On May 14, the core leadership team held a kick-off to announce our effort, working with the Reclaim Our Vote campaign. We were excited to be working with a black-led non-partisan organization. Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) works in states where the number of people of color exceeds 20 percent of those eligible to vote. More than 50 of you responded with your enthusiasm! That’s an amazing response for a congregation of our size!! You have helped fight voter suppression one voter at a time. Anne Louise White took care of all the logistics for us, and for her choruses: ordering the beautiful postcards, getting the addresses, getting labels printed, and setting up the packets. We had five teams, whose captains kept track of the writers and distributed the packets. Now that effort is over. We have received word from “Reclaim Our Vote” that the postcarding campaigns are coming to an end. Reclaim Our Vote has mailed more than five million handwritten postcards. Postcards empower people of color to re-register AND to VOTE. Between our UUSA community and the Leverett and Caravan Community Choruses, we wrote and sent out 14,600 of those five million postcards!
Enormous thanks are due to Anne Louise for being the hub – the one who made it all happen. There is NO way it could have happened without all the incredible work and attention she put into it. And yes, thanks go as well to the Core Leadership team (Naomi Yanis, Anne Louise, Ellen Pile, Steve Rice, and Maria Lydia Spinelli) for getting the effort off the ground – taking it from an idea to a happening, and keeping the congregation ap- prised of UUSA the Vote; to the 50 postcard writers; to Lea, who managed the budget records and printed end- less sheets of labels, as well as being a postcard writer herself; and to the captains (Pete Rogers, Jeanne Bal- lantine, Sue Alexander, Ellen Pile, Carolyn Cave, and Steve Rice) who kept in touch with them and got their packets to them, etc.; and to those who donated to make it all feasible. I think that UUSA can be incredibly proud of getting this effort together so quickly, in the time of COVID.
We received almost $600 from 17 UUSA households. The money has gone to reimburse Anne Louise for the postcards and other supplies she laid out for (we think she also donated a great deal for which she has not taken reimbursement). We will probably have some money left over. If you donated and wish to have a say in what to do with it, do write or call Naomi. Otherwise, we will probably donate it to Reclaim Our Vote to help them put up billboards in the states in which they work.
They are also offering other ways for folks to continue to stay involved. Andrea Miller, head of Reclaim Our Vote, says: “Thank you, Postcarders! Now, pens down and make calls! Phonebanking is gearing up. We all know the 2020 election will be the most treacherous in generations. Electoral disinformation will explode! That’s why phonebanks are utterly crucial. Unlike postcards, phonebanks are nimble. In this time of COVID and last-minute, ever-changing rules, phonebanks provide a lifeline of accurate, up-to-date information to the voter.” She urges you to join ROV and members of your activist community to phonebank. You can begin with training, then phonebank. The calls you make could change history.
You don’t have to get organized to do this. Join ROV or phonebank with UU the Vote. Finally, Anne Louise re- minds us to “Be well, and as John Lewis says, Keep getting into GOOD TROUBLE!”