The Southern Kentucky chapter has been hard at work preparing for the May 22 primary elections and building the grassroots power we will need for November.
We kicked off the season with a training on March 31, which covered how to register voters, table at events, and canvass. Participants practiced their new canvassing skills by walking the neighborhood that same afternoon to register voters and listen to the community’s concerns. We’ve canvassed eight more times since that first training, reaching approximately 435 households. We left KFTC Voter Guides with interested households to help inform voters about candidates’ stances on issues we care about and left postcards with those who weren’t home.
Watching our canvassers shift people’s opinions on voting through just a few minutes of conversation was a highlight of the bi-weekly canvasses. Member Lisa Cummings knocked on doors one chilly Sunday and said, “Seeing people that don’t vote frequently change their perspective after our conversation made the whole day worthwhile.”
We also planned 3 phone banks to get out the vote right up to the eve of election day, for a total of over 300 phone calls. We’ve tabled at a wide range of events to register countless voters. Energy is high and will sustain our work as we look towards the General Election this November.
Member Joyce Adkins describes our advantage in saying; “What we have on our side is passion, and being on the right side of history. I know we can bring in the Blue Wave this year. And I want to help do it!”
Our chapter’s positivity and willingness to give our whole hearts to building grassroots power together is our greatest advantage in any election. When speaking about our work, member Summer Bolton said, “It’s important because the people we have in office currently, both locally and at the state level, have been so out of touch with our community’s needs and wants. Through our Action For Democracy work, we’re identifying key demographics and empowering people to make a change.”
Member Tara Sorrels hopes to help young people engage in the democratic process and educate themselves about important issues through our Action For Democracy work. Tara said, “If we can reach out to people who are young, people who are just coming of age to vote, to talk about those things – that would be special to me because I feel like I didn’t have that. I feel like I would have participated a lot more, or felt more motivated to learn about the process.”
Our Congressional Candidate Forum helped voters learn about the candidates and engage in the process by offering a question and answer period. “When KFTC had the Congressional Candidate Forum to meet and question the three (!!!) candidates who would run as the democratic contender, I was thrilled,“ said member Robin Gilbert, who asked a question about the opioid crisis during the forum. “Seeing and hearing them in person was wonderful.”
SOKY members shared stories about their experience with KFTC and their passion for a healthy democracy through social media, like this photo from Lisa Cummings including three generations of voters in her family. “We always would sit down and figure out our schedules so we could vote together. I just wanted to instill that in them from an early age. You lead by example.”
Democracy Team members Pete and Denise Zielinski set the tone for the election season with their Balancing the Scales article about why they’re ready to take action leading up to the primaries and beyond. Member Stephanie Morris wrote a letter to the editor in support of our endorsed candidate, earning media coverage for the campaign. To underpin all of the wonderful work voter work we’ve done this year, Teresa Christmas and chapter leaders worked with local artists and musicians to host BAM: An Evening of Beer, Art, and Music, to raise funds to support our voter work. Teresa said, “As voters we have a responsibility and power to ensure that our elected officials listen to us.”
The Southern Kentucky Chapter is proud of our work, knowing that we’ve contributed to a healthy democracy that will serve us in long-term and lasting ways as well as in the upcoming elections. We’re ready for election day, and we’re ready to hold our elected officials accountable all year round.
Reposted from http://kftc.org/blog/soky-members-work-hard-build-power-tuesdays-primary-election