California: we’re big, we’re blue, we have 55 electoral votes, and we’ll most likely go for Obama.

It might be tempting to kick back and chase the latest hipster taco truck, perfect your dance crew moves, or decide if you should add some more free range chickens to your backyard pen. Life here is so pleasant, after all.

But wake up, California: we aren’t immune to the #WarOnWomen laws enacted around the country.

In our own state, legislators bowed to pressure from religious and other anti-choice groups to force withdrawal of SB138, which would’ve allowed licensed nurse practitioners and midwives to peform aspiration abortions as well as medicated ones. It looked like it would advance through the California State Senate, but right around May, 2012, religious organizations from around the state leaned on lawmakers to withdraw the bill.

At least with a bill making oral and hormonal contraceptives more available through registered nurse dispensation at community clinics looking like it’s going to pass, we will expand access to contraceptives through new Obamacare rules, which the state of California is in compliance with and fully supporting, and we will expand our electorate with a new day-of-voting registration law that should pass and go to Governor Brown to be signed into law.

In California, we women have got it pretty good, considering how much of the rest of the country’s faring under GOP assault.

But that’s exactly why we can’t be complacent. The #WarOnWomen is hurting our sisters, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers all across this country. That’s just not right. You shouldn’t be subjected to mandatory ultrasounds before getting an abortion or have your contraceptives or access to Planned Parenthood cut off because the state de-funded it just because you don’t live in California. WTH?? This is America — we don’t let parts of the country live in the Dark Ages while we kick back and relax. We said no to slavery in ‘some’ states, no to denying women the right to vote in ‘some’ states. We’re all in this together, right? There’s work to do inside our Golden state and outside its boundaries.

I’ve been saying for a while now that if we need to regain the House majority and put the gavel back in Nancy Pelosi’s hands, we in California have to over-deliver the numbers of Congressmen and women our state sends to Washington, DC.

Down-ticket races in California matter. Our former Speaker of the House (and soon-to-be Speaker again, you feel me??) Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has said there’s a Drive for 25 to regain the House majority. Up to 7 of those seats — three incumbent Congressmen targeted for replacing (Dan Lungren, Jeff Denham, Elton Gallegly) and a pick up of two to six, maybe as many as four solid seats, gained from redistricting — could come from California. A minimum of two new seats could be added to the California delegation, to a maximum of nine seats from California out of twenty-five needed to regain a majority in the House. Can we shoot for 9 out of 25? That’s what’s at stake.

See what I mean about over-delivering? One of the midwestern states might look good, but seriously, can they get the job done? WE’RE BIG, WE’RE BLUE, WE’RE GONNA DO IT UP AND DOWN THE TICKET. Right?

Click on the map image to go to the Brennan Center’s website and use the interactive map to see the full voter suppression picture.

We need to reach into and past the Rocky Mountains and into the heartland. Other states are plagued by Teapublicans seemingly bent on dismantling the democratic process through voter ID laws that suppress the votes of women, the elderly, and students. Important swing states like Florida, Texas, and Virginia are struggling to protect the vote despite right-wing influence in the state legislatures, Congressional representatives, and/or a Republican governor. They’ve got it uphill; we’ve got it pretty easy in comparison.

So here’s what we need to do:

  • phone bank in our neighboring states and across the country, especially swing states
  • hit the road in our neighboring states: Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, even Utah and Oregon
  • reach out via email, social media, good ole telephone or face-to-face contact at family reunions or alumni weekends to make sure voters are registered and ready to vote: this applies to California down-ticket races as well as the big Presidential race
  • get on Dashboard, which is set up to make it easy for you to do all this

Know what? I have it on good authority that in 2008, Californians made almost 10 million calls. A good chunk of those were in the last two weeks — but with voter suppression active in so many states, we can’t cut it so close to Election Day, November 6, 2012. Start calling NOW. Start hitting the road NOW. We need to top ten million calls this year. We can. And if we get fired up, we will.

Needed: your voice.

Sign up for vote by mail, then Get Out The Vote like your life depends on it.