Your July 2021 DEEP CANVASSER

9 mins read

Welcome to The Deep Canvasser, CTC’s newsletter. A quick read to keep informed about our work—and how to get involved. 

From our impact study. How much more likely was a CTC-canvassed voter to vote, by voiting history in prior presidental elections? Deep canvassing motivates even the most disaffected voters.

DOOR OPENER

SCOTUS unshackles voter suppression … On July 1, the Supreme Court gutted enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling—from the court’s new Trump/McConnell majority—encourages voter-suppression bills already introduced by GOP legislators in almost every state, including PA. 

But CTC is fighting back! Deep canvassing motivates even the most disaffected (see graphic above) to overcome obstacles and vote. CTC is looking to hire two new full-time organizers this summer who can take our campaign to the next level. See how you can help, below! 

ON THE STREETS

There’s a Democrat in the White House … vaccination rates are climbing … and summer is upon us. It’s tempting to sit back and relax, right?
But election deniers, coup enthusiasts, voter-suppressors, and anti-vaxxers aren’t taking a break; instead, they’re taking over the GOP.  And that same Republican Party has a strong shot at winning control of the Senate in next year’s midterms. If they do, progressive hopes for the Biden administration are dead on arrival.  

In 2022, Pennsylvania will be pivotal once again, determining whether Democrats expand their majority in the US Senate, or lose it altogether. So CTC is focused on growing the diverse, progressive electorate in and around Philadelphia. And we can’t wait till next year to ramp up.  We need to be back at the doors regularly starting this September.  

To make that happen, we have two key goals for the summer. First is to swell our ranks through our growing relationships with Philly-area groups and individuals.  Second is to hire two new paid organizers to boost all our efforts—and to raise the funds for those hires. 

So yes, enjoy your summer … but read on for how you can help us all be ready for effective action in the fall.


TEAMS IN ACTION … PRIORITY RECRUITMENT

Leading the charge on Philly area outreach is CTC’s newest team, Priority Recruitment, led by led by Pravin Chottera.

The team focuses on bringing progressive young people, people of color, and progressive Philadelphians into deep canvassing campaigns.The first way we  build that is through our existing Philly area friends and fans. A second way we do it is through Friends & Family Recruitment actions, where existing CTCers reach out to their own networks in the area. The team is also regularly talking with Philly area organizations, ranging from churches to anti-bail activists to an NAACP chapter. 

And finally, Priority Recruitment has started concentrating on a new source of potential volunteers: the voters we canvass.

“After the April canvass, it became a top priority to follow up with voters who’d expressed interest in joining our work,” said Matt Munsey, a long-time CTCer coordinating data entry from that action. “I rushed info on those prospective volunteers to the team … and we reached out within a week of having met them. We talked about their interests, and invited them to events where they could learn more about CTC. These are some amazing people with tremendous community connections, who already volunteer for various local initiatives.”

People already involved with CTC are our best recruiters. Do you have connections in the Philly area whom the Priority Recruitment team should talk to? Would you like to help this team with its work? Please let us know by emailing info@ctctogether.org

Together, we’re working to help win state and local races through 2021, and build a strong ground game that can swing the 2022 national midterms.


STAY INVOLVED

Help us find a great organizer!
Do you know someone who would make a great CTC staff organizer in the Philly area (or willing to relocate)? Please share this description with them … and pass it along to your friends and colleagues who might know the perfect candidate.  

Help us hire build our staff and our vision through virtual fundraising! Training provided! 
CTC has many hundreds of supporters. Some of them are on this list, some may not see these emails. A team of volunteers, led by Fundraising Team Lead Carol Smolenski and others, has decided to call folks up, update them on our crucial ongoing work, and invite them to stay involved! Email info@ctctogether.org for a quick training and a phone list. No experience necessary!

Make a donation yourself, right now!
In May and June we received major donations totaling $210,000.  That’s 2/3 of the way to our annual goal of $300,000. Yay! But we can’t—and never want to—rely on just a few big donors. So please go to our website and contribute whatever amount seems right for you. Every donation helps grow our movement, and we appreciate each one.  

Learn more about CTC, and bring a friend!
We have two virtual Info Sessions coming up, on the evenings of July 15 and August 5. You can learn more about our plans for the fall and the many ways to get involved—including learning to canvass. Check out our Events page to register.    


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: MATT KAISER

Matt Kaiser, a DC-area attorney, has volunteered with campaigns for years—phone-banking, door-knocking, or whatever else needs to be done. He started in middle school, when his mom ran—successfully—for city council in their Iowa hometown. “Door-knocking in a small town feels different. People are more likely to answer the door, and less likely to be suspicious.”
 
What drew Matt to deep canvassing is that it’s not transactional. “In other canvasses I’ve done, your job is to deliver the pitch the campaign wants you to deliver. You’re almost encouraged not to relate to the voter as a person.”
 
In Fall 2020, Matt found himself driving to Philadelphia nearly every weekend. “There was so much chaos, between the election and the pandemic and the long-overdue conversation about race,” he said. “Volunteering with CTC felt grounding … It didn’t matter what was on the news or what was on Twitter; every weekend I could go talk to people and, knock by knock, work to make a difference. It felt so tangible.
 
“I’m excited CTC is staying committed to the neighborhoods we were in. I’m eager to see who we recruit to knock on doors with us. And I’m so grateful CTC exists and lets me do this work.”


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

In this new section, the Communications Team will recommend a few thought-provoking links to read or watch.


The latest news on redistricting reform in PA highlights what’s at stake in the upcoming governor’s race.  

Here’s an update on the national GOP’s growing embrace of January 6.  

And after the recent holiday weekend, check out a modern rendition of Frederick Douglass’s speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”


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CTC: building a corps of deep canvassers who bridge political divides and help elect Democrats to take us forward.

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