While we're waiting for the polls to close (and doing last-minute GOTV!), we're going to tell our story of the past year and a half. Win or lose tonight, we think it's a story worth telling
We got started in November 2016 (before @IndivisibleTeam existed!), with help from the amazing organizers at Syracuse Peace Council, @WorkersCNY, Black Lives Matter Syracuse, and others
By Dec 2016, we were writing and calling @repjohnkatko to request a meeting. After weeks of frustration, #WheresKatko? was born
Also this
We partnered with others to host a people’s inauguration. We marched for women’s rights, marched for science, marched for truth, and marched for education justice. We rallied for universal health care and immigrant rights.
When Trump announced his first travel ban, we worked with @CNYSolidarity and others to rally 1,000 people to SYR in less than 24 hours. @MinerForNY was there; @RepJohnKatko wasn't
We held countless protests outside Katko’s district offices, sometimes all 4 district offices simultaneously, with help from our friends @CRNofWC, @IndivisibleOsw, Indivisible Cayuga, and others
From early on, one of our members was incredulous that Katko wouldn’t agree to meet with us. Her name was @dana_balter
In Spring 2017, we held an empty-chair town-hall in a packed auditorium (400+ people!) at Nottingham High School in Syracuse
Around the same time, about 40 of us greeted Katko as he arrived at a fundraiser in Tipp Hill. In a sidewalk convo, he said on camera that Trump should be required to release his tax returns. He then went back to Capitol Hill & voted 7+ times not to require him to do so
Katko eventually agreed to hold a “town hall” at OCC in May 2017. About 150 tickets were distributed by lottery, even though more than 400 people requested them and the auditorium had 300 seats! Katko took about a dozen questions and dodged them all.
The highlights of this faux town hall were when he said he wasn’t familiar with the concept of #NetNeutrality and when he praised Trump for running toward the hard issues. WTF?
At some point in 2017, @dana_balter started saying she was thinking of running against Katko. Our friend and comrade @MartheReed1, whom we lost a couple months ago, helped encourage her to do so. When Dana declared in September, we were there with her
In Fall 2017, we joined a district-wide coalition of Indivisible and other grassroots groups. Knit the 24th hosted candidate forums and interviews, then endorsed @dana_balter for Congress. Soon thereafter, @IndivisibleTeam endorsed her too
In Dec 2017, we held multiple protests against the #TrumpTaxScam, which @RepJohnKatko voted for; throughout the year, he voted with Trump about 90% of the time projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump…
We regularly reminded folks of his vote to allow ISPs to sell your browsing history
And his co-sponsorship of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would undermine our own state's common-sense gun laws
In early 2018, we scaled back our regular protests outside Katko’s office in Syracuse and launched a weekly #SayNoToKatko protest at a high-visibility location in Dewitt
We did phone-banking for Dana’s campaign, helping her win the endorsements of all four county Democratic committees in the district. We then walked petitions to get her on the ballot. (More than 8,000 sigs collected by 800 volunteers!)
This show of grassroots support helped persuade the other declared Dem candidates to drop out, but at the last minute, @dccc recruited a hand-picked moderate to challenge Dana in the primary
We got mad, but stayed focused, ramping up our canvassing and phone-banking in support of Dana. We got some help from fellow Indivisibles like @es_indivisible along the way
.@RepJohnKatko continued holding no town halls #WheresKatko?
Meanwhile, we helped spread the word when one of our comrades with @CNYSolidarity and @SyracuseIRDN filmed ICE agents asking bus and train passengers for their papers
When we marched for our lives, @dana_balter was there
Some of our members launched a grassroots effort to raise $9,900 for @dana_balter to match the $9,900 Katko took from the NRA last election cycle
We also went back to Nottingham High, supporting local students who organized Town Hall for Our Lives. @RepJohnKatko said the whole thing was “nonsense” and he wasn’t coming, but @dana_balter was there
The students then organized the first live Dem primary debate. (These kids are on fire!) We were there for that one too.
Meanwhile, we were still marching for immigrant rights #AbolishICE
And when Mike Pence came to town for a $1000/plate fundraiser for Katko, we met him with 300 people outside the hotel
When Pence drove down the road to Auburn to “thank John Katko for turning Trump principles into legislation,” Indivisible Cayuga and others met him w another 100 protesters there
The DCCC’s hand-picked candidate flooded the district with mailers and TV ads. Two weeks before the primary, the first public poll showed her with a 13-point lead. Some of us got worried, but we held firm to our belief that grassroots volunteers could beat their outside cash
We got help from our friends @es_indivisible, @indivisibleny13, and many others
We knew that election-day GOTV would be key. With the congressional primary the only race on the ballot, turnout would be low. In 2016, 13,000 people voted in the Dem primary for this seat (about 9%) elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/electio…
We pitched in with the massive voter mobilization effort across all 4 counties, and early reports today indicate that turnout is up syracuse.com/politics/index…
Not only was turnout up, @dana_balter has herself exceeded the total votes for all 3 Dem candidates in 2016! We won, we won, we won. Next stop, taking down @RepJohnKatko in November!
Much love and respect to @indivisiblesyr @IndivisibleSalt @IndivisibleOsw, Our Rev Cayuga, Voices of Women CNY, Indivisible Cayuga, members of @CRNofWC and everyone else in Central & Western NY who worked for this victory
Thanks also to @IndivisibleTeam @OurRevolution @MoveOn @NOWPACs @350action @DFAaction @BoldProgressive @ZephyrTeachout and everyone else who provided support from afar
In her victory speech, @dana_balter called for all people of good will across Central & Western NY--Dems, Repubs, independents, Greens, and Libertarians--to stand united in defeating @RepJohnKatko on Nov. 6
That will be our focus--coming together as one, indivisible, to save US democracy and amplify the voices of Central & Western New Yorkers. If @RepJohnKatko won't stand up to bullies, we'll stand up to him
But there are so many fronts. In addition to our federal electoral work, we'll be keeping close tabs on--and perhaps weighing in on--some of our multiple contested state primaries on Sept. 13. We hope @SenDaveValesky and @NYGovCuomo were watching the news tonight #NotGoodEnough
And while we wait for Nov. 6, the Trump admin is still tearing families apart, so we'll be out there with our friends at @SyracuseIRDN this Saturday at noon in Syracuse facebook.com/events/4857683…
We'll wrap up w one final thought for tonight: We earnestly hope that the so-called leaders of the national Dem Party will start listening to their own grassroots members. We don't want to tear the party down, but we will not stand for candidates imposed from afar
.@dana_balter and @Ocasio2018 are the future of this Party. We hope you'll hop aboard the train, but we're not waiting around for you
We know we said we were done for the night, but since this thread is drawing some love, one more thing: @RepJohnKatko has a $1 million war chest; @dana_balter needs some help catching up secure.actblue.com/donate/danabal…
Are tweet storms allowed to continue forever, no matter how many times you say you're done? We forgot to thank @JGDemocracy and @NYWFP for their support of @dana_balter!

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