1 Episode results for "John Fass"
How We Register Voters with Ethan Todras-Whitehill
"I will not let him Welcome to episode four of how we win. We are chronicling the run up to the twenty twenty election and every week will share these stories from the field all over the country ordinary people are stepping up and doing extraordinary things things. We'll give you the tools. You need to jump in and make a difference right now. On today's episode I sit down with the executive director and Co Founder Swing Left Ethan Towed Whitehill doc youth and talks about how swing left all from an idea to a national organization that has empowered thousands of volunteers to help win critical elections and national national voter registration date is this Tuesday September twenty fourth will highlight some of the different organizations that are registering voters and let you know how you can help to no no matter where you live. I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Raven and this is how we win How dare you do this Mr Speaker attacking democracy if you believe democracy works show so that was North Carolina State Representative Deb Butler and she won't have any of the Republicans tomfoolery no no I th I loved that I people if you haven't seen that video. You should watch it. It's powerful for those who don't know what happened. In North Carolina's legislature on nine eleven while the Democrats were at a memorial the Republicans snuck into the legislature to have a vote and veto the governor's budget cheating and they'd been trying to override the governor's veto for two months and it took the majority of Democrats being gone for them to finally be able to do that so it was it was obviously intentional and strategic and as as we heard deb Butler wasn't having it and and I say you should watch the video for that because you know she's trying to call for a a pause on the vote and a guy walks up to her desk and reaches over and turns her microphone off. How dare you sir whoever you are and then she turns it back on and her her fellow Democrats surround her and let her know keep talking. We're not gonNA. Let them touch you. They protect arrester yet. They turned off Mike. She grabs someone else's Mike she would not stop. Thank you deb Butler for being an example of what we all need to do. We can't can't stop and we've got our eye on you. Republicans right another big thing in the news is something that that's a trigger warning. Supreme Court the Justice Cavanaugh is back in the news because of a piece that was in the New York Times over the weekend detailing more information about really warrant behavior in College where Deborah Ramirez came out and talked about what it was like to to be assaulted by by him and really credible allegations that many people have witnessed and talked about and the FBI I did not investigate in fact many of these people reached out to the FBI to share their stories and didn't have have any success reaching people and and go on the record twenty-five possible witnesses that that the FBI did not interview now the in there in the news replaying Cavanaugh and the hearings and all that it's it really is triggering to see this guy outright lying to the Senate and and refusing to answer questions and the bullet belligerent manner in which he conducted himself certainly in my remind in in many of our not even remotely the kind of person that should be serving at the highest court of of our land so many of our representatives are calling for impeachment each moment right and we'll see where that goes but again this is a case of people stepping up being really brave in many cases as their lives being turned upside down for it but standing up for our country standing for what is right and making their voices heard and we have not made it easy Z. for these women and we're not making it any easier for for women to come forward in the future which is really disappointing and disheartening and another brave woman Deborah Ramirez coming forward and it's another it's another indication I think of how seriously Republicans lukens are taking on wanting to hold onto the judiciary. Yeah that's a great point. I mean the Republicans are incredibly well organized iced when it comes to the Supreme Court. It is the thing that motivates them. It's the thing that motivates voters It's why they try to stay in power at all cost Democrats. We have a lot of great organizations who do work to support the courts and to support liberal judges but we just don't. You're not hearing our presidential candidates. It's talking about it. You know on a campaign. It's not something that really brings us together as as Democrats and we need to be clear eyed about the implications of having having conservative judges on all of these courts devastating yeah we can't just say our daily prayer for RPG we have to we have to support the organizations and advocates that are that are you still sending her vitamins. I send her a vitamin of the month club. Oh yeah lighting candles started of the month club so and then we have some brothers and sisters on strike the GM workers striking the united auto workers and we support our unions we support workers or advocate for themselves and using our collective power you know well. I think this week. GM stands for greedy Mo- foes these workers the union and the taxpayers build them out Yup. Yep and now they're making record profits and billion in profits last year twelve billion in profits and the the workers aren't seeing the the the benefits of that. NOPE nope they've James closed several plants trying to cut benefits in wages despite the twelve billion in profits they've made so the workers are striking for wage and benefit increases reopening. Those closed plans adding adding jobs retirement benefits. You know basic stuff that the we've fought hard you know our union's especially have fought really hard to ensure for for our workers so we'll be watching that and we stand in solidarity with our striking workers. That's right and some reasons for hope in some mm-hmm really good developments. There was an article from the Associated Press that millions of dollars in donations have been flooding into democratic organizations especially funding local and state elections. We are reaching nearly the same amount raised by Republicans. Wow with grassroots individual the nation's yeah I think people are as time goes on have a better understanding of how important the state legislatures are and also how the how they're a a bench for higher office as well so we're really investing in states and people over time and you know the tea party showed how does how to do it. we remember in two thousand ten when they had their wave go into office and it wasn't just the a house which was probably wear it got the most attention but in state legislatures and we've been paying for it ever since governor races and all of those things we have been paying for it. I mean I mean that. We've talked about it on previous episodes. That's where we really build. Our power is. Locally you know Virginia. We talked about last last week. Those elections are coming up and this is an opportunity to have the trifecta there to have the Senate the House of delegates and the governorship and passed the era and protect people's healthcare and all the things that we can do when we have that so really really important so I'm really smart our strategy yeah so I'm I'm thrilled. People are doing it. We got to keep it up. Republicans have deep pockets and we're the grassroots. We've got some buckets too and we've got more. There's more of us. They may not be as deep as the corporations but when you put them all together. That's how we compete exactly so Let's let's talk about some stuff to do this week. What we have coming up for people to jump into action we talked a couple of episodes ago about Greta thumper those young Swedish environmental. Oh activists right who is here and she is leading promoting a youth climate strike this Friday. She's GonNa lead all your kids right out of school to save the Planet Yep. You'RE GONNA have to figure out what you're going to do with your kids now. There's rallies events all over the world relates not just here in the US one hundred fifty countries. I think that's right that you are planning on on taking to the streets to demand action so I support this. I support my daughter doing this. I support following these young people who are concerned about their future and we should be to are you going to drive her to the protests after work. It's probably better that she take the bus. Yeah she'll walk. She'll walk doc is better for the environment also on your to do list for the next week national voter registration day and we're going to have some specifics ethics for how you can get engaged with that a little bit later on in the podcast but this is an important moment and in this day of Action Chirac has been gaining momentum over the years and it's just a great. I think great idea on a great launching pad. You know what my favorite autumn holiday is. Pumpkin spice Latte day no national voter registration day. That's even better. It's the best holiday but guess who participates in it that Republicans oh right. It's not National Democratic Registration Day true. It's National Registration Day voter registration day so Republicans are out there registering voters you guys so we need to be doing it more. We want to register voters more voters than them right and we talk a lot about voter registration how powerful and important it is to be doing that right now and and we're that's an area that as volunteers we can really help out. I don't want to give away the whole interview but even talks about when you have a presidential candidate who's an incumbent and not not facing a challenging primary. They can do things like Obama did in his second term which is register thousands and thousands of new voters. They have the capacity to do that. When you have a crowded field of challengers of fry in in a primary the candidates just don't have the capacity to do that. They're focused on persuading people vote for them exactly they're making their case and they're doing that so that's an area where we really need to step up because we're at had a little bit of a disadvantage from the Republicans in our abilities to register voters right now so violent or the campaigns are at least so as volunteers. That's what we really need to focus John. We're GONNA talk about it more. After Ethan lays out really well great. Let's get into it so we get to toot our own horn a little bit for this interview as I speak with the founder and executive director of swing left Ethan told us Whitehill Ethan had the idea that should be easy for every citizen to make an impact on our democracy by connecting them to their closest congressional swing district. I'm excited excited to share his personal story with you. That also happens to be the story of swing left Ethan. Thank you for being here as to you. Thanks so so you're a writer live in western Massachusetts. What what were you doing in two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen before the election well I had been in a travel writer for a while a root off the New York Times travel section and then when we moved my wife life and I moved to western Massachusetts and we had her first kid became a lot harder to do that kind of work. wasn't much to read about around me and I could really travel for trips anymore and so I kind of had settled into routine of of teaching G. Mat Classes online like people you WANNA get your. MBA The entrance examination Benicia for that and then I was working on them. I was working on a novel. I'd like four hundred some odd pages of a novel. Wow wasn't a novel but it's it's Kinda. Complicated is based on my sister's experiences in this hotel in Libya reporting according on the Arab spring kind of like with a heavy oversight from Qaddafi propaganda forces and then it kind of spiraled into some sort of a surreal post truth fantasy so we'll see if it ever sees the day. Are you still working on it. Oh no no I don't have time. I haven't touched it since keeping lawns yeah so what's your family like like your. Your parents were a political. Did you grow up in a politically minded household what grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan which is sort of a liberal bastion but outside of that that no not particularly you know my mom's a feminist. She raised me as a feminist and the she would do things like she paid for me to come back from college. Vote for Hillary Clinton for Senate you know was up in school in Boston so or like my one in big political. Volunteering thing was in the two thousand eight campaign. A was in northeastern. Ohio helping topping out actually went up running. Geo TV for a small Democratic counties office in Northeastern Ohio near Youngstown and it was it was that just you know week of political experience that even that even got me need. You aware that there is such a thing as you know. Volunteers making differences in elections and seeing seeing the ways is that people could move the needle especially in those last couple of days. How did that election go. It was pretty good. It was pretty good for me is it was it was it was pretty emotional as it was for many people but I flew home on election day and I was watching the returns turns with my wife then girlfriend and it was it was when they called Ohio that they called the election for Obama and that was pretty you know emotional like I had been doing like sixteen hour days for a week there and so yeah so that was what got you off the bench. That was your I political experience organizing. I had also done light organized like a bone banks for John. Kerry and done little canvassing in two thousand four as well okay but that was my first sort of big so tell me about the big idea for swing left. How did that evolve. You know it was going back and looking at some of the emails that that that I wrote like first of all it was literally ten. AM on the to the election right. I remember having you know giver people have different responses to distress right and we all you know had like a really really sort of moment of traumatic stress following trump's election or if you're listening to this you did people have different responses and you ever you ever like mess up and then just like the first thing you do is immediately. How can I fix this. How can I fix this. How can I fix US right that tends to be my response rate like I have to fix that have to do something to fix this to it was just like kind of like a compulsion and and drop my daughter off at daycare and I went to the coffee shop in Amherst and sat down and tried to work on my novel. Which of course I couldn't? I had this compulsion to do something. What could I do and I had remembered voting for is actually the first time voted in Western mass and I remember a couple of things that struck me one that there was no other Republicans on the ballot in my district besides Donald Trump right and so I was I was reading the back of my mind was just all these safe districts all around the country and then the other thing that was in my mind was just the the historical record record for when you have a new president the House of Representatives usually swings against that new president in the midterm year right and even more more strongly when one party has full control and so that that and you know that like a wave election in that situation is the norm not not the exception right and so knowing that we were only twenty four seats down in the house. I felt like we were set up for a wave election. We are set up to win back the house but I also the third feeling I had was hadn't done anything. Materially to Support Hillary Clinton had a two year old daughter and it was just you know just hard busy life exactly and but I had a tremendous amount of guilt over that right right like I put like I'm with her sticker on the back of my laptop to show Bernie Sanders people in my town too much in western Massachusetts in the minority forty yeah I would. I would have supported pretty standards. If he was the nominee I like them both but like there was a lot of that like animosity towards Hillary Clinton once when she became the nominee and right so that was like the most I did and of course it wasn't a lot so I had that guilt and had that needs to do something and I knew to my district wouldn't matter and I knew it was all about the house and so that just led to my just desperately searching around on CNN dot com looking for a district that could make a difference and I found a New York nineteen which is district just across the border. My parents actually spend half their time in that district. I partially sort of grew up in that district so I was like. Oh Okay Yeah nineteen this is this is something I can do and I wrote this start to read. This facebook post saying you know near Nineteen is my closest swing district. John Fass only beats effort by eight percent. You know we can change that. I'm going to focus on this in a AH twenty next two years. What are you going to do and I stopped before posted you know because like I'm sort of like just young enough so that anything thing that I have to take ten minutes to do feel like there should be an APP for great and just kind of on the edge of that millennial generation so I was like wait a minute. I don't have the excuses just laziness. Wait a minute. Why did it have to do this work. Why isn't there something to do this for me. And that's when I got the idea of a tool to show people you're close to swing district and I went around and looked around and there was there was didn't didn't really exist and so I called up my best friend from high school. Josh just sold a marketing company living in San Francisco and his wife Miriam another good friend of mine who was a brand strategist and I told them about this idea and Josh like wait. That doesn't exist you know we should we should we should build them. We build this okay and and Josh is the perfect person has like this this this great like manic energy when he gets his teeth into into something and so he just started like rolling on this idea like calling up all of his friends and marine brought in the design people and and like very very quickly we we had a working tool like by mid December we we designed website. We had a working tool. We had it all built all set up and I wanted to launch it as soon as possible. I wanted there for Thanksgiving. We didn't get it there for Thanksgiving. We're talking about launching it for the holidays but Michelle now our our our chief marketing officer and and also friend Josh Miriam From College. I was like no no no you gotta wait for the right moment and we did this. All this preparation the launch around she's wicked smart the preparations the launch around the inauguration but even with with all that preparation like. Oh you know what does success look like what. What do we think we can do here. so we've got you know if you have twenty thousand people signed up to start taking back the house now like that'll feel good like by. March I if we can get that that'll be good and we have like ten times that in four days after we launched it was just like the most overwhelming experience in my life. I lost like fifteen pounds and stress over like a week. It was it was insane. I was one of those people signing up early and so inspired by the work that you've done so what what were your expectations when you first launched what did you you think. GonNa Happen with it. We had no idea what we were doing right lake. I gave you my political background. I was by so far the most experienced political person on on the team that launched swing left. We just knew that we had to do something and you know everywhere everywhere else around the country. People were doing similar things. They were getting together with a group of people saying what can we do. We have to do something right as Lia from indivisible. We're doing the same thing put together. The indivisible guide right in that gay people in imprint and people were just like you know getting together with people saying what can we do and and so you know we gave people things. Let's start working to take back the house right. Now and people like you sort of heard that and said okay you know message received. Let me go off and do that right and and it was just like just just a little bit of I don't know a he in the beginning. We weren't like offering much right like we were saying like. Here's a name here's a thing we can do. Here's just one little tool to help you do it right yeah and that's always started with. I personally get really emotional when I think about the work that we've done over over the last couple of years the way that these groups organized what impact I could have on people that I I didn't know was even possible until this this window. This platform for me to organize opened up. It's really emotional for me and I'm humbled by it. This all started with a germ of an idea in your brain. Here's there's a like a swing left logo right here that someone made in put over here. I mean this is. This is your your baby that you created. Do you get the opportunity to take in the impact that that you've had on so many people will think the but it it doesn't it doesn't feel like it. It's definitely not mine. It's just like you said he's a tremendous yours. It's definitely it's definitely just a German of an idea that I had and by the way there were a lot of other people who had the same idea. We got contacted by other people. you know said. Oh I was going to do something similar in fact one of the guys who helped us build it had the same idea got connected to us before we launched right so so it wasn't like the most groundbreaking idea was clearly a thing that we needed. I just happen to know amazing people to help build it and and then an and we did it in such a way that you know it just gave you permission or something like it was like I weren't really that much we just created a little bit of a channel and idea a message a brand and and and and people like you just went off and just did amazing leasing things with it and I mean I. I think you know that's what I'm always like sort of reflective on like like the like when we said okay here's the thing then you can do start canvassing in your close swing district. You know folks like you like okay. I'm going to do that for every weekend from now until the election and then I'm GonNa. Bring you know tons of people with me. Folks like you doing that. That hard work I think was was what was so inspiring and you know. It's what allowed us to sort of like you know. Increase the profile and get media coverage and get funding to support the efforts and build the organization was because of what would folks like if you were were were building in districts all across the country with six hundred thousand volunteers all across the country. We're doing and and but but you're right. I mean when you said gave permission to do stuff. I remember literally writing letters to DNC. I wrote a letter Gavin newsom campaign. I wrote a letter to the ACLU like right after trump was elected looking for a job right. They were the most I gotta dig up these these letters because they were so naive like hey you know. I've never worked in politics but I've got a completely changed my life because this won't stand and and swing lift wbt gave so many people an opportunity to really you know do work. I mean I think the thing that I'm most proud of. Is that like we had this incredible like everyone else. Incredible need this desire to do something. That was tangible. That would make a real impact towards this. You know this it felt like just a wrenching reversal of course in the direction of our nation and I think the thing that I'm most proud of is that the thing that we built helped unlock so many other people to do something the thing that we built to do something became a conduit for anyone to be able to do something and and that's sort of like I think the thread that we hold long-term with swing laughing. We realized that while we were building this campaign to take back the House and what what we were really building was just like a way for for anyone to to make a difference in the elections that matter most in the way that folks like us from from outside of politics would want as a way to get involved because before there wasn't a way where you're searching around. I want to do something you go to like. You know all these places and there's just no easy way to connect and you know We just had a really simple interface. Put in your Zip Code. You know find your closest wing district and get to working and this time around. We're doing our best to sort of like simplify the complex arrangements out there you know the complex sort of like political necessities awesome and all the things and that's. I think what long-term Richardson doing. How can we make things et. Make it as simple as possible to get you from your your intention your desire to do something something to actually doing something that makes a difference in the elections matter most for our country so speaking of elections that matter the most. I November two thousand eighteen midterms that night election night where were you who were in who were the US we had a couple of little like swing left brooms around the country right so with some folks in New York and mark our head of coms as like a shared room in his apartment building in kind of a little conference room we had the TV set up there. We'd a budget you know computers. We're looking at the stats and man there was there was there was a tough our in their remember that when like the southeast returns things and we lost all those races in Florida I remember because I was out knocking on doors till the bitter end right and I and I remember going to houses and having people being like I don't know it looks it looks bad like when I was talking at the doors and I'm like have you been to the polls yet. no I'M GONNA go a little bit. I go right now. If you think it looks bad go right now. Make sure you vote no because we basically we won a couple. We won the district's that we were supposed the post to win and then it wasn't looking good any of these sort of like the bubbles some some of the districts that we needed to win like Virginia's seven needed. We need a number of those tossed districts like Virginia Seven Virginia to Florida twenty six but because I guess like the rural returns it come early in those in those districts and then and things started swinging back we started winning districts you know in the Mid West like Michigan and then you know we started to creep back up in like you know eventually one Florida Twenty six in Virginia to in Virginia seven but and then things just sort of like and then the call comes in Democrats. Take back the house. Yeah I mean it's it was like you know it was like a slow build. I think honestly I think the most the most emotional moment for me was when we won New York nineteen like like that was that was kind of like the thing because you know my my parents like I said we have a house in the district attend you know they they went out knocking doors for Delgado like six or seven times never signed up through our swing left system awesome so we have no record of them. Thanks mom thanks but they're very proud of what you've done. I knocked Delgado and I got to meet him a couple of times and you know that like just like the connective thread for me from like having that post saying hanging work to flip New York nineteen and that district which was a lot of people didn't think we'd necessarily win even if we won back the House House so when when that one flipped burst into tears and called my wife because she was up you know muscle mass and that was emotional moment for me because like I think the actual like we're GonNa like we're GonNa win with. I think we're GonNa win you know what I mean so actually call the came on the TV we had already figured out that we won by then so it was a little bit of anticlimax you. Kinda need. There's some kind of a flashpoint moment and for me. It was New York nineteen. I I didn't get that immediate gratification because I live live in California. We lost those races in California too. That was that's the other thing right. I mean if you think about it. If you remember you know look Blake. Okay we squeaked out a win in the house but it was like lower than the the brick shins where you know like the over under his like thirty five seats or something right and it was looking like he was going to be like like twenty nine seats on election night and of course it went to being forty so and of course we had. I think the other big dampers you know Stacey Abrams loss yeah Andrew Gillum loss and those those are those are big blows. You know that was a real chance of sort of like break. Republican Tri Factor in sort of like key swing states ahead of redistricting in two thousand twenty one and then and of course you know okay. We flipped the two Senate seats. We thought we could flip them. We lost three key center as we had a net loss in the senate although it looked like like we were GONNA lose Arizona to even on election night and that sort of like came in later so it was it was a better verdict than than we thought initially and so he's that that's funny. Expectations nations game right like if you're expecting to sort of talking about thirty five human thirty seats like even though like we just work back the house and we took back the house us but it wasn't as many seats as people were thinking so there was a little bit of a reframe your emotional response to the election two weeks afterwards. Let's talk because a little bit about swing left moving forward into twenty twenty and what really gives you hope for the coming campaign and what we're doing well. I mean in what what would people did in two thousand eighteen is just remarkable. You know the amount of volunteer energy and we we we talked all the time about how can we make this until like you and we want presidential level turnout weaned presidential level excitement and energy and I think we really saw that particularly on the last weekend and so I mean you know that so many people would take their time and take their money towards midterm election. I think gives me hope going into a presidential year there. Are there are different things that I'm concerned concerned about which is one you know. How can we take all this energy right now and make sure it's not doesn't just get burned up in the presidential primary which is a really the important process to figure out who the best candidate is unfortunately all the money and the organizing that goes into it doesn't really have a huge effect on the general election because most of that doesn't happen in the key. Eh Swing states you know what we're focusing on terms of our super states. So how can we you know get as many people as possible working for the general election raising money registering voters ars etc and I read recently that the Obama campaign the you know all the interested particularly like they registered like one point eight million new voters. That's a huge boost to that to to that process and if this primary really drags out you know the eventual nominee won't have the opportunity to build that kind of of of organization that kind of machine gene so that's really worrisome to me and then the other piece. Is You know how we also make sure that benefit people are are are expending dozen in just work for the presidency works for other key races down the ballots. Senate House and St Ledge in the Super States That's I guess that's that's that's more sort of like a micro specific political level but what gives me hope is as is just how many people when we gave them a simple way to be strategic that they really like that. You know what I mean. You know we send we. We did this thing. last summer called like the immediate impact fund that you know people were kind of asking for version of like. Can you show me the places that need the money the most and then also you know the money will go the furthest. I'm like okay. That's actually not hard to do so we did that and put it out and that like there was like a donation email that went viral right like liquor strategic donation email that me like the the first team was like a quarter million dollars or something and it kept raising money for weeks like people. Were just like forwarding around to your friends that you want to do something. Here's like here's here's a smart strategic thing to do so that gives me a lot of hope is that a lot of people do really want to be strategic with their with their time and money and that's kind of what we're really focused on right like as we build this organization would transfer it really from a campaign to take back the House to an organization. That's what we're really thinking on. How can we help you with whatever a little or a lot of time and or money you have. How can we make sure that is absolutely spent in the best possible way that translates I know to the most votes where we need them and I think you know people think of us that strategic focus and so I have hope that as more and more people are ready to do something you know they'll join groups like yours who are already doing this work still every weekend kind of thing and that more and more the people will be you know working in these more strategic ways in the ways that basically are going to help us win in two thousand twenty right and that's something for me not not being super political before. I started doing this work was very helpful to me just to have like a good focus and good direction and know that Bang Bang for my volunteer hours in Buck we're going to make an impact so I think that's important for anyone. Listening to this to know also that this is really really impactful work and you think about it too much you can just jump in and start start making an impact on these elections and some of these things you know like we science show that that they're effective and we also understand like canvassing chemistry. Was Our big focus last cycle. If you ever go canvassing which I understand scary if you haven't done it but once you finally do. It's a little bit addictive because it's it's it's so like it's almost like so retro like you. Breaking through people's electronic bubbles is not like the network you have on twitter. It's like Oh you're just gonNA random neighborhood and knocking doors and you don't know who you're GonNa meet but that's Kinda like that's the beauty and the magic of it like there's a reason that works turn out the vote because you're you're just breaking through these bubbles. I remember we went out and knocking doors for Lisa Neubauer in Wisconsin Supreme Court race with fortunately we lost but like I was like just knocking doors and telling people like you. Do you know how important this this the Supreme Court races. You know it was like no there were like I vote in the big election. This is a big election right. They're gonNA steal the Supreme Court for General Wisconsin Supreme Generation J manning and all this and at the okay no I'll vote like you can really breakthrough it would probably also it is. I'll go back to my house now getting and yeah. It's just a really powerful thing or like like the you know the handwritten letters that we're doing this time around it's like would you ever throw it a handwritten letter. You get a letter addressed to you're going to open that thing yeah ray away and so you're GonNa be you're gonNA break through people's bubbles and that's what we have to do when trying to contact voters we have to find ways to sort of to to get through through to them and say hey you know registering votes really important are turning out to votes really important one of the cool things about the the letters that I learned when we started doing that which made so much sense a lot of young people who is part of the rising electorate that we're trying to register to vote love getting in letters because no one ever sends them a letter. They never ever get a letter anymore right. It's just not part like for us. You know we might go through mail and stuff but I never get a letter. I love getting a letter. You know what I mean like. I don't know I just think there's there's something there's something powerful about it and the other thing that's incredibly powerful of course just just registering voters and I think the interesting stat that I learned that I honestly I keep confirming because I keep doubting it but it's true is that eighty eighty five percent of registered voters voted in two thousand sixteen right any five percent. What could we hear like low turnout fifty seven percent but that's of the voting age population registered voters typically vote in presidential election right right and so you know we last last cycle we focused on turning turning people out to vote because registered voters don't typically vote in midterms and they do typically unpresidential. There's a lot of research that shows the absolute most effective thing you can do and presidential the election cycles is registered voters and the place to register them of course is the Super States where two thousand twenty s give me one loss and so there's a pretty easy thread for people to understand why if they go to like a letter writing party or whatever the read a few hand letters why that would actually make a difference it'd be like a registered voters the most impactful thing to do and if I got a handwritten letter I would open it and look I mean and we're you know we're doing a lot of tests to sort of like the constantly kind of improve its rates but intuitively you understand why such a thing can make an impact well we have plenty to talk about and you'll be hopping on and talking a lot as we move along the road to twenty twenty and talking about new stuff that we have in the works in new stuff that swing left launches this as goes but what parting bit of advice. Do you have someone who maybe as activists curious has never been involved. It has never been involved in politics. what would you say to them. I mean I think that's more. That's more your realm me. it's just. I would say sign up. I would say like once you do that first thing it it. It's really just a lot more rewarding rewarding than you might imagine. You know what I mean to do. Something tangible to know if you sit down you know read a bunch of letters. You go knock on doors. You're earning being votes. You're registering voters like you're putting points on the board for Twenty Twenty right now you can do that and I think that's just not a thing that we're all aware aware of that. That's something we can do and if you do it once. I think you'll find you know like you did that. Is something you WanNa do it again and again. I remember you know had been canvassing for a while. We we went out for the Ohio twelve special election and then I just wanted to get back and knock doors and I and I was just my my wife's getting angrier anger or you can that I couldn't get out to New York nineteen to knock doors and get out there again till the last weekend but like I just had this. This desires like oh man I want I want. I want those votes. I want those those points on those people. Let me talk to him. Let me let me earn some votes for our side because you really can't do it because we we have the votes we have you know way way more votes than Republicans out there. We just need to get our people registered and we just need to get them out turned out to vote and and each each one of us can do that and that's the really liquefy Ethan. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your crazy schedule glad you're here in L. A. no thank you. Steve for everything you do it. Before we start talking about voter registration day and how now you can get involved in the interview. Ethan talked about how we empowered all these super volunteers to step up and do work. I WANNA recognize someone right right now. and activists in volunteer super volunteer name. Edwina Warner who unfortunately passed away last week she organized a her swing left group from the very beginning and was so viscous unflappable helped elect Gill Cisneros narrows in California District Thirty Nine and her group was pivotal in that and she was a force and she's going to be greatly greatly missed well well. We're so grateful for volunteers like Edwina and they are a reminder that there are so many ways to get involved in all of this and many many opportunities to get involved and in her honor. Let's talk about some coming up. That's right yeah and of course our favorite holiday of the autumns uh-huh not Halloween. You don't need all that. Candy is Voter Registration Day right. That's right. It's coming up on Tuesday in this big national push to engage aged volunteers to go out and register voters all over the country so when we talk about voter registration we know that the most effective way to do it is in person so if you're in one of our superstation one of these key states. We want you out on the streets. There is two ways to do it. One is by going door to door for we canvas and knock on doors and make sure that people are registered to vote also make sure that they pledged to vote for a Democrat in the election we can can get really useful data from the people we talked to which are really important to the campaigns later on as well so there's a lot of great stuff we can do knocking on doors the other way we do it is have street teams and go into high traffic areas right and I have to say people are so excited to register to evo-. When you go out and approach them about it I recently did a canvas in the summer where we ran into you someone we had registered to vote two years prior and they had voted in the midterms so we got to see like the impact of the work and they were really really excited to see are the folks who who sign them up to vote so it's a it's such a rewarding feeling it really is sides yeah yeah and as soon as someone on figures out that you're not asking them for money. Oh yeah yeah they're they're like okay and and people are really engaged so you know in in politics right now and what's going on in the world so so they WanNa talk and and you end up having some conversations with people one thing that I remember an article from last year and I don't have the the siding for it so you just have to trust me but it it made sense anecdotally and it also makes sense emergency of the work that we do registering voters `specially young voters the article said that if you register a young person when they had the first opportunity to be registered so high school and college aged kids first eligible to vote they will vote and they will stay engaged in politics politics pretty much for the rest of their life. Oh Wow if you don't get them. Their first opportunity to vote it is incredibly difficult to get them engaged until there thirty thirty. That's a long time to go without voting that is that is and that's why we have this big block in our electorate is not engaged. I in politics because they don't get engaged early on and they just stake disconnected to it so there's a lot of great organizations that are doing work specifically the in high schools and colleges. It's really really key to get young people involved in registering right now we start with the young people and older people in your life but they're also formalized voter registration drives and you can visit a number of websites websites including national voter registration day. Dot Org as well as a whole list of of groups that maybe we can put on social media using the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty people know your where to go. Yeah we'll highlight some great groups doing voter registration work some of them and we'll put them on our website to move forward which is a great organization that we work with where you can write letters to potential voters to get them to register. Ethan talked about the letter in writing that we do a little bit It's a great organization in a way to get involved. If you can't be in a super super state rock the vote has been a great great resource especially for young people these are websites where you can go on and register online yet. Voto Latino League of women voters also doing incredible work getting folks registered Yup and vote dot org is a fantastic resource makes it really simple and a shoutout to a local group called field team six which is spreading out across the country and doing really great work registering Democrats if you haven't seen them yet though probably be in a city near you soon right so the very least go to national voter registration day Dot Org and you can find find a list of events near you putting your zip code or do the same thing swing left. Put in your Zip Code and find ways where you can register voters. Let's blow hello this number out of the water on Tuesday. Let's make it the biggest voter registration day for Democrats. We've ever seen I love it. Let's get register. You're pretty sure we don't have the rights to that but I'm GONNA. Put It on anyway. Nobody will wreck tune coming out of my mouth anyways sir. Thank you for joining joining us today and thank you for stepping up and taking action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved we get registered in. Our work has to start now now. Also we want to hear from you. Who would you like to hear on the show. What topics do you want to discuss. Share your own volunteer story email us at podcast at swing bring laughed dot. Org and thank you to everyone who has subscribed thank you and rated and given us reviews you haven't yet please do subscribe on Apple or wherever else you get your pods share on social media let people know about us and use the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty and you can check out our page ages swing left dot. Org Slash podcast and of course as always signed up to volunteer here really appreciate you being here with us and we're excited to bring when you more from the field next Wednesday.