As I talk to people within our Dems and Friends community, I’m surprised how often I hear people say that they’re waiting for the election to get closer to volunteer, because there’s nothing important to do now.
The data clearly show that to win an election — especially in a red-leaning county like Henderson — we must get to work right now. If we wait until election season is in high gear, it may be too late.
A good example can be seen just next door in Georgia where Stacey Abrams’ long-term year-round organizing had a tremendous impact in the 2020 election.
I find Abrams’ work especially hopeful for two reasons:
1) Georgia has many similarities with North Carolina in terms of demographics, and the power MAGA Republicans have held. 2) Abrams’ contributions prevented the GOP from gaining control of the US Senate. If that hadn’t happened, our whole country’s situation would be much more dire. Earlier this year, the Guardian published a fascinating article on the Abrams phenomenon. The subhead sums it up nicely: “Abrams did not win the vote, but she created the conditions for increased voter turnout among key parts of Georgia’s electorate.” Abrams led a grassroots coalition that registered, engaged, and educated voters like never before. Here in North Carolina, the current GOP-controlled legislature has enacted new barriers to voting that are very similar to the ones the Georgia GOP used. Unfortunately, most voters are not aware of these changes.
If we want to accomplish what Abrams and her allies have done in Georgia, we cannot wait until election season is in full swing!
Anderson Clayton, our new North Carolina party chair, tells us every time she speaks that we cannot be complacent any longer. I would add that we cannot be stymied by our “red county” situation any longer, either. We are making progress. AND we need help from everyone. Our informal socials bring new voters to us, and we need hosts every month. Our precincts are key to organizing, and we need phonebank volunteers to help them get going. We have lots of events planned for 2024, and we need volunteers to plan and staff those. You get the idea – we’re asking for your help now. Even if we don’t win many seats in the upcoming election, we can certainly increase voter turnout, which is the first step toward creating change. We can also impact our state-wide and national outcomes. If Georgia can do it, we can do it too! Volunteer, donate, bring a friend to an event. Every bit helps. Thank you again for being a volunteer! I hope you find the work rewarding. Please help spread the word that now is the time to pitch in!