We’ve been going on for a while now about how this election is not guaranteed to Democrats, despite a certain level of complacency among progressive- and liberal-minded folks.
First off: please vote.
Second, if you have voted, and want to make sure that progressive causes win, there’s more you can do. Phonebanking and canvassing are really, really important.
These activities really, truly make a significant difference in voter turnout. Studies show that the single most effective way to persuade an undecided voter to support one cause or another are conversations with a fellow citizen. The same goes for getting a registered voter to actually vote: a friendly reminder from an ordinary person is more likely than anything to get someone to actually turn in their ballot.
This work is how elections are won. The best campaigns pour the most resources into get out the vote (GOTV) because it works. No bullshit: volunteering to make calls and knock on doors is the most effective way for an individual to make a difference in an election.
Canvassing and phonebanking are work, yes, but it’s inspiring work. It’s the best version of America: neighbors talking to neighbors, trying to make their community a better place. It sounds corny, but it’s really true. It can be moving, as long as the people on the phone aren’t mean. Sometimes they are. Other times, you talk to someone really sweet, who didn’t realize they had already got their ballot in the mail. I’ve had both happen. In the best case, it’s like Friday Night Lights or something.
Anyway, if you do have the time, please consider volunteering for one of these two campaigns:
Dr. Kim Schrier for Congress
Schrier is a Democrat running for the House of Representatives in the 8th Congressional District, a swing seat. It is currently represented by a Republican, Dave Reichert, who is retiring. This is your chance to make a difference in the race for the house. Seattle’s Democratic Representatives, Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith, should be reelected.
Schrier’s Republican opponent is Dino Rossi, who is the worst: he is a pretend moderate who is very strongly against abortion rights, and wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. When he was in the legislature, he voted to get rid of health insurance for poor kids.
Meanwhile, Schrier is a family doctor, a pediatrician. She is wants to give everyone Medicare. She mentions that and abortion rights and Planned Parenthood prominently in every appearance.
Schrier’s campaign is holding phone banks in Seattle (South Park and Phinney Ridge) and across the Eastside, and canvassing all over the district, which includes Issaquah and parts of Renton.
I-1631: cutting carbon emissions and boosting renewable energy
This initiative will slow down climate change and fight institutional racism and poverty.
I-1631 would charge a fee for carbon dioxide emissions, and eventually reduce them. It could be a huge victory in the fight against climate change. It could inspire state legislation across the country that does the same thing, and be a model for national carbon pricing laws.
Even better: the proceeds of the carbon fee would go to investments in renewable energy, and all sorts of projects that would create jobs for people of color and/or low incomes. Those projects would protect those same communities against climate change, which is key, because POC and poor people are going to be the first victims of climate change.
You can canvass for this one in Seattle, which is convenient, and there are phone banks all over.
Anyway, GOTV or GTFO.