White House, Senate, Susan Collins discussed on Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior
Right. So Sara Sarah here with Steve Pearson Mariah Craven of the how we win podcast featured on a swing left and we are thrilled to talk to you guys as welcome to gasoline nation. Were thrilled to be here so thrilled. I think this is such a great match. People get all the information they need from you you all and we tell them what to do with that exactly right. So let's get the slumber party started so tell us why is swing left swing wing left. launched Right after inauguration. Day in two thousand seventeen Was One of these grassroots groups that really got so so much momentum in our focus was taking back the House of Representatives. We didn't know what it was going to be like when we first launched It was a lot of if activated angry people from politics and also from outside the world of politics who were getting involved for the first time and obviously Veasley We built a great coalition with lots of partners. We had a ton of volunteers showed up in an historic election to not just vote but volunteer in the mid terms. And so now were taking that same energy to the White House of course to Senate races news and to local legislatures that will have an impact on gerrymandering. And we can't downplay the fact that hey we did it in twenty eighteen and that was due to all of these amazing new volunteers who suddenly were inspired and had some direction. Thanks to swing left so they could just hop on the website and find out what to do with the anxiety and energy that they had great. Are you in every state. How big is the swing left community? We're in almost every state We have A little over a million volunteers Signed up and some are more active than others. That's what our job is is to make sure that everyone gets active. What we're really good at doing is taking volunteers from blue areas where they need to be focused? This somewhere else where they need to be focused where it's strategically important to get them involved and so that's where we have our superstate strategy. Okay and what's the superstate strategy prodigy and what exactly is that. I was waiting. Just GonNa lay that out. There is a teaser so I mentioned that were involved in the White House. The Senate and local legislatures so when you look at those three areas you come up with a number of states. Actually twelve of them That have a combination of those races. So some cases two or even three of those races on one ballot so strategically when we focus our volunteer energy on in those places. That's where your average volunteer is going to have the biggest impact yet and it's really helpful. Especially Stephen I are in Los Angeles We call call it the double bubble super blue area. Where is our time? Talent and treasury are going to be the most valuable and have the most impact The swing left supersede strategy. Points it out for you and the people all over the country no matter where they live can adopt a state or race or an area that moves them and and get involved. Okay great and so. What are those states in twenty twenty? There's twelve of them. You can go to swing left dot org and we have a really beautiful map map on right there on the website for you to look at. But they include Texas Arizona Colorado Iowa Wisconsin Michigan Ohio Pennsylvania Senior North Carolina Georgia Florida and Maine. I think that's twelve to these. Are the usual suspects that might decide the presidential it intial election or have rampant voter suppression. Hello Georgia Or have a Senate seat up for grabs. Hello main and Susan Collins. These were all after Susan Collins. Twenty twenty-nine everyone should go to Maine lobster and get Susan Collins come on. That's an easy ask. Yeah yeah no I agree. It's everyone's vacation battleground state in two thousand twenty or you're wasting your tourist money. Oh that's a great idea. So walk us through. Do the focus of your show. Obviously in the title but sort of what's your strategy of how you're going to help defeat trump twenty-three or the power of your podcast. I I would say it's a tiny bit Ranchi but it's mostly inspirational and again. The idea is to talk to the people who want to do something thing in two thousand twenty and make a difference and so what we're providing them with is the inspiration to get involved if they haven't yet or to keep going if there are a little bit tired but also practical advice in tools whether it's finding out how to knock on your first door or the best language to use when you're talking to a voter on the a phone or writing them a letter trying to register them So a lot of practical tips. Some anecdotes Stephen. I have both done a lot of field work and I. I think that we have a lot of cool experiences to share some advice on what to avoid And some tips on how to do it. Really successfully yeah. We always you say that action is the best antidote to anxiety so We try to give people hope every episode always give them something clear to do and what is is your background like. What are you guys? Talk a little bit about your grassroots organizing. Sure well I love working on campaigns especially for women candidates. It's of color so I've been doing that for quite some time and have knocked on doors everywhere from Virginia to Texas to California and also also done a lot of professional communications in digital organizing. So I love marrying the sort of traditional started in the civil rights movement and with Labor Labor grassroots organizing with all of these amazing new digital tools that we have That sort of gives everyone a platform and a voice Jason. I think that's what my career has been focused on working with candidates like Kamala Harris and Wendy Davis and Karen Bass here in California Mariah. Araya is an unstoppable force of awesomeness what she is just trying to humanity. As for me. I'm really you kind of represent the people who listen to our podcast and The people that we want to reach through our podcast because I started out as a volunteer I had done some You know phone banking and light volunteering for Hillary and other presidential campaigns but I never really got involved until after trump was elected and then he got really real impact. Well I started saying yes to stuff and You know for me. One of the reasons I'm excited about the PODCAST is because I want to tell the stories as of ordinary people who stepped into this war and found all this great stuff to do in ways to make an impact. I didn't know that was out there. I would watch the news news and get upset and be like well. What can I do about it so as soon as I started doing? This work started as a volunteer with swing left. It opened up this whole world and I found out that we need you. There is so much work to be done and there are places to make an impact and that was really inspiring to me and I took it and ran and it's cool because you know there's this group of if people like Steve Who are new to this bring fresh new ideas in a new perspective and then there are. People longtime organizers who've been out this work for generations rations who bring historic perspective and tried and true tactics and to see those things being married and work so successfully in twenty. Eighteen is pretty extraordinary. I think we're going to look back at this time in history as a huge shift in activism and organizing. It's an an unprecedented era. Which I think is what's led to a lot of this unprecedented activism? I WANNA ask about one of the core issues that voters have historically we had to deal with but even more so now in the trump era which is election integrity. We're dealing with a lot of problems at once including domestic voter suppression impression. Foreign interference mostly Russia but not limited Russia unsecure machines. How would you advise citizens and officials to prepare in advance of the election election? That is the most important question that we need to be asking right now just weeks before people start voting. I think first and foremost is people need to be informed and that starts with listening to gasoline nation. I think which is so informative but reading a lot I think it's so important to know the truth to spread the truth to stay focused on the truth and not to get sidetracked by the gimmicks that are gonna be coming fast and furiously from outside the country but also from the White House itself. I would add to that that all of those things that you so aptly described are happening Are going to continue to happen. So when we look at polls for instance and it looks closer we have an advantage somewhere. We can't get comfy with that. I think we need to have an overwhelming turnout in all of these races to overcome the Republican cheating So that means not just showing up to vote but that means really really showing up to volunteer getting your friends and family involved and just making this a blowout. Yeah having people of Integrity Voting Sharing Information and being poll-watchers responding and I know they're going to be boiler rooms all over the country. Where voter issues voter protection issues? Come up we all need to be the as involved as possible and committed to the truth so all of this is such a feast for me because we on the show gasoline nation. We're not just about obviously trump and pulling that existential threat out of power but we also want to trump proof our democracy because as we I know Yvonne Chaka is coming up next. I mean that's just obvious when you're dealing with autocrats wannabe autocrats as always like a duck dynasty and place and people are at. I thought that was crazy. Doing we're pointing that out in like January twenty seventeen but now there's all these reports coming out that is the plan and so for swing left and your podcast and the work that you do do. What are your ambitions for your entire coalition that you have going here like are? Are you thinking larger than trump. Like do you want to join us and move in together in a big house. Just that sounds fun working all these plans together because I've got ideas we're getting a bunker going all right are you in or out. But no but it's like if you think about. We were to come up with a big checklist. Among our you know with getting everybody involved. What should be on it? It would be election shen hacking like how do we make sure. There's no more debate anymore. Where Elections Act or not act? Can they be hacked. I mean we know they can be hacked. But how do we fight for. Elections carry across the board and that work is being done already as we've featured on our show one example in your state and indivisible group came together and made their own legislation to secure sure there elections in New York state and they're working to get that legislation pass area sponsors in the state government here in New York so in terms of doing that all important grassroots organizing is in coalition building around specific issues to attack the causes of trump. Close the loopholes at the Kremlin advantage of two thousand sixteen when they attacked her democracy and help bring power everything from taking on the social media. Giant's in trying to get like a fairness doctrine passed to rain in the abuse of powers of the media including social media..