Two months ago I was discouraged: Biden was down in the polls; pundits were warning that we would lose the House and the Senate.
Everything has changed.
We have passed monumental bills on climate change and inflation reduction that will, for the first time in modern history, move the course of our country, and our planet, toward a more sustainable future.
While the Supreme Court has struck down Roe, failed to pass gun legislation, and enacted (with Citizens United) the ability of corporations to give anonymously to political campaigns, our country has found its voice: Democratic candidates in local elections are winning in some primaries. Momentum is trending toward Democratic policies. The old adage that “all politics is local” applies this year more than ever. Voter turnout is how we win.
All around the country, we are hearing from voters: “We will vote to keep our democracy.”
Swing Blue Alliance Has the Initiatives to Get Voters to the Polls
Swing Blue Alliance has been working with local Democratic organizations to mobilize registered but low-propensity voters in key local elections. Many of you have had your groups working on Swing Blue campaigns in Georgia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Thank you, your work is important — and we need you to stay involved and engaged!
For those who have not yet stepped up for the Midterms, we need your help.
On a Zoom call Wednesday night, we heard from candidates and activists from New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Mary Wills Bode is a Democrat in the swing state of NC who is running for State Senate in a newly drawn district. A vote for Mary will make a difference in the close balance of power. A strong turnout for Mary will also have important up-ballot implications for the US Senate. Cheri Beasley, the first African-American Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, is locked in a tight race with Ted Budd, a Trump endorsed former gun range owner. By getting involved in our NC postcard campaign, your groups will have a double impact on both state and national elections.
Shoshanna Kelly, a rising star in the Democratic party, is running for a seat in the New Hampshire Executive Council. What is that, and why is it important? Donnie Spears, a local activist, explained that the Council is the most powerful group in the state. They have the authority to turn down Medicare funds, defund schools and Planned Parenthood, all of which their five-member Board aims to do. Shoshanna is running because she told her young children that stepping up matters, and she will protect their future.
Their comments moved me to contact my group of 45 and make an order for NH, even as I was just distributing packets for NC. My excitement seemed to spill over, because by this morning I had 20 orders for NH, with more to come.
I have ordered early because I know our group is busy, and I need to keep the timeline clear for them.
When I email to announce a new Initiative, I include the mail date up front, give them a date when I will be distributing, and let them know that I will work with their needs as I can. This morning, I dropped off NC packets to people who were inside with COVID and/or had family concerns that limited their flexibility.
I learned during COVID that dropping off postcard packets at people’s homes, when possible, enhanced our connections as a group. While our numbers are not more than 45-50, the group has maintained an investment with the work. I get a steady stream of emails, thanking me, with stories of their own histories, their personal reasons for keeping engaged.
Not everyone wants to be an organizer, but if you can, please commit to these campaigns. We have immensely appreciated your work in the past, and your groups’ skills and efforts are needed now.
I sign my emails with quotes from two activists from different generations. They keep me focused.
You might find them helpful as well.
Janet Nelson and the team at Swing Blue Alliance
Do not stand idly by – Elie Wiesel
Action is the antidote to despair – Joan Baez
Janet Nelson is a retired clinical psychologist based in western Mass. She has worked on progressive campaigns since 1988, including serving as co-chair of the NJ Coalition to Save Darfur, 2005-2012.