One of the things I think it's most important to share on social media is any way to take positive action to defend democracy.

This year, redistricting after the 2020 census is going on. As states come out with new voting district maps, it's important to contact lawmakers about the maps.

However, saying: “I want a fair map, no gerrymandering” isn't enough. As a friend said to me, “I understand the best testimony is very specific to the proposed district, but I don’t know to get that specific information.”

Here’s how. Anyone can do this, and it’s quick.

First, look at the map to see what's going on where you live. See where single counties are sliced into 2, 3, or more voting districts. The more splits, the worse the map. A specific comment could say: “5 counties are each split into 3 separate voting districts, and another is split into 4. A fair map minimizes splits." 1/2

6 Tips for Making Effective Comments at a Redistricting Hearing-

Next, look closer to home at geography you know. See where they drew the line(s). Do the maps respect communities and neighborhoods, or not? For example, Cincinnati, OH is split in half. The eastern half is in a district with seven rural counties. The city and the rural areas have little in common, not like the city would have if left intact in a single voting district. The map makers deliberately diluted the city’s vote. It’s textbook gerrymandering.

These examples should get you started.

When I started looking at maps in this way, things began to pop out, for instance, a low-income area split into different districts. Address the things you see. Identifying vote dilution is a good way to begin.

Then show up at redistricting meetings, write letters to the editor, share the information with people you know, tell your legislators what you want, and vote in people locally who want non-partisan, ungerrymandered maps.

If we want a fair democracy, we have to put in the work. 2/2

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Let's help maximize participation in our democracy today. Pitch in to cure some ballots in Virginia. :CTA:

Mail-in ballots in Virginia were not often used pre-COVID. Last year, the requirement for a witness signature was waived – not now. So, many of the ballots that are being mailed in do not have a witness signature which is now required. 

Virginia Democrats are hosting daily phone banks to reach out to voters and help them “cure” these ballots. Join a phone bank now through 31st. Talk to Virginia voters on the phone about how to cure issues with their ballots to ensure that every eligible voter can successfully cast a ballot in the critical 2021 elections. You can play an essential role in protecting the rights of Virginia voters and keeping Virginia Blue. People really appreciate these calls.

What you need: A phone and a computer.

What's provided: Everything else.

Cure Phone Bank · Virginia Voter Protection:

This man needs to go, and go now. He has taken a public institution built up by Ben Franklin and has purposely brought it to the brink of destruction. He seeks to render it useless and wants to eliminate first class mail.

Mail is vital to many for prescriptions, services, and in many cases, voting. USPS Board of Governors, do your jobs.

New documents detail conflicts of interest DeJoy faced as post office head:

There is not a labor shortage in the US.

High-paying jobs with good benefits and fair labor practices are not sitting unclaimed. Jobs that pay little and don't provide decent benefits are not all that appealing to anyone. A job that pays so little you have to work more than 40 hours a week just to squeak by, that demands rigid control over every minute you are on the clock, that leaves you so exhausted and demoralized and resentful that you can't enjoy what personal time you do get feels like a slow death. Gee, I wonder why folks aren't lining up to take such jobs?

Many employers are not interested in sharing their profits with employees, either in the form of higher wages or actual sharing of the profits. They want to keep everything.

Raise worker pay. Treat workers humanely instead of like a cost center. This illusory “labor shortage” will disappear.

Florida Worker Applied to 60 Entry-Level Jobs, Got One Interview:

Indeed, Colin Powell undoubtedly took all the precautions he could, since he had an underlying condition that compromised his immune response. But that isn't enough when there's a pandemic. Had everyone with whom he came into contact taken the same precautions, he might not have had a breakthrough infection.  Vaccines aren't just about personal safety, but about the safety of the entire community.

Before the almost certain flip out - yes, he was fully vaccinated, however no vaccine is a miracle cure. They do what they're supposed to: reduce or eliminate the chances of contracting a hospitalization-level illness and prevent you from spreading it to others.

It is less effective if you're elderly and/or have underlying health conditions. May he rest in peace. He was also battling blood cancer. It has been reported that patients battling cancer don’t always build antibodies from the vaccines. This is why it’s so important to wear your mask around vulnerable populations and be fully vaccinated, yourself.

Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State and Driving Figure in Iraq War, Dead at 84 From Covid Complications:

Offshore wind is already generating a lot of power in Europe. China and Japan aren't far behind. This initiative will make a big difference in the U.S. transition to renewables. It's so good to have an administration that gets it.

U.S. planning offshore wind farms from Maine to California:

Good morning!

I just adopted 5 more letters for from . Why? Because they have a lot left. And they’re only available through Saturday, October 16, when they need to be mailed. And this election is WAY too close.

There can't be a Republican governor for Virginia and we need to hold and flip as many legislative seats for Democrats as possible.

We know that Vote Forward letters work to boost voter turnout. They still need to reach many more VA voters, so please consider writing even 5 if you can. :CTA: :va: :gotv:
Vote Forward:

For :pa: elections:

Get on the phones! ☎️

PA has really, really important School Board and State Supreme Court elections on November 2nd. They need help with mail-in ballot chase phone calls. Info below.

Wednesdays (10/13, 10/20, and 10/27) from 4-6 or 6-8 PM: It’s time for ballot chase! These calls are always really rewarding. We’ll be calling Democrats to be sure they have the information they need to return their ballots properly and on time. We need your help getting this vital information to as many voters as possible.

Republicans in the state are desperate to try and wrongly use the pandemic and what they perceive as Democratic voter apathy to try and take over school boards and court seats. We have to stop them. Thanks for helping and spreading the word. :CTA:

Mail-in Ballot Chase Phone Banking · Turn PA Blue:

@TonyStark I like the updated slogan. I lived in Virginia back when it was still a crime to be gay. People had some things to say about the old "Virginia is for lovers" slogan.

Today I'd go with "Virginia is for lovers of democracy." :va:

I'm not an NBA fan, nor am I a New Yorker, but I have been paying attention to this story.

The NBA does not have a vaccination mandate, but NYC does, so Kyrie Irving can't play home games if he doesn't get vaccinated. The Brooklyn Nets have gone one step further, and he won't be playing or practicing with the team at all "until he can be a full participant." The team hasn't come out and said this is about his vaccination status, but that's the implied meaning.

No one in the sane states wants to work with someone unvaccinated. Basketball is played indoors, where you're breathing hard and up in people's faces.

He could ask for a trade to Dallas to live under idiot governor Abbott's rule, but then he'd work for Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban, who is also a vocal believer in vaccines.

so you can do your job

Good. People who want to purposefully engender the public shouldn't be able to play professional sports. Nobody is going to want them on teams. Teams don't want the liability.

I have never seen a more reckless and cynical political move as the one put forth by Republican leaders under Trump's misguidance that getting vaccinated would help the Biden administration and they want to see him fail so that they can get voted back into office and not lose the seats they have.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans dying and/or sick for the long term needlessly for a misguided political cause. It is immoral, unconscionable, and very cynical to come up with such a diabolical scheme to prevent your opponent from being a successful President. On top of the fact that banning mandates though executive order is exactly what Republicans say they're against.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans any COVID-19 vaccine mandates — including for private employers-

If you live in-

MAINE :me:

The deadline for you to register in order to vote in your November 2nd elections is TODAY, Tuesday, October 12th. (ME and MN have same-day registration but if you miss the deadline but there's no reason to wait.)

Register if you're not, check your registration and be 100% sure you're still registered and everything is correct if you already are, and ask friends and neighbors if they're registered, too.

Democracy works best when everyone votes. And the first step is being registered.

:registertovote: :vote:

COVID-19, death: I really hate to keep sharing these stories, but I'll keep doing it until the disinformation about vaccines stops and people stop spreading it, including here in the Fediverse. This instance has blocked a number of instances who won't moderate against vaccination lies. We do not care. We will continue to. Anyone who continues to spread misinformation about vaccines, especially knowingly, should be ashamed and stop. 

Young, pregnant and unvaccinated: Hospitals confront a wave of severe illness and death:

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