California Road Trip (Daily Updates)

A series of short video dispatches from my road trip to California.

Day 1

Seattle, WA to Grant’s Pass, OR

Note: I do not own the rights to the background music — “Hero” by Family of the Year — but it is sooooo perfect for this video.

Day 2

Grant’s Pass, OR to Carmichael, CA

In which I brave smoke from California’s 18(!) forest fires to support CA-7 candidate Ami Bera.

Day 3

Los Angeles, CA


Rest day + tourism with mi amiga Valerie

Day 4

Modesto, CA

Canvassing for Josh Harder in CA-10.

Help with Demoralized Volunteers

The news just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?  Here are four simple tactics you can use to maintain volunteer energy and morale:

  1. Self-Care: Maintain your own morale.  Volunteers will take their emotional cues from you.  (Here‘s a self-care refresher.)
  2. Choice: To the extent possible, give your volunteers choices on what they work so they can choose tasks that interest them.  Extroverts will be energized by canvassing.  Introverts may actually like data entry.
  3. Expectations: If you know that volunteers will get a less-than-optimal response from an outreach activity (low voter interest, engaging with opponents), let them know in advance.  Also frame these potentially unpleasant interactions in positive ways, such as “building a new base” or “finding new supporters.”  They will then be emotionally “vaccinated” for less-than-optimal interactions.
  4. Community: Make sure every volunteer activity has some positive social aspect fully controlled by you, such as going out for coffee or a beer after canvassing.  This social time gives volunteers a positive experience of connection and processing regardless of their interaction with persuasion targets.

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Democracy Road Trip #1 – Spokane, WA

Here’s the first of my democracy road trips, which I’ll be taking in the coming months to volunteer for Democratic candidates in swing (flippable) districts.

This first trip is to support the campaign of Lisa Brown, who is running to unseat Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Washington’s 5th Congressional district.

As Jason Kander says, “the #BlueWave is not a weather event”  We need to get out there and make it happen. I’m going to make it happen by making these videos and taking these trips.

I hope you will too.

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Primary Report: 8 Amazing Women

The media has dubbed this election the “pink wave,” and has written reams of stories about how female candidates are running and winning across the country.

While this is great, it doesn’t leave much room for nuance.  Women, despite being of the same gender, are extremely diverse, as the candidates from yesterday’s eight-state primary show.   Here are some of their stories.

PS: Not all women have vaginas, but I believe these women do.

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Something Exciting is Happening in the South

The news from yesterday’s primary in Georgia goes much deeper than Stacey Abrams’ win. It’s also about her dominance of candidates from both parties, including the more “viable” Democratic pick and the anti-immigrant candidates on the Republican right.

The final results are a very hopeful sign for the South, and for November.

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Dem Primaries Show #BlueWave and Rebellion

The primary train moves on, yesterday to Idaho, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Oregon.

Two stories to emerge on the Democratic side are that yes, there was evidence of huge enthusiasm (the eponymous #BlueWave), but Dem primary voters are also not too keen on the sensible, could-win-the-general, more right-leaning candidates their party is supporting.

On the left and right, primary voters are polarized, a longterm trend that seems particularly stark this cycle.

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Primaries Indicate Trumpiness Will not Save Republican Candidates

The first multi-state primary happened yesterday in North Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio.

Each party voted for the candidate they will send to the general election in November and one pattern became clear… Republican voters do not like Republican Congressmen, even very Trumpy ones!

They still want to drain the swamp and they do not want to promote Washington insiders, even very pro-Trump ones from their own party.

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Why Arizona Loss is Still Good News for Democrats

Yes, we lost the special election in Arizona on Tuesday 😕

But… the results are still good news for Dems as we head into the midterms😃.

Here’s why:

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70 Illinois Unstoppables Show Canvassing Matters

You know what canvassing is: going out into a neighborhood, following a map of voters to contact, knocking on doors, chatting, leaving “lit” (campaign pamphlets).

In the Illinois primary on Tuesday, 70 canvassers knocked 17,000 doors in the days before the election. Their candidate won by 1,592 votes.

Canvassing and voter contact really matter and Resistance groups from around the country can coordinate with candidates they support to do a ton of it between now and Election Day.

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