We all need to do more than we’re comfortable with, right now, to protect our democracy. It’s that simple, right?
In this video, I explain how my road trips project is moving me outside my comfort zone in the hopes that you will move outside your comfort zone to take action (canvass, phone bank, donate, etc.) during the midterms.
This past weekend I participated in an awesome training by Swing Left, an organization dedicated to swinging the House of Representatives to the Democrats in November.
The training had sooooooo much useful information for activists this election cycle. It was also three hours long. (Here’s a link to the full training.) So I’ve made what you might call a TL;DR version, which hits all the key points in 19 minutes.
Here’s the full outline so you can jump to what interests you most:
0:00 – INTRODUCTION
…..0:42 – Sections Overview
1:21 – ORGANIZING
…..1:24 – The Organizing Fish
…..2:30 – Organizing Definition
…..2:39 – Organizing in Everyday Life
3:00 – VOTER CONTACT
…..3:10 – 5 Types of Voter Contact
…..3:57 – Research on What Works
4:22 – CANVASSING
…..4:36 – What to Bring
…..4:43 – Time Required
…..4:57 – Staging Location
…..5:08 – Walk List
…..5:14 – Canvassing Myths
…..5:51 – Data
…..6:51 – Script
…..7:13 – Canvass Buddies
…..8:09 – How Many Doors?
…..8:18 – How Conversations?
…..8:42 – Lit
…..9:01 – Out-of-District Canvassing
…..9:48 – 3 Types of Voters
11:13 – VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT
…..11:38 – The Hard Ask
….12:12 – Different Kinds of No’s
13:14 – TEAM-BUILDING
….13:45 – Ladder of Engagement
….16:20 – A Pyramid, Not a Column
….16:45 – Group Structure
17:35 – CALL TO ACTION
….17:43 – Get Local Alerts from SwingLeft.org
….18:03 – Canvass for TheLastWeekend.org
18:52 – END
The news just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it? Here are four simple tactics you can use to maintain volunteer energy and morale:
Self-Care: Maintain your own morale. Volunteers will take their emotional cues from you. (Here‘s a self-care refresher.)
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.
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.
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.
How do we help all members to feel engaged?
How do we maintain group cohesion when members differ?
How do we stay focused on our goal when we are demoralized?
How do we connect with one another in a fun yet meaningful way?
Vision boarding is a great solution to all these challenges.
It helps us engage with politics and with each other in a new and creative way.
In the video below, arts facilitator Valentina Gonzalez (artclassestoyou AT gmail DOT com) explains how:
The media has dubbed this election the “pink wave,” and has written reamsofstories 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.