay a penny toward operating their schools; those with second homes do. Really. South Carolina full-time residents don’t pay any property taxes toward school operating expenses. To this day, I don’t know why where hasn’t been a class action lawsuit against the state.

At the federal level, it’s obvious there is one and only one objective of the Secretary of Education: Move education to vouchers and for-profit education providers. The future is draconian for those without means. No housing, no education.

I try so hard to understand what the philosophy is among those tax- and program-cutters and the only explanation that makes any sense is utter disregard for those who weren’t fortunate enough to be born into a stable family.

Yes, there are exceptions of people who emerge from poverty, but if you look more closely, you’ll see they were lucky too. They found a few people who could help them, be it a teacher or a business owner or a church member. But it was random. One can’t build a society on random bursts of fate that put together a student who ignores the tragedies all around them and a person with connections who happens to have met that student. It’s too haphazard. But those are the exceptions people like Ben Carson cling to justify the decimation of stable housing.

Betsy DeVos doesn’t even have any examples to justify her zealotry, just woefully wrong data. The Detroit Free Press continually refutes her arguments using examples, data and dollars from Detroit, but to no avail.

That’s because the data don’t matter. What matters is people who have theirs do not want to help those who do not have the minimum to succeed. They say there is a system that will help them with housing or education, but in truth the system is designed to help those with means to get more from those with nothing. What kind of people are we?

I think it’s very clear exactly what kind of people we are. We’re deplorable.

Lisa Allen is a board member of Indivisible Beaufort SC, a group that is trying to preserve a caring community.