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Summit Briefing: Week of 11/2/20

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

On a blue background, white text reads "remember to", then hands hold up each letter of "vote"


California Information:

Washington Information:


1. General News: Election Night

Who will win the Presidential Election tomorrow? Unfortunately, we may not know for sure on Tuesday night. According to Pew Research Center, 26.6 out of almost 53 million voters have cast their ballots by mail, primarily due to Covid-19 concerns. However, with varying numbers of by-mail voters (the number of people voting in person in Alabama is relatively large, vs California, which already votes primarily by mail according to FiveThirtyEight) and different mail-in ballot count times in each state (counting won’t be over until November 18th in Alaska, but should be over on or a few days after the election in Minnesota), results may not be certain until as late as December, though this is highly unlikely.


States to watch: According to The Huffington Post, the November 3rd polling results of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada are important, as they include vote by mail ballots and are battleground states, so watch those on election night.


Polls: FiveThirtyEight has a list of polls, which indicate how each candidate is fairing in each state. 


2. Covid-19: How to stall an outbreak

I talk a lot about case counts, mental health, and other extremely negative effects of the Coronavirus in this section. But what can we do to prevent (or at least curb) those in the first place? According to ABC News, the actions state governments must take include:

  • Mask mandates. According to an April evidence review compiled by 19 scientists, “When used in conjunction with widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantining of anyone that may be infected, hand washing, and physical distancing, face masks are a valuable tool to reduce community transmission,” (6). The importance of masks was further cemented in a June study by Health Affairs, which found “There was a significant decline in daily COVID-19 growth rate after the mandating of face covers in public, with the effect increasing over time after the orders [mask mandates] were signed.” If everyone were to wear face coverings in public, transmission chances would be lower, making shopping, talking, and even just walking around safer. 
  • Clear communication. According to ABC, “Countries, like those in Asia, that have been able to curtail the spread of COVID-19 have showcased effective risk communication with the general public — that is — telling the public in layman’s terms the good, the bad, the ugly and what we don’t know yet.” Remember how confused we were at first about the safety of various activities? Could we see our friends safely? If so, how many? Is getting takeout food safe? We have more clarity now, but with conflicting guidelines in each state, Covid-19 cases continue to rise. If government officials gave us clear, science based rules to follow, cases would fall.
  • Rigorous contact tracing and data collection. “Consistent data should be collected on outpatient and emergency department visits for influenza… and COVID-like illnesses, in addition to the number of new daily cases, tests performed, percent positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths, among other indicators.” ABC argues that this data, combined with local task forces, could aid in finding and quarantining those who could be infected. 


Read the full list here.

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.


3. Politics: Senate Races

Republicans have controlled the Senate since Barack Obama’s second term in 2015. Yet just 13 races will determine which party retains the majority after November 3rd. They are in:

    • Alabama. Current Sen. Doug Jones (Democrat), is predicted to lose to challenger Tommy Tuberville (Republican).
  • Arizona. Current Sen. Martha McSally (R) is running against Mark Kelly (D). Kelly is leading in most polls and in fundraising. 
  • Colorado. Current Sen. Cory Gardner (R) is running against former Governor John Hickenlooper (D). Hickenlooper, who also ran for president this year, is expected to win.
  • Iowa. Current Sen. Joni Ernst (R) is running against Theresa Greenfield (D). While Sen. Ernst was initially projected to win, the race has become extremely close. 
  • Maine. Current Sen. Susan Collins (R) is running against Sara Gideon (D), Maine’s House speaker*. The race is currently close.
  • Montana. Current Sen. Steve Daines (R) is running against current Gov. Steve Bullock, whose second term is coming to an end. The race is currently close. 
  • North Carolina. Current Sen. Thom Tilli (R) is running against former senator Cal Cunningham. This race is viewed as the one that will decide who controls the Senate. Though Cunningham has been leading, reports of infidelity may have put a dent in his lead.
  • Alaska. Current Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) is running against Al Gross (technically Independent, appears on ballot as Democrat). Though Sullivan was initially projected to win, Gross has been doing surprisingly well. The projections on this race have been unreliable.
  • Georgia 1. Current Sen. David Perdue (R) is running against Jon Ossoff (D) and  Shane Hazel (Libertarion). A January 5th runoff election is not unlikely. 
  • Georgia special election (2). Current Sen. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) is running to serve out the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R, retired for health reasons). She is running against Rep. Doug Collins (R) and Raphael Warnock (D).
  • Kansas. With current Sen. Pat Roberts (R) retiring, the race is between Rep. Roger Marshall (R) is running against Sen. Barbara Bollier (D). Rep. Marshall is favored to win.
  • South Carolina. Current Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) is running against Jaime Harrison (D), a former Democratic congressional aid**. Sen. Graham is currently favored to win. 
  • Texas. Current Sen. John Cornyn (R) is running against MJ Hegar (D). Sen. Cornyn is favored to win. 


*The leader of Maine’s House branch of government.

** Assistant to congress members.


4. Sports: The PAC-12 vs community spread

A petition to allow UCLA and USC parents to attend PAC-12 football games in which their children were playing at the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum fields in Southern California was denied due to concerns over “community spread.” Covid-19 cases have been surging in Utah, Arizona and Colorado, all PAC-12 locations as well. The Las Vegas Bowl was not on ESPN’s list of 35 games. So are the PAC-12 playoffs doomed? According to Mercury News, they may be if players do not make good judgement calls.

5. Summit: Progress Reports

Progress reports went out last Friday. The next ones will come out in January. 

6. Actions

Editor’s note: each week, I will be posting petitions to sign/actions to take to support the BLM movement, ICE detainees, and other important matters. Remember, your voice counts, so use it. This week’s actions are:


VOTE, and/or HELP A FAMILY MEMBER TO VOTE. Use Ballotpedia to search for more information on ballot measures you aren’t sure of.

  • Ballotpedia’s California page can be found here.
    • Click any of the ballot measures linked here for who supports the measure, what a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote does.
  • Ballotpedia’s Washington page can be found here.
    • Click any of the measures linked here for who supports the measure, what a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote does.

Find a place to drop off your ballot. MAKE SURE THE PLACE IS ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING LISTS. The California Republican Party has been placing unregistered ballot boxes around Southern California. Ballots dropped in these boxes may not be counted, so please double check.

  • California list of drop box locations can be found here. You can also drop off your ballot at your nearest polling place. 
  • Washington list of drop box locations can be found here.

If you want to vote in person, find your polling location here. In California, you can vote at any location AS LONG AS IT IS IN YOUR COUNTY. 


And as always:


  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.


  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category


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