I spent the last couple of months of the presidential race making calls for Biden/Harris, an activity that introduced me to the amazing work of political volunteers across the United States. When the Democrats’ Victory 2020 introduced calls in Spanish — Llamando Contigo, calling with you — I found myself buoyed by the positive energy of Latino Americans in Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona. Can we count on you? I’d ask. ‘¡Si, por su puesto!” “¿Como no?” Yes, of course, came the response. [OK, yes, I do love the way Spanish lets you know when an emotion is coming up by inserting the upside down punctuation. ¡Si!]
When Joe and Kamala won, I felt the elation of a nation lift me up. I had been part of the blue wave.
Now, I’m putting time into the final election of 2020, the January 5 runoff race in Georgia. The entire country is aware that the control of the US Senate lies in who fills the two Georgia seats, and Democrats are engaged in supporting the campaigns of the Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Fewer voters (even in Georgia) are aware that there is a third race underway.
Let me tell you about three organizations I’ve put time into these past six weeks, and how to get involved.
After Stacey Abrams lost the 2018 governor’s race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities, and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state – efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.
Stacey, if we had 10 of you, we could rule the whole world.President Elect Joe Biden during his recent visit to Georgia
Fair Fight promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights. Click here to get involved in this community empowerment work.
Often we are told as Latinxs that in order to get ahead we need to just work hard and not ask questions. We believe the opposite – we need to hold our heads high and speak out. Mijente helps people do this through campaigns, connects people across a wide network and serves as a hub for culture, learning and advocacy.Mijente website
Mijente (“the j stands for justice”) is an advocacy group representing Americans from Latin America and Puerto Rico. Its FUERA TRUMP campaign is hard at work in Georgia right now on the Warnock and Osoff campaigns. Their energy is infectious.
United democratic headquarters (UDH)
A coalition of grassroots progressive Democrats in California is at work in Georgia in support of Daniel Blackman in his run for the state’s Public Service Commission. Through its English-language and Spanish-language calls, United Democratic Headquarters (UDH) has already generated upwards of 37,000 (early) votes from Georgians who did not vote in the general election. UDH is small but mighty, with the most comprehensive volunteer training and support of all I’ve worked with this year. Its focus on engaging with people is all heart. I’d bank on this group to keep at this essential work between elections.
Click here to Organize. Resist. Vote.
Democrats can beat republicans on the ground
Democrat Donna Shalala == Hunter College president when I was there — who lost her November bid to retain the Miami congressional seat she won in the 2018 blue wave, attributed the loss to Republican dominance on the ground during the pandemic.
We were being careful because we followed science, but we’ll have a record to run on in 2022.Donna Shalala speaking on the PBS NewsHour
Democratic community-building, one telephone call at a time, will be essential to engaging voters in the issues that matter. There is no cost and any amount of time is fine. The systems hide your telephone number, the conversations are scripted, most people are pleasant, and you might just find yourself laughing out loud with delight at populist democracy!