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Justice for ALL

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San Francisco demonstration against pending deportation of 13,000 Muslims - June 2003

”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Online Magzine

Political Kit

All you need to know for political activism

By Khalid Saeed – Woodland CA


If you want to affect policy and make your voice heard, you must register and vote.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee voter education packet 

Find out Voter Registration office in your area.

Presidential candidates
Democrats, Republicans, Third Party candidates and Independents ... if they're running for President in 2004 (or even thinking about running), you can find them ALL here

Congress.org, a “one-stop-shop,” allows users to identify and contact elected leaders, research congressional voting records, post letters to leaders online, and create and post “Soapbox” action alerts to enlist others on your issues. http://congress.org

Project Vote Smart provides a comprehensive database about thousands of candidates and elected officials and lists information in five categories: backgrounds, campaign finance, issue positions, performance evaluations, and voting records. www.vote-smart.org

The League of Women Voters offers voters a guide to choosing a candidate and gives tips on how to analyze campaign information, how to read polls, and how to recognize distortion tactics.

Facts about voter registration
The right to vote means nothing if citizens are not registered. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) makes voter registration more convenient and accessible. Under NVRA, voters cannot be purged or removed from rolls simply because they were not inspired, or were unable, to vote in previous elections. If you want to affect policy and make your voice heard, you must register and vote. Voter registration is a prerequisite to voting. It is the process of having one’s name placed on the list of those eligible to vote in an election by filing out the proper application.

State Primary Dates
In the early twentieth century there was a movement to give more power to citizens in the selection of candidates for the party's nomination. The primary election developed from this reform movement. In a primary election, registered voters may participate in choosing the candidate for the party's nomination by voting through secret ballot, as in a general election.

There are two main types of primaries, closed or open, that determine who is eligible to vote in the primary. In a closed primary a registered voter may vote only in the election for the party with which that voter is affiliated. For example a voter registered as Democratic can vote only in the Democratic primary and a Republican can vote only in the Republican primary. In an open primary, on the other hand, a registered voter can vote in either primary regardless of party membership. The voter cannot, however, participate in more than one primary. A third less common type of primary, the blanket primary, allows registered voters to participate in all primaries.

In addition to differences in which voters are eligible to vote in the primary, there are differences in whether the ballot lists candidate or delegate names. The presidential preference primary is a direct vote for a specific candidate. The voter chooses the candidate by name. The second method is more indirect, giving the voter a choice among delegate names rather than candidate names. As in the caucus, delegates voice support for a particular candidate or remain uncommitted.

In some states a combination of the primary and caucus systems are used. The primary serves as a measure of public opinion but is not necessarily binding in choosing delegates. Sometimes the Party does not recognize open primaries because members of other parties are permitted to vote.

The Elections and volunteers
The key to influence starts with recognition. In political lobbying, the key to get to know your Congressional Representative is through volunteering on his/her electoral and political campaign before your Representative is in office.

The Federal Election Commission rules regarding the involvement of Foreign Nationals/ Governments/ in the US political process

American political system

The American political system: A brief introduction
According to James Q. Wilson, “there are 521,000 elective offices in the United States, and that almost every week of the year there is an election going on somewhere in this country.” More details

Election process and machinery
You can participate in the electoral process in a number of ways, such as: Voter, Supporter, Club member, Consultant, Advisor, Strategist, Specialist (media, computers, opposition research, etc.). More details

Key steps in running for a public office
Senator Fred Riser advises a public office contender to get involved at any level that is comfortable for him or her. Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Scott McCullum believes that money is important in politics but it is not the only thing that’s important. People play an important role. Congressman Underheim says you want to run, he said, you must find out who are your friends and who are your opponents. More details

Golden rules for effective participation in political affairs

Strategy building and strategic planning
Strategy is a careful coordination of activities and methodical deployment of resources to achieve a desired goal. The task of the strategist is to discover or develop optimal means for the achievement of a particular end. More details

Federal legislative process
Any member can introduce a piece of legislation.
House - Legislation is handed to the clerk of the House or placed in the hopper.
Senate - Members must gain recognition of the presiding officer to announce the introduction of a bill during the morning hour. If any senator objects, the introduction of the bill is postponed until the next day. The bill is assigned a number. (e.g. HR1 or S1)
More details

How a bill becomes a lawA graphic presentation

The American political system: Key terms and concepts More details

The Library of Congress

THOMAS GUIDE - government information

State and Local Governments