(NOTE: This is a full report on the election related work of the working groups. A condensed version went out as an email. Please excuse the different formatting of the different reports.)
How did we make a real difference in the midterms? You and other GetOrganizedBK activists sent 100s of thousands of texts and thousands of postcards, made thousands of calls, spent thousands of hours canvassing and helped many candidates around the country win and others build organization and recognition that creates a basis for winning in the future.
That’s right, as you can see below, we helped candidates not just in New York, but also all around the country and had a big impact.
This is the second in a series of emails about the work of GetOrganizedBK on the midterm elections and what’s next. It provides some of the impressive details of what we did. Read it and be amazed and proud and understand it’s not a full accounting, because people were too busy working hard to keep track of everything we did. And for the most part it doesn’t include an accounting of the essential job of petitioning, which was necessary for candidates to get on the ballot.
The first email listed results of the key races we were involved in. If you missed it, it’s posted in the News section of the GetOrganizedBK website. You can read it here.
We supported candidates because we need the right people in office to make it easier to fight for the issues we care about. Now, we need to keep organizing to fight for those issues. We are planning a big meeting to discuss what’s next for GetOrganizedBk and the working groups are also discussing their next steps. Details to come soon.
WHAT WE DID, LIST IN FORMATION:
- Brooklyn Voters Alliance (BVA) does non-partisan work encouraging more participation in elections across New York State. They texted 60,544 voters, held more than a dozen voter outreach events last year, registered/updated registrations for close to 200 New Yorkers, and posted VOTE fliers in 6 languages in more than 300 Brooklyn businesses covering 12 neighborhoods.
- GOBK by Day sent upwards of 10,000 handwritten, personalized get-out-the-vote postcards in support of Max Rose, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Zellnor Myrie, Jen Metzger, Andrew Gounardes, Alessandra Biaggi and others and against voter suppression in both Georgia and North Dakota, working one hour each week, 9-10am on Thursdays.
- BKRising sent out 8,325 postcards to voters, including 3,364 in support of Max Rose and raised almost $3,600 to pay for postage. Details below:
- Postcards to Voters for
- Zellnor Myrie 307
- Danny O’Connor 632
- Phil Bredesen 1,137
- Dana Gulick 892
- Stacey Abrams 735
- Alyssia Slotkin 500
- Antonio Delgado 200
- Camp Friendship Event 400 multiple candidates
- Max Rose 3,364
- Safety Net Defenders, Canvass for Care made 1,400 calls for Antonio Delgado and 2,500 calls for Stacey Abrams.
- Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights (WHARR)
- Co-hosted two fundraisers for Zellnor Myrie (including the first after he announced his run!) and raised $4300. Also, hosted phone banking, co-hosted a postcard writing party, petitioned, canvassed, and wrote postcards on Zellnor’s behalf at our meetings.
- Held a fundraiser for Liuba Grechen Shirley and raised close to $5000. Co-sponsored another fundraiser for Liuba earlier in her run and organized a WHARR canvass day.
- WHARR joined GOBK canvass days for Liuba Grechen Shirley and Max Rose.
- WHARR organized two days of canvassing for Andrew Gounardes. In addition, we co-sponsored a postcard writing party for Andrew Gounardes and Kevin Thomas.
- Indivisible Nation BK (INBK) hosted at least 8 text banking training/ meetings, 5 phone banking meetings making at least 5,000 calls. We handed out thousands of flyers about candidates and sent hundreds of “commit to vote” postcards. We also hosted 3 canvassing trainings and directed at least 50 volunteers to knock doors through the campaign.
- Canvassed on multiple dates & did GOTV for Zellnor Myrie, also did GOTV for Blake Morris.
- Organized a NY Health Act day of action & canvassed on multiple dates for Andrew Gounardes.
- Phone banked, texted, flyered & organized multiple NYHA days of action for Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams & Zephyr Teachout.
- Sent many thousands of texts for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Ben Jealous, Pat Strong, Ross Barkan, and Dana Balter.
- Sent hundreds of postcards for Kathleen Cleary, Zellnor Myrie, Dana Balter, Pat Strong, and Blake Morris.
- Supported five candidates in 2018: Liuba Grechen Shirley and Max Rose for U.S. Congress, Andrew Gounardes and Zellnor Myrie for NY State Senate, and Stephanie LaTour for County Committee.
- Organized volunteers for petitioning and canvassing for each of these candidates, with a total of over 500 sign ups from spring through the fall.
- Held fundraisers for Liuba Grechen Shirley and Zellnor Myrie in the early days of each candidate’s campaign and held two postcarding events for Liuba Grechen Shirley in the spring/summer months.
- Water for Grassroots
- For Amendment 4 in Florida (which passed with 65% support, restoring voting rights to more than 1.4 million people with past felony convictions), we worked with Florida retiree branches of NYC unions & progressive congregations to help the measure qualify for the ballot. Then worked with New Florida Majority & the statewide Second Chances coalition to win the vote. Our W4G volunteers called or texted thousands of voters in Florida.
- Volunteers also worked with New Florida Majority on their texting & phone-banking efforts to help Andrew Gillum win the Aug. 28 primary (which he did) and the general election (still undecided & undergoing a recount).
- After the election, we worked with NFM to contact Florida voters who cast a provisional ballot on steps they could take to make sure their votes are counted.
- In Pennsylvania, we worked with Lancaster Stands Up in their independent efforts to elect local activist Jess King to Congress, organizing more than a dozen carpools and knocking on more than 3000 doors. Though King did not win, Lancaster Stands Up expanded its organizing to new areas across Lancaster County through the campaign. King supporters put together what was widely acknowledged as the strongest grassroots campaign the area has seen, and will start from a stronger position in 2019 and especially 2020.
- For full election results, click here.
- FUNDRAISING Total: $51,490, includling PA state candidates house parties & online fundraising: $25,580: Liuba Grechen Shirley house parties: $4,000; AL state candidates house party: $6,000; and Online fundraising for texting expenses: $15,910
- Volunteers Efforts: 300 volunteers (85 carloads) for 36 candidate visits; knocked on 14,950 doors. Supported 12 candidates challenging incumbents in PA General Assembly, to end Rs super majority and gerrymandering
- Results: Narrowed Republican majorities in both Chambers; Supported 3 – possibly 4 – successful state challengers, fueling votes for 4 congressional winners; and strengthened Democratic presence in districts where the Party had not even fielded candidates in recent elections.
- TEXTING: Thousands of volunteer texters for 139 campaigns across 16 states.
- Results: Elissa Slotkin, Lauren Underwood &Angie Craig ousted R congressional incumbents.
- In PA & MI, narrowed Republican majorities in both Chambers
- In NY, helped win Democrat majority and defeat IDC in Senate.
- POSTCARDING: Hundreds of volunteers wrote & sent 46,720 postcards for PA, NY & other state races, Max Rose, and Florida’s “Second Chance” ballot measure
- PHONEBANKING: 23 phone banks, 95 volunteers made thousands of calls supporting 8 PA state candidates
- CANDIDATE SUPPORT: Creative services provided to 35 campaigns in seven states: Photography and video services, web site development, graphic design, videos and palm cards. Also, provided social media assessments, 2,500 hours working on candidate websites; Invited estimated 9,300 people to like the pages and responded to more than 2,000 messages. There was also a full day training session for candidates in Philadelphia. Services were provided for 35 candidates listed below:
|Juanita Healy||Alabama House District 4||AL|
|Terry Jones||Alabama House District 21||AL|
|Angie Achterhof||Tuscaloosa County Circuit Clerk||AL|
|Charisse Davis||Cobb County School Board, Post 6||GA|
|Jill Linta||PA House of Representatives District 106||PA|
|Melissa Shusterman||PA House of Representatives District 157||PA|
|Zellnor Myrie||NY State Senate, 20th District||NY|
|Amy Fazio||PA House of Representatives, District 14||PA|
|Lauren Laureau||PA House of Representatives, District 142||PA|
|Pam Hacker||PA House of Representatives, District 26||PA|
|Mike Zabel||PA House of Representatives District 163||PA|
|Meredith Buck||PA House of Representatives District 144||PA|
|Joe Webster||PA House of Representatives District 150||PA|
|Dana Hamp Gulick||PA House of Representatives 97||PA|
|Lisa Boeving-Learned||PA House of Representatives 8||PA|
|Dave Delloso||PA House of Representatives District 162||PA|
|Claudette Williams||PA State Representative 176th District||PA|
|Mark Pinsley||Senate candidate||PA|
|Jason Ruff||PA State Representative 183rd District||PA|
|Wendy Ullman||PA House of Representatives, 143 District||PA|
|Emily Best||PA Senate District 30||PA|
|Judith Higgins||PA Senate District 28||PA|
|Mary Popovich||PA House of Representatives, 58th District||PA|
|Stephanie Thomas||CT House of Representatives, 143rd District||CT|
|JoAnn Cummings||Alabama State House District 4||AL|
|Douglas Metcalfe||PA House District 128||PA|
|Stephanie Compton||KY Senate District 4||KY|
|Perry Gershon||US House Seat, NY-1||NY|
|Andrew Dixon||PA House District 29||PA|
|Naveen Malik||SD House District 31||SD|
|Scott Martens||District 98 NY State||NY|
|Tom Applebach||PA District 134||PA|
|Lauren Lareau||PA House of Representatives District 142||PA|
|Patty Smith||PA House of Representatives District 104|
- Results of this work includes:
- Charisse Davis, Cobb County School Board, Post 6 – Defeated a two-term incumbent.
- Melissa Shusterman, PA House of Representatives District 157 – Defeated a two-term incumbent.
- Mike Zabel, PA House of Representatives District 163 – Defeated a three-term incumbent.
- Joe Webster, PA House of Representatives District 150 – Won a seat that had been held by Republicans for 48 of the previous 50 years.
- Dave Delloso, PA House of Representatives District 162 – Won a seat that had been held by Republicans for the previous 40 years.
- Wendy Ullman PA House of Representatives, 143 District – Leading for a seat that had been held by Republicans for the previous 40 years
Many of our working groups organize on issues, such as racial justice, women’s health and reproductive rights, immigration, access to health care, opposing hate crimes, and protecting the social safety net. Their activities continue regardless of the election cycle. GetOrganizedBK welcomes any of our neighbors who want to join those groups or form new groups to work on other issues.
David Neustadt, Communications Chair, #GetOrganizedBK Steering Committee