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The Swing Left Greater Boston Difference

Posted on October 3, 2020

The Swing Left Greater Boston Difference

Giving You Choices

SLGB presents a wide spectrum of events — run by multiple activist organizations — giving volunteers options that fit their strengths and personal sense of what feels right. This approach generates a synergy of action and community that will allow us to flip the White House, Senate, and critical state legislatures.

So, what “fits your strengths and personal sense of what feels right?” This newsletter describes what people, folks just like you, are doing. Plus, it points to a wealth of opportunities that might be a good fit or feel important to you. Read on!


Why GOTV? And How?

When Dems Vote, Dem's Win

You’ve heard it over and over. Get out the vote (GOTV) is the only way to beat Trump and all the other Republicans up and down the ballot. We need to get Dems to act, and research across the board says the best way to influence behavior is to:

  • Have in-depth, face-to-face conversations
    Personal connections have the power to inspire change and action
  • Ask people how and when they plan to vote
    Simply predicting one’s own behavior makes follow through more likely
  • Ask people why they plan to vote … or why others actually vote
    When folks voice what’s worthwhile about voting, they tend to align their behavior with that value

In other words, it takes conversation, and right now the only way to make this connection is to pick up the phone.

Call to actionWant Dems to Win?
Then pick up the phone.


Where Is Your Money Going?

Where is Your Money Going

Every campaign needs funding. However, not all donation sites are equal. As you donate, it pays (you and the candidate) to make sure how much of your money actually goes to the campaign.

For example, if you click Donate and go to an ActBlue page, ActBlue collects a 3.95% processing fee, which it passes through to participating organizations. (ActBlue is not the only site that does this … it’s just an example.)

Among many organizations that use ActBlue are three highly qualified local organizations that collect no money from the contributions:

  • Force Multiplier identifies specific races and voter empowerment efforts where your donations can make the biggest difference in the 2020 election.
  • Senate Circle supports campaigns that are competitive, affordable, and compatible with its values.
  • Candidates and Causes focuses on the need to flip GOP-led state legislatures to Blue ahead of redistricting in 2021.

As an alternative, there are a host of individuals and small groups in the Boston area who share thoughtful analyses of donation options via email. For example:

  • Rob Barber specializes in South Carolina candidates
  • Invest to Elect is a women-only group fundraising for U.S. Senate candidates
  • Women Engaged raises funds for women candidates in the Senate and House
  • Chet Atkins targets candidates for the US Senate

If you’d like to contact any of these individuals or learn about other organizations that charge very little to raise money for Democrats, contact Susan.

Call to actionSpeaking of Donations

Trump just told Republican-led states they should order their Electoral Colleges to ignore the popular vote. However, we could prevent this travesty in Pennsylvania by flipping one or both chambers of the state legislature … because newly elected PA state legislators take their seats in December, before the Electoral College votes.

Swing Left Greater Boston is phone banking for PA House and Senate candidates — your donation would go a long way towards making our calls even more effective. Your donation (through ActBlue) will benefit Democratic contenders in 13 PA districts that Swing Left targets, including these candidates for whom we’ve phone banked or written letters: SD-9: John Kane, SD-13: Janet Diaz, SD-15: George Scott, SD-49: Julie Slomski, HD-26: Paul Friel.

DONATE to protect Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College Votes


Dear I-Don’t-Do-Phone-Banking …

I hate making phone calls

The reason I write the SLGB newsletter is I hate being on the phone … just ask my sisters and friends. However, with three daughters, I can’t stand by and let the environment, health care, and reproductive rights perish on my watch.

I tried phone banking in 2018 for the first time, and I actually survived … because I did it my way. I avoided frustration by playing solitaire while phones rang unanswered. I tried to break through barriers by acknowledging their busy lives or sharing tidbits about my own. I mostly listened and respected their opinions, asking them to vote, no matter what.

These tactics might not work for you, but if you start calling, you can make a difference. You might find out you’re a great phone banker!

SLGB is not trying to convince people to change their minds. On the contrary, the goal of Swing Left phone banks is to create relationships with voters and give them any info they need. For the next few weeks, our phone banks are concentrating on:

  • Helping Democrats who don’t know how to register to vote
  • Offering information about voting options, including VBM (vote by mail)
  • Following up with folks who’ve already received our ready-to-mail ballot applications, asking if they have any questions about filling in and returning the forms
  • Checking in with registered Dems, asking if they’ve had the opportunity to return their ballots to the Election Board
  • Explaining the various opportunities there are to protect the vote

Call to action

The Dems will win if people vote.
Ballots will count if people get them in early.
Republican voter suppression will fail if
Dems find and “cure” (resolve problems) with rejected ballots, starting now.

Pledge two hours to make calls and redefine yourself:
Be someone who knows you have done everything you can.


You Are Not Alone

Here are some people just like you — people with demands on their time, restrictions on their mobility, and hesitancy to get involved… people who are doing what they can to beat the Republicans. Can you picture yourself in their shoes? Or are you already wearing them?

The Levins family of Franklin, MA, has a system. Jack, who is 92, adds stamps to postcards that his wife Barbara, age 90, writes. They send the postcards, which include real vote-by-mail applications, to Florida Dems. As Barbara says, “I’ve got to live long enough to see him thrown out!”
Natalie Altman of NY sends friends packets of 50 postcards each. To date, she’s organized a total of 6,300 postcards for final distribution in Florida. That’s one definition of great project management!
Intern Francesca Guthrie Intern Francesca Guthrie, a student at Tufts University, manages communications for the Spanish Language Team. She also co-captains a weekly Spanish-language phone bank and helps other hosts set up and promote their own events. Her efforts have increased participation in the phone banks and expanded volunteer involvement.
Intern Maya Bharara Like Francesca, Maya Bharara co-captains a weekly phone bank — for voter protection. A sophomore at Harvard, she also manages research and communications for Swing Left Greater Boston’s voter protection initiatives. In addition to collecting data about out-of-state needs for poll observers and ways to cure rejected ballots, she’s applied her design skills to the website and newsletters.