|Join our day of action on the first day of the next Congress.
In just a few weeks, the 116th Congress will be sworn in.
The first 100 days of any new Congress or administration is a crucial period where our newly-elected members of Congress (MoCs) define their agenda and identify their priorities to set the stage for the next two years.
When Indivisibles helped build the blue wave that took over the House, we set the stage for the opportunity to influence that agenda. You elected them into these positions because you believe they can bring change. That’s exactly why we must flex our movement’s muscle from day one — January 3, 2019.
Leverage works when you use it.
On January 3, we take what Trump and Republicans prioritized for the first two years — gutting healthcare, deregulating Wall Street, criminalizing immigrants and refugees — and flip it on its axis.
We created the Indivisible on Offense Guide to lead you through some of the new powers of the Democratically-controlled House. Our goal, as Indivisibles, is that we want them to use their power to actively fight for us. Even our friendly Democratic MoCs need a nudge from time to time. To make sure they listen and follow through, we need to tell our MoCs exactly what we expect of them from Day 1. A good ask is:
- Specific. Asks are about prompting an action we want our MoCs to take. So your ask should be time-bound and precise.
- Strategic. We want to achieve something. If your MoC follows through on your ask, what will be accomplished? So you might want to ask them to cosponsor a specific bill, rather than just making a speech on an issue which might not accomplish anything.
- Seeable. Look, MoCs can be really crafty. They’re politicians (yes, the Democrats, too)! Trust but always verify. If the action you’re asking for cannot be observed and verified, you will not be able to hold your MoCs accountable for following through. You can do this by checking to see how they voted, watching a video of a hearing, and you can ask to see letters they’ve sent.
As a majority in the house, Democrats will have a range of tools that you can and should ask them to use in order to advance progressive policies, continue to play defense, and hold the Trump Administration accountable. Here are the kinds of asks you’ll be making of your new, Democratic MoCs (and if you still have a Republican MoC, the original Indivisible Guide is still your BFF):
- Use their vote. This is exactly how we were able to put pressure on our MoCs for the past two years. Remind them that their vote has the power to represent thousands of people who care about how they vote. And we’ll be watching exactly how they use that vote!
- Cosponsor legislation. MoCs should cosponsor progressive bills that they want to see move forward.
- Introduce legislation. Any MoC can do this, and the only way we can bring change is to bring it to the table!
- Use oversight authority, including investigation and subpoenas. MoCs have an obligation to responsibly use their oversight authority to hold the Trump Administration accountable.
- Write letters to the administration demanding answers. Letters can be easily ignored. But now that Democrats have control of the House, the administration will pay more attention because they can easily be escalated from a letter to a question at a public hearing.
- Leverage procedural tools to slow the Republican agenda. Republicans still control the Senate, but that doesn’t mean we are powerless to stop them. Procedural tools like filibuster can slow their agenda down.
- Join a caucus. Caucuses are groups that MoCs join on the basis of either their values or issues that are important to them.
- Publicly urge leadership to give greater attention to an issue. Giving floor speeches, giving a platform to affected communities, and publicly calling out leadership for not prioritizing an issue are all ways that MoCs can hold their own leadership accountable.
Read even more about the specific kinds of asks you’ll be making of the 116th Congress here! And remember that your leverage (as voters and as constituents) only works, if you’re willing to use it. The same goes for your new MoCs. Their new power as a majority only works if they’re willing to use it and show their constituents that they are here to listen.
Whose House? Our House!
So in the first 100 days, we want to show our power as Indivisibles to let our new MoCs know that we’re not slowing down. Indivisible groups all over the country will come together to show up at district offices on January 3 to say: we’re here, we’re paying attention, and we’ll hold you accountable for what you do.
Here’s how to get started:
- Plan your January 3 day of action event. We put together a Whose House, Our House! toolkit for the day of action with everything you’ll need to make your events successful.
- Sign up for our Jan 3 planning webinar. Join the Indivisible Organizing Team to find out some of the best practices for planning and executing successful day of action events. We’ll also have more information on the first 100 days and how you can get involved.
- Register your event. Sign up here to register your day of action event, so we can put it on our map for other people in your area to attend.
- Get your Whose House? Our House! Merch. Get your merch early for your day of action event and show up repping your new Indivisible gear!
It’s time for us to take back our democracy and continue to push back on this administration from day one. Get ready, and get excited to flex your progressive power.
The Indivisible Team