Organizing for ’18: The Last Weekend
By Beki San Martin, OFA Campaigns Associate
“Everything we care about is on the ballot for these midterm elections.” — Debra Jones, OFA Volunteer Leader, TX-07
Debra’s right, there’s a lot at stake in these elections. Some of the most important issues that affect our daily lives — issues like affordable health care, gun violence prevention, expanding equality, and climate change, to name a few — are all on the ballot this year. That’s why OFA volunteers have been working tirelessly for months, sometimes years, to bring their neighbors together and energize their communities around the progressive candidates who will stand up for these issues.
All of that work, training, and preparation has led up to these final few days to get out the vote (GOTV) before Election Day. And this past weekend, OFA volunteers laced up their shoes, knocked on doors, and hit the phone-banks to reach as many voters as possible and make sure they were all committed and prepared to vote in this critical election.
In communities across the country, OFA volunteers plugged into local campaign field efforts and joined forces with volunteers from more than 70 partner organizations as a part of The Last Weekend Coalition, a coordinated effort formed to recruit people to not just vote, but volunteer during some of the most critical days before Election Day.
It was a truly inspiring weekend of action, organizing, and democracy. Check out some of the highlights below.
In Pennsylvania, OFA volunteers got an early start on GOTV weekend, making calls for candidates like Scott Wallace (PA-01), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), and Susan Wild (PA-07). And they didn’t let up for one moment through the rest of the weekend, often working through the very last shifts.
In Florida, OFA organizers have been working diligently to energize and mobilize their communities. In St. Petersburg, volunteers showed up to help get out the vote for candidates like Andrew Gillum as well as Amendment 4 — a ballot measure that could restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians who’ve paid their debt to society.
Over the weekend, this group of committed canvassers knocked on hundreds of doors to engage voters, build a more participatory democracy, and to #BringItHome!
In all eight of OFA’s Organizing for ’18 priority House districts in California, OFA volunteers filled field offices to help knock doors and make phone calls for local candidates. From California’s 4th District and the Central Valley down to Orange County and San Diego, the volunteer turnout was remarkable! And determined Team ’18 organizers like Ann (CA-25), Michael Sean and Geniece (CA-45), and Alyne (CA-48) even took on leadership roles to help campaigns train new canvassers and phone-bank volunteers.
The OFA Westside LA team — led by Tiffany, Jennifer, and Sylvia — helped GOTV in CA-39, CA-48, and CA-25, while OFA leaders Kyoko, Susanne, Clarissa, Kook, and Carmen in Northern California have been working hard to reach voters in CA-4, CA-10, and CA-21. These experienced OFA leaders made sure that folks were not only fired-up to volunteer, but trained to go out and knock doors or make phone calls with best practices in mind.
In Georgia, OFA volunteer leaders like Shelia and her team in Atlanta have been pounding the pavement every week to help elect Stacey Abrams. For GOTV weekend, Shelia even hosted an orientation to guide new voters through the process of making their plan to vote — a small but effective way to help increase the likelihood of potential voters actually following through.
In North Carolina, OFA volunteers were working around-the-clock to get out the vote all across the state, including to help support Dan McCready in North Carolina’s 9th district. In that same district, Team ’18 leaders like Jackie led staging locations to train new canvassers, while OFA volunteers like Brenden fanned out across neighborhoods to knock all the doors listed in their canvassing packets! Meanwhile, the OFA team in Cullowhee ventured over to the Western Carolina University campus to make sure students there had a plan to vote.
And that’s just a small piece of all the incredible organizing work happening around the country. Check out some more highlights from OFA volunteers in the Twitter moment featured below.
Over the past year, OFA volunteers have put in the hard work building the infrastructure in their communities to activate and engage their friends and neighbors — not just for this election, but for years to come. They’ve visited elected officials, written postcards and letters to the editor, encouraged people to register to vote, recruited other folks in their community to join them, and trained new volunteers to make calls and knock doors. This past weekend was just a small sample of all that incredible organizing coming together.
And if you think these volunteers are done — just sitting back until Tuesday — well, think again.
The next 48 hours are the most crucial moments to talk to voters. It’s not too late to get out the vote wherever you live — we need all hands on deck to make calls, knock on doors, and help your friends, family, and neighbors to make their plan to vote.