(11/7/19 by Eric Kramer)
Native American organizers are spreading out through the sprawling Navajo and Apache Reservations of Arizona to find the votes needed to thwart President Trump’s Electoral College hopes and return the U.S. Senate to Democratic control.
The Navajo Reservation is the size of West Virginia and the two major Apache Reservations have an area the size of Connecticut. Though hard to reach, their population of approximately 200,000 in Arizona can provide the votes needed to swing Arizona’s crucial 11 electoral votes to the Democratic candidate. Trump has no path to victory if he loses Arizona. Also, Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, will be elected to the U.S. Senate with a strong Reservation vote.
With the help of 1,900 individual small donors from throughout the U.S., organizers are now on the ground in Tuba City and Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation and Whiteriver and Cibecue in Apache country. Rollouts this year will bring additional Native organizers to the Navajo communities of Chinle and Kayenta.
Early in 2020, organizers will be added to Cameron, Dilkon, Pinon and the Four Corners region on the Navajo Reservation and an additional campaign worker on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
Participation in U.S. elections is relatively new to Arizona Native Americans. Though the 14th Amendment after the Civil War made everyone born in the U.S. a citizen, Arizona conservatives denied Natives the right to vote by telling them, “You are not people.”
That blatantly racist view was overturned when Natives returning from World War II service sued. Sen. Tom Udall’s grandfather, an Arizona Supreme Court judge, ruled that Natives could vote. But it is often still a struggle for Natives to vote. Some, living on the land as much as 40 miles from a paved road, have no convenient way to register or vote. Others face language barriers and other hurdles to getting their votes counted.
However, Native communities in Arizona vote as much as 98% in favor of Democrats. Could you please help us get this job done? Small contributions are very helpful.
Arizona is widely believed to be trending blue, largely because Maricopa County (Phoenix) is polling Democratic. Pima County (Tucson) has long been a Democratic stronghold. So the work remaining to do is to overcome the Republican advantage in a few rural towns like Prescott and Kingman. The Navajos and Apaches have enough votes to do that, especially if they are registered and organized.
We have raised enough grassroots money to fund the program through March 2020, and are now working on $52,800 to fund the program for April, May and June 2020. Thank you for your help.
In a prelude of what is to come, Navajos won an important election in San Juan County, Utah on Tuesday. After a long struggle put two Navajos on the three-member county commission, the county decided to hold a referendum on a “study” to change the county’s form of government to deny Navajos control.
With the help of the Navajo Nation leadership, Utah Democrats, Arizona Democrats and local Navajo leaders, the measure was defeated with an election night vote total of 1614 Yes, 1735 No. There are votes remaining to be counted, but mostly from Navajo precincts.
This recent experience shows that organized Navajos can win hard-fought elections.
Article in the Daily Kos
(10/09/2019) by Eric Kramer
After World War II, Native Americans started trying to register to vote in Arizona. County recorders told them they could not vote because “you are not people.”
In those days, the grandfather of New Mexico U.S. Senator Tom Udall was a big judge in Arizona.
Native Veterans went to old judge Udall and said, “We’ve fought those Nazis all over the world, and the Japanese too. We fought with honor and distinction. Many died saving this country. We are entitled to vote.”
Judge Udall hit his hammer on his bench and said, “I agree. Native Americans can vote in Arizona.”
Now, it is 70 years later and the Navajo people must save the world again. The government is corrupt, incompetent and worst of all, full of hate.
Because of the way this Electoral College is balanced, an overwhelming vote by Navajos can win Arizona for the Democrats and Trump will be finished. (The Navajo Nation is the size of West Virginia, so it is a very significant part of the rural Arizona vote, especially with the two urban counties polling solidly Democratic.)
We concluded our message to Navajos by saying, “Make sure everyone in your family is registered to vote, even that nephew who sometimes is not serious about responsibilities. You know who I mean.
“Don’t worry about Phoenix or Tucson. They are taken care of. We just need enough Navajo votes to beat Prescott, Kingman, and Yuma. We can do this.”
Footnote: We spent the last three days traveling the Navajo Reservation with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly. This message was highly effective. If you want to defeat Trump, a good way to do it is to give us (Navajo County Democrats) a few dollars for organizing on the Navajo Reservation.
We just hired the best organizer on the Navajo Nation for eight hours at $120 a week. Can you help us double her hours? Thank you for your help.
Article in the Daily Kos
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