June: Mobilizing for the Midterms Part 2
Mobilizing for the Midterms Part 2 - Notes and Major Takeaways
It was an energetic and full house at the Urban Growler for the last month’s Third Thursdays event - Mobilizing for the Midterms part 2: Suburban districts. Thanks to the speakers and all who attended the event. Thanks to Minnesota Indivisible Alliance for hosting.
The speakers: Shannon Riley (St. Croix Valley Women’s Alliance); Brandon Taitt (Indivisible North Metro); Jena Martin (Indivisible MN03); Caren Gallagher (CD2Action); Judy Dunbar (Chaska Indivisible), shared what their groups are doing to engage voters and support progressive candidates. Here are some of the ideas from the event, however this is not an exhaustive list and I may well have missed some. Take a look and see what inspires you to use yourself, in your group, your community, your district!
- One of Ind CD3’s focus is the non-voter - so their messages are tailored accordingly, giving simple information to support people to vote. They leave fliers with voting information on restaurant tables, in coffee shops, hair salons that they are patronizing, talk to cashiers in shops etc. The question they ask themselves is: “How can I spread my message outside of my bubble?”
- They also run a Postcard Project, where individuals “adopt” a voter and encourage them via postcard to vote.
- The Overpass Light Brigade has been holding up election-related signs at high density traffic times - “Defend Truth”, “Be a voter”. They will be developing and continuing this campaign.
- Getting involved in supporting campaigns. Also have encouraged members to be precinct chairs, delegates etc.
- Getting members elected onto commissions to have more say in what happens in their area.
- Rep. Paulsen complained once that it was just the same 50 concerned constituents who kept calling him and participating in actions against him. So Chaska Indivisible now gives their members numbers to prove that there are more than 50 concerned constituents and they use these numbers when they contact him.
- They are also working on building relationships with the community, getting involved in fundraising for homeless youth, doing a food-shelf drive etc., to grow support and impact.
- INM has a very good and popular newsletter that it is worth signing up for - see their Facebook page.
- INM has helped support a series of billboards in the area to get their election messages out.
- They have also been focusing on supporting their members to get elected onto boards, commissions and into office in the legislature.
- They are about to start doing direct voter contact.
- INM holds B-B-Qs, etc., to build relationships and sustain interest.
- There are a lot of very strong candidates in their area and they are encouraging people to door-knock for and donate money to them.
- This is an umbrella group for many smaller citizen activist groups in the area.
- They have developed an excellent website with lots of information on the elections. It’s a great resource - check it out.
- The website also has a section called Congress Watch which is excellent too.
- With any actions that they ask people to take with them, they aim to include a fun element.
- They encourage people to walk with candidates in parades. Caren always carries Action CD2 info cards with her to give out to people where she can.
- She also recommends people connect with candidates through the candidates own websites and ask ”what can I do to help you?”
- Commit to get other people involved (family members, friends. neighbors). Always bring someone else along with you. Be ready to have uncomfortable conversations.
- Write letters to the editor of newspapers on important issues.
- One of their aims is to increase women’s representation in the elections.
- They are focused on flipping 4 seats in their area.
- They have a postcard writing team. In February they did an Adopt-a-Voter postcard campaign, to support people to vote in the special election happening in their area.
- To counteract the waxing and waning of interest among members, they find that getting together regularly is very important.
- They emphasize “persisting forward” rather than “resisting”.
- They do pop-up billboards and also have a flash mob team (who can turn up at short notice at events - at least I think that is what it does?).
- SCVWA has put together a Political Action Team whose focus is fundraising to support their activist work.
- They have stopped using specific lists for door-knocking and just knock on everyone’s door.
Other ideas that came up:
- Pledge to door-knock twice a month from now on. A good FB group for this is: Two For Blue
- Attend a campaign fundraiser.
- Contribute to a campaign and get $50 back - Political Contribution Refund
The next Third Thursdays will be on July 19th (6 - 8.00pm, at Black Dog Cafe), hosted by Indivisible North Metro. Our understanding at this time is the session will focus on election skills - door-knocking, phone banking, having uncomfortable conversations, etc. More details will be confirmed next week. See our main Third Thursday event page here
SAVE THE DATE as we continue to work for success in the 2018 elections!
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Third Thursdays Social Resistance Gathering is a new series taking place on the third Thursday of each month. The event is a chance for community members to come together, socialize, learn and re-ignite their passion to continue the good fight protecting progressive values in Minnesota. Third Thursdays are a great opportunity to dig deeper into issues and find out what you can do about them. Get notified of future Third Thursdays. Follow Third Thursday's on Facebook.