What The Heck Is Virtual Organizing?
Please do as we are doing and prioritize taking care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your neighbors during these unprecedented, uncertain times.
One sign of our times is that, while we’re all carefully keeping our six feet of “social distance,” our inboxes are filling up with “virtual this” and “virtual that.” But what the heck does virtual mean? It’s simple, really. “Virtual” means “do it online,” and if you are reading this email on a screen, you are online now, so you are virtually there!
For example, get a few friends to download letters, set up a video conference, and you can all write get-out-the-vote letters, chat and enjoy each other’s company while staying home. That’s a “virtual letter party!”
This newsletter is packed with how-to details and links about working with each other “virtually” over the next few months as we move closer to November. Read on for details…
Activism from Home
Swing Left’s new Virtual Organizing Hub helps you maximize your impact on the most strategic races in the 12 Super States, right from your couch or kitchen table. The hub details many meaningful at-home activities and provides trainings to get you started. We’ve summarized some of them in the sections below.
As you probably know, a lot of virtual activism gatherings and trainings are taking place by Zoom, a video conferencing tool. The Virtual Organizing Hub gives a thorough explanation of how Zoom works, and you may also sign up for one of Swing Left’s daily Zoom trainings!
Write Letters From Home
We’re excited to summarize new resources that Swing Left has set up to help you write effective GOTV letters at home…on your own or in a convivial virtual party setting.
Here’s how to get started with downloading, printing, and writing letters:
- First, try our online instructions
- If you’re having trouble getting started, sign up for one of Swing Left’s new virtual letter writing support workshops offered every Monday and Friday at 4pm. You’ll see a demo and have a chance to ask questions on a live Zoom call.
- Do you have a friend or relative who is struggling to download letters? Download letters for them, and then email them the PDF to print (along with our writers’ instructions).
Remember: Hold on to the GOTV letters now and mail them in October. (Buy stamps or even envelopes later, or order them online.) FYI, right now we’re prioritizing Colorado and Texas.
NEW! Attend or host virtual letter parties!
Do you miss the motivation and camaraderie of letter-writing parties? Well, they’re back (virtually, of course)! To participate, you’ll first need to download and print your own letters using our instructions.National Zoom letter parties:
Swing Left’s national staffers are holding parties four times a week by Zoom (a video conferencing system). Click the button below to sign up for a party.
Host your own virtual party:
Join one of the national parties to see how it works, then consider hosting your own.
- See the Virtual Letter Party Host Kit
- Attend a virtual letter party host training
- If you are new to hosting on Zoom, you may also appreciate one of the daily Zoom trainings
Phone from Home
Phone for Wisconsin Supreme Court Election (Apr 7)
Help end GERRYMANDERING in a key state!
The April 7th State Supreme Court election in Wisconsin is crucial to the future of fair elections in the state and our national fight to roll back Republican gerrymandering in 2021. The high court in the state will likely rule on crucial issues in the coming years: voting rights, campaign finance, and, perhaps most importantly, redistricting and fair maps.
We’re helping the Democratic Party of Wisconsin flip this seat by electing progressive, pro-democracy candidate Judge Jill Karofsky. We’re calling voters to make sure they understand how important this race is, know who the candidates are in this nonpartisan election, and have a plan to vote—preferably by mail.
After you sign up, you’ll immediately receive training materials, background on Judge Karofsky, and contact information for Swing Left staff who can provide additional support.
Sign up here to call any day between now and April 7th.
Phone for Special U.S. House Election in CA-25 (May 12)
We must hold one of our hard-fought 2018 flips!
Make calls for Christy Smith, a member of the California State Assembly who’s running to fill the SoCal seat vacated by Democrat Katie Hill. California Democrats worked hard in 2018 to flip this district along with six of our other Congressional seats. We can’t let this seat revert to red! Campaign staff will start each session with a quick training via Zoom, and then they’ll be on hand to answer questions as you call.
Text from Home
Our local Democratic Volunteer Center (DVC) is a great resource for getting started. Check out their helpful links:
- Getting Started Guide: Gives you an overview of how texting works and explains how to work with the six most popular texting providers (Indivisible, Open Progress, MoveOn, Resistance Labs, Red2Blue and DNC). Currently, Indivisible, Open Progress and MoveOn have compelling and long-lasting texting campaigns underway.
- Textbanking Best Practices
- Sign up for weekly DVC emails that list texting opportunities (click “textbanking” option)
- Need help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen from Home
We’re working almost in isolation now, sequestered in our homes thanks to Covid-19. While you are doing the work of Democracy from home, please listen to Swing Left’s Podcast – it will help you feel connected and motivated!
In Episode 29 of How We Win, Dr. Karen North (an expert in social media and psychology and a Clinical Professor at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC) explores what organizing and communicating look like as we stay home to flatten the curve. Swing Left’s National Field Director, Marisa Kanof, updates us on how Swing Left continues to organize and stay connected with volunteers and voters.
U.S. Senate Candidate Cal Cunningham (North Carolina): Virtual Fundraiser
This Thursday, April 2nd, 6pm (Donations start at $100)
Join Cal, an Afghanistan and Iraq veteran and environmental business leader, who’s secured the Democratic nomination for North Carolina’s toss-up U.S. Senate seat.
Postcards (Flip the West)
Interested in Flipping Arizona Blue? Write Flip the West postcards on behalf of Mark Kelly and help sign up people for the Permanent Early Voting List (vote by mail).
Democracy Action SF – Phone Bank from Home
Governer Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to be “socially distanced but spiritually connected.” Be politically engaged too! Now more than ever we need Democratic leadership. Join DemAction SF for phonebanks to reach out to Democratic voters. They will train you! Zoom link to follow after RSVP.
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