In this year’s election every eligible voter deserves outreach around the importance of casting a ballot and just how to do it. That is why UUSM is partnering with Reclaim Our Vote: to inform and mobilize voters in high-suppression states. These are largely voters of color, often ignored by major political parties because they’re not likely major political donors.
“Our calling them invites them to the dance they have been excluded from for so long,” said Else Schafer, a member of the UU Church in Palo Alto, at a phone bank orientation.
Else, from the Palo Alto UU congregation, recently hosted a Lunchtime for Liberation phone bank as part of the UU Justice Ministry of California “Turning the Tides” online justice summit. UUs from San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, and the Bay Area joined together to call mostly Black and brown voters in Arizona to make sure they knew about the state’s Permanent Early Voting List and how they could get on it to vote by mail in November.
It was SO easy to phone bank. After a brief training, I was guided to a website where I was given a script to follow and name after name of registered voters. I spoke with some, left messages with others, and noted where the number was no longer in service. Every time I completed a call, I was given the name of the next voter to call.
Want to join me? You could certainly call on your own by signing up here. Or you could join UUSM’s UU the Vote Team: a group of folks who want to put our UU values to work for the good of the country. We’ll be coordinating our efforts so that in addition to getting out the vote we will also deepen relationships and bring a spiritual grounding to our social justice work.
Our local UU the Vote Team will engage in a variety of efforts between now and November:
- Calling UUSM members to help them make voting plans and share a UU Values Voter Guide coming in September.
- Calling, texting, and mailing postcards to voters from traditionally suppressed communities in targeted states to make sure they know how to request vote-by-mail ballots.
- Celebrating all the amazing people in our congregation working to get out the vote and monitor elections.
Many of us are also volunteering as individuals, supporting certain candidates for office. Our UU the Vote Team is dedicated to centering our Unitarian Universalist values in a nonpartisan way, in partnership with our fellow faith-rooted organizing siblings UU Justice Ministry of California, UUA’s UU the Vote Campaign, and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.
By the way, if the concept of a team is too much, don’t fret. Just note that in the comments. We’d love to count you as an honorary member even if you prefer to work alone or with other groups instead.
Past President, UUSM Board of Directors