Saturday, July 28, 2007

Women and GOTV

The GOTV panel has just stared, talking about how you move people to go vote! In the 2004 election 55% of women voted Democratic and 43% voted Republican, so there is a gender gap.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, just asked how many bloggers had a link to how to register to vote. Only five or six bloggers had done this. She then asked who would do it in 2008, and all hands went up.

People are more likely to register if they are asked to do so by someone they know. They are also more likely to vote, if asked by a trusted friend. The blogging community has the potential to raise that to a whole new level. As women, we can make a difference, and we need to talk with other women to get them involved.

Back in 1992 we called that "the girlfriend vote" -- where one girlfriend would talk with another girlfriend, over a cup of coffee, across the back yard fence, or anywhere that women gather.

Zephyr Teachout is talking about grassroots organizing, and urging people to "use the internet to get offline." Meeting with people, in person, is one of the best ways to make change.

Liza Sabater followed up by saying it's important to have a mailing list, to know the people in your community. Basically that all politics are local.

She is talking about why religious right activists have been so successful, because they are tenacious in contact policy makers until they get what they want! Before blogswarms, these folks used email-swarms, post card-swarms, etc. Progressives need to organize in this same way.

I just shared a story about two wonderful women I met in Pennsylvania back in 2006. These women have an email list of 1,000 names, and they were names of voters who trusted these women to vet the political candidates in their district. What these women created was a true influential voter block. In their community, races were won or lost by as little as 10 votes, so EVERYONE seeking office HAD to meet with these women. This is what needs to be duplicated nationwide.

One of the audience members just spoke about the need for us to consider becoming "transpartisan." Her point is that we need to be true to our issues, and demand that all candidates, regardless of party, embrace these issues.

A representative of Emily's List reminded everyone that 22 years ago Ellen Malcolm brought together a few of her friends, who all met in her basement, for the purpose of electing a woman to the US Senate. That year they raised more than $300,000 dollars and helped elected Barbara Mikulski. In the past election Emily's List raised more than $11 million for pro-choice women candidates.

The discussion continued on the need to connect women to GOTV in 2008. Zephyr suggested that a new group be formed called "" The room approved!

NOTE: I will add photos later!

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