Our Journey - Part Three
Our 2020 Campaigns
Partnerships are crucial for launching successful campaigns, and we found great ones. In June 2020, we launched our first major campaign with America Votes - the Miami Wave - to help Democratic voters in Miami-Dade County to sign up to vote by mail.
We designed and printed 100,000 postcards. We thought we were being overly ambitious and would never be able to distribute all of them. It took us almost two months but we did it! In mid-August, we launched our second campaign of the same size, but this time it took only 10 days for the postcards to be fully distributed. When we launched the June campaign, we had 17 postcard groups - almost all of them located in Colorado. By the time we launched the second campaign, we had 114 groups registered with us from 24 states.
Subsequently, we launched about two dozen campaigns in Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, and Georgia. We urged people to register to vote, sign up to vote by mail, vote early, and finally, vote on Election Day. We also carried out targeted campaigns for young and minority voters. In October, we shifted our focus to Colorado and ran two campaigns for key state senate races, as well as a hotly contested congressional race.
Overall, we distributed almost 1.8 million postcards leading up to the November election. We took pride in the fact that all our postcards were sent to presidential or senatorial battleground states, including states where the margins of victory turned out to be razor thin at the end.
Right after we celebrated the Biden/Harris win on the Saturday after the election, we got back to work on the Georgia Senate runoff elections. Within a few days, we started distributing postcards for our first Senate runoff campaign. By that time, we had already established more than 400 postcard groups all over the country. Within two days, all 200,000 postcards were claimed; they were fully distributed in a week. After that, we launched four more campaigns. In total, we were able to design, print and distribute 850,000 postcards for the runoffs in the six weeks following the general election.
How did we manage to pull that off so quickly? The answer was simple. By the time we were ready to launch campaigns for the runoffs, we had built a “well-oiled machine”. We had a dedicated team of ten, a local group of reliable volunteers available at a moment’s notice, and thousands of engaged activists in DC and all 50 states. All of us worked as volunteers and put in an enormous amount of time and effort to make the movement a success. We did this because we refused to sink into helplessness and despair in a moment of darkness. We did this because we cared about the future. We did this because we knew that we could make a difference.
What We Learned
We learned a lot along the way. Mostly, we learned from our mistakes, which were plenty. We pushed forward and we pushed hard. We found our limits by pushing ourselves to our limits. At times, it seemed as if we were sailing with the wind. At other times, it seemed as if we kept running into walls and the work was never ending. In the end, we were happy with what we did.
Starting from almost nothing was definitely challenging. We had come a long way from a small group of concerned citizens sitting at a picnic table, uncertain about the future of our country. Or perhaps, we didn’t start from nothing at all - we started from our resolve to make a difference. In the end, perhaps that resolve was everything we needed.
Ning Mosberger-Tang, Founder and President [bio]
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