86 Days out to November – Phone Banking

Hi Everyone,

We are now 86 days out to November and time to learn a new tool to help identify voters for your candidate.  This week, we are covering phone banking.

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.

design desk display eyewear
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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).

So, sign up at a phone bank with Commit to Flip Blue or Democracy Action.  If you are not in the Bay Area, please contact Swing Left or Sister District and help a candidate close to you.

And everyone, please sign up with the Last Weekend to get out the Democratic vote where you live.

Please carve out some time in your week to make a few calls.  We need you to help put candidates over the top.

Have a great week,

Molly Hermes

Colorado Profile – 3 Seats

Hi Everyone,

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.

durango and silverton on brown stained train
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Why States Matter:

The Colorado teacher’s strike landed on the State House steps. As a result, a 2% pay increase was approved. But, the State Senate could be more representative of my values if it landed firmly in camp blue. One response to the teacher’s request was to put forward a bill in the State Senate that would punish teachers with fines and up to six months in jail.

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.

Colorado State Senate

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.

Colorado Seats

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.

Happy Thursday,

Molly Hermes

97 Days Out to November – Canvassing

Hello Everyone,

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.

photography of woman opening door
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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.

Sister District Canvassing in Paradise.

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.

Have a great Wednesday,

Molly Hermes


Ohio Profile – 8 Seats

Hello Everyone,

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.

houses in farm against cloudy sky
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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!

Check out these great candidates here:  US Congressional Races

Ohio Seats

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.

Have a great weekend,

Molly Hermes



California Profile – 15 Seats

Hi Everyone,

California is a large state with 50 US Congresspersons representing the state. There is an opportunity in California to pick up 13 seats and turn them blue as well as defend 2 blue seats from being flipped back.

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The seats run from the very North to the very South of California. While many of these seats are in the rural areas, there are a number in the densely populated Los Angeles to San Diego corridor.

There are organizations working to flip them including Swing Left, Flip the 14, Our RevolutionCode Blue, Commit to Flip Blue and many other local organizations. They all need volunteers. If you see your district on the list, please get involved directly with the campaign. If your district is not listed, the easiest way to get involved is through one of the organizations above.  We need you!

California is on fire (and not just literally). Below is a screen print from my google doc that has all the links and information on each race. Check out these great candidates here: US Congressional Races

California Seats

Turning these seats blue is certainly a key to win in November. With just 100 days out, it is not too early to get involved.


Molly Hermes

100 Days Out to November

Hello Everyone,

We are just 100 days out to November and now is the time to start supporting candidates that share our American values.  A friend of mine pointed out that there are 30 US Senate seats, 435 US House Seats, and 30 Governors races up for grabs this November. This is a big election!

Each blog post from now until November will contain a strategic action to take for you to be of maximum help to your candidate.  Please support a candidate in your district that shares your values AND a candidate in the nearest swing district to you.  Swing Left and Sister District have candidates that are in nearby strategic races for you to support.

This Week’s Strategic Action: Fundraising

Candidates cannot win without money and it is easy to donate through Act BlueThe first step is to donate directly to your candidate through this site.

The second step is to amplify the message and encourage others to donate too. You can set up a personal fundraising page for your candidate and encourage all your friends to donate.   You do nothing more than encourage your friends to put their money where their values are. The Act Blue system does all the rest.

Screen Print of the Act Blue Fundraising Page 

Your donation does not have to be large to make a difference. Remember, President Obama received a donation of $3 and a bible verse back in 2008.  Most candidates receive money from many small donors and those donations add up to a lot!

Please support your candidate through Act Blue and encourage all your friends to do the same.

Have a great Sunday,

Molly Hermes


Alabama Profile – 2 Seats

Hi Everyone,

We are 4 months out from the November elections and it is good to profile where our possible wins are if we want to take back the House for Team Blue.  Here in California we are working hard to flip 14 seats.  We need 23 total flips.  But, every seat counts and if you call Alabama home, you’ll want to help flip seats in your state and elect some great people. Let’s go!

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In Alabama, there are two interesting seats that I’m profiling here.  The first is Swing Left supported and the second is a “race to watch.”

AL – CD-02: Tabitha Isner

Tabitha Isner is running in a Swing Left supported seat that is in the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.  She has a Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She is running on a “serious family values” platform.

AL – CD-03: Mallory Hagan

Mallory Hagan is a CBS News Anchor and the 2013 Miss America Pageant winner.  She gave up her job at CBS in order to run for Congress.  She also has a #MeToo story as part of her time as Miss America.  This is a race to watch.

All of Alabama’s 7 Congressional Districts have Democratic candidates running. And, one Democratic candidate has already been effectively elected since no one from Team Red decided to run against her.  If you are in or near Alabama, working for change is worth it!

Happy Friday,

Molly Hermes

July 4th – Four Months Out

Hello Everyone,

I am hopeful that everyone is having a festive July 4th. I am headed to a baseball game today and others are headed to festivals. There is a great festival in my town that celebrates all cultures called the One World Festival.  Our melting pot of all cultures is what makes our country great and is what we want to preserve and not diminish.

What keeps our country strong is our system of justice and a government that does have checks and balances. But, our system of government is also fragile and only works when there is truly a check. With one party in control and the courts being stacked, many of our institutions will be diminished unless “we the people’ put back a check. That is why we will flip this Congress blue.


Four Months Out:  My mom is visiting this week and on Sunday we attended a meeting of those working on turning the tide in our Congress and putting a check on this administration.  We have four months to do this work and not leave anything on the field.

Sunday Action Days:  We plan to do this work by having Sunday days of action where we have phone banking, texting, and post-carding all under one roof. We are committing to flip 4 California Congressional Districts blue. We will have greeters, trainers, and committed organizers making sure people of all kinds feel welcome and what they do matters. Events near you:  Commit to Flip Blue, Democracy Action

Campaigns in Your Area:  If you are in the Bay Area, come and join us.  If you are not in the Bay Area, create your own action days by working on a campaign in your area.  If you are in a blue area, help flip a red area.  Working directly with a group or a campaign in your community is the way to go. Events near you:  Swing LeftSister District

We can do this!

Have a happy 4th!

–Molly Hermes

Families Belong Together March 6/30/18

Hi Everyone,

I have gotten behind on the blog. Sometimes life just happens.  So, I’ll make this entry short and sweet. Everyone has been watching the news, and perhaps feeling angry. I know I am. But what I am not feeling is powerless. We can stand up and act. So, this next weekend, I am going to march to stop detentions and to keep families together.

You can sign up here with Move-On’s  Families Belong Together day of action on June 30th. There are events all over the country. I am heading to the closest one near me.

adventure baby beautiful blue eyes
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Personal Reflection:  I get stressed out when I lose my keys (ask my husband) and can’t imagine the pain of being separated from my children. I have always thought of this country as a safe haven. Immigrants make our country great. People who come here and want to be here have added significantly to who we are as a nation.  Let’s all stand up for truly American Values and for the great, generous melting pot that is our nation.

Blessed be,

Molly Hermes


Parties for Change

This weekend, I attended two parties for change and reveled in the beauty of the Royal Wedding. Steadily being active in our democracy is a lot of work, and we need to do it with others and have some fun. With summer coming up, let’s party!

What can you do?  Here are some ideas of what my friends do around politics. 

1) Have a postcard party. Gather up your friends and neighbors and write postcards for campaigns through Postcards to Voters. It is super fun, you can socialize over non-political topics as you write to voters. Include some beverages, cheese and crackers and you are set. Presto party!

2) Have a garage sale.  My friends and I had a garage sale on Saturday. We have a potluck breakfast, a potluck lunch, and hang out and talk politics all day. It is fun!

3) Have a ballot deciding dinner party.  My friends and I go through our ballots together and figure out who deserves our vote. Figuring out who to vote for takes research. But, you don’t have to do it alone! Gather up your friends, collect information from trusted sources, and decide together.

assorted colors paper cutouts closeup photo
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Personal Reflection:  Working each day for change takes a lot of perseverance. But, I learned 15 years ago that it is a lot more fun with friends.  My current group and I have hung out together for 11 years. People come and go, but our community of ordinary people taking extraordinary action has gotten ever wider and much stronger. Plus, we have all made some new friends.

Form your own action circle, or meet people who may be interested through meet-ups. There are groups all around and you can always start your own. So, let’s have some summer fun.

Have a great week!

–Molly Hermes