Elections and Voting Rights 2022: What You Can Do Now

The threats to democracy are real, but we shall not be moved!  Even as lies casting doubt on the integrity of elections continue to circulate and encourage violence, we will go to the polls and bring our brothers and sisters to the polls with us. We can and shall move more voters to save democracy! We can do this!


But first, 2 quick actions you can take to defend absentee ballots!    Submit comments to the NC State Board of Election by July 5! 

 

Action 1:  Submit a brief public comment by July 5 opposing the demand to require signature verification for absentee ballots. This unnecessary addition is likely to disenfranchise thousands of legitimate ballots from voters whose signature has changed or otherwise differs from the signature on file. To submit a comment, go to the Public Comment Portal. You can also send an email directly to [email protected] or write a letter to the NC State Board of Election, Attn: Legal Division, 6400 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27603-1362.

 

Action 2:  Call or email your legislators in the NC General Assembly to ask them to support the Safeguard Safe Elections Act SB 916.  This bill will:

  • Effectively protect election officials and poll workers from harassment and threats to their job security.
  • Establish concrete definitions for voter intimidation.
  • Implement best practices for post-election audits and prohibit sham ballot reviews conducted by outside entities, ensuring that this never occurs in North Carolina.
  • Disqualify public officials who refuse to certify free and fair elections by ensuring that our election officials must certify elections.
  • Create clear penalties for those who attempt to intimidate voters. 

This guide (updated 6/30/2022) provides information about the 2022 elections, and a list of opportunities for getting involved NOW, and for keeping up-to-date. Preparations for the fall election are in full swing, and volunteers are needed now!

Choose from actions that take a few minutes to those that require an hour or more, or an ongoing commitment. Once you have chosen, do what you can! If you sign up for a phone bank or text bank, you don’t have to stay the whole time! If you postcard or write letters, you can write them a few at a time on your own, or write them together with friends. If you canvass or register voters in person, you get to hang out with other people! 

Note that this guide only covers nonpartisan nonprofit organizations. Voting rights is not a partisan issue!

If we increase voter turnout and protect voters and the vote, we will have people in place to build and re-build the democracy we want!



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The Status of Abortion Law in North Carolina

A Memorandum for Carolina Jews for Justice — May 25, 2022 

On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft of an opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Case No. 19-1392, now pending in the United States Supreme Court. The draft is authored by Justice Samuel Alito and apparently represents the proposed decision by a majority of the Court to overrule both Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), the seminal cases establishing and clarifying the constitutional right of reproductive choice. The draft, dated February 10 of this year, does not reveal who besides Justice Alito would join in the majority opinion or who would dissent, but the draft’s authenticity has been confirmed by Chief Justice Roberts. According to Politico, a confidential source “familiar with the court’s deliberations” says that Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett voted with Justice Alito in the Court’s initial conference after hearing oral arguments in December. 

If the draft becomes the decision of the Court, what will its effect be in North Carolina? 

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Don’t Kvetch, Organize

 

How Community Organizing Can Build a More Just World

“Issues of social justice have always been important to me but knowing how to put my strong feelings into action has been a challenge, says Roni Freedman member of CBHT. “I’ve always wanted to act on issues that impact my life and the lives of my family and work toward change. “Don’t Kvetch, Organize,” has given me the tools to make a difference,” she added.

 

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In-Person Event Guidelines

The health and safety of our community remain our utmost priority, and after extensive research and consideration, CJJ is updating our policy for in-person events. The parameters for in-person events are detailed below, and align with most recent CDC and NCDHHS guidelines.
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CJJ in Conversation: NC Democracy Defenders

On April 24, veteran voting rights attorneys Leslie Winner and Hilary Harris Klein joined us for a conversation about the struggle for voting rights in North Carolina, past and present, and how we can be engaged in this critical work now. You can view the recording of this powerful dialogue on YouTube.

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CJJ @ The Hard Lox Festival!

On May 1st (May Day!), many CJJniks and other Jews from across the South gathered at Asheville's legendary Hard Lox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival - hosted by Congregation Beth HaTephila.  The Festival was an incredible opportunity for Southern Jews "from the hills and hollers" to come together after a long hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.  The energy was celebratory coupled with a desire to take action to defend and expand our multiracial democracy!

Lisa sharing about CJJ, engaging new members

CJJ Statewide Organizer, Lisa Forehand, engaged many folks in our work in the West, recruiting full sheets of new members!  Stay tuned for upcoming Orientation events and CJJ-West programming!

Three CJJ leaders big smiles

CJJ-West Leaders Marilynne Herbert and Judy Leavitt sandwich CJJ Interim Executive Director, and long distance pastrami-seeker, Abby Lublin, beaming from the food and in person conversations!

 

CJJ leaders and staff spoke with countless people who were eager for information about how to vote. Ron Katz - CJJ Board Member and Voting Rights Team leader - single-handedly defended democracy by answering election questions from an endless line of festival-goers.

Marilynne Herbert met this wonderful young man who arrived in Asheville two weeks ago from Odessa, Ukraine.  He was very moved to connect with Jewish community.  The feelings were mutual, as we shed some tears while he blew the shofar. Please introduce yourself if you see him around town, wearing his new CJJ blue t-shirt. 

We met people from all over WNC and beyond, and were inspired by their eagerness to engage in the Jewish tradition of enacting greater justice for all.  CJJ is thrilled to have such a positive response.  We shared hard-copy voter guides (you can access another guide via the League of Women Voters website), as well as a list of upcoming CJJ-West events.  It was amazing to be together again, and we look forward to more!

Statewide Study - The Wilmington Coup of 1898

If you had a similar reaction to us in January of 2020, you were completely glued to your phone or computer as you watched an organized white nationalist formation take over the US Capitol building - intent on inspiring fear, violence, and stopping democratic process.  

Here is the thing: it is of vital importance to remember that we’ve seen this before. In this country. In our state. As Black and Brown progressive political power is built, there is a violent white political reaction. We know this from post-Reconstruction America. Look no further than our own state for one of the most violent white supremacist coups of that time, Wilmington, NC in 1898.

Led by board member Ray Katz and organizer Brandon Mond, our statewide community gathered on January 19th - the day before Inauguration Day - for a political education program on the Wilmington Coup of 1898. You can read more about this day in Black history at this link or by watching the recording of our virtual gathering below. 

CJJ’s response to January 6th, aside from continuing to take action to defend our democracy, was to call our membership into a collective study of this history. We must take a hard look at the past in order to move strategically now, and build a better tomorrow with our Black and Brown siblings.

 

CJJ-Triad Leaders Celebrate Their First Chapter Meeting

Member leaders met this past week to get to know each other, learn from our community partners about the campaign to stop the eviction of the Hiatt Street residents and how we can get involved, and made plans for CJJ-Triad's activity in 2022.

Want to get involved? Sign up for an upcoming new member orientation or chapter event at this link

 

Meet Our Interim Executive Director

This email from Interim Executive Director Abby Lublin went out to our entire email list on January 25, 2022.

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Moving together after synagogue attack

We Keep Us Safe

This email from Rabbi Salem Pearce and Abby Lublin went out to our entire email list on January 18, 2022.

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