Besides offering a historical choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the 2020 election involves a battle over control of the Senate, a number of competitive House races, as well as crucial efforts to flip several state legislatures to Democratic control. Given the stakes, we know you want to be involved.
Here are a few ways you can consider donating:
Local activist groups: DoTheMostGoodMoCo, NOPENeighbors., Silver Spring ProgressiveAction 31St Street Swing Left and others you can see at YesWeCanvass.net/team (also see links at end of note). These groups develop targeted donation strategies you can rely on for good analysis. They will also set you up for virtual canvassing (i.e., phone banking), letter/postcard writing or texting.
Links to some local groups involved in election work:
Swing Left Blueprint (blueprint.swingleft.org). You tell Swing Left your preferences: Senate, key state races, and voting rights groups, and they create a suggested donation combination. You then make one donation and Swing Left sends your money where is likely to be most effective. Sister District https://sisterdistrict.com/ has similar initiatives.
Democratic Party: You can donate to the Biden campaign, the Democratic Party, the DCCC or the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), or, of course to individual candidates for Senate and House.
State parties: You can focus your volunteer efforts on a particular state, like PA, FL, or NC and donate to the Democratic Party of that state. Many pivotal down-ballot races across the country are being run on shoestring budgets. So even if you only have $10 or $20 to donate, that money combined with other small contributions, can make a big difference to candidates trying to flip state legislatures. This is especially important in a census year, after which state legislatures will re-draw electoral districts for their states and for Congress.
For Pennsylvania, there is a great organization working to flip the state legislature (TurnPABlue.org) that is worthy of support.
Jamie Raskin. You can become one of Jamie’s “monthly mavericks” by setting up a monthly auto-donation. This strengthens Jamie’s political power as one of the progressive members of Congress – he uses donations to support colleagues who need it more than he does, as well as funding his Democracy Summer program for young people. www.jamieraskin.com
If you itemize deductions and need a tax deduction, there are organizations doing non-partisan voter registration. You can also donate to the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
In the pandemic a lot of people are actually happy to talk to a stranger, so it is a lot easier to make these calls this year than in the past. Plus, it is the best way to have conversations with people now that door-to-door canvassing is suspended, and likely the most effective way to turn out voters.
There are two ways to call. With one you use your own phone and call voters one by one (you log in with your computer to a system that gives you the voter’s number, a script and way to mark the results). The second is using a predictive dialer, which is more efficient at reaching voters (you can have about 15 conversations in an hour). You can figure out what works best for you. Sign up with local groups Do The Most Good MoCo, NOPE Neighbors., Silver Spring Progressive Action, 31St Street Swing Left, and others you can see at YesWeCanvass.net. See the action calendar at YesWeCanvass.net/action-opportunities as well.
Sign up to phonebank for the Biden campaign at https://www.mobilize.us/2020victory/event/296312/
Postcards and letters
If phone calling is not for you, there are opportunities to write postcards and letters to encourage voting or voting by mail more specifically. Sign up with local groups like Do The Most Good MoCo, NOPE Neighbors, Silver Spring Progressive Action, 31St Street Swing Left, and others you can see at YesWeCanvass.net/team. These groups work with Vote Forward, Postcards to Voters, and others.
There are a number of opportunities to empower people to vote. For Lawyers for Biden, contact jesse.glickstein [at] gmail.com. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party runs a voter assistance hotline, with 3-hour shifts where you are available to take calls, and all day on election day (you don’t need to be a lawyer to do this, but you need to be willing and able to immerse yourself in the details of Pennsylvania election rules). There are other ways to volunteer in PA: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/2020-election-day-volunteers/ or contact vthuronyi [at] gmail.com
Poll Workers and Voter Protection Volunteers are desperately needed in swing states (especially poll workers). As you know from the chaos during the primaries, keeping enough polling places open (and polling places in key locations open) affects how many people vote. Getting enough poll workers for Election Day and early voting could make the difference in whether we win or lose. So could adequate voter protection.
Poll workers must be state residents, mostly county residents, and sometimes precinct residents. They usually must be registered voters with the exception that some states let 16 and 17-year olds, too young to vote, work inside the polls. (Poll Workers are paid and some states are paying more than usual this year – states will have PPE for poll workers as well as safety regimes).
Work elections (Information by state) – https://www.workelections.com/
Poll Hero https://www.pollhero.org/ (specifically recruiting students, other young people)
You can sign up to receive periodic newsletters from Do The Most Good, https://www.dothemostgoodmoco.org/or the Montgomery County Democratic Party(Mcdcc.org)
YesWeCanvass.net has information about various ways to get involved and information about many local area activist groups.
In addition to reaching out to people as part of organized campaigns, an effective way of reaching voters is to think about your own personal contacts. Especially important are contacts in Presidential or Senate swing states. You can reach out to people, make sure they are voting, and ask them if they are reaching out to others.