ONE WAY INDIVISIBLE CAN HAVE A GREATER IMPACT ON VOTER REGISTRATION
INDIVISIBLE has hundreds of groups throughout the US that are gearing up for the nominating process with next year’s caucuses and primaries starting in February. However, according to their blog, they are focused right now on nominating a progressive candidate who can beat Trump.
That’s great. I certainly hope we find a marvelous candidate that excites our base. We can count on the Democratic primary process being heated. Maybe it will be as heated as during the battle between Bernie and Hillary in 2016. Our caucus “super-site” had over 10 precincts. We must have had over 500 people crowded into the school cafeteria to get instructions and hear from candidate representatives before we broke into our precincts. The whole thing took three hours, and we were lucky. A couple “super-sites” were slammed with over 1,000 people.
The reason this is exciting is because each person participating in a primary is a prospective volunteer, and volunteers win elections. Unfortunately, it did not work that way in 2016. The divide was too bitter; and after a wonderful convention in Philadelphia, Hillary was never able to recapture the excitement. She even lost Pennsylvania by a small margin.
INDIVISIBLE is in an ideal position to capture that enthusiasm and direct it to strengthen our democratic progress, defeat Trump and the Russians, and elect progressives from the White House to the State Houses and the Courthouses. If they accomplish just 50% of this feat, they will be situated to build a long term movement to start solving some of our major issues, from global warming to racism.
But change is easier to imagine than it is to implement. What happened to Occupy Wall Street as well as the Arab Spring? Poof!
Change starts with little steps. I suggest the first step for INDIVISIBLE should be to use the nominating season to register new voters. If you look at their website, they have an excellent format for voter registration. If this is going to be an exciting spring for selecting progressive candidates, then we need to get new, progressive voters involved. INDIVISIBLE needs to get them registered, get them involved, and capture them as volunteers.
This primary season could generate an army of excited volunteers to support progressive candidates. I believe it is critical these volunteers not be captured by the Presidential campaign; because they are needed to keep the base excited, register more voters, and get them out to vote for local offices as well as for President.
Because 2021 will be a reapportionment and redistricting year, we must elect as many progressive legislators as possible; because they will be involved in trying to create fair districts and fight gerrymandering. INDIVISIBLE could be a very important agent outside the presidential campaign to capture the volunteers needed to make this happen.
Meanwhile, I noticed that “renter” does not seem to exist on the INDIVISIBLE website. If that means their voter registration is not focused primarily on renters, I think they are making a mistake. Renters are the goldmine for progressive causes; there are over 70 million of them of voting age; they are largely unregistered because they move so often; 85% of newly registered voters will go out and vote; and renters vote primarily for progressive candidates.