Author Archives: Joanne Steele

Indivisible Shasta has endorsed Marty Walters for Congress

Thanks for your input and help

Yesterday the IS Endorsement Committee met to share our thoughts and personal research and discuss your input. (Here is a link to the results of the electibility survey many of you filled out.)

Our mission was to endorse the most electable candidate who is running in the upcoming June Open Primary to earn a chance to run against Doug LaMalfa in the November 2018 General Election.

California’s open primary system is really confusing. Here’s a brief explanation.

In 2010, Californians passed a proposition to throw out our party primaries, and toss everyone into the same open primary. Everyone from all parties are listed on the same ballot, and all voters of any party get that ballot listing all candidates. The top 2 vote getters move onto the general election even if the top one gets more than 51% of the total!

“Who voted for THAT?!” you might be asking. Well, 54% of voters in that midterm election which drew about 34% of eligible voters.

Why did Indivisible Shasta decide to endorse a candidate for this jungle primary?

At this point, four Democrats, one Green and one Republican have declared their candidacy PLUS LaMalfa, who’s considered a shoe-in in this red district.

We wanted to help our members to sort this out by evaluating the non-Republican candidates based on their electability. The important thing is to pick the candidate in the upcoming primary with the best chance to beat LaMalfa! We also could imagine the 5 progressive candidates splitting the vote so that the 2 Republicans would end up in the general election. Yikes!!

Marty Walters

Marty at the Mt. Shasta Women’s March this year.

We asked you to tell us how important each of the electability qualities were to you, and using those responses and our research of the candidates’ strengths, we chose Marty Walters.

This was not an easy decision. We have an amazingly strong field of candidates to choose from. They share many of the same positions on issues important to our district. Marty stood out for us because of her energy, her experience, her practical solutions, her willingness to talk to anyone and everyone in the district, and her commitment to run this campaign from the grassroots, without a bundle of outside and corporate money.

We’ll be helping Marty build her Siskiyou County grassroots campaign, and will collaborate with the grassroots efforts of all the other areas. We hope you’ll go to Marty’s website and sign up to help: Everyone has something to contribute, be it a little or a lot.

Together we can become the Republicans worst nightmare and turn their safe red district blue.

Why Americans Hated Obamacare before and Love the ACA Now


It’s all about fear.

And it’s time to turn FEAR into ACTION to stop Trumpcare for good, the necessary first step on the path to single payer…  Read more to learn why your continuing actions NOW are vital.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and in 2010 when Obamacare was passed, fear of the unknown plus the dire warnings from conservative pundits had people really whipped up. Remember the “death panel” prediction? Of course we didn’t want the government killing our elders!! DOWN WITH OBAMACARE!! And people called their congressman.

Now, the numbers have changed, and most people really like the coverage and protections they have under the ACA. They FEAR the Republicans’ plan that undermines Medicaid, coverage for pre-existing conditions and promises higher out-of-pocket costs. This time, the predicted change is coming from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) not conservative talk radio, so we all should be really afraid.

The ACA got us halfway to where we want to be…

For many of us, the ACA got us half way to where we’d like our country’s healthcare system to be. Back in 2009-10, ‘single payer” was a dirty word, shouted by a few and never used by those framing the ACA for fear that they would upset even moderate Dems.

Now, nobody is shushing! And all of us need to work our butts off to save the ACA, our halfway point to single payer.

Incremental change is not as fearful as revolutionary change. People who feared Obamacare and called their congressman are now FEARFUL of the AHCA because of what they will lose.

AND their more ready for something even better to get their premiums down and eliminate high co-pays, all of which are not part of the AHCA as the CBO has shown.

Remember back in 2009 when we were excited about a “public option” being part of the exchanges? Remember why it was eliminated? (short answer: because Repubs and moderate Dems were hearing from their insurance company donors who were FEARFUL that it would put them out of business.)

Could a public option be the answer?

Well, now those insurance company buddies are pulling out of unprofitable exchanges, leaving some states with no competition and high premiums. Could a public option be the answer there? Would it give single payer a toe hold that could be expanded? DOES THIS MAKE FIGHTING FOR THE ACA AND AGAINST THE AHCA a good battle for all Democrats and progressives??

So we have a job to do. All of us. First, let’s work together to turn fear into action in our district.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Look at the figures in the last post at Facebook/indivisibleshasta and write your own personal concerns using something you learned from those statistics.

ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO TAKE ACTION; I recently heard a commentator equate this fight against the AHCA as the ”crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge” of our time. Some of us are old enough to wish we had had the guts and where with-all to have joined that civil rights landmark action. Now, we all have another Pettus Bridge opportunity, and the risk to life and limb is a future result, not an immediate likely outcome.

GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS. We have a congressional seat to take back as part of a real effort to fix the ACA and move us closer to a national single-payer system.

KEEP FLOODING LAMALFA’S OFFICE WITH CALLS AND EMAILS, and let others know how he responds. “LAMALFA DOESN’T LISTEN” needs to be clearly demonstrated as we work to unseat him.

Let’s commemorate July 4th with action.

Let’s Not Fall Into an Impeachment Trap

This past week, the national social media site set up for Indivisible group leaders has been buzzing with discussion about whether Democrats should slow down their impeachment talk.

Looking at all the facts, I tend to agree.  Here’s why:

In an article In These Times,  The Impeachment Trap:  Be Careful What you Wish For, Jeff Alson  reminds us “If Trump were impeached and convicted, Vice President Mike Pence, a right-wing, evangelical ideologue, would be a much more reliable and competent rubber stamp for the conservative policy agenda.” In the New York Times article, “Do We Really Want Mike Pence to Be President,” his political creds confirm that he was chosen as Trump’s VEEP because he would never upstage his gold-plated Pres.

I’m mad as hell and so are you, I expect. We’ve seen the Obama policies and thoughtful diplomacy shredded. The military has been turned loose to do whatever it deems necessary. Key federal departments are being run by incompetents, with many vital positions left unfilled. Trump seems to be able to say and do whatever he wants with no consequences. I want him gone!

And then I look hard and long at what we would get for Democratic efforts to spearhead impeachment. Alson has outlined a depressing scenario where everything we hate about the Republican agenda continues on steroids, and the public, sick and weary of the drama of Trump’s tumultuous presidency rewards the Republicans in 2018. Angry Trump supporters blame Dems for bringing their hero down and augment Republican efforts and Pence runs as an incumbent savior in 2020.

What is our alternative?

We are organized. We are part of a massive groundswell of support for economic opportunity for all. Our goals for people and for the Earth would not be better served by a Pence administration buttressed by a re-energized Republican Party.

A Republican lead impeachment proceeding means they own the whole mess. And at some point, the overwhelming evidence with make it impossible to do otherwise.

They would bear the brunt of Trump supporter rage. They would limp through the next few years with a progressive juggernaut minding their every move. Yes, Pence would probably become President, but the most he could expect to accomplish would be to keep the nuclear codes safe.

Yes, Trump deserves to be impeached…lead  by the party who allowed him to become their standard bearer.

We resistors have much to do. We must resist the Trump/Pence/Ryan/LaMalfa agenda at every turn. The hard work of resistance is lonely and time consuming. It involves making phone calls where you actually dial the number over and over until you reach a live staff person. It means writing personal emails and mailing handwritten post cards. It means submitting thoughtful letters to the editor for your local newspaper. It means quietly educating friends who need help to become effective activists. It means having thoughtful discussions with people of differing political views. And, it means having fun once in a while with other resistors – join us on June 5th for just such an occasion.

We must mobilize for the future. Becoming involved with with things like voter registration drives, and assisting the local Democratic Party to build an effective grassroots, precinct-level structure to educate and mobilize voters to prepare for 2018 and 2020.

It will take years to recover from the Trump disaster, but we Californians know it can be done. Look how our own state as been turned around in a few short years. We’re not perfect, but we’re certainly better. We are an example of how progressive leaders and commitment to working for the people can lead to a remarkable turnaround.

Hang fast and keep calling and writing and talking.

A Brash New Activism

It’s been another week for the record books,

Two weeks we saw the firing of FBI Director James Comey who was heading the most comprehensive investigation into the Russian/Trump collusion and hacking of our election.

Just when we thought nothing worse could happen, we learned about Trump’s “visit” with the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister, in the Oval Office, “because Putin asked me to” explained Trump. A visit that included divulging highly classified information that hadn’t even been shared with our allies.

Still following me here…

Then, it comes to light that Trump had asked Comey, during his White House visit in January to drop the investigation of General Flynn!!

AND we learn of even more communication between the Trump campaign and Russia. All while 13 white guys continue to try to make the House Healthcare Horror more palatable. AND Pence continues to extort, “I didn’t know, I didn’t  know, I didn’t know. AND Ryan counsels, Shhhhh….

How can we have any impact?indivisible rally

We look at the erosion of so much that we rely on in our democratic system and think, “How can we deal with this threat to everything we trust about our American way of life and system of government?

Well, the threat is not all that “new.” What’s new is the “Brash new activism.” You and the peaceful resistance you are a part of is new.

In 1944, The New York Times asked the sitting Vice President, Henry Wallace, “to write an article about whether there are fascists in America, and what they’re up to.”

On May 12th, Wallace’s grandson, Henry Holly Wallace wrote an Op-Ed in The Times that quotes the Vice President’s article and notes how it applies to the Trump administration. “American Fascism, in 1944 and Today”

Read to the end and take heart.

Sitting alone in your home, making phone calls and writing emails to your Members of Congress, and attending a peaceful rally or participating in a congressional office visit when you can, seems too tame to resist Trump’s threat to our citizens, our nation and, considering climate change, the world.

But you are not alone. You are part of a huge national movement.

The weekly actions we post are the same actions being disseminated to people all over this country. Meetings and rallies are happening in towns large and small. Every Member of Congress is being deluged with resistance calls and praised when they stand up to the Trump agenda.

You are part of the Brash New Activism.

Trump has activated a new commitment to inclusive activism. We are resistors now, and when we succeed we will continue our activism in pursuit of “a more perfect union.”

Do you need help?

If you’re one of many new resistors who are a little unsure about how to make a call to a Member of Congress, let us know and we’ll pair you with an experienced personal calling partner to learn the ropes. You’ll learn what to expect when you call, how to prepare, and what to say. It’s one on one, private and personal. Email us at

AND… Put June 5th on your calendar. Join us for an “Evening of Action. Resistance Can be Fun!” Mt. Shasta City Park Upper Lodge, 6:30pm. More to come…

Round One Over for Trumpdontcare

Wow! What a week.

Short Term Budget Deal Reached. Shutdown Averted.

We can be proud of the fact that our resistance efforts helped to result in a budget agreement that protected much that we hold dear, without having the Republicans resort to a government shutdown.

In case you missed the details, USA Today has a good rundown of how much is allocated to things that Democrats & progressives supported. Here’s what the government spending deal will and won’t fund.

It’s a significant win for Democrats, regardless of the spin you’ve heard from Trump.

Now for the bad news….

Trumpcare narrowly passed in the House on Thursday.

The bill has a long way to go before it becomes law, and we will fight it every step of the way. Want to know more about what’s ahead? Check our Healthcare information Page often for the latest updates.

“I’m angry right now, and I want to do something!!” you say. We hear you. We’re angry and disappointed too.
The best thing any of us can do right now is to keep the pressure on LaMalfa. If Senators see a national outpouring of outrage aimed at Republican Congressmen, they will be less likely to risk passing this travesty in the Senate. Call LaMalfa’s office and tell him what you are afraid of losing because of this bill.

To find out where you are likely to be impacted go to “The 10 Worst Things About TrumpCare.” You’ll see all the ways you are likely to be affected even if you aren’t insured through Medicaid or the exchanges.

More from Indivisible Shasta

Steering Committee Member Nancy VanSusteren has created an Indivisible Shasta Resource and Research site on Pinterest. She has taken the pain out of single issue research by compiling excellent resources into one place. Check it out, follow it and use it for your own research.

And finally…We urge you to take a good long walk in a beautiful place this weekend. Call someone you love and talk about something besides politics. Realize that to sustain our efforts over the long haul, we need to take very good care of ourselves and each other.

Watch for this next week’s actions beginning on Monday morning. Help us by sharing this post with friends, and urging them to sign up for our newsletter updates and follow us on Facebook.

Doing your part to stop Trumpcare 2.0 is more important than ever.

This is your weekly update from the Indivisible Shasta Steering Committee….

No vote on Repeal and Replace happened Friday. Speaker Ryan still doesn’t have the votes he anti AHCA protestersneeds to pass it. But he’s twisting arms, and a vote could happen next week. The LA Times reports that LaMalfa is still undecided. Don’t count on that!

Let me stress how vital it is for you to CONTINUE to call Congressman LaMalfa’s office (202) 225-3076 and tell his staff emphatically that you want him to vote NO on the latest Trumpcare bill.

Here’s why your call is so important.

LaMalfa knows that we, his constituents, are protected from the worst provisions of this bill because we live in California. The latest iteration leaves many of the most popular parts of the ACA in place BUT it allows THE STATES to cherry pick and eliminate Essential Services they deem “unnecessary.” Things like maternity coverage, contraceptives, even office visits are threatened.

LaMalfa knows it’s safe for him to keep his 100% record of support for Trump and vote “YES,” because California will work hard to retain these important services as part their insurance coverage requirements.

But Republican controlled states will eagerly strip out even the most necessary services and declare victory because coverage costs will go down. Red State citizens will be able to get cheap insurance that doesn’t cover things that they really need, and the Republicans will declare victory, because it’s cheap!

There are parts of this new bill that will affect you, that being a California resident can’t protect you from. Medicaid expansion, that is vital to rural hospitals is threatened. Coverage for pre-existing conditions gets complicated, with possible pools and formulas that will make coverage unaffordable for the people who need constant medical care to stay alive!

Know anyone with Type 2 diabetes? Cancer? Chronic disease of any kind that lives in a Red State. Call LaMalfa on their behalf as well as yours.

Want to know more? Read AHCA Resurrection – Trumpcare 2.0
If you’re interested in the 100 day history of this debate, go to our Healthcare page,

Here’s what we’re up against.

LaMalfa has been tracking calls for and against the ACA since he took office 6 years ago. Remember how unpopular Obamacare used to be? Angry Republicans believed all the lies Fox News fed them about the ACA and they called.

Now that people, even Republicans, are seeing what they’ll lose with Repeal and Replace, the ACA is becoming very popular.

But we have years of angry, misinformed repeal Obamacare calls we have to match.

Call Monday. Keep trying. Tell your story. Tell him NO on Repeal and Replace, Trumpcare 2.0.

As for what else Indivisible Shasta has been up to this week:

We’ve been monitoring government shutdown threats – Congress has kicked the can down the road a week, and if there’s even a slight whiff of “Build a Wall” in the reconciliation, we’ll send out an alert.  Learn more about this week’s government shut down shenanigans.

We’ve been closely tracking immigration issues, the investigations into the Russian hacking of our election and collusion with the Trump campaign, and much more that is before Congress.

Watch for next week’s ACTION CALLS. Remember, Indivisible Shasta is focused on national issues that are coming before our own Members of Congress. We’ll keep you up to date and able to respond.

Put Monday, June 5th on your calendars now. We’ll be holding an update meeting in Mt. Shasta that you won’t want to miss. We’re planning a surprise visit from someone you’ve been dying to meet and talk to. Bring your cameras!

A Resistor’s View of the LaMalfa Town Hall

Your Indivisible Shasta Steering Committee was out in force at the LaMalfa Town Hall, and we saw many of you there as well. We have lots to report, both to fill you in on what Congressman LaMalfa said, and what Indivisible Shasta accomplished this week.



What we heard from Congressman LaMalfa that you should know.

When asked if he would vote to go to war with North Korea, he was measured, saying that he would have to carefully study the issue to determine the impact on US citizens, the military and our allies.

I can’t blame him for that. It’s a terrifically complicated issue that certainly deserves careful study.  Hopefully we won’t see any more unilateral actions from Trump.

We’ll be watching for this to come before Congress to give you a chance to study the issues and weigh in too.

The Congressman drew the most ire from his audience when he responded to a question about climate change by stating that he essentially didn’t believe that it was human caused. Wow! Uproar! Perhaps this is one of those issues that needs a little more of his “careful study.”

And then there’s Trump…

Trump first 100 days are up next week and he needs SOMETHING to boast about that he doesn’t have to make up. He’s leaning hard on the Congress to re-open Health Care Repeal and Replace.

I hope Congressman LaMalfa remembers how many irate phone calls he received from us. I hope he has burned into his memory the impassioned stories he heard during his town halls this recess, from people whose lives will be ruined by the horrific health care compromise about to be jammed through Congress.

In case he’s forgotten, be ready for health care related ACTION CALLS this week.

AND, Trump is insisting that Congress throw out the bipartisan work they’ve done over the past few weeks to pass the last year’s Omnibus budget bill, and to add money for his Wall and for his draconian immigration enforcement efforts.

Democrats and moderate Republicans will not accept these additions, which may lead to a government shutdown on April 28th. LaMalfa will need to hear from us. The Wall, and immigration enforcement funding should be part of next year’s budget. We’ll be fighting it both now and then.

What Indivisible Shasta has accomplished this week:

On Wednesday, we passed out a handout to nearly every person in line for the Town Hall meeting, that included information about Indivisible, and questions we hoped would be answered by LaMalfa. Click  to see the “Town Hall Questions from Indivisible Shasta.”

More than that, we engaged with many of these people talking about their worries and concerns and the Indivisible mission to stop the Trump agenda. Many who had never heard about Indivisible took the handout.

We talked to the press. News stories included information about Indivisible, from conservative ag related Jefferson Journal, to KRCR channel 7 news, and a local public radio station.  An article that will appear next week in our own local newspaper talks about the town hall with quotes from local resistors.

We continue to plan for future events and activities. Look for an Indivisible Shasta meeting in May, and issues-focused visits to LaMalfa’s Redding office beginning soon.

Look for ACTION EMAILS. or check out ACTION CALLS on our Facebook page, and start up your calls. Our MoCs are back in Washington.

Plans for the April 19 LaMalfa Town Hall in Redding

LaMalfa Town Hall in Redding, April 19th at 5:30pm

Photo by Sharon LoMonaco from March town hall in Grass Valley.

Your requests for a town hall worked. People from all over District 1 have been calling Congressman LaMalfa’s offices, and town hall meetings have been scheduled. The one closest to Siskiyou County is in Redding.

The Redding town hall Is scheduled for April 19th at 5:30pm at Sequoia Middle School auditorium.  Click here for a Google map to Sequoia Middle School.

Town Hall Questions from Indivisible

Click to download pdf

Line up early:  The general consensus was that people would start arriving around 2:30 on the day of the town hall, April19th.  The line for entry will form in front. Stay on the sidewalk, not on lawns or in the street, and make sure you do not block anyone walking on the sidewalk.

Parking: Wednesday is an early release day for Sequoia Middle School, with students getting out at 2pm. Traffic will be congested while kids are getting out of school. There is very limited parking at the school.  A woman there said some of the parking spaces on campus will be occupied by people attending a bible study class. There is parking in the surrounding residential neighborhood but there will be congestion. Don’t park in front of someone’s driveway, or leave valuables visible in your car. Someone suggested that if you have a car with a lot of political stickers you might be better off parking in a more public space.

If you are OK with walking a few blocks, there is a large parking lot just south of the OSH store on Athens Drive. Once parked, walk north through the OSH parking lot and turn left on South Street. Walk a couple blocks west on South Street to Sequoia Street. Turn right, and the Auditorium will be about 3 blocks ahead.

No large signs or signs on sticks will be allowed inside the auditorium.  The Auditorium holds just under 600 people. No standing room will be available. Ed and Joanne Steele will be available near the head of the line to stash your large signs and/or umbrellas as you enter the auditorium.  Marcie Rey will be handing out Agree/Disagree signs to the people first in line.

Once inside you should move to the front.  If the format is similar to the town hall in Grass Valley, two lines for speakers will be formed at the front of the auditorium. One side will be for questions, one side for comments. LaMalfa will alternate speaking time between each side. Two speakers will be allowed to approach the microphone on each side. Each speaker will be allowed a one minute question or comment. The Congressional staff will hold the microphone for you.

If you can speak a question or comment, you should make your question or comment as personal as you can. Take a national issue and tell how it affects you or someone close to you. Practice your question/comment so that you are comfortable and to make sure it’s within the one-minute allotment. Try to frame your question for a yes or no answer. Have a backup question. If someone asks an important question that didn’t get answered, ask it again.

The Indivisible Shasta Steering Committee has developed some talking points to help those of you who attend. These are questions that Indivisible resistors all over the country are asking their congressmen too. They will be posted on this page at by Tuesday, April 18th, and will be passed out to those in line on Wednesday.

In the audience, if you agree with the question/comment, raise your green agree sign. If you disagree, raise the red disagree or no sign. Do not tape the signs together because the opposite side will be visible from the back.

When you are outside the auditorium: Those people who did not make it to the inside can demonstrate with large signs on the sidewalk in front of the auditorium. Stay on the sidewalk, off the lawn and out of the street, and be sure not to block people from walking on the sidewalk.

Saffiyah Khan confronted by a far-right protester in Birmingham is a symbol of confident, smiling, hands-in-pockets resistance to anger. Photo from The Guardian.

Be polite and be civil and have FUN! If you are uncomfortably confronted by the opposition, do not engage them. Keep your hands in your pockets or at your side. Inadvertently touching someone you’re arguing with can be construed as assault.

The National Indivisible group suggests that we download the ACLU’s Mobile Justice California app. It allows us to take videos of questionable or potentially violent situations that are live streamed directly to the ACLU. After taking the video, we fill out a quick form to send to the ACLU. It also has the ability to notify us of another active Mobile Justice user in our vicinity so we can join them in recording an incident. This is a precautionary measure, we don’t expect any confrontations.

To download the free app on your cell phone, open the “App Store” icon on your smart phone menu, click the search function, and type ACLU.  Select “aclu mobile justice app,:” and scroll to find “Mobile Justice California.”  Click “get” to install.  Then allow the app to access your location.

And more support: If you plan to go, and we hope you all will, read “How to Have a Successful Town Hall” from the national The section, “At the Town Hall” will give you the tools to make the best use of this opportunity. Town halls are happening all over the country, and they are changing congressmen’s minds!

See you all on Wednesday, April 19th at the Town Hall!



April 7: The latest from Indivisible Shasta

A screen writer couldn’t sell an episode of THIS week – too outlandish!

President Trump looking angry.Senate Blows Up It’s Rules!

Trump Blows Up His Syria “Policy!”

Ex-Trump Bodyguard  and Son-in-Law Take On Iraq! …

Just another week on Apprentice President.

As Trump was flying off to Mar A Lago with the President of China, your Indivisible Shasta Steering Committee was gathering to try to get a handle on next week.

Here’s what happened:

Janet Zalewski, our Outreach Team Chair returned after a great vacation in the sunny southwest, ready to get to work connecting with other resistance groups in Siskiyou County and District 1. She’s working on a page for our website listing other organizations and what they’re focusing on. This should help you to figure out where to go to help with issues that are important to you.

Kim Solga, our Communications Team Chair reported that all is going well with our Facebook page and website.

ACTION:  She asks you to please remember to “like” and “share” the Facebook posts at It will help us to reach more people, and make sure that our posts show up on your Facebook feed.

Congress LaMalfa is Holding a Town Hall in Redding!

Nancy Van Susteren and Lorie Saunders our Events Co-Chairs are working hard on several events.

Congressman LaMalfa is holding a town hall in Redding!! It’ll be on April 19th at 5:30 at Sequoia Middle School in Redding. Please plan to come. There may be a town hall in Siskiyou in Yreka… and then there might not.

This is our chance to let our congressman know in person how we feel. Much more about this later. We’ll give you lots of tips on how to get the most out of this opportunity.

Nancy and Lorie are also hoping to organize an office visit to LaMalfa’s office in Redding specifically to discuss the new push for another version of Repeal and Replace the ACA that could affect your Social Security and Medicare.

 Joanne Steele, Media Team Chair talked about how to grow awareness of our Indivisible Shasta group.

ACTION: You can help by telling your friends to go to our website and sign up for our email blasts.

Our Research Team is tracking the news on the Russia investigation and new bills scheduled for the week after Congress reconvenes. We’ll keep you posted with new ACTIONS on the Facebook page and in email Blasts.

One last pitch for our website, We’re adding new information to our issues pages almost daily, so check back often to see what’s new.

ACTION: If you’d like to join one of our Action Teams, please email and we’ll get you in touch with the team leader,

Your Steering Committee will update you each week.  Email if you have questions.