As we are digesting the 2018 elections, I thought it would be helpful to say a word or two about podcasts. Late last summer, I started actively “tuning into” Pod Save the People on Crooked Media. Pod Save the People is with Deray McKesson, Sam Singyawe, Brittany Packnett, and Clint Smith III. What I love about this pod is that it is informative as well as thought provoking and in a positive way. I listen to it every Tuesday at the end of my day, and it is so soothing that sometimes I fall asleep. But what is great about this pod is that if you do fall asleep you can wake up and read the nicely laid out transcript right below. You can “read” the pod. Nothing beats that.
There are other podcasts that I am starting to listen to as well.
ACLU At Liberty: this is a bi-weekly podcast that talks about issues of the day in the world of civil liberties.
Democracy in Color: this is a monthly podcast that is produced by Steve Phillips’ organization. Persons of color and white liberal voters can win in the South if we mobilize. We are the new majority.
Voices of Anti-Semitism: United States Holocaust Museum – this is an amazing series of 162 podcasts. It was monthly, and the series has ended, but I listened to all 162 and they were amazing. I learned so much about keeping our world safe for everyone and what can happen when we don’t.
I encourage you to check out podcasts that are meaningful to you. They help keep me hopeful and on-track in my daily activism.
Thank you to everyone who participated in voting and voting your values in 2018. There is now a check on an administration that does not share my values. I also look forward to doing the work it will take to put in clear policies that will help EVERYONE and not just a select few in our country. Exciting times are ahead!
The Last 80 Days:
The last 80 days of the 2018 election season were busy. I found I couldn’t really blog and be active at the level required in those last few months. The above photo is me and my computer at a home phone bank. I personally paced myself and every week I was active with one, two or three intensive activities. But it paid off. Even if I hadn’t helped elect candidates that would put sound policies in place, I knew I had done my part as a citizen of this country.
So, I am kicking off the blog again and focusing on policies that if enacted would support EVERYONE and build strong and healthy communities. And, then, when it gets to crunch time and we start electing candidates, I can share strategies that worked in 2018, and new strategies that will help win more in 2019 and 2020. We will also hold our elected officials accountable for creating a world that works for EVERYONE. Thank you for coming along on this ride with me.
Another US Senate Race Run-off Election in November:
Have a great Sunday, and we still have a Senate seat in Mississippi to focus on. People are out canvassing, calling, and texting for Mike Espy running for the US Senate in Mississippi. Go Mike!
Georgia is a very exciting state right now because Stacey Abrams is running for Governor! Let’s elect her! Please check out her campaign and sign up to volunteer. Putting someone in the Governor’s Mansion who not only shares my values but also breaks long standing cycles of racial and gender disparity in elected office is a great thing! Go Stacey!
US Congressional Races – Georgia
We have an opportunity to help turn the state by electing Stacey Abrams to the Governor’s Mansion as well as flipping at least 2 seats blue with 2 long shot races to watch. But in a dynamic year, the Governor’s race might pull all boats to shore.
Also, Lucy McBath is running in Congressional District 6 which is the seat we tried to flip last year with Jon Ossoff (remember the race we spent $23 million on?). It didn’t flip, but we knocked it considerably closer to team blue. Let’s help Lucy flip this seat for good.
If you haven’t picked a candidate yet, please find one in your district or in a swing district near you. Swing Left and Sister District have candidates that are in nearby strategic races for you to support.
This Week’s Strategic Action: Phone Banking
Next to canvassing, phone banking is the second most effective method of identifying and persuading voters. Yes, I know, maybe you don’t answer the phone. That is okay because plenty of people do and they do want to talk to you.
I have made thousands of calls over the years, and when I started in 2004, I wasn’t particularly good at it and found it nerve wracking.But it works, so I kept on. Each time I phoned, the easier it got and the more comfortable I felt. And, it kept working so I kept on. I’ve had way more wins than losses and now find it a really satisfying experience.
This is how it works:
You’ll log onto an on-line system
You’ll see the person’s name and phone number and you dial on your cell phone
If the person isn’t home, you mark “not home” in the system and go to the next
If the person is home, you say why you are calling and respectfully ask that person for their vote
If they are a supporter, great
If they are undecided, you may give them a little more information and ask them to consider your candidate
If they are not a supporter, you thank them and move to the next call
The campaigns use this data to create their “universe” of likely voters and people they know they may need to canvass (the undecideds) and the ones they need to make sure to get to the polls during the Get-Out-the-Vote weekend (the supporters).
Colorado first came to my attention as a political force in 2008. This year, Colorado was known for teacher organizing. As in so many states, high quality public education is a priority for our communities, but not realized by our lawmakers. It is time for Colorado to make a change in their choices for State Senators and US Congresspeople in order to enact real policies that will improve real lives. And there is nothing more important than access to quality education.
Sister District is out to help elect candidates who believe in funding public education and not punishing teachers. By flipping 3 more seats, team blue would be in control of the State Senate and more could get done to help communities around education. Check out State Senate candidates here: State Senate Races.
US Congressional Seats:
There are 3 seats to flip and one to defend in Colorado for the US Congress. Remember, we only need 24 seats to gain control of the US Congress. Check out the full list here: US House of Representatives.
What I would like to highlight is 4 supporting organizations that are working to elect candidates that you may not know about.
The Collective PAC is supporting African American candidates across the country. Stephany Rose Spaulding in Colorado has been endorsed by them.
Justice Democrats is working to elect candidates that sign on to a common platform to protect our rights (healthcare is a right), jump start our economy, and defend our democracy. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just won her primary in New York. Let’s help Stephany Rose Spaulding win in Colorado in November.
Vote Vets gives a voice to veterans on issues that affect their everyday lives. Jason Crow in Colorado has been endorsed by Vote Vets.
New Politics is electing leaders who have served in the military, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps to serve again in Congress. People who have already served may serve us well in our Congress and State Houses. Jason Crow in Colorado has been endorsed by New Politics.
Only 96 days to the mid-term elections. Let’s work hard across the country to elect people that truly represent us.
We are just 97 days out to November and now is the time to work for candidates that share our American values. The 100 day blog post was focused on fundraising for a candidate. Now, we need to start knocking on doors for our candidate.
If you haven’t picked a candidate yet, please find one in your district or in a swing district near you.Swing Left and Sister District have candidates that are in nearby strategic races for you to support.
This Week’s Strategic Action: Canvassing
Candidates cannot win without real life voter engagement and the method that has the highest success rate is knocking on doors. It is fun, trust me.
In 2006, I canvassed in the far eastern suburbs of the Bay Area for Jerry McNerney. He wasn’t a Congressman at the time and was running against someone who did not share my values. So, I got super inspired that a wind engineer was running for Congress and decided to do some canvassing. People were glad to see me, and a few even invited me in for some water (it was hot out there in the sun). At that time, people with my values had given up on the area because they didn’t think they could win. Well, Jerry’s campaign changed all that and I have been forever inspired. Congressman Jerry McNerney is now running for his 7th term!
This is a recent story from a Sister District canvasser in Florida. Prepare to be inspired.
It is important to talk to people in real life and respectfully ask them for their vote. Your personal story and willingness to go door-to-door to have a real conversation with a real person goes a long way.
It is Friday night and I’m just catching up on all things political. I hope you are well. Ohio is near and dear to my heart because I am from there (shout out to Oberlin). My Mom is there right now working hard on Janet Garrett’s campaign for Congress for Ohio CD-4. Hi Mom! Janet Garrett absolutely shares my values.
Ohio is a large state, and sometimes it has served as a battleground state, although it was not in 2016. However, in 2018, I am impressed with a slate of 8 candidates who share our American values and who are running. Most, like Janet, are everyday people who want to stand up and do what is right for their constituents. Ohio, you give me hope!
Ohio is a very rural state for the most part. There are the bigger city hubs like Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. There are smaller cities as well like Dayton and Toledo. But, then, very quickly you are out into rural rolling farmland. The state is both red and blue with a great heart and generous spirit.
Ohioans, please come on out and support our American values of health care, quality education, care of our veterans and elders, and providing a solid safety net for all.
Let’s go Ohio (and not just Ohio vs. Michigan). Let’s give these great candidates a fighting chance to fight for you.