Our Journey - Part One
Over a year and a half ago, when I sat with a small group of people in a local brewery and wrote postcards opposing an effort to recall a Colorado state house representative, I didn’t have the slightest idea that we would end up creating and sending 2.6 million postcards before 2020 ended. I’d like to share with you our unexpected journey.
In April 2019, after learning about petitions to recall newly elected Colorado Democrats, I gathered a group of local activists to write postcards informing voters of what was happening. Word spread quickly. Our group grew from a few who could fit at a rectangular picnic table to a crowd that would take over the main section of a large grocery store cafe. All recalls were defeated before reaching the voting booths. By the time the last recall was defeated, we had built up enough momentum and didn’t want to stop, so we wrote postcards to support gubernatorial and other races around the country. It was a good year and all the races we supported were successful.
During the holiday season, we created holiday cards and raised funds for detained refugees in partnership with Casa de Paz in Aurora and for homeless youth with Attention Homes in Boulder. By the end of the year, we all felt like we had made a small but meaningful difference.
The Arrival of 2020
On New Year’s Eve, the Boulder Daily Camera published my Op-Ed piece about what we had done. In addition, the most important election of our lifetime was coming up in November. A grave concern for the future of our democracy and our country gave rise to a palpable surge of energy and activism. We were also inviting candidates and politicians to speak at our events then. We offered these speakers a platform to connect with activists and gave our activists the opportunity to learn about different issues and possible solutions directly from policymakers and candidates. As a result, more people showed up in our postcard events every week.
In March, with the pandemic spreading throughout America, we moved our weekly gatherings online. We missed our in-person interactions - and food and drinks - but the virtual events enabled us to invite speakers from all over the state to participate. In addition, we invited non-profit leaders so that we could learn about issues concerning our communities and determine how we could help. The information we received from these speakers boosted our resolve to stay engaged.
The word got out and people asked to join us from out of state. We decided that it was time for us to tap into the incredible energy, create a national movement and multiply our impact. We officially registered as a non-profit and created postcard groups in multiple states.
We started to fundraise and support activists who needed financial assistance. Postcard stamps made up the majority of the cost for our activists. Even though they are “only” 35 cents each, the cost added up quickly. We didn’t want the cost to become the barrier to activism.
We also decided to design and print our own postcards so we would have more control over the messaging. Also, by designing postcards on our own and printing them in bulk, we were able to reduce the cost and pass the savings to our activists. The Blue Wave Postcard Movement was starting to take shape.
Continued on to Part Two.
Ning Mosberger-Tang, Founder and President [bio]
Part two of our three-part series will discuss our process for finding the right partnerships to help launch our campaigns. Please sign up to receive future campaign communications - we’d love your involvement in growing the Blue Wave movement!