Indivisible East Bay kicked off our summer of voter outreach at the first Virtual Voter Outreach Palooza on Saturday, June 13!
Virtual voter outreach is critical this election season for many reasons – canvassing in person may be off the table for the Fall, but also, since we’re so weighed down by the news, taking action helps us personally as well as being important politically. Legislation is one step to build an anti-racist, equitable, healthy, and environmentally sound future, but electing progressive representatives is one important move to make it possible.
Flip the West’s Danny DeBare energized us about FTW’s voter outreach work, stressing that starting voter outreach early and in an organized fashion is more effective and helps combat Get Out the Vote phone fatigue by spreading calls out over time. Flip the West does this work every week – check out their ongoing virtual phone bank here, every weekday from 4-6 PM. Danny also mentioned FTW’s College Dems Action Night on June 23 at 7 PM – find more info about the event here, and pass it on to any college students you know!
We did introductions with all 58 attendees, sharing our names, home cities, and the first bill we’d like to see passed in the 117th Congress. Common themes included a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and bills addressing equity and racial justice.
Moving on we had something for everyone with five breakouts.
- The phonebanking breakout made 336 calls to Arizona voters, encouraging them to sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List. Some enthusiastic voters said they’d pass our message on to friends and family.
- In our text and phone training/personal story breakout, leaders showed seven people how to text bank, phone bank and use their personal stories in activism.
- The leadership training breakout trained members how to organize their own events. We recruited four new event hosts to lead phone bank and postcard events! If you’re interested in doing this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Hosting an Event”.
- Fourteen people in the postcard breakout wrote 250 postcards for Reclaim Our Vote, an organization we’ve been partnering with since our 2019 Virginia campaign. In a postcard party first, two dogs and a live chicken joined us! One attendee, a youth activist, introduced us to her website, which encourages young people to contact their elected officials – check it out here.
- In our letter-writing breakout, volunteers wrote 160 Vote Forward letters and signed up new voters in states with critical 2020 elections.
Three-hundred sixty calls, 250 postcards, 160 letters, four new event hosts, and five golden rings later, we came back together to recap what we accomplished. One lucky attendee won a gift certificate to Hotsy Totsy Club, Albany’s longest-running bar. To close, we each committed to the next action we’ll take to flip the government blue and enact legislative change in 2020. All together, we committed to writing hundreds more postcards and letters, making thousands more calls, trying out text banking, attending events and anti-racism trainings, contacting elected officials, organizing groups to play legislative harball, and more!