It’s election season, so our Seattle Real Estate Podcast is all about politics in the coming weeks. Politics and real estate often go hand in hand, but you in Divaland know we go beyond the obvious issues affecting our industry. Education, equity, minority rights. It’s all critical to us, and this week, Roy and Kim spoke with Brandy Donaghy and Jon Pincus of Indivisible Plus: Washington, an organization that engages on all these issues and more.
This Week’s Guests Brandy Donaghy and Jon Pincus From Indivisible Plus: Washington
Jon Pincus is a software engineer, strategist, and long-time activist in projects like the Voter Suppression Wiki, Twitter Vote Report, and Get FISA Right. He also blogs about disinformation and digital voter suppression, and earlier this year gave testimony at the Washington State legislature as part of a successful effort to defeat a bad privacy bill.
Brandy Donaghy is a community organizer, educator, and volunteer-based in Snohomish. Like Pincus, Donaghy approaches her work with a focus on equity and intersectionality. She serves on the boards of Emerge WA, Communities of Color Coalition (C3), and Everett Meaningful Movies, and has helped lead Indivisible Plus WA since 2016.
Prior to the 2016 election, Donaghy was working with Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook Group that mobilized support for the Clinton campaign. In the wake of that election, the leaders of Pantsuit Nation collectively decided it was time to partner with another org to continue the fight for progressive policies. Indivisible Plus: Washington was the one they chose by a wide margin.
More Information Indivisible Plus: Washington
Indivisible Plus: Washington is just one of many chapters of the Indivisible Plus network. This statewide, non-partisan, org has over 20,000 members, but there are more local chapters throughout the state, too. One of the reasons that Pincus and Donaghy both were drawn to the organization is its commitment to equity in activism, and that was one of our topics on the Team Diva Seattle Real Estate Podcast this week.
Establishing Equity in Activism
Here is a phenomenon we have seen many times: Even in non-profit advocacy for minority communities, members of those communities may not be properly represented. This is especially true in regions that are predominately white. (Hello, Seattle.)
Advocates may be educated and passionate, but there is always so much to learn, and there are blind spots. And in committee settings dominated by others, minority community members can often feel excluded from conversations about their own experiences.
What Does Equity Look Like in Progressive Political Communities?
Donaghy and Pincus both were compelled by Indivisible Plus’ commitment to elevating minority community members to leadership roles. This is not just about representation, but the recognition of the need for long-term activism. As Donaghy and Pincus noted, when organizations are not led by minority community members, they may scale back efforts when they feel “enough” has been done. Momentum is lost, and it is hard to rebuild.
At times like this, when all progressives feel the urgency of the fight ahead, it is all the more important to emphasize the long-term commitment to civil rights and real justice. This fight will not end when Trump is out of office; Kim emphasized that he and his cronies are symptoms, not the cause of deeper systemic problems.
This subject of equity is vast. The first episode of our Seattle Real Estate Podcast was with Dave Jones, and we discussed equity a lot then, too. Check out that recap.
Upcoming Vote: Approve R90
Speaking of the election, it’s about more than the presidency. In WA State, we are voting to Approve R90. This common-sense sex-ed bill was already passed in Olympia, but WA State allows a citizens veto. Hence, we the people have to vote to give final approval, and it is important that we do.
Why would anyone oppose common sense, age-appropriate sex education? Because knowledge is power, and some people do not want kids feeling empowered. They do not want women having context for their own sexual agency, or LGBT youths knowing about their own sexuality.
Meanwhile, children experiencing abuse may not have the language or understanding to protect themselves. How can they report what is happening to them when they don’t have the language or know it is wrong? Sex-ed is critical to protecting them.
And yet, the right-wing is launching the usual misinformation campaign to paint this as indoctrination. They don’t want girls and women to have control of their own bodies, or LGBT people to exist at all. R-90 is bare minimum stuff to protect and educate children, and we need to support it. Vote to approve R90.
Fighting Back Against Misinformation
Jon Pincus has focused on fighting information as part of his activism. He pointed out multiple times that when we face misinformation campaigns, it is important that we not repeat the falsehoods. This goes for R90, and for SO MUCH of the “alternative facts” coming from Trump, right-wing media, and other bots and agitators.
Pincus recommends following Indivisible’s Truth Brigade for best practices in countering disinformation. They share a variety of information, from blogs to webinars. Sign up on Indivisible Plus: Washington’s website, and give those bots the boot.
Voter Mobilization To Counter Suppression
Disinformation campaigns are a form of voter suppression, and there are so many others. From sabotaging the USPS to using poll-tax style laws to suppress marginalized communities, the extreme right-wing has shown it HATES the idea of truly fair and free elections. Fighting voter suppression isn’t just about pushing back against bad policy, but everyday engagement.
Brandy Donaghy points out that information about voting isn’t always easy to come by. For instance, people can get replacement ballots, but government websites don’t always make clear how to do it. Doing the research and sharing that information with folks is critical. On Indivisible Plus: Washington’s Facebook page, people share screenshot guides to navigate convoluted government websites.
We spoke last week on this Seattle Real Estate Podcast about our Sixty Days Of Action Campaign with Chavi Hohm, and you can get a recap here. That campaign is full of
Take Action However You Can
When it comes to big-picture activism, Donaghy says “Not everyone has the time, and that’s okay.” And “Don’t beat yourself up for not doing more.” Not everyone needs to be devoting hours of their day to the fight, but we can all have an impact. Pincus emphasizes that even if you don’t qualify yourself as an activist, activism takes many forms.
For instance, Kim blocked out 45 minutes to text 400 voters using her outreach app this week. And if you don’t have time but do have the bucks, Kim emphasizes the importance of donating to organizations who are doing the work.
For more ideas, follow our Sixty Days of Activism on Facebook and Instagram.
Listen To More Episodes Of Our Seattle Real Estate Podcast
Thanks again to Brandy Donaghy and Jon Pincus for speaking with Roy and Kim this week. And thank you for tuning in to our Election Season Seattle Real Estate Podcast.
Listen to the full episode here, and check out previous episodes below:
Our Summer of Activism on the Podcast
Here is a quick jump to a few of the episodes we hosted over the summer where we dived into the real issues that are impacting our Black/Brown friends, clients, and community and how it relates back to Seattle Real Estate.
- 60 Days Of Action: Episode 7, With Chavi Hohm
- Back To School Special: Episode 6, With Manuela Slye
- The Big Summer Recap
- Supporting BIPOC Candidates: Episode 4 With Joy Stanford and Mona Das
- Seattle Real Estate From A Black POV: Episode 3, With Rocky Flowers
- Being A Good Neighbor To Black Communities: Episode 2, With Marlon James
- Education, Real Estate, And Equity: Episode 1, With Dave Jones
Stay tuned for next week on Wednesday, at 1 pm (PDT) when we will be chatting with one of the founders of VoteAsIf.org