election checklist, week nine.

September 21, 2020

We have 43 days until the 2020 election in the US. That’s 6 weeks during which I’ll be trying my damnedest to get leaders elected who will move the dial toward equity, inclusion, and progressive policies that will do the least harm and the greatest good.

I love lists. I love checking things off of lists. I’d hazard the guess that lots of folks reading this do, too. So, every Monday until November, I’ll be listing one specific action to take in preparation of the election. Electoral politics won’t solve everything, but voting is a tool in the box and it needs to be sharpened, oiled, and ready for action.

Week Nine: Show up.

I’m writing on the heels of ushering my six-year-old through the first day of public school in New York City. I am exhausted and sad and generally overwhelmed and I was going to spend a minute getting some of my thoughts about the whys and the hows onto the page, but it would take a whole lot more than a minute and I don’t have time for that (and neither do you.) So I’m saving one primal scream for the void and another for a phone call with a dear friend, and hopefully I’m sparing my children the third.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead. (May her memory be a blessing.) There’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court. There’s an authoritarian in the White House.

On Saturday morning I woke up and watched the forty-minute Instagram Live that AOC shared on Friday night. It was clarifying and motivating and her message was clear: Do not give in. Do not give up. Do show up.

The best way I can show up when I’m already feeling stretched? Find the folks who are already asking for help, see what it is that they need, and figure out how I can deliver. Organizers are experts at offering actionable, digestible directives, it’s just up to me (and hopefully you!) to follow through on them. As a reminder, I’ll share a few folks who I’m taking my (peaceful) marching orders from:

MomsRising, Rally & Rise and Demo Crew. They’re scrappy and grassroots and they’re asking the same from the folks who join them.

This week, directives range from calling senators to ensure that a new justice is not appointed before the inauguration, to texting voters in states where there’s a chance of flipping the senate, to getting through the stack of postcards I’ve got on my desk.

I don’t have to be an organizer, but I do have to show up.


And don’t forget:

Check your registration.

Make a voting plan.

Send some postcards.

Complete the Census.

Look past the presidency.

+ Phone a friend.

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  • Reply Liz September 21, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Just got through a small stack of postcards from MomsRising myself, thanks to your recommendation a few weeks ago. I appreciate your guidance and honesty during this very unnerving time.

  • Reply El September 21, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks to your blog, I’m filling out 300 postcards and my mom is filling out 60! I got some that are not pre-addressed, and as I carefully print each recipient’s name and address it feels as if I’m casting a tiny, hopeful spell toward more balance in the world.

  • Reply Nina September 22, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Good point! You’ve reminded me to get in touch with the local Green New Deal organiser I was inspired to hear from on a Zoom call last week. (And we are watching your election from across the Atlantic with hearts in mouths…)

  • Reply Sue September 22, 2020 at 9:38 am

    This is possibly going to be THE most important vote of our lifetime. You good folks just HAVE to get this dangerous muppet out of the White House before he spoils your country for all future generations of good Americans … and ruins the world for the rest of us.

  • Reply Audrey September 22, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Starting on my MomsRising postcards this week! Thank you for introducing us to their work, Erin.

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