20 Episode results for "Mariah Craven"

Welcome to How We Win

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

Welcome to How We Win

"Welcome to swing laughed how we win. The two thousand sixteen election changed everything. Our country is seen seeing an unprecedented wave of activism on the left. People are waking up showing up and in two thousand eighteen we elected a blue Nami Democrats to the House of Representatives negatives but that was just the beginning now. We need to win back all the houses every week. We're going to be hearing inspiring frontline stories from activists leaders politicians titians celebrities and political insiders and we're going to give you the tools you need to make an immediate impact on the races that matter most we can't do this without out you so join this movement and be part of history. The Best Antidote for anxiety is action. I'm Steve Pearson and I'm Mariah Craven and and this is how we win.

Mariah Craven Steve Pearson House of Representatives
This is How We Win

Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior

00:00 sec | 10 months ago

This is How We Win

"I'm Sarah Cancer the author of the bestselling essay collection the view from Flyover country and the upcoming book hiding in plain sight. I'm Andrea Chalupa a filmmaker and journalist and the writer and producer of the upcoming journalistic thriller Mr Jones which is now open in theaters ars in the UK and this has gas clinician a podcast covering corruption in the trump administration and rising autocracy around the world. And so oh we are very honored to share with you a wonderful conversation with two exceptional guests. Today we're talking to Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven of swing lifts how we win. PODCAST Steve Mariah break. Take Down The strategy for twenty twenty on how we can be taking steps right now right now to join a community swing left community and work to elect progressives to Congress in both the House and the Senate to take back that Congress. So they're going to go through that entire strategy. This is such a central conversation. Please bookmark this discussion. Listen to it again. Share it with fifty friends. I'm dead serious right an email. Listen to this and send it to everybody you know and ask them to listen because we are dealing with an existential crisis in the form of the Republicans stealing yet another election in two thousand twenty and the way we avoid that from happening and our democracy being game over here in the US is by staying engaged learning where we are needed which states desperately needs to show up and get involved and it's by taking those key actions now by fighting our hearts out now we will have less greater sacrifices to make later. Should the worst happen as we're seeing. In this atrocious news cycle from from the Republicans stealing a trial and the impeachment trial Donald Trump in the senate by not allowing evidence or witnesses in voting to acquit him. That's not a trial trial. That's a rubber stamp of trump's corruption by the Republican Party which is just as complicit as he is in stealing elections and so forth so the way we avoid things from getting even more or horrendous where people have to protest the protesters and Hong Kong and Ukraine and so forth is by doing our civic duty. Now these are the good old days that were living right now. This is the easiest easiest chance we possibly have in this moment of time is to just get strategic. Find out where we're needed and show up there make phone calls knock on doors. If you don't know oh how to do those things. Then listen to swing left. PODCAST HOW WE WIN and Steve and Mariah walk you through that now here. They are pleased again. Tell everyone you know about this discussion. This is not a drill. This is such an immense moment in our country's history it's a critical turning point and we all need to show up to prevent the worst from happening and twenty twenty twenty our last big chance to do that. All 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. So where do you stand hand on using your big grassroots engine to try to attack those specific issues and build a larger coalition around specific issues to try to protect our democracy from an avant trump presidency. Well I certainly want to do that. I mean I think we can all agree there. I'll say two things about that that I've really seen happened in the last year or so with not just swing left but all of these great grassroots new organizations that have cropped up like indivisible first of all I'm very involved in the California Democratic Party Ardi I'm now an elected delegate and I'm Lead chair of our voter services committee which is would be better named the Election Committee. And I've seen a lot a lot of my colleagues who started school of trump right started right after trump was elected who also joined in with the Democratic Party structure and are bridging those gaps. I think that's really important for all the things that you talked about in terms of pushing progressive legislation pushing election integrity legislation and having these new voices from the grassroots involved in the party. That's going to sustain this movement and make go beyond just trump so that's one thing in and it's been really exciting to see all these fresh voices inside the party structure and the other thing. Is the presidency obviously takes up so much air in the room these his primaries and all the elections. That's what everyone pays attention to. That's what gets covered on the news but the local legislatures the opportunity. We have to win back some state houses before the census comes up and draw fair lines in these local legislatures. That is a once in a decade opportunity to do really really what the Republicans have been really good at doing and that securing Their strength from the local level. Yeah I would say for election protection in particular are a lot of this is gonna come down to funding. The states need funding to Upgrade their election systems and and protect them from hacking a lot of of that will come from the federal government which is why we need to flip the Senate because Senate Republicans have been holding up election funding and allowing it to trickle out last last minute when we needed to be spending it to three years ago but also it comes down to flipping these statehouses like Steve was saying to ensure that there's there's also state funding to protect our elections as well and then I think what we're building to. Your point goes beyond a movement of resistance. What we are? Hopefully early building is a group of people that can be activated. Every time it's necessary which probably moving forward is going to be all the time and I think a great example example of that is here in southern California we built a coalition of grassroots and labour to help flip a bunch of House seats including the twenty fifth Congressional district. Unfortunately the person who got elected resigned suddenly at the end of last year and all of those activists were ready to mobilize at a moment's is notice so that we can make sure that we hold that seat and you're talking about Katie Hill C.. Correct yes talking about Katie Hill in the twenty fifth congressional district and unfortunately Keady unexpectedly resigned at the end of two thousand nineteen and now there is a special election coming up in March to fill that seat and Republicans and in quite a few Democrats are running. When is that special election and how is it leaning? Currently special election is on March third. So it's coinciding with California's early primary. We have a super Tuesday primary this year and so it's coming up very quickly and again. We are suddenly faced with Republican interest. In this as well as several seats that we held flip in Orange County so The Republicans have a lot of money and a lot of people that they're running in these seats so we can't let our guards down ever because they never will and I'll say Mariah's point it's been really encouraging an amazing to see the volunteers like just jumped right back in you sort of wonder when you have some Groups have put so much energy into a candidate and then sadly they resign and they're disappointed they get burned out by. That will show up again and it's been like like they've been kicking off canvases already. It's the tendency has been crazy. People really fired up to hold onto that seat. So that bodes well for us moving into twenty twenty anywhere here. I mean the Katie Hill. Saga Kinda opens up this really dark dirty era of Republican politics. You see people like George Popadopoulos a felon considering running for that seat. We're dealing with a new type of GOP. Like I've referred to it before for as a crime Cole. I don't say that lightly and it's a gop that doesn't seem to respect autonomy or integrity in politics in general we're seeing behavior you're You know before you mentioned Stacey Abrams where they're just flagrantly corrupting elections. They're exhibiting obstructionism like when Mitch McConnell blocked the Supreme Court they ignore subpoenas. How do you deal with a party like this just seems to have completely abandoned even following the pretense of following rules like how did Democrats fight back to that? Well we gotTA show up. The vote is the most powerful tool we have against oppression. I believe leave. That's a Lyndon Johnson quote and People who have been sitting on the sidelines need to get off the sidelines. You know we're at a time in history where it's not just about at civic duty but it's about stepping up protecting our families against what's going on I mean I I grew up in DC. Remember a time when Republicans and Democrats craft could have really heated. You know very contentious debates but then pick up their kids from school together and hang out and having mutual relationship and respect my brother's a Republican who worked in both Bush administrations who thankfully wants nothing to do with the trump administration. Those times are gone. You know we are at a very odd dark dark point in our history and it's up to us to step up and like we talked about earlier. Show up in overwhelming numbers. Hits really the fighter our lives and So you talked about the census. Could you explain the high stakes of the census. Where are we right now? With that. And what's at stake Sherzer. The Census and says will officially begin on April first and what the census determines is. How many congressional districts each state gets and how how much federal funding they get? Those are the two of the primary outcomes of the senses so we need as many people participating as possible and what happens after the census in twenty twenty one is congressional redistricting so based on those census. Numbers States will redraw congressional districts. If you live in a state that has some weird looking congressional districts. It's probably because you have a Republican controlled House. That is doing some really funky line drawing so that they can keep the majority of congressional seats in their state by doing some Wonky Funky Cutie weirdly shaped fun looking maps. They're not so fun. When Republicans are in power and so I think that Ah this is comes down to again with Steve talked about is participation and we live in a state where there are a lot of difficult to count populations we we have a lot of undocumented immigrants in California? We have a lot of rural areas where people don't have reliable Internet access and this is the first census. That's it's going to be taken primarily by the Internet and we have people speaking a lot of different languages and so when we undercount we risk losing in congressional representation and we risk losing federal funding for things like education and health care and really important Things like that and also oh electoral votes to correct electoral votes as well. Do you get paid to. I think you get paid to be a census taker. You can't miss. Census is hiring in communities right now. particularly people who speak multiple languages. So you should check out in your community if they're hiring but there's also also going to be a massive coalition of organizations that are working together across the country to make sure that people are not undercounted and so there will be many volunteer opportunities as well. If you're not up for another job walk us through what the path to victory looks like in twenty wanting twenty like. How do we win the White House? I read this horrible analysis. It was an excellent analysis but the verdict was troubling. That trump could lose lose the popular vote by even bigger margin in two thousand twenty and still win the Electoral College. It's still possible So what are your thoughts on that. And what is the road to victory in two thousand twenty for the White House for a Democrat. Well I don't like hearing that either. That sounds terrible But you know we talked about our super states and we know that you know sadly because personally I think. We need to abolish the electoral. College doesn't make any sense to me. But it's the system we have right now so there are some states that will have an outsized sized influence on the presidential and those are states that we really need to be involved in the early work we can do to build these volunteer teams and the early work. We you can do to register more. Democrats Will pay dividends one thing that I didn't realize about presidential year elections close to ninety percent can't of registered voters vote in presidential year elections. Because I know that as Americans terrible voting right about fifty percent of the electorate votes but if you're registered to vote you're gonNA vote in a presidential election so the more work we can do to registered Democrats now. The more Democrats were going to have showing up in November and the other piece of that is like Obama for his second term launched a massive voter registration campaign and registered Tons of Democrats because he had the ban with the do that he wasn't running against anybody else. But when you have a bunch of candidates running a contentious primary. They just don't have the resources to do that kind of registration work. So that's where we can step in. That's where organizations like swing left and others can step in and register lots of Democrats. I also think I think one of the things that we have to be wary of that we saw the last time around was a primary that so contentious contentious that it prevents Democrats from voting. We can't afford to do that. We can't afford to say my candidate didn't make get through and so therefore I'm not going to show up and vote or I'll I'll vote for the Green Party candidate so far. None of my candidates have made it through. But I'm GONNA do everything I can to get. Whoever does make it through elected? Steve Always says unifier die. And that's the motto. That we all need to live by and then again. I think if you can take your summer vacation in Wisconsin Michigan Ohio or Pennsylvania this year. Lv Amazing or Florida. Even right. That's a lot of people vacation in Florida the summer and and you know in addition to your beach time dual door knocking and voter registration. Ration- right and I'll say just a double down on the unifier. Die Thing a practical thing. We swing left actually has a unify or die fund that we partnered partnered with our friends at pod. Save America just to expand our PODCAST universe here and it's money that is held in escrow until after the nomination happened so you can donate to the unifier die fund and all that money will go to the candidate that makes it through this summer. Yeah you can put your money where your motto who is elected. Yeah we say stop the bleeding twenty twenty. Any of those leading Democrats will stop the bleeding and not to Belabor this point but I will say on on the ground a lot of the activists and passionate people that I've met who were really torn up in two thousand sixteen. I'm not feeling that same kind of stuff stuff going on with everyone right now. Even people who are really passionate about their candidates they also are ready to lay down and work hard for whoever makes it through the nominee. Okay so I'm hopeful that continues. That's true and I feel like the bots. Their strategy in twenty sixteen was to rely on those divisive measures. Divide and conquer and it's almost becomes easier to spot a bought now because they're so harsh and trying to be divisive and at some random obscure cow with a bunch of numbers and its name so it does make it easier having this more of a united spirit this year two spots for sure. So how do Democrats keep the House. Oh that's an important question and again. I think that the danger of this presidential election sucking the air out of the room and feeling so victorious after twenty eighteen is saying oh well we flip the house. Our work there is done. It's definitely not we say here that we are renting those house seats right. Now and twenty twenty is going to be about Buying them meaning that they are now securely the democratic incumbents so we have to hang onto those seats that we helped flip type in two thousand eighteen and be on the lookout for additional seats that might be up for grabs. So I know everybody's kind of tired already but we can't can't let our guard down on those seats on those house seats in favor of the presidential and we'll be adding on our map on the swing left dot org map. We're going to be adding the congressional seats that were really going to be actively defending and Maybe a few that were going to try to flip as well to very very soon. Okay Great and then the Senate do we have a chance of winning the Senate in two thousand twenty. Yes yes we definitely have a chance and that it really is what everyone needs to be focused on Because obviously a like what a terrible scenario to take back the White House hold on to the House of Representatives and still have Mitch that would be the worst locking everything in the Senate but we only need to flip four Senate seat for Senate seats and hold the ones that we have or three if we win the presidency right and so I mean. We flipped. How many seats in the house last year? Forty forty forty forty one like three or four seats we can. There are some that are squishy than others where we really need to focus our energy on. We have a lot of friends in California who've made Arizona their raison d'etre and Colorado Texas Georgia North Carolina. Hello Main Main Iowa these are all places where really need to be active so we have to flip four seats in the Senate in order to win who were the four. Most I reported or Republicans in the Senate in two thousand twenty. I think that that seat in Maine. I think that the tide has really moved against Susan Collins and she's getting some pushback from Republicans as well. I think that we have a good shot in Arizona. China that's going to be a really interesting race to get mic sally out. I'm really you know keeping an eye on this Lindsey Graham's competitor as having some strong fundraising numbers. So that's GONNA be exciting race to watch so Lindsey Graham could be possibly the on the way out. Do you think that would be miracle ice moment but I'm still excited about those fundraising numbers. I'll take the question that we get. Probably the most that I get the most is Mitch McConnell's got like twenty nine percent approval rate. We just won the governor in Kentucky. Can we get Mitch McConnell out. Can We vote him out in Kentucky and I think that that's a really appealing race to work on. But you know maybe not the most strategic. I mean it's Kentucky is Still Kentucky. Were building a good scaffolding. There we you know we did get the governorship back but I think we need to register a lot more Democrats before that looks looks like a really good bet to win back. The Senate but like Maria said North Carolina Actually Arizona. We have to take that Texas also you know is is Potential and Colorado is one that we should be able to get. It's been left has identified those seven seats where we are most likely to flip the Senate and in the grand scheme with so many activists and volunteers. Seven is a doable number. To Focus People's efforts on. I'm curious what you mean by Kentucky is Still Kentucky. 'cause you brought up two points that seem in the fever of You Know Democrats are at least getting rid of McConnell which is that. He's incredibly unpopular and they now have a democratic governor again granted a heir to the throne you know but I live in Missouri You Know Visit Kentucky Kentucky I when I go there I Kentucky is a Purple State That is often mistaken for Red State. And I'm just curious what you think of all those kind of dichotomies Emmys that are put out there like red and blue and this state is worth in. This state is a lost cause. Like why wouldn't it be worth it to go hard in Kentucky. Look I think if you have the ability to go hard and Kentucky and your round there and can go knock on doors. If that's your area then you should do it. You know There was mixed results in the Kentucky election last year. No doubt and as you said The new governor was sort of the heir to the Throne Matt. BEVINS' the previous. Republican governor was roundly disliked by Democrats Kratz and Republicans alike just intensely unpopular. The legislative seats all went Republican right so I think it is moving purple purple. It kind of feels to me like Virginia eight years ago. Maybe you know we need to keep working on that and keep building our infrastructure there right and that's really what it's about. It's about building that progressive infrastructure election after election. If you look at Newt Gingrich's district in Georgia. which was the birthplace of this rabid republicanism? We've seen under Newt Gingrich that was deep red. And then Jon Ossoff like a hipster. Posterchild came in and didn't win. But of course gave their republicans run for their money and then Lucy. Macbeth came in building off of that progressive infrastructure. And she won and now a black woman holds Newt Gingrich's former C.. That's phenomenal a proud gun. SAFETIES sensibility leader. It's just really exciting to see all the progress that's been made even when we don't win but we are building a progressive infrastructure election after election. So could you talk about that a little bit in terms of of Texas and Georgia now and what's happening there. Yeah I think it's a great point and it's an important reminder like you said that even if we lose it doesn't mean that we're not making forward progress. I worked in Texas on the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign in twenty fourteen and talk about it confusing state. That has you know Austin and also some of the loose conservative parts of the country and they for whatever reason. Keep electing Ted Cruz but they also elected and Richards and so you know that kind of gives as you oh but also as a reminder of how quickly that and how far that pendulum can swing so in two thousand fourteen coalition of groups in Texas. who were behind signed? Wendy Davis for governor built this unprecedented ground campaign. They talked to so many voters. They've registered so many voters. It was incredible and we lost by a lot but it laid the groundwork for what's happening right now which you know in two thousand fourteen never would have imagined that somebody would say os x's says might be on his way to becoming purple but now here we are. And so that's why doing the work now is so important and thinking thing again beyond trump thinking out the legacy that we're building as progressives for you know a better future for our country and our democracy is really what the ultimate focus says. Yes exactly and what advice do you have for people who feel overwhelmed by the crises were being hit with I would say jump in and You know whatever your ban with is whether it's We mentioned a lot of our superstar. Not everyone has the ability. Most people don't have the ability to actually travel and go knock on doors but we do have letter writing campaigns where we can right. Get out the vote letters and registered people by mail Through our partners with vote forward. Those are really fun to do and really easy to do with the Group of people get together with some friends and Write some letters. Make some phone calls. I owned banking is still one the most effective things that we can do. Yeah I mentioned that I got into this really from my own sanity. You know my family. After trump was elected I have A now seventeen eighteen year old daughter. We were all under the covers freaked out and I had to do something. I couldn't just sit on the sidelines. And what I found was his great relief in getting into action. It really did alleviate my anxiety so I would just recommend for people who are Really upset and scared. It's a scary time. Try Stepping out of your comfort zone a little little bit. Do what you can and I promise you you'll feel better and you will find this amazing community to support you as well Talking to voters will make you feel so. Oh good and the fellow volunteers that you mean will have a transformational effect on your life really. Well when you choose to do this work it absolutely transforms you and it sets you on a journey that just goes beyond your wildest dreams and and it's it's wonderful and so I appreciate all the work that you guys are doing. Thank you for doing it and we look forward to talking with you again and our focus is on not just feeding trump but defeating trumpism trumpism in America. And so we're in it for the long haul together. I love that we're with you too. 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Steve Pierson & Mariah Craven from the Swing Left: How We Win Podcast "It is fascism, which is how I broke my hand"

Stephanie Miller's Happy Hour Podcast

00:00 sec | 9 months ago

Steve Pierson & Mariah Craven from the Swing Left: How We Win Podcast "It is fascism, which is how I broke my hand"

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We're like hanging to the left. We're GONNA swing swing your giant club the left Travis podcast the websites swing left dot org. It is Steve. Welcome you guys. This is fantastic. Timing thank you yeah I almost too late but yeah we incurred swearing. This is the happy our podcast and we can just say we're fucked if we don't vote in this election right that's good to know because on our podcast. I used pissed and my mom didn't like that. Yeah she's like that's very strong. Moms fucking bug up podcast. I will not. I will not tell her. We've before you got here. You have some giant if the people on the video casts can see of a giant black thing which I assume was sex dungeon related. You said I guess after being released from the Dungeon I punched a fascist. Oh it was a cross fit alright injury so cool Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven. Right of the swing left podcast. You Guys Win Party how we win right. But I mean it's obviously you are both come to this from activism right. Yeah you you are from show business and your wife on my test. Show my disastrous late night. Show in nineteen ninety-five. No my wife. She was playing scully sister X. files at the time. Yeah Okay but she remembers me. Fondly Nineteen Ninety Five Stephanie. Absolutely without a doubt I was nicer then. Very old and bitter now but good. Yes I remember her. I remember the name but yes she did a test show that see. That was nice of her. And did she say well? This show's GonNa fucking get canceled. But I'm going to do it anyway. No she's a huge fan. She loves listening to you now and then and now as as we all do. Aw thank you so tell us about okay. First of all. Let's let's let's meet. Do we have some eldest do so. Let's meet Stephen Mariah shall with Steve Pearson and his family like so many Americans were shocked and terrified. Trump was elected in November. Two Thousand Sixteen now an activist and community organizer. He spent the last three years using his entertainment industry background to do everything it could help build this movement and support democratic campaigns Mariah Craven. Who A CRAVEN. Who is actually quite is an activist writer and political consultant with more than ten years in organizing with other experience with organizing people to create change in recent years. You've focused on helping more women people of Color. Lgbt candidates to office you've developed Oh campaigns for Comma Harris. One of my personal favorites. You Super Sad about I was pissed and sad so sad about a you know how. Great the EN- diverse the Democratic field started out and then all of a sudden all of that was gone. Yeah Yeah in the most diverse party right in the I just It's a lot of things we start in these two little white states. It's money and politics. It's all of it that just a is a must be for some people that worked so hard on the ground must sometimes be disheartening. I mean also Mike Bloomberg getting disemboweled. Leslie Putting All those with Warren though is a credit watch moment of your on fire and he was totally unprepared. Which Kinda knew. What was my favorite tweet travis? Unsporting Elizabeth Warren to rip off both of Mike Bloomberg's arms and punch him in the Dick with them. But I'm for it anyway. So obviously you guys in where was what was your background in. Show business that you bring to well. I've worked in post production sound. Actually I own a sound studio in Hollywood And just really convenient for its supercup for podcast. I grew up in. Dc A group political family in DC. And Okay Cool. It would tell me about yours while my dad was counsel to President Johnson and Oh might Johnson. Beat my dad. By a seventy Zillion vote I dad and Goldwater so right. Well okay. This got really awkward and tense all of a sudden. The only. We're not GONNA only three was when my dad was obviously the architect of Johnston's win. No I'm getting. Yeah so anyway I I grew up in. Dc moved out here to get in the entertainment business and kind of put did your dad come up with the Goldwater Miller in your guts. You know they're nuts. Yes that was head you. I'M GONNA give it to him fucker. The nuclear bomb explosion commercial. We're all on the same side now stuff. That's all on the same side now runs deep. Man We'll go ahead. Yeah well you know that was it. I kind of Had My fill of DC thought and Came out to California got into the entertainment business and never really got that involved Volunteered on campaigns. A little bit phone bank stuff like that but it wasn't until after trump was elected that I felt like I had some missed opportunities to make up for. Yeah don't you feel like last night was a perfect example of you know they often come to Hollywood for help? Pray with ADS and Michael. Bloomberg is obviously paid a lot of people not only is he paying people to play like texts positive things and tell her friends and like but the ads the money spending. You're like wow. Those are really good. The tweets a really great the way he's going at trump but they realize last night it's like he's the great and powerful. Oz. He's not right the ads. He's not the tweets like all right. That's the Real Bloomberg not the ad. Bray no substance there but that's you can only do so much right with ads and you know you can ask as many instagram influencers. You want by this means about you but then when you have to Face Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as little trick here. I. I'm sorry I will vote blue. No matter whom just like you guys but I asked God damn she is. She's real deal she is. She has agreed a fan. She's Mike candidate of choice. And of course I will Swallow whatever have to swallow and but this thing that sounded bad. This is happening and appropriate Thing like Brian Linda lovelace primarily. I swallowed follow. But I will say this. If you don't have your candidate of choice that makes it through the primary and you have someone even that you really don't like you know you vote for him. You gotTa Vote Blue. No matter who but you don't have to give your time as Mariah says time treasure and talent to that candidate we have some really important Senate races. That need your help your ideas done unless we get a a blue. Nami as we call it right. Yeah getting sounded and the House. He said you guys swing left as a national grassroots organization of nearly a million volunteers working to build the critical early infrastructure needed to to trump and the GOP very important Set up in set up a decade of progressive victories by flipping the White House. The Senate and key state houses the will determine redistricting protecting our Majority in the house all of that. Is that the the hard work. A lot of people don't realize that you got this is why like one of our friends just ran for school board. Like you've gotta cool run right whether it's state local. Yeah I mean all of that stuff I think is what's been neglected and it's so key because of redistricting right. Definitely up and down the ballot. We need to have blue seats. And what your friend is doing by running and hopefully wearing is built. Oh great now. He's part of a pipelines or he or she is part of a pipeline. That can you know. Move Up. And and take progressively more powerful seats. And that's what Republicans have done right so well so long. Yeah now yeah now. I'm sorry it got very passionately pointed right in your face right up to what you were saying about like getting out and supporting a local candidate or maybe maybe that's not your first choice for president but you still vote blue but everyone talks about going top down like it's at the top of ticket but at the same time when you have like somebody who's running for. Congress going door to door knocking like ao see did last year or so. That makes it personal for you and if you have a Democrat coming to you and asking you to vote for them. I think we should be a top bottom. I'm saying we can go bottom up on this. I'm saying we should go bottom up on this because you know you're gonNA interaction with that person than you are with the president. Well also like you know working on local legislatures that are key to gerrymandering which is where our focus is. We have a once in a decade opportunity to draw fair maps after the census. Oh there are some key state house races that we have to win investing in those not only does it pay dividends for a decade as I said You get a lot of bang for your buck. You know the the little bit of money in those races goes a long way for those candidates and and to your point. People don't always vote down ballot. They show up and vote for president maybe Senate and then they leave those local races blank. But if you're investing in the lower the bottom up approach they do tend to vote up the ballots. Yeah hold that thought. Hey you know friends who's been swinging left before it was cool to swing left swings. His big stick way left bill press. Oh Yeah -IRLFRIEND bill. Here's the latest news about my good friend. Bill Press Bill. No longer does his progress morning. Show that doesn't mean he's gone away no way right. He is now out with a great new. Podcast of the bill. Press pod drop twice a week check out. Bill Press pod. For bills interviews with some of the countries leading progressives like maxine waters marple con Jamie Raskin all roasting donald trump yummy roast rusty plus his lively into the week round table three of Washington's top political reporters counting on the latest craziness from the White House Congress and the twenty twenty Democratic primary for years. Bill has been one of the leading progressive voices in the country. I'm glad he's still out there on the left stronger than ever. I encourage you to join me by subscribing to bills new podcast. Go to wherever you get your podcasts. Search for the Bill Press Pot Click on subscribe and you're in for a true progressive experience on the bill. Press pod swinging his big stick left. Swing it bill. I love the title of Your podcast. How we win because you know as we keep talking about. We're sway wanted to have you now. It's such a perfect time with all this infighting you know you're having the level of guest gastrointestinal distress that I'm having primary but Yes but that's that's critical win. The word went how we win gives people the tools in his brazen to get involved Gives LISTENERS THE TOOLS. They need to make an immediate difference. That's what I love is that you're you're entertaining but you're obviously telling people not just where we are and we're in fucking crisis and this is a crisis in democracy but here's what we do about right. It's like wait till Manno keep saying it's not enough to just say here's where we are. What do we do and so? That's what it sounds like you guys are talking about and to Travis's point like being assaulted by grandparents is. You're so sweet you see face to face contact. Saving Democracy robot from Kevin McCarthy's district. She's so much happier now. We win when we go out and talk to voters face to face like that. It's a pretty simple idea. But it's hard to. It's hard to do. People are scared to do it with us and our and our show like you know. There's a million political podcasts out. There you know we're not the news. Were what you can do about. We thought we were the only one is that. I haven't. I've only listened to yours but I've heard this other. Yeah I the only one that matters right so So we really do want to be constructive and give people great things to do every week. because Just like we saw in the midterms love. This dog is just like we saw in the midterms with this incredible amount of volunteer energy. The helped us flip the House of Representatives. That's what we need in this election. It's not it's really not enough for your listeners. To just show up and vote. We need people to volunteer to. We need them to get five of their friends to come. Vote with them. Yeah I love how you describe you say two thousand sixteen changed us. We woke up. We're fighting back in two thousand eighteen. We've talked about the house in a massive blue wave but that was just the beginning now. We're looking ahead to how we transform our government in twenty twenty And so You obviously had a great guest list not just politicians celebrities political insiders. You've had a lot of our beloved Senator Boxer Cecile Richards on Saint People. We've had on a Senator Chris. Murphy Billy eichner Fantastic Christine Pelosi Representative Karen Bass. Who How many interviews have we done with her? We always hang up and say that's terrific great bass that's great. That's GONNA listen. I'll think okay. That's great terrific Bass Matic what. Who's been your favorite and you know who inspires you. Oh that's a tough question I I can't commit to a favorite but my favorite moment is when people talk about going out to to knock on doors and the Hump. They got over to do it right. And we've had some people who are pretty recognizable so it's always fun to hear Bali what it's like to knock on the door and a voter opens up the door and like Catherine on there or somebody like that. And how does that interaction goes? We've had a my my good friend. But Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda on this podcast and they talk about when they go together. Can you imagine knock knock high? They did Grace and Franky degree video for swing left last cycle to they've been yeah awesome supporters. We've talked about. Inspirations right through James Eighty two I. Joe lillies what eighty or something? And they're out there man or getting arrested. I keep I keep emailing lilly stop it. I don't have bail money. Talk Radio Stop. Getting arrested that fucking troublemaker. Fund that yeah but no we. We love hearing people's experiences and they're always so relatable and like I said it can be intimidating for people to get involved in volunteering this work but Hearing somebody else's experience I think it's always helpful steven my being. I'm kind of I'm happy crappy liberal but I believe in a blue Nami. I believe that we cannot just have a blue way. We have to have a blue sue. Nami and I know right now. It seems like Oh Holy Shit. All this infighting right. And and you know the repeating twenty-six mistakes are you hopeful. How are you yeah? I'm really hopeful. Actually and not hopeful Enough that I'm going to stop working every day and make sure that we get everyone involved in this work And also like it's happy hour right. I'm happy happy to but there's some serious scary banana republic stuff going on with our country right now and And the the level of of the lengths to which trump will go to cheat and lie and suppressed the vote and it's not just trump as the Republican party paved the way for trump to begin with. Sorry it's not just trumpets. Trumpism is trump is appointed. That you again. I really apologize. I don't nobody's. We have to stamp out trumpet trump. It really really is never happens again. That this this fucking fascism fascism. Which is how I broke my hand. punching a Nazi right so But seriously you know we can't just look at a place where we're winning like in Maine Right now. Susan Collins is behind by a point which is awesome right can't get comfy with that. We hadn't have overwhelming numbers. Show up like we did in the midterms. So that means Lindsey Graham Jamie Harrison is close McGrath is very close to Mitch McConnell's or not pipedreams. Right they're not and I think also to your to your point about trump Zim. It's this is not an anomaly. It's a symptom of right a problem And we're not going to address it by flipping the house. It's one stop right flipping this and it is the next stop understand. There's more of US LOOK AT MARTHA OUT MC SALLY. Thinking you know the hot shit and she goes on Fox News. Brag how she called a reporter a liberal? Hack down by six seven points now to mark Kelly in Arizona California listeners. Arizona's on us that we must take that Senate seat so if you are anywhere within a distance of Arizona you know go help out those Arizona Democrats because we we need that Senate seat. Yeah Yeah where else are you looking at because what? Here's the thing that again i. I don't like to necessarily talk about. I mean we talk about foreign interference vote suppression. But I don't want people to feel despair. We can't afford that and they don't want people because that's what they're hoping for that. We're going to go it's rigged and they're gonNA steal. Our vote is not going to count and we have to turn out in such numbers to beat that to change all those things right but I still contend a there was a lot of rat fucking like the we we probably won the Senate last time. They made a laser focused on the Native American vote in Heidi heitkamp in North Carolina Laser. Focus on making sure students couldn't vote in Texas and Beta works rates right. No that was rat fucking in the Florida race that Bill Nelson one but they in order. I mean it's just I was saying first of all. We have to not have partisans in charge of elections. Whether it's Brian Kemp or Kathryn Harrison. You know right after this season look back through the years well in Ohio. We can't there are things that we have to change systemically. Don't you think absolutely and you know we got rid of a little rat fucker in North Dakota. Just last week they changed the law exactly They had a law on the books where you had to have a residential address in order to register and vote and of course a lot of native American residents. There live on reservations and use post office. Box don't have residences. They stole this from Heidi Heitkamp. Just clear that that was that a win last week. We have to change that. You can't their laser targeting students that you can vote with a student. Id but you can with a gun idea and a gun licence travis just mom. Fresno test a true story yesterday she called. I my sample ballot missing your regular about. We'll be coming in the mail. She didn't get it. She called me said. Did you move recently? Or you're inactive voting. Your ballot was undeliverable. Just like I've lived in the same house for forty five years. I voted in reelection. There's like there's no reason for this to have for for her ballot. Been struck stuck for some reason and she says she's like it identifies my party on the ballot and it's where she lives out his a rural part of Fresno County that is very conservative and an so check and recheck. Your registration void dot. Org is worse for that. Hang on swing left activism exhausting. Have I aged if I feel like? I'm you know we're fighting. But we're exhausted. We need a little refresher we know the plexiglas under the is exactly what we know. You WanNa look good. If you're going door knocking for your candidate. Thank you for or hitting streets or whatever man. Okay picture your face in the mirror. You see all those wrinkles around your crows feet under eye bags now. Imagine they're gone poof. Like something awful and orange in the Oval Office. Imagine just both gone doesn't feel good. You can be gone so you'll look like this when trump has gone and then you know the problem. We're GONNA smile so much when he's gone and then you're going to be like okay. Okay you you won't believe until you try it. I'm telling you it is like magic you don't have to imagine it. It's just you but ten years younger we are. We're all blown away by the results. We use it every night I do. Flexitime can give you in the mornings. Well right and then just put my makeup right over you even know what happened Man Okay plexiglass gives you the confidence you need. It is clear. No one even knows you're doing it. It's just it's like it's like a magical under. I think bright trick. Yes yes and then you can put in. Pull DUBS and scarves out if you want you can. I don't think you can read. I'm overselling TRIPLEX DOT COM. Use My code voices for fifty percents off a full-size bottle of Exeter and plus an additional ten dollars off. I said it right. Fifty percent off plus an extra ten dollars off this offer also available by calling one eight hundred six eight five twelve ninety two mentioning the code voices plexus back by thirty day money back guarantee visit TRIPLEX DOT com today. Use The code voices at checkout that his TRIPLEX DOT COM codes. Boyce's definitely check your registration but voter suppression tactics are have long been used by the GOP and so to your point Yes we have to be aware of outside influences and attempts on our elections but the call is also coming from inside the how right and so fighting this voter suppression is is critical to protecting our democracy. I did a terrifying event with Thom Hartmann and Greg Palestine Brad Friedman in La last weekend and. Tom was saying if they give you a professional or provisional ballot screamed from the rooftops. Because they're gonNA probably throw that out like that's why we just have to check and double check and make sure everyone you know was registered and get them to the polls Mitt. You know because that there are so many ways but provisional ballots are a you know I mean they were they were recommending here in. La Vote by mail. It's just there are so many ways that they are trying to disenfranchise people in provisional ballots are. There are so many spoiled ballots that that we don't even know about right that you think. Oh that means I get devoted. Okay but yeah. I think that there is a lot of fear over provisional ballots Now California has a new tool that allows you to track your ballot. So you can get notified if there's any issue with it if it might get rejected because of your signature might not match or something like that so in in some states where we don't have voters as much voter suppression. There are things being put into place that that allow you to follow and protect your vote and we need this across the country. Steve Are you worried about us? Obviously a lot of talk now about including in the debates recently about the divisiveness you know coming from certain camps. Are we going to and I have to say I? We are so vote balloon. No matter who I happen to be excited by Elizabeth Warren. I've never endorsed anyone. Who gives a shit what I think like I vote in fall in love and the primary fall in line? I like as you said Linda lovelace. She'll swallow whatever you with getting past that one again. I'm a former Catholic talking about but I I mean unfortunately it is provable in statistics right now that ninety percent of Warren voters and pretty much. Every you know Biden Buddha's voters close behind. Ninety percent will vote for her with the nominee is just about fifty percents sanders. Voters say they will vote for whoever the nominee is so there is an obviously Bernie being the only one saying. No you don't have to have the number of delegates which is exactly the opposite of what he argued in two thousand sixteen. You don't have to have the number of delegates it's just whoever has more. Hito which is changing the rules and I was saying you know. There's his community communications director video out there that she took down already about her talking. About how gleeful she was that she voted for Jill Stein but we allowed all of those people on the Unity Commission to change the rules for right so there was you know what I mean so it felt fair to everybody in twenty twenty. But now I'm like. Oh my God are we going to have a brokered convention are we gonNa Have Xyz all right so of course it's a concern and we need to be clear eyed about it. I know a lot of Bernie supporters from last cycle who were like crazy upset The Very First California Democratic convention that I went to was right after the election right and they were You know shouting in the the they stormed the convention hall and and there was crying and it was just it was like I was with my wife. And we're like we are fucked this like. How are we going to clean this up? And you know we did. We got to a place where people are understood the stakes. We came together. We work together for the midterms. And I know a lot of those same Bernie. Supporters are more pragmatic this time around. They will vote for their strong Bernie supporters in great and burned it a lot of great things for our Party to I. You know I agree. I agree with most of his policies. I didn't even know he literally don't know any guests. We have regulars semi regular guests on the. I don't know who you're fucking in the primary and I don't care we typically don't ask because it is your decision today and we're all on the same team at the end of the day exactly exactly and you know. I mean we get into these purity tests and stuff when really our platform and what. We're all working towards as Democrats as broadly the same destination We may have some different ideas about how to get there. And that's a healthy conversation to have because that's GonNa make everyone's ideals Ideas better and you know how many folks I have left to give about what people right. I'm like I've been in the trenches thirty years fighting for liberal causes and I'm currently excited by the person in the race that is just as Liberals Bernie Sanders if I if I flunked your liberal period test than you can suck. My Dick is what I say. Keep bringing it back to Linda. Lovelace thank you. Dick Centered show even even horseface lesbian as Michael Bloomberg is a good combination of real effects in anyway. Thank you Don Your Horse. Hurry to how do we go to? Where's the website Swingline DOT Org. Yeah and and let me say that you know what we're really good at and what we did in. The midterms was taking people from Blue Areas. And pointing them towards the districts where they're gonNA make a big impact as volunteers with their time with their money and whatever resources they have to give So we're doing that. Same thing again with our superstate strategy which is a combination of states that have either presidential Senate or these local legislatures that we're talking about That will affect Gerrymandering So those are states When you look at them there's twelve of them Where you in some cases. There's three of those things on one ballot so if you can reach. Democrats IN THOSE STATES. You're going to have an outsized impact with your volunteer hours. Replay Mayor Pete from last night. Does it bother you? Would he brought up where he said that he feels. Like the two most polarizing people on stage Bloomberg and Bernie and the neither of them are Democrats it. Do you think that in terms of a general or downtick it is Do you have the same concern? Mayor Pitas is good question. I think that After we got through the primaries I I have less concern about that right. I think that what this is gonNA come down to voter. Turn out right and Thinking about non-presidential down ballot races. If you like you said earlier we have the numbers if we get the people to show up about one hundred million people. That didn't vote last right. Yeah well that's why. We need a good charismatic. Presidential candidate has so we had we had on this current EPA podcast. It's aired dropped as we said com couple of days ago. We had Chris Ladele Westfield. Who wrote this awesome book about Obama's first campaign and one thing that he talked about the really resonated with me? Is that when Obama? I started running. He was a very unlikely candidate. Yeah and do you know how many I was one of the first people there you know just excited about Obama and I don't know how many African American callers who said you stupid fucking little white liberal girl we love you honey but we're gonNA have a black president and I was like you. Just wait. Wait I remember watching his speech. I was in a hotel room watching his speech. Member at the two thousand four. Dnc The hair on the back of my next up calling a friend in saying this is our first black president. I mean so speaking to charisma well a lot of people like Chris felt that way and he reached out to the campaign early on. Didn't get a response. Showed up anyway and that's what it takes to start volunteering With somebody that that moves your heart and your I feel like Kamla and Liz have had to for me had that sort of Rockstar. You know Yeah field but I think that clearly marauders misogyny still are people are scared to death. Because of this massage they saw with. Hillary and but I would say it woman already won. Don't be afraid. Vote your heart. Yeah and and I would say to people out there you know. Don't try to get to strategic with it. You know I mean of course like we're we're in this crazy place in our history and everyone's scared I'm scared like And if you're not scared you're not you're not paying attention exactly and for most elections. You have like Healthcare Economy. Those the top issues right now. It's beat trump healthcare. Yeah Konami Right. Yeah So everyone wants to know who's going to be trump. Follow your them. If we night anyone anyone can beat them. I really believe this any of them can be Gerald if we all unite and we all show up. Follow your heart of vote for the person that you want to see in the White House. and And what Chris said it was really. I'm paraphrasing him but If he if if that candidate speaks to you as a good chance that candidate speaks to other people too. Yeah people are too much worried about what other people are going to do. It's like I don't have a problem with a fill in the blank woman. Ju- gay but I am afraid other people are going to when we you know that's what Obama was hope over fear right. Yeah exactly yeah. Speaking of choosing hope now this is where I make a creepy for everybody Mariah. Do you feel like you're is urged that blue in general because the blue shirt you're wearing and in terms of fluidity militants not the dating game. That's that's a podcast I for me. That's my thing scrimping out. People that I've done that I've never even met in this matter of twenty minutes. Was that creepy. I don't know I thought it was completely appropriate. Your eyes are amazing. I will just thank you. Thank you for backing me up for once and my husband would agree with me on that. So yeah so my wife if I had one but I don't do all right. Sorry I'm back every week. Wow See you tomorrow. How how did we get to? How do we get the podcast? How do we tell us? The podcast swing left. How we win. It's everywhere you find your pods or you can go to swing left dot org slash podcast. Okay this has been fantastic and weird for Mariah but again no one ever comes back a second time please. We're going to be the first we'll be here. I'm just kidding fable come back. I know happy hour. We obligated to show for an hour. Okay picture your face in the mirror. Dc All those wrinkles around your eyes. How about crows feet or those large under eye bags? Okay now imagine they're gone. I'm not talking about risky expensive surgery. That just gone in minutes. It's called plexus him a clinically studied ceremony visibly eliminates your wrinkles. Crows feet under eye bags in minutes. It's that edge you've been looking for Don't believe it. I didn't either 'til I tried it now. You don't have to imagine anymore. I look just like me to ten years younger blown away by the results plex under and can give you the confidence you need to be yourself a work out with friends. You name it. The best part is flexible and goes on clear so nobody even knows. You're using it unless of course you tell them go. Triplex DOT COM. Use My CODE VOICES FOR FIFTY PERCENTS OFF. A full-size bottle of plexus plus an additional ten dollars off that's fifty percent off plus and extra ten dollars off off available by calling one eight hundred six eight five. Twelve ninety two mentioned the code voices plexus back by thirty day money back guarantee TRIPLEX DOT com. The code is voices at checkout. Triplex DOT COM. The code is voices.

trump Bernie Sanders Mike Bloomberg Elizabeth Warren Senate Mariah Craven president Democrats Brian Linda lovelace Travis Steve Pearson Deborah Senator Chris Obama Trump DC Senate Stephen Mariah
Mini-Pod! - Blue Revolution

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 4 months ago

Mini-Pod! - Blue Revolution

"Welcome to another special how we win. Many pod all over the country. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things will hear what's happening in the field. Even if the field is your living room, the best antidote to anxiety is action for many show. We're going to ask people like you two questions. What was your first volunteer experience? And what were you doing? Today. We're talking with. Dan McColl a musician founded the grassroots group blue, revolution simple call to action, join US beat trump. His website is a hub for action and his facebook group now has over sixty three thousand members has been helping them engage important states and raise money for crucial campaigns. And Mariah Craven, and this is how we win the many. Dan Cool. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. A, year to be here, thanks for having me. So first of all, what was your first volunteer experience in politics like? I wasn't college. It was in western Massachusetts I went to UMASS. Amherst and it was the summer of two thousand four, so I signed up to knock on doors for the Kerry campaign. No, it was actually the DNC and it was. When was carry was running so. A while back. and. What did you do? While we were not gonNa do as we were driving driving volunteers around western Massachusetts, which is a very. Liberal area and You know they got the five colleges. They're in Amherst Massachusetts, but we were driving sort of further east towards the middle of the state. And you know we kind of noticed as we were driving around the you know. Massachusetts has a reputation for being super, blue and liberal and progressive, but. It wasn't really so there was some towns you kind of wanted to avoid but and it was kind of the height of the Iraq war. Intentions were high. And did not appreciate showing up on their doorstep, and asking you to votes against the commander in chief. It was nine open experience, but I think it. Kind of a toxins toughen my skin a little bit to able to. You know handle. Activism, which is just talking, I mean all activism is talking to strangers and. Talking about some things that are perhaps a little sensitive. On kind of got my feet wet for for organizing. So now you're working in a very. Before you were knocking on doors and driving people around the most nerve wracking part of. Organizing for me as being responsible for other people and in their cars. And now you're doing this really cool digital project but I imagine that there's a connection between those two well. I think knocking on doors, and and also I think I was I did be. On a street barking fundraising New York City when I lived there and I. Think one of the things that you learn is that if someone is not willing to volunteer, or someone is not as enthused about volunteering, you are that's okay, and you can move onto the next person. There are lots and lots of people out there who want to get involved kind of have the. Personality for it, and there's some people who don't right. They would rather help out in other ways than directly contacting strangers, so it's all good Everyone played their part and you kind of. You you get to appreciate the diversity of of act that's winning elections takes a whole team in mellish so You kinda get to work that out monthly growth digitally and and Carson. And danior musician who has played in some really cool bands with some great people. Tell us a little bit about your music background. Yeah I. Didn't playing music. You know pretty much life I played or I was a singer of a band in the early two thousands, and we toured the country many times and play Some major festivals toward with some big bands and Released some albums and I think that. I've been organizing people to get together for some purpose since. When are teenager? It was getting together for Punk shows and vfw's knights of Columbus halls. And now it's getting people into runs to wash debates and. You know, have election themed? Cocktails are so it's it's part of the same process, but I do I do still play music I play in a band up here in Boston and we were called ruined the night and we played. We've only played a few times. We were kind of just getting started as Kobe. Gobi, But we've been going around and doing some social distancing recording, and in the last few weeks, and it's been fun. We like to call ourselves Boston's Premier Dad. Broadband. We play punk rock young wraps galleons, but now we're playing something a little more mellow, but still as energetic. I I. Love Your Your Point about the preparation that you had as a musician. You know preparing you for life and organizing because. Coming up here as a musician in Los Angeles, you know just like the amount of people I would approach with flyers, and just trying to get people to come two gigs and everything I mean that was my my organizing school right there. So tell us about blue revolution and what people can find their. Revolution is a troll free. Group of sixty three thousand aggressives and grants, and we'd been in operation since inauguration day. It was a group that I started I was teaching college in New York City as an adjunct when trump was inaugurated, and I started the group as basically just the way to vent with fifty fellow friends, and we were called back then countdown to beat trump. For lack of a better name because I was. Standing in the subway station, watching trump get inaugarated on my phone and Brooklyn and I literally looked up a countdown website to see how many seconds there were. Told Remember Third Twenty twenty. So started this group, and it kind of took on a light sound. I think that early on we were you know covering the kind of. I guess like the protests era. Call it of twenty seventeen. the airport protests, women's March obviously and the you know March for our lives and things like that and then I think closer two thousand eighteen midterms. We started to get more animated about midterm elections and mobilizing people to find their narrow swing district I think we did some fundraisers for swing tweet. Worked with swing left. On their last weekend projects and their friends who added their friends, who, out of their friends and suddenly We had tens of thousands of people, so it's it's really exciting, and IT'S A. Troll Free Community of people who are concerned about their country and we. We like to think of ourselves as kind of a support group slash you know mobilization pad. I Guess Mobilization Watch cab, so. Both of those things we need to support each other and we need to launch everyone into action, absolutely no question. How do you stay troll free? What we screen members who come in, and it's pretty easy to remove anyone I. Think I think we got about one a month. someone who doesn't laugh. At something they shouldn't be laughing. and. So it's easy enough to remove folks and the people who join that group have been added by members and gig alert, pretty smart doubt not adding their right wing uncle. Or Friend? They weren't the high school west. and you know people are people got. Dick Uncles get a bad rap. Why did always the creepy uncle the right wing uncle? You know it's never an aunt or a cousin or something? It's always an uncle. That's true. I mean. Because I. Know where I'm sorry Steven you. Do. You come up with some. Well. So how does it feel? To have started this thing I mean I. I assume you started this group with maybe a few friends or just you know not knowing what is going to grow into, and now as you said you have over sixty three thousand members, and you've done. All kinds of impactful electoral work has a feel to have gone from that starting place, and to make the impact that you have. Why I've never felt more useful I was. You know that's kind of like one of the great rewards doing any political organizing whether you're running something or your volunteering or your somewhere in between I was in academia before which you know I published a book in two thousand, Eighteen, about basically a history of totalitarianism. And I kind of was that was mostly what I was doing. I was spending about ninety percent of my time doing that. And maybe ten percent of my time, doing doing a political organizing in that ratio started to shift and the more shifted. The kind of more useful. I felt sort of taking. What I had seen in the history of kind of authoritarian movements and and And really kind of applying it to resisting. on the real world and it just I mean the short answer is. It feels amazing it's. There is there is nothing as humanizing is getting out into the public sphere and and. At least attempting some kind of impacts I, it's I think some the Orissa Chilean idea that you're not really fully human until you're somehow injecting yourself into the public realm political around so I I love it. So Awesome Dan McCall. I feel like we've learned so much about you in such a short time. Punk Rock Academic Dad Bud. Organizer Bad ass. Checkout. I'm working on the dog on during the currency and now. I think everybody is coming out of quarantine with a dad bud. People should check out Lou Revolution and get added to this awesome group. If they're not already members, the I will post a link on our podcast page to it and Dan. Thank you so much. Thank you for your incredible work. Thank you see? Mariah was a real pleasure. Thanks for joining us, remember our action for this week is to sign up for the training to win conference on August I is going to be amazing. You can find the link on our show page at swing left dot org slash podcast also make sure you subscribe rate and review on Apple, or wherever you get your pods shares with one two three friends use the Hashtag how we win twenty twenty unsocial. And don't miss our full show every Wednesday.

Massachusetts Mariah Craven trump Boston New York City Dan Cool facebook Dan McColl US Amherst Third Twenty twenty Iraq Amherst Massachusetts UMASS Lou Revolution Los Angeles Columbus halls DNC Dan
American Idiot with Michael Moore and Michael Mayer

Swing Left - How We Win

48:55 min | Last month

American Idiot with Michael Moore and Michael Mayer

"Roofers are you tired of using a bunch of selling tools that don't talk to each other streamline your selling process with Gif project manage lead measurements. Presentations estimates even payments right on your IPAD visit J F dot Com. Slash. Project. Welcome to how we win all over this country. People are doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now. The. Best Antidote to anxiety is action. There are thirteen days until the most important election of our lives is over together we can win all the houses. Today we talk with documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore. Talking about how he got his start as an activist and what is different about how people are engaging in this election? We're also joined by Tony Award winning director and the creator of Broadway's American Idiot Michael Mayor both Michael's joined US earlier. This week were an American idiot letter writing event, and this phone conversation is not to be honest I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven, and this is how we went. Halloween's almost here. So I keep wanting to say Michael Myers. Michael Mayor. If. We could have scored the Michael Myers interview I don't think he's spoken to anybody ever. So that would be a coup. Good get. Did it deteriorated Especially since we're recording remotely I wouldn't want to have him in the studio. Now Thirteen Days My God? Can you believe in? My anxiety is through the roof that means more action needed. This true and important for everyone to appreciate the it's not thirteen days until the election, it's thirteen days until the election is over the election is happening right now early voting is happening volunteer contact is happening right now I know our listeners are already jumping in and making impacts We gotta keep doing it foot on the gas. What one of my great colleagues at swing left said go to sleep like the polls or right wake up like they're wrong I. Love that. Yeah, that's a good way to hang onto a little bit of your mental health right. Pace. It was in response to me saying that I wasn't sleeping very well. How Well you know. Five thirty eight said don't look at individual polls go to fivethirtyeight for the cumulative. Impact of the polls. Okay, it was kind of interesting and also a plug for themselves. Right. We don't care about polls anyway what we care about is voter. Enthusiasm and boy do we have that in spades? Absolutely I mean we can jump right to my reasons for hope because we already had thirty four plus million people, vote, we're setting records in in that by the way that's a quarter already just shy of two weeks out of election day that voted in the entire two, thousand, sixteen election just huge turnout breaking records in all these states for early turn out. This is what we need. We know that when we're able to turn out voters that's Democrats win. So that's that's exciting. Foot on the gas don't stop. I'M GONNA go ahead and make a crazy prediction that this is gonNA. be highest voter turnout. Ever. This is more exciting than. Zoom call with Jeffrey Toobin I gotta say. For those of you who don't know who Jeffrey Toobin is he is a currently suspended journalist for the New Yorker who. Did Not Follow Proper Zoom Etiquette So. Anyway. Thirty four million votes cast so far. That is a great reason for hopes you. We have trump to thank for spurring a lot of voter turnout I think the one one thing that he's good for. But we also have a lot of volunteers to thank because. They've made God knows how how many calls and written how many letters postcards. Well, we just finished the big send vote forward and all of the amazing volunteers who wrote letters. Seventeen million letters you might remember because we talked about it on this show the initial goal for the big send, which seemed like ridiculous actually like it seemed really bold. Was Ten million letters. Okay ten anyway they're great. What what what did we end up sending seventeen million is a lot more than ten million and that's what we ended up sending. That's amazing. Everybody. That's incredible. Yeah and if you go on social media and and look at the Hashtag the big send you'll you'll be greeted with inspiring photos of volunteers taking huge boxes of letters to the post office and it's just these letters are effective. They're gonNA make a huge difference so You thank you. Thank you. For all the work you did. That's amazing like everybody should be putting this on there. You should brag about this for years to come. has been daily seventeen million. Amazing. Yeah and you know we had Scott foresman on the podcast who's the creator of who came up the idea for vote forward and such a great guy. Humble. Just you know. One of us just a guy who had this idea for writing letters and started doing it in in. Able I think right had his kitchen table exactly and to think about I. I've been thinking about him a lot and as we come down the stretch here I've been thinking about Ethan Toddlers Whitehill who founded swing left. And both of these. People who had this idea and now I seventeen million letters later. And and we're coming into this place where we had like the voter contact that we're doing swing left right now is so encouraging. It's so hopeful we have so many volunteers who were stepping up to make phone calls now and the letter writers they're not done yet like they're done writing letters and so now they're stepping up to make phone calls because they know how important that is and It's it's really moving. We had a phone bank. On Sunday to Florida we had thirteen hundred people on the phone bank. We made two hundred thousand calls in two hours. Two weeks before the election over two weeks before the election. That's amazing. Pretty incredible. When we talk about especially in places like Florida we talk about. The number of votes that can swing in election in either direction. It Ain't two hundred thousand. It's usually much smaller than that. So the fact that in one day that many people were contacted in one foam bank, just imagine what's going on nationwide. Job Everybody. Keep it up thirteen more days. You got this. So. Talked about my reason for hope which I know you share, of course, is all the people who've already voted in all the volunteers who were jumping in. Your reason for hope. So my reason for hope, this week is an activist here in southern California I don't know her that well, I think you know pretty well, Michelle manure foul and I. I know her by reputation and we've worked on a few things together but. She has been taking people's I voted fees that they're posting on social media and turning them into these really cool images that looked like colored pencil drawings and then they're reposting them and she's just she sees somebody posts and then she takes their photo and sends it to them al-Geish DOPP and it's really cool and it just makes me appreciate how I. Think this is a community building activity because it's making people feel so good and supported and rewarded, but also it's like. An outlet for her art I don't know how she's creating these, but they look really artistic and it. It just makes me think of the people all over the country who are finding new uses for their skills, talents, and passions, and applying it to to this election and just like doing cool stuff and making everybody. Feel good. So shout out to Michelle for finding a way to row like reward people and give them a little boost for doing their civic duty. It's really Cool and I know that there are other artists up there doing that there's people like I'm we talked to Reggie. Hubbard who's WHO's doing yoga classes him We're GONNA talk today to Michael Mayor who who used his Broadway chops and Gosh like you can do so much. If you think creatively, it's really cool. I. Love. Your given some props to my friend Michelle 'cause I do know her and she is very creative and amazing. She's also a big indivisible leader and. She's runs campaigns to she's just a powerhouse Organiz US work with women's March, she is definitely an unstoppable force activism and deserves to be recognized and Maybe we should have Iran for for many pod to that could be fun. Yeah. That'd be cool as she could tell us how she does these cool images. I. Would love to see other election art work. If people have it, they can share it with us on social media using the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty. Great idea. But our main call to action. Of course, we need you on those phones. We really need to reach out to every single voter and make sure that we have the kind of resounding. Of Trump and the GOP that we need to win and make this undeniable, I'll talk about polls because some of the polls in these battleground states are still tight and that's where these field margins will really help. That's where these phone calls will make the biggest difference. So go to swing left dot org slash phone bank jump in. We got you know call nights going on, we've got immediate impact foam banks. We have training resources for you all kinds of options if you haven't phone banked yet. Now is the time trump and the GOP are doing everything they can to stay in power. They will leave nothing on the table to stay in power we need to do the same thing. I'M GONNA wake up on November fourth knowing that I did everything in these last thirteen days to make sure that doesn't happen. Okay. That's a great example I don't think I'm quite there yet. So I'M GONNA do my best to get some boom banking in in the next few days. Great. Let's do it together. I. Think we're going to put won't do a how we win phone bank to let you. We'll let you know exactly when next week but I think Geo TV weekend maybe maybe even election day we'll do a phone bank with with our listeners together. That will be really fun. It'll be a great way to to spend a very nervous day. Living writing forward looking forward to that. All right. Well, we've got a great extended interview with Michael, Moore and Michael. Mayor. They were doing as Mariah to earlier our last letter writing event last weekend with the cast of American idiot on Broadway a really cool event. We had a portion of our interview on that event. So for all of you who are joining for the entire interview for excited for you to hear it. Michael Moore is documentary filmmaker author activists, and the host of the rumble with Michael. Moore podcast. We're also joined by Tony Award winning director Michael. Mayer who wrote and directed the musical American idiot and also directed Michael Moore's one man show on Broadway the terms of my surrender Michael and Michael Attorneys at law feels like. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank. You thank you for that swing last as done is doing everybody out there who's on board O swing last at such an important group and I don't know if you've talked about this but is back in two, twenty, eighteen, I'm swing last faded important role. In getting the House back. In the hands of the Democrats and getting a whole lot of new people out to vote who hadn't go to before so. congrats to you. Thank you huge compliment. Yeah. Yeah, and a lot of people as you said worked, really really hard to flip the house and thank goodness we did Michael Moore I to you you spent your career in the field fighting a lot of important battles but I want to hear about the first issue or campaign that you actually worked on and what did it feel like to step up and volunteer for the very first time? Wow. Just to buy a few second sight and remember how far. Say in Mariah's introduction, and she described as a filmmaker other fence and she used the word actives. And always found that to be an interesting word and are redundant wording sense that because we are all citizens of a democracy that automatically implies that were activists because democracy can't exist unless the citizens are active. So we are by nature as citizens of a democracy. We are all accidents now, not all necessary are as active as others Some people aren't active at all. But One thing is for sure to me. I felt this way. My whole life is that if we fail to be active if enough of his failed to be active. The democracy will cease. To, exist. That events and why we are now on the precipice of this. Okay. Now I remember from My. That was good vamping. You've got to be able to do that and sink. At the same time with the drugs so I remember the first time I wait campaigning for a candidate door to door was when I was in fourth grade and my buddy my friend in fourth grade. His Dad was a schoolteacher had decided to run for the State House of Representatives in Michigan. and. So he took us all through the district and we one night we were. Very poor part of the district just in like South Flint Michigan called Burton township. All poor. Poor White. Voters. And it was it was an interesting thing because everybody had a big daugh- for their protection and we were chased down a number of blocks by logs and in fourth grade, you can just about run fast enough but you cannot outrun dogs that. His Dad one. And then went onto become eventually the speaker of the House of the state, House representatives in Michigan. It was a really eye-opening experience in in our Tom I remember I lived two blocks from the George Wallace head works, George, Wallace Racist Segregationist Governor L. Obama shorting war was running as an independent. Johnson. Will Win in a landslide that year he ran again in nineteen, sixty, eight George. And won the Michigan Primary four days effort he was shocked. In Mare. at a at a strip mall. Rally Center Shopping Center. And somebody tried to kill him he didn't die. And I think I would abundance sympathy. But also sadly because of what you've seen with Michigan in the past week. Also, an abundance of a sympathetic supporters. The. issue. Racism white supremacy. So he won the Michigan Primary my very first primary that I believe in. in Nineteen, seventy two. I wanted for Shirley Chisholm. I don't know I'm wondering how on urged in Flint Michigan. Did I ever? Even, know about her but somehow did stayed up on it and and of course, I loved McGovern and all that. But Shirley Chisholm Black Woman Congressman from Brooklyn. was saying all the right things and really wear retrying in terms of the intersection of of racism misogyny antiwar all coming together in her platform. So those two first early instances of white you know campaigning my Dad's my dad was in the UAW was in the auto fact in general motors my uncle Wanka Laverne was in the sit down strike in nineteen thirty six that founded the UAW tape recorder factories and fled for forty four days. Okay. Now see I had too much time to think about my history. In the end of the story is at eighteen years old. I became the first eighteen year old the youngest elected official in the country and I eighteen year old elected office which was because it was just months after eighteen year olds were given the right to vote. So just a few months after that used to be twenty one. Eighteen, and then as Michael knows I tell the story in in that one man show a high, just called up the city park to see. If, we can vote can we run and? said actually for school board, you can run for school board. And so I decided to run that a and I got early you twenty signatures on the petition as Michael No I just went to twenty mice donor friends. Reason. I'd got on the ballot and it came in first place, and so it was kind of a big news thing at the time Michigan that the first eighteen year old had had been elected. That is my that's the extent of my political history after the school board I retired and I raised vegetables. I WANNA to. Win The terms of surrender was on Broadway and the New York Times reviewed it. I. Just wouldn't read the phrase that they use to describe you as an eighteen year old politician because I want everybody to hear this the embryonic provocateur. Runs rather tour, which is of. That review, they put it on the front page of the Friday section and the whole it wasn't had to cut you know as a big picture. That they taken on the stage and then there maybe four paragraphs. On, front page and they were beautiful like what you just said. And then you go to the joke page. The Guy. The. Your so angry at me and especially by the end of the review or people not go to this this is. This is. It it went just went his way of how view the political world. So goes I five, six pair for. Early on. We had a nice long run there at the Balasko theater. Can you talk about how you all decided to collaborate on that? Yes. Sure we met through. A mutual agent John Zeti now. Right it was way back it. was quite a while ago it was about two years probably before. The actual show just to meet because I'm a big fan of his and Michael, Moore for those of you who don't know it is a major theater fan and sees everything and I just love that about him. So we met and just and became friends, and at a certain in he said I've got this show I did it in London I'm thinking maybe of retooling it when the time is right we'll will. Will find the right moment and then you know what happened that November four years ago That still wakes me up in a cold sweat, every morning and some time thereafter we got together again and thought maybe this is the time to put this together. And, Michael are just. Beautifully staged this What I call, it was a one man show. It. The whole thing was just. So how'd you still blown away by how holding look how it was presented? I mean, I felt every night every night there's nine hundred seats in the theater and so every night. I feel like there's nine hundred people in my living. And itself different. Every single night he Michael You told me that what happened? Yeah. Audiences will be the same. And it was such a profound. Experience it did brilliantly, it was so much fun every night. That audience just left so high and energized and committed. The crowd outside just wanted to keep plucky after episodes. Well, I just wanted to know what what you wanted those nine hundred people to walk away feeling or doing after the performance one of them to feel like they held the power. Trump doesn't hold the power. And Republican Party certainly decimal power you can't show me single fact. That shows that the majority of Americans agreed with the platform of the Republican Party that's backed by the way with us to have a platform. As opposed to just what trump says, that's their new platform that is. George Americans, we saw in two thousand, eighteen election. They don't like what's going on, and so they actually overpowered to change things and so every night just before ended I left people with some things that they could do. They could make five calls every day oxidizer federal and state legislators and H is this website it was called five calls. They would. What you need Paul on Today. Sorry. Hope to do that until while they can run for precinct delegate, you can run for office. In Your neighborhood, most most precincts don't have enough people signed him to be I delegates. So the party just knowing them you can. You can go to the county convention by running progressing delegate you know. It's really funny that you say that because I completely forgot this but I heard you talk about that and I actually ran for delegate in this last election although so many people heard you talk about that really changed it wasn't just like a few people running now the the Adela elections in California became huge in I think you had a lot to do for you to open people's eyes to that. Well, thank you for saying you know you in Renova I. Keep saying the same things and they'll in don't stop sending them. I know that my fellow Americans want to be involved even the people don't go one, hundred, nine, you don't vote. But I I don't look at I don't wag my finger at them. I don't blame them. I ve anything tell them that I understand why you're set. Almost ninety thousand people in Michigan the twenty sixteen presidential election stood in line for two three hours to vote. They did stay home they showed up. In the cold in November. When and voted for every wind down ballot STATEHOUSE state Senate Congress NO DOGCATCHER DRANK TO MR their lois person. Like the person in charge of the sewage emission. Michael Moore. What would you like to ask Michael Maher? Question for Michael Mayor. My question for my own air is. When did you first see the world in a way where you realize that politics or the you cared about it or not? It cared very much about you. And politics was going to affect your life and you decided. In that moment that you were going to do something even if it was just in all I can't wait until eighteen and I'm GonNa vote I'm just I'm curious you are because you grew up in suburban D C runaround allow these government gets you went you said Facet you go to Walt Whitman, high school Woodward, but correct near Route So I'm curious growing up in that worry. when when did it sort? When did you realize? Oh, yeah my. You know this. Michigan it's. Not. Gary Indiana it's Bethesda Maryland. I'm literally surrounded by the power that runs not just the country but the word. I think back and My mom was A. Heart of League of women voters. Back in she was on the local board there I. Miss My Dad, and my dad was. A lawyer, he was council for the NLRB's so she was real labor guy. So I had a it was a pretty political family and I think that and my mom she was always campaigning I. Remember marching around in it was nineteen seventy two and I was marching for McGovern. Getting into horrible screaming fights with the kids were like Nixon's the one I remember that and I thought they were also Rendez? And my parents both voted for Shirley Chisholm also in. In. All. The so she was very a very familiar figure in the home. But I think that what I when I realized that I had a kind of obligation. I was when my mom and some of the other ladies in the neighbourhood arranged to open up our swimming pool, the neighborhood swimming pool to inner city kids to come on and. Most of them were black and there were so many families picketing outside this is in the. Maryland in the sixties and they were picketing, they didn't want black kids swimming in our swimming pool. And of course, had no problem with it and was swimming with them but then I realized only God. People who I go to school with I have dinner at. Their houses and these are the people who I carpool with their racist. there. and. Something has to be done about the so early on I thought like I have to. Have a responsibility in that way but then really being gay man. In America and coming of age as a gay man in the seventy S. late seventies that was that an going through the whole crisis and. Seeing the sleet, not just disregard but the hatred interim steps that I experienced as a kid being bullied and stuff being called names big knocked into lockers and that kind of abuse that I endured as a young person but seeing it on a grand scale, some my first deal like political thing was joining act up. From that point on, I just felt like this is what we have to do. It's what you said earlier it's being a citizen. Motivated me to do American eighty in the first place. As I love that context from those origin stories and what it means to be a citizen, and let's shift a little bit now and talk about what it means to be a citizen right now at this moment in our history at least in my lifetime, there's never been a more important election to get involved with Michael Moore you've been on the ground for a lot of these as you said, even voting for Shirley Chisholm and your first election running as an eighteen year old, you've seen a lot of civic engagement. Are you seeing anything different about the ways Americans are engaging in this election? Oh. Yes. I. Mean already we know the numbers. Historic. Numbers of people showing up the voter early. On to get right in absentee ballots. There is a stampede. There is a soon nami taking place of people heading to the bolts getting their ballots. Now in early, all of that is happening in such a historic way. That I'm I'm very. listed why? When I'm witnessing right now? Also what I've seen as I'll just say this, you know personally literally Zap. I've lived long enough now to see where. The things that I believed. Thirty Forty Plus years ago. which where I was just like out on a limb I was like some crazy person ears but believing that I mean just take the subject matter. The idea that. Michael. A husband or the the idea that That women would have equal rights. I mean when I was in high school if she if its own young woman got pregnant Nineteen seventy to nineteen, seventy, three before leeway it was illegal to cry. To control of your own body. is a woman. You figure out a way to get on a bus or interact to New York state. So from Michigan wriggled through Canada and up in Buffalo. And, and that's where you could legally abortion worship. we're going to go back to those days with trump's supreme court. And everybody needs to know. It's when abortion it's also with the affordable care act or Obamacare You know it's it's almost as if I was thinking to save the day. One of us, maybe somebody from swing. has infiltrated the trump campaign. And has convinced them for the last seven or eight months to a series of things that we turn away all sorted. Democrats when convinced the Republicans and trump then this is the best thing they could be doing why completely ignored covid nineteen even though you told Bob Woodward that confederate where you knew it was Keller. And? Just just let people die and yes. Now Most Einstein Sir. Yes. Most of the people that are going to die the majority of them are to be in the one age demographic that you won overwhelming in two thousand sixteen. So I know it's going to sound crazy. You're killing off your own voters but I'm telling you, you're GONNA look strong. You'RE GONNA look like a man if you can stand up to code like this and then each thing that he's done. A Jack, you know everyone especially anyone who was working class. We all have a relative somewhere along the way the died in one of our wars. My uncle die more were too. I know friends of mine have brothers died in Vietnam. to call them suckers and losers who idea in his head. To say that it's like you know what I'm saying it's like we have somebody on the attack. Convincing him to do the very things that are going to. Throw him down into the worst of the ultimately I don't say this. Remember. Ongoing. Told you. He's going to win back in twenty sixteen. So. Member usually. By merrythought of stupid. He's an evil genius. and Genius has served him well. Fourteen seasons on Primetime, network television. I never had fourteen seasons, seinfeld overhead, fourteen seasons those six brands they never had fourteen seasons. Up Fourteen seasons trump didn't have a show on Broadway just going to say that. While We. Invite your. We had a little horrid. But he I'm just saying he's pulled off in every time. You think that's the end and trump. We re trash became the billy Bush tape. We all. That's it. That's the end trump. No my friends. It is never the end of trump and that's why it will work. You're doing that we're doing here is so important because we can not take for granted. All Yeah for sure. He's going down now because of Ovid. Because of everything else he's done at the end of trump never say it's the end of trump until. The line from a Dylan Song you're literally. I don't want to say. Be. Standing there and you have to be everybody. Michael knows this in any kind of a a drama L-. If you do not actually see the end of the person. And the characters are saying the person's over. Don't believe it. On Your own is. It's it's a lyric from letter bomb from American idiot. It's not over till you're underground. I wasn't I wasn't on I'm saying it. I have no problem saying you're saying. So conflicted this week because of course, nobody wanted him to be in pain in the hospital wants to die. Now our thoughts and prayers have been answered and he's back at it. Planning the coup. Planning to create voter suppression. All the things that he's doing I just say that people. Were saying I so housing stoute's thoughts and prayers working out because it seems like they weren't. And now he's back at it. Now we have a chance of four more years and trump. That cannot happen. You not yet. Well, you said this more than just about anyone else, but we know that this modern gop pave the way for a trump presidency and skied fried happened we have this is the final. He's the actually the end result what she should be, and for all these years of allowing Republicans of Allowing Wall Street allowing a bigots and racists. To have their way and have their say and to control women and doors women still do not have rights amendment still not paid the same as men that we've allowed this we pave the way for him and he walked right into a country. Is Making but of our. that. We didn't stand enough for women and we didn't stand for our our black citizens. We didn't stand enough and so he just wall striding to that and we need. We need some serious soul-searching to do one way to redeem ourselves is to remove him did Joe Biden in there and calm layers. And I say to my fellow progressives were still I understand why you're upset and Bernie all were burning and all that but seriously serious. You know the moment we're in. This is the end. This is the four more years of this. That's the that's it. My friends. and. It's not just me saying that. Anybody who's studied this any historian steadiness knows that we are we are literally at the final step. And if we sit back, we sit this one out. We will regret this. So. Horribly So I'm just I'm really encouraging everybody. To show up. Flip the Senate. How about that? Okay. You don't. Find when you show up. Flip the Senate home up this. Why are you leave the swath alone? Do. You Want WanNa Leave L. C. Sheet. And now they've they're going to double or triple. Suad. In this election, why leave them without the support that they need? We we have to show up and it isn't always. We'd always don't get our way. I don't white. Broccoli. I think. How Use Your Broccoli eat it vote you can't sit this out. You can't. You can't do this and that's why people like me and Bernie and own Chomsky and go down Cornell West. Or all on the record we're out there were voting for buying Marine Tempe. Everyone was new all watching have to do this to you have to bring people with you. You've got to make sure everybody votes and Mega Mega thing make lunchtime. Party. Megan a party that night beckoned flat. We used to do this thing where we have party on election night and anybody that showed up with an I voted sticker. GOT IN FOR FREE So there was free beer. And we got we got like one of the used car dealers to just donate a car and we do a raffle of of everybody they take their voted sticker off with their name on it. We put it in and we draw the name impossibly win a car I mean that's Sounds crazy and probably illegal, but I'm my point is that. We make this happen. We gotta make it son and on, and we gotta make sure everybody's off the bench and what I was saying earlier about. One hundred billion don't vote but allow them are people who are just so upset I understand it. They don't like either party they don't like either candidate. And they stay at home as an at almost of civil disobedience because I believe most people don't love their country. I believe they love this country and it's kind of pain. Them Got Kill Them. And to sit out. Especially this year. I will hold my hand out. To you anybody who's watching us who just gang up on voted Come back come back with me just this once just once if you don't like it, it turns out to be a big scam. Okay. Won't bugging. Just. This once let's do this together. Let's show trump and these people who have our country how much power we actually whole. It's a thing of the most stare enough. Finger will scared of that we the people. We people are wanted to side who's their run this country. and. Yes. You can be cynical about and you can say, no, all they're doing this they took the mailbox out. Yes yes. Yes and yes. Okay. You got all out now let's go Bo. What are they gonNA do stand at the voting. The polling place door and not let us in. Do that and and well, we'll see harmful Americans respond to that. We're the majority this country. We are the majority joining Americans. take the wrestle position are just about every issue whether it's equal pay for women whether it's choice whether it's climate change raise the minimum wage our full Americans are with us on all of these issues and data good news as in the majority and and. I know you're worrying you've got a lot of problems with our fellow Americans washing posted this story while back. And the front of the story he said it was not a nation of gun nuts as bad as gun violence as of this country as much as we need to correct it. They pointed seventy eight percent of Americans do not own a gun seventy percent of us do not own a gun. Three percent was owned half the guts. And steer. It's three percent. not the majority. We're not Nazi Germany up folks. We we have a chance right now to grab our country rapper earns around it and say hang on hang on we're GONNA get you back. And we're going to get you to be in the country we always knew we could be. Mike. So Said what else could you add? I WANNA go back to the idea though of making boating fun because. Michael. Mayor you're helping make volunteering find by helping us put together the swing last virtual American idiot themed letter Writing Party. Right so Mike just said that would that's the goal. I'm so glad that you're here with us Mike to share that because that's you said it better than than I possibly could. But the idea is to take that energy and take that idea to remind people from your own perspective from your own experience in your own heart. And communicate why it's important for those people to get out and vote in in particular in those swing states where the devote really really counts. While we really appreciate everything that that you all are doing and like Michael said that everyone's doing we all have our circle of influence. We all have people we can reach out to in connect with we end our podcast with the same question for all of our guests. So one final question and you touched on this before. So beautifully Michael What gives you hope for the future. No I'm not much of a Hopi Hope. I I in realistic hope. and. So what I mean by that is I know that my fellow Americans care deeply about old this day want what's best for themselves family or friends their neighbors. They're. They're not bigots. We are all related to women. Every single one of US none of us would be here. Without at least one woman. and. I think that that it doesn't feel good. To be on the wrong side of history. To be a person who is full of Jane's animosity. Toward those. Were not. Wait meant. So my whole. My whole crumbs would. Have to say. In whenever we finally get the votes counted. It won't be on election, right? So don't don't. that. But sometime that week or the week after. Grit is. When they're all counted. Sometimes. It takes us a while the votes will be counted and when they're trawling in, we see Egypt's. Participated and can tell our kids and our grandkids and people decades from now? I. Was there. I was there in November of twenty twenty when it was a landslide no, it was. It was a soon ninety. Of American citizens, who said enough. Enough. I will outlive in this kind of world. And And I've and I've said this before that I refuse to lint. country. That behaves. Shooting trump's way I refuse to live in a country but here's the here's the news I'm the leaving. Right. So we got a problem. Because I'm not leaving and I refuse to live. In the way that this administration has been treating. Workers Families, women. African Americans, go down the list. So. That means I you have to change it and we will change it that gives me a mental and man I just WanNa I, WanNa, see the orange crush. Like nothing I've never wanted to see. Well, you say you're not a Hopi hope he guy, but you wouldn't be standing up and doing this work. So consistently for your whole career if you if you didn't have hope that we could make this country better. So thank you. Michael, Moore for all all of the work you do. Michael Maher same question to you. Well. I. Guess The thing that gives me hope is the knowledge that. The young people in this country are. Really motivated. and. The old people are going to eventually be gone and the continual Browning of this country is going to make so much tastier. And I think that and breakfasts me hope it's inevitable. It is going to happen. Change is happening whether we like it or not. Luckily I like it and I'm. Happy. And that's the thing that keeps me going that. No matter how grim looks at the moment it's going to get better. Thank you both so much. It's been such extreme pleasure to have this conversation with you guys. Amazing conversations. Everybody swing laugh everybody bringing. So, much joining us and thank you for stepping up to take action thirteen days left. This is how we win. We do this together we win when we all get involved. We want to hear from you tweet to us at least boy Steve and at Mariah underscored. or email us at podcast and swing less dot. Org. If you're new to the show, you haven't yet pleased subscribe rate and review us on apple or wherever else you get your pods share on social media and use the Hashtag how he went twenty twenty and don't forget to pose your artsy voting picks. check out our page swing left dot org slash podcast, and of course, Sunup to volunteer sign up to bank right now. Thank you for listening every week and we'll be back with more next. Wednesday.

Michael Michael Moore Trump Michael Mayor Michigan Mariah Craven Shirley Chisholm Tony Award GOP Michael Maher Michael Myers Senate Jeffrey Toobin Twenty twenty Michael You Steve Pearson McGovern
Undivided with Sarah Kendzoir and Andrea Chalupa

Swing Left - How We Win

48:44 min | 5 months ago

Undivided with Sarah Kendzoir and Andrea Chalupa

"The. Welcome to episode forty. One of how we went all over the country. People are using their voices and standing up for their very lives. We are not just witnesses to history. We are the ones writing it, and we have a responsibility to stand up to injustice everywhere. We see it and we know the Best Antidote Tang. Zaidi is action, so we stand together and we're GONNA. Get through this together today show. We're joined by Sarah Kinzir bestselling author of hiding in plain sight and journalist filmmaker Andrea Chalupa together. They host the gas nation podcast. We'll talk about how the GOP will use divide and conquer strategies to try to do just that and what we can do to fight against it. Then, we'll hear sounds from the black lives matter protests over the last weekend including words from actors and activists like Michael Jordan Kendrick Sampson Doctor Melina Abdullah. I'm Steve. Pearson and Mariah Craven, and this is how. Where to begin. What a difference a week makes! Last week we were talking about these emotional heartfelt outpouring demonstrations and this week we're talking about. House Democrats having a bill ready to go in response to that. Yes, pretty pretty amazing. What has come out of these actions so quickly? It's really amazing in really heartening, and I had the opportunity to go to some of the protests in La over the weekend and talk to people and. It was a mixed bag there. There's Peop- is a lot of people who They're like whatever you know, I'll believe it when I see some change, but there's a lot of people who feel like this is a major inflection. Point in this. This definitely feels different and we're seeing change. We're seeing the city council of Minneapolis. Voting to divest the police department in Minneapolis I. Mean That's incredible. I I couldn't believe that happened. And now as you said, we have a massive policing bill to something that usually takes months of committee and all this stuff we we have this like you said in a week. Yeah, they really moved very quickly on it. And if you go back in our podcast, archives the interview that we did with Congress. Member Karen Bass is we'll give you some great insights on her approach to legislation and community organizing, which that she was involved in helping the community here in Los, Angeles. Angeles rebuilt after the watts riots, and so she's the real deal knows what she's talking about, and that's who we want writing these bills, but you know I'll say the glaring omission for me. At this point, a lot has has happened a lot of change in a very short amount of time still no arrests in the murder of Brianna Taylor in in Louisville Kentucky She's the young woman. The the emergency medical worker who was gunned down by plainclothes officers who burst into the apartment without identifying themselves in case of mistaken identity in Louisville and fired off dozens of shots. And BRIANNA would've turned twenty seven last week and You know we can't forget about her and so many other people like her. We Have A. we've done a lot in a short period of time. We've done a lot over a long period of time. We have a long road ahead of us. You're right and we need justice. One thing that we're hearing all about right now is defined. The police admit that seemed really extreme to me now. Personally I'm a shoot for the moon kind of guy. I WANNA go for big sweeping change. Are you know when when there's something rotten institution when they are basic tenants of an institution that are just not going to work no matter how you reform them I'm all for a complete overhaul I believe this in this case about the systemic racism that we have in our country. And the institutionalized racism I believe it with healthcare personally, and and why we medicare for all and completely revamp our healthcare system, but. The de-fund the police seemed like of like a a term that was a very divisive I knew it was going to scare a lot of. People about like wool. Who's going to quote unquote? Protect US and all that. So would you talk a little bit about what defunding? The police actually means. Yet wasn't there a ton of resources out there about defend the police. It's a it's an idea that's been around for quite some time and I think one of our jobs right now is to educate ourselves on what the actual proposals are, and not only the slogan particularly. If you're going to be the type of person who who's GonNa talk about slogans, and what's strong slogan, and what's not but and you know I would warn. I love what you said about you know shooting for the moon for people who feel like their lives are endangered. The idea of incremental ISM is not good enough right being told to wait your turn, or for something less in the hopes that you might get a crumb is in quite good enough and so I really would point people. There are so many great. Out Right now about what police reform looks like what defunding the police police departments look like it looks like reprioritizing our cities and counties in state budgets It looks like responding to complaints from police themselves that they are expected to do too much and our communities that they're not equipped to do right and you know defunding. The police looks like saying. Hey, maybe this police officer doesn't need to respond to a complaint about A. A homeless person urinating on the corner. Maybe a social worker would be a better person to respond to that. It looks like not criminalizing poverty anymore, and it's a rejection of ideas that we've tried already that haven't worked so far so I. Really I think it's our job right now to educate ourselves on what defined the police means and share that information with other people who may not have had a chance to look into it yet. That's really well said. At so I hope everyone listening to this does that I hear Speaker Pelosi say this. All the time that a budget is a statement of your values. And and it really is. Where do you choose to put that all important money in resources and one thing here in Los Angeles? It costs about fifteen thousand per kid to educate them. We spend about fifteen thousand per kid to educate them in poorer communities it. It's less than that. We spend about a hundred and fifty thousand per police officer in we about seven thousand police officers here in Los Angeles. It's been a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on each police officer about fifteen thousand to educate a kid so right there is is just an example of what defunding the police means. It doesn't mean necessarily abolishing police forces. It means allocating resources to communities in. A way. That really should reflect our values. Yeah. That's a great point. I mean the your point is that we've already funded education. We've defended healthcare. We've defended so many other things that should be priorities. defended affordable housing and. Social Services Okay so now. It hasn't worked y'all. Let's let's readjust our priorities. So that's an action item for people to do a little bit more research in that and. Also we want to encourage people to show up in whatever way you're able to. In this moment, for black lives matter for these protests if you're not. Comfortable exposing yourself to coronavirus, which by the way is still out there and actually on the rise. That's absolutely understandable There's a good list of resources that we put up on. swing left dot org slash show up. We'll have the link. As always on our swing left podcast page as well for different things. You can do every day to support this movement at this time. Great. If you ever need motivation for. Participating in our to do live void. Do we have it this week? Yeah! We have incredibly informative and intense conversation with Sarah and Andrea from the gasoline nation podcast. They have a lot of information for us about. The trump crime family, and what we need to be keeping an eye out for what these protests all mean for this authoritarian regime. And so much more and make sure you stick around after the interview to hear, some of the voices from the black lives matter protests in. Los Angeles last weekend. Syracuse. Your is the author of the bestsellers hiding in plain sight and the view from Flyover Country Andrea Tuba is a journalist and author whose film Mr Jones is out now both are experts on authoritarian states, who years before the two thousand sixteen election persistently warned America about the Kremlin's threat to democracy on their great gas lit nation podcasts they take a dive on the news delivering context and sharp insight on global affairs. Listening to this podcast always makes me feel so much smarter. Thank you both for joining us. Things. You give us hope a new start time, so we're thrilled to be here. Well, yeah, we were just talking about when we were on your show. It was Valentine's Day. It was a lot of happiness and joy and hope and. It was such a simpler time. Several centuries ago on Valentine's Day. Remember. We thought things were like confusing and an harrowing back then and now it's hard to know where to start any of these interviews, but like what? What is top of mind for you both right now? What is keeping you up at night at the moment, Ivanka trump. That video that Oh my God. Seen that that just crazy. Well please tell us tell us. More about. I think it's been really interesting that her mask has come off because this was always Ivanka trump. There's no other Ivanka trump and she just played a fake Democrat very well on the stage of the Republican convention in Cleveland where you had. Viral videos of trump's supporters during the Nazi salutes and that was all fascist pageantry trump. I alone can fix a. he looked like Mussalini on that stage, and they're very much leaning into all the signs of fascism from the get go. You had Michael Flynn onstage, chanting locker up locker up, and then a vodka came out and gave what sounded like a sane speech, and you saw a lot of idiots including in the especially I'd say in the media falling for it and everybody falling for the fact that you know Ivanka's a New Yorker. She's a Democrat. And thought. Shoot obviously going to be moderating force and it and she's just been cashing and she and jared Kushner so as San Gasoline nation, the de facto President States. It's three people. It's trump Ivanka, and jared. What do you think of on 'cause? Long game is I woman friends. Talking about for a long time, that's why they installed Ivanka and jared into the white. House, which should have been an immediate red flag for anybody questioning whether this is going to be an autocracy questioning if this is going to be a dynastic kleptocracy, this is a very common thing that you see in authority. States where they put their progeny in positions of power both to continue to commit crimes like money laundering with state funds using state resources for personal gain. and. Ensuring that things see in the family, but also trying to put kind of a kind ler gentler, a facade on a very brutal regime, and I agree with Andrea at that facade has come off but I. think that one thing in particular people should be watching out for and we talk about this in the upcoming episode of Gas Nation that we today on Tuesday is that Kushner is going to use this pretext of wanting criminal justice reform, which in reality he, he couldn't care less about. To try to preemptively exonerate himself vodka, other members of this administration and of the trump crime call for their own for white collar crimes for organized crime. They have no interest in actually. Reforming or abolishing the police or bringing about justice or protecting black lives or any of that, but they're very likely to use that rhetoric further own nefarious ends, and people need to keep an eye out on that. I want to add to this because I, so we saw an in a recent comment that she gave to the press that a vonk trump considers herself a trump republican, so she's cleaning all this now, and that's significant because how we have to. The Republican Party of today. It's an extension of the trump family brand it's. She called it a trump Republican. That's what they all are. Now they've they've taken over. The Republican, Party and it was just a matter of time that this would that that Frankenstein monster that there are Republican policies have created over decades from chipping away at voting rights to. Historic levels of income inequality that would end up with a trump frankenstein monster, swallowing up cannibalizing the Republican Party. Now it's a it's part of the trump organization essentially, so she's very right to claim that, and what was so telling from the very beginning. Buried in this vanity, fair, deep dive shortly after the two thousand sixteen election into the into tiffany and trump vodka trump was a paragraph saying how Ivanka trump's response to the access Hollywood grabbed them by the pussy tape was to hit back harder so here all these women coming out crap, credible accusations of assault, sexual assault by her father and her reaction, very trumpian response was. was to hit back harder and I think that's what we saw. When University in Kansas disinvited her to give a commencement address because she's face of White Fascism in America, and her response was to hit back harder by releasing a propaganda video. That's just completely. It's Word Salad Empty, and that took away from the attention of the of the desired university spotlight being on graduates themselves. I want to talk about the black lives matter protests. And a lot of layers to it, but specifically. Trump's very chilling reaction to it. Of course you both been talking about the rise of authoritarianism for years. We've seen this play out in his response. calling Antifa Lang Tepa, domestic terrorist organization, this very nebulous, non organization and as recently as this morning. Actually tweeting out about the buffalo protesters, saying that he the seventy five year, old man, who was pushed to the cement, and bleeding out of the ear, could have been an ANTIFA provocateur Vicky. Guys talked about this on last week's podcast as a really dangerous precedent to kind of create this umbrella, for which they can attack anyone. That's attacking them. Can you talk a little bit more about that in why it's so dangerous? Yeah you did say that last week that they were going to use ANTIFA. which is this nebulous amorphous kind of group label it a terrorist organization, and then use that as a pretext to pounce on dissidents on anybody who expresses independent critiques of this administration and. Also on just random people on passersby, a reminds me very much of a case from Pakistan that I studied. Were they invented? A group called crew, Mia, and did you know similar things on the they also made. Eight hundred people under the pretext of fighting Crimea. Anyway he could listen to the episode for that, but you know this morning I I've seen some commentary that people think trump aired by. You know labeling this innocent man who is just walking along the street when the police him down to the point that his skull is cracked open, I believe as Antifa which of course is like? It's morally reprehensible. It's it's absolutely disgusting, but the point of it is to show that just nobody is safe, even if you are an elderly man, even if you're just minding your own business and your adjacent to. To the protests, even if you're somebody who is maybe sympathetic to the cause has never protested. Before is going out to see what's going on. They will come for you. The president of the United States will come for you while you are in the hospital trying to recover from injuries that the police, did you. This is a fear tactic. It's meant to make people afraid and I think those are kind of. Blowing it offer laughing at it. They don't understand just how brutal this administration is, and I think that you know by now. They really should. You could look at everything from the concentration camps for migrant families who have been torn apart to the murderous persecution of state officials that have defied the trump administration people like Maria Vich for example who the administration put a hit. Hit on, there's a very very long list of people who have been persecuted in a brutal way by trump's administration by trump's backers by trump himself in the time before he became president that, of course yes, you should be very alarmed. He is executive power and that with bill bar he has legal power. He has the Iran Contra Cleanup guy there to provide a legal. Legal pretext that initially a lot of pundits fell for when he first arrived, they thought he was an institution. They thought he was going to do some sort of honorable job because he wears a suit and tie, and he served in a previous administration. I mean that's crap. He's incredibly dangerous and the fact that the House has not initiated impeachment for Bill Bar is. Is a travesty. They should have done that immediately after he lied about the Miller report there was you know your defense? He should have never been confirmed, but once he was in the danger was so immediate in so obvious and so severe, and now we're here over a year later, and he has caused all of this damage with no repercussions for him at all. One of the things that to me has been very fascinating around the demonstrations and protests that have cropped up over the last couple of weeks. Is I've been hearing them referred to by. Pro Demonstration people an anti demonstration. People as in running which I think is interesting language to use for them, and obviously this predates trump. Black lives matter movement does but to have this. Let's call it up rising led by black people with everyone participating it in it coming during trump's time in office. What does that mean for his march toward authoritarianism? Is it disruptive or is it helpful? Do you think? I WanNA point out Sarah. And I work sort of feeling like we've had some accountability we've had. We've seen signs of progress with. The. Minneapolis City Council committing to defending the police there in Minneapolis. On you. You saw the same movement in New York City and other places, and and a lot's been happening finally needs to happen, and so for us it's it does feel like a surreal period of possibly trump's authoritarianism, the trump crime family as we call them as they are regrouping regrouping in response to all this because they have been wounded. By their own power grab I. Mean that was Ivanka's idea. Of course to go out and and used tear gas and forcefully cleared the area of peaceful protesters, all a fascist pageantry photo op an backfired tremendously, and finally had mattis agonizing all these months, finally, breaking his silence, and that in and so we are concerned, because they have to stay in power to avoid legal accountability, and and and so do their backers Putin's Kremlin because you know if biting and he's going to be passing sweeping Kremlin sanctions. He has to, and so we are concerned about how they may be regrouping to meet this moment in order to stay in power, avoid accountability. And I also think some of the. Reactions that they had to the protests worry dress rehearsal for what the intend to do in November I, expected them to ramp up use of the military to encourage police brutality against protestors after November regardless who wins the election or is declared the winner I should really say whether you know if it's trump, he'll feel like he has a mandate, and you're going to see an upsurge in in white supremacist violence and in violence from his backers, if it's Biden and you're going to have a situation where he's going to refuse to leave and I was expecting basically that outcome along with mass protests, we now have mass protests early, and for a distinct but related 'cause. We have protests against oppression against criminal impunity. From state officials. The actions of the police are very much in line with the goals of the trump administration with the U. of the trump administration. I do think though it's you know it's a hopeful. It's a good thing that many people are rising up at once. You know I live in Saint. Louis and folks here always called Ferguson in authorizing. A riot is started as vigil and did lead to an uprising, but it never brought about substantial reforms. On active level achieved the goals that the protesters wanted in part because it was hijacked hijacked by NGOs it was hijacked by. People who wanted to appear in the media, money and resources that should have gone here. Never really was used. The situation now is different because it truly seems national. It's extremely expensive We're seeing a lot of the groups that emerged after trump was elected. Groups like indivisible or moms demand people from those organizations. They're participating alongside activists from black lives. Matter in black activists in general and I think that that critical mass that is something to reckon with. That is something that you know any kind of. Dictatorial regime or aspiring one fears, so it's very good that the people are getting out in the streets in part because it breaks through the propaganda breaks through this idea that trump reflects the majority that he has. Forty percent. That's the number I always see bandied about with. Packing that he has forty percent of the country behind him I've never believed that for minute, and I live in Missouri which he won I. Think it's much lower and I think we're seeing that incredible frustration and fear being expressed on the street, and I think the krona virus crisis exacerbated that because what's happened is white. People have learned that they too are expendable under the trump administration that no one is. is going to protect them. Nobody is going to help them. One hundred thousand people will die, and the trump administration won't even lower the flag That's how they view human life in. It's a racist administration. They hate black people far more than white people, but basically they only care about themselves and their money, and their criminal ventures and I think that finally. You know Americans really understand how far they'll go. And thank you. We've brought it to a little bit of a hopeful place, because seeing people coming out in the street, and in coming together in these huge numbers consistently has brought me. Hope you know, and also for you know years now. The international community has been looking at US and been like. Why aren't American's out in the street every day protesting? What's going on and and now here? We are every day so there's there's some hope there and. And you all talk about on your podcast all the time, about divide and conquer early. She did last week, but we. We talk about it all the time. Because that's literally the GOP strategy for winning That's the only way really I see that they can stay in power in November is by executing the divide and conquer strategy. Can you talk a little bit about that, but let's talk about how we can combat that and stop that from happening. I think the answer is for all of us to build locally in our towns, our cities and our county, because the crisis we're seeing play out on a national level all the conditions, the social ills that. Putin's sweeping attack on our democracy in two thousand sixteen, all the wounds that he took advantage of used against us, those are all local issues voting rights, and so forth, and so if you fight locally where you live, if you find your community locally where you live your essentially building, lifesaving friendships and support systems, and humanizing each other, and so I, if you were a hillary supporter or Abidin, supporter or P, an Amy, who or Elizabeth Warren supporter on the ground locally you see each other as neighbors. You know your kids go to the. The same school and so forth, and you can join with with each other locally, because that's the real war is a local war, and if you clean up your local politics, if you fight for quality of life issues where you live, if you make sure that you live in a blue Trifecta, meaning the entire government is in the hands of Democrats. You know all of those battles at a local level help secure our democracy nationally and shifts the culture nationally election cycle after election cycle so as we've seen, play out again and again. From from as far as you know. Looking at the Spanish civil war, the conditions there with opposition against the fascist was divided. If you look at the abysmal election results in the UK election, which destroyed organism and ushered in Boris Johnson that was divided left, but I. don't think we have such an issue with division right now because you have Bernie, Sanders supporters and and organizers building with Biden's team and Elizabeth Warns Team, and I think we understand now bar greater than we did in two thousand sixteen on an organizer level. Just how critical this moment is that? If this election is not a landslide, it's going to be. Be Easy for them to steal. And so what you see is a lot of Bernie, supporters and Elizabeth supporters, and so forth getting together to raise money to turn Texas blue turning Texas into a battleground state, which is going to suck up resources from the trump campaign, and that's an important strategy whether we can turn Texas blue or not, even though turning blue would be a huge win, obviously, but we have to think about unity in terms of all of us working together election cycle after election cycle to plant, important seeds of building, progressive infrastructure, and over time that's going to shift things and protect her democracy from from. A vodka trump presidency because that's the real battle now like even if Biden miracuously win, and they don't get away with stealing it, November, we have to fight like hell to secure democracy in the long run and we do that locally with our communities. Group points I love that organizing locally and Your point about having debt to have a blow out in this election is so important for people understand, too. Because we've seen as recently as as yesterday, some really attractive polls and I. Just don't want people to get complacent one bit and look at any poll and think okay, we're. We're looking good there because we can't win by one percent, we can't win by two percent. I mean trump has spent his entire presidency trying to de legitimize the actual election that he won so. I WanNa ask you guys a question. Because obviously things have changed considerably because of an actual pandemic, so in terms of twenty twenty survival guide. What do you recommend folks do now to? Ensure that there's a landslide and ensure that we kick out Mitch McConnell and put the Senate Democrat hands, and and say and keep the house so are what are you telling? People now in to stay engaged in? What are some actionable items that they can do regularly to help build that landslide that we need. Flipping the script, you WANNA go morale. It's a great question. I mean I think that we are organizers. Everywhere are building the plane as we fly it because. Things changed so dramatically. We've really encouraged people to lean into. Proven strategies phone banking tech banking letter writing, but also experimenting with innovative digital things. Social Media Organizing tapping the networks that we already have now is the time to be talking to people that that you know personally and I think a lot of election organizing we focus on. You know how to talk to strangers and. Now we've we've got a look at the people around us and make that. We're not leaving them out. As we kind of the you're out when we can get back to the doors, and and and things like that exactly thing I would add to that. Is You know our our strategy still remains the same? We know the the states that are going. Going to have an outsized influence in helping save our democracy. That will have a Senate seat that we have to win. Local legislatures like y'all talked about earlier. How important it is to work to flip the state houses especially before the census especially before we re district so that we can ensure the next decade we have at least try. Try to have fair elections moving forward without the terrible gerrymandering, and of course the presidency, so the targets are the same, but it's it's you know no sugar coating it. It's much more difficult to reach people right now, and and what that means is we really need everyone to to volunteer to get involved. We need more people to make more contact. Contact so that we can have that. Blow out that we need and going to start as Mariah said with you know relational organizing going into your networks, finding people that you went to college with maybe having spoken to four while getting them to contact their friends finding out who you know in these super states contacting them and doing it in strategic ways. Great Question. To everybody. Well. One more thing book before we let you all go and I can't wait to hear this week's podcast so I know you wanna get back to working on that. We always end our interview with this. What gives you all hope for November? Sorry. John Well I said. This is the care. This is the caregiver portion of our interview. Yeah. I've said before I. Don't have hope but I also don't have hopelessness I think. Sometimes you know people should, if hope works for you if you have hope and it keeps you going, that's great. I'm not like anti. Hope or something but. If you studied this kind of subject matter for a long time. You know you've often become familiar with really horrifying possibilities possible outcomes. that. We don't want to happen, but we need to be vigilant. We need to prepare in advance. We need to imagine the worst case scenario so that we can prevent them. And what I think is a very good thing is that people are getting much more realistic about that? Back in two thousand sixteen I think people were too complacent. They assumed Hillary would win that it would be a blowout. That trump was not actually a trader. He was not a Kremlin asset that if he were people would come in and fix it that institutions function It's not a fun thing. Thing to have all the flaws of your institution's. They're essential. Ineffectiveness revealed. You is horrifying way, but it's much worse not to know, because then you're blindsided and it's difficult to fight back, and it's difficult to organize, and I think we've gotten over that hump to a large degree. I think people are going into this with their eyes open, and what they see may be horrifying, but if you're fighting honorably with principal with an eye towards the truth, then that will take you far and so seeing that progress over the last four years. You know I think that's encouraging. And I'll add what gives me. Hope is seeing all these books on how to be antiracist selling outten, and that's really long overdue because. Martin Luther King. Who of course was considered a radical for his day? He a spoke truth to power to white allies, white advocates and white people generally inside. We can't do this without you. What are you doing and so I have a lot of hope for November moving forward? Because white people are finally waking up no matter where they came from or what whatever hardships their families escaped from Europe, and elsewhere they're finally waking up to the fact that it's on us to have these conversations with each other, and learn all the insidious ways that white supremacy works, because it was white supremacy in the first place that helped trump steel come to power that he built his campaign for years. With this birther movement against the first black president and it's it's. It's completely linked that Putin's mass. Murdering terror regime is uniform. anti-immigrant racist bashes state props, him, up. Financially for many years to their oligarchs, money, laundering, and so forth so. It's about time that white people. Embraced the moral responsibility that we have to have these conversations with each other and learn how to have them and and risk. How awkward and uncomfortable that may feel, but how necessary it is, because racist emails forwarded to you about Brock Hussein, Obama and racist. FACEBOOK post those turn into racist actions in the real world you know, and so it's about time that white people learnt how to talk to each other about why black lives matter. A great point and speaking of books everybody check out hiding in plain sight, Sarah's amazing book and my wife ignored me for full twenty four hours in enlist devoured it on. Your audio book version of that, so you've been in her ear, a lot and Yeah and drive. Where can people see Mr Jones? Well, you can go to Samuel Goldwyn. Win Dot Com! They have all types of options there including the trailer at starring the Great James Norton. WHO's the oddsmaker favorite to be the next James Bond Vanessa Kirby? who was Princess Margaret and crown and Peter SARS guard who is just everyone's favorite actor, extraordinarily lovely, so make! I'm thrilled to share that with you guys. Who Thank you eating well? We'll put those resources on the site on social media and everything. Yeah, this is awesome and tell me what you think. It's my first film. So congratulations is really exciting, and of course we'll link to gaslight nation. What gives me hope? Is that Your own reminding us of how high the stakes are so. No no way to get complacent listening to you. We're this been in class borough democracy? Yeah, we know. You guys thank you so much. This has been really great, really informative and We appreciate all that you do and your action guide also. We didn't really get to talk about, but thank you for doing that. Thanks for not just talking about this stuff, but giving people stuff to do. Will you as well so you know we're? I'm inspired inspired worth role to come on this show since circle back with you after all that we've gone through as a country and last couple of months, so thank you for your continued work as well. So Steve You ended up going to a demonstration over the weekend. I did I went down? There was a number of protests. I'm sure everyone saw the incredible over overview of Hollywood on Sunday were hundred thousand people were there is incredible and all all of the turn out all over the country and the world. has really been giving me hope I went on Saturday to protest in March that started in century city. City and then marched down to the Beverly Hills. Police Department and Dr Molina Abdulah spoke, who is the founder of black lives matter. Los Angeles Actors Michael B Jordan. And Kendrick Sampson both spoke it was great, and there's some really great interviews that I got just with people who are marching and so some varied perspective on hope moving forward, so let's hear it. One hundred percent makes you feel like they'll be changed. My friend dragged me out. 'cause I'm used to getting pulled over and stuff like that, and so I was kind of hesitant Arab. It's nice to be able to be heard. We shouldn't even have to be doing this shit right now. We're doing it because our brothers are being insisted are being killed on the floor and be murdered. So this is not something selling. Doing is something have to is something we will do until justice is served in this country. Does this give you hope in this moment? Feel like today to see what hope I'd have this moment we always have president doesn't give a shit and if he gets reelected. Who gives even less of a shit? It's crazy. The we'll see. Dr. The. Out here like this, we appreciate it. We are in a moment of transformation in this country. So important. That as we think about the times, as we think about these chance as everything about the names that we call out that we remember why we're here and what we're here to do, because what is happening with this moment as we say, de-fund the police as we say, black lives matter as we call the named George, Floyd and the six hundred one people been killed by police. Right here in Los Angeles so I love the names that molly was calling out. It's also important that we call the names of people like rebel Johm that we remember that today is the. Angel Verse Serie Meaning Day that He was killed today. As Ryan's Wyman Angel Bursary, so let's say his name. His name. It's also the angel bursary of Eric. Rivera was killed three years ago today. Can we say his name? Eric Rivera says name. Michael Jordan. Ain't got A. Easy thing to do here. You know respecting. But voting has never been more important than it is today before that's people well. We can't bill today. What we are doing what we're doing today will make our voices heard in values her. We keep doing it that he agitated things. We can't be complacent and killed at this moment just as we have to continue to put offline their. First of all how you feeling. Energized by the movement happy to be peacefully protesting against things that are. Affecting, America this was four hundred years in the making. So, it's a good thing that people are out here now. It's about time. We've been calling this out for a long time. They can't go back to normal. We're so far past that. So. It's either you're in. You're out, but it's happening without your. This is my. First Time ever. Yeah first time ever. Does this moment. We'll see some. Yes, I've I've seen it. We've seen it over the past week. as long as we keep the momentum that sometimes you know you do it, and then it dies off, but you have to keep the momentum until it's completely dime until the task is complete. It's not complete yet, so we have to stay. Mobilize and energize and keep the momentum going. Out to a lot of these rallies and protests. I've spent the last week or so kind of just decompressing. Spent a lot of time with my son on my lap. And went and visited my dad. Just kind of. Feel everything We were really afraid to Kinda. Come out still because just because of COVID etc.. And so today I felt more prepared already and safe about coming out and. We've been working really hard to just kind of get the message out. Continue to get resources out. Hers conversations to our email lists etcetera. Yeah, we've been. We've busy. Does this. Give you hope I typically run with really looks vacations with people because I don't like to be disappointed. At the skill it does. Folks are saying earlier like it feels different it's it's interesting to see so I hope. Everybody keeps up that same energy. were. We don't need to. What we need is your work. We are trying to be. What we all winning, we are succeeding in this, so we don't need law what we need to work to continue this work. They. A bad seed produces a bad trade produces bad posts. A good see. Good. Policing system. Bed. Barrett. Fares bad. Feeling Curry's man. I feel I feel encouraged. I mean the turnout. All across the nation has been amazing and just watching like all these people with like minds. and. You could just feel the energy and the hope and vigor, and all of these people, and if you're ready for a change. Thanks so much for joining us today, and thank you for stepping up and taking action. This is how we went we when we all get involved. We want to hear from you. Let us know how you doing tweet to US at lose boy, Steve and APP Mariah. Underscore craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot org. Thank you to our friends at dim cast if you have. Have it yet? Please subscribe rate and review us on Apple, or wherever you get your pods, share on social media and use the Hashtag how we win twenty twenty. You can always check out our page at swing left dot org slash podcast were their great resources, and of course you can sign up to volunteer their. Thanks for being here with us. We'll be back next Wednesday with some more. See you then.

Ivanka trump Los Angeles trump Sarah Kinzir US Mariah Craven Police Department president Minneapolis Putin America GOP Steve You Senate Louisville trump Karen Bass Brianna Taylor
Making Calls Count with Jordyne Blaise

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | Last month

Making Calls Count with Jordyne Blaise

"Welcome back to how we win. All over the country people are doing extraordinary things. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. There are are thirty four days left until the most important election of our lives just over a month with your help, we can win all the houses right today we are talking about talking on the phone with voters in our key states. Phone banking is now the only safe way we have to connect one on one with voters. We're GONNA give you the tips and tricks to have effective meaningful conversations. We also hear from diversity inclusion and equity expert. Jordan blaze she talks about how to have culturally competent conversations. With voters communities outside our own and how to go deeper with our conversations around race and equity. This is gonNA. Come in Handy with that phone Beijing I'm Steve Pearson. Mariah craven and this is how we win. Yeah Mariah is, Back Bamba Mariah. Song. Back, I'm sleep deprived but I haven't also little baby. So how is Jackson doing? Maybe Jackson is. Garage. Smiling this week. So, that's pretty amazing. I'm so happy for you guys and really really happy that you're back I'm sure all of our listeners are so tired of my voice on this thing and glad to have you back here. Dow It can't be true. The Nice thing about him also is that he doesn't talk about Donald Trump. So not yet he's the only one. Literally the only one. May He never even like may just be something. He reads about in the history books something, which is not wild like he's GonNa read. He's going to read about this moment in fifth grade history be like. Sounds a weird were you guys taking? His is this what you were prattling on about on your podcast. MOM, it'll be called something different biden be like A. Hologram cash. Exactly. Anyway we want we. WanNa leave this moment behind but we wanna we, WanNa do it right. We want to make a difference and we want to move on Yeah Yeah and and we are getting close This is the moment we've been waiting for and Of course last night we had a debate and we don't need to talk about that. What we really want to do it's going to be a little bit of a departure from our normal podcast format because we really want to get you into action. So as we said, today is going to be all about foam banking and we're going to go through tips and tricks and. Everything that you need to know to be an effective phone banker. Yet. Never forgot that no matter how many debates you watch no matter how many polls you read and dive into no matter how many trending topics you see out there elections come down to people talking to people. and doing it strategically. That's that's really important. So we're GONNA get into how to do that today and right now phone banking is the most effective thing that we as individuals can do to turn out voters. That's right. It's the only safe way. We have to have those actual one on one conversations there. It's so important and the campaigns really need foam bankers because the more people we have doing this work, the more the the more passes they can make on their universe, which means the people that they're reaching out to and what my hope is Mariah is. There's a a traditional universe that campaigns reach out to traditional group of people in Geo, TV time, which means get out the vote In this case, it's the three it's it's now 'cause ballots already dropping but those are people who the campaign is identified as supporters of their campaigns and have like a medium propensity to vote right and they need some extra. Conversations some extra contact to make sure that they get to the polls my hope and what I can see making a reality is if we get enough people having these conversations and phone banking that we can go through that universe, go multiple passes through those people that we can expand and start reaching out to more of the what they would call lower propensity voters, people who don't get contacted all the time on campaigns and these we've talked about it on our show many many times. I'm firmly in the camp that we need to reach out to everybody especially the people that are traditionally disenfranchised. They are not. Low propensity voters because of any fault of their own, their low propensity voters because they don't feel like they're a stakeholder because they don't get talked to and they don't and they don't. Have, people reach out to them. So if we get enough people doing that work, we can really expand this universe and and make this the soon Nami I mean has to be a massive landslide. We all know why and how important that is right I feel like I'm uniquely qualified to help people with their phone banking because way back in like the summer of two thousand. I. Was Saving Up for a trip to Mexico was amazing by the way and blockbuster video cut my hours. So I needed a second job. So I, I got a job as a telemarketer. Wow. I've talked to so many people on the phone I've been hung up on so many times and you know what I survived. And I've done plenty of phone begging since said. Retired. We can talk I've I've learned first of all blockbuster what a sweet gig get to watch the movies all day. That's awesome. That is a great job. Yeah. Well. So that's good. So you can share the. The good the bad and the ugly about foam banking but it's what we need to do and. But, people are scared to phone bank I. Get that I get scared the first time I pick up the phone those first couple of calls I, get that pit in my stomach but once you start doing it the the conversations you have are really rewarding and dumb and it's what the campaigns need. Right? They do need people on the phone so it's time to. Dip Your Toe in those phone banking waters and MB bold and and do it and do you WanNa talk about what people can expect from from phone banking. Sure sure. So some things to keep in mind cause managing your own expectations is really important in keeping your morale up Believe it or not. You're not gonNA talk to a ton of people you're going to dial number after number after number, but you're going to have tended twenty percent of people pick up. So don't get discouraged if you have six seven. dials in a row where no one picks up that's totally normal So we're not wasting time talking to people who we know are trump supporters at this point, we don't have time to do that. So your campaign that you're supporting is going to be giving you the number, the phone numbers of people who are likely to support a Democratic candidates you'd have to worry. About yeah. That's a really important point because a lot of people are like I don't WanNa get an arguments with trump and and that's not who were calling like I. said, we're calling likely supporters. If you do end up talking to somebody that is a Republican or trumper, then you just say, thank you very much have a great day and move on to the next call. Yup Yup and then you're also going to have real conversations. You are GonNa have an opportunity to share why you're doing this volunteer work. People are going to share why they're either excited about the election or hesitating to vote in in this year out of all the years, it's so important to have these conversations because there's so much misinformation flying around out there and there's so many changes that are coming to keep voters safe during the pandemic. So boaty may look a little bit different depending on the community. So it's really important for you to have these conversations with folks. And then the last thing is you don't have to know everything. I. Think that sometimes people don't pick up the phone when they're volunteering because the they say a what if I get a question that I can't answer that rarely happens and if you do you just tap dance your way to Google and or direct the person on the other end to candidates website or to swing laugh you'll get all of that information when you get trained for the phone bank daggs actually monitor the phone banks You know we work with a lot of phone banks so I will always. Say Most or usually I'll never make ultimatums on this but most of the phone banks will give you cheats and talking points and all that Kinda stuff it. You can do some research on your own to prepare if you want but it's totally fine to say I don't know and check out the website. You don't WANNA give the caller bad information certainly, you don't WanNa give them the wrong information so and it's enough just to be a volunteer calling taking your time and connecting with people you know that really makes a difference always start with that I'm a volunteer. Yeah. People are a lot more. Accepting of volunteers than people who they think are calling to ask them for money or something exactly. Yeah and I'll say foam banking in the past has been kind of a lower contact sport right As you mentioned, you don't always talked to a lot of people but I'll say anecdotally people have been making more contacts with these phone banks. They've actually been reaching more people and having better quality conversations than I've. Traditionally, heard about on campaigns 'cause one people are home and two people are actually more apt to talk and they. They really appreciate being reached out to most of the campaigns again that word most. But just about all of them start the script with some kind of wellness check for people to check in with them about how they're doing during dimic because we're all. Affected by this, and it's also like a really great way to start that conversation too so. Oh and one other thing that Mariah mentioned about When you're making phone calls, you might make a few calls that Adam don't go through There's actually. We do again, we work rely campaigns. There's two different kinds of dialers or phone banking software that we use. There's what we call a predictive dialer and manual phone banking. So the predictive dialer is where and it really works great when there's a lot of people making phone calls, it helps when there's more people on there. It goes through the phone numbers for you and find someone that says hello and answers. So it screens out disconnected numbers, answering machines usually and stuff like that. So hero beep and then someone's already said hello and you start right in with the script with the manual phone banking you're making those calls yourself either on your own phone or through the computer through that interface. So that's where you have more wrong numbers or answering machines and stuff like that. There they both have their pluses and minuses there. They're both great ways to reach voters but just so you have an idea that you'll be some tech involved in annual experiencing kind of different different versions of that. Yeah. That's why the training is always. So important and a question that I. Have Gotten, a lot is especially when people are doing manual phone banking and they're. Tapping numbers into their personal phones is. Should I be blocking my my phone number and believe it or not? I usually tell people if you're comfortable with not blocking it don't block it because people I think are more likely to pick up when they can see the number. And and they're likely to pick up when they don't know who who's calling them. They don't know that they want to avoid you and they're like, who? Who is this Lemme Lemme answer and a very rarely you'll get somebody who calls you back and say, Oh, I, missed a call from this number and you can give them give them the spiel. But yeah, I, don't be afraid to deal without masking your number. Yeah I. I've had people call me back once or Twice, not really that often I've enjoyed it actually when they did because I got to have a conversation with them but the other thing that you can do is you set up a google voice, you get google voice it's an APP that you can download from the APP store and and set up a number that way. So if you don't WanNA share your personal number, then you can do it that some more tech to enjoy but that's some people doing that. Good. Advice. So, once you sign up, here's what you're going to need. You'll get details about this when you sign up for phone bank, but you typically need a laptop or tablet a phone if there's Emmanuel if there's the manual dialer like we were talking about and then you want to know who you're calling for. So I usually just go to the candidates website, take a quick peruse around look at their twitter and I've got I've got a great idea of, and then I also of course like I'm supporting them. So I know why and then you know everything else will be provided for you script. FAQ's details about the area phone numbers. So it's really easy to get prepped for one of these phone banks. Yeah, that's right. You don't have to stress about it, and if you do run into any any problems in a questions about the tack and stuff like that, we have great resources on our phone bank page swing left dot org slash phone bank has all kinds of Docs and and helpful stuff there too. So and we are here for you I'm here and people can also sign up for training with you. Right they can. Yeah we're doing phone banking training and Geo TV trainings four times a week. Now it's fun but let's talk about some best practices. Now shall we when you're making those calls I mean. You were junior sales associate of the year. At that new job. You took an in the year two thousand right at the telemarketing firm. Yeah. Listen. I. Wasn't invited back the next. Summer Olympics. But I. But I am I I am good at talking on the phone so. Let's talk some best practices when you're making calls. The first one is to keep the moment in mind when you're calling people. Right, because were calling people during global pandemic, it's like we mentioned before it's affected all of us in different ways and the campaigns like I said, do have a wellness check at the beginning. So that's a really lovely way to check in with people and make sure they're okay. But we do want to approach these calls with empathy and understanding that were in a tough moment for a lot of a lot of people. That's so important for both the volunteers and the voters. The next thing is is don't make assumptions. So a lot of us are calling into communities different than our own. So it's really important that we don't make assumptions about who were calling mostly just important to listen and understand that. We're calling from what we've talked about before is our big blue double bubbles that community may be a little bit more conservative than we are, but we share the same same principle, same overlying values, and we're all doing the same work to to elect Democrats. Great. Advice even if you're not found banking. Right. Every phone bank. You're going to get a script the script is super important because it's typically written by professionals who have seen polls that you may not have access to and they're also trying to elicit specific information. So you want to make sure that you're asking all of the questions that are part of the script and sticking with it, but you should also. Make it your own. It's always obvious when somebody on the other end. You know reading a script verbatim and hasn't read it before So you want to practice it before you make your first first call, but then also put it in your own words while you know sticking to the to the bare bones of it. So instead of saying, hello, this is insert name. I'm calling you know you WANNA say hi in US the other person's name because you're going to have access to that. Hi, Steve. It's Mariah of volunteer with the such-and-such campaign. It's a great tip and sticking to the script really is important. It also goes back to my don't make assumptions because a lot of times. Especially if you've been phone banking for a while and you've seen a lot of scripts, you may not like the script you might think this doesn't make sense to me. I think I know how to talk to these voters better. But we want to defer to the locals, right these are these are the people who are in the community and know their community, and we really need to defer to them and be supportive of the work that they're doing. So yeah stick to the script. And you mentioned introducing yourself also don't ask for permission. This is one of my favorite tips, right? Because we're friendly people and you know we don't like getting phone calls sometimes probably ourselves. So the tendency. would be to call somebody and say, Hey, do you have a minute to talk to me or would you be willing to answer a couple of questions? No. Exactly, that's always the answer. The answer is always no. So don't ask for permission jump right in with the script with the first question on the script. And then this is a this is one of my old telemarketing techniques. As You want smile even though they can't see you they can. They can hear your smile smile sit up straight and tall if you can and be conversational, you're here to have a conversation with somebody who who is probably very similar to you out there or similar to a friend that you have and you WANNA approach them. WITH THAT IN MIND I'm smiling right now while I'm talking, can you tell I can hear it right jobs Steve Yeah it put me in about her mood. It's gone. It's gone. The smile is gone. I. Looked at twitter in a ruined everything. So that's my next tip is don't look at twitter while your phone banking. Stay focused be present. Yeah. At home making these calls and it's hard to stay focused. So set a goal for yourself. I. Like to make a time goal not a number of phone calls goal. 'cause you don't know exactly how many calls you'll make, but you know you can say I'm going to call for half an hour take a break call for another half an hour, take a break you know set those goals and hit them and and try to stay focused. I like to offer myself treats. If I get through twin fence on calls I can house them. gummy bears to treat. The last thing I want to say though is because this comes up a lot is too much. Contact is not a thing. Right, it's really not a thing we talked at the beginning of this about how we have to do multiple passes for these campaigns We know that it takes sometimes five to seven conversations with voters to make sure that they get to the polls and they actually vote. You are not going to talk someone out of voting. As we're making these calls to perennial presidential swing states they get so many calls and you're GONNA call in to Florida, or North Carolina Pennsylvania wherever we're calling and people get worried that they're going to annoy someone. Too much contact is not a thing when I hear people saying they're getting a lot of phone calls. It makes my organizers heart swell five times its regular size because that's what we need to do to win. The other thing is if people vote early, they'll get pulled off the lists for phone banking. So that's always A good thing to share their. If you're tired of phone calls, Go ahead and vote wants your vote is registered with your county You'll get removed from the from the rolls. Off because we don't have time. We don't have time to phone being people who've already voted. That's right is so it's so essential. That's why this work is. So important right now because there's so many options for people that they didn't have before maybe their polling places changed because of the coronavirus, they had to find safe locations for them to be able to socially distance this early voting states that didn't have it before vote by mail options dropbox is all the stuff. That we talk about. So this contact is crucial to let people know what's available and help them work through their plan for exactly how they're going to do that when and where they're going to do it. That's what it's all about. These turnout conversations are all about helping people vote and I can't think of more important work to do right now than to help people vote. Absolutely. I would love to your other people's tips. And tricks they mail them to us or post them on twitter with the Hash tag how we win twenty twenty. That's a great idea. Please share your experiences phone banking to I someone just shared with me that the calls they've been making mostly people are thinking them for making these calls, which is really nice like we're at this time in history where we know that trump and the gop is going to do everything everything in their power to stay in power, we need to be doing everything in our power to make sure this is a blow out election and they don't have a leg to stand on. So jump and do it the conversations a great share the conversations with. US One last thing I want to say we've been speaking in general terms about virtual phone banks like I said, most of them have leader in training at the beginning of the phone bank that will give you the information that you need this a lot of campaigns people dealing with thankfully thank goodness, a ton of volunteers. So be patient with the trainers be patient with the people who are running it some do better job than others frankly you know. so ask for help deferred the locals, defer to the campaigns they know what's going on on the ground there and And try to be flexible. Great. Advice I can't wait to start making some phone calls again will you know where you can do it mariah where can I do it? You can go right now to our phone banking hub at swing left dot org, slash foam bank, and guess what everybody that is your call to action that's what everyone needs to be doing right now. So swing left dot org slash phone bank that's where we have our priority campaigns, the campaigns that need us the most that have asked for phone bankers the close races where every contact is GonNa make a big big difference. I'm going to swing left dot org slash phone bank right now see later. Hey, wait don't go yet. Wait we're not done. Not Quite you know first of all. I'm so glad you're back Mariah I'm just GonNa say it again I'm really I really missed you I'm so glad you're back the show isn't the same without you Sadly, I did not have you with me to talk to George Dean, but I had a great conversation about how to be culturally competent making these phone calls. We talked about not making assumptions about people and looking yourself instead of looking at them she articulates it's so well I'm really excited for people to hear this conversation it's part of your phone bank training. So don't miss it and she also gives some great tools for calling out racism for calling out bad behavior in constructive ways and It's just a really valuable conversation so I'm excited for everybody. Hear it. I can't wait till then. Jordan. Is a now diversity inclusion and equity consultant and strategist her expertise and civil rights enforcement and diversity change management comes from her work with various companies, organizations, including Harvard Law, school, North, Carolina, state, university, and the District of Columbia government. She also consulted for swing left recently and presented fantastic seminars for our volunteer leaders and staff, and so I'm so thrilled to be speaking with you right now. Thank you for joining US Jordan. Thank you for having me. Steve, I'm super excited. Before we get into it. I want to hear a little bit more about you. How did you get started in this work and what led you to what you're doing now? Yet. That's a great question I like to believe that the work got started in me I sort of have been doing this since I was born practically I was leading up protests in elementary school around a feeler, an equitable treatment. So if anyone remembers my gifted program protests they probably know where they are to witness kind of the burgeoning activism within me and from that work I think with good study and life experience I sort of started to. Question things around me, my neighborhood, my access to education my opportunities and a lot of them are wonderful. But a lot of them came with quite a bit of hard work and as I started to explore and question more found answers in books in studying African American Studies and a number of other really wonderful opportunities and from that I found myself very interested in civil rights I. Always said that I would argue a school desegregation case before the Supreme Court. That led me to law school and I changed here. But here I am finding myself doing something not too far from that and you are a lawyer as well, right? Yes. I am do you practice? I was GONNA say I we say a lawyer by trade I practice really early on in my career, but don't practice in the traditional sense now. So. I want to get to. We were talking before this interview about phone banking and how important it is to have these one on one conversations and foam baking the only way that we have to have these real conversations with voters right now, that's safe for people in the middle of a global pandemic. So we've got a lot of volunteers who are jumping in to have these crucial conversations and we have a lot of amazing leaders who are also hosting phone banks and training volunteers to have effective conversation. So. Many of our volunteers are calling into communities that are different than their own. What are the most important practices that volunteers and leaders should employ to have culturally competent conversations with voters? have. That's a great question I. Think it starts with understanding contextual that all people are people at their core and similarly I think we've found a shared humanity in sort of post co bid navigating life realizing how difficult this time has been for all of us collectively and I think in approaching phone baking from a culturally competent landscape. It's sort of understanding a tale of two cities if I may right one where these folks are human beings just like you right they are. They've spent a day on zone calls or a day at work. They're kind of wiped by the end of the day. They might be emotionally exhausted from dealing with loss related to co, vid- or loss of freedom and flexibility and time, and we're all sort of trying to navigate and adjust to this new world. We found ourselves in on the other end of that right they they also are different in meaning that we you know I say that with a caveat, right where everyone's the same but we're all different. Ways. and I think culturally competent lens recognizes less about the other person and more about yourself and so I'm always conscious and. Cognizant. To tell people you know check yourself what are you feeling? What's your tone sound like which are level of anxiety or nervousness chances are they can sense that and they can feel bad on the other end. What presumptions have you walked into the conversation with either about that person about that community about that person's decision making our lived experiences I always say that it starts with said, open doing some self check around the tangible, right what am I thinking what am I feeling? Did I eat? Had A snack right and also to the philosophical rate what do I believe to be the truth about this person and how do you? Pause that ause those assumptions so that you can enter the conversation and in some ways, this is a sort of micro relationship rate. It's it's short lived but very much a relationship between two people, right. So how to enter that from US space of listening from a space of wanting to understand from a space of not entering the conversation knowing everything but trying to sort of embark on discovery in that Lens You have some in your presentation. You talk about four things that you need to let go of that were really powerful. When you're having conversations with communities that are different than your own do you want to talk about those? I. Could List them for you but. They're yours. I have a four things that I always tell people to leave at the door essentially when they are entering communities that are different than theirs and one of them is really this concept that you are only an individual and I always ground a lot of my education and training around that concept primarily because we sort of socialize to see ourselves individuals often times right. We're funny people good friends. We Love Tacos all these really cool things about our I'm all I'm all three of those things by the way. Coincidentally. Part of all of us. Have to top goes into intrinsically. That's always my goal because I'm like if you don't have to look at you strangely seriously. Distress I mean, we're not going to be judgmental, but tacos should be universal I feel like that's Kinda key right and so when I think about this concept of understanding yourself right in the context of being an individual, it's sort of easy to see ourselves that way right I'm a kind person I'm a giving person, but under understanding yourself as a member of a community is. A. Back to that self awareness that I talked about earlier, right who am I when it comes to my race or my gender or my socioeconomic status am I in English? Second. Language Learner. Am I working class? Am I highly literate and credentials? How do I sit in spaces of privilege but also sentenced faces of oppression and resistance and understanding your role is Bolton individual and as a member of socially constructed group right sort of helps you navigate both the ways that you perceive world. So what does how does that inform your world view but also how the world sees you and as you enter those conversations in those households, it helps you contextualized maybe how you might be responded to perhaps how you respond to a person that you've contacted in ways that are different based on that socialized experience right and so I think it's a huge part of that. I just love that I love putting the Lens on yourself because I, think so often we are. Looking outward in especially when we're reaching out to other communities, making assumptions and judgements on those and putting the Lynn talk what you know, what kind of person Mama GonNa talk to what should I be saying to them this going to resonate with them because I have an idea of that. So I I really love putting the Lens on yourself and looking at what you're bringing to it. Absolutely and and it sorta strips away those assumptions right? 'CAUSE 'cause that's when you enter the conversation. You're like, wow, this did not go how I thought. It would go user are making divots interns along the way and I think that goes nicely with the second point that I made right, which is you're not there to save anyone you're you're there to serve a community not to save and I think that we sometimes have this hero at hero it kind of viewpoint of ourselves where we see ourselves as kind of swooping in with a Cape and saving the day when in fact, all of these communities have really amazing organizers and Volunteers, day in and day out, putting in work into those communities to make them better to make them more whole to make them more complete and that doesn't mean that what you're doing isn't helping for sure and for certain it is, but it is to recognize and understand the context that long after this season is over a long after the election for a lot of folks this is there live right and show how do you honor that and how to use step into communities with a sense of reverence for the people who have and continue to do the work and sort of that and revere that work that they've done by complimenting it. To coopting it I think that is so crucial especially around election season right now because communities are used to having volunteers campaign swoop in like the month before an election and and then disappear and not invest in those communities and like you said, there are organizations that are on the ground doing the work like we don't need to come in and. Tell people what to do or create stuff that's already there. But you know all nations do need bodies they need people to do the stuff that they need done. So I excited about organizations like swing left like indivisible like that. They have been around a not just for elections but year round to invest in these communities because we really really need that. Absolutely, and it's a huge lift trade, and so it really speaks to the true power of community had a we help each other. How do we go hand in hand to really complete on this really monumental task that lays before us and I think that's a testament to when we volunteer with the community and mind right with the real tangible people that are impacted by policies by elected officials. By this sort of landscape that we find ourselves in we will always Kinda come from that perspective will always be successful in the sense that will understand the magnitude of this not as a singular day or a singular season, but really a lifetime of impacts for communities across the country. And your third one. I don't like it all and that's Of My truth is truth. So explain that explain in tell me how it can actually do that because I really think I'm right all the time. There you go right That means right like this is what I think. Argue with like convince me otherwise I think it's sort of this sense right navigate the world as our truth is the only true meaning. This thing that I believe this thing that I hold here and it's easy to say it when it's sort of low stakes, right like either mean that the best steak is medium or medium. tacos, we're back to our TALKER action, right? Yeah. It sort of easy to kind of negotiate. But when we talk about more complicated issues, right it is certainly more challenging because some of these ideas that we hold absolutely have helped us formulate our identity. So when I say your truth is not the only truth for a lot of people, it's like but wait that's a truth that I've known my whole life that something that I believed my whole life something as simple as with the American dream. If anyone works hard enough, they can have an achieve and accomplish X. Y. And Z. Right I'm talking about those things feeling really strong feelings, things that we hold true and that for some people may say, that's not true for me might that doesn't exist for me. That's not my lived experience and for a lot of us that can be disturbing, right? It can be very scary and be off putting. It can make us suspicious of people and not connected to them and what I say in this landscape of understanding that is part of our work as as human citizens. Part of our work as civic partners is to understand the truths of everyone around us. And engage others so that we better understand their lived experience. So He's talked a lot about kind of the election season in the month before an election and as someone who was born and raised in Florida? I. Know To. What it like growing up in swing state, right? Guy No growing up under the limelight of election season. Sure and. People. Make a lot of assumptions and some of them I'm afraid to say may or may not be true when you look at Florida man or Florida woman headlines But. I think a lot about this concept dub come from this really rich and dynamic community and when people make assumptions about what it means to be, from Florida, what it means to be from Miami what it means to be anything or anyone I am always quick to. Sort of acknowledge and helped reframe that context that there's not only one way of being right. There's not only one way to be southern. There's not only one way to be Latina six or to be young or progressive rate and the greater we work or the harder we work. I, should say to sort of understand these different lived experiences the better off we are and understanding each other. That's amazing and the the fourth one. I also struggle with and that's a can't be critiqued. That's my favorite wine. That's my shaker. I try I I say that tongue in cheek I I do try to be open and open to critique and so Maybe I'm being a little tongue in cheek with that, but it's hard for for people to I think especially, especially for a lot of us, progressives who see ourselves as champions for social justice and doing this work champions for diversity what you were just talking about like, what does it mean to be liberal? What does it mean to be progressive? There's different lenses that people will look at that with and identify with. So I think that this last one is especially important. I think we throw this on probably more conservative people more people who are closed, minded and need to be open to this ourselves as progressives ripe. Yeah I say not only do we need to be open to it like I think it's our highest calling. I think if you engage in this work and you are about justice work about. I think the highest calling we have for ourselves is to be willing to be critiqued and to critique others I always tell people that even after over a decade of doing diversity work I am constantly in spaces of critique I wanNA know how I can be better how I can do better because the reality is both I and you and all of us collectively have been socialized into a system to that persist and pushes fourth inequality right which means that before our conception we were sort of engulfed. In this system that created a world that was unequal, that was unfair. That was unjust in so many ways, and so I sort of think like who am I to write, navigate and engage in this world where before I was even born, I was already being taught all these ideas and encourage influenced by all of these really really challenging things to think that I have it right and to think that I get it right all the time and so even after over ten years of this work I am constantly questioning. What I'm thinking what I believe and I'm evolving right I'm not growing and I'm dead in and I mean that in this really really tangible way to say, how do we come humbly enough ray with enough humility with each other to say I don't know I can do better I will do better and I think it's much easier to look at More Conservative folks and say Oh. Oh my gosh like look at these things that you believe this is not good enough right. But the reality is there are tons of things around progressive causes that require us to really figure out to dig deep and figure out these really complicated and complex issues, and if we're not willing to be critiqued if we're not willing for someone to come to us and say, Hey, you've harmed me right you hurt me you've made me You've really really upset me with this thing that you've done or this thing that you said then we're not really about the. Things that we say we're about right and so I think this is probably the most critical piece of four steps that I could offer is to enter this work with that willingness to be open enough and humble enough rate to be critiqued. Yeah. That's really powerful to because obviously, these conversations conversations around race and inequality are difficult for a lot of people have in everyone should be having them. So you have to give quarter to people to have imperfect conversations to right because not being open to critique or being open minded in whatever your work is. I think it's it prevents these conversations from happening, right? Absolutely I think when we engage in and we're more conscious of ways in which we engage the world and we harm others by. Sometimes. It's not what we believe is not something we've actively done, but it is something that we've been socialized to do and believe you know a I think it's it's a question of principle of hey, this is hard right this is awkward. This week this is not easy if it was easy have we would have solved by now and so I think about that right taking this really complicated centuries-long issue and how do we really really work hard to? Figure it, out it's not. Overnight and it certainly not something that's easy. It's just something you have to determine. It's worth it. Yeah and that's the core of your work and so you mentioned. Intervening too. So one big question that people have is winning, how should we step in and disrupt bad behavior be it overt or microaggressions Can you distill some practices for our listeners? I'd so one is really just I always start with the self and I think a critical part of figuring out when do I step in? How do I step in? Should I step in is really navigating whether or not you have the capacity to and I don't want to underestimate this because as we find ourselves in sort of the swarm of Cova. Of social, uprisings and political unrest. Our own mental health, our own emotional wellbeing can't be understated in. So I always think to do you have the capacity rate to engage in this conversation to confront this issue to really dig deep and then do you have the privilege and so as I think about who I am as a six gender heterosexual woman in particular, right? This is something that sits with me all the time I think about that as privilege. In the sense that I am privileged in society and I take it upon myself. Right. When I see things that are homophobic or transphobic to step up and say something why? Because if I'm granted privileges society than I need to use that privilege right and leverage it to make sure that I create spaces and opportunities for folks who may not have that opportunity or who may not find psychological safety in disrupting it themselves right. The next piece for me is around really just. The doing right and I think a lot of the concept of disruption of saying something of speaking up is really as simple as just doing it and I think we enter that with an expectation that will be easy or comfortable, and so I tell people all the time to be mindful of their physiological response and so does your does your stomach? Not a brain? Are you sweating? Are you tapping your foot? Is a cat got your tongue like what is it that stopped you from speaking up or saying something and if it's simply the discomfort, the morning no it the more control we have over it. So. When you fill it building up, you can name it and you can move past it, and so I always tell people to name that thing that stopping you right to name it ought to put it away so that you can kind of trudge forward and saying something and the last piece for me in terms of that, questioning of disruption is really just using tools rain whether it be leveraging your relationships with other people using humor to distract using rough draft, which is this concept around saying, Hey, rough draft here I'm not sure that I had this all figured out of that describe sets. Yeah, it's it prevents us from being perfect right? I think perfection can be our enemy in this work in this. Bill in your gut that something's wrong. Say it right disrupt it interrupted and when you do that, it's less important whether or not you have the citations or whether or not. You've done the background research. It's most important in that moment that you are disrupting behavior that could be harmful to somebody or some group of folks. That's fantastic. We were talking before we started recording it is. It's getting crazier and crazier. The closer we get to election you know the election trump's. Overt bigotry is really highlighted and emboldened the racism that infects our country and. You know we're seeing people rise up together and historic numbers. And we're seeing mixed results so far legislatively from that too. I want to. Finish with the question that we ask all of our guests but I'm going to kind of put A. Extra addendum on it first of all D- think we are on a path to see some real systemic change in our country and what gives you the most hope for our future. I love that question I will say, yes of course, I have to I have to believe we're on a path to systemic change but I do believe that systems are just that right they're embedded in everything that we do. And so it takes more than a little bit as A number of black grandmothers say right export on a little bit to to get this done and So yes, absolutely. The thing that gives me hope is that we are human beings and human beings have a tremendous capacity for change. And I have to believe that with. Steadfastness with hope with faith with commitment that anything that can be faced can be changed and I think a lot about my ancestors. Right I think a lot about the legacy of a Fannie, Lou Hamer of Shirley, Chisholm of Dorothy height of these really polly Murray of either be wells really amazing. Activists Change makers who faced unsurmountable pressures and challenges in their quest to do what they believed was right and so the things that give me hope our both our past and our future rank thinking about things that have been done that changed that has happened and the change that has yet to come and realizing that were our future. So I feel really energized by all of those things. Jordanian. Thank you so much. We could. We should do a whole series of these. It's been a spectacular conversation, but thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me Steve. Thank you all for all of the work that you're doing and I am so tremendously grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for joining us and for stepping up to take action. This is how we win. We win we all get involved. Do not wait. We need you right now together, we can call all voters and make sure this election is the landslide we need. If you haven't yet please subscribe rate and review on Apple or wherever you get your pods share on social media and use the Hashtag. How Win Twenty twenty checkout our page it's being left dot org slash podcast, and of course, this is so important sign up for a phone bank ship at swing left dot org slash phone bank. You really appreciate all that you are doing. We appreciate you being here with us. We'll be back with some more and with Mariah next Wednesday. We. 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How We Amplify our Voices with Omar Rivero, Founder of Occupy Democrats

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

How We Amplify our Voices with Omar Rivero, Founder of Occupy Democrats

"Welcome to episode three of how we win. We are chronicling the riveting run up to the twenty twenty election. Every week will share these stories from the field. We're going to give you the tools. You need to jump in and make a difference right now. It's time to get off the bench today. We're going to hear Steve's interview with Omar Rivero. The founder of the biggest grassroots political media website in the country occupied hi Democrats. You probably like that facebook page. You're not alone seven point eight million people do Omarska talk about how he started with one light and one share and and built from there then Mariah former digital director for Kamla Harris's Senate campaign will share her top tips for amplifying your voice online and finally swing laughs laughs eastern field director Matt Cafes the man with the plan. He'll tell you how you can help turn Virginia Blue and why that's the election. We should all be focused on right now. Now I'm Steve Pearson Mariah Craven and this is how we win for those that didn't recognize the voice at the top of our show that was speaker of the British House of Commons John Berko who is stepping down before the new parliamentary election and taking all all of those awesome sound bytes with him. Oh so we have so much to talk about Mariah lack going on yeah. There's breaking news. There's news there's news in the future. There's future news that we don't know about because the North Carolina election as we were recording this is still happening so for you listeners as you may know the result of North Carolina nine the ninth Congressional district special election. We encourage you last last week to look into ways to help out. Dan McCreevy and we were up against trump himself who went to North Carolina on Monday held a rally with pence and had some as always controversial things to say. There was a quote right. what was it. I I think it was tomorrow. Is your opportunity to send a message to the America. Hating left okay talking about is. Do you hate America you see I don't think so. I think I've really love America. Which is why I'm working so hard to make it a fair and equitable place for people to live in absolutely that's why I got up this morning and open that hub dialer to Dan McCreevy's virtual phone bank so for those of you who are able to help how in the run-up to Tuesday's election North Carolina while done like no matter what you're hearing this morning about the outcome the morning that you're listening to this well done because this was a place that trump won by twelve points. I believe in two thousand sixteen and going in. It's a toss up. It's anyone's game and so we're we moved the needle regardless of the outcome now. Let's talk about Sharpie Arpey Gate that was the sound of a sharpie opening up as I said this taking notes with sharpie about today's show show it's sharp gate is was funny and silly and has gotten really dark yeah. I feel like there's so much time. Put into this something like is there other things we can. We can be paying attention to but there's a really serious point to be made obviously he's a buffoon and it just the most idiotic thing I've ever seen for someone to draw sharpie on a map like that and think that it'd be passable but the fact that he is openly willing to lie about whether right just reinforces what he is capable of lying about and how important it is that we all really step up and show up in these elections to make sure that we have a resounding victory because he's going to do everything he can to denigrate the results to suppress the vote and to cheat and lie and do all the things he does to stay in power yeah anything gets. It's one of the many things that's come out of this is that he's surrounded by people people who aren't going to check him like they're a what I imagine. The White House is like right now is trump just walks around totally naked and a staffer walks walks by and it's like free time. Mr President like nobody's there to say. This is not a good idea. Let's let's not do it. Nobody can disagree agree with him. in fact Wilbur Ross threatened to fire the National Weather Service people who contradicted the president and now you have someone else who's disagreed with the president who has just been fired and that's John Bolton his national security adviser which I'm really really happy to see him. Gone can't be sad about that one. I can't be sad but in any other alternate universe I would be nothing but happy to have John Bolton out of this administration but in this one it worries me that John Bolton wasn't like demand for Donald all trump who is going to replace him what other what new acting head of something or are we gonNa have this just going to be another yes man to to Donald trump great yes man and with or woman with very little experience and I think we we did know slightly a man a woman but it did come out over the weekend with the whole. Let's invite the Taliban to Camp David. You know the week of September eleventh. I think that this was something that John Bolton to push back against an you know a couple of days later he's fired and it's an it's announced on twitter per usual yeah yeah so on on the other side of the aisle. We have a debate on Thursday night. Oh that's right are are you in a goes to debate. Watch party or hosted debate watch party eighty. I am I'm going to a debate watch party and the cool thing about debate watch parties and we we actually have like a toolkit for debate. Watch parties swing left fun yeah because they're great way to bring like minded people. Maybe some people who have volunteered before you get together and watch the debate and and create like like a little group and say okay. Let's get into some action. Maybe we can do some letter. Writing or actual phone calls get involved in Virginia which we're GONNA talk about. Later was a watch party is a great entry into some of these activities for people. You know who would be valuable to the super low lift yeah like do you. WanNa come. Watch the debates with me. We're having a party at my house yeah easy now else. Can you do right right exactly so I'm excited and I'm excited to hear more more from our awesome candidates and and one more thing I want to touch on that we talked about last week to in the wake of these shootings how Walmart had decided to not sell ammunition in their stores now MOMS demand action and Shannon Watch has had a lot of great results with with grocery stores and companies all over the right all over the place saying they were not going to allow open carry in their stores which again it's an incremental thing but it's indicative of this movement that we're really seeing right they have a long list of victories from the last few days of of companies that have ask ask customers not to to carry weapons openly in the states where that's legal this a huge deal. I used to live in Texas. I can't tell you how jarring it is to be not in a public space with somebody who's just casually armed and the and the problem becomes. You don't know what they're you're going to do next and it's part of the trend we talked about how popular gun legislation really is across party lines soon with firearm owners day they agree that we that we have to do more with regards to background Jackson making sure that people are trained and in firearm safety before they're allowed to buy a gun that's huge. That's a huge change and Mitch McConnell. Are you listening. You think he's listening to this. I read and listened to the people and listen so we've got a lot to do this week and we're gonNA talk. A little bit about Virginia coming up at there are other things that are a little more short term that we need to get involved and there's some stuff this weekend. Exactly planned parenthood has a title ten protection in day of action coming up on September fourteenth and this is about protecting access to abortion and contraception against constant constant attacks by the trump administration so you can go to planned parenthood action dot org to find an event near you or find out how you can reach out to your Congress member and talk to them about making sure that they're standing up to the trump administration about us in protecting our healthcare excellent please do that and indivisible has connection coming up about immigration all week. I think they're doing actions. Across the country called de-fund hate so they're asking people to stand up for immigrant families lease and demand that Congress cut funding for ice in border patrol in the in the budget fight. That's happening this month. Check that out to get involved evolve. This is how we amplify our voices and make them heard okay. Let's get to the interview Most of us don't appreciate the reach and influence that we have. We have a bigger impact that we ever get to see today. I'm sitting down with someone who knows a lot about how to amplify his voice and help build a movement. Omar Rivera is the founder of occupied Democrats of Progressive News site that he built with his twin brother to be counterweight to Fox News right wing propaganda machine starting with one like in one share they now have over seven point eight million million subscribers on facebook and are one of the most influential news sites on the Web Omar. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your story then you're welcome and thanks for having me so your first generation Mexican American born in Mexico you moved to the US to Miami when you were seven yeah about the tornado that's attorney okay. I was your family political. When you were growing up. actually my father had actually ended up being put in jail for a couple couple months him in a couple of friends of his started us well they had plans to start a school to teach industrial agricultural methods to to farmers in Mexico basically indigenous farmers so of course throw him in jail for that new technologies yes so the powers that be didn't like that through him and his associates in prison not for too long just like a couple weeks or a month and but that was enough to scare my dad away from politics and you have seven brothers and sisters yeah. I'm the my two nine the youngest of seven kids yes so your family struggled a lot when you were young with poverty. Seven Siblings a lot of mouths to feed. Am I right when you came to America to Miami. You didn't speak English yeah. speak a liquor finish united any of my brothers and sisters. My father spoke some English because my mom is actually American she's uh of. She was born in New York and yes. He's Jewish she wants to Mexico to study met my father state of Mexico fell in love. They had seven in kids and I guess when things got really bad in Mexico. I mean the pestle devalued a couple of times and the economy crashed and things I just got really tough and I guess my mom's family came to visit my mom made the executive decision that it was time to basically pull the plug on Mexico and come come to America and chase of that opportunity and economic opportunities for not just for herself but for her family for kids right and landed Miami Amy Yeah because we have we have relatives there yeah so in a way I mean we were very lucky that we had relatives because from what I understand they pay for our flights and paid for a first few months so we were very very fortunate and the fact that we're American so I mean when I was in Mexico and I told my friends and acquaintances ham going to America. They all instilled in me. Just how lucky I was you know when I arrived. I thought you know there's going to be golden streets and having like chocolate for everybody and like no homework I mean I had this magical idea of America and in fact it was even more of a struggle. Oh because in Mexico when you're poor you food is relatively cheap so you don't struggle to eat when you're poor in Mexico and even even being impor- you have basic necessities but here in America being ports. It's almost harder. You know. We're a very doggy. Dogg ultra capitalistic society so it was actually really tough when we first got here in I was actually really depressed as a kid. having moved moved here not only was not only are we living in a really terrible apartment near festival cockroaches and really struggling but I also missed my family back in Mexico etc you worked really hard he ended up with a degree from Cornell and are now running a hugely influential news site out of your house in. La how does all that experience shaped your view of of America in the political world that we're in right now. It's a very complicated question but basically it's the driving force of my work and basically the Genesis Nisa Occupied Democrats because yes I did manage to get into a very good school and a very good graduate school and I did manage is to start out to mention graduate school in Europe. Where'd you go. It's called the European School of Management Right yeah. It's an it's an international program. I was in Italy in London a year niche so yes. I've been privileged and but the thing is like I got an unimaginably lucky on my way up and it wasn't it wasn't went straight right up. Where it's I mean I got I went well. Things did not go well. I wasn't exactly a model student in high school. In fact my first couple years in high school I was a troublemaker and I fell in with the wrong crowd and I had really no plans of going to college. It wasn't until I took my public my. PSAT's scores my practices at's the not just me but counselors and people realize hey wow I mean you have potential. I didn't I myself didn't realize that I was intelligent because I grew up in a society where intelligence and in a neighborhood where intelligence is really really not valued and people don't place a lot of trust in students. You know it's a it's like my high school. Had My school had fifty students in there wasn't enough books nine of textbooks. I mean it's it's not your typical American story story. Miami has the Republican led Republican state so and people are very very conservative served there so when you grow up yeah yeah again so the public education system is not what it should be anyways to make a long story short. I realized that I had potential. I turned my life around. I started getting grades but even then I mean there. There was a lot of ups and downs and I had to get very fortunate. A lot of people really believed in me along the way and I just WanNa make sure that somebody doesn't have to get as lucky as I did right in my high school. I'm one of the only kids who did get into an Ivy League school but there was I graduated in the bottom in the in the basically basically the fifth percentile of my high school. The only reason I got into an Ivy League schools because I got recruited to play soccer so I feel really terrible for for you know the top ten student in high school which was a good school actually and they got really good grades and they didn't get into an Ivy League school because schools us. I believe schools. Don't look at schools like my high school. You know they pick from the private schools where they have a forty fifty percent success rate in placing kids into Ivy League schools and kids from where I'm from the large forgotten schools in an underfunded district. They don't generally get looked out for by Ivy League schools when they're screening for applicants right so I i WanNa make sure that somebody from where I'm from doesn't have to get as lucky as I did. that doesn't make sure that the system works for them and that top talent is identified genocide and is nurtured and people have the opportunity to go to a good school. I mean a lot of folks from where I'm from. They get into good schools but they can't afford to pay for them right so a lot of kids from they get into University of Florida for example. I know a lot of kids and they ended up having to go to Miami Dade Community College. Because state schools are forty thousand dollars a year right so there's a lot of kids who are under educated by our system and who are really get the short end of the stick and I WanNa make sure that that doesn't happen anymore. Where did you first start getting involved in politics. Then what motivated you to jump in. Eh and to get into action there yeah. I you know I have to say a lot of people have the same answer from my generation. it was my freshman year in high school and and I and my teacher put on the television and it was nine eleven and I saw these buildings coming down and I saw how scared everybody was and and I thought like wow maybe I really should start looking at you know I. I saw President Bush. Come on television the next day and said we're GONNA get those evildoers and I realized realize that the whole world was about to change and I said man I better really start paying attention to politics and thankfully at the time was just about the time that the Internet started to get the popular so I was able to go online and do a lot of my own research and that's pretty much how I started. then once. I got into Cornell to play soccer I chose my major. I studied Labor Industrial Labor Relations which is basically the relationship between management and the workers and the history etc and it's basically like a political degree. Labor is especially in the thirties and forties. I mean our parents were were you know in the picketing line getting beat over the head because they want labor rights so that's really what's that's really studying labor and how it an how intertwined related with our history laws what got me into politics. So when did you first have the idea for occupied. Democrats so it's kind of an how did that whole thing Germany. It's kind of an interesting story. So when I was in college at Cornell I was active on facebook and at the time I thought like wow this is. The future of politics basically was arguing with not arguing. I'm a Lotta Times agreeing with people but I was just discussing politics on facebook with people all day long. We'll do that yeah back then. They weren't fan pages so there wasn't occupied. Democrats is there was only Omar Rivero so under my personal facebook I started just adding people that I had a lot of friends in common with identifying people that knew a lot about politics and building up a political facebook network because I knew in the future. I may want to do something with it but the thing is that I come from a family of low means so I don't know anybody that I got. That could give me a nice job or anything like that. I figured like okay. I'm going to you know I I was. I studied in basically investment banking and I thought okay I'll work for an investment investment bank and I'll make some money and then you know I'll work for the man for twenty thirty years and after I've repaid my mom the loan for my Masters Program and taking care of my family. I'll get into politics and I'll start doing what I really love so I did that. I worked for a bank for like six months. I hated it. I was is miserable and I asked my mom. Can I please just move back into your apartment for just give me like four or five months. I want to brainstorm when I want to do my own thing in politics because us whether it takes me a year or ten years. I know that I know that eventually I will make it and I'd rather get into politics now. While I'm young then wait wait until I'm older and have been working for the man for twenty thirty years to do what I love. So I came home. I brainstorm the law and I decided okay. I want to start a facebook page called occupy. Democrats and this was around two thousand twelve the end of two thousand and twelve yeah. This is like September so right before the elections so I didn't even know how to start page Google. Did I click start a page and came up with the name. The name is kind of an interesting story as well so I was in in Europe for two years and then I was in Colombia working for this bank for about maybe eight months so I spent maybe two and a half years away from my family so when I flew back from Colombia to the the United States I purposely got flight to New York so that I could see the occupy movement and Sukati Park. I was so excited about I had been watching it from Europe and I I thought wow the left finally has a movement I mean the tea party was just driving me nuts. There was tea party Congressman Tea Party senators. They're writing laws these people their anti-government the wrong about everything they're scared of their own shadow and they're funded by the CO brothers and I thought wow you know our economy. I mean are are awfully unqualified to hold virtually any job really extreme people. I mean basically the John Birch Society on steroids power you know so I was terrified by the tea party and when I heard about occupy movement happening so called I said okay wow the left finally has our own movement so I went down there and you know I wouldn't say I was disappointed but I was a little surprised to see how varied the schools of thought within occupy where right so you have. You're hardcore progressive liberals you know they socialist. Democrats and then you have tea parties among the crowd and people that were anti-government people well. That didn't have a home but we're against obamacare. Obamacare hadn't passes the time we knew it was still being debated and I thought to myself. Well sure obamacare is not amazing but it's a big step up from what we have now like. Why are we against government. We should be pro government. Etc then I went around talking to people and I realized written into the bylaws of Occupy Wall Street on day one. They said we will never get involved in politics ever- you know we're we're going to affect change from outside the political system looking back they succeeded in that because before that nobody even knew what the word socioeconomic inequality even meant and I was screaming about it on facebook as Omar barrel right but I mean so after they they they they changed the lexicon they put a focus on economic inequality they put put a focus on what cost financial crisis it was rampant greed and criminality on Wall Street spurred on by George Bush Republicans in Washington right so so they succeeded in that respect but there is no occupy congressman. There's no occupy senator so while they're still a tea party caucus. They're called the Freedom Caucus and they and and this and trump still pretty much does whatever they want so. They're still really powerful so I thought to myself. There needs to be another offshoot of off of the Occupy Wall Street movement. That is for people who also support you know the general tentative occupy but also generally support President Obama and the Democrats and so vice started the page on Day One. I set like three. I had like three thousand friends so I literally sat there. I clicked by three thousand times like five hundred. My friends accepted. I made my first post. I got like one. Lichen like one share or something and I looked at my brother heavier. I remember my mom's apartment balcony and I said this is what I'm GonNa do for the rest of my life. I said this is going to be just as Big Fox News one day share with yeah. It's just because I I knew that I knew that there was space and I knew that facebook was the future so yeah I bet really heavily on and turn out to be right. Well you definitely really however you did it. Had the secret sauce for that when you first realized that you'd like really tapped into something is maybe a little bit after just the one share when I started really blowing up yeah. How did it feel to to watch it. Explode like that man and so basically I was just I was so overworked like it became kind of an obsession right because it's like if someone collects train sets and then all of a sudden they're people really love their transit collection and they want to know all about it. In their active in their train set collection it becomes an obsession session right because it's a hobby of yours that you're passionate about. That's growing so I started working like one thousand nine hour days barely getting any sleep and I pretty much which kept that up. I've kept that up for like six years now and I when I first started pretty refreshed. You know the sun. It's been van Nuys Outright Los Angeles. Yeah Yep but I I I was just working so hard so excited about it didn't really hit me. It wasn't until Oh after the election so it was like after three month period the day after the election where Obama got reelected in two thousand twelve like I got a lot of really really nice messages from people. Oh that's a while like you know I followed your page and it really got me excited about voting and and thank you for educating us and that's what I truly realized just the power because for me at the time even having just one person feel that I was educating them and helping them out or getting more civically active was in my opinion a huge win right yeah so having multiple people say that I said wow then I then I really really got even more motivated and on I mean that's why we talk about talk about our circle of influence and some people have a huge circle of influence presidential candidates have a huge circle of influence but even regular people have larger impact and ability to reach people than than they know and one thing that I heard from your story too is when you first started this and you were living in your mom's apartment you were cleaning vacation rentals in in Miami and updating your page as you were cleaning houses and cleaning toilets and stuff yeah it's hard to believe even me looking back but yeah I in order to run occupy Democrats. It was a full time job so I couldn't. I couldn't work for a corporation or I couldn't have a GIG and I needed money and my mom just gave me a place to live but she didn't put food on my in my on my table and I also wanted to contribute what I could so I clean vacation rentals which gave me the time that I needed to work while making why so I can work at occupied Democrats while doing some site while making some money right now I you know I like looking back in the folks who I used to do the cleaning with I mean I met some of the best people in my life and I just I really value work so so I don't care if you're a CEO or if you're somebody that wakes up at five in the morning to be a janitor I think that there's dignity in both and I don't think that our our society should be so morally sick that we use capitalism to justify S- such inequities in our economic MC system then in Twenty Sixteen November twenty sixteen there was another election. How did trump getting elected change your work at Occupied Democrats. Did it well. I don't know if we discussed this. We have but you know I'm Mexican. American and I'm really really I mean I wasn't even really aware of the of what even being American really meant until I was eight so I still really feel Mexican so the one that one day that Donald Trump came down the elevator the golden escalator yeah and he said I I watched that live with my brother and he said than Mexicans agains are rapists and murderers and I remember looking at the television screen and thinking I'm GonNa Wreck. This guy like I was just so offended. Yeah I mean I was personally a thousand funded for myself. I was offended for people of Color House offended for documented immigrants for undocumented immigrants. I was shocked that someone who is running for president would even say something like that now. The next day I go online and I see his poll numbers skyrocketing to the roof and that's when I realized you know Houston we have a problem here because we have a fascist who tapped into America's ugly undercurrent current of racism. That's always been around and maybe people weren't so our lead vocal about it but now they now. I'm not saying most of Americans Americans are generally beautiful people but there are there is a certain you know certain segments of trump's supporters who are viciously racist and I feel like not only did he tap into that energy but he harnessed an he voted it so it made me work a lot parter my brother and I are bilingual so we were able to translate videos we were so that gave us a leg up with the donald trump videos because we were translating responses by Uh Hispanics and Mexican people putting them in English and taking them viral so we basically became like the Go-to anti trump page on facebook right as a- as he rose to power and and while I mean even got elected it only it only heightened my sense of urgency and the importance of of my work and it's done that for so many people to you know who've been motivated to jump in and do this work because of and thank thank you for by the way calling it what it is fascism. There's really no other way to describe him. he is a fascist and that playbook has. I've been in operation since that trip down the escalator so and not enough people call that out because just look at fascism one on one and you know what builds up a fascist wannabe dictatorship and he's he's right in the playbook so and and and that's another thing that's been a big part of our rice with occupied. Democrats is that we basically became the first I would say were the first large I mean. We definitely were ground bacon in the sense that we were a partisan new source a new source that said we're not going to tell you. This is what trump said. We're going to tell you this guy's making fascist comments and at at the time people said that's crazy. Who's going to read news from a new source. That's partisan and I and I said I think Americans are ready to hear the the truth about what the Republicans are doing so it was happening already on the other side except Fox and fought right Bharti cross the rubicon a long time ago but see th- The perso- Fox in this happens a lot and I don't mind them because I mean on social media. We are the size. I get it all out. Have you no but but I just want to point out one caveat is that Fox News there incendiary with falsehoods right with lies. I mean they'll call alarm. Omar a terrorist right I won't because she wears a scarf on her head right there incendiary we we are some people describe this incendiary. I wouldn't even say that I think we just say the truth because we call a fascist fascist homophobia homophobic and racist racist I and that makes some people uncomfortable but we're going to keep keep speaking our truth and I think the fact that we're the largest and most active political page on facebook for six. Here's running now. I think it's a testament to the fact that people are ready for the truth. People want to hear the truth. Yeah people don't people are tired of the media. you know pretending that conservatives are legitimately opposing have legitimately opposing viewpoints which maybe they did you know in the eighties and early nineties but since the nineteen nineties they're pushing the policy goes up the billionaire class and they're using racism and bigotry to hoodwink up up poor white people into voting for them right and saying that when I first started occupied Democrats was wow people were shocked that somebody would say that loud and I think now more people like you are getting into the fold and now I'm not the only one right so I think constantly racist it. especially in the public form like facebook might be kind of a scary thing for someone. I mean obviously if it didn't require a little bit of courage to step up an advocate for something when you see some injustice then everyone would do it and they don't there's plenty of people who stay silent when they see things right so so perhaps some of the post that you put out that tell the truth make it easier for people to share those messages so it's not like they're putting out a statement of their own that they're a little bit scared to do but they can just share your posts and get that out into their communities or whatever yeah precisely and we get a lot oughta messages to that effect. I mean so I mean when I read every single message that we get because we got a lot of hate mail but you'd be surprised by the amount kind of support that we got. What's your perception on the state of the Democratic Party right now. And what do you think we can do to make sure that we're united aided in two thousand twenty compared to twenty sixteen. We're very very united. I think people are very very excited. I've never seen anything like it. I mean I I've been doing even since before occupied. Democrats political advocacy on on social media. I've never seen people so united. I've never seen people so energizes so fired it up and also I I've heard not just from people on the ground but also leaders in our industry both both sides of the of the of the Democrat a political divide right. I mean you have the neoliberals into centrists and then you have the democratic socialist etc more revolutionary types Everybody realizes that we don't want to make the same mistake. We made in two thousand sixteen and it's this time around. It's made the best candidate win. Nobody wants the DNC to tip the scales in any way whatsoever and it looks it appears they changed the bylaws of the DNC so it looks like this time around everything's above board and all the candidates are united and I think I think any Democrat has has a chance of beating trump. At this point. I mean the media tries to play them off as a someone who has a strong strong chance of getting reelected but I the in fact speak for themselves he's the most popular president in American history. He's very ineffective all pass a tax this tax bill so he's incompetent competent. He's ineffective. He's embarrassing unpopular that was effective for a very small segment of our electorate the wealthiest that needed at least least in two thousand sixteen briefly. Everybody took aside. You know an occupied Democrats. We spent the whole time trying to keep the party. United we we didn't endorse anybody we extol the virtues of Bernie Sanders we extol the virtues of of of Hillary Clinton and this time around we plan on doing the same thing we wanNA WANNA. Keep it positive we're not going to do anything visit. We're not going to work with any candidates to attack any other candidates and I think that it's really really really important important that occupied. Democrats provides that function you know a lot of everybody's anti-trump anti trump but a lot of the voters are not getting what we are for so my goal is to highlight the positive attributes of an policy ideas and platforms and proposals of each candidate. Well thank you for teeing up my next question and for me because I was interested. I mean you have access to all kinds of data. You get to see like real time. Results on what messages are are hitting home right. So what are the issues that people are really responding to where you're getting the most engagement well. I mean ever since the election. things have changed changed so I spent from twenty twelve to two thousand sixteen. Most of my work was explaining Obama's policies in this. This is why we need to raise the minimum wage and here's the economic economic impact of that This is why the then the mandate that you buy health insurance. Here's the reason for it and why makes obamacare work and these are complicated subjects except that they really took a lot of pride in in putting them in easily digestible format yup ever since trump got elected you know it may it's not such doesn't really bode very well but serious things like that. They don't they don't get a lot of plans social media because I think people feel were not in power so we need to tear down the Republicans that are in power and then once we're in power. We can get back to you know discussing serious. Policy issues etc so right now. It's it's all most things are very trump related right but I have to say I Alexandra Castro Cortez. I've never seen anything as viral as her. I mean she is she's even even more viral than trump is so anything related to her. does really want and it's really exciting because not only are her ideas wholly supported by organization but also the right gives her a lot of airtime because she increases they're right their ratings and she goes and they play her videos on fuxing so she's she's. She hits every talking point. I think a lot of Republicans are agreeing with a lot of things that she saying so. I think the more the right focus is on her and the more she continues to stay on message and hit every talking point we could be talking about a future presidential candidate here feature president. That's really interesting that well. That's what Michael Moore was saying he was saying. We should lower the age age and let her run. You know right away but that is interesting because that's basically what media did for trump in the last election you know he was so good for ratings and they just covered the hell out of them just constantly and his message was Bam Bam Bam so that's interesting seeing a lot of the exact same parallels. I was just discussing it with my team yesterday interesting so ASC's cutting through that's really really good. We've had a lot lot of registration work that we've done over the last couple of years led by young people led by the march for our lives kids and groups like that twenty five percent of young people have been registering as Democrats twenty five percent have been registering as Republicans about fifty percent as no party preference. So what messages do you think we need to amplify to get more young people to identify as a Democrat and to get involved served as a member of the Democratic Party to be honest. I think the presidential candidates have a very liberal platform and I think a lot of young people would would agree with all all of it. I mean young people nowadays. I feel like yes twenty five. It's twenty five and twenty five but out of those fifty I feel ninety percent of those fifty would be would identifies. Democrats if the Democrats were proven to be more progressive and I think there is a changing of the guards that is taking place right now pretty you can't run. You can't run for president if you don't support a fifteen eighteen dollar minimum wage if you don't support single payer if you don't support at least free public college so all these things that are attractive to young people but I think young people are very in tune with the Internet. I and it's very hard to fool them and we Obama. I Love Obama. I think he was a fantastic press. One of the best presidents we've had one of the best people we ever had has precedents in in an amazing father at seven make me cry yes but you know he was hampered by Congress. You know they have used to has to ruin the House House to abuse the Senate filibuster and he wasn't able to implement a much progressive changes. He wanted to write and I think he should've you know maybe he was constrained at the time but I do think that whoever is next should not try to Kurt Kurt Republican votes or or even curve Republicans in any way whatsoever we need to be as progressive as possible and the people will back us up because the American people even the wants to say that they're conservatives when you tell them hey. Do you think your wages are high enough. Do you think your healthcare is good enough. They all support democratic policies. They just don't know it yet. Yeah and I agree with you. I think you know the vast majority of these recently registered. Young independence are supportive of and loudly supportive of democratic policies. He's but let's give them something. Let's give them some results. Let's raise their minimum wage of thirteen dollars. Let's give them debt free public college hand. They'll be Democrats for life. Mark my awards okay. What's your goal for the next two years leading up to twenty twenty. What what role do you WanNa play personally. Well personally I want to educate the voters about the Democratic candidates. I also would like to have the Democrats choose the most most progressive candidate possible that could be trump so that would be my goal over the next two years but after that so I'm I I enjoyed my time more. I used to love going to work and defending President Obama from just Ridiculous Tax Republicans explaining his policies so oh I would love to go back to having Democrats in power and being an integral me too and being an integral part of implementing thing if it's not the green new deal. I want some kind of new deal. I want big bold action. I want a jobs program. I want higher wages. I want single payer. There's plenty of money where the world's richest country in the world we spent so much money on our military we spent so much we blow so much money on tax cuts for the rich when the rich which are doing better than ever these are taxes that they don't want that they don't need so people say how are we. How are you going to pay for these things. Were there's plenty of money to pay for for whatever we want. It's a matter of priorities and I wanNA make sure that there's people in Washington. DC that had the people's priorities and not the beginners priorities nothing wrong with being the billionaire but there's no reason why they should be able to buy off our democracy and implement policies that are so hurtful to the average American that ended up really destroying the social contract that Americans have with our capitalist system we capitalism but we don't like vulture capitalism. We don't like a predatory capitalism and it's about time that Congress started to reflect very well said all right what advice it would you have for someone who is upset frustrated activated and wants to do something but doesn't know how to get involved doesn't know how to use their voice. That's a really good question. I would recommend using social media to your advantage to be honest because this it's really hard for example without social media. How could a kid that's cleaning apartments. Start something that reaches more people then Fox News in a lot of outlets combined right so what social media did is what it broke barriers to entry so anybody could start an instagram page. There's no there's no better attention anybody could start a facebook page and started inviting their friends and putting up really good content and working at it little by little so I would recommend especially to the young folks out there to do what the Parkland student instead you know they they face tragedy they wanted to get involved and they put themselves out there you know I mean my hat's off to them this young and they're and they're going out there and they're giving television commission interviews and there are being articulate and they're being unapologetic about taken on the NRA and stop in stopping them from profiting off so so much bloodshed in America so take their example. Take my example get involved. Get active speak out use social media to your advantage because being a young and being tacky and being innovative on the Internet is something that is large that the establishment cannot duplicate so tries hard as they wanted to stop occupy Democrats from growing. They couldn't stop us so take advantage of that opportunity that we have. It's unprecedented and it's cost effective uh-huh Omar Rivera. Thank you very much for talking and sharing your story. Make sure you are subscribed to occupy. Democrats on facebook of course you probably already are but and on all of your favorite social media platforms help amplify these messages by sharing them with your friends re tweet make your voice heard so Mariah we just heard from Omar and how he built the behemoth Hema Than Occupy Democrats seizing You know a lot about digital organizing because you were Kamala Harris is yeah I did digital for for a lot of candidates including Comma Harris when she was running for Senate and Wendy Davis when she was running for Governor of Texas I loved that that job because it allowed me to help build a community online like we had these great communities in person where we were knocking doors together and an phone begging together but we're also sharing a lot of information and strategy online so I'd encourage everybody who's on social media to really try. Try to harness that and help build an online community whether it's around your favorite candidate or your swing left chapter. There's tons you can do including sharing useful information amplifying candidates messages engaging with people. I always remind people sometimes it feels so you just want to sort of like tweet a cool article or a pithy line into the abyss but you also have to be responding to other people and engaging aging folks in conversation one of the best ways to do that of course is to use the Hashtag that other like minded folks are using so let's say so you want to talk to people about this podcast then you can go online and use. Hashtag how we win twenty twenty and talk with like minded folks give me and Steve Steve Feedback and we'll share some. We'll share some behind the scenes information to so now. We're building a community together very nice podcast. I love that yeah and so we'll go deeper into that on a future episode. We're going to talk more about digital organizing tat way but now we need to talk about Virginia. Yes because Virginia is super important. were joined now with our first call in the Great Matt Calf Ris who is our eastern field director at swing left integrate mccafe. How are you matt. I'm doing great great to be with you. Both tell us about Virginia why it's important and how people can get involved absolutely well folks will remember back in twenty seventeen. Democrats had a great year in Virginia. We were hoping to flip a few seats. In the state legislative races races win the governorship will not only we win. The governorship in the other statewide elected offices. We flipped fifteen seats in the house of delegates and had had a banner year. We elected our first Latino members. We elected our first. Tran Openly Trans member and it was really transformative but in the end we came one seat seat short of a majority in the house of delegates and there was a seat that was determined literally by drawing a name from a hat so that was as you know both exciting and encouraging and inspiring but also sort of it was frustrating We we hate to come up short. Even though we had such a great year this here we have an opportunity to not only take back the house of delegates but also take back the state. Senate which is up and we are just a couple of short short both houses by winning both Houses Democrats would take a what's called the Trifecta in Virginia meaning. We'd have the governor's office and both houses in the state legislature which would allow us to do a lot of really great things and sew swing left has gone all in on Virginia this year. We are going to work on twenty competitive districts strikes fifteen in the house five in the Senate and there are lots of opportunities for folks to get involved to make a difference that's awesome and I used into the drawing the name out of a hat example. I got a lot of mileage out of fat for why why it's important to knock every door that you can make every phone call that you can and every contact. You make really really matters so now here. We are again speaking of that voter contact. How can people help. How can they plug again. The single best thing person can do right now is go and knock doors in Virginia. If you live close up to pretend you have to get to Virginia. Go knock some doors wars. The face to face voter contact means so much as we encourage democratic leaning voters to get out their vote odd year elections tend to be low turnout so there are lots of likely Democratic voters that if they were to vote we know with a lot of confidence how they vote but it's just a struggle to get them out to the the polls so Virginia in a few months could be deep blue state passing things like gun violence prevention protecting voting rights protecting access access to abortion and very very critically ending the Republican gerrymandering of Virginia which has prevented Democrats from winning the seats both Congress and in the the state legislature that we should have given how blue a statement says right and that's the the Gerrymandering is a huge issue. There and time is running out. I don't know that it's on a lot of people's radar that this election is just weeks away. This election is in early November. It's the first Tuesday after the first Monday November and they're still plenty of time to make a difference you can donate to the flippable Virginia Fund. You can write letters to likely Democratic voters voters to encourage them to get out vote. That's especially important if you don't live close enough to canvas but as I said if you if you can if you can make it to Virginia if you live in Virginia please go knock some doors for these incredible candidates and you can find all of these opportunities that swing left dot org typing zip code. You can find events near you or you can go to swing left dot org slash events type in Virginia Zip Code. You can find events there or you can also go to swing left dot org slash Virginia to learn more about our Virginia strategy and onto find Virginia volunteering opportunities. That's awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. Matt thrilled to have you. We're going to bring you back to talk about more ways. People can get involved soon and thank you thank you. Thank you for joining us again and thank you for stepping up up. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved and we want your story. Share a meaningful experience that you've out as a volunteer and you could be featured on this very show recorded an email us at podcast at swing left dot org. Please subscribe and rate on apple or wherever you get your pods share our show on social media just like Mariah taught you and use the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty check out our page at swing dot org slash Josh podcast and of course sign up volunteer. We really appreciate you being here with us and we're so excited to bring you more from the field next Wednesday and now now just a little bit more John Berko Speaker of the House of Commons sustained Jackson chunks a a position the position as is described it in quite frankly young man you like it all it.

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Blueprint with Catherine Vaughan

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 6 months ago

Blueprint with Catherine Vaughan

"So be alive to one another struggles. Stand up for one another's rights leave behind all the old ways of thinking the device. Sexism racial prejudice status greed and set the world on a different path. Welcome to episode thirty eight of how we went all over the country people are staying home staying safe and still doing extraordinary things. Were giving you all the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your Living Room Illinois anxious full the best antidote anxiety is action. We need your help and we're going to get through this together joining us. Today is the woman with the plan. Catherine she's the founder flippable. She's also swing left's chief strategist and she's unveiling a new way for you to get involved in campaigns and it's going to make a real difference in the COVID Nineteen Era I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven. Can this is how we win. You won't get it right every time you'll make mistakes like we do but if you listen to the truth that's inside yourself even when it's hard even when it's inconvenient people will notice they'll gravitate towards you and you'll be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Hey how about that? Ex-president of ours President Obama I feel so bad for all of the. The class of twenty twenty graduates been imagining themselves walking across the stage for so long sitting in the hot sun cap and gown on while their parents watch from somewhere. I'll be on. His graduation is not the most fun. But I know that people look forward to it but it was still kinda cool that we had the Clinton like nationwide graduation over the weekend. It was so inspiring. Former President Obama gave a commencement address for I for historically black colleges and then for high school graduates and you know for me it. This is what happens. We get desensitized to stuff. You know we try on this podcast not to we. Try to remind people like what's normal and what's not normal and we have to stay vigilant and pay attention to things and there is no way that we could even come close to normalizing the asinine remarks and behavior of Donald Trump as leader of the free world. I mean there's just so much just that we are consistently just aghast with but when you see Obama make such an eloquent inspiring speech. It really really brings home the void of Leadership. We have especially during this time of uncertainty. For so many Americans Obama's remarks were both inspiring it was a call to action It made me feel young again. Made me ready to jump out and and and do this work again and it also was just such a stark reminder of what's missing and how terrible terrible terrible Donald Trump is yeah. The throwback feeling was completed when Obama's speech to historically black colleges and universities almost caused. Carl Rose Egghead to explode. He trotted out an ox. News to to spout some some Racist Dog Whistle Language. But you know Obama's still around still get under people's skin so you gotTa love that even if you you missed the the graduation ceremony of your dreams and half the fun of that speech was imagining trump watching and listening to that speech knowing the ratings that he was getting an all that and just like Oh. He's like just looking at his twitter feed. Just wait for it. Wait for it. You know was remarkably. Well restrained Intel finally Obama Gate. Just you know comes appears on his twitter feed. Oh Obama Gate not a real thing but not a real thing. Keep tweet Nevada it. They're trying to make it a thing. And it's a distraction and what we really need to be focused on is a obviously corona virus response lack slash lack thereof and Be All of these inspectors general that that trump keeps firing just continuing to decimate the federal government and the norms. That have kind of a steady for quite some time. Yeah apparently this latest inspector general. Who was fired on? Friday was investigating a secretary of State. Mike pompeo on initial reporting was it was stuff like he was using State Department resources. Like have someone pick up his dry cleaning or you know help with personal stuff but also looking at some very serious things surrounding arms sales with Saudi Arabia. And these these are why we have these people in our government to perform needed oversight. Yes so the allegations against Pompeo were wide ranging and really did deserve scrutiny. Some scrutiny inspectors. General are political appointees have a tendency to remain in their positions through multiple administrations? So they're generally considered to be pretty independent ideally and also allowed to to operate an investigate as they see fit I think it was really fitting that trump. You know after the guys like I don't get what the big deal is if POMPEO's will Weiss isn't around to wash the dishes State Department's staffer be pulled into wash the dishes. Which you know everything in that man's is just degrading for everybody involved and one of the thing that I wanNA highlight really quick before we move on is the Republican plan to patrol and suppressed. The vote is in full effect. Right now they have set aside. Twenty million dollars to literally patrol polling places to make sure that no voter fraud happens which is a thing as as you know. Mariah and most people know there actually hasn't been any significant voter fraud but this is a tactic that the Republicans keep bringing up to suppress the vote and spoiler alert. They do it in communities of color and heavily democratic communities and not in wider suburban communities. You know it's just so infuriating and sad that the Republican message is so unpopular that the only way that they can win is literally suppressing the vote and and trying to disenfranchise people from using their right to vote because if everyone gets to vote then They lose absolutely and I you know. I think some of the rumors that we've heard about invading. I'm retired teachers. Military folks to help patrol the polls in these communities which you know there's poll-watchers at every polling place which is really important but the idea of former law enforcement actually patrolling the polls ads in element that I think that people aren't really used to in the modern day and age but probably hearkens back to something that is going to feel a little bit familiar and and and kind of dark. Twenty million dollars is a lot and it could really go towards making voting safer right. But then you don't get to suppress the vote so Now this is this is just straight up. Invest Investment in voter suppression as opposed to making voting safer. And I still don't really understand the strategy behind pushing back against vote by mail by trump and the Republicans We've we've talked about it a lot on this podcast and I guess really went in depth with Ari Berman about it and You know a lot of Republican states. Use Vote by mail so I don't think it's a straight up disadvantage to expand vote by mail for Republicans. Think their biggest disadvantages that their policies are hugely unpopular. So the only way that they can win is by gerrymandering voter suppression disenfranchisement intimidation all those tactics and they can do that even if they sent out about. Well I guess okay so I guess. Sending up ballots thwart those efforts so okay. We've come full circle now. I understand the GOP strategy. You know just to your point. We saw at work for them last week. I mean here. Ella -FORNIA is twenty fifth Congressional district. We had a seat that we flipped in twenty eighteen and we have temporarily lost it In a special election that was almost all vote by mail. I'm Republicans came out strong and they came out early. That should be an indicator to them. That vote by mail isn't a detriment to them. It should also be a reminder to us that Democrats and Progressives and folks on the left need to be a little better at organizing around vote by mail. It's true and if you look at the numbers I don't have them in front of me so Roughly of those mail in ballots for eighteen to thirty two year olds which is large swath of our voters. Right I think about nineteen percent of them. Return their ballots as opposed to over fifty percent of older voters. And that was the Big One. I was looking at the results coming in and I was looking at the disparity between Republican Democratic ballots return. There was a big chunk of no party preference voters that I was hoping would swing our way because here in California. We had an automatic voter registration law. That went into effect. So if you get your driver's license from the DMV you're automatically registered to vote if you don't declare a party then you're automatically no party preference so what that did was put a lot of young people As Independence Party preferences that would that are voting for gun safety that are voting for the climate? You know that are concerned about their health care and education tuition free schools all the things that the Democrats are fighting for. So I was hoping that. Okay I looking at that Chung. Maybe we're going to get some votes there but because turn out for young people with so low those queued More conservative and So yeah a lot of lessons to learn from that but bottom line is we need safe voting for people in the midst of this pandemic and vote by mail with some options. Some you know voting options in person for people who Have problems with their ballots is a necessity while sat while said So that was kind of a bummer. Obviously but why have raised? We do as always we have. We have reasons for hope this week. SO Steve. Can you talk about some of your reasons for hope? I saw on twitter literally hours ago. Global carbon emissions have dropped seventeen percent during the covid nineteen lockdown so once again. Our Planet is really liking US staying home and not driving around as much. Wow that's really. Incredible UNIMPRESSIVE and I've heard a lot of people talking about what their communities look like. Now that it's much quieter and more people are staying at home You know feeling like the air is cleaner. And they're more you know birds and things around. It's it's it'll be interesting to see as things reopen. How bad changes in and what we can take with us into our your mall. Yeah I mean we we talk about how we're going to rebuild and we don't have to rebuild it the same way in fact. This is an opportunity as devastating. It is for a lot of people right now. It's hard to frame it as an opportunity but it really is and our former president. Obama mentioned this in his commencement address. You know that this is an opportunity for us to rebuild and and these young people are going to be leading the way and when we start to get back to what that new normal is I hope we're able to apply some of these lessons. What about you? What's giving you hope this week? I wanted to shout out our friends at occupy Democrats. The New York Times has a profile about Rafael. And Omar Rivero who started the occupied Democrats facebook page a while back and Is highlighting them as a page that sort of giving the trump digital machine which has been really successful run for? Its money you know. I'm a digital nerd. So I'm I'm into all the stuff And you know building a community on facebook where people can gather and get information. Jerry information is just such an at cool way to engage with folks and as our dedicated listeners will recall Omar. Rivero spoke with us about how he was inspired to create that community and build it in episode. Three of this very podcasts. You should go up. Assode three all the way back and listen to that interview. It's a great one. He's got such a great story and and that's an interview. This really worth worth going back and listening to. He started occupied Democrats on his laptop while he was cleaning houses in Miami. Yes incredible so I'm glad they got that well-deserved shoutout yeah. So what are we going to do this week? I as a decide all of our episodes. You're listening to make it sound like they weren't. I'm like no I mean you're not gonNA WANNA go back and listen to old episodes except for episode three with Oma like Oh remember this episode. So good anyway. So what's on our to do list? Mariah? We gotta write some letters and we're GonNa do it together. Party style on a zoom. Yeah if my little thing song boys didn't make you want to spend another hour two hours with us. Got Me super excited. I don't know what will but this Sunday may twenty fourth. We're all getting together and writing some letters this Sunday with pantsuit politics. You haven't listened to their podcast. You should. They are really smart and Compassionate letters we get to hang out with pantsuit politics. It's having signed up for that yet please do. It's going to be great. Yeah I wouldn't recommend people register in advance so that you're not stressed on Sunday afternoon. Trying to get your letters together. Just sign up while you're thinking about it. Get your letters printed off so that you can spend the time on the zoom writing with US vice also today after a year of development swing left has launched blueprint. It's your personalized investment portfolio for the twenty twenty elections. It's a really cool new way to donate to give with the whole big picture in mind so supporting competitive races and civic organizations that are working to build a better democracy right now during covid and all that. It's it's a weird time when so people are struggling to be reaching out about money but because we have a shortfall right now in the ways that we're able to reach. People and campaigns need money to launch digital campaigns. And do all that stuff so it's important and it's really really cool interesting much better than the usual. Hey Give us money give us money. Give us money and people are still giving right now. So yeah and it's also strategic. There's so many places where you can make an impact and and not just campaigns but organizations and all that so trust the experts swing left and you get reports on it. It's pretty cool cool. So checkout blueprint dot swing left dot org and we're going to learn a little more about exactly what you'll find there from Catherine bond and your call to action around. This is check it out if you have the means to make donation and make a donation and and get started with this. Share it with your friend. Share it with anyone that that you think is looking to invest in our democracy and a make donations to the political campaigns but really doesn't know where to start so that's your call to action around blueprint. Share it with people that you think would be interested in it and also make a donation yourself great. And we're going to hear some more details about it from Catherine von Catherine. Von Is the chief strategy officer at swing left and the founder of flippable which helped flip states blue and twenty eighteen by electing eighty two. Democrats in game changing state legislative districts flipping five state legislatures and ending GOP super majorities in three states. While since then flippable has join swing left and Catherine is using her experience in political targeting data and strategy to help with hundreds of races across the country this year. Catherine thank you for taking the time to talk to us. First and foremost How are you in those around you doing right now won't thank you for having me and And thanks for asking. Yeah it's been a tough time You know to think about not just what's happening in the city where I live in New York City but also across the country and And the intersection of this public health crisis with our politics. And you know it's just GonNa show me how important Strong leaders are Personally I'm really lucky that myself and my family we've been doing well so far but I have an elderly father and you know a lot of people who are close to me with with various health risks. So it's something that's really top of mind all the time and part of my my work and my activism. Yeah well we're seeing right before we started recording the you were out here in La on a trip and we really wanted to get you in the studio so we can be together and it was too tight of a trip so we're like oh we'll just do it later. We'LL DO IT NEXT TIME. You come out to La. So I know I don't know when that will be but yeah I find myself missing. Any human interaction these days and We'll just have to do the next best thing right. Exactly which is to have phone calls zooms and that works so before you started flippable two thousand sixteen you worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign. What did you learn on that campaign that helped you launch flippable and that made you want to launch flippable? Yeah I mean it was my first time working in politics so it was so eye opening in every way. I think one thing that I learned I absolutely loved canvassing and even though my job day to day was I'm actually trying to get out of volunteers to come to Ohio so it was very relevant to the work that swing left does now that we do it. Livable to But on the weekends I would just go and you know I had a friend who was an organizer and I would knock doors on her turf and meet other volunteers and organizers and I think that like the first thing I learned was just how powerful The organizing peace is and how really it all comes down to the relationships that people building communities and those face to face and now. I guess not but those conversations that we have with people that really. I think end of the day to help do logistical thing. That actually is a real hassle because it's not something that's built into our daily lives. Voting is an anomaly. It happens you know once a year or so and we have to make time for it so helping people plan and that sort of thing think that was the first thing that I just had a real passion for that and I'd always been interested in kind of last mile delivery. Like how do we get messages out to people who need them most and that is why volunteering for candidate is and then I think the second thing I really learned was just how little down ballot candidates so when we went and knocked on doors? You know high. Oh we weren't just knocking on doors for the presidential race but also for the Senate for the For State Legislative Races and there were a lot of candidates losing even district's where Hillary was winning by double digits because they didn't have the you know the volunteers or the really the dollars at the end of the day to be able to compete and some of these state legislative races that Republicans were pouring money into so that gave me this passion for you know. How do we help recalibrate among Democrats among volunteers and donors Where to put their energy and not just focus on the presidential every four years but focus on state legislative races year after year so that we can build a strong bench and also so that we can get the laws passed we need at the state level which is really is where so much happens from reproductive rights to voting rights to you know healthcare and Medicaid Expansion. And all of these key issues. That really happened in our states So that's that's what I learned in kind of how I applied it to flippable. We're seeing that so clearly right now. How important these state. Level decision makers are absolutely. I mean. It's it's crazy. People are suddenly being reacquainted with their governor They might have forgotten that they were now. The government is making decisions every day and decisions that will impact people really truly life or death decisions and legislatures as well. You know seeing what happened in In Wisconsin around the elections in April and people having to choose between their health and their right to vote These sorts of things are happening at the state level. All the time swing last is launching a really cool. Fundraising product called blueprint. Can you tell us about blueprint and how it's going to help people who want to support these state level races absolutely? Yeah I'm so excited about this product and really when we came together with swing left and decided to merge stations. About a year ago. This was really the clincher. This is why we came together. It was to create this product. And you know one thing that both swing left flippable had realized that there were a lot of donors out there who were saying you know. I have a little bit more than I can give but I really need guidance. I'd like a guided experience to help me spend my money a really really smart way to help. Democrats win and to help build a better and stronger democracy And for a lot of people whether their donors or volunteers I think it's actually the same but they might not have the time to research in every like state legislative district out of the hundreds that might are. The most flippable are need the money. The most are the most competitive. They may not be able to do that. For Fifty States even for twelve superstars. And so you know they really looked to organizations like ours to provide that guidance to do the data and analytics and also qualitative work to meet the candidates and and understand what the best strategies were in each state and so that was one thing that we found is that you know it takes a lot of research to do this work well and a lot of time and then the other thing we found was that donors were looking for a one stop shop. People knew that especially this year. There's so much on the ballot. There's obviously controls the White House but also control of the Senate and control of the redistricting process. Which will act you know how competitive the houses for the next ten years And so it was hard. There was no place where you could click and and donate one hundred dollars thousand dollars or however much you have to that strategy to a full kind of comprehensive strategy. So blueprint allows you to do that. It's kind of you know in a very colloquial sense of kind of like a Robo advisory product or you know a fund where you can we will kind of split up your donation to wear most meaningful in each quarter of the year. So we recommend one donation per quarter. We may speed it up at the end with you. Know late stage infusions and then your dollars will go to help slip. The Senate to help flip state legislative district and also organizations doing really critical work on the ground with voters their voter registration organizations voter protection and turn out You know when we get closer to the election that's a very cool strategy and it also sounds like it's one of these Mechanisms where you know you give what you can and then because so many people are you know shoulder to shoulder with you. You can have a an incredible impact. Yeah absolutely I personally I I never talking about fundraising because like you said. My passion is having face to face conversations with voters in being on the ground and knocking on doors and all that stuff and one thing that I think is so cool about. This is in this world where we're struggling to find now Where we're going to be able to make an impact where we're going to pick up on our shortfalls Because of the virus and because our organizing has to change this is just a really smart way to be able to kind of a mutual fund for donations right to to go to the experts who have the targeting who had the strategy and donate what you can like Mariah said. Yeah and you know. It's interesting that you talk about kind of like our comfort with fundraising. I definitely think you know when you think about volunteering for an election. You know swing left has made it really easy to get involved and then there's so many ways that you can get more involved. There's like you know you could go and you know in the past when we could knock on doors you could knock on doors for one day or you could do one letter writing party And then you go to another one and then you could get more involved and then you could become a group leader and there's this way to kind of deepen your engagement with the process of really helping our democracy and one thing that we found was that there wasn't that same system for donors. There's a little bit on fundraising. I think. That's you know we've had some really creative INCR- and incredible fundraisers donors who are really taking that next step and then know traditionally if you give a lot of money you might get invited to really fancy of that but we didn't want to create a donation tool that was based on that. We really wanted to help people no matter how much they wanted to give deep their engagement. And get that feedback loop the same way that you get a feedback loop when you volunteer for the third or fourth time and start to build relationships with voters or that sort of thing so one of the things that we've empathize with this product is the feedback that you get the information that you get on the impact. You're having being able to attend a webinar where you can hear more from the organizations that got an investment in Q. One or that sort of thing. So you know we're hoping that this also becomes a fundraising products that people feel more comfortable talking about because it really is about the energy and the time and the investment that they're making and also that feels You know I think. A lot of fund raising in the political sphere can feel really extractive or you know like these sign up for an email list and then you get an email like four times a day with a crazy subject wine. Oh Yeah I notice. I notice that like my entire emails with million of those. Yeah throw totally and I think we really wanted to help. People feel respected as part of this process to and like a partner not just as something an ATM so So we try to send out sporadic contact about once a month not caulking your inbox and really really high quality content which I think is very much That's already what swing left. Does I think our emails in our communications are always really clear and strategic And this is just kind of taking that. Even further offering in depth reports and fasten number on how investments are doing as well as some of the stories of our candidates and voters on the ground. that these investments are influencing. That's great I love that model and it's it's a real like investment for a lot of Google haul model. There's there's a lot that folks can do right now. There's a whole lot going on in twenty twenty. I know it's like mid-may people are thinking. Oh it's like three years so far It can be a little bit overwhelming as somebody who's used to like looking at the big picture and being able to keep an eye on all his stuff at the same time. Is there something that you are tip that you have for encouraging volunteers? To focus on on something doable and productive. That's a great question. I I definitely think first and foremost we all have to take care of ourselves. You know both because this is a really really difficult time And because if we do make a difference I think we also need to make sure that we're practicing that right self care and And able to give our energy to this movement and really to this like relay race when when our turn So that's the first thing I would say that. It's a super overwhelming time. But we don't have to be like at a super high octane all the time but I do think if there's one thing to focus on you know the big send with a great campaign that forward launched a few weeks ago and that's swing left was a part of and I sending letters to voters one. It's been shown to be really effective to. It's something that you can do remotely. It's something you can do at your dining room table or when you have downtime down moment from work or you just need to get away from a screen and you want to write a letter to voter like very pleasantly old school and and Super Effective in terms of getting voters out. So that's definitely a volunteer action That I would recommend and then I think another thing that you know if you this is a little bit more about donating or just about ten keeping yourself up to date but also you know I think a lot has changed over the past few months that has put certain Election Been Racism. Play that maybe it was unclear before how come how did it they would be so. I think for example the Senate seem more competitive than ever. There are new races coming on like in Montana and that sort of thing that are much closer than they were a few months ago so even just reading about how the landscape is changing. How different states are implementing? Vote by mail or other policies that will make loading in in November hopefully stronger and healthier and also the risks that are coming online around faith that ten of doing the opposite and trying to make it harder to vote and I think just made keeping aware will also help you as a volunteer or donor just kind of be more targeted and strategic in the next few months which will definitely need awesome. Well One more question before we let you go and hopefully First of all people need to know when you were out here. We did get the opportunity to do a little team workout with them. Swing left people at Barry's bootcamp and I just WanNa go on record right now. Catherine von I was on a treadmill next to her and she is fast like the wind you are. I was struggling to keep up with you. So just want people to know that she's keeps herself very very Nimble funny when I was in Ohio I would run from door to door sometimes. Like during my canvassing. I'm sure people only your so sweaty. Like why are you telling me to vote and looking like that but it was a fun way to say? Computers wants down. I believe it because I had never met you before and there was the first time meeting on this treadmill very awkward weird Red Room and I was just like struggling to keep up and like okay. This is not the way I want to meet people from time but Anyway so once we can and you're back in L. A. We'd love to sit down and talk to you some more but for now What gives you the most hope for November and for the future? Yeah I think it's our community. It's been amazing to see you know during a time where it's it's just been so it's been so hard for so many people and there's a million reasons to be distracted. There's a million reasons Not to want to engage with politics right now and April was our best volunteer months. This cycle you know people were you know even more energetic about our mission and about you know having really strong capable progressive compassionate leaders in government So that's that's been really heartening to see and just you know. I think people are also really connecting the dots at Lake. Oh when this when a crisis like this happens you know it really matters who's in elected office and we can do our part to change that so that's really motivating for me and you know. I think like relay that it's not a it's not a sprint. It's not a marathon. It's a relay like seeing other people. Pick up the slack. When I'm feeling really sad and you know not ready to write a letter that day. I you know it inspires me to write a letter the next day or to donate to another candidate the next day very on brand end with the running metaphor also didn't plan that Catherine. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and explain blueprint and we hope to talk to you again soon. Yeah thank you and if you WANNA check it out you can go to blueprint dot swing left dot org great. Grab the link on our show notes. Page as well thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Thank you for stepping up and taking action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. We also want to hear from you. Tweet TO UH-HUH AT BLUES Boy Steve and at underscored craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot org the some notes. If you haven't yet please subscribe rate and review on Apple or wherever you get your odds. Keep helping us. This up election is coming and we want more people into action share on social media and use the Hash Tag. How we win. Twenty twenty and our page at swing left dot org slash podcast where we have all the links to blueprint stuff. We talked about today. And of course while you're there sign up to volunteer. We really appreciate you spending some time with US This Week. And we look forward to connecting with you again next. Wednesday. We'll see that.

Obama Mariah Craven Catherine von Catherine Democrats Hillary Clinton Senate Steve Pearson twitter president Donald Trump US Omar Rivero Mike pompeo founder GOP Obama Gate Ohio State Department
Mini-Pod! 31st Street Swing Left

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 4 months ago

Mini-Pod! 31st Street Swing Left

"Welcome to another special how we win many pod. All over the country, ordinary people doing extraordinary things will hear was happening in the field. Even if the field is your living room, the best antidote to anxiety is action. Yup and for our mini show were asking two important questions how people got started and what they're doing now. Today we're going to hear from Lisa. Herrick PhD A clinical psychologist who became politically activated in two thousand sixteen, when trump was elected to like me, she founded a powerhouse volunteer group in Washington DC, thirty first street swing left in February two, thousand seventeen. Now, it's a group of almost a thousand dollars. Thirty Street has been part of the successful effort to turn Virginia Blue Last year, and since twenty seventeen has raised over two point five million dollars for campaigns. That's incredible unbelievable. I'm Steve Pearson. Mariah craven and this is how we win the mini pot. Lisa thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Absolutely I'm excited. First of all. What was your first volunteer experience? And what propelled you to Action? Had that feel my I volunteer experience in politics was holding a swing left House party in January of two thousand seventeen. Never never done anything in politics before that I'm a psychologist and just. Had Been. You know friends with me to people in politics, but not all that interested myself. How did you end up at that party? I held the party Just. Like many people in complete devastated terror despair after trump's election and Just was feeling miserable and was tooling around on Facebook, and saw an invitation from something called swing laughed I guess it was pretty new sort of describe what they're deal was and it said. We're just going to try to flip district's. That's all we're going to try to figure out the closest district to you. Put in your Zip Code I did that? The district was very close by Northern Virginia and Almond said so hold a house party. Invite people You can invite people right here and we'll send you everything you need to have a house party and I just figured well. How hard could it be? I put my name in and I signed up for a Sunday afternoon, and completely forgot about it, and about three writer of from swing left saying these thirty people are coming to your house on Sunday Oh my God and here's the sign up sheet, and this is what you're supposed to do. And that was the beginning that it wasn't thirty first street at that point, it was just a house party with people trying to figure out what the heck to do, but that was the beginning that was the first thing I'd ever done. Well you and I have a very very similar identical story because that's how I got involved to. Throw a House party out here in Los Angeles swing left. Your. Group has grown and has done amazing things including. Is this right? You have raised over two and a half million dollars for various campaigns since two thousand seventeen. That is correct. We have raised one point one million dollars since January, twenty twenty. My Gosh. Amazing I think. Everything's accelerating as people become more terrified. Do you have any secrets for us. I mean I do have a few secrets I'm. They're not really secrets. They feel really obvious but We just sort of happened upon them I. Think one is To have a somebody in the group who is really good at figuring out strategy of what what to do, and we have that person we have Jim Shelton, who was is a retired epidemiologist, and he just had it in his I in his head. That you let's let's not just flip districts. Let's analyze the district's analyze candidate. Let's get every piece of data we can possibly get. And it morphed into I think this is one of our little secrets is. We created these spreadsheets. So do we decided where to focus focus in Virginia and in the beginning We later focused on the house. Then we went back to Virginia now. We're focused on north, Carolina and Iowa and Pennsylvania, but basically he developed a spreadsheet of all the district's the candidates that you want to support and have all the data in one spreadsheet like what's their poll number? How much money do they have? You know was who won the district you know way back. When when Hillary was running so put all this data on one spreadsheet, and then put put a link to any videos that they have so that somebody who's click. Click and watch a video and then put the donation link right there on the spreadsheet, so we created these spreadsheets, and we started disseminating them like everybody in the group sent to everybody. They could think of and said you know you WanNa know what to do. Just look in the spreadsheet and donate to these people and people started doing that, so that was one tip we spread that spreadsheet all over the country and a lot of people donated through that and Then we SORTA figured out how to have these fundraising house parties and tell you the truth like Kovin has been our friend. We now do them on zoom. Used to be like catering and invitations and. Is it going to be on and now just do zoom zooming. We get like one hundred and fifty people from all over the country. We actually have people now like from all over the world and people just zoom in, and we have this fundraiser for an hour focused on whatever we're focusing on. We have a little powerpoint on why we're focusing on what we're focusing on how we're doing and why? We think it's going to be effective, and then you know donate and we had nineteen. House parties since Cova. And we've raised over five hundred thousand dollars just through the. fessing credible and not for nothing having a retired epidemiologist in your groups, probably not a bad thing resource right now either. Dead and he's. He is wonderful, and he just supplies a lot of guidance and. The other tip I would have frankly is to have the again. This is not a newsflash for anybody who does groups, but to create a group with a lot of cohesion. Now have meetings serve bagels. You know now have zoom meetings have a round table open discussions I am not a political strategist in the group. I am really the sort of like the mother glue of the group. Like what do we need to do to keep people involved? What do we need to do? How do we attend to those? How do we get those people more participating? How do we manage all the leadership kerfluffle Flessel's so that's kind of what I'm bringing to it. but I think that's important. It's like you have to have a working group that likes to be a group, and even now we're now. We actually hit a thousand members last week, which was huge like happy moment I'm. Still try to create the sense of being in a group and knowing each other, so I think that's also helpful. Well he starting out not having done any political organizing before and now having this powerhouse group over thousand. How does that feel to have made that kind of impact and continuing to do that work? And what were your expectations when you first started? You know. My expectation was to try to keep my sanity and to have something to do so that I didn't feel hopeless and despairing and frightened, and just complain all the time and get sick of my own voice and do nothing, so I think I just hoped that it would help me get through the four years, and then it started to be something and do something and when we want you know helped win fifteen seats in Virginia and then Virginia turned into a blue state. And then we helped you know. Get back the house. It just suddenly felt like Oh my gosh I'm actually. Like contributing to a a moment in history, and I really have never done that before I mean history and kind of moved past me, and I wasn't part of it and I I feel like I'm part of it and I feel like with my group I. Have Power I'm I'm powerful because I have my group. While that's really inspiring Is there anything else that you to share or shout out about thirty first street swing left? I guess the only thing I would say is like we would love to just share everything we know with anybody. We have a toolkit for fundraising. We have a tool kit for canvassing like whenever we can canvass again, but I mean we've been inventing this wheel ourselves for all four years and I think we're good at it, and so I just. I just wish people would sort of ask us more often. Like what are you doing to raise all that money? Because we can tell them, and then they can do it, and that would be great. Where can people find you if they want to learn more? Well, our website is thirty first street DOT ORG so three one s t S. T. R. E. E. T. so thirty first street dot Org. That's our website. That's the easiest way to find us so yeah, that's probably the simplest and the most direct route. Create. Well Lisa. Thanks again for joining us in Thank you for all the incredible work and dedication that you're putting into this. So amazing well. Thank you to swing last and thank you for doing this I. Think just getting out. The word is is really helpful. How inspiring I hope that people are motivated after hearing that and thank you all so much for joining us If you listen to our regular show, you'll hear of our calls to action. Just a reminder action for this week is to donate to end or share our Senate fundraiser link the swing lack dot org slash Hwwa. We are also in our July subscriber push, so please subscribe if you haven't already rate and review on apple or wherever you get your pods, and then share that link with your friends. Text it to them. That's a great way to do it. And don't miss our full show this Wednesday. We'll see you then. Bye. Car.

Virginia Lisa trump Mariah craven Steve Pearson Washington Herrick PhD Northern Virginia Los Angeles Facebook twenty twenty writer Senate Jim Shelton Kovin Hillary Cova kerfluffle Flessel apple
Fighting Fair with Stacey Abrams

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 3 months ago

Fighting Fair with Stacey Abrams

"Now is the chance to use reliable energy to grow your money with the Dominion Energy Reliability. Investment. Our new investment product offers competitive returns, no maintenance fees and flexible online access to your money. You make the reliable investment in reliable energy. The Dominion Energy Reliability Investment to find out more go online to reliability investment dot com. That's reliability investment dot com. I come from slaves and sharecroppers and domestic workers and I know that because of their persistence I am and my requirement and my responsibility is to keep trying I mean not six everything, but I am damned if I do not try. Welcome to how we went. All over the country people are doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your living. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. There are now ninety days until the most important election of our lives with your help. We will win all the housing joining us today is incredible. Stacey Abrams. She's got some important calls to action for all of us some recommendations for fighting voter suppression in your community and some advice for the swing left fellows that we could all benefit. I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven, and this is how we win. Right inside ninety days now. The clock is ticking. If you've been waiting. I know people, people, who are I mean like I think people are starting to get annoyed. Now with this, if you've been waiting, now's the time to jump Ben because everybody's been doing something over the last few years. Everybody's been doing something. So we know you aren't waiting anymore but. Now now, we kick it into high gear, but we do see a lot of people who you know in September jump been that you know all of a sudden woken up to the election. You know maybe something that gets people excited to haven't haven't gotten involved yet is this thrilling veepstakes? That's going on. Yes. We are constantly refreshing twitter and whatever new source to see. If, Joe Biden has announced his pick. I. Think he's picked someone. Do you think he's pick someone by this point I? Think. So I think it's GonNa, I think we're we're days away. It's possible. We talk about this and it breaks later this afternoon. I'm so excited about all of the people who've been mentioned on his short list. We can't go wrong. We're going to have an excellent veep candid it along with Joe Biden. I am so frustrated though by the amount of sexism, like we have an opportunity to have a, we are going to have a woman vice presidential candidate. By all indications and. People are whining and complaining about. Women. Being to embiid. Women, not having families and therefore not being like qualified candidates and that stuff drives me crazy and it's coming. It's coming. The call is coming from inside the house. It's our own people. Who are saying these things? The Republicans don't have to us we attack ourselves. Taylor. Swift said you need to calm down Marines need to come down? Being a hysterical woman, but I. But I have. I think I have very good reason to, and I gotTa tell you worked for Comma Harris for a couple of years an and worked on her senate campaign and I remember being at a dinner party in the run-up to the election telling people what I did and reminding people like reminding people to vote. What do you need here? What's your plan to vote during that whole spiel and someone was like? I really like Kamla. But she's never had children. So how could she possibly? Be a politician that could represent me. And I was just aghast cast lake. As a person without children that hurt me. But it was also like so stupid, Short, sighted and demeaning, and I can tell you from personal experience that Comma Harris loves. Children cares about children lights up when she's interacting with children and has always had like a really intense strong and well thought out plan for how we improve the lives of children. We could not have had a better candidate for children running for Senate at the time and yet here's someone who was like Oh. This lady hasn't popped out a kid. So what what are you? GonNa do. And you. You really risk losing someone goodbye having that I guess everybody's got like you gotTa, have a reason to vote, but does it have to be so stupid? And I remember you talking on this show previously about at least one of those interactions that Kamla had with a little kid and how how moving that was for you on that campaign. as you know as a white male I apologize. If. I. If if my if I was ambitious and spoke my mind, loudly people would say man, there's someone who knows what he wants and is going GonNa, go get it. Right, but feel comforted by that. Yeah. Yeah. He he's not. He's not wishy washy. He knows what he wants. He's aggressive. He's GonNa. Do it. He's going to get things done. And, of course, when that? Same. Same stuff comes from women than it's you have to calm down. Yeah, you're. You're rubbing people the wrong way. Don't be too ambitious. Ladies. Well, the ladies are going to continue to be ambitious and they're gonNA prove everyone all these idiots wrong because as we all know they are leading the way in this resistance to the volunteers, women in women's March, and all eighty percent women are leading the resistance. So They're gonNA, save us and I'm excited about whoever that female vice president is going to be that'll that'll be exciting. It will be exciting. She's got kids or ambition. I mean. They're all they're all Anyway. Karen Bass One of the things that she has in common with Joe Biden is that she lost child. Should so she She did have a daughter who was killed along with the the daughter's husband in a car accident when Karen within in the California Assembly and Karen continued to work. Incredibly hard even as she was as she was grieving. The. Loss of her only child. which is you know. Just Uncertainty Testament terminable unfathomable and a testament to. She works at a connection that she enjo- Biden share. while. So powerful, she's she's amazing I know we're both a little bit biased but I. Just incredible. Speaking of incredible strong women who will speak their mind? No matter what people want them to do. That lions, that's right. We have Stacey Abrams on our show today. She talks about all of the things that are really top of mind for all of our listeners and should be top of mind for everyone in our country right now, and that's the voter suppression going on. That's the census and the importance of that, and how that the the end date for the census has actually been cut by a month. Now, we're GONNA talk about that a little bit calls to action because we have some specific actions we want everyone. To do around that. But election integrity is under attack. Trump is double downing double downing I'll go with it. Trump is double downing his attacks on this election on vote by mail saying that it's going to be rigged, and then he tweeted out about potentially postponing the election. He can't do that. Not Going to happen. I was talking about this. This morning, I've heard zero policy even hit the normal campaign normal quote unquote normal campaign from last time, it was like the wall to build the wall and do. Like all he talks about. Is that the election is rigged, the election is going to be fraudulent that The results can't be trusted. He's lost basically, and and so now it just comes to undermining the election intimidating voters and and that's that's the way that he's going to try to win continuing to. Stoke Blatant Racism and Fascism so. That's what we have to fight against. Good Times. Good Times, everybody. It's GONNA BE Super Fun. Again. The the formula for beating that is two or three fold basically. But the first thing that we all need to do is get three friends to volunteer be specific about it. We we had this great training event that Mariah I participated in. We were talking about it the train to win last weekend. And the vote tripling people there you know. So think about three people that need a hand to get to the polls. The probably need a little extra nudge. Write their names down be specific about who they are and reach out to them, and then think about three people who you think would volunteer who maybe haven't volunteered yet and write their names down and reach out to them because what we need is an over why we say this every week, but it's true. We need an overwhelming soon Nami to erase any potential uncertainty about the result, the election it's gotta be massive. I liked that because it feels very doable like so often like oh you know. Try to get one hundred people together for a House party. I'm like I don't know a hundred people. I don't think of already asked a bunch of people for favors this year, but I can. I can think about three people who I could help out by making sure that they have a plan vote and three people who have been asking me how they can. Can get involved. This is very doable. Totally, it's pretty darned simple and you can see how it would make a huge impact because if you have three people volunteering and then they apply the same tactic to what they're doing. So those three people, they get three friends, it's like a Pearl Commercial. All of a sudden everyone has beautiful luscious hair and you're saving democracy. Do. You think people will remember that pro commercial frame is gonNA say. You threw it way back there and so on and so on and so. We, get the point. I hope so. Me and my references. So. That's that's a call to action, and also we mentioned the census. You need to call your representatives, your Congressional representative, your. Senators, and. They have the power to restore that extra month that was taken away for for the Census and Stacey Abrams talks more about the importance of that. But uh, so you listen to that in the interview, but we need you to call those representatives, and since we're making phone calls while you're calling your representatives, it's now been eighty three days since Congress passed the Heroes Act. and. We're like at a stalemate with the political posturing going on in Congress right now, specifically from the Republican caucus in the Senate. So many people are saying, we don't have a plan or Congress is acting. That's not true. We passed the Heroes Act. The House of Representatives passed a Heroes Act eighty three days ago, and Mitch McConnell has not taking it up. They are putting woefully inadequate responses including funding for military funding to remodel the white. House. While people are losing their homes, they want to set aside some of this money to remodel the White House. It's ridiculous. It's abhorrent. So while you're calling about the census, make sure you tell them to pass the heroes. act. Right and just as a reminder, the heroes. Is You know the stimulus bill to help the country? Get through the krona virus crisis. It also includes almost four billion dollars for elections, including making elections safe for for voters and porkers. We need that passed. Now because we need all of those things put in place in time for the November election. So all your senators about the heroes. Act Police really important She said, please you can't resist that. what? What's your reason for hope this week, Mariah. My reason for hope this week. was actually the training to win event over the weekend, which you know a couple of thousand people participated and it's very difficult times. People are distracted and rightly. So but we had thousands of people willing to give up half of a Saturday to sit in front of their computers and learn how to give up more Saturday. Effectively as possible. So for the organizers of that event and the people who attended, they are truly my heroes speaking of Heroes Act and that's my reason for hope and I'm excited that listeners on this podcast. You weren't able to make that training. We'll get to here in a couple of weeks that incredible discussion we had at the end with leaders of the resistance organizations that are are leading the way. Yeah, it was an amazing panel with Reggie. Hubbard from move on Even toddlers Whitehill. One of the Co. founders of swing left Ribas worth one of the CO founders of sister district. and Leah, Greenberg from indivisible and Of course, our friend Emiliana Greco from women's March Los Angeles. It was just an inspiring panel and we'll release it as a podcast in a few weeks. So you guys will be able to hear it if you if you missed it great and what gives you, what's giving? You Hope Today Steve. Today Stacey Abrams is given. Me Hope because she is on the front lines of the most important fights right now, and that's with both of her organizations fair fight, which is the fight against voter suppression and making sure that the ballot is accessible for everyone and fair count, which is her work to make sure that everyone is counted in the census, and these are the most important things that we should all be paying attention to and working on, and she's a leader in that in so many other things. So she's my reason for hope right now. Let's make sure that everybody gets to share your reason for hope and. Listened to the interview. After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House, of Representatives, seven Democratic leader in twenty eighteen stacey. Abrams. became the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, winning more votes than any other Democrat. In the state's history. She was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the US, and she was the first black woman to deliver a response to the state of the Union. Leader Abrams launched fair fight to ensure every American has voice in our election system and fair count to ensure accuracy in the twenty twenty census and greater participation in civic engagement? Also, a bestselling author, her latest book is called. Our time is now power purpose and the fight for affair. America. We are so excited to join that fight and to have a meter Abrahams joining us today. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Such an honour and the pleasure, and you're the absolute perfect guest for really what the entire country are at least off, are the Democrats in the country are worried about right now is how we protect our vote. In your book, you talk about all the ways that Republicans make voting difficult if not impossible for people of color. Could you run through the main voter suppression tactics and talk about how fair fight is fighting against that? So let's start with understanding the taxonomy of voter suppression. Suppression is when you as a state or a government actor or party worked to prevent or discourage people from voting not from picking your candidate or not picking the other candidate, but to actually prevent or discourage the act of voting. And with that sort of baseline, then there are three general areas of action. The first is making it difficult to register or stay on the rolls. This matters because it's the point of entry to participation in our democracy, there's only one state in the country that does not require voter registration. That's north. Dakota. Else you've got registered about. And so if there's difficulty in registering and when that is compounded by being able to be taken off of the roles purged because you choose not to vote, then that impede your ability to participate, and that's you are being prevented from voting. The second is, can you cast a ballot? And that group of bad actions. Include voter. Id. Laws that are suppressive. And let's think about this isn't just do you have an ID. It's. Do you have an idea that has an address that? By law, you cannot actually receive or have provide paperwork that by law you cannot provide or that is so expensive or difficult to receive that you were precluded from participation. So it's not just voter ID. Every state has voter I d. it is how restrictive is the identification you're allowed to use. It's also do polling places allow you to coming cast your ballot. The closure polling places more than sixteen hundred by just the nine states of the former confederacy. The Visitation Voting Rights Act, secluded. Of. People from being able to cast ballots in Georgia alone estimated between fifty four and eighty, five thousand Georgians were not physically able to vote in two, thousand, eighteen because of polling place closures multiply that across the states where we have watched polling place closures, block people from participating. And then does your ballot actually count? Absentee. Ballots are going to be a big conversation. I'm sure we're GONNA talk about it. The number of states that make it impossible to get access to an absentee ballot unless you meet a very narrow set of criteria, usually either being over the age of sixty five or having a disability Luckily, in this year, we are now at about forty two states plus the. District of Columbia that have decided that. The pandemic is a viable excuse, but that still means they're eight states where you are still limited and your ability to vote by mail. You have a number states that do not permit. You to vote early and so you've got a lot of constraints on who can go and vote and then another one is the use of provisional ballots as a way to disenfranchise typically voters of color and that happens when you go into a polling place and they tell you well, we can't find you on the rolls or you didn't do something right. You don't really know what they're talking about they do this piece of paper and they just fill it out and they rarely tell you that you have to come back within three days to cure which whatever challenge they may have presumed you had and tends to disproportionately affect communities of. Of Color and going back to absentee ballots, you have restrictions on how you can return them you have issues of signature matching, which is this junk science notion that someone who can you match with credibility your signature to some piece of paper you want signed long ago. Even though are signatures change not only from year to year, they changed from implement to implement whether you're using a pencil or pen whether you're writing on paper or parchment or on a you know whether the plastic screens and so that's the universal of challenge. So my signature has evolved from actual letters to basically squiggle with a line in it. So exactly I my my. Communist my signature changes from CBS to Kroger. Right. into. What Fair fight does is we we understand that this taxonomy these three methods of preventing you discouraging you from voting exist in almost every state. But in the states were most concerned about it is a malignancy, this malevolence as opposed to benign just misunderstanding of what should happen, and so we have really targeted those eighteen states where we know but or suppression will determine the outcome of who holds the White House, who wins the Senate, whether we hold the House and whether we flip chambers down ballot. State. Legislative Chambers that will determine redistricting for the next decade. Do that litigation. We work with. We sued here in Georgia and we work with groups around the country especially working with Marc Elias, who's just been doing Yeoman's work. Bring a lot of states into the fold of voter protection and other c. four and political groups helping make sure that the right to vote Israel we have worked with legislation, we were able to compel legislation or help support. Support legislation in states like South Carolina Nevada. New Hampshire to help address some of these challenges and we advocacy and I. think that's the most important. We need tens of thousands. Of Americans. Especially, those living in states without aggressive voter suppression to step up and to help states where voter suppression will be used to change the outcome of the election, we need those folks to. To be a part of our army of good. Our Army of odor protection because Republicans have threatened to raise an army of fifty thousand to do voter intimidation writing. Yeah. I was talking with my wife earlier about the attack on vote by mail and she was she was saying doesn't vote by mail to favor? Republicans. Aren't Republicans better returning those ballots Y Y is this attack. Attack on vote by mail going to benefit them, and it's because of that army that is set up to intimidate voters at the poll. Trump wants people to go to the polls. They want to encounter long lines and intimidation and all those tactics. If it's easy for them, vote by mail. Then you know we have a level playing field. Everyone has access to the vote. The the question, the follow up there is, how do we plug into that? So you know we we have a job for advocacy. What's the best way for our volunteers to help with that? Fair fight twenty, twenty, dot Org. You can sign up become volunteer. We will then route you to the right folks. Who will need your help and just to give a few examples we were in Wisconsin during their primary. So we watched fear fight twenty, twenty in August twenty nineteen so that we would be in place for all of the primaries and because we were on the ground in Wisconsin as the rules for voting changed literally day to day, we were able to deploy volunteers we worked. We were embedded in the Democratic Party of Georgia, sorry democratic. Party was Kansin with been Wexler, and they were able to send out messages to answer questions to run a hotline, and it was the first time. They had voter protection that early we were able to do the same thing here in Georgia. We sent out more than nine hundred, thousand text messages, and all's to ensure participation, and despite the debacle that was the Georgia election, we actually saw unprecedented participation by vote by mail and by communities that typically did not participate in primaries. Wow. You yourself when you ran for governor of Georgia were victim of voter suppression tactics, Spinning that you didn't win the race because of rampant voter suppression tactics that were put into place there, and you've been very open about how frustrating die experience was. A lot of people would would take a break after that. But you jumped right back into the fray with fair. County Fair fight last year, and we've had a lot of questions that people have sent in about why you chose to focus on that instead of running for office again, maybe running for one of the the Senate seats in Georgia, can you talk about your calculation there and your feelings around? Experiencing the outcome of voter suppression firsthand. Sure. There's oppression sucks. I would like to be governor particularly given how inept our governor proven themselves to be on a host of issues and. The malfeasance. He's demonstrated on others. The rest of Georgia, would like to be governor as well. Yeah. I. I have an atypical resume and that. I. Have Been In public office, but I've also run companies and run nonprofits. I worked in the bureaucracy as a deputy city attorney. I believe in doing work like there are things I would like to fix their policies I would like to see come to fruition. There are challenges I want to address. I do not believe you have to be in public office to address them. And thus I run for the offices I. Believe we'll help me best tackle the challenges that I want to be part of fixing. Running for the state legislature was critical to me because I believe that for many of the challenges that particular pervasive in the. South. Governors are critical parts of that solution and the state legislature has outsized authority over how? Communities are served I for mayor who? Unfortunately, for every good thing, we did we help, I was the deputy attorney will pass a living wage for Atlanta in early two thousands. It was immediately overturned by the state legislature through what's called preemption, and so I ran for the state legislature in part because I wanted to be part of solving for how. In the south or in in communities where you can be. Overridden by state government, I wanted to be a part of that Thurman, and because I know governors have extraordinary authority over our lives and that's a job that matters to me is the job that could let me do tackle the issues that matter to me most education economic opportunity, the environment criminal justice reform. We can do the litany. Running for the US Senate and even more recently running for the US House to replace. Congressman. Lewis. Congress has an extraordinary responsibility for setting the laws of the land, but it is an inexact. Solution to the challenges. I'm most concerned about there's a distance between the daily travails that often. Assailed the communities I'm most focus on, and often when there is federal action, it is to correct state action. I would prefer to correct that action upfront. And more than that. I. Don't necessarily like the legislature I. I really to be in it. To love. Very skilled sentence one, I wanted to. Absolutely. Put. In my quiver. I wanted to make sure I understood how it works because they think you're a better executive if you know how the legislative branch operates. But what I've learned from being the lawyer for the city council being a member of the state legislature and working fairly closely with Congress over the last few years a scalable set of skills. So once you learn the legislative back nations, you've got the Skillset, a matter of scale in a matter of topic. I prefer the executive branch of things because I prefer the direct action of delivery of service. That's what I do. That's why I start companies. That's why I start nonprofits. It's why I to be governor. It's one day will want to run for higher office. But I will do it in the executive side because that's the most direct path to the delivery of services that drive me everyday to be in this work. So being part of the bureaucracy wasn't that exciting. You're being funny but. Clever. She's very clever. But. My point is when I was a bureaucrat, that's actually one of the reasons I ran for the legislature because there are a lot of people who have been in successive elective offices that then run for higher office. They're very few people who actually were bureaucrats responsible for executing those rules. Then run for office. I was one of them. So when I sat in the legislature, I could actually speak authentically to certain bills they were trying to pass by saying. It's not. It doesn't work the way you think it works. That's not how it happens, and so I actually was I, think I benefited from my time in bureaucracy. But one problem I had was I was a bureaucrat. I couldn't make people doing the. I couldn't demand that they take a better step or that they do things in a different way because I was constrained by the rules that have been passed by legislators and signed by governors and mayors, and so I found early on in my life that you can either try to convince people to change what they do or you can be the one to do it, and I opted for the latter. Well, I think many of us are very excited about the future when you do run for higher executive office that's very tantalizing too many of us. So we'll look forward to that in the meantime. Let's talk more about the work that you are doing right now, you mentioned in your bullet points about voter suppression. The first thing was accessed to voter registration. It's never been easy especially for rural poor Americans and voters of color are two times as likely to register at a drive. But dacoven nineteen, some states like Florida, for instance, have made those drive so hard to do groups have given up doing them altogether. How are you reaching Americans and registering them right now during this pandemic? So the work that I've done better registration was primarily executed through the New Georgia project which ended in two thousand fourteen. I actually stepped back from the New Georgia project. It has a fantastic CEO named. Say you fought? She is run the organization Data Day since two thousand sixteen, and it's now a standalone organization. Since two thousand, seventeen, she's joining our our show in a couple of weeks. So I'm excited about that. All about the fantastic were doing. I will worker saying that they have managed to continue that outreach because it's not just the physical drives what? Reason communities of color twice as likely to register through third party efforts, is that those third parties take the extra mile? Do the additional work to mitigate. Boesch the fear and the complication registration for two people who grew up in communities where registration is a given, there is serving inherited understanding of how it works. But for a lot of folks who have lived through. Voter suppression or who are newly new immigrants, the United States. It can be a complex system and particularly for communities of Color, in the south, you need voter registration drives and often to demystify. And to to dispel misinformation about who can register and how to do it. That's why they're so effective and the New Georgia project has continued. Luckily, Georgia is one of the states that has online registration, and so I know, GP is doing a lot of that work, but they've also just maintain connection to community because it's not just getting people to register. It's getting them to understand how to use that registration to change their futures, right? Let's turn to the census now, which lays a hugh, it's GonNa play a huge role in you talked about the importance of the down ballot races and how hand-in-hand with redistricting in the census, those are going to have a big impact. But now we've just learned this week that the census is going to be ending a month. Early, we know that the trump administration is trying new ways to try to exclude undocumented. Undocumented residents from from participating in the or be counted in the census. So we're in a little bit of an emergency mood with it right now, What can we do now that we know it's ending early and it's continuing to be under attack from the trump administration How do we make sure that communities of color are counted and as many people as possible accounted now that we have a ticking clock. So I I begin with a few things. One to we're at about sixty two percent response rates about forty percent of America hasn't responded, but when you look into that forty percent. The rate is that twenty five percent of native Americans have not been counted. Fifteen fourteen percent of African. Americans are behind twelve percent of Latinos and two percent of the API community, and so it is largely communities of color that are in the undercounted or uncounted categories. The original timing for the census that you get your form starting March since his day technically was April first, and then we have what's called the non-response follow up operation. and. That's Nar Phu, which is. It sounds like Dr seuss character really wet. And so north, who was supposed to begin on May fourteenth, it was delayed by covert until August eleventh. So they've had some testers that have gone out, but the real enumerated process isn't going to start to August eleventh will originally, it was going to run from May. Fourteenth, through July thirty, first seventy, five days. It is the most important part of the census for those communities. Because we know everyone of those communities I just listed, it's lagging behind, they historically lagged behind and they need the enumerators to go into their communities in part because they don't get the information, they tend to be more transitory. So the mail that would have come to where they lived before did not make it to the new apartment where they live. Now, there are a host of reasons for it, and there's a lot of distrust that has been fomented by the trump administration through the citizenship issue, but also through conservative groups that have been spreading misinformation about participation in the census. For the last few years because they know that non-participation in the census as one of their researchers put. It makes the United States look whiter and more Republican so. That's that's the problem. So it was opposed to last until July thirty for seventy five days while because they aren't starting until August eleventh and because they intend to artificially ended on. September. Thirtieth, they're going to use forty five days as opposed to seventy five. So forty percent decrease in how much time they're going to spend. The were going to spend that much less time. But the number of people they have to reach is much larger. and. We need to. We need to be panicked about this for three. One is that it will undercount those communities as just baseline metric because when you have less time to do more work, the work does not get done. So. That's the first problem. Right? Second problem is that the Census Bureau uses what's called. IMPUTATION in order to figure out who they miss in twenty, ten imputation was used to cover about a one percent population that didn't get counted and that one percent of that one percent twenty, five percent were African Americans which means that. When you use imputation is often being used to count people color who otherwise did not get counted. But what happens with imputation and with processes imputation their proxy responses? What they do is they asked people who live in neighborhoods around you. That did respond. What race you are, what you look like what your your family looks like in your house, they may tell the truth or they may lie and imputation is even worse because imputation uses responsive census tracts read white to guess what the race of the non responsive tracks are, and they do imput into that community, the characteristics of the community that responded. So you live in a gentrified community. If you live in a minority community, they're going to guess that you're white if the majority that responded were white, they're going to impute that everyone else is white, which means you erase communities of color. So we get a raced for, so we're not going to be able to count them. We're GONNA guess we're. GonNa. Guess. Wrong, and the consequences are that for redistricting. Partisan gerrymandering was. Determined to be permissible by the Supreme Court in Twenty nineteen. The only form of Gerrymandering that remains unconstitutional is racial gerrymandering. Will guess what happens if you erase racial communities, then you can do whatever you want because for the purposes of the law, they don't exist if they're not included in the census, you cannot then sue say here, pictures of all the black and Brown people who live in the census track that now is skewed Republican. Because of how they drew it because according to the census. If you are not included in the senses when you go to court, you can't bring in pictures, you can't bring in data, you can only bring in what the census says is true. So, how do we fight against that? What do we do about it? So the work we've been doing through fair count has been to one to help increase the accuracy of sense. So I created fear fight the fight against voter suppression and I created it fair account to fight against an inaccurate census. So we've been working across the country with multiple organizations raising awareness. I've been incredibly grateful for the support and the hard work being done by groups like the leadership conference. Then C. P., the National Council Negro Women the Urban League, all these groups voter. Voter. Latino. Groups across the country are doing this work. But what we need now is congressional, action. Congress, can mandate that the census count has to continue until October thirty first, that's the standard practice that gives us back the seventy five days that's determined. So we need folks listening to this podcast to call Congress call your state, Rep Collier, US representatives, Andrew Senators, and demand that they extend the census count because here's why it matters to everybody regardless of what race you are. The money for services in our communities are based on that count, and so if you live in a community where your school district is of mixed race but they Don't count a lot of the kids of color who are also poor. Then those kids and those resources never come to your school. And so if you're living in a nice middle class area where things are doing, okay. If those kids get erased, the resources that pay for those children will disappear. If you live in a covid nineteen community that is being unfairly battered by Covid, nineteen, if you live in a rural community where your hospitals are closing, if they don't count who's there and they raised that count. Count them the resources that followed those members of your community. Those dollars disappear. So you may not may want to win the election, but if you lose the money that comes with your community members, all of us are harmed. So we should all be concerned about this regardless of race regardless of politics, if we don't count people than the resources that help improve our communities disappear. Great well to action. Yeah. We'll keep that as our as a call to action and Thank you for. Articulating. So well, how important? This is J-, it is You know all alarm bell should be going off right now, we have a couple of quick questions. recently are swing left college team of fellows. Network leads got together for a conference getting ready for the fall semester and building infrastructure across Georgia and other super states to mobilize college students, and they submitted some questions for you. So. I'm going to play the question and and let you respond to it. High leader Abrahams. My name is Tiana's Singleton, a swing left college fellow in rising junior at your Alma Mater, Spelman College. Advocacy can take a significant toll on your mental health especially when you are constantly countered with obstacles that whole progression and change I wanted to ask you how have you navigated the world of politics and advocacy while taking care of your mental health. And how do you mentally overcome setbacks? Thank you. Thank you John for the question. I. Recognize that winning is not. Always going to happen. The Way, I think about it and I talked about in the book. Is that my metric for victory looks different because of the experiences I've had and so. I always level set for myself before I worked and I set multiple goals, not just getting the title, but sometimes, it's about changing the composition. The work we did endure twenty eighteen. I may not have become governor, but we transform the electorate of our state. We engaged communities that had never been engaged, and so I part of my mental health. Read regime is that I recognize the things I did get done even if I didn't get everything, but I, also give myself space to grief. It was devastating not winning. It was devastating watching tens of thousands of, Georgians. Denied their agency, but it was also devastating just not getting. Getting, the victory that I thought we had earned and particularly to not win in a time when. Suppression was the challenge, and so here's what I do i. read a lot. I watch an ordinary amount of television and myself permission to to cycle through the stages of grief. Knowing might come back to some cycles more than others. I like anger I, internalize it differently and display it differently. But it's a fuel for me being righteously indignant on behalf of those who are. Cheated helps me wake up in the morning and get things done. But sometimes, I need to just curl up and read a good book or watch another episode of doctor who or Star Trek and. Also. Makes me happy. Hartley play this one from Julian Hi leader Abrahams I'm doing Panetta and I'm a swing with colleagues, fellow. State. University. And I wanted to ask you what are some words of wisdom you might have to young organizers who aspired to grow and develop as leaders and a current political climate filled with some discouraged young voters. Thank you so much. I start by recognizing voting is not a panacea. It's not going to be a magic pill that makes things better. Voting is a process and like any disease, the disease of systemic racism that disease structural inequities disease Voter suppression. The disease of erasure. We have to keep at it, and it can be discouraging if you think that you have failed because changed it and come with your. Casting a ballot. Think about it instead as he treatment as process. Then, we become more nimble and more able to withstand the disappointment. Protesting in the streets, absolutely necessary because the up the issues for public consumption voting is critical because it puts those demands into policy. And it is the way a democracy. We administer the treatment that we need the chemotherapy, the radiation, the the regimen that will make us healthier. And I remember where I came from and where I started that you know as. I come from slaves and sharecroppers and domestic workers, and I know that because of their persistence I am and my requirement and my responsibility is to keep trying. I may not six everything, but I am damned if I do not try. I mean. That would be the perfect note to end on. We have one more because it was so powerful, of course, but we have one more question that we ask all of our our podcast guests, and that is what gives you the most hope for our future. Gives me the most hope. Is that. I read our Constitution and I know the stories of our people. Where we began tells us what we are capable love, and where we are now shows us what we've been willing to do to get there. I have hope because I know we've got farther to go, but we've got the capacity to get. Thank you for joining us and for stepping up to take action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. We want to hear from you tweet to us at blues boy. Steve, and at Mariah, underscore craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot org, and if you haven't yet pleased subscribe rate and review on Apple or wherever you get your pods, it helps other activists and volunteers so much share on social media and use the Hashtag, how we win twenty twenty. You can always get more on our page at swing left dot org slash podcast, and of course, you can find ways to volunteer for. We really appreciate you being here with us every week, and we will be back with some more next Wednesday.

Georgia US Senate Congress Stacey Abrams Mariah Craven United States Joe Biden Abrahams Trump Comma Harris US House White House America twitter Steve Pearson Census Bureau
Into The Arena with Ravi Gupta

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 4 months ago

Into The Arena with Ravi Gupta

"Welcome to how we win all over the country people doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now, right from your living room, the best antidote to anxiety is action. Can you believe there are ninety seven days until the most important election of our lives, I can't believe it less if you count, do start a vote by mail. With your help, we're going to win back all the houses. That's right. Joining us today for our show is Ravi Gupta Obama Alum co-founder of arena, and Co, host of the majority fifty, four podcast along with Jason Candor. We talk about how arena is training a new generation of candidates and campaign professionals, and how Ravi is working to reach red state voters that will flip these key seats in November, which once again is ninety seven days away from now. I'm Steve Pearson. and. I'm Mariah Craven, and this is how we win. We are inside a hundred days till e day Mariah how you feeling I'm feeling fired up and ready to go I. Mean we have a lot of work to do. is to work with the campaign manager who would say? You can do anything for ninety seven days. Say You could do anything for ninety six days and so We don't have that much time, but we we can do anything in this amount of time, and we can make a huge difference. So. Yeah, get to work. Everybody got to work everybody. This. Is it. This is. You know just a little over three months to go. And I was thinking back to when this all started. So and this is more for people like me because I know you've been working on campaigns for a long time long before trump was elected. But for people like me and a lot of people I'm guessing who are listening to this show. We really felt the trauma of trump getting elected, and that's what motivated us to do something and. I have learned so much in this journey and my life has been improved in so many ways because of these incredible activists that I've been able to forge relationships with to become friends with you know, my this community has been amazing I've learned about local politics. I'm active in the California Democratic Party. Now, I'm an elected assembly delegate I serve as chair on a committee. I do all this great stuff that I never would have done before, but at a fundamental level. I jumped in because I was freaked out when trump was elected and my family was devastated and scared and we needed to do something. So what was that thing? I? Didn't know it at the time. It was. Okay. We got to take back the house. We've got to put a check on trump's that would dove into that and we did all that work and we organized volunteers showed up like. Never before for midterm election, we had this blue wave. Thank God. We we elected all these Democrats took back. The house were able to put that check on trump. But. In the interim, all the things that have happened like trump keeps showing us who he is, it gets worse and worse. We're going to talk about some of that stuff. Today's what's going on in Portland and other cities are was just testifying the you know we're we're seeing more violence from this unnamed unmarked federal force. It's getting worse. It's getting scarier. It's feeding into all of our fears, but here we are. Months away from the goal that many of us just set out to do like the reason we got into this was to defeat trump was to get him out of office, and that time is finally upon us right now, and we have to make sure that turn that that aspiration into a reality That's such a great reminder of what kicked all this this off for so many people, it feels like it's been such a long time and it has. and a lot. A Lot's happened as a country. We we've been through a lot of trauma, but the end goal is in sight I. Mean, there's never an ankle. Let's let's be. Realistic. But one of our our big goals insight and I. also just want to highlight one thing that you sad about the community that you have built doing this work That's so important a stink. You know people are trying to figure out how to get plugged into this stuff. You've been at home for months. You feeling a little bit isolated. This really an opportunity to get involved and start expanding your universe and it makes such a difference in life in the work that we do, and if you're if you're waiting to dive in I would encourage you to dive in now less than a hundred days out the other piece of this, and and this is why the timing again is. So critical is that the US has millions of cases if corona virus right now. A quarter. Of a million. Kobe deaths a really grim milestone. If you ever needed. A way to understand. How the people we elect. Have a life or death impact on us this? This really is that moment. The policies, the budgets, the decisions that they make are devastating people right now. And we've, and we've kind of been left your own devices at the state level at the community level and the that's not good enough. We the ability to be better than that. Yeah. I mean trump has decided to play politics and think first and foremost about how. It was going to affect him rather than deal with a deadly virus for which we do not currently have a vaccine. It's a warrant and immoral and to say that it's a lack of leadership is the greatest understatement in the history of our presidents. He's. I'm just I'm kind of sick of talking about trump three months. Let's get this guy out of there. You know. You know I'll be glad to see. Go with him as attorney, General. William Bar. Yes. His henchmen. Who as we're recording, this is testifying before Congress and. I feel like, I've watched war congressional testimonies in the hearings in the last few years than at any other point and in my adult life and man are these these these things are starting to get pressing. Hug I. Know It's been. So if feels like it's been a long time since. Jim. Jordan. Yelled at me with a bunch of crazy conspiracy theories in names all at once so that no one has time to even process all that bullshit and I didn't like it. I didn't like him yelling at me and wish she would shut his face up. How? I. Feel. You know. It's it's strange because bill bars face. Reflects that it seems like. He wishes these people which shut up to but obviously, he's I think he's answering so far. I haven't seen him answering questions in a particularly helpful way for anybody but it seems like he's also aware of the stagecraft that's going into this where absolutely Really these members of Congress aren't even asking many of them aren't asking good questions. They're just doing that thing that's annoying whenever you go to a town hall or community meeting where someone says, they have a question, but they really just WanNa make a comment. About something insane. And that's pretty typical of especially when you have a national audience in platform to make statements imposture and look at me kind of that. You know that share. Elected official one, WanNa one, I suppose. But. You, know attorney. General. Bar. Is actually a terrible liar. We were talking about this beforehand, I wanna play poker with them because. Everyone watch him. He does this I flutter thing where. So when when he's being attacked a knows, he's GonNa lie or recess something. That's untrue or when the Republicans are saying some crazy conspiracy theory the he's got to like put a poker face on for because he knows that it's bat shit crazy, but he's got to go along with it. He does like tries to make his is dead, and then as I his eyelids flutter like a million times. Crazy. So watch for the I flutter, that's his tell for anyone ever plays poker with them. You'RE GONNA make a lot of money off that. To Keep An. Eye Out for the I. Flutter favor rented to them in. Vegas. Immortal the point, the audacious -ness of his statement about his job to serve law and order and make law and order fair for everybody win. Brianna. Taylor's killers are still free is it's beyond the pill. Absolutely but I mean I. think that's what the. That's what the reelection game plan for the entire trump administration is is like. Let's lean into the law and order thing not necessarily law and order for everybody, not law and order for the scary people belong order for the couple in the man gen that gets to point their guns at everybody like right. Those people we need to make feel better. The jailers and allies, Mcclain's of the world. Yeah. But and who else are the scary people that you're talking about is the moms that are getting baton by police in Portland, is at that fourteen year, old girl that was tackled by these unmarked federal forces. You know I mean, are they the scary people? These peaceful protesters that are that are out there? Yes. Because they have opinions that are different from right trump's so so yes. Yes, clearly there. Fascist. Terrace. Everyone has seen what's been going on in Portland and the federal response to that, which is exasperated the the problem even more. The. Local and state officials from Portland, Oregon or asking the federal officials to leave because they've just made things worse, and this is really scary. This is what trump is. You know he said he's going to start deploying these tactics and other cities to it's part of his voter suppression. It's part of his disenfranchisement is trying to stoke fear and more tension, but I'm going to segue right into our reasons for hope because. Because, it is not going to work. It is going to backfire because of the wall of MOMS because of the leaf blower. Dad's because of every individual citizen who does not stand for that instead stands up against it and joins these protests. We have seen a little bit of a Wayne in the black lives matter protests in the last month, and now people are standing up again because of this federal aggression. WE'RE NOT GONNA stand for it we're. GonNa. Make our voices heard and we're. Going to make our voices heard by getting more people volunteer by voting all of these fascist out of office. Well said. I'm a little fired up today. After. Cup of coffee before we recorded this. I. Think. That's great. So your reason for hope is the wall of moms and leaf blower. Right, how could we not be hopeful I? Know it gives me WHO's bumps when I when I see them out there. You know. Yeah buffet like fear, genuine fear for for all the folks out there. But. I'm gratitude that they're standing together with locked arms. So What about you? What's your reason for hope this week, my reason for hope, this week is going to be the radical monarchs. So the radical monarchs is like a kind of. There not the girl they're not affiliated with the girl scouts. In fact, they used to be called the radical brownies and girl scouts. Can't do that so. The radical marks is a as a group for young girls that started in Oakland for black and brown girls to come together and learn about social justice and Badge -is for participating in social justice activities in their communities and. There is a new documentary out about them that I. I have a list of things to watch for. Hopefully. When I'm on maternity leave, I'll have time to watch it caught up and watch some things. It's at the top of my list. It's an amazing group of girls that I've been reading about and seeing on the frontlines of protests for the last few years, and I'm glad we're getting an inside look at them, and you know one of the things that I always admire is when people come to their activism and understanding and awareness of of social justice early in life, it's something that I didn't understand or was exposed to until much like way into my adulthood. So it's always exciting to see what the kids are learning, and we talk all the time with our guests about you know the young people that inspire them. Well, let's take a look at what these young people are learning that is making them. So inspirational, that's amazing. Yeah Vet. Thank you for sharing that. Let's get everyone into action right now, we are inside of one hundred days. So you need to take these calls to Action Seriously We have a great one coming up this Saturday August I is the training to win conference and Mariah and I will both be there. Mariah is going to be hosting the opening which will feature Speaker Pelosi Representative Chef, Representative Bass, and Dan Pfeiffer from pod Save America, they'll all be giving opening remarks. Then there's going to be a bunch of different training blocks that people can choose from on organizing skills, how to be effective in the digital organizing that we're doing. I'd have a fact of conversations with voters, all that important stuff that you need to know. Know and be good at to help us win and then They'll be a great panel at the end that Mariah, and I are facilitating with founders of swing left indivisible sister district women's March, and move on. It's going to be awesome. The link will be on our page swing left dot org slash podcast. We encourage everyone to sign up, it's free and it's going to be great this Saturday three and virtual. And virtual, right? Of course, you don't have goanywhere. Will suit everyone who's not going anywhere. Yet, so I'm super excited about that, and in the meantime, don't forget to encourage three friends, family members, strangers, whose you know. You somehow got hold of of their cell phone number to subscribe to the how we win podcast July subscriber push. What you do it. When you share this podcast is you're sharing tools, tips and inspiration with other people who. Who will join you in the important work that has to take place over the next ninety seven days. So definitely, Sin folks linked to the PODCAST and encourage them to listen. That's right. Just a few more days in July. Left for. July. Subscriber Push. Feel like a Monday NPR right now. But we're not asking for money. I mean you just need. More people to jump in and do this work. saw this podcast is free. All we ask is that you share it. And speaking of sharing inspiration and training and having. About how effective conversation with you know people in red states that we need to show up and vote. We got so much great insight from Ravi Gupta and we're excited to share that interview with you. Yeah. Let's take a listen. The Gupta is the CO founder of the arena whose mission is to convene train and support the next generation of candidates in campaign staff before co founding. The Arena Ravi served as special assistant and speechwriter to Susan. Rice. US Ambassador to the United Nations and top. VP candidate. He also spent two years working on Barack Obama's two, thousand, eight presidential campaign serving as assistant to chief strategist, David axelrod during the general election. In two, thousand, twelve, he was named the Forbes thirty under thirty list, which will right. Ravi thanks so much for taking the time to join us. It's my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me. Absolutely first of all, how did you get your start? What got you into politics and organizing? Yeah I think there's A few different sort of starting points depending on how you think about it. You know one is that I have a a mom and a dad as raised by my mom. But for brief timeout, my parents are still together that I remember the. By parents were split politically. So my dad is Republican and my mom is a democrat. I kinda come up hearing them. Argue I remember that the Dukakis election on it must've been a five at that time. It was like the worst fight. I remember my parents having up to that point was over. Dukakis versus Bush. And so it was. So I, Kinda grew up just around. People carrying lot about politics, even though both my parents are. Medical Professionals but I would say what really shifted. My thinking was college were by Freshman Year was nine eleven and then the Iraq war in Afghanistan Moore's shortly after that, and then Bush's re-election just in college at a supercharged political time as so I was going to school just to become a doctor Nepal in my parents footsteps but. I quickly got activated by the political climate around me and want to pursue law politics instead, and then when I was in law school. Senator, Obama was contemplating a run for president. So I jumped on his exploratory committee and then stayed with him for awhile I and. As your listeners might know he won that election, and so it's been. It's been since I remember that yeah. Yeah. Tell. Me His this is too personal, but did your did it feel like politics in your house was competitive and then when you ended up on one side? was. Your was your dad like all man. I. Don't think was dis- I don't think it's like a despite like because you know I have an older brother who? Is. I. Don't know if you consider himself a Republican, but he is. He is definitely on the right. and. So my dad. At least has that. but I would say that competitive, it was more during some of these periods of time like the Iraq War I used to study to go home college out study up on issues so that when I was around the table, my brother and when I would see my dad in June like I would just be studied up. So I could argue with my dad, my brother Mile. About these things and I would study for. Family gatherings like study for a test. So that laid the groundwork for you know learning about persuasion and and moving voters in red states. So there you go. That's right. You know, which is the subject of this podcast that we now have. Four. PODCAST. Co host with. Jason Candor, and our goal is to have better conversations with people who disagree with us, and it's it's never been harder. Interesting. So how is how is tell tell us about the podcast and in how it's going which is? Spoiler alert. It's going really well. Yeah I. Think I think we're doing a podcast. Jason Candor is probably like like you know having a successful podcast reducing kinder's. Wind up becoming governor of Texas. When your dad is George, h w Bush, you know it's like you know statement of being born on third base. It's like I've been born into the five CASS world, their based, and so really like he gets all the credit for this because he built up session incredible audience a few years ago and Our job was to activate that audience in grow it, which is what we've been doing over the past few weeks. So you know we're we're ranked in the top twenty for news right now in I was and Have had some great guests like stay savings came on and Koto show with us last week and But. Goes. Just saying, yes, she was amazing but I would say more than anything else. Whatever really enjoyed about this podcast is people from all over the country reaching out on social media and email sharing their stories about their attempts to. To persuade people around them and it's just really inspiring. You know people who are not in New York like I, am you know who are? All sorts of places around this country that people. Don't really think of as being aggressive enclaves, but who are fighting the good fight. And trying their very best to move people to believe in in social justice. Are there any? Things that you learned or experienced in your early campaign work organizing work that you're now having a chance to talk. To people about and teach people about on majority fifty four. Well I would say that. The biggest thing for my camp early campaign days. Was You know for Obama? If we're focusing on that is the what drew me. That campaign and what united many of us who were called to work for him and volunteer Fran was this belief, the sort of generous spirit about America, this generosity towards people who may disagree with you and his belief that there still is this American project worth. Saving. and. I'm not going to be naive to say that. I am as optimistic as I was back then about. How quickly we get to where we need to go, but I haven't given up on this idea of an America, that's more united and more just than the one that came before us. It certainly is way harder than I. If you would've asked me in January two, thousand, nine, I could not have imagined out. How much harder it is to get. To, place of social, Justice Racial Justice Economic, justice than what I would have thought at that time. But you know majority fifty four is is in a way. A continuation of that conversation saying that even if it's GonNa be twenty times than we thought, we still need to run a country together. You know we're going to be as we've seen with code, know their their Republican doctors and democratic doctors in Republican Democrat. Independent and not affiliated people teaching classrooms across the country serving on the beat in our police forces and going to church. Together, and walking same streets together, and so you know my cases in a family together, and so if somebody gets sick, we take care of people together, and if I get sick, they take care of me if they get sick to hear them. So we still have this country, these communities we run together. So we can't abandon project with at least trying to create some sense of shared vision and that's the heart is ever done. That reminds me. We had Irshad Manji. On our show about a month or so ago who wrote a great book called don't label me and and She. Talks about how important it is to reach out and understand people that you don't agree with or at least attempt to make those bridges because if a politically if we're just shifting power without getting any buy in at all from the other side than it's just the gears of this keep going around and around with all of us just pulling from our own sides and and we have to get some buy in for us to actually. Build lasting political change in our country So I'm glad you're you're doing that work. It is so hard. I tried to approach it from a place of of empathy. It's very, very difficult right now especially when we have. Someone, at the top who is stoking the fear and the hatred and straight up. Fascism. And one more point on that. I have this weird combination of us at a I. I suspect that there is a major contradiction in here somewhere but. I believe that we I believe in that vision that I just talked about of shared. America. But I also believe that we've got it absolutely crush our opponents electorally in order to create a shared vision that we need and so although. Committed to having conversations, showing generosity of spirit and humanity and optimism about people who who have different beliefs. I also believe that we. Have to maximize our political power and when elections ruthlessly, and also after we win have to consolidate our power whether it's Filibuster Supreme Court, DC, statehood et. CETERA. So it's a weird combination of us. It's like I, I wanNA crush. Our opposition. In the political sphere in electoral sphere. But on a person person citizen citizen level, I want more humanity and I think the. I think Joe. Biden is president is a perfect example here like we. Do everything right between now and the election or enough things. Right. We will win and Joe Biden will be progressive president. But he will also be kind and generous to people who disagree Yankee will wake up every single day. Sam President for all Americans, not just Democrat right I. think that would be huge progress. The massive change. Well, it'll be Jimmy. Nevarez. Evil that's always bothered me the most about trump is the like he clearly doesn't see himself as a president for everybody. Even even if you give him the benefit of the doubt assume that he's doing what he thinks is best for the country. He's doing it for very, very small group of people and the rest of us can go screw ourselves. The good segue into how we how we crush them. So. Yeah. Yeah, so speaking of crushing. Let's talk about the arena. goodstuff. Tell us about it and what it's doing in the current election cycle. Yes. We found arena right around the time that y'all founded swing left. So right under trump's election two, thousand, sixteen at the time ohs down South in education on profit and. I just. You know the day of the election. After the election twenty sixteen, I was called in to run a town hall meeting of some of my high school students. They were asking really tough questions that I didn't have answers to. Are they. Going to deport us. Are they bring back? Jim Crow is serious about this lgbtq conversion therapy etcetera, and I did what? I could to answer their questions and then to admit right? No things. But then I left in the parking lot just started calling. For colleagues from the Obama. Administration, and and elsewhere to say, what can we do to help turn this oceanliner democracy around, and that's where was born when we started with just one convening an Nashville three and a half weeks later. So December twenty sixteen and at that convening some of the people who went on to start from laugh where there and a bunch of people who came on to. Run for office eventually like Lauren Underwood analyst, Biaggi Sarraj Patel. Just a ton of people there who. Would go on to become. That next generation of leadership, and then there were people who were already part of the previous next generation. Justin candor gave our keynote. That's actually where I met 'em. Oh, I am where we started this journey to be to do the PODCAST is beautiful gathering and it inspired us heading into the holidays. You know this is a very scary holiday period. You Know Twenty Sixteen. Holidays and then. And, then we came after the first summit and we kept doing the convenience. But really what I think where the rubber hit, the road was where we started a fellowship program for candidates around the country who needed extra help or mostly first time candidates. I think one of the only exceptions we made with for Stacey. Obviously, not a first time candidate, but candidates like worn underwood, Max Rosen Tony. Dog. Otto. And I'm gene, his Jones. We we started a fellowship to help those folks field a high quality campaigns and went, and so we did that in two thousand eighteen had a lot of success. Then we debrief with all of our candidates we worked in two thousand eighteen. After the election and we asked him, you know what is missing in the ecosystem of support for campaigns right now, and almost everybody named some form of the talent environment. For. Campaigns is the problem so whether it's the ability to find high-quality folks like where do people look you know up until and just to be clear when you're talking about talent, you're talking about staffers for their campaigns staffers. Yes. Yes. Thanks for that and so people. Up until recently. The basically the only way you get your resume into the hands of the right person is word of mouth, and you know it's kind of like these Ivy League networks ready privileged people hire other privileged people. So we wanted to take aim fix that. We wanted to fix the training environment because we're hearing that there just wasn't access to strong training opportunities in campaigns. because. You know people who go who are politics take political science. There isn't a campaign. Major most places people management of campaigns, etc.. Is Not kind of thing that you learn at the university level, and so we created what's called. Arena Academy. We've now. Over eleven hundred current an aspiring staffers over the past year. In seven separate green. Academies now, eight separate renamed Kademi is now we just last week. and. That Academy is We have two different versions of a one one academy, which is we have different tracks for communications, directors, campaign managers. Digital detail directors, et Cetera were to six day training where people really dive deep into an area of expertise. But then also work in interdisciplinary teams on on a simulated campaign sets the one. Oh, one academies, and now we're in the middle of our Oh one academies which are just more expert level trainings, and if folks are interested, there are still some academy to a one sessions that they take advantage of and if they go to a Reena Dash Academy dot run that's arena dash battery dot run. They can access information on and these are free. Usually. Or DVD free or highly subsidized, depending on what people applied for and we always were very generous scholarships and because of that were able to train and support a diverse. Applicant, pool both economically racially gender. So fifty percents of our trainees are people of color over sixty percent women. We have huge geographic diversity, I think either every state or almost every state has been represented at these academies. And so people can go check these out and learn more. We also have a program called toolbox, which is our online version of academy material. And we've careers, which is arena careers, which is an all of this. If you do go to Rena, you could find all that stuff, but we have written a career is which is kind of Lincoln for politics. So it it helps in a small way solve the problem I talked about, but the IVY, league privileged people exchanging resumes, like this is a more transparent way to get the right people, the right jobs, and then we also have staff members whose jobs are to go in there and find the most talented of our graduates especially people from underrepresented backgrounds in help land them. In pulses. That's that's awesome. That's the the work you're doing is so great. I know a lot of staffers who went through your program and absolutely love it and I have to save Personally, I have pilfered a lot of resources from the arena website for I was. Program Manager for Swing Left Academy. So I was helping develop our our training resources last cycle and also worked on a congressional campaign is their training director and I'M NOT GONNA. Sugar coat it I outright stole your stuff in put in. You know. People thought I wanted to smart so. That's the goal. We encourage people to. To to steal anything that we have. That's our our mission is just make sure that campaigns are awesome. Yeah. Sell. That's that's exactly what we want and needed you know. The, the experienced the Mariah both had Mariah's executive director of seachange Karen Bassus. Pack out here in California with the mid terms, we had such a huge influx of volunteer energy and the campaigns just weren't able to properly train these volunteers, really stamp the capacity to do it. You know just overwhelmed and and we're going to have that same issue I know I hope we we must. But for for this election, the presidential year Donald Trump on the ticket. So all of these resources are are really important and And I'm so grateful for the ORBS that are helping train volunteers to and taking a little bit of the load off of the campaign staff because they're just overwhelmed. So my question there is in this digital world where everything is up ended like how registering voters were not knocking on doors right now. Certainly, not GonNa send volunteers to do that this cycle, how are you shifting and what's really working for you digitally right now? Yeah and and one place I want to point people to is we actually have a specific traits coming up at people visit that Arena Academy website. They can with we have training specifically on this question by shipped resources from the doors to a more digital campaigns, right. So we have a partnership with an organization I'm sure that many listeners are familiar with called. We, have a series of follow on trainings where we are helping campaigns, make those adjustments, and so the acronym training we're doing this weekend is about how to best. Tactically deployed resources digitally in the absence of have your door to door. Canvassing or any door-to-door cabinet saying seems could be the case. And then we have other trainings about. How to actually budget properly. So now, how do you adjust course? In your budget so that you're putting resources in the right place, and this is not official Arena party line what I'm about to say, but this is just my opinion. Is. I would be pretty dramatic. If I'm a campaign right now and this any campaign that asked me. I, would pretty dramatically and decisively shift my resources away from traditional field. To digital campaigning and other forms of advertising depending on what level you are at right now, the data still says, TV works if you're at a certain level, especially congressional above especially Senate Governor So. You know. I would do some mixture of digital like if you're talking congressional and above I would do some mixture of digital and TV probably a little bit more heavily TV than digital. But still pretty heavy heavy on both our interview with Rick Wilson from the Lincoln. Project, and he was. Might be misquoting, but I think he was basically saying he would be sixty, forty TV digital. Sounds about right to me but. You know there are a lot of people who disagree with me on that plus she's like my current chilling is like sixty percent, TV and forty percent. Digital if he were and he's talking about the Presidential Ram, so it may be different depending on your media environment, but I'll go heavy advertising. Understand, there's just not a lot you can do at the doors. So you know obviously you do a lot with phones and tax day and things like that although there's some tricky. Changes to the law and regulation around texting that just happened week or two ago at the F. E. C. level. So I. It's not very sexy thing to say, but I would I would not be doing a lot of traditional field even though in a in a normal Environment Jessica for that. I would just tack onto that with that probably means for The bulk of our volunteers and listeners is how important fundraising is at for this election, because you're talking about Jerry, expensive campaign strategies, especially in larger media, markets and so these candidates, especially some of the local legislatures that were working on and these important down ballot races don't have the resources to put out a TV ad all the time. So the that that fundraising component is especially important. I, think this cycle. Totally. So. Great advice for campaigns. Any advice for the volunteers in addition to help raise dollars from wherever you can. Yeah. I think fun like like you said fundraising if you have the means the network money really matters especially the earlier. The money is the better because it allows kids to plan, and obviously if they're your listeners, they know that. Swing, laugh makes it really easy for people to put their resources into places where it's GonNa, make a difference, and so I I don't. I. Don't really know if there's a better way where if you're not a super wealthy person newly just Max out to everybody like I don't know if they're better tools to to make your money go far. So I think fundraising matters I think two is. Engagement on social media as as it is, is gonNA. Make a difference in this election. You know. I. Think that you know. Uncle Sal or whatever? Who posts the conspiracy theory online Helps to respond? Yes. It. Helps the response and I think there are there are two different levels at which you can respond. One is is more effective than the other, but they're almost two different audiences, right? So if sal post something about how. Krona virus is only increasing for increasing testing or something like that. Right? You can respond with the facts about what's actually true and now. Kansas are that you're knocking to persuade sal with that, but you're you may persuade other people who are looking at south post to who otherwise may just be misinformed by what he saying. So it is important still to use facts. But. You can't really stop there. I would follow on and there's a lot of science this with some kind of anchoring to be like. Either like us the shared relationship you have with Sal, which is you know where my neck of the woods and stat I grew up. There's a lot of people dying. There were a lot of people dying. Especially back in spring of coronavirus to be like. Now south causing Yada Yada and then you know Mr Lengthy, who's my teacher? My High School taught me to drive like. That's not a hoax like these people died. At you you know, you know my mom, she's a nurse. She's been talking about full. The hospital has been So can we agree that we have a real problem here in one everybody to be safe? You know like anchoring it, taking out all the noise and national parks in the politics trying to make it as local and personal as possible. At either after before you corrects any factual. I think you've got to keep doing it. You gotta be exhausted. It's going to be exhausting between island the auction, but I do think getting out there engaging people because people are persuaded affected by what's posted on social media especially for talking about facebook, the older generation, the numbers talent that that older Americans are. Turning their backs on trump and some significant numbers tension here. I'm always interested in the balance there with engaging With especially extreme opinions on social media. And the presence of all these botts and people who are trying to amplify these messages. I'm I'm wary sometimes of responding even to negate something because I don't want busted up in the algorithm and make it bigger than it already is not that. I'm a have any followers that would do that. But just as general as general tactic. You know, can you speak to the balance there because even when you're negating something, you're giving it more energy. Yeah. My general rule is if I see a post and I don't see a lot of people engaging respond to if I see A in a ready, there are a lot of people engaging it. I view like the marginal impact of me getting on it versus somebody else as. Worst, the cost and like. In a in a way if you are, if you have a good response and it, it somehow gets Brusett. Up to people's posts. You kind of want that like if somebody posts something, that's really dumb. Dumb. Is Me like something? That's really Incorrect it accurate Yeah like folks obviously incorrect and you feel really good about your response and that like you almost want the audience. So that's great. Like let it boost up. You know like people who are you know really against the government forcing him to wear masks or something? Best the kind of fight. You want. You know it's almost like you can use. You know not. I, don't understand the mysteries of FACEBOOK's Algorithms and I'm sure they change every day but. You can you can make a strategic. I. And the more personal you are the better. So if you can quote unquote ratios somebody on their facebook. By you pylon and other people seeing jumping into and all good points. It almost turns against the person posting at an and more importantly. The mysterious right-wing networks that thing was it'll it'll backfire onto. I will admit that sometimes I'll see facebook post that I know is going to be controversial and I'm going to look at the comments just to. See the train wreck that's coming. We all I. Yeah. I think it's it's it's such a smart strategy to use that moment 'cause they know a lot of people are like. Oh. This is going to get some good reaction. Let me see what people are saying and then Oh. There's somebody here making sense. All right. We'll take. The kids not to lose your cool 'cause nipple. I've broken this rule hide just. Like nobody's perfect. But. The key is not the name caller like that, like just to keep pushing with the humanity of it. All obviously, if somebody crosses the line like you just unfriendly or ignore them depending on who they are and what it is but. Know like this idea of what is a friend is amorphous when it comes to social media. But my general rule is if I'm quote, unquote friends with somebody facebook. Guy. Assume, a certain level of relationship. Although I, guess my own head over the past ten fifteen years as to who lie accepted. This person might seem to keep them as my friend on facebook. I think means that if I'm going on the platform I disturbing obligation to engage edified think somebody's hopeless, I probably should not be friends with. For Else. Yeah. All right. Well, just sent you a friend request while we're speaking. So hopefully except Nice. It's on the PODCAST. So you know we'll. We'll tune in next week to find out if if Ravi. Excess. My request. Yeah. I. Can now jump on your posts and Posted anything. See My problem is I start comp- especially on twitter. I. Probably Compose and then delete ten tweets a day on twitter, and then end up maybe posting one or something I just I don't know I need to be more active huge on social media, either I find that I'm thinking deliberately about what I wanNA use more than the others like I ready cross off I. Mean I use a lot of Instagram, which is also like an area where a lot of my my right-leaning friends from Staten Island. Dispense time on instagram. You're not as much on on twitter. I generally don't use twitter a lot because I feel like it is largely A. In Echo, chamber for the left which to me is like it doesn't. There's not a lot of work to be done in the persuasion category on twitter, and obviously it's also like a cesspool. Toxic. I try not to go on there unless it's just that promote something or or or post something for the podcast. facebook. I, find more interesting because my grandparents or my my only remaining grandparent is on there and my uncles, my aunts, my neighbors in Staten Island and I. do think that as much as I hate. facebook in don't trust the people who run the company. It is a very important civic space that I in civil battleground between now and the election, and beyond joy I definitely. Don't want to events. Important organizing tool to I wanted to leave facebook right before trump was elected before the two thousand, sixteen election I was like done with with the Echo Chamber and facebook. But we do so much organizing. We reach so many people and and have so many strong groups on there that it's. It's very important in that regard to. Right. So. Ravi. We usually close out on a positive note even though I think there's so much held talk about all the time But but we do want to. Focus on the on the positive on this podcast. So we'll close out by asking you What gives you the most hope for our future. I think young people. Give me hope I did. A virtual talk for a ruckers summer program for high school students in New Jersey. Right before this podcast and I'll just you know I gave will. Journey through my confusing life, and then I, answer questions for forty five minutes and the. Kids are. You know and and this is a weird thing to say, but I don't use just to keep on sort of. The social media conversation like. I go on. TIKTOK. Every I've never actually created something take back and I don't even have an account, but you can actually just go on without an account just cool and weird, but. Kids are really funny and really smart, and they just have higher expectations of the world than I did when I was their age just about how? Just the world should be in there just so clever and so talented and. You know if the world's in their hands? I'm feeling pretty good. Well, thank you so much for spending this time with us. I. Hope Everyone probably everyone listening to our show already listens to majority fifty four to your show. But if you haven't listened to the reboot with Ravi and Jason Tune into that and. Thanks again for being here with us. Thank you very much fun. Thank you for joining us and for stepping up to take action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. And we want to hear from you tweet to us at. Blues. Boy, Steve and at Mariah underscore craven or shoot an email at podcast at swing left dot org. Don't forget it. So last week of. July subscriber push. So be sure to tell a friend and subscribed rate and review on apple or whatever. You get your pods share on social media and use the HASHTAG. How been twenty twenty check out our page at swing left dot org slash podcast, and while you're there, why don't you sign up to volunteer? Thanks so much for being here with us, we will be back with more next Wednesday see them.

Donald Trump Mariah Craven facebook Barack Obama Ravi president America Portland US Jason Candor twitter Iraq Steve Pearson. Arena Academy Jim Crow Ravi Gupta Obama
Fight Like a Mother with Shannon Watts

Swing Left - How We Win

51:26 min | 6 months ago

Fight Like a Mother with Shannon Watts

"Welcome to episode thirty nine of how we went all over the country people are doing extraordinary things. Were giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your living room. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. There are one hundred sixty days until the most important election of our lives today. We're excited to welcome the founder of MOMS Demand Action Shannon Watts. We're going to hear about how she created. A facebook page and started a powerful grassroots organization will also hear how moms demand in every town for Gun. Safety is investing in the election and organizing digitally during the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Steve Pearson and I'm Mariah Craven. And this is how we went. See how to big birthday weekend. I did yeah we had we you and I and a bunch of volunteers from all over the conjure closest. That's right got together and wrote letters to voters along with the pantsuit. Politics Hosts Beth and Sarah. It was great. It was great. I think we wrote thereabouts. Eight hundred letters to voters in a two hour period. What gift yes acting democracy. That's what I want for. My birthday is really really what I want many pretty much. Everyone listen to this podcast. That's their birthday. Wish to you know who hates democracy. Donald Trump hates democracy. Oh man this guy. On twitter this week is bonkers. Heat is just I mean we say I guess we say that every week we say that every week but it's kind of astonishing that he's just flat out lying about voting vote by mail voter fraud like not writing something that could be taken one way and means something else. He's just flat out lying. Yeah just making stuff up. People are going to steal ballots from mailboxes and make fake copies of it and do help like what wouldn't win. Has anyone done this in fact I believe it was a week ago that his own commission on voter fraud was shut down after finding zero instances of voter fraud. I want to be on that commission where they're like. You've got an important task. Here's what you're going to find and then at the like three years later you like. We didn't find anything we didn't find anything and trump's like nothing you've found nothing cool all right. I'm just going to tweet A bunch of lies as if you had found all that stuff that I really need you. We talked about it last week. Vote by MAIL DOESN'T FAVOR. Democrats or Republicans necessarily Republicans have been using vote by mail in Republican states. For a long time to but would it really does is. It stops the ability for people to get disenfranchised in intimidated at the polling places. So right it opens us up to increase voter suppression and misinformation. We know from two thousand sixteen Can help suppress the vote? But also it's really setting us up for sowing doubt about the results of the election. Because if you've been saying for six months that voter fraud voter fraud. Voter fraud is rampant. Then if the election doesn't go your way then you can say remember when I said voter and if it does go your way then you can say oh we. We defeated voter fraud. You know. Yeah it's concerned making no doubt. It's a serious issue in in one of the reasons why we need to really organize in a huge way so that our turn out the people we mobilize in. This election is just massive. You know I mean we just have to have numbers and he's GonNa question it no matter what but It's going to be a lot harder to you. Know look at something like when he questions. California we Clinton won the popular vote in California by two million voters right and he says well there was illegal aliens. That voted in that like everyone knows. That's bullshit like that. That just won't fly but if it's a close election if it somewhere like Wisconsin where he's one percentage difference and we just Eke by that win. That's where that doubt being sewn is really really gonNA be concerning so we. We have to not just vote. But we've got to start right now reaching out to people getting them to volunteer in this election. Getting them to talk to their friends talk to their neighbors and make sure we just have a giant turnout. Yeah I agree we we could turn out enough people that there's just no question and no doubt and none of this B s we can get back to governing the country appropriately. Thank contrast over the weekend while trump is golfing and attacking vote by mail. Obama reminds us what leadership looks like with just a pitch perfect tweet and comment about Memorial Day and knowledge ing the lives that have been lost due to covid nineteen. We're at a very grim milestone. One hundred thousand Americans lost to this virus probably more than that actually because reporting shows that there's been a big increase in depth not attributed to current a virus which are probably Cronin virus attributed and And just trump's lack of any kind of empathy or willingness to acknowledge any of the lives lost is is just. He's just not he he. It's unspeakable even the most cynical politician would still know that you need to acknowledge certain fundamental things when you have a massive amount of lives lost and he just has an inability to do that because he doesn't want people to look at the truth. Yeah you know this whole for for weeks. Now as I've watched his press conferences and how insensitive and confrontational they become. I think back to this is relevant. Because we're going to talk to Shannon Watts in a few minutes about gun violence and I think back to aftermath of the newtown massacre and how visibly moved President Obama was and you know. I know that everyone was so frustrated. That something like that could happen in our country but the ability to empathize with people and show that he was affected too. Gave me so much faith that something could be done? Even though you know it's never it's never going to be enough but you know that that something is happening and with the current president. You just don't have that faith. He's going to to to do anything for anybody but himself. I have lots of faith in his ability to do things for himself and his family. Not For the American people so again full circle we've got we've got get everyone not just to vote but to volunteer Starting like last year we can't go back in time but we can. We can fix things for the future. I mean I think that's the lesson we get taught over and over and over again and I it makes me feel good. Are Our letter writing party that we did was so fun and and to see to see the volunteers still fired up. I mean coronavirus has hit all of us in different ways but People still engaged fired up doing the work. They're adjusting to this new environment. They're organizing digitally now and embracing that. That may gives me a lot of hope. Because that's what I'm seeing from on the ground and and you anytime. He jumped in one of these great virtual parties right. I think we talked about this in the podcast a couple of months ago and with some of our guests where people were very nervous about asking folks for something whether it was money or you know participate in a virtual event or even. Can I have your vote can I? Can I talk to you about voting in a primary because everyone was like in triage mode about Corona virus? But now it's become clear that we don't have a lot of control over the virus or knowledge about it but we know what our communities need and vote and volunteer and take action to make sure call members of Congress. Are you know state legislatures to make sure that people got with a need during this time like? That's the most important thing that we can do. Unless you know of cure which would be great but if you don't then you know civic engagement is is really the most important thing and with the coronavirus has really done is. It made it so clear to people who don't pay attention necessary. Local politics how important our local elected officials are in their lives and and they're really paying attention to that on a much deeper level which is so key because you know look. We need to invest in those local elections. Because that's GONNA pay dividends up the ballot but that's also GonNa pay dividends in twenty twenty two and in you know on into the future. That's how he really build and grow. Our progressive ideas is by investing in that kind of power. So well said thank you. I've been practicing that speech. I do want to say one thing about masks. Because our presumptive nominee Joe Biden went out for a Memorial Day event wearing a mask with With his wife Jill Both wearing masks. Of course trump put out a video of him at Arlington National Cemetery. Not Wearing a mask. Lots of other people not wearing masks. Britt Hume didn't like Biden's mask thought that it made him look silly. Trump RE tweeted. That is just so irresponsible on trump's part but I do want to say one thing masks a partisan issue not really it would be a powerful as they've been to be like our mouths partisan no moving on because I think there is this idea that they are so fus are. It's so bizarre. It's it's feeling like that. How could a global pandemic be a partisan issue? You wear a mask not to protect yourself but to protect the people around you. If you're not wearing a mask then you just showing people around you. You don't care about them. But half of the twitter accounts calling for the reopening of America saying that Damascus. Stupid all that are actually bought these it tweets appearing to aim to sow division and increased polarization and taking advantage of this pandemic to do it so once again divide and conquer that's the GOP strategy. That's trump's desperate strategy at this point. That's the only thing he can do. And Russia and China are helping with that either that I am glad that you pointed that out because it was making me feel like really kind of bad. Think that Oh here. In America we can turn a face mask into divisive political tool so many other countries have for years. Just warn face masks and Ben as far as I know is not some sort of political tool to divide people so I'm glad that it's there's a good amount of it that's made up and and what it important remind not to believe everything you see on. Twitter is so important because you know first of all. Maybe if you don't have to be on twitter from now until the election just don't go onto twitter. Just stay away. Thought tune into this. Podcast will tell you what you need to know ignore twitter. Maybe I mean facebook's good for organizing but be careful on facebook like YouTube. Trump has already bought youtube for the couple of days before the election. All the airtime on there anyway. But he's teasing we need to. We need to be organizing online but mindful of what we read. I'm not teasing. Stay off twitter but the important. The important point is the divide and conquer thing. Is You take an issue. That is divisive that exists. I mean obviously the there's videos of of these knuckleheads going to stores and and refusing to wear masks and all that so that exists but blowing it up and making it much bigger making. It appear like there's much bigger majority of people behind that issue is is where these bots really thrive and look. It worked in two thousand sixteen. This is the exact same playbook it worked. We cannot let it work again. Be Clear eyed about what this is. Don't engage with with trolls state for your own sanity and for the sake of not making that algorithm even more amplifies every time you engage with it more people are going to get their eyeballs on it. Just stay away. Focus on on your message on your work on the candidate that you're working for and And we have to our strength is our unity and if they divide us again that's their path to victory a man. What's giving you hope this week Mariah? I'm very hopeful this week. I couldn't. I'm hopeful every week I want to talk about. Dj's bill say so it is HR sixty nine fifty nine for those of you. Who nerd out about such things. As I do in another part of my life I work with young adults. Who Advocate for improvements to the child welfare system to help out current and former foster youth and DJ was a former foster youth. Who was a big hit for? Young people and young adults transitioning out of care and he passed away earlier this month from complications due to covid nineteen he had a prior health issues and his loss is just greatly felt in his home of Milwaukee and across the country where a lot of current and former foster youth newham and advocated with him a few days after he passed away. Congress members Karen Bass and Gwen Moore introduced. Dj's bill which would guarantee that. Former foster youth have medicaid up until the age of. Twenty six Due to a glitch in the current law if a young adult who was in foster care leaves the state where they were in care whether to to college or to pursue a job or because that's their friends or family are they could potentially lose their healthcare coverage and that makes them incredibly vulnerable at this time. So we WANNA get that loophole fixed and I can't tell you how gratifying it was to see. Members of Congress moves quickly on this so this is why we elect folks like this so that they they see a problem they see a solution and they get it done and get it done fast so that they can try to save some lives so I would encourage people. I'll tweet about this. I would encourage you to ask your Congress member to support deejays bill and make sure that at a time when young people who've had traumatic life experiences and neglect and lack of care need medical insurance that they have it. That's wonderful. That is some really great news and I know how passionate you are and how hard you work for Foster Youth And so thank you for all the work that you do around that. That's a overly kinds day. Do all the work and I support their efforts. Tell me what a reason for hope for you is this week well There's a couple first of all a federal judge in Florida gutted. The the law requiring felons to pay fines before they can vote. You'll remember that Florida voted to allow fell into a been released to serve their time to be reinforced. Ranch is didn't vote and then the governor quickly Instituted a essentially a poll tax away to to put on a poll tax saying they had to pay all of their fines before they would be eligible to vote just disgusting and thankfully a federal judge said. No that's that's not constitutional and struck that down. So that was a good win and Reinforces why judges are so important. Why good judges are so important? Just in at the height of blatant hypocrisy in Republicans have recently said that they're ready to fill any supreme court vacancy You may recall that. In the last year of President Obama's presidency there was a vacancy that Mitch. Mcconnell refused to fill because it was an election year. Well guess what they're not going to hold trump to that same standard so that makes it all the more important that we take back the Senate and Democrats. I you know again. Take any poll with a grain of salt but There's been some reporting some polling lately to show that there are are very strongly positioned to Take the southwest for the first time since nineteen forty one that means ousting Republican Senator Martha mcsally Arizona Cory Gardner in Colorado and hold onto the seat in New Mexico. We are definitely close to doing it. But we can't as we said earlier. Take our foot off the gas. We need resounding victories there. But how can Organiz around the Supreme Court? They do it so well it just fires up their basic fires up there voters. They're willing to forgive all kinds of things. That trump does earlier. Trump was at a press. Conference WAS TALKING ABOUT TAKING INSULIN. Like THE INSULIN PRICES. Going down as like. I don't take insulin. Should I take insulin like this? You know whatever. They're cool with that. They're cool with him just like randomly thinking. Maybe I should take insulin. You know they're they're cool with with all of that stuff as as they get their Supreme Court justices. We need to have that same kind of passion because There there's really the only thing that has put any minor blocks on the trump administration's actions to this point has been our judicial system. You've done a really good job of keeping US informed on both of those topics. I really appreciated the poll tax in Florida and What's going on with these Senate races that we all need to be working on we can do it cease SIP wedding anyway. The courts the courts all right. So what's our to do list? What are we gonNA do this week? Coming UP WE'RE GONNA wear orange and focused on a gun. Violence Prevention June fifth through seventh. And we're going to hear more about that in just a couple of minutes. From Shannon Watt. Some the adults. Should we do more first of all and we just say how excited I am about Shannon Watts? When we first started the podcast she was at the top of the list of people we wanted to talk to because our pulse show is is about telling stories about people who just got out of their comfort zone. A little bit in didn't necessarily have a background in politics activism and ended up going on to to doing great things in this kind of no better example of that than Shannon Watts. Absolutely having said that Channel Your Inner Shannon Watch your inner organizer and Let's recruit some some friends. Let's recruit some friends to volunteer. So okay we WANNA recruit our friends and family to volunteer but right now it might be hard to just go to people especially if you haven't spoken with them in a while or you've put off contacting them because life has gotten a little intense. Now is the time to check in on them. So what we're not asking us you say. Hey come do if they wanted to do something with you. Volunteer work with you. Absolutely do it check in with them now. Okay and then in a couple of weeks you're to check in with them again and ask them to volunteer. So what we're talking about doing is just strengthening our community and At a time when when we all need a little bit of extra support and we want that community to be able to mobilize together but it does take work beyond saying. Here's what you can do for me today. It has to start with. What can I do for you today? Yeah that's your compassion and your organizer. Genius coming out in in one call to action right there. I love that I need to check in with some people. I'm just going to text a couple of people this week. And and see how they're feeling best and if they're feeling good then I'm GonNa get them to do something. I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to check in on some peeps okay so now as promised we're going to hear from the incredible digital organizer and woman who fights like a mother. Shannon Watts Shannon Watts is the founder of MOMS demand action prior to that Shannon was a stay at home mom and former communications executive the day after the Sandy Hook. Tragedy. She started a facebook group with the message that all Americans can and should do more to reduce gun violence. Moms demand action has now established a chapter in every state of the country and as part of every town for gun safety the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly six million supporters. She's also author of the book fight like a mother which is now out in paperback Shannon. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. Of course first of all with five kids at home and super crazy work schedule. We're really grateful for your time. How are you juggling it all right now with the kids at home during this pandemic well you know? Most of my kids are adults now so Whether they're they're out of college we have three of the five or in college. At one point we had four adult children living back home with us and it made it hard to do conference calls. We were trying to jockey for a room in the House and asking my husband to not talk so loudly but we're very fortunate and lucky to be safe in our homes and like everyone just looking forward to something that is is more like normalcy. That's a lot of groceries especially for our nineteen year old son. Who is six foot seven? Oh my gosh. He's a lot larger mammal. So I think that you know you have a story that so familiar to a lot of people Where after the Sandy Hook tragedy So many of us were left. Feeling frustrated with our own government feeling demoralized and defeated. And you weren't an activist at the time When it came to gun violence prevention so tell us about the the moment when you launch the MOMS demand action facebook page. Yeah I had never been in activists I I was a corporate communications executive for about almost fifteen years and then I decided to take a five year break at the time I had kids in elementary middle high school and thought okay. I'll go back to work at the end of that five years and just at the very end of that five years I was in my home In suburban Indianapolis at the time folding laundry and the news of an active shooter in a place called Newtown Connecticut came on television. And like everyone you know. I was so devastated. By the fact that twenty children and six educators could be murdered in the sanctity even elementary school In in America and that very quickly turned to anger because on my television also were pundits and politicians saying somehow. The solution was actually more guns. That they're just you know four hundred million wasn't gonNa cut it and I didn't know anything about Organiz being or gun violence or even violence to balls or legislation. I only knew that our country was broken and I had to act and I thought that would be joining an organization like mothers against drunk driving. I assumed it already existed. When I saw that it didn't It was sort of their male run. Think tanks in DC or in the states. I wanted to be part of a bad ass army of women that spanned across the country. Much like mothers against drunk driving and so I started a facebook page. I had seventy five facebook friends. I don't know who I thought it was talking to but but it was like in a bottle with other women and moms from all across the country total strangers. Who are now the closest of friends who who sets me? I want to do this where I live now. Must be so humbling. I mean now you have more members than the Ra on twitter. Your location is listed as in our as head rent-free which is awesome. How does it feel that? Go from that. Seventy five friends starting up a facebook page to having made such an incredible impact. Well if you know anything about Taipei women Do married to one. There's only going forward. There's not going back. I mean there are plenty of times I thought okay. We've done our best thinking to work and Taipei. Women just won't let that happen The volunteers our organization have been the driving force of making this one of the largest grassroots movements in the country now We were very much the the David to the. Nra's Goliath Louis started. People said you're wasting your time. There's no way this can never happen. This is the wealthiest most powerful special interests that has ever existed in our nation. And it's you know I just don't think there's any oppositional force that can ever Out Match the power of angry MOMS and women. I just don't and we've seen that time and time again in this country you know. Starting with prohibition frankly I mean that's when women were allowed to get involved in activism temperance was considered a Christian value Men were never able to put that genie back in the bottle. Words women got involved back to his own all the way up to the the water crisis in Flint Michigan. Women have been on the front range a forcing change because they want to protect and families in their communities. You know for for women in particular I think The online space can be A particularly scary place and I think there are a couple of groups in issue areas that stand out as attracting followers that are particularly abusive toward women and I think that gun safety and the NRA fall into that category. I have been horrified by the things that I've seen people saying to you online. How do you continue to keep your work? Going in the midst of that very gruesome undercurrent. Well the the lucky thing for me was that I didn't even know this underbelly of America existed. When I started facebook page I had no idea to know what was coming. My Way But it started within hours. All my information was public. I never imagined I'd be a public figure a somebody's phone number my home address my email everything and so you know. It's the threats of death in sexual violence to me to my. My daughter's started immediately and has never stopped in fact You'll see that the NRA. Every time they post about me on instagram or a tweet about me or write an article about me That just ramps up so I had to make a decision in the early days. Which one do I do? I W back toward doubled down and I decided to to double Dan. Because you know if I lose my kids I have nothing left to lose and I think eighty million miles in this country regardless of political party. Feel the same way and I also get very angry when people try to intimidate or silence me. That's exactly what these extremists are trying to do. They I think the NRA's worst nightmare was that women in this country would take them on because they knew you know that was a Kryptonite. They knew that they would lose. And it's exactly what has happened so I understand why they're angry because they're losing power. They're losing money in in large part because of nonstop action tears. Well you're amazing for for what you continue to do in the face of all that and so much of this would have been so demoralizing and discouraging for me. So I'm so I'm so grateful for powerful women like yourself that that are a type and keep keep working through it School shootings and mass shootings. There are are really shocking and grab a lot of people's attentions rightly so and bring new people into this fight for reforms and none more than Sandy Hook of course but there was already a lot of gun violence organizing happening prior to that specially in communities of color how did MOMS demand action fit into that pre existing community engage in in the work. That had already been started. Well I am a white suburban mom and when I started months action it was because I was afraid. My kids weren't safe in their schools And so many of the women join me at saint fear and they looked like me as you point out mass shootings in school shootings or only about one percent of the gun violence in this country the vast majority are actually gun suicides many rural communities and also gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of Color In city centres particularly black men and boys. And you know I knew nothing about this face when I started monster in action and we very quickly began to learn about the gun. Violence that kills one hundred Americans every day and we had to do the work internally and externally To make sure that we were committed to diversity equality inclusion That includes our own volunteer base We have many many policies and programs in place to make sure that we are diverse internally and that is something that never ends. That's why I've learned in the last eight years you know win. The parkland tragedy happened. Two thousand eighteen we tripled in sizes organization but many of the people who came in were again women moms who look like me because they were scared. Their kids weren't even their schools. I'm so that is a commitment that we have internally as to never stop working on that externally we partner with many different communities across the country. As you mentioned particularly women have been doing this work for decades Invisibly putting their physical bodies on street corners to stop bullets. And it's so important that those programs are funded that they're lifted up. I can remember had an event for my book and Our membership lead in Boston IS BLACK. And she came to my book events and it was mostly white people and she stood up and she said. I'm so glad you're here tonight. But when my community has a vigil or a trial or a celebration do you come to those too and I think it was such a profound point which is we expect people in these communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence to join us. We have to join them too and that is that is a huge commitment as part organization to week about millions of dollars in grants every year to organizations like where. I live outside of Oakland There's there's a program called youth alive and they actually train teenagers to go into their high schools in interrupt violence before it happens. Gun Violence And so there's partnerships like that with those organizations all over the country That that I think make our work. More equitable and profound lifesaving. Thank you for sharing some some of the details about that intention. That's really helpful And I know that moms demand got it start on facebook and I imagine that digital organizing is one of the ways that you're able to build this cross country community that you have and I know that a lot of people are looking to what you've done right now. Now that most of us are participating in stay at home. Orders to move to digital organizing. Can you offer us any advice about organizing online that we should be thinking about a November? Will you know as you mentioned? We start on facebook and we invested very early on in the most sophisticated technologies. We could find that would enable our activists to not only be great activists but to connect as a community that was always a priority for us. Many companies and organizations only make this technology available to their leadership. We give every volunteer slack Ban Hustle Even Beta tested programs like ace breaker. These technologies really have prepared us for this moment. We have been able to bury seamlessly pivot to doing this. Work Online What I have found over the last almost seventy days of being state her is. This technology really makes us more inclusive and equitable as an example. You know we were supposed to have a an advocacy day in Sacramento Right. When the Kobe crisis hit we had eight hundred. Rsvp's which we're very proud of and we had to pivot at the very last minute and make it virtual is our first ever virtual advocacy day and more people participated then had rsvp because it's not that easy to get from San Diego to Sacramento for example and it's not affordable so. I don't think we'll ever go back to doing things the way we did. I think this virtual work will go hand in hand with the in person work whenever that begins again in. It's just going to be be part of our DNA. But I am incredibly proud of the fact that you know we're having over one hundred virtual bents every single week. We're having a conversation pub demanding women which I've already interviewed Stacey. Abrams was more in Hama Harris and were top. Vp contenders happen. But but you know what? I'm incredibly proud of. Is that the work continues. We have stopped permit. Louis carry three states online in the last two months. We've gotten places like Burbank. California to agree to distribute are secure gun storage in relation to scoop families. Week did that online. So it just goes to show that you you can use online tools to be great activists amazing and you did have those great conversations with all of our top. Vp contenders What did you learn from those conversations and who would make the best ep? I'm learning a lot and I'm posting about each one in the lessons I learned during those conversations To media which is where. I post all of my my thoughts on on gun violence but you know first of all all of these. Women are fantastic. I've interviewed governors and organizers and senators I get to speak with now demings this week so it is been on inspiring to care about the work. They're doing and the commitments that they have to this issue and look I. I don't think it's any accident that not only gun. Violence not an issue that candidates still run from. It's actually something running run. I think that is because of the hard work of women MOMS in this country. Hillary Clinton was the first candidate who really made it harder. Policy Platform with mothers of the movements and every Democratic candidate was competing to see who can be the best on this issue. So that's a seismic shift in American politics and and I think it's in large part because of volunteers and all the great work you guys are doing and Maranh. I had the opportunity to go to the Last year The gun forum in Las Vegas and sit down with Chris Murphy Senator Murphy and In some of the march for our lives kids and talk about the work. That's been done over the last seven years. It was really encouraging for me. Because I am one of those. That gets really demoralized. By this and doesn't see the work that has actually been done the progress that's been done. This is now an issue that people are are running on not running away from. It's you know it's ninety percent popularity across our country to which how you when do we agree about ninety percent on any issue now and to your point Another major lesson. I've learned in the last almost eight years is that Congress is not where this work by this work. I mean social justice in any social issue work. It's not where it begins. Its where ends. And that's why we have been doing so much of this. Work in state houses in boardrooms. I know everyone is waiting for this Cathartic Moment Congress. It will come but in the time you know. We can't lose sight of the fact that we've now passed background checks in twenty two states. We've passed Red Flag. Laws in nineteen states We've disarmed domestic abusers in twenty eight states And then we have ninety percent track record of beating back the NRA's agenda in state houses every year for the last five years those are significant wins and changes not to mention all the companies that have changed their policies as well. Absolutely progress is happening. And not. And we can't even say incrementally like these are huge massive changes especially I it's especially incredible that they're happening in the last couple of months. When everything feels like it's been at a standstill. I know that every town and moms demand have committed to spending sixteen million dollars in the twenty twenty election cycle to get behind gun since champions Particularly in Texas and Arizona. What work are you all doing? And why the extra focus on on Texas and Arizona. Yeah well first of all Texas and Arizona are two areas where. We're seeing a significant shift in demographics that we could finally change the foundation of the state We know in Texas the vast majority at engineers to the vast majority of constituents support stronger gun laws. And they're really frustrated that their lawmakers haven't acted And that this issue is compelling to those voters to seek real change particularly younger and more diverse voters. Were seeing that in in both states. We'll be spending eight million dollars in Texas million dollars in Arizona. And that is part of the sixty million dollars on that that we are committed to spending in the twenty twenty elections. That's twice what we spend in two thousand eighteen. It's twice with the. Nra spent in two thousand sixteen. I'm so yes so we really think that this. We created a playbook essentially for how to do this in Virginia and twenty nineteen are. We flipped both chambers of the state. Legislature there We outspent the NRA. H One we outworked them on the ground making hundreds of thousands of calls knocking tens of thousands of doors until we think we can do the same thing in two thousand twenty. That's awesome And thank you for making that investment where we are going to do that You know the more people we get involved doing this work. Getting voters getting people to volunteer. That's how we win and Another thing that you you were doing you have a One and a half million dollar program to register one hundred thousand young voters that you're doing with every town in students demand action with a focus on key battleground states How are you registering young voters during the pandemic? And how does that work going right now? Yeah you know we have been one point. Five million dollars in students demand action to register at least one hundred thousand young voters They're focusing specifically on key battleground states Arizona Colorado Florida Georgia etc. And they're doing it through relational organizing you know these high school and College. Age Students have a lot of unexpected time on their hands because many of them are home school and so there is just so amazing to watch them use that time to become fantastic activists and just to be so involved and and again the technology that they have access to like hustle. Which helps you reach out to your peers. Kind of hostile was do for people. And so it's called relational organizing what they're doing is reaching out to all their peer groups and saying Hey. Are you registered to vote if not? Here's how you register if so here's who to vote for and win where hi. How hot you know white vote and so that is really I think the key to to turning out your voters in twenty twenty. That's Great Yeah. Relational organizing is is really powerful. And we've been talking about that a little bit on our show and continue to talk more about it. Because it's the best way we have to reach people and get them mobilized right now so where Orange Day is coming up. This is the annual commemoration Where people wear orange and you see a sea of orange on your social media if you're if you're into social as into social media I am so it's going to be entirely online this year. June fifth through seventh. So everybody get ready for that Tell us how we can be supportive. during wear orange this year. Yeah as you mentioned you know it's a it's a weekend dedicated to honoring the lives of people in America who have been impacted by gun. Violence an elevating the voices of people who are demanding an end to that gun violence in it started Because Orange is the color. That idea pendleton. War Idea Pendleton wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at age. Fifteen if you remember that her story she was Just coming off of a performing at President Obama's second inaugural parade in two thousand thirteen and her friends wore orange In her memory. Because it's the color that hunters where to say don't shoot and so since then there efforts of hides friends have spread to become National Movement Enduring a typical year hundreds of where orange events will take place that first week in June and thousands of Americans from President Obama to Kim Kardashian. have taken part in where orange on social media? And so we're even though we're in the middle of global pandemic. Were still having that weekend. And and it's really important that people get involved It's a really nonpartisan way to talk about this crisis and look the the coronavirus crisis is exacerbating gun violence in this country and so it's an even more profound. I think than ever to have that conversation. Yeah I was GonNa ask you about that. What are the ways that gun? Violence in this country has shifted during coronavirus. Well first of all there was a historic number of gun sales in March and April. At least four point. Two million guns were sold nationwide. If you compare that to last year there were about two point. Three million guns during soldiering that same time period so close to twice the amount An and that will have major ramifications on things like domestic violence. Women are isolated right now with their abusers those abusers may have the access to guns Millions of children are unexpectedly at home from school and those guns may not be secured in their homes That could lead to unintentional shootings and then obviously gun suicide which is already a horrible crisis that kills over twenty thousand Americans every year in this country. We know that that because people are feeling isolated Because they are worried about their economic future they may have suicidal ideation and now also have easy access to guns so the reverberations of those historic number of gun. Sales will be with US for months and years to come even after the coronavirus crisis is over. So that's what makes this work really more important than ever. Thank you so much for the overview on out. I think that it's been With all of the news coming out of every day it's been easy for us to ignore certain aspects of what's going on with the pandemic so that was incredibly helpful. We ask everybody this. This question as we kind of wrap up the interviews and I think that your answer is going to be particularly intriguing. Wet gives you the most hope for our future. Well in just eight years. We have seen such a profound change in American politics around the issue of gun. Safety was very much a third rail issue for decades. And it is. It is now something that candidates Democrats and Republicans Run on And our goal is to make it so that both parties are equally supportive of this issue. I am very hopeful. When I see for example you know that we outspent and outmaneuver the vote in two thousand eighteen in two thousand nineteen The NRA is weaker than they've ever been our movement stronger than it's ever been and they are. They are struggling financially reputation And as you mentioned earlier the vast majority of Americans support commonsense gun laws like a background check on every gun sale so I really think. Twenty twenty is a pivotal moment for our movements We have to elect a gun since president. We HAVE TO FLIP THE SENATE. Will the house continue to change the makeup of of state legislatures and? I am confident. You know that that our our army of volunteers that the amazing technology they have access to and and also the sixty million dollars. We've committed to spend that that will be able to do awesome Shannon. Thank you so much for taking the time. It couldn't be more grateful for the work that you're doing and thrilled to be able to speak with you. Your story is exactly the kind of story we like to tell someone who Just got out of their comfort zone. was mad. Had to do something to hurt a facebook group and And the rest is is history as they say so Grateful for everything you do and thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. Thank you for 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 want to hear from you. Who Do you want us to chat with? What topics should we discuss tweet to US AT BLUES Boy Steve and at Mariah underscore craven or email us at podcast at swing left Dot Org? Thank you to our friends at dim cast if you haven't yet plead subscribe rate and review this podcast on apple or wherever you listen to your pods share on social media and use the. Hashtag how we win twenty twenty check out our page. It's swing left dot org slash podcast. And of course sign up to volunteer while you're there. We really appreciate you being here with us every week. And we'll be back with some more next Wednesday.

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How We End Gun Violence with Senator Chris Murphy and Peter Ambler

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

How We End Gun Violence with Senator Chris Murphy and Peter Ambler

"Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination and we are all ordinary people but we had have extraordinary determination because we know that if we don't choose to stand up then this epidemic of slaughter continues he wasn't able to attend but nine candidates talking about the issue of gun violence and giving their ideas and plans for combating it yet and we actor of giffords and we also talked to other activists including some of the march for our lives organizers that will will have four future show so much further into the direction of commonsense gun policy there is a moral power that comes from a student of child anyone looking you're either in favor of the second amendment or you want to take everyone's guns away we've seen just over the last few months the ground ship the center of gravity moves the president of the United States has to stand up to the NRA and say enough is enough. I'm not going to any longer accept your false choice let's I'm Steve Pearson Mariah Craven and this is how we win we all have to take responsibility truly extraordinary moment in Las Vegas last week where a lot of presidential candidates ordinary things we'll give you the tools that you need to jump in and make a difference right now the best antidote for anxiety is action today's episode is a special look at the gave me a lot of hope it really did I I learned a lot being there and talking to Senator Murphy and Peter Ambler who is the executive but seeing what progress has really been made in the last seven years and where our national dialogue is with this rate was was enlightening for me talk about gun safety and gun reform that's right they had ten of the top candidates committed unfortunately Bernie had his heart issues in the Senate then we're going to hear about the progress that has been made to fight gun violence over the last seven years from the executive director of Gifford's you don't WanNa miss any of these updates at an opportunity to be there and talked to some folks that are just doing incredible work on this issue can't wait for everyone to hear them yeah we have right now a government that works really well for the gun industry it's not working for our families and we got a chance to with the junior senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy he talks about what it was like to run for office at such a young age and gives us a glimpse inside the gun legislation debate welcome to episode seven of how we win this is your weekly field report chronicling the riveting run up to the two thousand twenty election all over the country ordinary people are doing yeah and it's hard to remember that when we have these devastating moments month after month in some cases week after week but to hear from the people doing this work every day is is around twenty twenty implicated it is not about them it's not the NRA it's not just the corporate gun lobby it's US make a difference in how people this topic I think yeah but before we do that we have to talk about impeachment don't we we to talk as but it's important to look like it's just you know bananas first of all in his great and unmatched wisdom foreign policy genius with Turkey and basically leaving the Kurds he's he's basically yeah he's basically serving up uh-huh agenda on a platter to him right and seems to be in a hurry to do it because you know there's a lot of action trump and my personalities similar but this is trump tweeting after he got pushback for once about his into the eyes of somebody in authority and by authority I mean anybody old enough to vote that sets off a voice in the back of your head that says do not let this person down that's what has always about a lot of things with trump and impeachment in in the world that we're living in is just sort of one of many things going on impeachment has been a huge boon to the Republicans they're raising millions and millions of dollars off of it and we have some freshmen which raises money for our freshmen who have come out for impeachment and Franklin Republicans are raising a lot of money on this issue too we can't forget that there's more favorability for the impeachment inquiry and also actually having him removed from office we need to keep amplifying that because that's what these presidential gun safety Stephen I took a trip to Las Vegas to talk to the people who are making a difference fighting to end this epidemic of gun violence I reset down to defend who are in very vulnerable seats and were willing to come out in favor of impeachment and now they've got some targets on their campaign hands it reminds me of what Congresswoman Karen Bass said when we interviewed her that we think we're fighting these go on made so much progress during the last administration that we would have a supreme court contemplating whether it's okay to fire someone for being gay or trade we take the Senate away from the death grip of Mitch McConnell Supreme Courts back in session right the Supreme Court is hearing a case on discrimination of I mean we talk about it as being that bright shiny thing rat is easy to distract from the concrete work that we can be doing volunteers and activists right now representatives need is they need the public behind them to to be able to move forward so in that vein we also swing left launched a House Defense Fund okay battles and we win some of these battles that we've won and we can keep moving forward but this administration has shown us that those things can always be pushed back DBQ people in the workplace in is it okay to fire someone because of how they identify right could you ever imagine when we more Americans are in favor of impeachment the craziness coming out of that White House just escalates and that's a good point the polls are showing and that we have to keep fighting and it feels like a Sisyphean task allowed time with the boulder rolling back down but this is why added the other thing that we always talk about with impeachment is the Senate and we're seeing even more reasons why the Senate is where it's at it's important from our elected officials are Democrats that we elected to the House that are working hard to do the job we sent them there to do which is put a check on trump holding main if you're in Texas these are Senate states where we really need to register more voters so if you are anywhere near those states ah which we're we're talking long-term we're talking twenty twenty and now we're talking next month yeah yeah and swing left We need to get more Democrats registered in these important states we also have some work to do with Virginia MM accountable no one is above the law right we're not seeing the same action from the Senate and you can't help but notice that as polls show that to disenfranchise voters gerrymander these districts and stay in power even though the majority of us are progressive so flippable and will make a huge difference and need some support in the in the next few weeks because that election is in November down and so this new wave of activism has to continue to bring more people into the fold we gotta bring more voters into the fold and we have to stay in right now that we have not gone anywhere and we will not go anywhere so please volunteer help out Virginia right now that's should be like what you're thinking about what you're doing because of the Supreme Court right because of these conservative judges they've been able to put in so it's scary but we need to as you said before send opt this horrible damage that's going on but the long game right where we're gonNA build sustained power is these local legislatures especially before the census because of it so we'll have a link on our site the swing left dot org slash podcast site for you to donate to the House Defense Fund and Get out there and registered voters you can put in your zip code into swing left find canvases if you're close by there had that face to face voters in these important swing states Senate states if you're in Arizona if you're in Colorado if you're in North Carolina if you're in because Democrats in Virginia have some solutions that people are excited about yeah that's a really good point and a great segue into the the gun core the Republicans are willing to go along with this madman who is running their party like a cult leader right and you're an interesting thing a new poll has shown that gun reform is a top issue for Virginia voters so this is something you're they drink lots of water we get dehydrated to easy okay now I'm going into health this is turning to a health pod so let's register some we're going to hear from Senator Chris Murphy Chris Murphy is a junior senator from Connecticut contact start registering voters now if you're from afar then you can write letters to those voters you can use vote forward that we partner with and if we can actually do this the other thing that I was thinking of is you know we have like take back the White House I mean we have the IT and following the tragic shooting in new town has become a leading advocate for preventing gun violence we had the opportunity to catch up with him at the gun safety form and losses Senate seats we already have the governor so then we'll have the TRIFECTA and we can make some real long-term change and send a message to the Republicans in trump that's why Virginia is so critical the Republicans are great at doing this they have built power through local legislatures for decades and that's why they've been able maybe her Vitamins need to take back the Senate yeah that's a that's a great point that no matter how much progress is made we can never let election for both the Democratic Party and the Republicans you know trump and the Republicans are eyeing this race in Virginia because they want to see where our activists basis hashing it about and I think if you're listening to this you probably are they need to hear from other people who are encouraging them to vote around this issue for our lives organizers and others it's been a top issue and it's it's right up there with health care and climate change so I'm excited for you guys aged you know it's not just our I think we all need to take are vitamins right that's a good point yeah see strong and you notice interesting I've been thinking a lot about Virginia and what this election coming up next month means because first of all is going to have huge sound waves right the results of this yeah it's coming up soon and again you can make phone calls we were plugged in with these candidates we need to house of delegates seats to states that agenda is just so important right so we're trying to flip the state legislature in Virginia there are twenty seeds that swing left has idead that will volunteer a little bit more enthusiastically for some of these spokes knowing how connected they are trying to solve this problem and some have because my hope is at the end of this activists have a better sense of how passionate our candidates are about gun violence and maybe the White House we have to take back the Senate he know this but in a way that's like the duct tape on our democracy right that's the immediate thing that we have to do to stay at that organization is doing right we want to do an episode just about organizing with young people in the great work that they're doing so that's Kinda come up at a couple of weeks but now it Democratic candidates for president trying to outdo each other with their bold comprehensive plans to attack the gun violence in this country this was a pretty yeah they they couldn't even really talk about it openly and now because of this great work led in large part by young people by the Parkland students doing to continue to build the power of the anti gun violence movement where stronger than the NRA is today and we just need to keep on getting stronger. This isn't pandering but I live in Los Angeles I'm from Washington DC but I have donated money to your campaign because of the perform in the interviews that we talked about because seven years ago the gun issue was kinda toxic to politicians running for office and Democrat yeah is talk like that I mean I've heard you talk like that but not like you know the only fight for many of us six or seven years ago when the modern anti gun violence movement launched after Sandy Hook it's also amazing to have the opportunity for a care but to me I didn't feel like I had an alternative except to do something exceptional to try to change the conversation on this issue and what I love is that there's candidates up there on stage today that are proposing big bold reforms some of them very controversial but they're they're showing who they are they're they're they're putting their repression and discrimination is directly connected to to our history of violence what we also know is that if you are poor you are much more likely on the issue of guns we're not scared anymore and that's the crew and Dr Advantage have you heard anything specific today that you're underserved places as a means of trying to give kids a way out of their circumstances so I thought we were having a really good hear about our interviews that we did remotely from the field and if you weeks were excited to bring you interviews with two young women for March for our lives who are going to talk about the outstanding I think what what I appreciate is that we're seeing candidates show courage right now I mean authenticity in politics is the coin of the Round People WanNa see who you really are touch on the issue of gun violence before Sandy Hook that was awakening for me and you know there's days where I'm ashamed of the fact that it took me so long Dan historically more active than others and these issues that's true I listen to Vice President Biden was there at the genesis of a lot of pieces if there was a lot of talk about how you change the relationship between two police departments and communities of color how you pour resources into mm-hmm create violence right so what we know is that America's broad history of racial oppression get here so I'm certainly not one judges anybody for showing up to this fight on the later side I'm amongst them what matters is what are you doing right now what are you lead to be the victim of violence or frankly the perpetrator violence in this country whether it be against yourself or against others and so I did appreciate the fact and you know to the extent that I have been able to lead on this it's in part because I've taken some chances you know I didn't know whether the filibuster was going to be a disaster whether anybody was Vegas Senator Chris Murphy thank you so much for sitting down with US awesome to be here with you guys today's event has been put together by the young the things that I believed in when it came to education and the environment intended to be all democrats And I I got pretty deep into political action waited about I think it was really great that throughout the day we were focusing not just on gun laws but on the circumstances that ager when I would go down and clean up the river that I grew up next to and and then I remember having an epiphany that you know maybe I was better off trying to make sure that the people who ran games is a gymnasium in front of all of our friends and family and we did get the renovations sped up so that we played I think our final one or two basketball games my senior year apprehensive conversation today which is good I wanted to take a step back to when you were first elected to office at Twenty five win did you know that you of legislation that have kept us safe others are newer this caused but it wasn't as somebody who's new to this 'cause I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't work so I- paraded kids down to the board of Education on my cared a lot about the environment as a kid and so I remember my first intersection with politics being as a teen wanted to serve Connecticut as an elected official and then how did you go about doing that so I was an organizer out of the womb in as a teenager and so when I ran for office when I was twenty five I had already been organizing for almost a decade at that points do you have a passion for an issue and you have time on your hands to go out and try to convince people you can is is from March for our lives from givers group. We've had nine presidential candidates here what does this event meant to you well it's amazing to see vist to start here personally from these candidates in a longer form format about why they care about this issue here a little bit about their core foundation and their passion what you were intimately associated with Newtown for me was about the most demoralizing event in my life watching are we now from where we were back after Sandy Hook so it was heartbreaking when we lost the background checks vote on the floor of the Senate get unfold and then watching what appeared to be a lack of any kind of action as a result of that but a lot has changed since then change the reality on the politics of gun violence in this country what could but you know soon became to understand that this is really about political their passion for saving lives outside for a long time as Democrats scared the gun lobby so scared of what swing voters might think if we said we really thought differs at any age and so it was those early years of of student activism that basically convinced me if I wanted to run for office I didn't have to wait hour and it's a about the infrastructure that the NRA had built for twenty years they were ready for those parents and they took them down methodically when really isn't about moments of Piff Unie in this country it's about building your power and eventually getting to the point where a you know parents aren't political at all and so they sort of wonder where it came from but I was a student activist so you know I saw injustice around every corner am so but like I learned a lot at that young age you know that you don't have to listen to folks who tell you to wait in line you don't have to listen to people who tell you you have to pay your that I could do it as soon as I was out of college and that's what I did and you did yeah well obviously you were here dealing with gun violence issues and members of Congress know that if they cross you they're gonNA pay a political price and that's where we are in the anti-gun bounce movement which is really empowering largely because of the great work you've been doing since newtown so maybe that is pandering a little says the truth it's worth it's worth noting happenstance that we'd have the opportunity to speak I think action is that the issue of gun violence became a a decisive issue for many voters healthcare was the number one issue for anybody that voted MOMS man action there are so many places where you can plug in and find out local activities working for a candidate Asman of riches the giffords organization if you're young person students demand action march for your lot our lives came to the capital and tried to argue for change in the spring of two thousand and thirteen we weren't strong and so we didn't have the capacity to go out and are as a kid I organized my classmates against the dress codes that provide power overly restrictive renovations at my high school we're going to slow pressuring local business to take a stronger stance against open carry there's all sorts of things these organizations can point you to all you need to do is sign up Komo unbelievable chasm that exists between the ninety percent of Americans that want universal background checks and the refusal of Congress to get it done we'll give you more reason for Z. The ground shifting and today is yet another realization of the hard work that you all have been doing and the people that are not here today town in stop letting the river polluted in the first place rather than coming to we've run back in and write it up and so I started working for candidates that believed so how can how can volunteers citizens help support that work what what's the best thing for them to be doing right now well what was so interesting about the two thousand eighteen two thousand thirteen it's you know building up a movement such that today I think we're more powerful than the gun lobby is but that is a process and it for their neighbors to sort of ask questions about candidates on this issue is they're heading to the polls obviously there are great organizations you can join today in two thousand thirteen of course we didn't lose it we over fifty votes but the Republicans filibustered it and I was worried that if Sandy Hook couldn't organized phone calls into members offices we couldn't wait up the switchboard's we couldn't sh a put people into the town hall meetings like the IRA could and so what we've been doing since those renovations sped up we did it was really important to me as a as a basketball player in my senior year my high school that we'd be able to play for a Democrat in the midterm elections guns was number two and so I think the more that people are just out there talking to their neighbors about this you mentioned Congress's inability to act it's actually house of Representatives has passed some legislation some good legislation for background checks and wha- HR eight eight thank you I think the question that everyone wants to know especially from a progressive senator WHO's working hard for change in the the background checks proposal I don't think they can win and so at some point McConnell has to decide that he's got an independent responsibility even if it's just political responsibility to his members to do something on this so just if I'm accurate here and interpreting what you're saying really important that we get the majority in the measures that are supported by ninety percent of the American public so I I would rather be able to chart a path where eventually we have big numbers of Republicans it's not a matter of recalibrating what we're doing it's just a matter of doing more what's wrong with Mitch McConnell answer for any clues for Republicans are living with the fact that many of the members of their base follow the president wherever he goes and so it's maddening but at some level it's empowering and we know where the problem is we have isolated it is the president United States Excessive Cory Gardner has to go back to Colorado and John Cornyn has to go back to Texas Susan Collins has to go back to Maine with with out having thanks national action critical let me be honest I don't want to ultimately be reliant only on democratic votes to pass I will tell you to receive calls from my Republican colleagues many of which voted against the background checks bill in two thousand thirteen expressing their hope McConnell is reluctant to step out on any policy limb without knowing where Donald Trump is and he's probably more reluctant to step out on guns than on for the first time that they're on the wrong side of this issue and they are very nervous having watched what happened in two thousand eighteen and having watched all the volunteers flood into this movement you know somebody who has publicly announced that he has switched his position on background checks but for the time being you know we don't checks so that McConnell has some assurance that if he brings a bill up for debate in the Senate that trump won't submarine as a matter of power takes I guess I understand that but McConnell and the Republican Senate are going to go down with trump if they don't do something background in some expansion of background checks and that is a sea change I was not getting these calls from my Republican colleagues for two years ago they recognize a bill done that will literally save tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives in this country and like you said has ninety percent approval for background not willing Republicans in the Senate or maybe not willing yet to support universal background checks but they they'd like to be on record before they have to put their name on the ballot for Support Ah will support these measures and I'm encouraged as I mentioned that you know a lot of Republican senators are reconsidering their position Lindsey Graham this issue which as mythology built around it as being hyper controversial is one of the least controversial issues in the electorate today and I've said from the beginning that democracy doesn't allow for ninety percent of Americans not to get their way for very long and we're getting thing else that is still a white hot issue for much of the Republican base so McConnell has put all the pressure on trump to do a deal with people like me on background the Mitch McConnell so I think in in in the Senate you know M- right now that Donald trump is a cult of personality and so that they're going to get beat in two thousand twenty if they don't somehow find a way to change their position so it's just a reminder to me to keep up what we're doing the the pressure is working the Democrats get elected to the United States Senate and you have to get rid of Donald J trump from the White House that both of those things are within our grasp today it is interesting it's in majority leader if you care about getting a universal background checks bill passed in the next two years then you have to do two things you have to make sure you know this country's history wasn't lead in some way shape or form by young people and so now that young people are at the forefront of the climate movement uh-huh of of supports opposition many other issues either we always wrap

NRA United States Las Vegas giffords president Los Angeles Steve Pearson Washington Mariah Craven ninety percent seven years two years twenty years
How We Protect Our Voting Rights with Ari Berman

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 7 months ago

How We Protect Our Voting Rights with Ari Berman

"Welcome to episode thirty three of how we went all over the country. People are staying home staying safe and doing extraordinary things. Were giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your living room. The Best Antidote to anxiety is what action we need your help and we're going to get through this together today. You're going to hear from voting rights expert Ari permit. We're GONNA talk about the incredible outcome of the Wisconsin election voting during a pandemic. And what we've got to keep an eye out for in November was swing left. Volunteers had a huge impact on the Wisconsin election. Volunteers from all over the country. In fact we're going to talk about it and tell you how you can join us this week. For the how we win letter writing. Partee I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven and this is how we win how you doing Steve. How're you in your family? We're good Lucie is Back to school this week doing her. Virtual classrooms zoom classrooms at home learning said junior in high school it is challenging but in some cases she doesn't Miss Having to face the social scene at her high school so You know there's pluses and minuses mostly minus. But we're working at how about you. I'm GONNA I really appreciate the social pressure being off as well so I'm right there with her. You know one of the things that I've loved seeing on my social media feeds this week. Is people posting their high school. Graduation photos in solidarity with This year's high school graduates. You aren't going to have graduations Ramona's I think it's really cool for some people. It's like a little lake. Here's how I look but it's fun. It's a fun idea to acknowledge that this is a really tricky time for high school seniors. Who for four three three almost four years were hearing about what an amazing time they were. GonNa have and and now. They're sitting at home on on zooms. Yeah you know what to say about it. We're we're going to get through. You know a data time week at a time but we're going to do it together and It's it's been cool. Seeing people come together in this moment in. That's what moments of crisis really do. Is They The show is who really are as humans and And I've been proud of my community. That's such a nice sentiment. Yeah we are really all kind of coming together and And looking out for each other more often than not and and that's a I guess a positive to take away from Gosh. What challenging time. Should we talk about the the big news this week? Which is that. What news is that? What's the big news of the week so much? Donald Trump has declared himself king. No the big news. The big news is that our is that in in you know. As Donald Trump continues his ranting and raving Democrats have come together around a single presidential candidate and that is a threat Joe Biden who got endorsements from Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. This Week Right. We have a presumptive Democratic nominee. Now and Boy I have to say I'm excited to have the primary over with. It really feels like the right time. I mean we're going through enough as a country dealing with the corona virus But I also want to say how much I appreciate. All of the candidates who have run for president this cycle. It's been the most diverse field that I can remember in my lifetime. There's been some great dialogues. I appreciate everything that Bernie. Sanders has done for the Democratic Party in the last couple of cycles and we've had some great progressive candidates We've had some great conversations about the ways to get to what you know. We universally thank has. Democrats is our common gold and healthcare for everybody and which is so stark right now and you know An important especially in the context of this pandemic so we have a nominee and And he may or may not be. Everyone's first choice coming through this but There's a recent poll that already eighty six percent of Democrats polled said they will vote for Biden over trump and that I think As we coalesce around our candidate will get even higher so I'm glad to be through the primaries while let's let's back up a little bit because yes. We have a presidential Democratic presidential candidate but for those states that still have primary elections. There are still down. Ballot races So we WANNA make sure that people get out and vote for those down ballot races which I think one of the many things this pandemic has shown us is that it's the people who aren't at the federal level who are having the biggest impact on our lives right. Now and you know this just reinforces being that Mariah. Craven is always said Ou. Which is that if you want to have the biggest impact on your community vote down ballot because yes the federal folks always say they always say the federal folks have a lot of power but the real day-to-day impact on your lives on which hospitals are open on. What relief that you get from the county and the city that comes from those down ballot folks absolutely and we're going to talk a lot about Wisconsin because Pete by the way. Congratulations everyone. Who worked on that. Wisconsin Supreme Court race We won. We had an amazing amount of people volunteering. Making phone calls writing letters for that race in Wisconsin just absolutely insane circumstances around that election We've done like three podcasts. About Wisconsin coming up to this. We had former. Senator Russ Feingold on earlier. The chair of the Democratic Party. We had a in Wisconsin. We had Jared or organizer there. It's right And we talked about it for good reason because it's a very important state and and this election had big national consequences. We'RE NOT GONNA get too far into it because we talk with Berman later and we get Way Into Wisconsin and what it means in his takeaways to great interview. But I I will say to your point about the importance of investing in these local elections. You have on the one hand Wisconsin. That is A Republican majority that. You know you've got terribly gerrymandered. District ran all the voter suppression voter. Id Laws and ultimately Risking people's lives to vote the flip side of that literally Pun intended when I say flip is in Virginia. We just had some Election reforms going through the governor in Virginia Making Election Day. A Net a holiday in Virginia Like like that has to happen everywhere. Huge vote by mail for the entire state extended Early voting where you can vote. You have more time to vote in person which means the lines are much shorter and you have. You can have more distance between voters exactly all those things that the CDC recommends that we're GonNA talk about more Ra. But that's a direct consequence of us working hard to flip those local legislatures and get the TRIFECTA in Virginia last week. We talked about the era and they were the last state to last date needed to ratify that so to your excellent point you always say. Mariah craven always says. Local elections are where it's at down ballot where she's right listen to Mariah. Let's talk a little bit about what you're talking about is you know. Encou- like places where voters were really dedicated to getting out on her before Election Day and also places where a lot of volunteers from around. The country really focused their efforts. And I want to talk about how that is kind of hard to do right now. It feels. It feels a little tough for volunteers to reach out to voters especially by phone right now. That is that what you're hearing too. Well it's a challenging time and I'll say these are rough numbers. We don't have the official count yet as we're recording this So don't hold me to these numbers but in Wisconsin. It's looking like Wisconsin. Swing left of volunteers made Around sixty thousand phone calls Red Wisconsin and wrote about sixty five thousand letters to voters in Wisconsin. A remarkable amount of engagement and so volunteers are doing that work but it is a challenging time in Mariah. You're working with sea change. You're working on local elections in Los Angeles right now. We have one coming up on in early. May to hold onto this congressional seat. Nca twenty-five which your experience around voter engagement right now well. I think that we're gonNA talk about this. In a few minutes with Ari too. But you know voters are at home right now So it's a prime time to call them and I think what I have Volunteers who are telling me like a really want to help and I know how important this election that we have coming up in. May is But I'M WORRIED ABOUT CALLING SOMEBODY. Who's out of work right now? Their family might be hungry. Their kids have been at home all day. And maybe haven't paid rent and you know I just want to tell people that is the absolute right instinct to have that you feel for the people that you're reaching out to and that's why we're calling them and that's where the phone calls starts so if you are phone banking at this point in time whether it's for A special election coming up or a primary or even going into November no matter what your script says you start with asking people how they are and how their families are doing and then you listen and that is your entry into a conversation that somebody might really need And then you know after you talk to them about what's going on. You can remind them that it is really important even with all that. They're going through for them to plan to vote because Lake. We said the people that we've elected at the top aren't doing a whole hell of a lot for us right now fact. They're doing more harm than good in some cases so it's really important for voters to replace them so we get some relief and we don't have to go through this again and it's great advice. You know maybe have some resources at the ready. A lot of campaigns doing this already with their phone banks where they have some resources for people that need them Who are affected by this pandemic were affected by but would ever degree but You know maybe pull some local resources for people when you're making phone calls and And you can offer that up to so Yeah what I've been hearing from from voters. Is You know the biggest concern is around. The stimulus checks Which started going out this weekend and will continue going out for the next month. So that they have direct deposit they might have already received it but Checks are going to be in the mail in the coming weeks as well but you can always direct people to irs dot Gov for information about the stimulus payments and also if they need to update their banking information. Obviously we're also hearing from people who have lost their jobs and just a reminder that unemployment benefits are state by state so they're going to need to talk to their state level unemployment bureau about that and you know the the lines to talk to. Somebody are really long for that they gotTA stick with it. They need to be persistent. And then you can visit. Aunt BERTHA DOT COM for The closest food bank in your community and then just reminding people that there is a national moratorium on foreclosures right now but the moratorium on evictions for Renters Varies Community. By community and again they need to be persistent and stick with making phone calls and writing emails to folks that they need help from. Because you know just because you don't have a return caller return email right away. Don't stop everything's backed up but we have to stick with it to make sure people are taking care of some great resources we'll put Aunt BERTHA DOT COM on our site to for people to find food banks near them and be able to suggest to other people as well. Thank you for all that Maria. Thanks for Lang. We talk about that. I know people it just I you know I know. People are so worried about each other right now and so everything you can do to help makes it makes a difference so keep up the good work. Everyone Yup and talked about one of my reasons for hope with election reforms going on Virginia as a direct consequence of the great work that we did And people seem to this. Podcast did last year in Virginia. We're GONNA talk about the takeaways from Wisconsin again. We won that Supreme Court seat which is really important. Wisconsin Supreme Court seat. We'll talk more about that with our eight so Let's get into action in We've got a party. This Thursday the sixteenth. A letter writing party that we're GONNA host. That's right we need you to sign up if you haven't already download some letters from vote forward. We're going to write letters to voters Thursday we need you there. We need to see some faces on a zoom. Y'All's I can't wait for this. I'm so excited about it. What am I gonNA wear? This is not going to be in sweat probably where you big PAPI Jersey wearing dodgers jersey. So sign up for the party. Write some letters and if you can't be our party will make a sad but sign up to write some letters were Swing left is doing these like three or four times a week. So there's lots of opportunities for you to meet some volunteers from all over the country. And you know Do some good work from your living room. The other parties won't be as fun but I guess she wouldn't do them. They'll be productive but less fun. I like that also. Don't forget to tell your friends to subscribe to this very podcast. We should have a party happening every week via the podcast and we. We need your people to do that. So reach out to. How many people should they reach out to three three people? I like that number. Three is doable. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA reach out to three people today and remind them to subscribe to this. Berry podcast. I am too and remember that we are still building our capacity for November and Whatever that's GonNa look like whether you know we're back knocking on doors or if we're doing more digital organizing we need these tools to drive more people into action in this. Podcast is one of them so please help us. Continue to build this this tool. We have to drive people into this work. Let's get to the interview. Now with Ari. Berman are. Berman is a senior reporter at mother Jones covering voting rights. He's the author of give us the ballot. The modern struggle for voting rights in America. All right thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Hey Steve Reich and talk to you guys so I've been wanting to have you on to talk about voting rights for a long time since I started doing this podcast and this seems like I mean there's always a moment to talk about it but right now. Oh Yeah. Wisconsin and all the Tomfoolery. That didn't seem to work out for the GOP in Wisconsin. We have a lot to add to the conversation. So let's let's start there. What are your takeaways from? What happened in Wisconsin? The first take away which I think should be the enduring one which just how shameful it was to make people vote in such conditions the forced thousands of people to choose between a their ballot and their health and even though it seems like some voters were able to overcome that. That doesn't make it right in the first place and they're also we have to assume where thousands of that weren't able to overcome this fresh that were afraid to vote in person or couldn't get it after the ballot or didn't get their. Apps about in time for their upset was rejected now. Luckily it wasn't a close election because if this was an election was decided by five thousand votes we would have been paying very close attention to how many people were disenfranchised in whether that had some outcome on the margins but no matter what the outcome was in Wisconsin Tech example of how not to hold an election in the states already had a lot of problems holding elections by the way. This wasn't the first election in Wisconsin. That was marred by voter suppression. It was just the most dramatic wide because everyone was stuck at home. Pay attention to it right With and so it was just sort of singular political event where there weren't any other primaries. Nobody could leave their houses and so it became his really riveting. Dramatic Story But I've seen during a pandemic but in other occasions sort of dozens of many Wisconsin's on during my reporting on Otago writes this fight to delay verses. Hold the election on time. Last week went all the way to. The Supreme Court of the United States did their decisions surprise. You surprised me a little bit. Only in the sense stat. I thought the Supreme Court would make at least some accommodation for the fact. This was an extraordinary circumstance that voters were in in a pandemic and there was an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests. So is going to be natural that some voters working to get their ballots in time because election clerks were swamped and I thought the courts would give voters more time to return their ballots. Because the seventh circuit the lower court was a conservative court and that court said it was fine to give voters extra week to send back their ballot so. I was a little surprised in that sense. I always expect the worst from the Supreme Court so in some cases. I'm not surprised but I was a little surprised. Given both the fact that they were overruling a lower conservative court and also the fact that it was extraordinary situation at unprecedented situation will Wisconsin was really the only state hold a primary in the middle of national pandemic and so I thought that justice would say you know Yeah No. We don't want to press a precedent of giving voters an extra week though return balanced meal like that. That's not letter of the law. But we're going to do it. Because of the extraordinary circumstances and what Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her gazette was that basically the refusal to acknowledge reality to treat us like a normal situation. Sort of extraordinary situation was gonNA lead in a disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people. And it's very worrisome precedent. Because I don't think in November election is going to be a normal election the way that we think about normal elections so that the Supreme Court aside from their ideology doesn't make any sort of adjustments for the reality that voters and election officials are facing on the ground. I think a lot of bill could just be disenfranchised by technicalities. Yes I think that's right and we've been talking about vote by mail and ou you as well We're trying to get in the next stimulus package. The Democrats are trying to get voter reform into the next package money for the states to implement vote by mail extending the period of elections. All that all that stuff that we need to do first of all. What does the precedent that the Supreme Court case just made How does that affect that? And what are our chances of actually getting that passed through the House right now? I don't know I don't know what president the the Supreme Court decision really will set other than the fact that if there's disputed If there's an election dispute between Republicans and Democrats the courts probably likely decide if Republicans. I think we already knew that But that's probably about the situation and the Supreme Court is going to act differently because of this extraordinary situation. I wouldn't necessarily assume I would assume that. Because of the mixture ours Egyptian ideology there are going to side with the Republicans more often than not. There's going to be more of these cases coming to the courts and before because there's GonNa be a much bigger fight around the rules of the election. Typically because Sony people can't leave their homes and normal rules don't apply so we don't know if there's going to be big voter. Registration drives in November. We don't know if there's any get big get out. The vote drives in November. We don't know if there's going to be sold to the polls in November all of these things and so voters seen a lot more assistance than they did in the past and the rules of how lecture conducted are more important than ever. Because there's really no adjustments to help voters get around this other than trying to mail everyone balance so it interesting. I think basically what happened in the first recovery. Bill Democrats are able to get four hundred million dollars Help states which I think was a good first step but everyone admitted was insufficient. And so now what Elizabeth Warren and others are saying. They need four billion dollars and they also need to put some actual Directives to the states sank the states Unique to adopt universal equal by mail. You need to adopt thirty days of early voting. We need to stop voter purging. Need to stop requiring. Id's being with absentee ballots. Things that are going to disenfranchise voters. Congress actually has the power to set those rules for federal elections now. I'm not saying it's going to happen. I don't think Mitch McConnell would agree to that. I don't think Donald Trump would agree to it but congress actually has the power. If I'm Democrats I start with a very very firm hand that we want all of this stuff and negotiate for that point of view as opposed to saying here's what we're willing to trade away Because if all congress does is give states four hundred million dollars to try to adopt vote by mail that's going to be that's going to be wildly inefficient hand in hand with that as we're as we're watching trump and some of the conservatives pushed back on on all of this I think that people are also hearing on their Yunos. Know Zoom happy hours and things like that their friends and family worrying that trump and the Republicans might try to delay the general election in November. Is that even a possibility? That is one thing I'm less concerned about because Donald Trump doesn't have the power to unilaterally postponed the election despite Ed de Mexico. His his idea that if you if you're the president you can do whatever you want. Which is sort of reminiscent of of his famous access. Hollywood tape were you know he basically said if you're famous you can do it But but only Congress can change the date of the election and so that would mean Nancy Pelosi in House Democrats would have to go along with it which means it would have to be a true national emergency where there was true. Bipartisan agreement to postpone the Election Day. Say for example we had another round of corona virus. It was even worse than this one and there was no attempt to be able to mail everyone balance and get everyone to vote by mail and it was just impossible for people to vote in curse. I think it'd be some something like that situation where they're moving back. I don't think we've donald trump unilaterally doing. That's that's that's of all the things that worry me. That's pretty much at the bottom of my list of concerns right. Well then. What's at the top of your concerns? Let's go to the dark place. The top of my concern is that we're going to have very unequal access to the ballot. That some states are GonNa take very affirmative decisions to vote by mail but other states are going to do almost nothing to help. People vote by mail or they're going to create the rules that some people are able to vote by mail but not others for example. Republicans are advocating that. They WanNa mail about everyone over sixty five why. I think that's great. I I would love to about everyone over sixty five out also like to bail out to everyone under sixty five though. That's the kind of saying that. Eat you start to see her in. Some of those rules are already in place when Republicans task voter ID laws in North Carolina and Texas. Saying you have to show come from your data vote. They exempted absentee ballots from that requirement. Because they knew that elderly a white voters were more likely to vote Republican and they didn't want to subject them to possible. This enfranchisement So that that's what. I'm concerned about concerned that there is going to be real unequal access to the ballot both between states and potentially within states et. I really hope that we don't learn the wrong lesson from Wisconsin which is at voter suppression. Doesn't matter just because your preferred candidate wins doesn't mean that people were disenfranchised and doesn't mean that it was wrong in the first place doesn't mean that it will set a dangerous precedent The other thing I'm concerned about is actually vote by mail was pretty bipartisan thing. For a long time I'm Republicans and Democrats have used it in pretty much. Equal numbers It's not good advantages. Is One party over. The other factor Paul begins have aggressively pushed by by mail in Florida and are probably better at doing all-male excellent probably actually favor begins over Democrats. But I'm concerned that Donald Trump is poisoning the well and he's tried to influence a Republican secretaries of state that are currently making good faith. Efforts states like Iowa Georgia to get ballots in the hands of voters. And send you those. Republican states need to back down For November and. I'm worried that even within the Republican Party going to become even more for the size than it was before and simple common sense things like. If you can't leave your house you should be able to vote by mail in that. That's the number one recommendation of the CDC is vote by mail independence. The second recommendation is early voting so that there is you can social distance appalled that we saw this like Milwaukee. Those are two things I think. Republicans are now going to strenuously avoid Trying to do. And that's what worries right now. Yeah I mean if it's coming from the scientists then they're probably not gonNA listen that that unfortunately seems to be how things are going but they they have he has been he has been forced to listen to the CDC in some in some cases. So I I note some. Election officials are listening. I know Republican elected officials in Ohio in Georgia an IRA. They had been acting very responsibly. Throughout this whole process it's been president and his allies in Congress that have been ones that have been really tried to voice. Well and I wonder like strategically everyone is going to be looking over. What happened in Wisconsin because this is our first sort of test case for voting in the midst of this pandemic as you mentioned Voting by MAIL DOES NOT NECESSARILY FAVOR. Democrats or Republicans. We really don't know but you know it's certainly favors democracy. It certainly favors enfranchising everyone to have access to the ballot Trump saying that if you had vote by mail then Republicans would never win another election. Now I don't believe that's true and perhaps now looking as dissect would happen in. Wisconsin. Maybe Republicans will start feeling the same way as well. I don't know why I mean the the idea that Republicans would never win a vote by mail. Election would come as a shock to Republicans in Utah Who every major erected office in vote largely pie mail. So I mean that would come as a surprise to Mitt Romney and the Republican governor and all the other Republican elected officials there it would come as surprises the Republican Secretary of state in Oregon and the Republican Secretary of state in Washington which are vote by mail states which have elected Republican saw levels of off. It would come surprised to Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado who was elected in twenty four fourteen of final election. It would come surprise around just in that particular case the honestly I mean the only reason from is opposing vote by mail is because Democrats are four There is no empirical evidence that if you make vote by Neil easier. It's going to help Democrats The the the data shows that in vote by mail states voter turnout is up about two to four percent but the partisan effect is not clear at all because there's a lot of elderly people that rely in vote by mail that are heavily. Republican constituents in so I think Donald Trump once again is making argument. That's holy based on emotion in fear and not. An all based on fats shocking. That's depressing. Can we talk about something slightly? More positive How how did you get into the voting rights? Beat and why did you stick with it? And become like the go-to expert on it. I honestly just kind of stumbled into a long time ago. It's it's been A decade now that I've been covering this I feel I feel all but basically In in twenty eleven after all of these key states flipped from blue to red places like Ohio and Pennsylvania in North Carolina in Wisconsin. I noticed that all of these Republican legislatures were very swiftly passing nearly identical laws to make it harder to vote. Things like strict voter. Id laws or cutting early voting or making it hard to register to vote and this is the thing at the time. That wasn't getting a lot of attention. It gets low understood now but it really wasn't getting a lot of attention and so I was at the nation at the time but I I. It's rolling stone and I had an August twenty eleven call the GOP war on voting. And that was really kind of my first major story about this. It was really the first major national magazine article to look at how this was a conservative strategy of by Republicans responding to almost election to try to change the electorate for their own benefit by changing. The country's voted and I thought it would really write one article and then I would just sort of go back to general politics but I mean more and more stuff started happening. That got me interested in in the topic. I mean this was a big issue. In twenty twelve will really serve accelerated. My interest was in two thousand thirteen when the supreme court heard a challenge to the voting rights act and then subsequently rule to weaken the voting rights act. I became very interested in history and funny rights. And that's what led me to write my book of the ballot but issued voting rights since the passage voting rights act. Because I realized there had been a lot of books written about what led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The school writes all of that but there have been a lot less written about what happened fifty years after and so I I sort of approach it as a journalist would also kind of as an amateur story and that got me a lot deeper into a topic to great book anyone listening. Please read it. I read it about a year year and a half ago and really loved it and learned so much. It's just you you're a great accessible writer for A subject that is just so pivotal to our democracy and not for nothing. My Dad worked in the Johnson administration he came on right after the voting rights act was passed. He wasn't there the whole time but allow what did he do there. He was counsel to President Johnson. A lot of stuff happened in the Johnson administration. Amazing to see I mean both obviously the Bazzi at Phnom. But I think more people are looking at all the incredible amount of stock to with the Voting Rights Act in regression active of ninety sixty five and the fair housing act and And Medicaid. I mean it's just sort of unbelievable. How much stuff was was passed in such a short period of time. He did a lot of great stuff and was burt colorful character in. My Dad's got some great stories. But that's we're not so it's a little bit of an unnerving time for anyone who's who's paying attention even for people who are not paying attention to be honest Feels like our elections have have never been more uncertain. And we're and we're heading into a pretty big one. Is there anything that gives you? Hope as we look ahead to November. I guess what I'm Hoping. Is that what happened in Wisconsin? It'll be a wakeup call about what not to do. And also a testament to voters ability to overcome obstacles that are put in their way and that the focus on the voting system will lead the voting system to become better and more accessible. And if what comes out of this is that more people are able to vote by mail and more people are given. An opportunity cast a ballot. And there's more time for people to vote in person and there's more early voting and there's more polling sites and we're more careful about how ballots are counted. And all of that will be good faith. And so it's very well possible that that that all of the attention on the deficiencies in our electoral system will lead us to create an electoral system. That works better for voters that that. That is my hope But I think my worries that we're running out of time to do this and that just like with the Democrat large not only do we have a lack of leadership at the federal level. We have very negative leadership. The federal level making it harder not easier to overcome these barriers. I really think the Congress needs to get were involved here I think they have a critical role. Play that I also think that voters need to interact with their local Legislators with her vocal secretaries of state and see what they're doing because I think governors secretaries of state are going to have an enormous amount of power during this process to shape election laws. And I think you're going to do things that maybe they wouldn't have been able to do in years past. We've already seen for example governors take executive orders to say. I'm going to change. The rules of absentee ballots are going to change the way voters get their ballots. And I think it's I think it's hard and we're seeing that stuff in the primary there's also less at stake in the primaries. The primaries are basically over right now and so actually are pretty much effectively over People are still voting. But we we know that Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee and so I think the question is can momentum go forward to November Are things going to break down among the usual parceled lines or demand real change? That real enduring are bipartisan solutions. Come out that's what I'm hopeful about. Have you heard of a as a drop dead point in time where we're not going to be able to do a huge shift for November stay? I think it'll depend on the state and how far along the state is I mean people are saying the next few months are going to be critical Because you in a lot of places you early voting starts Yup sometimes sometimes Start Forty five days before election writing in a lot of states voter registrations gonNA edge a thirty days before the election. That's that's the legal cutoff for voter registration. You can end voter-registration thirty days before an election which I think is completely insane requirement. That should the West You can do that and so I think the fall is too late to make major changes and the other thing is just from a perspective of voter what happened. Wisconsin is extremely confusing for voters. Where one cormick changes in another court changes those changes and then the legislature and the governor are fighting over things that that is a recipe for voter confusing voter disenfranchisement and so. I hope that the rules get set ahead of time. So that if there are legal battles those legal battles can be worked out can have certainty but with the law is. If it's a bad law at least people know what the law is so they can try to maneuver route if you have no idea what the law is then. You can't try to come it. That was one of the problems of in Wisconsin and we clearly saw it. Wisconsin trying to do everything the week before and so I would say this from now until I would say over. The summer are going to be in a critical times. Where states are going to move in a serious way to do in vote by mail. Which is the recommendation that everyone says of? They're going to have to scale up dramatically because Like in Wisconsin. For example. Only five percent of people voted by mail or twenty sixteen now. The primary showed that a lot more people can vote by mail. But you're GONNA have dramatically higher turnout in Wisconsin. I think I saw like voter. Turnout was something like thirty. Four percent of people voted. We are going to have seventy to seventy five percent turnout in in In November you're going to have probably more than double the voter turnout in November that you had now which is why don't they can can extrapolate too many lessons from this. Wisconsin Election. Because there's going to be such dramatically. Larger electorate come the fall. So we'll call. Our governors will call our Secretaries of state anyone who gets their paws on elections and let them know that we want the CDC recommendations and And that's a good call to action for everyone listening to this and also you know it. It does. Boil down to turnout at the end of the day. Whatever the rules are however they're trying to disenfranchise and cheat which they are constantly doing when we show up. We win and You talked earlier about. We don't know what our outreach is going to be like if there's GonNa be souls to the polls if we're going to be able to campus if we're going to be able to do the traditional organizing that we do around elections but We're going to be reaching out to voters and we're going to be making our case and So neat ever went. Help us do that so I will say I mean if people hoping the situation will be a lot better people will be able to leave their homes if they can't leave their homes. That's also an organizing opportunity because you know everybody is hope so you should be able to reach so. I hope everyone's thinking about that too. That if you do traditional Geo TV in terms of knocking on doors Can you call people up? Can you tax people? You know you're more likely to reach that you were. They might even be more likely to talk to you because they're stuck at home with nobody talk you so many. This pandemic is terrible is does present a different way toward that if people are. Smart. They're going to try to take advantage of and hopefully get up. Not Now yeah. Phone banking has been Has Been a lot more fun than it usually is Just because people are answering their phones and we can also do some community service and make sure that people are okay and have resources that they need connected to the phone banking. We could go on and on talking about this I encourage everyone to read your book. Give us the ballot. The modern struggle for voting rights in America Follow what your Twitter Handle Ashaari Berg at Arbor easy? Reo on twitter. This is such a great conversation and and really helpful and hopeful you so much. Thank you so much guys. Keep up the good work Before we go. There is a article written by Rebecca solnit in the Guardian called. The impossible has already happened. What Corona virus can teach us about hope and this was brought to my attention by email. Chain called small victories Antoine to read an excerpt for people from Rebecca sonnets piece. The outcome of disasters is not for ordained. It's a conflict one that takes place while things that were frozen solid in locked up have become open in fluid. Full of both the best and worst possibilities. We're both becalmed. And in a state of profound change ordinary life before the pandemic was already a catastrophe of desperation and exclusion for too many human beings in environmental and climate catastrophe and obscenity of inequality. It is too soon to know what will emerge from this emergency but not too soon to start looking for chances to help decided. Abra sharing that. I think it's so important to Rian share messages of hope and small. Victories is a as a great email to subscribe to ban. Thank you for joining us today. And thank you for stepping up and taking action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved and we want to hear from you. Let us know how you're staying busy during the corona Venus Pandemic? Send us a message about what brings you hope tweet to us at Louis. Boy Steve an APP Araya underscore craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot org. Thank you to our friends at dinner. Cash if you haven't yet please subscribe rate and review our podcast on apple or wherever else you get your pods share on social media and use the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty check out our page at swing left dot org slash podcast and of course sign up to volunteer and join our letter writing party. We really appreciate you being with us. And we'll be back with more next Wednesday.

Wisconsin Mariah Craven Donald Trump Supreme Court Wisconsin Election Wisconsin Supreme Court president Congress Joe Biden CDC Virginia Bernie Sanders Ari Berman Steve
Flattening The Curve with Markos Moulitsas and Nathan Rubin

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 8 months ago

Flattening The Curve with Markos Moulitsas and Nathan Rubin

"Welcome to episode thirty of how we win all over the country people are staying home staying safe. Doing their part and doing extraordinary things. Were giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now from your living room right. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. We need your help and we will get through this together. We sure well joining us to discuss the news of the day and help us with this week's to do list is the founder of daily coast. Marcos Mellitus we'll talk about some stories you may have missed and what you can do about them then we'll hear from Nathan Rubin founder of millennial politics we spoke to him before the corona virus outbreak and have been looking forward to sharing this great conversation about how younger voters are. Engaging in the hope that it brings US November I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven and this is how we win Marcos really appreciate you hanging out with us. We're all in our hanging out the studio but I'm in Newport beach right now Mariah's Still in L. A. I'm here close to my parents so I can bring them supplies because They're stuck and You know we have a whole new reality but lots lots to talk about so we really appreciate you joining us. This is very exciting. Let's just start with talking about the the news of the day because I'm sure there's a lot that we miss because the most important thing is how do we navigate corona virus and Making sure that people Take it seriously and stay home and social distance and Do all the important important work to flatten the curve. But this has a big impact already having a big impact on our elections. What are you seeing? You know? We've had some primaries that have been postponed We should be talking about vote by mail. Every we get right now as we speak. The dams are fighting for funding to help states transition to vote by mail. Marcos what what are your thoughts on with this meaning for our elections and what we can do about it interesting. What what Kinda fascinating about this entire crisis is how all the solutions to it are sort of liberal solutions which is one reason. Republicans are struggling so much if they back the nine eleven. The solutions there Naked Solution in quotation marks. But the solutions were very conservative. Leaning right it was it was Responding TO TERRORISM MILITARIZATION INCREASING THE PENTAGON. Budget Curtailing civil liberties that was their glory kind of crisis. Because it allowed the push through all these things that they had wanted to push through and had a rationale for it in the field site. The covert crisis is the exact opposite. Were since it. There's no clear invaders clear enemy. The solution is for us to come together as a society in for government the prop up the economy to directly help individuals The solutions are very much providing an opportunity to enact to pretty cheap progressive priorities. One of those obviously And relevant to this to the top of the conversation is obviously elections in vote by mail and and this is this is should be Progressive Priority Ryan. Third that it that the that more people should have access to the franchise is a partisan issue is a real indictment. I think on the progress on the conservative movement than But it's been clear for a long time that they are facing a demographic challenge younger voters are much more likely to vote. Democratic people color obviously much more likely to vote democratic. And there's a big overlap between you and People Colorado. It's the Latino community in the United States. A median ages eighteen years old. You know have still have about still cannot vote because we're not eighteen Also means that when they turn eighteen or the least likely about I mean this is just a stat of reality is is that young people and communities of color are less likely to `bout therefore they are the easiest to suppress and Republicans have made an art out of suppressing the devote things voter. Id Right. It's been a big sort of pushing in conservatives. Conservative states is to try to keep people from voting that all goes away with vote by mail it becomes impossible to suppress the vote in urban districts by having just a few voting machines in high population areas compared to the suburbs right in almost any suburb in the country. You can go on election day and your dog. Ten minutes at most people are wait in line eight HOURS IN CINCINNATI OR CLEVELAND. Ride in places like that and we saw that just recently in Texas too with the primary there. Yeah exactly just thought it was a black presense to it was it was a Index by design. This is not some kind of weird accident that happened. This is by design and so vote by mail has been sort of this solution to that problem very very hard to suppress the vote when everybody gets a ballot in the mail and I to me. I'm you know your California too. I'm in California. I love vote by mail. Not because it's easier to vote in that the big heart of it but I love to sit in front of the ballot on Google Inc Kit. It's Eh Judges Ambala initiatives taking my time in making sure that making that recent Decision without having that pressure of being in a ballot box trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. So there's a lot of reasons to to to recommend vote by mail and and conservatives have zero had had historically zero interest in it obviously because it removes a big tool inner toolkit to try to suppress the liberal belt and and yet now we're in a situation where Ohio which is one of those states has very effectively suppressed the democratic votes there now. Both the Republican Secretary of State. Republican governor are now pushing legislation to create universal by now because they have no choice. I mean we're in a world now where this is the only way people can Exercise of constitutionally guaranteed rights to vote. And once you open that door I mean it's Ohio can come back and say all right no more that anymore they could try those but it becomes very very very difficult than in if you look at the map. I was I was just looking at those. And now it's gonNA write out the next couple of days. If you look at the map of states have vote by mail. It's all democratic states. Like we're GONNA have any probably in November. It is Republican states. That are GONNA have a problem voting. They're going to have to figure this out and come up with solutions and they don't have a choice right. They have to. They have to do this. And so this has become A an opportunity The circumstantial obviously horrifying and I wish it would be over today in our that had never happened. But if there's a silver lining to it it's going to be this idea that we need to make it easier for people to vote everywhere and both by mail and expanding that vote by mail system into as many places if not everywhere I don't have to closely has it in her list of demands for the next Obviously they're they're negotiating right now. Who knows if it will survive or not but I really hope you're right. Yeah I mean it. It's it seems strategically for Republicans Really important that a past vote by mail as you said the Republican states. The ones that don't do it but you know. Their demographic is the demographic that is really On lockdown right now like older voters. Who would tend to vote? Republican aren't able to leave so right but that's so wild thing is that Early early voting programs funding for that have been included in some of the stimulus. Proposals and Republicans are pushing back on it. Kevin Brady Congressman from Texas asked. You know what early voting has to do with corona virus. Well everything and if you can't see that then you know. I hope your constituents are taking no come. November will Kevin Brady is going to have a bunch of constituents that aren't going to be able to vote. Well I guess I guess that's his plan. You bring up Texas in. I've actually been right. I've been trying to talk. Republicans into taking the endemic seriously. Despite saying it's in your frigging interest in your interest rates. I I literally have this piece at that. I'm working on right now. In Texas I actually had the Texas exit polls open right now. Decided sheer coincidence. And Sixty five and older in Texas in Two Thousand Sixteen. There were fifteen percent of the votes. They voted sixty four. Thirty five for trump at twenty nine vote point spread between Democrats and Republicans in Texas in those of the people that cannot boat right in Texas. It's a purple state. It's not gonNA quite right. I don't think we're quite at Purple Status Right now. Took a Ted Cruz type of Republicans? Who are pretty hated to make a two point two points they right but but you're right I really do. Hey Ted Cruz just throw back. They ran Paulie hate more now because if I decide for them all but Paul Doctor Rand Paul for anyone. That could possibly have missed that. He took a he was suspected of. Having Corona virus took a testing continued to go to the Senate gem which I don't even know why the Senate Jim was still open when every other jim in the country was closed but Yeah Dr Rampal setting a good example Florida Arizona Georgia North North Carolina has a Republican legislature. That would be to To approve but those states had both Republican governors add legislatures and it is clearly in our interest to make it as easy for everybody to vote because that your vote is if it's depressing to lease bed. Democrats are GONNA win fairly easily in. What should be really tough competitive states? The other thing that has me really concerned today is trump is clearly laying the groundwork to in social distancing and lockdowns for lack of a better word early in order to protect the economy which is so absurd because we know what happens when things work see South Korea. We know what happens when we don't do enough see Italy and he's seating this idea that it and this and this phrase that I've been seeing you know Republicans using for the last couple of days which is let's not make the cure worse than the quote unquote problem which is just terrifying. Then you have speaking of Texas. The Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and absolute clown who is suggesting that you know grandparents would be okay dying in order to preserve our economy for their grandchildren. This is all absolutely banana. It sounds absurd but he literally said that and he's of course he's raw because like the rest of us aren't demons no we don't. We don't want somebody to dial horrible. Isolated death in order to preserve The economy which is obviously super important. But you know is it more important than someone's life. Well trump clearly taken a big hit personally with all of his properties closed down. Everything he's done has been to benefit himself and to benefit his family and now he's taking a huge hit. You know what's going to do. It shouldn't be a surprise but it's constantly a surprise. How I it's it's not even Italy versus South Korea me I think trump republicans are dead set on creating like a whole third new level of a whole new course. Italy at least has locked stuff down in his tickets. Hard medicine to try to stem the spread of the Corona Virus Trump. Republicans are talking about just completely open. Everything backup Acting like everything in and clearly On a on a disastrous passan. Again this is I. I don't understand why they're not appealing to their own self interest. Aside from trump's hotels just their base is impacted by this. If you look at a map of states that have shut down. It is the blue states right. It's California Washington Oregon a New York New Jersey Illinois with a smattering of of red states. Like Ohio and West Virginia but so many states Texas Florida still refuse to take any hard measures. They still act like this is a binary choice. Know it's either the economy or it's people we're going to pick the economy which is ghoulish for the Credit Union. Remember these were. The people were screaming about death panels. Just a couple years ago. And now they're literally saying we're going to condemn people because the Dow Jones has taken a hit and in states like Florida and Georgia and Texas. If you kill off ten percent of the population which is the pathway Apparently are headed towards. It's GonNa crush politically you just that self interested. I feel crazy as a liberal screaming. A their crap together so that their boaters so die buddy die before their time is up right right. Exactly exactly. You're trying to be helpful to them. They're not trying to electorally. Help enemies just being helpful to humanity in general happens to align with that. So you know it's like it's not a stretch like we WANNA save. Lives Act prohibits killing his people by by talking about supposed cures to the to the disease that are really curious and these chemicals and dying okay. So let's talk about people who will listen to you. This is. This was wild to me when I was prepping for this. That daily Kos has been around since two thousand and two which is a time flies and is really one of the like. I'm going to call it. One of the founding fathers of online political activism campaigns organizations are trying to play. Catch up without right now. They've been relying on person to person face to face contact. Do you have any advice for them? As they're making the shift right now so but the short answer is probably not the long answer is because everybody's and the reason is not to be not. I'm trying to deliver anything but it's it's the biggest mistake people do when they come to. Us asking for help. In building bird their email lists or campaigns is that they want to use their own words their own messaging and every community online has its own language as its own norms and traditions and so they community we. We have seen almost twenty years. Which we were really granddaddy. So this whole thing at this point we know how to get. People motivated to take action. I can't go to your list and say I know how to make your lists take action like because every list. Every community has an ethos in a culture. Having to speak to that culture Is almost like an organic learning experience? And just like I wouldn't like I might not get your swing left in a list of perform. Its highest potential in. You can get my for the job though you would. I would be surprised if there are anyone. You know listening to our show. Right now are swing lifters. Who aren't avid daily coast readers? It's clear what you're saying but I but I am getting advice out of what you're saying. Which is it's around community and you know dipping into somebody else's community without being aware of it or being of a or knowing the language that that is used there is not effective but that could also mean that people have their own communities their own Language and methods of relating to each other that could be applied on my leg. Don't have an opportunity to do it in person right. My advice is to trust people who run those communities whether it's it's individuals organizations whether it's influencers whatever wherever you're talking to you you have to trust their their voice and their methods in as long as it's not like Joe Rogan type of a whole is to people built these communities for reason like they've had that success for a reason and you have to trust that and it requires letting go a little bit of your own need to control your message in your your your your way of doing things and I say this because I I see it all the time that the organizations were at our most successful that we work with are the ones that just sort of say all right. Here's what we want to communicate you guys. Use Your your words that you know that whatever's most effective so here's a world where you're not mocking doors anymore. You're not talking to people outside the farmers market. What are you doing to reach people how you maximize your resources as you're talking? I'm thinking about the Mike Bloomberg campaign and how much money they spend engaging influencers and giving them the language that they were supposed to you and how that really seemed so obvious to backfire on them. So we we have. I think of coq lead ex star burying some of those spam accounts because they were using the same boilerplate message so look. They look like box. Yeah I did work in American Samoa though. So there's that One thing that you guys have done really well for a long time. It's interesting is the online petitions pledges and that kind of stuff you talk about some of those that have been particularly successful campaigns to engage people through online petitions. I mean one of our biggest ones was the net neutrality. Fight where we Use Petitions to only pressure commissioners on the on the Federal Communications Commission but also once you identify individuals that are interested on an issue that tragedy than you're able to message them directly and we got over a million letter scheme from Billy coast were delivered to the FCC during the comment period sell But people people in large part that petitions are one of the a lot of people think they're just gimmicky or they think that it's just about delivering stack of signatures to the congresswoman's office or something. That's that's part of it Nuts not particularly the gimmicky part. I sometimes it can't be I'M NOT GONNA. I'm not gonNA completely value in Israel valley. The real values frosty go. Oh this person is really interested in. Probably this person's really interested healthcare and then when there's an opportunity to rally people to round a healthcare issue that we know exactly who those individuals are and our ability to get them to write letters to send comments to Federal Agencies to rally is hugely hugely increase in in we don't operate in a vacuum We like to think of ourselves as sort of a connecting hub of the progressive movement. So if move on is being a rally in defense of the affordable care act. We know exactly who talked on our list that can then go out to these move on rallies in the outside world so it's about identifying people's interest and activating that so whenever you see a petition you think those things are stupid to them now. I don't think they're stupid. And in fact as you talk about building your community and getting people engaged drag people into action for me when I first started doing this. There's so many people who are just shy about using their voice just haven't taken that first step even on social media with their friends and family to be vocal about what's important to them and for me. One of the first ways that I did that was through petitions like the first thing is you signed a petition. Then you take that next step of sharing that you sign that petition on your facebook post or whatever making your political views public and And we all need to be doing that now and I think we To a large extent are much more engaged than we were. Certainly when you start a daily goes two thousand and two but I was signing petitions around healthcare and got invited to a rally so I went to that rally and That was my first rally in you know And just kind of it was dipping your toe into activism. Sort of a good first step that those petitions had provided. I'm sure that's the case for a lot of people. That's I mean that's incredible. I'm glad you shared up because it's easy for me to forget what it's like to be somebody who's just getting into politics. That is so far removed from my experience in talking gates ago in a world that look a lot different than it looks. Now just seem technology and stuff. So it's it's time for me to see what it's like for. Somebody is trying to step into political world in trying to make sense of it. How do you get involved sure? It's overwhelming so that is that. Actually that was that was. I'm glad to hear that. Yeah so wild time to get involved in all of this stuff so your most. Recent book is twenty-seven Teens the resistance. Handbook forty five ways to by trump. First question is how many more ways have you come up with since since that was given this lottery reasons and then second question is the book is about improvement. It's more about improvements that we can make ourselves as a country and protecting vulnerable populations. But why is that so important in a book about fighting trump? Everything that we predicted was going to happen with trump be seen in action and infected. It might be even worse. The only thing that has served in the saving grace is that trump is just so god awfully incompetent that he hasn't been effective in enacting a fraction of what he would be if given a chance but If there's ever been any doubt about what? Republicans Surabaya does not about trump anymore. This is about the Republican Party. There were a hundred percent of board whatever it is that Trumpian ideology as selfishness. Looking out for yourself and demonizing blaming others for your problems and we're even seeing with with this pandemic we now. He's insisting on calling it the Chinese virus to the point where his speechwriter on his speechwriter had actually written corona virus. Any cross that out input Chinese So it's him. It's coming from him and we have to understand that this is not just. It's not trump trump's in to fix things and one of the problems I've had with the progressive longtime this hyper focus on the presidency. As the as the be all end all the presidency is just a part of that solution and the broader solution. Which is why I love you. Guys a product solution. That's always been bound ballot is. This is winning legislative seats at all levels. I mean they love me and Mariah the most right clear but let's make it clear and it's been one of my big criticisms with a lot of the Bernie supporting crowd is that that hyper focus on on Bernie Sanders as the answer. When burning never even opposed. You know he's. He's still supports a filibuster so literally. None of this agenda would ever happen because we wouldn't have legislative support in that kind energy at the at that state legislative at the legislative level in exchange. I mean it's clearly changed. Since we saw that in two thousand eighteen we saw as a broader movement. We are a lot more focused Congress were a lot more focus on state houses state legislatures uneven local offices in data. How you take over the country make a better place at top. Republicans did. This isn't this. Isn't the some novel new theory that we need to start them? It's really the only way you can enact this kind of change and it has to be from top to bottom. Yeah Lot of our focus on the presidency for obvious reasons but it may be more important for us to take the Senate than it is for us to take. Maybe it's a little push given trump. No I I think there's a case to be made for that especially when you look at this. What's going on right now in the Senate with Actually some bipartisan cooperation. You know working on this this legislation for working people and for families and then Mitch. Mcconnell comes in and just blows it all up and sends it to a couple of bullshit votes. That he knows aren't going to get past just to make a political statement yet no matter no matter. Who's not no matter? Who'S PRESIDENT IF MITCH? Mcconnell is still the Senate majority leader than getting very little done. Yeah and so. I'm happy to see that that that sort of shift in our in our outlook broader torch realizing that the presidency is the end. All Be Ellen in some ways. I'm I'm not a buying person you know I was award and I'm still doing my own morning over over the primary But it just means you know what if you're not excited about buying a lot of people listening probably aren't great. There's a lot of Down ballot we can get excited about so. There's something on the balanced member that that is going to be important and exciting in fun and if it's not buying that's okay. There's others not all or nothing you can vote for by work your butt off for Marquel Lena or Cunningham North Carolina or any of our Democrats in charge. I mean we have so many opportunities we need to work or Susan Collins Psych. Let's really get rid of her right. There's so many great opportunities so it doesn't don't be all worried on that really excited about it. Who Cares you know? This is not American idol. You don't need to be excited about him. There's there's a lot of stuff happening buying something. I wish it was American idol because a lot more people would participate in young. Voters may actually turn out right. Well that's awesome. I couldn't agree with you more. So thanks for for laying that out there before we go we want to talk about. We always have a couple of calls to action for people. But we want to include you on this because You have a great Motto Log Line on your site It's news that you can do something about this week's to do list for our listeners. one thing that everyone should be doing. If they haven't done it yet is fill out your census form. That's something that you can do at home online. Everything should I've met so easy? Yeah you should've about how important the census how it's it's almost everything it representation. It's were money goes it's it's protecting vulnerable communities everything. The census is so critically important. It is it is critically important and obviously The new reality we're living in right now creates a unique challenge because we have a lot of field work ethic goes around the census and knocking on doors and making sure that those forms have been filled out. That were not able to do so. Fill out your form. Make sure that you account for everyone in your household. Share this message with your friends and neighbors. This is really important in something that you can do from the comfort of your living room in between episodes of whatever you're benching. Yeah also as a Latino. The trump administration has been working to suppress Latino participation in the census because obviously power money are allocated by census questions until it's sort of fear mongering that people are afraid that that immigration authorities can target you if you fill out the census. They cannot by law. They are not allowed to do so. And so if you're Latino talk to your social circle family friends make sure they let people know that that it is critically important that they participate in the census Because trump and the Republicans are trying to disenfranchise our entire community. And they're doing so the census and they're not allowed to legally to do so so it is safe to participate in census important reminder. Thank you so much for that. What about you Mariah? What do you want to Holler at people do oh To Do Leste social distance no matter what comes out of the White House and in the meantime some things that you can do that. Our elections related is call. Your Governor Call Your Congress member your senator If you live in a state that does not have no excuse. Vote by mail and tell them that you want no excuse vote by mail. Yes call them often early and often. What about you Marcos? Do you have anything that you think people should be especially a tune to this week has had some good ones So definitely a big explanation points on on. Both of your suggestions out mine is is. I keep hearing this from people at that. They're struggling to get their parents to take the pandemic seriously and there's a big odds. Are that their parents are listening to Fox News or constructed radio and so they don't understand just how dangerous is. Just keep hammering them keep at it even might my mother who lives in L. Salvatore At the spread a couple of weeks sending her videos from Italy touting Italy this stuff is happening. Look people are dying again for the sake of humanity we need to. We need to nip the staying as quickly the Biden. Clearly trump isn't helping republicans aren't helping a most Republican governors outside of the few rare instances art helping. So it is. It is important that those of us who understand the importance of the pandemic in just a dangerous. That represents that we're the ones that are advocating to our to our social circle that urgency. Because it's not coming from the top while said well. Thanks so much. This is really fun. You know Maybe someday somewhere will be able to all get together in person. Do this. But in the meantime thank you Marcos for for joining us and thanks for all you've been doing for for all of these years not your your service to this country We really really appreciate it. Such a pleasure. Thanks anytime Let me know. Let me happy to visit with. The Guy says it's fun that we know that you're stuck there not just by the virus. I may just be hitting you up an audience Arina in vain. Qb Well Right. Thanks so much have a great day save Nathan Rubin is a Democratic activist the award winning author of boomers millennials founder of millennial politics and host of the millennial politics podcast. He's been featured on CNN MSNBC and yes even Fox News Nathan. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Of course my pleasure. Thanks for having me first of all. What is millennial politics? Sure so millennial. Politics is an independent in progressive digital media company. Our mission is to shine a spotlight. On Progressive Candidates Causes Organizations in provide some progressive commentary from a millennial perspective so We have a website social media We do some livestream. You have a podcast. And we recently actually just launched a new youtube channel in the run up to twenty twenty. We're we're very much focused on activating and educating so Really like I said trying just to get more young people involved understand the stakes of this election and every election Really trying to inform Everyone that if we all just participated we could radically transform our government When you say activating what specific actions are you asking your audience to take. Yes so we really have. Four t things. That were focused on number one It's getting involved locally So this could be you know joining in a campaign that you're passionate about it. Any level whether it's local state or federal joining a local political club organization giving their time or talent And if they're able to giving their money You know the the current system as it's structured unfortunately Really prioritizes donations. But we've seen over the last couple of election cycles. The power of small dollar donations and how that has really empowered a lot of Candidates who otherwise may not have been as successful building grassroots movement. So again those those creek for would be organizing locally with the local political club of volunteering so joining a local candidates campaign donating. And then you know giving your talents if you have a special skill Whether it's digital or phone banking or wherever that might view you know get involved and find a way you can help before launching millennial politics what was your experience in organizing leadership. Oh Gosh It was limited. I'll say that so. My my background is not one of a formal political background. I studied psychology and Undergrad. I got my masters in organizational behavior and I had always followed politics Star I would talk politics and I. You know iphone. Bank for Hillary and I knocked doors for Hillary but not in any real system. Systemic way where I really institutionalized it or nice debt in after the two thousand sixteen election I looked back and said Dang. I really should've done more. What can I do To really make sure that nothing like that ever happens again and I was looking around at my network in you know. I realized that my friends we we were enthusiastic about politics. But we didn't know how to get involved so there wasn't an enthusiasm gap. There was an awareness gap. And that's what led say. We just need to start informing more people about how they can get involved and that's what led to millennial politics awesome. That's also my story. I'm I'm class of November. Two Thousand Sixteen to but I'm a bit older than you. I'm not a millennial so I have less More shame I guess I should more shame or shame. I'm not quite a boomer though Let's talk about okay boomer. Do you think there's an actual beef right. Now between millennials and boomers some what what do you think the impact of that will be sure. So I kinda write about this in my book. Boomers TO MILLENNIALS MOVING AMERICA FORWARD. I Actually Co authored it with my dad who is a boomer and we really try to explore not only the differences but similarities. And if you look back over the course of American history it's always been these small passionate groups of activists that have moved America forward whether it's you know if you think back to. My parents generation the Vietnam war protests followed up by the Gay Liberation Movement and then merging more into my generation of occupy Wall Street. Black lives matter. The women's March really. You know we have taken to the streets before we have vocalized our concerns. We have gotten active in electoral politics so our generations tactically aren't too dissimilar but there is a generational divide when it comes to specific policies. So you know. Is there truth to the okay boomer. Maybe I think so. If you look at their data baby boomers tended to vote more conservative. And if you look at the younger voters they tend to vote more liberal. But I think there is this real argument from young people that. Hey we're coming of age. Were not these teenagers that you have in mind anymore. A lot of US especially millennials. The millennial is approaching forty. We're subject matter. Experts were doctors lawyers so at some point we are going to take the reins of power. And if you look at the the state of affairs I think sooner is better than later. Great 'em and why is it important for both of these groups to work together? I mean it seems kind of obvious question but you know how. How can we best support and engage with each other so that we bring our power together? That's a that's a phenomenal question. And I don't want to speak for everybody on this. Because even I fall into the trap of dismissing you know some some of the older folks but for the most part. The baby boomers really did a fantastic job of ushering in You know the civil rights era of the Vietnam War protests Bringing in these progressive changes that at the time were pretty radical so we need to look to them and say almost just your ways in a bit but also get out of the way kind of thing so I think it's you know we need to build a coalition where we have. These shared goals in mind with the understanding that you know just due to physics. The nature of time millennials are going to be rising to power in. We might as well be prepared for that to happen. So let's work together to prepare the next generation so that when we get in we can actually do good things. I think that's really important and I'm thinking about A couple of summers ago I worked with Congress member Karen Bass to do a millennial and Gen Z. Grassroots Organizing summer youth program and You know all these young people came in with all of these ideas about how to get more people registered to vote how to turn millennial voters but they didn't know quite how to execute so we ended up spending a lot of time talking about what the groups who came before them did and how they could apply that to these new ideas that they had so that sort of experience in a new ideas is just really critically important in getting stuff done. I'm a big believer that everyone can learn something from everyone else Especially you can't write off entire generations. There are people who have been fighting the good fight for thirty forty fifty years in. We need to all come together if we are going to achieve those goals and you know who's getting left behind his entire conversation are the Gen xers annex. Yeah we do. We do stuff. We're not just like you know. Still hanging out in Seattle with our you know hoodies and caps listening to grunge music. We're we're we're not just obsessed with winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke. We still do other stuff. You still can be the coolest iteration so Nathan what I mean. What's beef genetics? I'm pretty sure Barack Obama classifies himself as part of that. So you know he he. That's right yes big. Check some Nathan when people listen to your podcast. Where what are they here so? Generally we interview candidates we interview activists founders of Organizations We've also had more higher profile. Guests near people to judge came on the PODCASTS and Andrew Yang earlier twenty nineteen when they were a little less known We we we. Don't draw the highest profile names but we happen to land those two guests sweet and we have A hundred and fifty other episodes on itunes. So just look up millennial politics podcast and you can find all these different interviews with a wide range of of candidates. We had you know everyone from Rashida to leave. Yana Presley Collin allred. Joanna Goose Abby thinking our so so we covered a wide range of congressional candidates in the run up to twenty eighteen and a significant number of them ended up winning their races. Wow thanks to you. Thank you folks. Might you swing left all day. Long thanks to all of us. Who stepped up in And who will continue to step up in? What is now the most important election of our lifetime? Just going to throw that in there Speaking of that what messages are really resonating. With your millennial audience. It was pulling them into action. Most so right now. I think the top issues that I've noticed that are really acting millennials. really revolve around climate around health. Care around anti corruption. Small D democratic reform Really kind of understanding that in order for us to get things passed through our a governmental system. We really need to overturn citizens united. We need to elect more citizen politicians. People that aren't beholden to special interests. So that they can actually represent their constituents and then we can tackle the big issues like the imminent climate. That's that's going to be targeting. Our coastal cities. I mean. These are big things that unfortunately I don't WanNA point any fingers but previous generations have not had the ability to solve. Well it's definitely not his fault. It's the boomers for sure so as we wrap up. I'm really excited to hear your answer. Because I think you're going to have a unique take on this. What gives you the most hope about Twenty Twenty Greg Question? I am very cautiously optimistic. In all tell you why one key data point from the twenty eighteen election's that I just found super encouraging. Is that for the first time in American History Gen X. Millennial and Gen Z. Voters outnumbered the silent generation in baby boomers in terms of total votes in the electorate and that was an off year midterm election as we get closer to twenty twenty more. Jen's e Voters become eligible every single day. More people are registering every single day. Donald Trump for better or for worse has activated millions of people across this country. In what this election is going to come out to is turn out and I really think that young people will be the difference makers in this election at sounds. Good to me. I hope so. My daughter gets to vote for the first time this election too. So there you go. That's a prime example. I sure I sure hope she. Well thank you so much. This was awesome and with one hundred and fifty plus interviews People have a lot to dive into with your podcast. That's awesome absolutely yeah. We're grateful for all the come find us? Thank you so much for joining us today. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. That's right and we want to hear what you're doing to stay involved while staying at home. Send us a note on twitter. You can message Steve at Blues Boise or you can message me. I'm at Mariah craven or you could email both of us at podcast at swing lap dot org thanks to everyone who has subscribed rated and reviewed. Thanks to our friends. Dem cast you haven't yet please do subscribe and share this with your friends shared on social media. Use the Hashtag how we win. Twenty twenty check out our page swing left dot org slash. Podcast GONNA course sign up to volunteer. We really appreciate you spending some time with us and are excited to bring you more from home next Wednesday. Stay SAFE and be careful everybody.

Texas Mariah Craven Donald Trump Democrats founder Nathan Rubin Marcos Mellitus Senate California Ohio United States Italy Congress Steve Pearson Colorado Newport beach Ted Cruz
Pantsuit Civics with Ben Sheehan and  Pantsuit Politics

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 7 months ago

Pantsuit Civics with Ben Sheehan and Pantsuit Politics

"Welcome to episode thirty four of how we win all over the country people are staying home staying safe and still doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your living room or your bedroom wherever you are. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. And we'll get through this by taking action together today. We're looking inside the constitution with actor and author of the new book. Omg WT after the constitution. Actually say Benxi and but before we do that. Our show is infused with a grace filled conversation with Sarah Stewart Holland and best silvers. The host of the wonderful pantsuit politics podcast. I'm Steve Pearson and Mariah Craven and this is how we went. Sarah Beth is so great to have you joining us for this. Thank you so much us First of all. How are you both doing during the pandemic? How your family's Sarah you WanNa Start Yeah We're doing really good. My kids are really good ages for this like they're not teenagers. They're not desperate to be out of the house. They're not babies and toddlers. They're not totally dependent So they're at a really good age. It's been fun to sort of be at home with them and learn alongside them when it's not incredibly frustrating. It's one or the other. It's either a delight or a trauma. Just the only options. And so it's been nice to be with my family and we've had beautiful spring weather in Kentucky which is also helped and we are healthy. Which is the most important thing? So no major complaints here. That's good what about you? Beth do you have a lot of major complaints to Offset Sarah Sunshine? We'll now it would just sound spoiled when and if I had some complaints now I would be in the space of profound gratitude. My a miniature schnauzer thinks that this is the best thing that's ever happened to her. She has all her people around all the time. There's always a lap available so she's living her best life. My kids are about the same age as I have two girls four and nine and they are pretty content just hanging with us. They do begin talking the moment they wake up and they don't stop talking until they go to bed And I am quite the introverts in my ears are a little tired but other than that. I am very grateful. We have everything we need. Were healthy we've had some nice weather so Staying at home is if that is the sacrifice that our generation is ask. We can handle it right like hang out on the couch. That's your your civic duty right now so we wanna talk about the week that was with you guys and I sect. What's been going on in your Your outlook on it all but first before we do that. You all been rocking pantsuit politics podcasts. Since Two Thousand Fifteen. How did you get your start? How'd you guys meet and decide to do this? We went to college together at Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky. We were Sorority Sisters. Which is just kind of a funny part of the story especially for people who only after college But TRANSYLVANIA was a school that was eighty percent Greek when we were there so we both ended up in in one chapter together. It was kind of like there were four sororities at transient and it was like the Harry Potter sorting hat. He's very obvious where you belonged. And so we were both five us. We had a good college experience. Mesa. Grill indoors yes. That's pretty much. What happened I think everyone would agree? Find US griffin door so we both got there. We had really different experiences because as will become clear as we talk more we have very different personalities so we were kind of on parallel tracks in college. We knew each other. We cared about each other but we were not the best of friends. We went off to law school. I stayed in Kentucky for Law School. Sara went to Washington DC. Sarah went into politics immediately out of law school. I did the private firm thing and then we reconnected on facebook because facebook is not all bad. Do you want to pick it up there Sara? Yes so fast forward. My husband would not stop harassing me. About starting a podcast. You just start podcast interesting. I was at the time. A Mommy Blogger. And he was just insistent. That podcast was the future and I needed star podcast and so I thought at first that I would do like an interview show with all the women I knew from politics but I did want it kind of sat there. I really like answering questions. Not asking them the truth and so I was still the blog at the time. Beth was on maternity leave with her second daughter in reached out and said would you ever be interested in a guest post and I said absolutely. That's just less content. I have to create and so she Wrote a couple of blog posts. One called nuance which was incredibly. Well received among my audience that was just basically like hey we don't. We don't have to stake these black and white claims over every social media controversy and then decide like we know every single thing about that person based on how they feel about the lion. People are complicated and so I thought oh well maybe this could be a good podcast and I said Hey. Would you ever want to do a podcast? And she said what's a podcast and I said don't worry I've got that perfect it out and so we decided to just start talking. We thought I we would just do Kentucky politics but got a national audience pretty quickly and and you know it went from a hobby that we would do in our late late at night after our babies were asleep to really just a mission. Not really quickly. That's an in the sort of timing of the Internet. It's not like we were overnight viral successes but I think quickly in the grand scheme of life for sure so he said in two thousand fifteen. Let's talk about politics with grace and then down the escalator donald trump as to spend a wild ride. Ever since that's that's must have been so challenging like okay so we're going to approach this with you know grace and listening and knowing that we don't know everything and incomes. Donald Trump is. It just seems like you're biting your tongue off during every single episode since then. It certainly feels like that. Yes well I think the hardest part for me has been. We started off saying look. We're bipartisan you. Know because I was a republican until last year and seeing the Party so transformed immediately just as I was publicly putting myself out there as like a version of the Republican Party that could be really collaborative with Democrats. It just all has kind of blown up in my face And so trying to figure out how to talk to the audience about that how to process it myself has been the most challenging part for me and so what was it for you. What did it mean to No longer be a Republican. The label started worrying me as we began to travel more and I realized that there was just not any space to be a republican but dissociate from trumpism because it was so much just eclipsing everything else in the party and I kept telling myself well. The most important reason that you register with a party is your state and local races. Right Kentucky's a closed primary state. I wanted to vote in primaries in this tip of Kentucky that is very read right outside of Cincinnati Ohio so I told myself I wanNA build these primaries. I'm just going to keep my registration and try to be an advocate for a better version of this party but then when I started looking at my local races and seeing that there weren't Republicans on the ballot who were doing something different than trump. It's not like I could vote for the non trump option That's when I decided that just enough you know and the National Party was doing things that were so embarassing. Trump was being trump every day and so I thought there has to be room for game elsewhere and still and still away for me to participate in primaries and and do the work I wanted to do and I saw in candidates like amy McGrath. Who is running against Mitch? Mcconnell now Something that feels much closer to my own. Politics may have some differences here and there but the spirit of it being inclusive respecting people's individual life choices and circumstances and identities Having a relationship with business that makes sense. It is a much better fit for me at this moment in our history. And it's it's weird but I hope that it's Walking mytalk because I've said to people the labels shouldn't matter so much so the label should matter so much from either. Well yeah I mean I grew up in DC in a political family. And I remember a time when we used to be able to really disagree on some you know Policies but have civil conversations about where we wanted to go as a country. And and you know I've just seen that completely erode as well Before trump obviously trump was able to come into office by the current GOP. But certainly. Now it's it's just tough that I my heart goes out for you know. My my father is a democrat. He worked for the Johnson Administration. But he's from Oklahoma and all of his friends are Republicans and a lot of people that I grew up with. They're all Republicans and I have just an immense deal of respect for these people and I feel bad that their Their party is no longer in existence. Really so any who. Let's talk about what's been going on this week. I WanNa hear what has stood out to you too and Mariah first of all happy Earth Day. It's a fiftieth anniversary of earth. Day and the earth seems to really like what's happening right now with this all staying at home right. I'm really excited about our because I realized recently when I was talking to my middle son. Who's eight years old that you know? He still thinks about and has had climate change and global warming defined for him as not littering And I feel like you know this time at home with them and home. Schooling is a real opportunity to talk with him in a more in depth way than we usually get to do about climate change about the Earth about our responsibilities towards the earth. I have like sued many activities planned day and I'm really excited about that opportunity because I realize like oh man. He is still getting that message. That I think has has been the one we syndicates for. So long which is just don't litter Just don't make a bad choice as opposed to Try to make good choices as well. We have a long conversation about that here today. my daughter's you know pop in. Sarah and I are recording things and I was working on some research about the Migratory Bird Treaty. Act And I could tell that my older daughter Jane was really interested in it and she wanted to understand more about this. This idea exactly what Sarah was talking about like if I intend to hurt a bird verses people who don't intend to hurt birds but they take actions that are careless or cheap And with total disregard for birds kill millions of birds instead of the one that the person with bad intention might kill so we did a little experiment this morning that stimulate but simulated an oil spill in a nine by thirteen cake pan with olive oil and water and seeing their faces. Like get okay. Nobody meant to spill the oil. But look what happens. Look how hard it is to clean up. Look how dirty your pick me. Pop got you know when it got some of this oil on it and how hard we had to work to clean it up. Now let's imagine that's ocean life. I really sunk in with them and I thought this is. This is probably the best way we could be using this time that we have right now. That sounds like a really cool experiment and I think a lot of teachers are going to have some interesting conversations with resumes for for people as their students come back having having gotten a little homeschooling Can you tell us what the migratory bird actus since you mentioned it? Yeah it's a very old law that we entered into with Canada. Initially because the snowy egret was becoming extinct from hunting and so the law went into effect to protect several species of birds the Audubon society was very instrumental in getting the law passed and then an evolving. The law to include lots more species has been really successful There are pretty stiff penalties in place for companies that violate best practices. Because you know when the law went into effect it really was about hunting but now the risk to birds are oil. Their power lines All kinds of legal activity that if done carelessly is very dangerous for bird populations and the trump administration has written a rule. That's gone through notice and comment period that they say clarifies the law. And now they're clarification. Is that if the bird is incidentally taken. That's the terminology. You didn't mean to kill the birds you just did. In the course of otherwise legal activity you can't be fined under the Migratory Bird Treaty. Act Anymore and that's just disastrous. Because as my nine year old understands killing one bird intentionally does not have the kind of impact that killing two hundred thousand birds unintentionally has. What's not trump to the standard of understanding? That has okay. So it's just. It's it's one rollback in a series of rollbacks. Obviously that's really dangerous and that can't get a lot of oxygen in the midst of Corona virus election season and everything else that's going on but it's very consequential. Thanks for that breakdown. That was really helpful. And it's a it's a good reminder that Earth Day or a good reminder that one of the down. Many many downsides of this administration is that they have actively rolled back so many regulations and laws that were intended to to protect the environment. The air the water. Yeah But they seem hell bent on on and let us drawing those and as you know to pull out old school lake off. Let's call them protections and not regulations to because we all can agree no matter what our political leanings that we want clean air for our kids to breathe and clean water to drink. You know so. These are protections to ensure the health of our families not as Republican talking points like to put it. You know business killing regulations so just saying it's also helpful to remember that like president. Nixon signed into law like a lot of the laws that the trump administration and Republicans have such an issue with now where where enacted under a Republican president. It's maddening maddening is the right word. Yeah well what else is going on that? We may have missed or what. What do you want to talk about from the last week? That's really stuck out. I think one thing I've really been thinking about is the oil futures market which is not a sentence. I have ever said before but you know doing research for our newspaper this morning. I read a really great article in the New York Times that said. Hey you know I know. We're all obsessed with the shortages in a medical equipment and it's really important but what's happening in. The oil market is most likely some of the the the more common economic impact. Which is we're just going to have more demand than supply or more supply than demand A lot of things. Not just with oil Because the economy has shut down We really probably need to start thinking about the The inflation and the impact of that when when we start opening our economy back up that we're going to have lots and lots of things not just oil that we have way more than we usually do. Yeah in your podcast. That just dropped today. I think it was as we're recording on Tuesday You talk a lot about that. Like what it's GonNa look like to come back to our new normal to get people back to work and stuff. I thought it was a really great exploration of that. Because we don't really know what it's GonNa look like. But what are some top lines for that because a sure we all have thoughts there well kind of guiding light that I've been operating under is just remembering. This is a really rare opportunity to pause and think. How do we WANNA build this back instead of? Let's rush to do everything exactly as we had it. It's kind of like a because I have small children. I think of it as like. We built a tower with blocks and fell down. All the blocks are here on the table. We don't have to build the same tower again so a lot of things that I think haven't been working particularly well can be addressed as we start to phase in a new economy and I think this is why the work that y'all doing swing left is so critically important because it has become really painfully clear. What the priorities of Republicans are in drafting legislation like the cares act and looking at re authorizations and adding additional funds and I think right now putting money into our healthcare systems putting money into testing capacity is essential to business as putting more money into the paycheck protection program. I support that too. But if we don't have the testing capacity doesn't matter what else is happening in the economy So those priorities matter a lot I also just think we could be using the paycheck protection program and others like it to do some of the work that would be more restorative for our economy like prioritizing women and minority owned businesses As those funds are received businesses that have historically struggled with access to capital. I think should be front of the line As the government makes these investments to try to get people on their feet again. Yeah I think this is a really It's so hard to know the tone to take with all of this Because so many people are devitt like having devastating Ron virus experiences but this is an opportunity to look at our country and see very starkly. Like where we've where we've really let a lot of groups of people down and how that has deadly consequences when global pandemics which will given the way that our world is will probably be more prevalent moving forward but healthcare is the prime example. People being forced to live paycheck to paycheck so that when they miss one paycheck their entire lives fall. Apart is the other thing. And then we're seeing how or access to healthcare and you know crappy environments have made black and Latino communities incredibly vulnerable to this to this virus So if we make these laws and only use them to to rescue big business and to keep people. You know still living check to check. It's a real missed opportunity for our country to to really improve now. I think that you know one thing we've been talking about a lot is that corona virus has just accelerated the path of change. And what that's done has revealed exactly what you're talking about. Which is all the structural inequalities the gaps in our social safety net the institutions that are struggling under the weight of change. And you know it's not that it's revealing that we didn't know it Any of these problems existed that but it's just We keep using the word Like clarifying like like boiling it down to its essence. Just much quicker. I think then We're used to seeing you know and I thought that Andrew Yang's campaign accelerated you be I and the idea of universal basic income quickly while man did we do. We go even faster In the face of Corona virus in the I did the government should just hand out checks. I think there there are so many areas that will be. We'll see this impact. We'll see that as well. Everything gets faster and things get more intense and things. Start to crack under the pressure There'll be lots of areas that were having these conversations around and I just conversations But actual action and change well speaking of action and change. Let's We always talk about reasons for hope. So let's go around the virtual table and and share reason for hope Who WANTS TO GO? I know one okay. Well that's fine. I feel really hopeful as I look at how people are engaging even through the ugliness of the fight that we have about the economy right now. I see more people pushing back on facebook against bad information That I've ever seen and people who are typically not politically active. I see standing up to say no. This virus is really. Don't you're talking about my friends and nurse you know. People's willingness to share their personal stories. Which is the only way to bring in someone to political participation? Who hasn't been there before right. There has to be that sort of Hook of look at how this directly impacts your life and I think for I hate the situation wherein I wish we were not here. I never WANNA sound like Sally Silver Lining. I totally agree Mariah. It's so hard to know what tone to take but as as we think about what makes me feel hopeful. It is seeing people who I think will come into the political process in a big way who've been missing from it for a long time and will come in with a lot of passion about what their priorities are and it's really great point about the personal stories too because that is how we connect with each other certainly how we connect with Voters and volunteers to bring them into the organizing that we do. And and you're right. I'm hearing a lot of people sharing their experience with this and making it really. Poignant in real so Thank you Sally Silver Lining. That's so cute. Never heard that before. What about you Sarah? I think that in the way current virus can reveal structural problems. It can also reveal spiritual deficits and having the time even in the middle of a crisis. Well especially in the middle of a crisis. Because you know just because we don't have a good language in America for the power that suffering can bring As far as growth and insight and self awareness doesn't mean that we don't experience that and so many people are experiencing that They're seeing because time has slowed down and the world has sort of stopped in a lot of traditional ways and because crisis always sort of give us that moment to to reflect and think and take a breath even if it is a bit ragged and you know. I know that sounds you know to start talking about the. The power of suffering is a weird place to talk about hope but I just think they live hand in hand and I think that lots of people in their individual lives are seeing things for the first time Struggling through thanks for the first time and Preparing to make major changes in to see that In the course of the every day that they were too tired or too busy or too overwhelmed to see what was missing or what they wanted. More of and I'm really hopeful that people will come out of this experience With those lessons and with those insights and ready to make changes nice well sad What gives me hope. Today is actually something that I heard on pantsuit politics. Which which is this idea. And I believe that if I if I recall correctly you all were talking about the protests and this idea that with our citizenship becomes a lot of freedom and so many rights but also a responsibility to each other to do what we can to keep each other save and when I see the protests. I see that people are saying you know. Open things back up now. You know I see people who are scared and frustrated this is truly a sign of the country that we live in that you go out and protest during a stay at home order and nobody arrests you or anything like that So you know. Let's have some perspective But I see people. Who are you know? Really frightened about their their bottom lines which an get so many so many people are but you have to remember in even in that fear to to take care of each other here in California. We had a protester in like a full has met suit so some real caution and mixed messages happening there. Mis Mixed Message. Yeah hopefully they'll they'll start staying at home but you know if fear understandable but let's have some perspective and And treat each other as well as we can these days. Yeah Great Advice. I mean to say really quick about the protest. Even though we're in our reason for hope thing it makes me crazy that the media is so obsessed with these small protests when for better part of three years we've had hundreds of amazing protests and rallies events with thousands and thousands of activists on all kinds of really important issues that don't get covered by the media so any who That's a whole topic. We could get into another time but Well but that segues into my reason for hope actually which is that even during this time that is so tenuous and uncertain and were all affected by it in different ways. Activists are really staying. Active and in our circles are organizing community. We have seen people who don't WanNa get complacent they understand what the stakes are even starker. Now be you know what what Besser Mariah all just said you know. We're we're looking at things through a new scope and we see how important it is to do things. I protect our healthcare intellect. People who are going to have a response to this like you know. Brian Kemp in Georgia's opening up Tattoo parlors and massage parlours sounds great. Moghul get a massage and a tattoo Georgia but We were thousands just a mere thousands of suppressed disenfranchised votes away from having a different governor. Stacey Abrams there so you know. These elections have major consequences. And I'm seeing this community of volunteers who don't want to stop. There was a big day of action here in California Making phone calls Virtual Day Day of action thank you four congressional race. Nca Twenty five people making phone calls. It was awesome. We had about five hundred people signed up for it. So that's really exciting and We meet people where they are. Everyone is getting through this the best that they can. So if you're listening to this and like I'm just not ready to do something that's totally fine too. You know just navigating this this Reality that we're in and doing it with your family and friends is is step number one. But there's a lot of great stuff to do and that takes us to our to do list Mariah. What do we do what was it? Thursday Tomba are lettering party. It was awesome. We did a virtual letter writing party With swing laughed folks from all over the country. Got On zoom wrote letters while Stephen I- chattered away and questions and got some really great future guest ideas so that was awesome. Sound Fun Seren Beth. Yes it does yes. I think that's amazing. I wanted to add on to what you were saying about your activists and in relation to your letter party and to to to lists in general. I'm a great conversation with an activist on aboard at where she was saying She noticed on her on there. I think it was their local Party. Facebook page if she shared like really action oriented This is where you can donate money or positive news articles or shared what they were doing. What the local party was donating money to or what they what action they were taking. They got so much better engagement. I mean I think if you're an activist and if you're looking to make an impact This is a really important moment because people are watching to see what groups what organizations what brands whatever are out there trying to make change and create positively and that will leave an impact for a very long time great tip for all the people who are pivoting to online activities out there so thank you for that sheer positive posts. Yeah so Well so are every week. We do a to do list for people as you just said to give them specific actions to take and that's the whole point of our show so We are going to encourage everyone to write letters to voters. Because it's really fun and easy you can do it from your living room. You can go to swing left dot org slash letters as always. We'll have that Lincoln on our page and right from home or you can use the action finder on swing left and find some events near you and I have some exciting news here. We're breaking our new besties Sarah in Beth from your favorite pantsuit politics. Podcast are going to join us for a letter writing party. So that's going to be Sunday may twenty fourth. We'll have the link on our page Also happens to be my birthday just saying I'll have like hey frio everyone will eat their own little mini kicks on the zoom. I didn't say many. I'll have a gay created so Sarah Beth. Thank you for joining us for that party. That's going to be really really fun. Thank you yeah. I can't wait also to do this week. Make sure that you subscribe to to podcast this week. Pantsuit politics and how we win and you're already subscribed ask a friend. Those are two things to do agree but really two things to do. That's that's totally doable. Beth and Sarah. I guess we will Talk to you again soon. Enough on May twenty fourth if not sooner but thank you so much for joining us and And thank you for all the great work that you do. We really appreciate your grace filled conversations and the approach that you have to politics thank you thank you. Thanks for having me. Thanks for the work that you all do. We LOVE TO DO LIST. That whole approach really. That's how I'm getting through all of this and clean out that closet. Thanks we'll see you on the twenty four. Thanks Guy Things by Ben. Sheehan is a former award winning executive producer at funny or die he founded. Omg W T F to teach voters about state executive races during the two thousand eighteen midterms in two thousand sixteen. He helped register fifty thousand voters through digital videos as the executive director of. Save the day his new book. Omg OMG W T F. Does the Constitution actually say is available for your stay at home reading now? Ben Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. I wish that we could be in person. I actually got to meet been when he was recording his book at our the studio that we record our podcast in here in Hollywood cool. Also get the audio book to read along. Yeah that was really fun. I know we had great plans to sit down and do this. Podcast interview and become best friends forever and so I kind of feel like we did come become pretty good friends. We were on the past two best friends forever but I feel like we really established a report in the in the time that we had derailed like. You haven't reached out once since this all happened. So you're pretty much dead to me but we'll see anyway. You started out as an actor and executive producer at Funnier die. When did you first get involved though in registering voters helping win elections? Were you involved in politics growing up so I grew up in Washington. Dc and I was basically. My parents were involved in politics from a young age or they were. I've been around since I was since I was very little my mom worked in the United States Senate and I remember when I was six years old and she took a Napkin at dinner one night and drew two houses and wrote the number four thirty five in one house and the the number one hundred and another house and taught me about the difference between the Senate and the House so I sort of soaked this up from from an early age just by the luck in growing up in DC and the proximity of it. But I studied political science in college in in sort of have been paying attention for for a long time and so when I was funny or die I would always try to gravitate toward the political projects and then when I was doing save the day with just Weeden. Those were all political videos that we were doing in the lead up to the election and basically in every job I've had I've always tried to find a way to work politics in now. We're surrounded by it constantly so it's less of a less of a Labor to shoehorn in it and but I just happened to grow up in around. It studied it and tried to work it into whichever whichever job I thought. That's a cool origin story. It sounds like you learn the skill of breaking things down to easily understandable bite size pieces from your mom on Napkins. Yeah and I learned a little bit of that from my My Dad is well. He coaches people on public speaking everyone from Democratic presidents to two executive so it was sort of a combination of learning this information from my mom. And then finding a way to sort of distill it but also a lot of that. I learned it at Funnier. Die Creating things for people with short attention spans. I'm including myself and and really honing in on. How can I convey this information in the shortest and least boring way possible? Well I would say it worked because your projects have gotten over a billion views at did you go in with the x with a billion view expectation. What does it feel like to make that kind of of an impact? Well no I did not go in with the expectation of that a lot of that is due to the fact that when I was at. Funnier die we got to work with our. I got to work with people of note with large followings so many of those user through that and then I got to work on a few music videos as well that God very high high view counts. So it's it's kind of weird to sit back and think that the projects I've been involved with in some way it had that sort of viewership but the ones that I'm I'm proudest of are the ones that sort of take important information and distill it down and whether it's getting an ema band there's a video. I WORKED ON WITH ADAM. Mckay where we took a Antonin. Scalia dissenting opinions on same sex marriage. Turn the most flowery parts into an emo song and I wrote this song and the band cohesion. Cambria recorded it and they got requests when they were on tour actually performed the song. But stuff like that where you sort of take these weird angles and turn the news and politics and information around and make it in a way that sort of surprises people and help them digest. The point of that may have to play some of that on the podcast. We'll probably get kicked off all the platforms if we do but so of all the areas of politics all the stuff that you learn from Your mom and how to talk about it from Your Dad. Why did you decide to write a book about the Constitution? So when I was doing. Omg WPF stuff in two thousand eighteen and enduring the election cycle in the midterms. This stood for Ohio. Michigan Georgia Wisconsin Texas and Florida and we were specifically focused on state executive races Governor Secretary of State and Attorney General and had had these events and friends of mine or or peers would come up and asks me questions about rex. Tillerson or jeff sessions and it would kind of dawned on me a few minutes or a few seconds of the conversation that they think that I'm talking about. Us Secretary of state or US Attorney General and they actually were unaware that their state had those those positions at the state level. And this other situations happened enough where I realized that there's a real sort of blind spot for a lot of people in their in their twenties and thirties. When it comes to how government works and I was curious why that was and I sort of looked at my own privilege have being exposed to this information but I the light bulb really went off when I looked at the data on civics education and it turns out that today only eight states require a year of civics or Government Education K through twelve and these cut started after the nineteen sixties really started after two thousand two with no child left behind where there were all these federal financial incentives for schools to perform well in reading and math that was continued in two thousand ten with a group of governors agreeing to common core so you had all these incentives and tests around reading and math and so other subjects that weren't included were sort of starved. And Shrunken. So now we're at the situation. Where only eight states have this and I graduated. High School in two thousand and three a lot of my friends graduated during this time and we didn't really get a lot of civics education so I wanted to really start at the beginning and in the one class of government that I took in school. We were lucky enough to get pocket constitutions and I've kind of went back out of curiosity and looked at it and I found it completely inaccessible. The Grammar Tone. The punctuation the capitals. I mean it just. It was like a different language so I thought if there was a way to digest this and make it simpler than we could at least start with the foundation of our federal government and help give this information to all the people who didn't get the civic classes that that they should have fun fact. I actually carry a pocket constitution in my laptop bag with me everywhere. I go and it's so tiny I can't read it. It's just kinda there so I think I'm going to swap it out for your book instead. I know you guys did that. Makes it even harder with the dense grammar and capitalization and then you have to use a magnifying glass to to get to it? It makes for very inaccessible. Union experience. I don't know why it's there are just so in case something terrible happens to me. And they've gone through my possessions. It'll be like wow. Steve carried a constitution with them. Really the only reason it's there so it's a prop to probably just bookcases on everybody. Inner being interviewed every new show right now. Those books are props just blank pages on the For for people like Steve who may be carry around the contribution? Maybe they've they've browsed it. A little bit What is something that they're going to learn from your book about the Constitution? That's probably gonNA blow their minds a little bit. We'll one is that we don't actually have the right to vote for president. This is something that we've always assumed. And we're we're taught from a young age but we didn't vote for president until really eighteen eighty and the responsibility for choosing electors or really choosing the method of how electors are chosen falls with with the state's the state legislatures and since eighteen eighty every state has allowed the citizens of the state or though the residents. I should say to hold a devoted statewide popular election. And then that determines who the electors are pledged to but this is not something that we have a constitutional right to do as much as we. We may expect that I would say largely the fact that even while Congress can override a election laws when it comes to the Times places and manner of choosing representatives and senators to a large extent. this is. This is something that states make decisions on. And we've been seeing this a lot with the with the primaries where different states have different methods of voting in primaries voting in general some states like Utah and in Washington and Oregon already have statewide vote by mail. That's that's that's the common means. A voting other states still had their elections during a pandemic. So I would say the combination of just not having a constitutional right for for residents the people of the country to directly vote for president. That's nowhere in the constitution. The fact that states have so much power when it comes to voting. And I know you've you and your organization have have have dealt with this a lot with with with with your work and you talk about last week's podcast so those are two things that really jumped out at me that we've just sort of always assumed when it comes to elections but that actually. I had no idea. That's a little bit scary. Thank you and arm. Wasn't it wasn't until the seventeen th amendment in nineteen thirteen? That people had the ability to vote for a for senators until nineteen thirteen senators. Were chosen by the state legislatures because it was sort of the state governments having representation in the federal government and then it was the people's house where people could vote for directly for president for for representatives as long as they could vote for their state representatives than they had the ability to vote for their US representatives. And that's determined by the state. So I just to sum it all up. There is a lot less democracy at the outset. Then we expect but we've made strides in this because now people elect senators directly. We've made changes to the Electoral College. We've prevented people's voting rights from being taken away based on race on sex on many different things ability to pay tax. Our poll tax eighteen year olds. Now have the right to vote. So we've made a lot of strides. I think in the last few hundred years that have expanded democracy but when you go back and look at the source material. It's clear that we have more democracy in many ways now than than we did at least when it comes to certain federal elections nerd question. Do you have a favorite amendment? I do I have. I have one is a cheetah. It's not a nerd question. I heard for asking it. Like what's your favorite amendment. I'd say all of these questions probably have some categorization of Edging into NERD territory. But I would say I think the ninth amendment is really interesting and it basically says there are rights their fundamental rights. That people have that aren't in here and what's in here can't be used to deny the rights that we basically forgotten. The these are James Madison's way of preventing people's fundamental rights that they forgot to include in the constitution from being trampled upon applied to things like travel and personal health decisions. Things like that. So that's a pretty important catch all and if it were very forward thinking one and then the the fourteenth amendment is just. They're so much in there. That was the second reconstruction amendment that established a birthright citizenship. Equal Protection Law. I mean there's there's so much in the in its different sections. I would say those two amendments. If I were to pick a favorite those those would be would be one into what's your favorite amendment Mariah. Probably like some some people. Maybe I don't know. All of the amendments off the top of my head and what I love about the whole. Og W T F Cannon. Let's call it is that. I you know I'm like one of those adults I don't know when I took civics class. I know I took a government class my freshman year in high school but I remember being so completely overwhelmed as a young adult about how local and National Federal Government worked and I was at journalists coming out of college. I like people were allowing me to go on. Tv and report things. And I had no idea what was going on and I don't think very many people Really do and so. That's why this is so helpful and and just like at and something that you should I think go and since then I've learned a lot but I have to refresh my brain which is like full of holes by this point every so often and remind myself of what all of this is is about. And and what's going on well. I think that there is a tendency to sort of be embarrassed or be ashamed and this and this goes for everyone. There's some part of our brain that tells us that we should know this and that we should be embarrassed or ashamed for not knowing it but the truth is that aid is just not a priority in our education system and it makes me think a lot about the speech that George Washington to get really nerdy and throws history. That George Washington gave his final a state of the union before Congress in seventeen ninety six and he basically pitched the idea to Congress of creating National University that prioritized civics and government education. Because he thought it was the most important subject and that we need to teach everyone how government works so that they can then run the government that he and his buddies just set up for everyone and compare that to today. We're only eight states require a year of civics and government education. You know we we. We put this pressure on ourselves or or beat ourselves up for for not knowing this but it wasn't taught to us and it and it should have. It should be the most important thing or tied for the most important things that that we learn. So you know my my hope. Is that this. There are so many great organizations that are putting civic education back into schools like the Mikva challenge generation citizen but there are also the people in their twenties thirties forties. Who who either got very little of this didn't get it and hopefully this book act access a refresher to kind of information. It's a really great great point and This the sad thing is you're right. We shouldn't feel shameful forward. It's it's been a big gaping hole in our education for a long time but The people who should feel shameful about it are the mini elected officials We have so many members of Congress. Now who didn't study civics in school and who don't know the constitution in would probably do very well to read your book as well so those people should feel total. Shame if you're a sitting member of Congress and our president and that guy too yeah there are definitely some elected officials both at the federal and state and also say the local level that kind of bank on us not knowing this information because they can do things like a gerrymandering districts both local state legislature and. Us House they bank on people not knowing this. Because if we don't know this information then we can act as a check technically. We're their bosses. We we hired them for their jobs. We pay them their salaries benefits and expenses. We decide if we want to hire them again. Every two four and six years and if we don't know how to evaluate if they're doing a good job or even what their job is then they can kind of stay in power and they're banking on us or or some of them are banking on us to a large extent to not know this so that we're not you know bosses breathing breathing down their neck so they are definitely members of Congress and all levels of government? Who Don't know this information but there are some people who do and are banking on us not knowing it so this is this is the time with everything going on to really educate ourselves so that we can make wise decisions and informed decisions all the way up down our ballot speaking of that. Let's end with the same question we ask everyone else. What gives you? The most hope gives me the most hope. Is that a lot of people I can tell between just between social media between your organization between all these other organizations that have formed in the last few years. That really fundamentally understand that there are some things that are are systematically broken and systematically wrong and we're not sort of looking for the the shortcuts and the kind of you know bandaids on a broken arm. We're really looking to make deep fundamental change and I mean look at what you and your organization did in two thousand eighteen. You were you. Were such a crucial part of a flipping. The House and you did it. And you led the charge and this organization didn't exist four years ago so the fact that a group of people can get together and have this resounding effect and we can connect a quicker and in more meaningful ways than ever and there's a real desire to sort of take a generational approach to fixing these problems and asking the question. Why is it like this? Why has it always been like this? You know the more swing less than out there and other organizations like it the more hope I get because I think that this what we're going through right now is horrible but if there can be a silver lining. It's that we can come out of it fixing the the big problems that we honestly should have fixed a long time ago. Thanks for the reminder to for people to get involved too that's so important and part of being involved as knowledge And the rest of it is taking action and voting and I would just say that if there's one thing that listeners can can do is just to educate themselves just on who their representatives are even just knowing your two senators at the federal level. You're one US representative your state. Senator Your State representative. That's half the battle right there and following them on social media signing up for their email lists and really sort of following their activity. Because it's hard to hold people accountable if we don't know who they are and what they do. Mariah craven always says down. Ballot is where it's at true. Thanks for giving me credit for that. Thank you ben per such an awesome conversation and I hope I'm people check out your your book and get educated informed inactivated. Well thank you so much. We mentioned our letter writing party that we did last Thursday and how much fun it was. We're really excited about my letter writing slash birthday party are my birthday are letter writing. Party on May. Twenty fourth with the pantsuit politics podcast. It's going to be really great. We wanted to share some recordings from that letter writing parties. Some of the great people who Shared what it felt like for them to be part of that. Yeah can't wait for people to to hear what it was like to in the zoom room with US writing letters. Let's take it so I'm going to be starting small doing through letter writing parties for my flip before nine through and I'm GonNa pick writing letters in my own. Do My Post Clark right now. I'm working furiously on. This mask switched. Maybe it'll keep people alive. Then they vote so this is a lot of fun. It's been a good month. Plus since our last Cleveland area activist group got together to write letters so it was cool to write letters again people from all over the country almost good to hang out like Dan so this is a lot of fun on. This is the first activists might done since crisis said. This is the first time I actually get the energy to do it. So this is fun my wife and I had really the time to do this and Were to keep on truckin about at the Republicans want to do so. Thank you to everybody. Who's on this call math? Thanks for the new season. Mariah's cool hang out guys Let's say you all the time. And thanks while the other actors out there doing the work We all appreciate very much. Your Cleveland Ohio Group here in Fresno we got together. I remind and wrote letters together when this happened I was kind of lost and then I saw that we could use virtual little writing and I got very happy. This is only my third time doing this like this and I will just continue to do more because we need to check out all Republicans because they should just not really interested in any sort of governance and just get people in there who actually canton and thank thing here. We just keep going things to everyone who joined us for that virtual letter writing. Party and thanks everyone for joining us today and for stepping up and taking action. This is how we win. We win when we all GET INVOLVED. We want hear from you. Let us know how you're staying busy during the coronas pandemic? What's bringing you hope tweet to us? I'm at Blues. Boy Steve and Mariah Mariah is at mariah underscored craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot org thank you so much to our friends at dim cast. If you haven't yet please subscribe rate and review us on apple or wherever you get your pods. Share US on social media and use the HASHTAG. How Win Twenty twenty and you can always check out our page at swing left dot org slash podcast and then you can also sign up to volunteer their we so appreciate you being here with us and we'll be back with more next Wednesday.

Mariah Craven Sarah president US Sarah Beth Congress facebook Kentucky Washington donald trump Steve Pearson executive California High School Georgia Sarah Stewart Holland Benxi
Count The Votes with Baratunde Thurston

Swing Left - How We Win

37:12 min | 2 weeks ago

Count The Votes with Baratunde Thurston

"Even in the face of pandemic more americans voted this election than ever before in american history. Here the people rule power can't be taken or cert- flows from the people and is there will that determines who will be the president of the united states and there will alone. Don welcome to how we win all over the country. The extraordinary actions of all of you extraordinary people have led to the largest voter turnout in our history. It's true you met your anxiety with action and while there's still plenty of anxiety to go around. We won a majority of the votes and we are building towards the victories. We've been fighting for so we knew that we weren't likely to get results on election night and despite that it's so hard to be patient and wash another election that's much closer than we would have liked sport right ben so to help us process what we know about the results and what that means for our country moving forward we are joined by activists comedian writer of how to be black and host of how to citizen baritone day thurston i'm steve pearson and mariah craven and this is how we win. Uk seaview awake over there so sleeping a along night. I feel hung over. But i wasn't drunk. Not even a little bit an emotional hangover. We knew in our minds that we weren't going to have results. That's what we were prepping for. Those were the warnings. We talked about that but Still very hard to actually live that and live through that when we wanted to have such a huge blowout repudiation man i wanna florida. I came off a florida phone bank with thirteen hundred people calling into florida so emotional and so proud of the work that everyone had done and and was just dying to see the florida results in. That looked not great early so mixed feelings. I have very mixed feelings. Yeah you know. I think there's so much to be proud of and so much to really think about how you know how we move forward. I think that i for some people. This election felt a little bit like a lak- like a gimme when it comes to to vote for you know if you're prioritizing you know. Corona virus response healthcare Women's rights racial justice. A criminal justice reform. You know all of that cement if those are priorities rates obvious if this don market is the only thing that you're voting for that i guess you know your choice is a little like the the the choice looks a little different and i think it's hard to reckon with that. It's hard to. It's hard to put that up against five hundred plus children that the us sent to mexico intentionally even though they don't have family in mexico you know it's tough but we have to acknowledge that. That's how many voters are thinking. Yeah that's that's the the layered thing that's difficult to process with that makes it hard like and as we're recording this. We don't know all the results but it's looking like biden is going to win It looks good. And that's something to celebrate because there's a lot of amazing stuff that he can do. Just just with the stroke of a pen just reversing all of the executive orders and new cabinet and all of that. It's really great to think about but shocking to see how many people would vote to reelect. Someone is hateful as donald trump. You know who conceded much earlier than i thought is kanye west. It wasn't an easy night for yeezy waiting for that one. He is looking ahead to twenty twenty four already it was just an foreigner reminder. All of us to always look at what is going to regroup. Yeah i don't know this is probably not the time to make jokes but it's a mixed time. I mean look we. It looks like we're going to have biden and kamala harris in the white house. That's thrilling. we've been trying to get rid of donald trump for a long time. He's not going easily. he's doing a lot of bullshit lawsuits which you know hopefully according to biden's team We'll get smackdown pretty easily. They have zero president. He wants people to stop voting. They have stopped voting. They're just counting all the all the votes which we do in every single election since you know history of elections. Yeah well They're going to try. I saw a troll dress. Like rudy giuliani threatening legal action. And and and trump was gonna take something all the way to the supreme court immediately. And we don't know what that something was but he thinks the supreme court is there his disposal now so so he thinks that for good reason point three of them you know so he does have good reason to think that and That's why now we are focused on protecting the vote and in some places even curing ballots. it's good reminder if you live in a place where They do ballot tracking. Just especially if you voted absentee just by mail just check and make sure that your ballot was received accepted absolutely. And that's that's actually gonna be r one call to action for today is Check out the biden fight. Fund will put a link to it on our on our podcast. Website swing left dot org slash podcast. They are raising money to support the legal challenges and And people doing ballot curing and protecting the results making sure every vote is counted. So that's probably a good thing to support right now. I would think yeah very important to make sure. The counting process goes off without a hitch. Wants to stop the count in places that he's losing so that's doesn't seem smart okay. Then you've conceded right like is he saying you can stop counting the ballots because clear. I've lost listen. This is not a well thought out strategy. It's it's it's not well but but we we do need to take it seriously And we do it smacks of desperation but He still Has bill barr at his disposal and And three supreme court justices so nothing to nothing to be flippant with so support. The biden fight fund and for today's show We have bear tuned. Thurston joining us. And i thought we'd just we should just bring him into this conversation rather than do sort of the formal interview format because we have so much to a unpacked. So many feels to to talk about. So let's just bring him into this bear tune day thurston is emmy nominated host. Who's worked for the onion produced for the daily show. Advise the obama white house and wrote the new york times bestseller. How to be black. He's also the executive producer and host of to podcasts. How to citizen with baritone day and were having a moment and he's the creator and host of the weekly pandemic. show live on lockdown. Thank you so much for joining us on This historic confusing unprecedented moment. How are you feeling post-election historic unprecedented was the other words used can music so basically another day and twenty twenty sounds about right feels about right i. I am feeling very tired. I'm coming off of the adrenaline. Push through the ticker tape at the end. The finish line tape and my body is starting to remind me that. I am a finite being and probably crash very shortly. But i i'm feeling exhausted from a job with great difficulty done in terms of being active in this democracy through a lot of challenge and i'm feeling very grateful to my fellow. Americans for wrecking the record for voter turnout. Right across every demographic. I'm just like people showed up. And that's always been a big frustration so to see the numbers and the couch just going up and up and up as legitimacy to desist onto the result and i feel real good about that so i'm grateful to the people and i'm tired here here. I feel the same same over here. And so grateful to the people Have the amazing privilege of running phone banks throughout the last couple of weeks and In this final geo tv push with thousands and thousands of volunteers coming on zoom and literally thousands of people phone banking for the first time ever who are terrified to call a stranger but knew they had to step up in. This moment knew they had to do something and make their voice heard and be part of this history and it was just so without knowing any results or anything Know as as the day was winding down. I was a mess. I was just so emotional and so overwhelmed with Just aw at the humanity stepping up in gratitude for all the incredible volunteers who Who've done so much great work and not just the new people but of course people who have just been dedicated to this for years the class of two thousand sixteen like i call myself people who jump in right after trump was elected and then all the people who mentor us who have been in this fight for a long time. It's been incredible so we should say that as we're recording this The presidential race hasn't been called yet But it's looking more and more like joe biden is going to win but we're still waiting for results from states like pennsylvania georgia nevada ignorance of our ignorance but be amazed with our precedents to we say. Stop this right. Which but i think you know i think that i i love where you all started from which is look how many people we were able to turn out unprecedented voters i think at this point biden has received more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of the country. So that's incredible. I also think that the discussion after this election is called an litigated. Probably is you know. I think there's a lot to be proud of. But i think a lot of people are very concerned with the fact that this wasn't a blowout and You know i'm eager baritone to talk to you about how we sort of live all live with each other in and move forward jailing that the i definitely allowed myself. The indulgence of a dream of a full repudiation. Right is the same part of me. That wants expected something from marco. Rubio that little party you. That's like well. He's a senator. He's got a six year term. He really he ran for president again. This guy of course. he'll okay well ted cruz. After what he said about his wife crews come on you gotta let him dog. Your dad and the answer is yes. Yes yes they are going to let the man dog all of us so it was fleeting dalliance with dreaming of a landslide and had to be humble in the face of overwhelming history. Fascism is never easy to defeat. Authoritarianism usually doesn't go without a fight in a close one. If if it was easy. I would've ever happen like we are the country that elected donald trump still by that will always be on. Our record is in our permanent file. And i hope people who had the ignorance. Excuse for years ago would be like all now. I see right and they did and they chose so. That's that's frustrating. The maintenance of the senate by the gop that through all under the bus since at every opportunity very frustrating and it makes me hungry for real small d democracy reform. It makes me clear eyed about what we have. As minority rule in this country in terms of gerrymandering voter suppression. In the electoral college. Combining to have so few people still wield so much power from out of the history books. So yeah i'm wrestling with all that i'm feeling all that amac knowledge. And all that. And i am eager to get moving on improving our ability to self-govern with integrity and have a political system with integrity and and one that lives up to our values not one where we have to change our values to adapt to its ways. Yeah well said. I mean i think we all hoped even mariah and i were joking around in the last show that should we change the name to how we won. This week is that are we going to say that. If we want everything you know we we knew in our brains in our minds that It was likely going to be closer that you know the polls. I've talked about not trusting pulls for a long long time on this show but also entertained that you know blow out that clear repudiation that signal to the rest of the world that this is not who we are yeah It you know despite my intentions to be prepared for this moment i i. I can't say that. I am and and the senate is is a big loss to boy. Did i wanna to rip that gavel out of mitch mcconnell's hand and we still may be able to do that. There's the runoff in georgia. Coming up but let me ask you baritone day like i've been excited about sweeping democracy reform to And there's some bills like hr one which pelosi said that she was going to take up at first order of business. If we had the ability to do that mitch mcconnell still going to hold that gavel but Do you think we'll have the ability to push for some of those kinds of reforms With a slim minority in the house or in the senate rather. What are your thoughts about. If this is gonna be the shape of our government for the next two years one person shy in the senate and we have the white house and house. Where do we go from there. Structurally think one additional point on the history thing We've we've been divided as asia for real longtime we fought an actual civil war over it longtime ago because most americans wasn't too clear they wanted to get rid of the slavery thing right. Most americans window clear. We didn't get the equal rights thing done for women like half of our nation. We didn't we didn't do that. We still haven't done that right. You know so for all of our feelings of the obviousness of progress. It's never obvious is always a fight. There's always somebody's busted head and blood in the street. Thank you john lewis. That wasn't that was literally a fight and ripped this country apart and the vietnam war and so many other parts of our past so the humidity is real. Because i think those forecasters do a disservice. I called the idea of election. forecasting passive voter suppression. I don't see it's useful function for a healthy. Democracy does use the word forecast and then election result is to tell people they don't need to actually make the election result. We make our forecast. We don't listen to analysts now for that. Never that i'm still fired up about it. And as far as working with mitch just call him by his actual name. I'll drop the disrespectful. But the accurate geographic better man than i am. I don't know i. I have some speculation. I i the hopeful side of me. Thanks for the republicans in the senate got more than they could have dreamed of from downtown. They got three supreme court justices. They ran it on the like circuit court level. I think it is. The appellate court can't remember which level but they held all those these from obama stolen. I mean that's that's the right word when you take something that doesn't belong to you and then you give it to someone else Handouts is the thing that party is supposed to be against but whatever they did it and when trump leaves the stage they shouldn't have to fear him anymore so so i wonder if they will if some of them will see an opportunity to try to launder their reputations and be able to look their grandchildren i again and get about the business of real leadership and covid needs real leadership. This virus is winning the elections. That's the sad part. We stopped looking at the death. Numbers in the infection numbers because we're looking at the election result numbers but that will pass and covert will still keep gaining bodies and we need a real federal response. Not whatever has been happening these past six months. Shame so i want for all of us for folks that get head and the whole part of me knows that that the forty-six fingers crossed president. Joe biden has if anyone has relationships to be able to try to lean on he is the one and then there's all these people who are active in linked to one another through organizations like swing left who we've learned from obama's first term. You don't just send the president into washington and hope for the best you gotta stay on at every level of the government every oh these do. Da's gotta stay on these new city. Councillors you gotta stay on them. They are our employees and we got to look at their work and make sure they're doing our work. Yeah that's such an important point his that we still have to agitate in antagonize even the folks that we send into office. I wanna as you both mentioned you. Both mentioned polling and man. They've gotten it wrong to presidential elections in a row now. I was more into the polling this year. Because i said They screwed it up so bad last time surely they fixed everything right and they're going to be more accurate. This time around wrong on so many levels so as polling done steve would he be. I don't think it's done. Because i think that's a restructuring for campaigns to of how they figure out where they're gonna target and how they reach out to people on maybe on a on a more local level polling still exists but these national polls and I i have to say. I agree with you tune day because i love what you said about them being repressive because you know they really do breed apathy. Someone's leading by ten points in some election. Cool you know. I was going to go vote but i was hungry and i wanted a pizza so i wouldn't have pizza instead. You know where. I wonder if it could work the opposite way. If your candidate seems like they're falling behind you like oh woah. I could go vote and make a difference in peru everybody. Wrong rate pollsters. I think good. Pollsters make a lot of money. There's a lot of money in it so it'll be interesting to see I see where you're getting. Okay so were the three of us are going to start our own polling firm because those guys have all those women and men have been discredited. And there's a space there for us to step in opening in the market s mb llc saudi opportunity. I don't think it's dead. I mean i think the idea of understanding. The sentiment of the public is important to a well-functioning democracy. I am the civically offended by the idea of forecasting election result and it might be subtle and it might have to do more with interpretation and framing but i just i think the language of saying and i'll just mention the name nate silver and that whole operation in one thousand nine out of one hundred scenarios. This happens why why are we doing. That is a lot of money. There's a lot of computing resources. That could be used to run cova test results or something that might serve us all a bit better so i don't want to throw the whole idea of understanding where the public is at out. Think it's helpful. It's helpful to know that. A vast majority of americans want sensible gun safety measures. Put him as but a minority ruling party in the pocket of gun. Manufacturers is preventing that from happening so they are not representing the will of the people. We should know what that will is. So i'm gonna have to refine my critique and i thank you for the opportunity to challenge myself at all. That's a great perspective. That i hadn't thought of so we'll we'll let the pollsters stay true base. You wanna see what's important to people and I did see so many people playing with that damn prediction map And here's my my nightmare scenario. Here's the best case scenario. And i'm just like well. You make some phone calls to voters please or just research your local ballot initiative. Okay yeah yeah you know because you show it up you. You're playing fantasy sports with democracy and you're not paying attention to the judges. I call myself. Because i was. I did my practice. Ballot here in california twenty-five voting choices. I had that is so much democracy and my house. Like i believe in one person. One vote but one person twenty five votes. I don't know this. And i'm getting to these judges and they don't have any kind of internet presence. You know it's not like there's one website just go to. I feel like i'm stalking people might look into heaven linked in old. My space page can get a sense of with stand for. We could spend our time doing that. Instead of mock democracy we can do actual democracy. I have a friend who wants to run for judge physician in l. a. county and i told her i was like let's just throw a website up. You'll get it because nobody else does any that you. You can't find anything on anyone all your needs professional template from like wicks or squarespace or something. They'll crush it because folks are running on straight up gio cities websites for jobs right now. It's got to be the most hackel website i've ever come across is a county judge in america. That friend is is me by the way. I wanna be doesn't judge pearson. Well it's it's a good reminder for all these all these people as were talking about how we transformed small d democracies. We need good people running for offices so for some local local races. It's not as intimidating or as complicated as it might sound. no i i remember going to the dnc. Two thousand four in boston where lived at the time and went to a talk by howard dean and he gave a little speech. The most annoying political speech in my life actually But not because howard. Dean is annoying because his message was annoyingly true and he said look all you in the room. It was a bunch of young activists. Kids not getting paid to like knock on doors and do the do the work of campaign and he said the fact that you're here means there's only one thing left for you to do you have to run for office. And we all looked like whoa. No no no no. We're here to raise the money for you. Have other people. You know not doing that. He said look. If you don't run worst people do. Is there simple. so it's you or somebody less committed. Then you who you representing your interest damn you howard dean for your sense. Making so all of those folks listening he wasn't talking about me verney guys fogs humans. No no no. No that was a slightly borrowed inspirational speech to encourage your listeners. To put their names in the hat. Because if you don't like mitch mcconnell you've got to replace him. Yeah yeah well and not for nothing. There's some great things that happened last night. And we have historic number of lgbtq candidates who were just elected. We took back the michigan supreme court. Speaking of judges that had that's going to have a huge impact as we head into redistricting That's that's a real major win. I believe in new mexico. Now they are entirely represented by women of color. A lot of good things happened in and again it wasn't the blow out we were hoping for But it's important that we celebrate the wins that we created two and also important when we talk about flipping arizona and flipping michigan and wisconsin that flipping. Those states is the result of work of a lot of organizers over decades especially Black and brown organizers In communities who have been building the foundations to flip those states for a long time. It's important that we understand that and are as you articulated before we don't stop now all those new phone bankers who jumped in for the first time like the work of being a citizen is in supporting the change that we that we seek and that doesn't end now that that starts now. If you're just starting yeah. I i agree with the words i said. Before and your characterization plus more and the winds are very important corey bush. Black lives matter activists lost in two thousand eighteen in the midterms. One in two thousand twenty right. That's amazing. i'm reasonably sure here in. La county that we have a new district attorney coming in which is great which is great because the outgoing one was heavily funded by police unions that created quite a conflict when it comes to holding police accountable from that office. So we've got some good wins under our belt. And i think we have a taste. I think you know where this allies happened. In a pandemic and i think briefly we forget that because our chief executive wants us to forget. That are outgoing. Fingers crossed and chief executive wants us to forget that. But it's still there so to pull all this off without the traditional methods of organizing no face to face meetings no free pizza. I mean that's the life blood of community organizing pizzas and donuts. And maybe kabukicho and sir. I went to subway. Just just to get the feels did and folks are doing this over zoom or if they're different webex and that's really beautiful. It's really amazing. And we we've been call to in risen in so many ways to the sacrifice into the moment that despite efforts to try to shut down voting people turned out to vote. Despite a narrative defeatism people have shown up and tried to claim their power necessarily bravo. Humans though not easy. It's actually knowledge. This is a crazy year. Yeah and and there's been a lot of victory in this moment. That's worth acknowledging and celebrating. I love that louis. Better good bring me in for the pep talk. Editor coaches every single clear eyes. Full hearts can't lose. Yeah well we usually end up our interviews Asking our guests and each other. What brings us hope. What brought us hope. And i think you just articulated that pretty darn well. What brings you seve. Well what bertone day just said is is really inspiring and and it was a great reminder for me too because as we get caught up in the results of this I had really not factored in the unprecedented year. We had campaigning during global pandemic. Also the fact that the republicans didn't seem to care about the health of people while they were campaigning. In fact trump was happy to create super spreader events to campaign with so we we had handcuffs on because we actually care about human lives so You know we weren't able to go out and do all the voter contact in person that we would have liked to have done and still people showed up and still volunteers called people in record numbers. And we had record turnout of people standing in huge lines voting early. Because they weren't gonna sit this one out and that gives me a tremendous amount of hope and Again my hope moving forward is that there's people who are now brought into this work of being a citizen homina steal from baritone days podcast how to citizen and continued this work. Because i've been impressed with my fellow citizens in this In these last months leading up to the election. And i want that work to go on. I'm hopeful that it will well said those beautiful and slow clapping. Rain silently mariah. What about you. what brings you hope mine is. I'm you know since we are on the precipice. At this moment of having our first black woman vice president i'm going to quote kamala harris who quotes zoo paraphrase kereta scott king often and says the fight for justice for rights for whatever it is that you're fighting for in the moment never ends it just moves on to future generations and so. I think that our expectations should never be that. The work is over our expectation. Should always be that if we're really committed to this than the fight keeps going so it's always important to to hear that especially when you're exhausted and running down the clock to election day and you're like i can't wait to cross that finish line in the new and then you're like okay whereas the next finish line And you keep running. So that's what's given me. Hope this week lovett. Next finish line might be in georgia in january. I am so curious to see if there is any actual chance of a democrat winning one on one against the republican there where read the votes. It seems like the republican vote was split pretty significantly. Wouldn't that just consolidate. But maybe i'm not being optimistic enough. Well well any tune to january. Oh it's a cliff. i love. You know we're here. I am forecast. No people meant their own fork. You just said well. Thank you for your opinion. I'm gonna go ahead and check with nate silver. That's where i give information appreciate you ten days. Thank you so much for for having this conversation. You're just an amazing. I'm so glad lined up this way to help us digest what we know what we don't know we're grateful for you. I am grateful for you. Steve for you mariah for the worker swing left in general the college group in particular. I had a chance to do some training emceeing zoom e work and it was. It kept me going for an extra three days off the fumes of energy that i got through the zone that really great and for everybody out there. It's our job is called self governance and that means us so let's keep let's keep at it off. Thank you for joining us for stepping up to take action. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved in. Even though the results may not be the blow out we were hoping for. We did help. Create the largest voter turnout were expanded in history. That's right if you haven't yet please subscribe rate and review on or wherever you get your pods. Share us on social media and tweet to us at lose boy steve and at mariah underscore craven and check out our page. Swing left dot org slash podcast. We so appreciate you being here with us all the time that you spent with us leading up to this election and guess what it's not over yet we've back with more on wednesday you then.

biden donald trump florida supreme court senate steve pearson mariah craven thurston mitch mcconnell bill barr six year ted cruz kamala harris joe biden mexico white house obama america rudy giuliani georgia
Run For Something with Ross Morales Rocketto

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | Last month

Run For Something with Ross Morales Rocketto

"Welcome to how we win. All over the country people are doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now. The Best Antidote to anxiety is action. There are twenty days until the most important election of our lives is almost here with your help, we will win all the houses. Joining us for interview is the CO founder of run for something Ross Morales Rakesh. He talks about going from working on one campaign at a time to helping over sixty thousand new candidates stepping up to run for office in their communities. And of course, we're going to get you busy reaching out to voters because time is running out and fence sitting is not an option. I'm Steve. Pearson and Mariah Craven, and this is how we wed.. There's never been a better time Steve to be a Saturday night live writer. Have you been have you been watching the new season? Well, yeah I mean as soon as that fly landed on Pence's head during the vice presidential debate the speculation on who was going to play the fly like started instantly right Yeah and we got Jim Carey playing a very weird fly. Yeah and then Keenan Thompson. Herman Cain. As a flight which just got really weird and dark it was a weird dark episode all around. I mean how do you make a farce of something that is already? So beyond a farce, it's just you get weird with it. You do exactly here dark time so. We're getting down to the wire. I'm really excited I can't lie I'm I'm excited. We keep talking about this every week, but it's really like here this is it the last weekend's of hit this is Geo TV time lots of our states early, voting has happened. People are already waiting in long lines to vote in some places Oh. My Gosh. Lines in Georgia from yesterday or insane. Sadly insane and happily also insane. Yeah. I mean we're thrilled that people are getting out and voting and voting early which we're not so great at. But obviously, some places aren't prepared for the influx of voters which Is it shocking or is is that Seems like those heavily Democratic communities don't have the resources to vote. Wonder. Why that is Brian Kemp also. The governor of Georgia who stole the election from Stacey Abrams he had his office and the Secretary of State's office closed for the holiday. So any voter? Issues Protection long lines who got a answering machine when they called the election office. So good times. Thanks. Thanks Brian. Kept Georgia. I love you Brian Kemp not so much. That's such A. Every time I say something is strange or autumn and I stopped myself and I'm like, no, it's actually it's sinister. But. I, mean. I'm so sick of IT Steve. What we can do something about it though I mean like that's why it was terrible like here. It's like what we expected long lines because they're trying to disenfranchise people but look people will not be disenfranchised. They stood there was one guy apparently is there for eleven hours think the average was three or four hours but they stood in line they sure their vote counted and we will not be stopped. We've got over what? This, recording I think it's around nine million votes already cast in this election. It's exciting. That is exciting We've got a long way to go and there's stuff to do besides vote as always I think that. Now, if you if you voted and you've done your volunteer work you have some extra time. This would be a great week. If you live in a red state, call your senator and tell them how ticked off are about this scotus confirmation business. If you have one of those red state senators, especially one of those vulnerable senators make sure you vote early get those ballots in. So they're they're feeling that and call those offices join in with any groups like demand justice is doing great work around the Supreme Court nomination and make your voice heard there. You know who wants to give you a big old us. Awkward. Patient zero. Donald Trump. He wants to kiss me. He feels so good. An immune you feels immune. Did he say that is that are you using? that he wants to keep bills like you could get a give everyone a big kids, oh? God. The nightmares get worse and worse. Picture it. Trump coming towards you lips pursed inquired. Why mariah things? was having a reasonably Nice Day His his plan for the rest of the campaign is to have super spreader rallies that all the cities that he's going to or like please please please don't do this. We're actually having another spike in the coronavirus both in our country and worldwide, and it is not the time to have super spreader rallies but that's what trump does best. So Few weeks left eye on the prize everyone keep keep your head down make those calls jump on the phones. You can do it. Trump is willing to put everyone at risk to try to hold onto power. You can get out of your comfort zone a little bit to make sure that we get him out of the White House. do you know what I like to do when I'm not making phone calls are writing letters to voters? Play with your new baby. Yeah. That's my favorite thing. Well when he's awake in the middle of the night and I'm feeding him I'm reading advice columns, I, love advice columns and I often think about what advice I would give to people who write in the make up stories in my head about what I would tell them. It's usually bad advice. But. There is one that POPs up in the middle of the night last night that I wanted to ask you at your at would be so okay. The the the reader rights and I think it was dear prudence an ad says. Dear Steve Just see. I've already voted but to be honest I'm so over this election I'm worn out I'm not in a good space mentally but my friends are now upset with me that I am not more involved. In the election but I feel like I've done my part but should I be doing more even though I'm not feeling up for it? What should I do? What advice would you give this person? WHO's probably feeling like a lot of us feel. Yeah. I can relate I I am ready for this to be over to and and first of all, we're in the middle of a global pandemic, you know It's it's a scary time and people really do need to be paying attention to their mental health. So I would say, absolutely take care of yourself take some breaks. One. That I give to people during Geo TV during the devote period, all the time is to try to unplug from the news a little bit and social media try not to pay attention to the polls and get caught up in all of that because it can be really exhausting to to ride that roller coaster when really we know what our our job should be to do that to make these calls to voters and do that. I find that that work when you have a good connection with someone on the phone is really uplifting and gives me a lot of energy and and pick me up but Take care of yourself. Don't you know don't worry about what your friends are saying you know what your capacity is. We are grateful for every bit of work that anyone can give to this whether you have time to do multiple phone banks shifts or you can just do an hour or you've written some letters and and that's it. You you have to check out now be with your family during this time. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everything. You're able to give if you feel like you can take a rest and jump back in and do some more. Thank you. That would be great too but. Don't feel bad for having to take care of yourself because we all need to to have space for ourselves right now. Very good advice while that. Thanks for that Steve Would you agree with. Her I would totally agree, I mean, listen like what you're saying boils down to just. Do. Your best do the best that you can. So let's try to help anyone who's feeling stressed and anxiety right now, which we all are with our reasons for hope which your reason for hope this week, right? Okay. So listen you talk about this a lot and I totally agree with like don't pay attention to the polls don't look at the polls and get too scared. Off By, looking at the polls. And they are looking pretty interesting for the The Senate races in this swing left super states. You know I've been check it out fivethirtyeight. They're doing all the holing interpretations and simulations for races and things like that and they're finding that. Every Senate race in the super states that's being left has identified with the exception of Georgia and Texas has a Democrat in the lead in the polls so. And the leads I mean some of them are very, very thin. Hello main and some of them are a little bigger. It's just an important reminder that we can with the limited time and energy we have left. We can focus it on some down ballot races and make a real difference and they're looking close. So that means that the energy money volunteer work that we're putting into them now will potentially pay dividends by the time. This is all over and twenty days. Holes don't tell us everything, but they can. They can help guide our strategy. Exactly. Yup. Tell me about your reason for hope this week Steve. I I really am hopeful and grateful because today is my twentieth wedding anniversary with Melinda McGraw. The. Amazing woman who has made me a better man in every single measure and was. The the person who keeps me accountable and makes me strive to always have an open mind and to listen more. She's funny and fun and beautiful, and we've been for twenty darn years. That's longtime. So I know. So many people are are stuck by themselves during the pandemic or in different circumstances, and I've been spending a lot of time with my my wife and my daughter and I've really loved every every minute of it. I've loved being home with them. So happy anniversary. Melinda, I, love you very very much and here's to getting through this dark time in history together having you to walk hand in hand with and for twenty more. Oh Happy Anniversary Stephen Will Linda Hashtag couple goals. So. Our to do list for this week is. Well we've talked about it but the last weekend's are here we've been talking about these last three weekends and the weeks coming up to the election while we're here, it's it's it's finally at so I don't think anyone listening to this has been waiting. But if you have sign up phone banking shift, even if you haven't been waiting sign up for phone banking shift, we have to have these crucial conversations with these voters got to. Let them know where they can vote vote safely helped to make their plan to vote early chase down those ballots and make sure they mail them back in or or drop them in a dropbox or whatever they're gonNa do this is the way we do it safely from our own homes is calling and having these conversations signed up for phone banking shift. Do it everyone right now swing left dot org slash phone back this is at and Invite a friend to do it. I. Find that a lot of people are suddenly like, Oh, my gosh. The election is your Hey mariah which I be doing. To help out like, okay. Well, you haven't been paying attention to the podcast but. And then finally, if you're getting requests for like I Kinda WanNa get involved, invite somebody to join you. Great advice absolutely invite three people if you if you caught the many pod, we released on Saturday with Robert Reynolds from vote tripling. Then you know the power of inviting three specific people to volunteer and making sure that vote. So do that too. If you didn't hear that many, go back and listen to it. So as you know Steve, because. You're you're one of these folks. One of the great things that has come out of this increased interest in activism last few years has been an increased number of people running for something. That's right and I got to sit down with Ross Morales for Keto. You might remember we interviewed his wife Jess last year who was one of the CO founders of supermajority. She's so inspirational Ross equally so so smart and just a great Guy I think everyone's going to really love this interview. More couple goals. I've got my note pan out and I'm ready to learn how to run for something. Let's take a listen. Ross Morales were Keto is the CO founder of run for something which recruits and supports the next generation of young diverse and progressive political leaders to date run for something has worked with over sixty thousand potential candidates and made over fifteen hundred endorsements before starting run for something Ross spent fifteen years in electoral politics having worked for candidates from school board to President Ross. Thank you so much for taking time to chat during an extremely busy time for you and your candidates. Thanks so much for having me on and I can totally feel and understand. How you're doing right now I feel the same way. Yeah it's just a constant. Zoom meeting to the next like nonstop. So, you've worked on a lot of different campaigns I wanna hear your origin story a little bit though what was your first volunteer experience like in and how did that go? My first experience was back in two thousand and two I was in high school at the time my government teacher told us that we needed to volunteer on a campaign as part of our like nor like our classroom grade. and as sort of like a good budding organizer, I found the campaign that I really wanted to work for it was a guy named Ron Kirk who is running for us. Senate. In Texas at the time actually like funny enough that was the last time John Cornyn had like a competitive election the. when he first won that seat back in two, thousand two. So I worked on that election at the time I started off just you know like making phone calls, putting together yard signs, things like that, and then I very quickly started to really enjoy the work and I started organizing all my classmates to come and volunteer for the wrong Kirk campaign as well, and then sort of by the end I was like organizing a bunch of other students from other government classes from you know like across the city of Houston. To volunteer for on Kirk so I loved it from the very beginning. I took to it from the very beginning and it just sort of like launched from there. That's really interesting. What do you? What do you think I'm digressing a little bit but what do you think about getting Cornyn out of there? Do you think mg Hager has has a chance I? Mean we're we're getting knocking on that door. I think something is going to surprise people out of Texas this year I don't know what it's going to be whether it's Biden winning MJ Hager beating Corden or flipping the Texas State House. I'm I feel. Cautiously optimistic that one of those things will happen. I think probably, the most likely thing that we will do is what the the Tarantula House because of the makeup of the district better I've been available to. But Yeah I think she has a real shot. She's raising really good money recently I know that volunteers have sort of started to pour into operation and I know they organized in the same type of like like one million like person like phone bank. In, the last couple of days. So wow, they're. Like folks out there. Grinding really hard to win intact the. That would be lovely. I, would love to see a blue Texas and I think you're right the state. Senate probably is the most within our reach but if we get enough volunteers showing up to make those phone calls and reach out to voters anything's possible. So you went from supporting a few candidates at a time in your career to now as I mentioned in the opening recruiting and supporting over sixty thousand candidates. How. Did Run for something get start and what drew you to it. Yeah I. Think you know not dissimilar from swing left a lot of the other organizations that were founded in the aftermath of the twenty sixteen election cycle. You know I spent my. Time. During the two thousand, sixteen cycle working for a super PAC called for future You know like knocked on ten million doors and it was really amazing experience and I'm really glad that I got the chance to do that and that until election. Day. After the election. I, just I kind of news that I couldn't go back to doing what I was doing before I didn't really know what that meant at the time but I knew that I needed you something different. So my cofounder, Amanda reached out to me through my wife Jess. Sometime in the. must've been late November early December and we had been put in touch because I've been looking at doing something similar a few years back and written some plans for it and it just wasn't the right time and then Amanda reached out we started talking and realized that like there might be a moment here truthfully I. Think like a lot of folks we thought this was going to be a side hustle Out. Of like had some gigs going on at the time I was managing a congressional special election in California, at the time. We launched you know with a website, a forum for people to sign up, and you know like some sort of like loose sketches of plans we launched on inauguration day twenty seventeen. and. Over a thousand people signed up on the first day. And then you know over the first few months more than ten thousand people signed up. So you know I sort of looked at each other. And said like Oh shit. We need we need to do right by these folks, and then from there, we just set out to build an organization that would do that. So what were your initial goals and what are they now? Yeah I. Mean we thought if we were really lucky a hundred candidates would sign up like in the first year and you know as you mentioned before, we've had more than sixty thousand folks tells that they're interested in running for office. We've made more than fifteen hundred endorsement. You know wake we've given out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Canada. And you know I think. What we're trying to do now is build long-term infrastructure for the Democratic Party for you know both candidate recruitment and making sure that those candidates are supported along the way specifically for state and local offices. So I remember something don't do anything federal. We don't do anything statewide everything that we do is state legislature that he council municipal county who aboard you know Mosquito Board. Exist in Florida we need one here in southern California. Now, by the way, just as a side note, we've got these little mosquitoes have infiltrated southern. California, they're they're the worst. I mean growing up in Houston I can. I can relate on a really deep level. With the massive flying cockroaches in Houston, of course. Joe Those are real people think that they're not. They're like the size of your best and maybe. All kidding aside mosquito border or or whatnot. Republicans have done such a great job building power locally over the last decades and. It's really something that I think a lot more people are aware of now that have gotten involved since trump was elected but more and more people need to be looking to their local legislatures and building power there. So it's just couldn't be more important work. Yeah and it's getting I. Totally agree and it's getting. You know it's getting more love like state and local workers getting more love than I feel like it ever have the my time in politics and. For us to be able to do what we need to do we need to like up that by like ten. you know like Republicans have been investing tens of millions of dollars in state and local races for decades and decades. They have organizations in infrastructure that like all they do is this you know the leadership institute is like a sort of like similar type of or to like what we do and you know like every major republican elected official or like political operative ever heard of has come out of there. and you know they are a thirty million dollars plus year organization. So we have a lot of work to do to get to where we need to be. You know I'm not one of those folks that you know says we need to do exactly what Republicans do Democrats you know we have our own way of operating. We have to be authentic to who we are as a party, but we also need to make sure that we're investing in those down ballot races. Whether trump wins or loses you know If he wins, we're GONNA really need take governments and cities and counties and school boards to like really dig in and protect the most vulnerable citizens and folks in their population because you know like. Whatever we've seen from the president up to this point like once he doesn't have to run for reelection again, it's going to be on steroids, and so if we lose state and local offices are going to be super important, and if we win, those are the places where we're GONNA get X. members of Congress where we're going to get our next senator as our next governors, our next president, and so if we're not investing in that pipeline right now, you know we're just GonNa get the same old same old. You know like every single time and I think to a large degree. You know that is a that's what drives a lot of the cynicism. Then people see is that they elected these folks you know they make promises they get elected, and then people don't see anything actually happening and so that's why it's really important to make sure the folks that we're putting into. The folks who are running for Congress Senate and above are really good and Have, a track record of success and they have the opportunity to demonstrate that at the state and local level. Great points and the only thing I would add to that too is just as it relates to this particular election. In the time, we have left like down ballot. The Bang for your buck and the strategic impact of those can't be understated either because a little bit of money a little bit of volunteer hours goes a long way for those candidates and people will vote up the ballot, but they don't necessarily vote down the ballot. So the work you do with those candidates will help the Senate race and the presidential race in those too. So exactly I mean you you took the words out of my mouth back in I think at the end of twenty seventeen or early two, thousand eighteen after we looked at what happened in Virginia and the two thousand seventeen. Elections you know I wrote an OP ed about reverse coattails trying to convince people that it was a thing and. You know like in donors and like folks looked at me like I was crazy when I did that and now like that has become part of like the mainstream conversation, there was just the Texas Tribune article that came out yesterday that talked about all the incredible work that the candidates and the Dow candidates in the state of are doing right now, talking to voters getting on the phone and calling them texting them, sending postcards sending in direct mail you. Know, a lot of them are even on television right now, which is unprecedented for date legislative elections. At these levels, you know a lot of them especially in the state of Texas are massive media market like Houston, Dallas San Antonio often where it's really expensive to get on television, and so you know we've seen unprecedented support from people I've had a lot of donors in just like you know normal folks asking me like whereas my time best spent. My time and energy best about right now, and the thing that I consistently tell them is give money to state legislative candidate. Volunteer for state. Legislative. Candidates. We love the Senate. Folks they have to win love Joe Biden he has to win but those folks are the most part with one or two exceptions have raised their budgets the folks who haven't raised their budgets are the folks that are running at the state and local level, and so the more money the more volunteer hours that go into those folks the more impact that we're gonNA have both up and down the ticket. That's great and you kind of answered my next question for you. But maybe we can get even more granular on it. We're now twenty days away from the most important election of our lives how are you and also you're married to jazz powerhouse organizers are you all spending your remaining time here? Where's your focus? Yeah the thing that I'm spending most of my time on right now is raising money for candidates making sure that the candidates who haven't raised their budget yet are able to get there like the whole filled trying to make sure that folks go out and volunteer for candidates making sure that like anything that needs to happen for these candidates. Last minute were able to help them take care of. So we have a whole team of people who whole job it is to like dig in one on one and work with our endorse candidates, and so you know a lot of what we're doing right now. Answering questions about Geo TV plan you know when unforeseen circumstances come up but a lot of what we're doing right now it also just like. cheerleading for folks listening to them when they talk about how hard it is because running for office super hard under normal circumstances but in the middle of global pandemic but we have donald trump as president when we have election rules changing on a daily basis because of different things at the courts decided you know and candidates are out there right now talking to voters who are voting right now and so you know I think there's a lot of frustration. I think there's folks that are feeling anxious but at the end of the day, the thing that we keep trying to tell folks and the thing that I think is most important for us to like stay focused on is. Just. Go vote. Like row however it is. You feel comfortable if that means. Voting by mail or filling out in the mail about it and putting in a dropbox. If you can do that as that means voting early in person make sure you show up early in the morning when there are fewer people there. If that means voting on election day, you know the most important thing that we can do in this election right now to go out and vote and the most important things that are candidates can do right now are to have the volunteer capacity and resources to get their message out there so that they can make sure to tell voters they should be going out to vote. Great Advice. So you're you're doling out of advice for your candidates and What advice do you have for volunteers right now you mentioned how difficult it is to campaign and were so much virtual work now but there is a tremendous amount of anxiety and you know this is the final stretch where we all get really exhausted with the work that we have to do. So do you have any good tips for volunteers in this last stretch? The. Only way to is through and you know like a thing that I tell folks is if you're feeling anxious if you find yourself sitting around doom scrolling. For hours and hours on end of my record, which I was doing right before this interview. Sadly, sorry about that. You know what I would say. Go to run for something dot that and find a candidate to volunteer for that's in your local community. Go to swing left find a candidate to volunteer for some text messages make phone calls, write postcards I mean to me. The thing that. The best way you know to deal with the anxiety is to like take it out by sending text messages, calling voters because I've been doing scrolling so much. I haven't seen just like so many folk. Who are volunteers for different organizations or for different campaigns? who were you know having one on one conversations with voters and so many of are talking about how you know they call the voter. They weren't sure if they were GONNA go vote by the end of that phone call they decided to go but. You know they were talking to a voter. The hadn't really made up their minds yet, but they had a conversation with them about Joe Biden or hager or somebody else and then you know like they decided to go out and vote for them I think. If. You ever doubt that voter contact matters. The thing that wins elections for Democrats is having one on one conversations with voters and building relationships with them, and when we're able to do that, it doesn't matter what medium is whether it's on social media whether it you know through a postcard whether it's through the phone whether it's over text message at the end of the day, what we're trying to do is build connection. And when people feel connected to something that's larger than themselves, it it it strengthens case, and so you know if you're feeling overwhelmed an anxious go volunteer for someone whether they're a down ballot candidate in your local community. Whether it's like what better rox group or run for something or swain waft or any of the other organizations out there that do this work just get out their syntax messages make phone calls communicate one on one with voters. Love that I could not agree more. We open our podcast every week by saying action is the best antidote to anxiety and in a really is I'm gonNA. Ask You one more question. We always end our interviews with the same question We asked this question by the way to your wife Jess when we had her on our podcast last year and she made us all cry. So the bar is pretty high just so you know. I'm under pro I'M GONNA under. Under promise and over deliver. But no, it's. Last question for you is, what gives you the most hope for Our Future Every single day I get the opportunity to. Either talk to or interact with or see and observe like people who You know to a large degree, put large parts of their lives on hold and made really big sacrifices. For the basically the sole purpose of improving their community for making something in their community better and every single day those folks are out there their parents, their teachers. You know they're firefighters. They're like, you know run community after school programs. There are people with real lives who are taking care of a parent have multiple kids. And are trying to deal with their schooling during Cova and their fulltime job and running for office and talking to voters and just getting to talk to them hear their stories. You know see how hard they're working just to make some impact in their community and to make the lives of the people that surround them just a little bit better. I. Think for me that gives me hope every single day. It's the thing that keeps me getting up every day and working so hard to make sure that run for something the best organization that we can be for those folks because you know I feel I've been. Really privileged to be, I have a chance to be at an organization where every I get a little bit of hope in a really really dark time and so to me the the future is so bright. The people who are stepping up you know the fifteen hundred people we've endorsed the sixty thousand plus people who told us they are interested in running for office. They're the reason that I do this work or the reason that I get up in the morning and you know they're the reason why keep fighting you know for the next twenty days to make sure that we can make people's lives better. Did it. That was out of the park way better than Jessica's answer. No. Not. No you're both incredible. Please say give our best to jess and Ross. Thank you so much for here and for all the work that you're doing. Thanks for having me. Thanks for all the work that y'all do. Thank you so much for joining us and for stepping up to take action phone bank. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. Let's do it. We want to hear from you to us at boy Steve and at Mariah. Craven or email us at podcast at swing left dot ORC. If you haven't done. So yet please subscribe rate and review on Apple or wherever you get your pods sheriff's on social media and use the Hashtag. How We win twenty twenty checkout our page at swing left dot org slash podcast, and of course, one more time. Sign up for a phone banks shift right now. We really appreciate you being here with us every week we look forward to talking to you next Wednesday. We're almost there hanging everybody. We'll see you next week.

Steve Just Donald Trump Senate Texas Georgia Mariah Craven Houston Brian Kemp Joe Biden Jess President Ross CO founder Melinda McGraw Keenan Thompson Herman Cain Ron Kirk senator California
California Fever-Dreamin with CA Dem Chair Rusty Hicks

Swing Left - How We Win

00:00 sec | 7 months ago

California Fever-Dreamin with CA Dem Chair Rusty Hicks

"Welcome to episode thirty six of how we went all over the country. People are staying home staying safe and doing extraordinary things. We're giving you the tools that you need to make a difference right now right from your living room or bedroom or kitchen or wherever we're finding the best antidote to anxiety is action. We're six months away from election day. Together we're going to get through this and we're going to win in November. Today we are California fever dream in with the chair of the California Democratic Party Rusty Hicks. We'll talk about the lessons. Learned from the Labor movement how to build coalitions between the Party and grassroots groups. And how we're leveraging digital tools to win in November but we also have an important election next week in California's Twenty Fifth Congressional district where Assembly member Christy. Smith is running to fill the seat vacated by Judy Hill. We're going to tell you how you can help. Hold this house seat. It's a very tight race. I'm Steve Pearson and I'm Mariah Craven and this is how we went dogs roaming around the room and hasn't been to the groomer in two months and so I hear in my nightmares. These clack clack clack. That's kind of like me with my long hair and long nails clapping around the house. I have also been to the groomer and a while dismal and a half to peanut butter and order. Your nails love peanut butter. I would probably let her do it. She gave it to me. So you're saying the Senate we haven't talked about in a little while the Senate and Mitch effing McConnell. And he's showing why we need to be talking about him and the Senate and how important it is that we take back the Senate by bringing the Senate back right now when Pelosi in the House members are are not coming back out of a safety and trying to protect the health of not just the congresspeople and senators but their staffers. That's really so many staffers buddies and all Anna Airline workers because they all have to come from all their different districts across the country. That's right that's right so they putting a lot of people at risk and McConnell is doing it because why I'm going to ask you. What is the number? One thing that motivates Mitch McConnell I would love to say his constituents or the people of this country or but I think it has to do with remaking our judicial system. It's exactly right that's his raison d'etre as they would say in France or exactly now yup throwing throwing it out there because Getting stir-crazy here. But it's what motivates him the Supreme Court the Federal Court and Stacking it with conservative justices. Because he he's all about institutional power and so there's two main reasons why he really brought back the Senate one and he said this out loud. This is not just us. Guessing is to confirm more federal justices news. Hand picked Conservative justices that he wants to ram through. He sees the writing on the wall. He's worried about November and they want to get as many conservative justices confirmed as possible. The other thing is he felt a little bit out of the loop on the negotiating for the last stimulus package. The administration was negotiating directly with the Democrats for that. And I'm so He wants more input into the next emulates bill presumably so he can do what he's always done and that's you know. Protect his his cronies and I'm not looking to Lift up the lives of of ordinary working people but to help out big business so kind of an evil genius I mean he really always has his eyes on what for him as the prize for the rest of us is like deep dark black hole by. Oh my gosh. The focus on the grim. Reaper is You know self-described by the way that's his own nickname for himself. It's intense man. I wish I had a psychology degree so I could do tepe dive into that. Yeah listeners can offer us some insight. Over what what motivates a person to refer to themselves in that way. He's all about just building power and you're right. He's he's like an evil genius and debatably the most dangerous and destructive force in our politics right now so as it's easy to focus on an we should focus on the job the administration is doing around Corona virus. And all of the Asinine and psychotic things that trump does we really need to stay focused on the Senate seats. We have to take back. The Senate is so important. Absolutely absolutely speaking of the administration carry re-use middle the night tweets from Komo's tweeting tweeting. Oh trump was tweeting in the middle of the night. In the middle of the night who's tweeting but donald trump and a whole bunch of people who you know regret what they tweeted. In the morning. I don't have any regrets. So this group of never trump Republicans have released an anti-trump at I mean they're really focused on on making sure that he doesn't get reelected and they're being led by George Conway Kellyanne Conway's Rab Husband of course Kellyanne an advisor to trump. Which just weird this whole. Yeah that relationship yes so anyway. This Republican Group released in AD called morning in America. Ammo you are in I N G and of course. That's a play on the Ronald Reagan commercial from back in the eighties morning in America. And of course you know that's for trump guy has make America great again. Slogan was from so It all comes together in a really depressing way. So I'm the president of the United States. The leader of the free world tweeted in the middle of the night after this ad came out group of Rhino Republicans who failed badly twelve years ago then again eight years ago and then got badly beaten by me. A political first timer for years ago have copied no imagination. The concept of an ad for Ronald Reagan morning in America. Doing everything possible to we're going to get we're going to skip a couple of tweets mercifully. They don't win and their so called. Lincoln project is a disgrace to honest. Abe. I don't know what Kellyanne did to her. Deranged loser of a husband moon face but it must have been moon faced starry. Say Moon face. Yes he's now referring to Conway's moon face the also refers to crazed Rick Wilson another Republican. Evan mcmuffin McMillan. They're all losers. But Abe Lincoln. Republican is all smiles. Yeah as you said. This is the leader of the free world The president of the United States during a pandemic that is killing thousands of Americans every single day. And that's that's what he's compelled to tweet about in the middle of the night. Had he not had a record of this kind of nonsense? I would think that he you know. I've been reading all these articles about everyone having weird these weird corona virus dreams right now. It sounds like he's like live tweeting his own weird fever dreams. It's so bizarre end so unbecoming and just sell an indicator of his mental state. Right now I mean. His mental state has always been unstable. He is a sociopath and Just extreme narcissist as well WANNA be Fascist dictator and those are all nice words to describe him but It's made so clear during this crisis that we're going through when we're just starved for some kind of cohesive federal response to this and then just some compassionate leadership. We have six months before the election and I woke up this morning. Just really really excited about the notion of having a leader at the head of our government who is actually going to speak in compassionate terms about the situation. We're in because there's so much we don't know and there are good people who are working on this there are scientists who are working on this and we're all over the world there's a race to find the vaccine and there's People trying to figure out how we get back to work all the heroes who taken care of like the the nursing homes who have been hit so hard in the prisons and I woke up this morning just just pining for that day when we have a leader who just gives it to a straight with up a little bit of humility for the moment that we're in and a lot of compassion for what people are struggling with and and how walking through this and and we can make that happen Mariah we have to and we will. Yes we will yes we can. Yes we can. I hope I mean that's a good segue into our reasons for hope because I do have a lot of hope We have to stay focused on what we need to do. We also know that there's going to be a lot of a lot of voter suppression. That is literally the playbook the Republicans have right now so but There's a lot of hope. States are continuing to work to make sure that our elections in November or safe pushing vote by mail and safe voting solutions. Texas Democrats are sending out vote by mail registration forms to all voters in the state They're doing the same thing in Milwaukee to which is really important democratic area of a very important state of Wisconsin so those are all like hopeful things they are hopeful and you bring up a I mean. I don't think it's ever inappropriate to remind everyone that. Republicans have a playbook but we have a playbook to and we know that it works. We know that we're going to get rid of trump if we fight voter suppression and turn out voters. That's what all of these come down to is really like all the polls and strategies and whatnot don't mean a hill of beans compared to what a stupid thing to turning out voters are hill and those are beings It just popped out and they said Oh. Gosh that before Strange Times my reason for hope really is the twenty-fifth Congressional district in California right now We have a runoff special election. There this is the congressional seat that Katie Hill vacated late last year often passed. A Democrat is running and she's a Republican. That has gotten a lot of money into the race. Donald Trump endorsed him a couple of times via twitter In the last few weeks but Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and many many many others have endorsed Christie's Smith and you and I met in the twenty fifth district when we started doing work their way back in in twenty seventeen and there was already a fantastic ground game there that just needed a a little booster Shah of support and so it's it's really fantastic to see people from volunteers across the country to grassroots organizers to former presidents coming out to fight to hold onto the seat absolutely and you mentioned the ground game that existed there on the just need a little boost That ground game in large part was there because of the work. Christy Smith has been doing in that district since you know she was on a school board member and then was elected to the assembly and So many people who listen to this podcast worked really hard to flip that district We're not going to lose that seat. The the question was never If Christie Smith was going to run for Congress the question was when she was going to run for Congress so This elections coming up. It's less than a week and there are ways for everyone to get involved where we just do is put to the Christy Smith campaign on our podcast page. So go to swing left dot org slash podcast and that's where you get all the links for the calls to actions that we put forward every week but will have a direct link to the campaign because there's phone banks and text banks that you can jump in on and help out the campaign right now in all the way up to election day on the twelfth get on it. We do talk about this. With Rusty Hicks. The chair of the Democratic Party of California. And what's interesting is the digital tools that we've been working on This is our first chance to see what Virtual Organizing Election. Looks like where we can't actually go out and knock on doors? It's also entirely vote by mail except for few voting centers that are GONNA be Safe PLACES FOR PEOPLE TO COME VOTE. So it's a big national Test case that is going to get a lot of attention so about will do. I'm also to do coming up. May Eleventh is the immigrant day of action. Which of course is going to be online This year we can post A link to some tools so that you can participate on social media and digitally in immigrant day of action. Twenty twenty the super important this year as corona virus And the election have rightly pulled our focus. Let's not forget where we were at the beginning of this administration when the immigrant community and refugee communities were the first to be attacked by the trump administration? That's exactly right. And the trump administration is using this as an excuse to further attack. Them so please join in mail. It join it right. And lastly just a reminder that on May twenty four th. We have our letter writing party with the pantsuit politics podcasts. So if you haven't signed up for that we also have link on our page sign up right letters Talk to us. Talk to the amazing hosts of the pantsuit politics podcast and write some letters to voters and celebrate your birthday. Thanks yeah it's also my birthday. We always gotta get that in there. That's going to be. That's going to be a fun. It's GonNa be a fun afternoon. Spent together so fun. I can't wait so I was really excited to have rusty. Come on our podcast. Rusty Hicks Chairman of the California Democratic Party. Russi is one of those people who is at everything that you go to and you. You're just like how is this guy here and I thought he was the cross. The state today shirt great. Great great to see him again. Yeah he's got an incredible story he was president of the La Federation of Labor and Rusty was everywhere wielding the power of the L. A. Fed for good and to help out with these elections and coming up on a year as the head of the California Democratic Party. And he's been doing a great job. He's really gotten organizers sensibility. And has been from the beginning interested in building coalitions and bringing in grassroots groups into the party. I'm thrilled to have rusty on the show. Yeah he's got some great insight into organizing and what makes the Democratic Party the Democratic Party? I think people whether you're part of the party. You're not going to be really interested in hearing what he has to say. Rusty Hicks is the chairman of the California Democratic Party he previously served as the president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and was the California Political Director. For Obama's two thousand eight presidential campaign. Chairman Hicks. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Thank you for having me. It's great to be with you first of all. How are you doing while you're staying at home will? I'm staying both saying and in safe which I I have argued that it is hard to do both and so I'm doing my best to stay safe in saying all the same time. So we're we're doing well good. It's important to have goals to very good ones. I'm a goal oriented person so it fits that for so long organized. Labor has been a breeding ground for organizers that take what they learned from Labor and use it in many different campaigns and profits and it really sort of is where people I learned that basic or work. What did you learn from your early years in Labor? That has carried you into the work that you're doing now. I think that there's really no shortcut to in that many of the new even technological advancements that we have at our disposal now are that they are tools to help further. The basic principles of organizing. Which is you organize one by one by one now ultimately you hope to do that at scale you hope to have a high quality conversation at scale but the fundamentals of what it takes to organize ultimately goes beyond organizing workplace organizing in a community organizing political campaign it all the same basic principles of You know being able to connect with real people through your own story and their story in sort of a you know a common connection around a particular cause or candidate that can ultimately improve the laws of regular folks and so by organizing you actually have regular people have the opportunity to take power for themselves that they normally would not have access to and so. That's really the you know the principle that I walked away with. Not only the importance of organizing in so many different spaces but also the the mechanics of how to do it and how it can be applied to different scenarios in different situations right well having said that and talking about the importance of these conversations in these one on one interactions and building building those community groups. You've taken over now as chair of the largest Democratic Party in the country right before the most important election of our lives and now we're dealing with a pandemic that's forced us to stay home and pivot to virtual organizing and limiting the The ways that we connect with each other. How're you keeping your activists? Engaged will add saying that this particular crisis that we are facing. I view it as really an opportunity for all of us to rethink and adapt the way we do our work. That new reality you know we. We have long talked about moving campaigns and advocacy were into the dirt space. But we've never done it in earnest because we haven't been required to in now we're forced to. We already have a you know. We don't have a choice and so of you this really as a real opportunity Yes it is challenging. Yes the I'm no different than anyone else. Experiencing the the challenges of uncertainty and anxiety of that we are all experiencing and we don't know what November is GonNa look like and so. I think it's an opportunity for us to adapt in this moment in a way. That doesn't necessarily walk away from what? I call brick and mortar campaigns campaign offices and rallies and out knocking on doors But it does call upon us to have a much more flexible model to have a model that can do the work on the ground but also move into the virtual space especially whether it's phone calls or texting or postcards or you know Other ways of reaching people in a in a in a virtual environment and so you know I've only been in this job for a couple of days over eleven months So I'm coming up on a on a year so I came in obviously in the middle of a term and Obviously had to quickly get ready for this moment The the election in November standing at the statewide coordinated campaign working with all of our partners across the state and then a worldwide pandemic and then the most important election of our lifetime. We always say that but I think we really need this time. And so you know it's been a it's been an interesting you know a year or so and Stretched all of us in a in a new and different way. The point you made about looking at digital Organizing and now being kind of forced into it. I know that your team is doing some really innovative stuff around the coordinated campaigns and of course Initially opened up twelve offices all over California and battleground counties but now moving to virtual. There's some apps and ways to get data people that was Actually distributed where you wouldn't have to go to an office in someone could just get that code and and contact people from their own homes. I think that as we see some businesses start to up in the months to come. There may be a model where we can send people to do lit drops or or have safe distance conversations where they're not gathering campaign offices and stuff and and a lot of that is because of the work that you guys have already set up so we'll see how that goes obviously like you said we don't know but It it is a unique opportunity speaking of those unique opportunities. We also have an election coming up next. Tuesday may twelfth in California district. Twenty-five that will be a big test case in not just virtual organizing but also an entire of vote by mail election. How is that looking? And what kind of things are are volunteers. Doing to engage in that. Will it really is a You're absolutely right. It is a trial run for all of us to figure out how to campaign in this environment from. What's the message for a candidate with at this point is healthcare and how vote everything else is is really secondary to that kind of conversation to mechanically? How do you advocate for your candidate or cause in an environment like this and third is? How do you ensure that? The voting process itself is The integrity of that process is actually protected because yes everyone is getting mailed a ballot but not everybody is comfortable with either filling their out on their own or comfortable with mailing it back And so the regional vote center model combined with everyone. Getting a ballot is particularly important for us to advocate for. And make sure that. We're not only campaigning. Right and being successful in that environment. But we're also protecting the integrity of the system itself. We are in a California Democratic Party is in fact harnessing not only twelve battleground the power of battleground counties but another forty plus blue wave counties as well so each and every one of them have access to the tools of the party in they're all engaging in targeted races and really important important causes so we're doing virtual house parties. We had a goal of doing a thousand house parties before Labor Day. Were on track to do that. We're doing work around making calls around the census. We're doing wellness checks in partnership with Governor Newsom and we're also doing targeted those of action where we're really bringing. Democrats from around the state into the virtual space for essentially virtual rally. We then allow everyone to leave and make phone calls from right where they're at in their own home and then after a couple of hours everybody comes back and talk about the great work that was shown. It's a way of connecting people in a virtual environment to conduct some of the same activities. We would have normally conducted in person. We'd normally done it in a in a big office standing next to one another while now we get to standing next to one another in little square From her own home right without wearing pants with comment hopefully jamming or something like that. I do I am wearing pants right now. For the record you know fully suited booted ago. So yeah I guess we know he's wearing though I'm wearing sweat pants full on. I'M NOT GONNA try to pretend wearing a suit or anything. This is such an important reminder of what a Democratic Party can be right which is about building community with volunteers with voters the fact that you know that the parties involved in wellness checks and making sure that people feel comfortable boating and finding ways to engage volunteers and allow them to connect with each other. This is all really important community building. Stop that's going to have an impact long term ultimately I view it as you can call community building. I call it power building because really our goal is Taking more instead Bach the party cannot solely be an entity that helps to elect Democrats. That cannot be the sole focus of our objective. I believe our primary objective has to be harnessed. The True Power of the party which is nine million. Democrats across the state whose collective power can help as a byproduct alleged Democrats and pass policies that improve the lives of forty million Californians and if that's the philosophy of engaging empowering and mobilizing the folks nine nine. Democrats across the state. He'd have to do it in proactive. Way That's not solely focused on election but is really focused on the issues in the policies that that will improve their lives that they believe will improve their lives. They should have a say in their own future in. So that's really. What does this statewide coordinated campaign is about not just focusing on you know working with the Assembly the Senate and the The Dietrich see on elections but also working with the formal structure of the Party County committees and clubs but also working with those that are sort of connected to the party but are not necessarily part of the formal structure you know Swing left and indivisible and resistance groups that are released stood up over the past. Three years are doing important work Maybe we're doing work. Well before that but doing important work my goal is through. The Coordinating Campaign. Is that we're all working together to ultimately increase our collective capacity and do more not just to elect at this federal state and local levels but also only be able to continue that work after the election cycle to help pass policies that improve people's lives so that's really the center of our work that it can't solely be about an election. An election is an important part of our work is not the sole purpose of our work in my view. I think that's that's Great. And you mentioned the work that you've been doing and and your Philosophy about empowering progressive groups like swing left indivisible sister district the groups that you mentioned to work together and build our collective power. I'm a big believer in that too. You know these groups have not always worked smoothly and in fact I think a lot of people joined up with outside grassroots groups because they didn't connect with or maybe felt disenfranchised by party apparatus. So how can we continue to work together and wield that collective power and acknowledge? What we're all bringing to the table and complementing each other with that. I would say the first thing is you have to have a little faith and trust before you can truly work with with one another if there isn't some basic trust in face in another entity or organization that we are while coming at a particular problem set in a different way in through a different approach that we're attempting to try to do the same thing. I think it's really hard to to work together. But you only build trust and faith with one another when you're in the trenches with somebody. I know I'm all for meetings. I'm all for agreements and all that stuff. But that's not where you really build trust you build trust by working alongside one another in through that sort of shared sacrifice and shared service the actually GonNa Sense as to what you're good adding what you're not good adding what other people are good at and what. They're not good. And so we all have to bring something different to the fight but in my view you gotta bring something to the fight. You can't just say well I'm just here just because no you bring something to the fight or cleese step to the side. So what else can fill that gap because people are account lentils And so I I think we you know have Beat me Say Gentlemen be kind with one another Especially in this new space is now. We're struggling to to to figure it out. We did a action in a rally in the date of action around Christy Smith in the twenty fifth turned out graydon great feeling and sort of good energy that came out of it and then you know about ten days later. I heard of another group trying to do something similar. That didn't exactly go so well and I got calls saying Did you hear about how X Y and Z action didn't go well and I said was sort of criticizing them. Why don't we reach out to them and try to engage them so that we can share the success that we had because my view is. If you're doing good work I wanna work with you And I think that's Has To be our philosophy especially when our very democracy is is on the line. We don't have We can't get caught up in the sort of formalized structure lab processes bureaucracy getting our way. Obviously there's some of that that we after abide by because it's important in our constitution bylaws and all of those things but I just think we have to remember what our collective objective really is anyway would keep that as our basic principle. I think we'll be okay. Well that's a very hopeful and positive outlook and it kind of brings us to the question very naturally that we we ask all of our guests we are out from the election as as it gets closer What gives you hope as we look towards November. Well I would just simply say I think the The resiliency of regular folks. This moment is really showcasing that whether you're considered an essential worker or you get the the opportunity to work remotely and work from home. We're all coming together in different ways. I'm especially proud of what's happening here in California where you have democratic leadership that is saving lives every single day and there's an activism and and energy within the grassroots leadership but I think ensures that the democratic backbone that is California is going to be ready for the November election to project the power of California into the rest of the country to do what we need to do to keep the house take back the Senate and ultimately remove forty five from the from the White House I think the resiliency of Californians and Democrats in particular and energy is something that keeps me keeps me hopeful the yes. We Can. In fact save our democracy. Well thank you so much. This was so great. I'm just so inspirational. Always great to be with you. Thank you for joining us today. And thank you for stepping up and taking action right from home. This is how we win. We win when we all get involved. We want to hear from you. Let us know how you doing during the corona virus pandemic and tweet to us at Blues. Boy Steve and at Mariah underscore craven or email us at podcast. Swing left dot org. Thank you to our friends at dim cast. And if you haven't yet police subscribe rate and review this podcast on apple or wherever you're listening to this share on social media and use the Hashtag how we win twenty twenty. You could always get more information at swing left on org slash podcast. And while you're there you can sign up to volunteer. We have a really good episode next week. I'm very excited about our guest. I'M NOT GONNA say who it is yet because I don't want them to cancel if by say it right now but were excited about the show. So we'll see.

Democrats California California Democratic Party Rusty Hicks Senate Senate Christy Smith Democratic Party Coordinating Campaign donald trump Mariah Craven George Conway Kellyanne Conway president Democratic Party of California Mitch McConnell America Barack Obama Steve Pearson