Guest Commentary: National Issues – Local Action Grassroots Are Growing (Join Us)

By Vera Sandronsky & Steve Murphy

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of news about everything that is wrong in our country and our fears about the November election. And there are many articles in the national media that feed these fears but don’t galvanize us into action. An underappreciated truth of our current progressive political environment is that grassroots groups that did not exist before 2016 (Swing Left, Activate America, Indivisible, Sister District, and Field Team 6 to name a few) equip activists throughout the country with the tools and information needed to be effective in supporting democracy at all levels of government. We wish the national media did a better job of covering the work of these organizations and the activism and activists they support. With so much at stake for our country, many progressive groups this year are focusing on voter mobilization and engagement. For example, Field Team 6 has developed a unique and effective way to “Register Democrats Save the world” including how-to videos  (bit.ly/43znfX4)  and its Blue Voter Guide (https://bluevoterguide.org/) helps voters overcome the overwhelm to make quick, informed, pro-democracy choices.

Locally, Indivisible Yolo (https://www.indivisibleyolo.org/) works to build a democracy that reflects a broad, multiracial “we the people,” one that works for all of us and is sustained by all of us. This year we are focusing on electing Democrats to CA-13 and CA-22. California is key in returning the House to Democratic control. Indivisible Yolo had over 100 people register to attend our Election Kick-off on March 13, either in-person or on Zoom.

As part of Indivisible Yolo’s electoral team strategy to do our part to win-back the House majority, hold the Senate and re-elect the President (aka the Blue Trifecta), we heard from Patti Crane of the California Grassroots Alliance (https://www.cagrassrootsalliance.org/) about what is at stake and what we can do to prevent MAGA extremists from implementing their agenda to undermine our freedoms: attacking voting rights in marginalized communities, upending freedom of religion as these extremists advance their Christian Nationalist agenda, taking away our freedom to choose whom we love and when to have children, and preventing our doctors from providing essential healthcare.

She laid out the strategy to thwart that agenda by engaging voters to win-back a House majority, taking back the house by working in California CA-13 and CA-22, two of the critical six districts here in California that would lead to a House majority.  And she highlighted the two-pronged path forward to winning in the Central Valley: 1) increase the pool of eligible voters by registering more voters (over 100,000 in CA-13 are eligible but not registered); and 2) working diligently to improve voter turnout in the general election after the low turnout in the recent primary.

Sometimes it’s easy to think we’re not so impacted by the MAGA mob here in California, that we’re protected and, worse yet, that we’re nearly powerless to change things when we’re limited to working remotely in other states.  Not true!  In 2024, we have both agency and opportunity.

At the Election Kick-off, we learned about the opportunities to support electing Democrats in the Central Valley by canvassing, registering voters on college campuses, joining the call team and the text team. Soon there will be similar efforts in nearby Nevada with a must-win Senate race.  There are also opportunities to participate in voter protection projects to ensure that every vote counts, whether the voter lives in Georgia, Nevada, or California. Indivisible Yolo leaders work hard to ensure that the volunteers who join this work are well supported. We understand the need to sustain ourselves and each other as we do the advocacy work together. No experience is required to join us!

Please join any of these Indivisible Yolo Volunteer Opportunities:

You can sign up for the Indivisible Yolo weekly newsletter by going to the website at https://indivisibleyolo.org/. The newsletter is published weekly on Monday mornings and is a convenient way to stay informed about opportunities to become engaged. There’s also a volunteer sign up form (https://bit.ly/3vjZMN7) to help us learn about your interests.

Donating is another important form of activism. Donating to support in-district organizations in CA-13 and CA-22 means supporting investing in voters and investing for the long-term, beyond a specific election. Please support Communities for a New California, the Dolores Huerta Action Fund and Valley Forward. You can learn more about these organizations and donate by clicking on this link. https://www.indivisibleyolo.org/donate.

Let’s do all we can to make November 5th a success and know looking back post-election that we did all we could to preserve our democracy and our freedoms.

Vera Sandronsky & Steve Murphy

Indivisible Yolo

indivisibleyolo@gmail.com

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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