We have 29 days until the 2020 election in the US. That’s 4 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 Eleven: Phone a stranger.
I’ve talked about phoning your friends. Today, I’m talking about picking up the phone to talk to strangers. I’ll begin by coming clean and saying that I’ve felt plenty of uncertainty when working on GOTV efforts. Does it work? Is it worth it? Whether it’s getting hung up on while phone banking, or ignored while texting, or just wondering Who on Earth is Susan and is this postcard I’m writing actually going to convince her to vote? It’s easy to feel like the whole thing is a little futile. But I don’t participate in GOTV efforts because it *feels* like it’s making a difference but because folks with a whole lot more experience and expertise than I have have convinced me that it does make a difference.
If you haven’t signed up already, maybe make this the week that you volunteer a little time to get out the vote with a text or a phone call (or a few hundred). There are tons of organizations hosting phone and text banks and modern technology makes the process seamless even for folks who have never picked up the phone for a campaign before. If you’re feeling intimidated, many organizations host simple training sessions and virtually all of them provide volunteers with a script. If you mess up, the only thing you really need to do is say a quick “Thank you for your time,” and bow out via the click of a phone. Truly.
A few organized efforts to sign up with this week if you have the time or the energy or the mental space to do it:
Have you been working with any others? Feel free to drop names or links in the comments below!
PS. This morning, I’m mailing my enormous stack of postcards! If you’re mailing postcards, too, today is the day to drop them in the mailbox!
PPS. Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, I’ll be tuning into the Rally and Rise Instagram Live at 6 pm. NY State Senator Alessandra Biaggi will be answering questions about what type of electoral activism works, what doesn’t, and how to prioritize my actions in the last weeks before the election. Join me?
And don’t forget:
+ Show up.