Journal Entry #8: Don’t Feel Helpless About What’s Going On. Do Something About it!

September 21, 2019

If you’ve read our site before, you know I’ve talked a lot about how it’s difficult to avoid feeling helpless at times during the Trump Presidency. If you feel that way, though, don’t! You have the agency to change things if you get involved in a cause you are passionate about right NOW!

Take some inspiration from the following.

I just organized an event as a volunteer this past Thursday for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign at a beer garden in the City of Cedarburg. The beer garden event was completely separate and unaffiliated from us, but we attended that event as a way to socialize and be visible in the community.

Despite the fact that we’ve not yet done mass volunteer recruitment efforts here in Ozaukee County, 17 people signed up to attend that event (not counting myself, another volunteer who helped us set up the event, and another organizer/volunteer for the campaign)!

Out of the 17 people who signed up, 10 made it to the event (not counting myself and the regional organizer on our side of the state). It was a great turnout, and we came out of that event with ideas for two more events we plan on doing in the weeks to come!

To put in perspective how impressive that turnout is, I only need to look back on my previous experiences working as an organizer and volunteer in this county.

In 2011, when we were trying to build a neighborhood team up in Port Washington during President Obama’s re-election campaign, I was fortunate if I got more than five or six people to attend any event I organized. That was the number I got, even with with active recruitment efforts.

On Thursday, we not only exceeded the turnout I was able to get in almost ANY of the events I hosted in 2011, we had a few people attend the event who traveled a long distance just to be a part of our campaign!

Two of the volunteers who attended our event came up from Milwaukee so they could help out and make a difference. People doing things like this is exactly how we can bring about real, substantive change in this state and this country!

I also helped run a bridge-building canvass as a volunteer for the Wisconsin Democratic Party last Saturday. Though our turnout was much lower for that event (we had four people in total knock on doors), we were still able to knock nearly 200 doors, and have close to 50 face-to-face conversations with voters who we’ve either not talked to in years, or never contacted before.

I can’t stress enough how much we need your help right now. Winning campaigns don’t happen by doing things at the last minute. We win elections when we are active in communities year-round, talking to voters, listening to their concerns, and taking actions that help them and set us up for success later on down the road.

There’s a number of different ways that you can get involved right now and make a difference ahead of the 2019 and 2020 elections.

One way you can help is by volunteering for the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Right now, the party is working on not only helping voters get the information they need to register to vote, and engaging with them in Democratic strongholds like Dane and Milwaukee County. They are also actively working to identify the party affiliation of voters all over the state who we know vote, but we don’t know the party affiliation or lean of.

The importance of this work cannot be understated. Right here, in Ozaukee County alone, there are THOUSANDS of voters that we know vote, but we don’t know who they’re voting for, what their interest in voting for our party is, and/or what issues are important to them. These voters are likely to be what changes a race, like the 23rd State Assembly District, from being won by a Republican by a just a couple of hundred votes (as was the case in 2018), to us winning in 2020.

If you care about beating Donald Trump, and helping Democrats win at the state and local level, you need to get involved now.

Another way you can get involved is to find a Presidential candidate in the Democratic primary that you’re passionate about and volunteer for them. Even if you’re disgruntled with the Democratic party, you can help us win in 2020 by assisting a Presidential campaign now.

Beyond that, there are several other organizations that are doing work to help us win here, like Swing Left. Several of those groups are listed on our take action page here.

You should also consider donating what money you can to organizations and causes that you care about. The earlier that these groups have strong funding, the quicker they can hire staff and gather resources that can help them be in tip-top shape come next spring/summer/fall.

We have the power to change things. It’s time to take action!

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