Ronnie Cohen is executive director of Flip the West, a California-based organization working with laser focus to flip the Senate blue. Their model: Identify western states where there’s a chance of flipping a Senate seat, then mobilize volunteers from blue states to work on the campaign — texting, phone banking and sending postcards. They’re currently hosting over 30 campaign events per week to reach voters in six states: Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Iowa, Alaska, and Kansas.
Steve Nardi is Canada Country Chair for Democrats Abroad, a 100% volunteer, self-funded organization that encourages and helps American citizens vote in U.S. elections. To recognize the urgency of Steve’s work, consider this: The year Donald Trump won the presidency, only 5% of the 625,000+ American citizens living in Canada voted. Steve’s working 14-hour days to change that.
Saumya is a co-founder of Greenhouse-in-a-Box, an innovative farming system that helps small farmers earn a steady, reliable income, no matter what climate change throws at them – monsoons, drought, 120-degree temperatures, or insect infestation. With the Greenhouse system, farmers grow 7 times as much food using 90% less water than traditional farming. For many, this is the difference between remaining on their land or abandoning the family farm in search of poorly-paid work in cities.
Good News from the Resistance: How’s the pandemic going for you? Here’s how it’s going for me: Each morning I spend hours reading Bad News, in search of a Good News gem. Which sets me up for afternoons of hand-wringing, outrage, and hours-long Zillow searches in Canada. Every night I plop into bed with an exaggerated sigh and ask my husband, what will become of us? (I’m never quite sure if he’s sleeping or pretend-sleeping, because he’s really tired of the question). Then, I spend a good part of the night deep in anxious thought, wondering, is the person who does my Insta-Cart shopping the same person who delivers it?; did the speeding, coughing, mask-less cyclist who passed me while I was walking the dog have COVID?; how long can RBG hang on?; can the people I’m Zooming with see the swath of grey in my hair?
I’ve worried, I’ve screamed, I’ve melted down, I’ve felt guilty each time I’ve deleted an email that asks me to make phone calls for a progressive candidate. What I have not done is act. Other than write Good News and donate to a couple campaigns, I have done little to ensure that on November 3 there will be a Tsunami of Democracy in this country. I admit it.
This all changed yesterday, when Biden announced Kamala Harris as his v.p. The news energized me, and I sprung to action. I hope you’ll join me. And if you’re way ahead of me on the action part, thank you. Keep going.
Next week I’ll be writing letters to unregistered Maine voters. The week after that I’ll be participating in a Text-a-Thon, largely because I don’t like phone banking. Can’t stand to text? No problem, you can write a letter. Have bad penmanship? No problem, you can host a virtual letter-writing party with your friends, and have them write for you. I’m struck by the many creative ways to contribute to the Tsunami. It’s time to turn anxiety into action.
The Ask: Sign up for at least one of the actions below. You can do all of them from home! Then forward this newsletter to a friend (or two or three) and ask them to join you. There’s something for everyone here. Together we can do this. Our Democracy depends on Us.
Have fun, wear a mask, and get some sleep. See you at the Text-a-Thon?
12 Things You Can Do To Ensure a 2020 Blue Tsunami
- Learn what Super States are, and why it’s important to focus our actions there
- Check out the calendar of Swing Left actions in your community (there are lots!)
- Sign up for a Virtual Activism Workshop (Aug. 16th, 25th)
- Register for Resistance Boot Camp on August 18 to help protect the right to vote
- Join the Text-a-Thon on Aug. 22 to help reach 1 million voters in battleground states
- Sign Color of Change petitions to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act & more …
- Say good-bye to Susan Collins by helping register Maine voters
- Register with Vote Forward to help send 10 million voter turnout letters in October
- Call Wisconsin voters on any Sunday afternoon
- Get in touch with your friends and family in Michigan and help them vote
- Host a Flip Pennsylvania virtual letter-writing party
- Gather your kids to make beautiful signs that will go where they’re needed
Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.
Ariel Brown is the Board President and Founder of The Emotional PPE Project, an organization that connects health care workers in need with licensed mental health professionals who can help. Ariel is also an Associate Director, Medical Science at Sage Therapeutics. She is a neuroscientist who has done research on the brain in ADHD and bipolar disorder and helped develop the first drug approved for postpartum depression. She started The Emotional PPE Project merely by asking a friend “how can I help?” and by tapping into the goodwill of her personal and professional network.
Good News from the Resistance: It’s starting to feel a lot like the months leading up to the 2018 midterms. Think back: We were still suffering from 2016 Election PTSD, and not quite sure what tricks the GOP had in their playbook to steal House seats. With nothing less than our Democracy at stake, we educated ourselves, organized, and Got Out The Vote. No down-ballot race was trivial enough for us to ignore.
The outcome? Record-setting voter turnout. Democrats won 10 million more votes than Republicans, the largest margin in a midterm election ever. Voting rose most dramatically within groups favoring Democrats – youth, Black, Asian, and Hispanic voters. Our Blue Wave was a Tsunami. Two years later, we are angrier, more motivated, and better organized. Mark my words – we’re going to boot the Occupant of the White House out with such force he’ll leave an Orange Smudge on the Oval Office carpet. Which Biden’s people happily will clean up with stockpiled Clorox Wipes. (Note to Biden: Save some Wipes for McConnell and Collins).
Here’s a run-down of what he’s recently lost:
- The ability to fill an arena with pro-COVID fans.
- The skill to walk down a ramp without looking like a Blow Up Clown Punching Bag about to tip over.
- Power Republicans, who are organizing pro-Biden PACs, like 43 Alumni for Biden, Republican Voters Against Trump, The Lincoln Project, and Right Side PAC.
- Supreme Court decisions, that, despite the Grifter-in-Chief’s best efforts, expanded LGBTQ Americans’ workplace rights, allowed DACA recipients to remain in the U.S., maintained safeguards in the Clean Water Act, and upheld California’s Sanctuary Law.
- Legal decisions, that give former felons in Florida the right to vote, and green-lighted both the pyramid scheme charges against the Orange Grifter and his family, and the emoluments case, which accuses him of accepting foreign government money via his D.C. hotel.
- His campaign against Colin Kaepernick’s knee.
- The ability to ensure the candidates he endorses win.
- His battle to keep Bolton’s book off the shelves.
Yet, we will have to get through a few very difficult months. When you feel yourself slipping into a Trump-loathing abyss, or lacking confidence in the stellar poll numbers, try this visualization exercise. I think it will help.
Close your eyes and imagine a bloated yam topped by a mop of combed-over, pineapple-yellow hair riding an escalator in Trump Tower. Like the day It kicked off Its presidential campaign, the bloated yam is riding that escalator Down. But now, the look on Its face is pure terror, as half-way down, the elevator speeds up so fast that Its hairspray has no chance of maintaining the integrity of the heavily-shellacked pineapple comb-over. The escalator comes within inches of crashing into the marble floor (recently buffed to perfection by a poorly paid, though uncaged, undocumented worker on Its payroll). The bloated yam of combed-over, pineapple-yellow hair alternately flails Its arms and frantically grabs onto the rails, but there is nothing It can do to stop it. Some of us cringe in horror, others applaud with glee, as we watch the escalator smash through the marble floor, the bloated yam screaming, blowzy pineapple-yellow hair askew, holding on for dear life. But it keeps going, pushing full speed ahead towards the bloated yam’s final destination: Hell.
Yes, there’s more Good News from the Resistance:
- Learn why the TikTok generation is filling on-line MAGA shopping carts
- Thank Pizza to the Polls for feeding hungry voters
- Wonder if the Trump campaign will steal this idea from the Barcelona opera
- Make a deposit in this hilarious guy’s Venmo account
- Chuckle when you learn that Trump lives on Black Lives Matter Street
- Send your extra yarmulkes to these kids
- See the formerly extinct bird that’s back
- Root for these awesome Girl Scouts
- Watch Sarah Cooper
- Take Action: Check out Together for 2020 to learn what you can do to help take back the White House, Senate, and flip down-ballot candidates in competitive races across the country.
Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.
Aixa Beauchamp has worked in philanthropy for over twenty years. She is the president of the Latino Legacy Fund, which she co-founded in 2013 as a partnership between Latino philanthropists, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and The Boston Foundation. The work of the Fund has taken on a new sense of urgency with COVID, as Chelsea, the cultural anchor of the Latino community and home to thousands of immigrants, became the epicenter of the pandemic in Massachusetts. In a recent Boston Globe Op-Ed, Aixa argued that philanthropic funds too often overlook communities like Chelsea. “We would like to believe we can bring about a fair process of funding, but long-held unconscious and implicit biases, cultural differences, decision-making power, and unequal access to funders make this impossible.”
Jocelyn Harmon is a co-founder of BlackHer, a new media company built for the 24 million Black women in the U.S. The online content, provided in BlackHer Weekly and BlackHer Guides, educates and inspires powerful Black women to take action for personal and collective economic and political change. To beat Trump, Jocelyn believes the Democratic Party needs to muster the humility to follow the lead of people who know the landscape, and to expand the electorate by investing in local Black groups now and forever. Read more Good People:
Elaine Ivy is a middle school teacher in Malden, MA, one of the most diverse communities in the state, where over 60 languages are spoken in the schools. She describes her students as funny and sensitive, touched by poverty, mental illness and domestic abuse, children of business owners, refugees, parolees, and war. Now that school is closed, she’s doing her best to stay connected to all of them. Ms. Ivy keeps her spirits high by thinking back to favorite pre-COVID moments with her students, chief among them, presiding over a Gingerbread House Baking Competition.
Good People for the Resistance is a monthly interview with people who give me hope. Today, meet Charles Daniels, who with his wife Samantha co-founded Fathers’ Uplift, an organization that helps absent fathers become part of their children’s lives, and provides counseling to children growing up without their fathers.
In a few short years, Charles has gone from an entry-level social work job to a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow who’s earned national recognition for his work, appearing on CNN and Good Morning America. Last year, President Obama sent Charles a Father’s Day Twitter greeting, announcing, “This man has a brilliant solution to helping fathers reconnect with their kids.”
How’s Charles do it? Through a lot of hard work and, over the years, internalizing the teachings of his childhood hero, Mr. Rogers.