UU the Vote at UUCPA
In December the UUA announced its new #UUtheVote Campaign, calling on UUs to “join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate”, in accordance with our UU principles. The UUA is providing guidance and a framework for UU congregations to use in doing this electoral justice work, in concert with selected non-partisan partner organizations. Our current partner organizations are:
- Vote Forward: votefwd.org
- Reclaim Our Vote actionnetwork.org/groups/reclaim-our-vote (a project of (Center for Common Ground)
- League of Women Voters: lwvc.org
- Environmental Voter Project: www.environmentalvoter.org
UUCPA UU the Vote from home!
Our UU the Vote gatherings at UUCPA are on hold for now, but we can easily ensure our UU values play an important role remotely via our effective partner organizations.
For the Vote Forward zoom letter-writing events listed below, it’s best to secure some Vote Forward letters in advance. You may download and print letters at votefwd.org. Or you may contact Anne Frahn (AnneFrahn@uucpa.org) to arrange to pick up or get a delivery of a packet of printed letters from her. See the Vote Forward section below for more details about these letters.
For the Reclaim Our Vote postcard writing parties, please email Linda at email@example.com and she’ll get you all set up.
Reclaim Our Vote (ROV)
We’re continuing to write postcards and make phone calls to voters of color — alerting those who have been purged from the voter rolls and helping them (re)register and vote.
Here are some choices for participating with ROV from home:
- Phone banking: Contact Elsa (firstname.lastname@example.org) for easy instructions;
- Writing postcards: order full packets of materials from Elsa ($4 for 10 postcards) or receive names/addresses and script by e-mail free, using your own stamps and postcards (available at post offices) Packets include postcards, voter list, stamps, labels for Election Registrar contact info, and script.
Vote Forward: Get-Out-The-Vote letter packets available for pick up or delivery
Looking for an easy, at-home action that will strengthen our democracy (and maybe lessen your feelings of helplessness about the crises facing our country)? The national “UU the Vote” initiative has adopted Vote Forward letters as one way to do that.
The main points:
- These letters are one of the most effective ways to get underrepresented and infrequent voters to the polls.
- You’re not writing a whole letter, just quickly personalizing a form letter with a proven message.
- A batch of 20 letters/envelopes takes about 1 hour.
- You have 3 months to complete them! We’re not mailing them til October.
- Anytime between now and early October, Anne Frahn can deliver a packet of 100 letters to you, or you may pick them up on her porch.
- Students can get community service credit (100 letters = 5 hours).
- Multiply your efforts by encouraging your contacts to write letters as well.
UUCPA member Anne Frahn can provide you with a packet of 100 letters that will go to infrequent voters from underrepresented demographic groups in 12 swing states. Several randomized-controlled trials show that hand-personalized letters are second only to door knocking for getting out the vote, and door knocking is unlikely this year. If we complete and store these letters now, we can focus on making calls and sending texts in October (just three months from now).
One hundred letters may sound like a lot, but you (and your housemates) have THREE months to fill them in. Once you get the hang of it, 20 letters/envelopes should take about one hour. And don’t worry! You’re not actually writing an entire letter. It’s a form letter with a proven message that you simply personalize by adding the recipient’s name, your signature, and one heartfelt sentence about why you believe it’s important to vote. Then you fill out the envelope. And that’s it–you may just have gotten someone to vote who otherwise wouldn’t have! In an important state! Plus, it’s all anonymous because you don’t use your last name, or even your return address. To help you visualize the ease of it all, here’s a picture:
- Anne can leave the letters on her porch for you or deliver them to you. She will include instructions and some examples of how to finish the sentence.
- You will provide envelopes and stamps. Even if you don’t have envelopes or stamps on hand now, you can order them online and get started on the letters in the meantime. (Envelopes and stamps for 100 letters should cost about $60.)
- You will store your completed letters/envelopes (and then hopefully ask Anne for more letters!)
- Mid September: Anne will send you a reminder to finish up your letters (or return them to her if you really think you can’t finish them).
- Mid October: Anne will send you a reminder to mail the letters.
Volunteer Credit Hours: Do you have children or grandchildren who need to log volunteer hours? As a non-partisan effort, this activity counts. Vote Forward has authorized Anne to sign for the volunteer hours, and she has already done so for several Paly students.
Be a multiplier: Adapt this email to send to your local network members to see if they’d like letter packets. Give Anne the total number of letters you need. She’ll get the letters to you, and you’ll distribute them to your network members. Then you’ll email a “time to send” reminder to your writers in October. Together, we’ll have multiplied the number of writers and thus multiplied the number of underrepresented voters participating in our democracy!
UU the Vote–and your country–need you to help get out the vote in November! Please contact Anne Frahn to arrange a letter packet pick up or delivery.