Across the country activists gathered last night to urge “#NoWarWithIran” to our lawmakers and neighbors, while at the same time the House of Representatives was passing a War Powers Resolution meant to curtail Trump’s ability to make war with Iran.  The resolution was non binding, but the Senate will consider a similar resolution soon that will be binding and, if passed, will proceed to the House for final passage and delivery to the president.  It’s likely to be vetoed by Trump, and it’s unlikely that the Senate will have the votes to override the veto.  But Trump does not currently have the legal authority to attack Iran–even Republicans in Congress admit this–so the new resolution is more a symbolic reminder than an urgent legislative prohibition.

Looking ahead to the November election, it’s worth thinking about the best way to use our energy and activism to defeat Trump, elect more Progressives, and keep incumbent Progressives in office.  Kristee Paschall published an excellent and detailed op-ed in the New York Times yesterday about community outreach and building grass roots voting power that every activist should read.  Here’s an excerpt:

Our approach was fueled by a simple belief that when you add new voices and change the electorate, you can shift what is politically possible. We found that our model was equally effective at turning out both voters of color and white voters. We didn’t have to choose between them or sacrifice older voters for younger ones. Engaging these voters is not a mutually exclusive proposition. Our community leaders intentionally talked to anyone who was not politically active.

This method of deep organizing blows up business-as-usual electoral politics. It threatens the huge paychecks of political consultants and strategists on both sides of the aisle who parachute into communities for elections. The progressive political industry spent $5.7 billion on congressional races alone in 2018. Much of that went to the usual Beltway power brokers who focus on tired attack ads or the vote for so-and-so emails. Our model, however, keeps money and power in the communities whose votes will change the electorate.

The above sentence was bolded for emphasis.  Rather than canvass likely voters, Paschall’s team reached out to people who had not voted or rarely voted, engaging them and listening to their concerns and frustrations.  The results exceeded their expectations.  Here’s the full article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/voter-turnout-2020.html

Voter canvassing tends to focus on known Democrats and likely voters, and they are an important group to engage and urge to the polls. But we need more than this group to ensure success against Trump and the GOP’s big-money PAC machine that will surely spend a fortune on our congressional district.  Expanding our reach to include neighbors not traditionally targeted can have a big impact, especially when neighbors reach out to neighbors.

Have a nice weekend.  Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.’

One thought on “Day 1085 – How To Expand The Electorate

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