UUSA the Vote began fast. True to what we said in the May newsletter, “Although we are staying at home, we are not standing still.”
Our partner is Reclaim Our Vote, a black-led campaign to increase turnout among voters of color by 20% in at least 4 states (targeted states are North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia). It is non- partisan and uses postcards, phone banking and text banking activities. UUSA the Vote got off to a faster start than the Core Team expected. We got a special request to get into action on the day of our Zoom Kickoff, May 14. Our volunteer response was up to the task; UUSA the Vote Volunteers wrote 660 postcards between May 20 and May 23.
As this newsletter gets published UUSA the Vote is organizing to write 1,700 postcards to Texas voters of color to let them know that they may have been removed from the voter rolls and to provide them with contact info for checking on their voter registration status. The mailing target is June 5.
UUSA the Vote adds new volunteers every day and especially wants to invite new UUSA members and friends who get this newsletter to get involved. Click https://forms.gle/MEZqgSkWZYo3vBuR9 to submit a brief Volunteer Questionnaire. This is a great way to learn more about UUSA and begin to connect to its brand new project. Everyone can help this effort with donations. We estimate that $25 covers the cost of 40 post- cards, stamps and related paper supplies. Send checks payable to UUSA with “UUSA the Vote” in the memo space to: UUSA, P.O. Box 502, Amherst MA 01004-0502, attn. UUSA the Vote.
From the experience of the earliest postcard writers:
“I think the power of a hand–written note – even if it is scripted – cannot be underestimated. And, I enjoy time spent with my college-aged daughter accomplishing a task of mutual interest and concern. Our postcards are written in hope and love at our dining room table to a person who may be facing barriers to voting. May it land on their table and provide a bit of ease.” – Lea (and Celia)
“I had never expected to have the chance to be signing ‘Ellen, Georgia NAACP Volunteer’ and that felt good. That felt on–the–ground and closer to the action than I expected. I learned later that Reclaim Our Vote gets its lists for postcard writing from the NAACP. Ergo…I’m a worker-bee inside that partner- ship. Nice!” – Ellen
Who is involved? The UUSA the Vote Core Team is Naomi Yanis, Maria Lydia Spinelli, Steve Rice, Ellen Pile and Anne Louise White (who orders and organizes postcard packets as the “Coordinator of Coordinators”). Our first effort, with a mailing target of May 23, used five coordinators: Sue Alexander, Pete Rogers, Jeanne Ballantine, Steve Rice and Ellen Pile, and we had over 20 writers.
These actions resonate with UU Principles: https://www.uua.org/justice/vote2020/grounded-uu-values This is jointly sponsored by the Dismantling Systemic White Supremacy Ministry and the
Social Action Committee