Proposal for Side-Quest: No Votes for Genocide

Since the March primaries, the local Palestine “coalition” has not issued a statement. But with the recent FY2024 spending bill passing with broad Democratic Party support and now their undermining of the UN’s ceasefire vote, it is clear we should not stop our involvement.

Although we have shifted the conversation some in San Joaquin, I would say that we have not yet done all we can to push/punish the Democrats and Josh Harder. The Democratic Party is waiting for us to go home. That is how the antiwar movement died in the past, with a whimper. Without an organization to coordinate their efforts and strong footholds in their unions and communities, it was only a matter of time before people burned out. That is what we have to try to prevent.

I am proposing this as a Side-Quest that will last until May 2nd, 2024. At the next meeting, I will propose a Focus Campaign with similar tactics. However, since there is a one-month delay between proposing and starting a Focus campaign, this Side-Quest will allow us to begin taking action and refine our approach before putting in the votes on May 2nd.

A NO VOTES FOR GENOCIDE PLEDGE

We ask voters to sign a pledge stating that they will not vote for Joe Biden, Josh Harder, or any candidates who have been endorsed by Joe or Josh or who have endorsed Joe or Josh. We should leave Jerry McNerney off of this list since we did accept his statement previously. However, as we also stated previously, we will not accept the other candidates putting out similar candidates since we cannot use their former positions as Representatives to contrast with Josh.

Community Outreach with Pledge

After our rallies, attendees asked how they could contribute, and so far, we have not received a good answer. But we can begin to provide the coordination and material required for people to begin tabling or canvassing on their own.

For the material, we can prepare the following:

  • An online form to collect name/email and have a counter on top through NewMode
  • We will host a meeting inviting people interested in volunteering where we can hold some training and plan our outreach events
  • We will provide people with signature sheets and flyers (qr code to form)
  • We can also provide an additional flyer that has information about the current status in Gaza
  • We should try to incorporate WCU Membership, EWOC, and WCUTU into the flyer
  • Signing the petition should redirect people to a page asking them to Donate to or Join WCU

Local Unions

To limit capacity issues, we will join (hopefully other labor groups elsewhere) in making this rally labor-focused. But we will leave it to the unions to co-sponsor the event on their own. We will ask Members to make any appeals to unions on their own and only if it won’t conflict with participation in the current Focus Campaign activity.

Previous Version of Local Unions

Start conversations with local unions about sponsoring a Solidarity with Palestine International Workers’ Day event, even if they do not support the No Votes for Genocide pledge. We need to do more research about what other California unions have been willing to do to see what we can ask of our local unions.

Scheduled Actions

  • March 30, 2:30-3:00 pm: Protest at the corner of March and Pacific
  • April 20th: A second protest/rally.
  • May 1: International Workers’ Day in Solidarity with Palestine

We will coordinate with the Palestine coalition, with whom we have already hosted these events. I do not expect heavy demand on Membership for planning these events besides working on social media captions. But we should try to schedule our other events around the rallies so we can attend them as well.

Actions that need planning

  • Between March 30th and April 20th: A weekend date to invite community members to attend and get material, training, and coordination for outreach for the pledge.

This should be a one-day event, and we should aim to schedule and hand out materials at this event so that folks who sign up to table/flyer can do so independently without Members’ involvement.

End Date: May 2, 2024—Ideally, a No Votes for Genocide Focus Campaign will have passed by this time and can take over.

We will need 5 votes to approve this Side-Quest. Our current quorum is 4 people, but the bylaws state we need a quorum + 1. The Steering Committee can only make up 2 of the votes.

The below has been removed from the Side-Quest.

Attacking Harder’s Major Donors
We have discussed this previously, but we should begin contacting Josh Harder’s major donors and asking them to ask for a refund for their donation to his campaign. We should explain that if they do not, we will publish their names and cities on a list called “Donors for Genocide Josh.” Depending on the number of volunteers we have to get the ball rolling in the next month, this will involve at least two days of phone banking.

I approve of this proposal as a steering committee member.

I believe it would also be good to research if dems are required to endorse Josh due to existing protocol as we had some suspicions that this is why they arent breaking party lines in regards to endorsements.

I think you should bring the Palestine Focus Campaign back before the Membership.
This is a big over reach of what a Side-Quest should be, and to me seems like it should require more than quorum + 1 to be passed.

I would like to do all of these things but this is not the way to do it.

According to their new bylaws, it looks like they might be blocked from rejecting his endorsement. I’d say that just furthers the argument against the entire party.

This Committee may remove any member if, during their term of membership, such
member affiliates with or registers as other than Party Preference Democratic; publicly
avows preference for another party; publicly advocates that the voters should not vote
for the endorsed candidate of This Committee for any office; or who publicly gives
support to or avows a preference for a candidate registered as other than Party Preference Democratic in the voter-nominated top two open primary; or violates the Code of Conduct


I agree it is a lot especially with the phone banking and labor stuff. We can drop the phone banking from this and save it for the focus campaign. Labor can just be me asking the few labor leaders I know if they want to cosponsor the event and we can leave it at that for now.

But there are three rallies already planned before we’d be able to approve a focus campaign. And I think it would be a loss to momentum for us to sit them out, let them lose their political character, and not at least start to involve community members in doing outreach since folks have expressing wanting to be involved in doing more than just attending protests.

We are usually not that heavily involved in planning/holding the rallies, besides a post and drafting the caption. In terms of in person events, I think outside of the single training/coordinating meeting before the 20th, we wouldn’t need Members to be out tabling ourselves if it conflicts with other priorities.

Alright, I reworked it so the ask is for approximately one day of in-person attendance and caption drafting for March and May, as well as two days of in-person attendance and background preparation for April. I think that is under how much work/month we have put in for other side-quests.

If we can save the labor for the focus campaign and just trim it down to cosponsoring/collaborating on the rallies, I am ok with that.

I think we risk losing enthusiasm/momentum if we don’t answer people’s call for some actual actions to take. I don’t think one meeting where we produce material for tabling is too much, especially if we are not actually going out and tabling ourselves for now. We’re basically just making a new mode petition, a flyer, and more copies of our sign-up form.

It would also be a good test run to see if people are interested in the pledge drive. If no one shows up, we may need to rethink our strategy for our focus campaign, which we assume would take off right now.

But I also get that it feels like the start of a whole campaign. What if we kept the plan to launch a whole pledge drive off social media until after the focus campaign vote in May? That way, the side-quest can serve as a trial for the focus campaign but not commit us to doing the pledge drive by prematurely broadcasting our intentions to the world.

For now, our social media reflects a rhetorical No Votes for Genocide stance, similar to before. We will ask people at the rally + email list to attend the tabling training, but not mention it elsewhere. If it falls flat, no one will care if we drop it, and we may have to modify the Focus Campaign. If it goes well, that’s more reason to approve the Focus Campaign in May.

I will vote for this side quest as Chima has compromised wrt Riley’s concerns.

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I vote yes on this proposal with the amendments made.

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I have reservations too, but my vote is YES. I can see members on the thread trying to stay open and work through things together, and if we keep that up, I think we could have a really good side-quest.

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I vote yes, we can see if people will actually come.

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I vote yes as well, concurring with Reilly’s reservations I’ve noticed about not making this side-quest extending beyond our actual capacity as an org right now. I do agree with Harpreet that it’s a good idea to keep a momentum going concerning Palestine.

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Ok, we seem to have achieved a pretty good consensus, so I’m in. Yes

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Thank you, everyone, for voting! We have seven “Yes” votes, with only two from Steering, so this proposal has passed.

Ideally, by tomorrow noon, we should publish a post about the rally on Saturday about taking a “No Votes for Genocide” stance and why it’s important to take the next step beyond voting “uncommitted.” It should mostly be a continuation of the language we have used before. However, we will not mention anything about us organizing around a pledge drive on social media until a Focus Campaign passes.

Also, we need to have a date to give to rally goers this Saturday that falls between March 30th and April 20th to do our tabling training. Please fill out this CrabFit (Doodle Poll) so we can find a time when at least a few members can help to hold it.

I have created a new folder in our “Campaigns and Committee” folder here for this Side Quest. Additionally, here is the folder from the previous Side-Quest about Palestine for reference.

Lastly, here is a Google Doc that we can work on (currently blank).

Thank you to @WCU_Steering, @collectivestruggle, @Joanna, @Englishpete08, and @Adri_Martinez for writing/editing/reviewing our first social media on this side-quest! We worked on an initial draft last night, but it took a few more hours to finalize and create the social media graphics. If time allows, we should give ourselves at least three days for posts like this in the future.

Here is a link to the Google Doc where it was drafted.

The original PSD and PNG files are in our Social Media folder.

And here is the link to the Instagram post on WCU’s page.