Saturday Postcard Parties - Connecting While Quarantined
I first met Ning at an in-person Saturday afternoon postcard party in 2019. A small group of people would get together in Boulder to write postcards to voters about a wide range of issues or candidates. On occasion, a political figure or candidate would join us; they would write postcards and also talk to the group. It was nice to meet new people who shared an interest in making the world a better place. It was fun to write postcards while making like-minded friends.
It was during the pandemic, though, that the Saturday postcard parties became a really important part of my week. They were a way to connect with others, even while we were all quarantined in our homes. We had switched to Zoom shortly after the shut-down began, and we would often have 40 or 50 people joining our Saturday video chats. People could order postcards in advance, and a 2-hour Zoom went really fast if you were writing postcards at the same time. (I learned to always have something to do with my hands during other Zoom calls, too...there’s nothing worse than staring at yourself on a screen for hours!)
We invited politicians and community leaders to join us on these video calls; it was quite easy to find people to participate, because they could just hop on the call for 20 minutes. Moreover, other venues for outreach weren’t available to them because of the pandemic.
We had a wide range of guests. The director of the Thorne Nature Center told us about their summer nature programs for children and families, while the director of the Calwood Education Center told us about what they do, and about the damages caused by the wildfire there last fall.
We hosted candidates for the CU Board of Regents: Callie Rennison, Ilana Spiegel, in addition to a current Regent, Lesley Smith, who joined us regularly. I had never really understood what the Board of Regents did, but learned a lot from them, and followed their races closely after that, even writing postcards and leafleting for their campaigns. We hosted County Commissioner candidates Marta Loachamin and Jonathan Singer and learned what each of them planned to bring to the job. We also hosted US Senator candidates John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff.
We were joined by Congressman Joe Neguse, Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Attorney General Phil Weiser, State Treasurer Dave Young, Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg, former House Speaker KC Becker, and a number of other state legislators and candidates. Each of them shared their expertise and legislative priorities with us.
Amber McReynolds from the National Vote at Home Institute told us about her history as a voting rights and vote-by-mail advocate. Karen Flynn and Jesse Littlewood of Common Cause talked about the For the People Act. And there were many others. By hearing from these people in such a convivial setting, and being able to ask them questions directly, I felt that I really got to know them in a way that wouldn’t have been possible at a campaign rally or a town hall event.
The regular members of our group were inspiring, as well, by asking thoughtful questions, recommending excellent books and apps, and participating in spirited discussions of the issues of the day (there were many!). I would have felt much more isolated in 2020 had it not been for this new and inspiring group of friends.
As Blue Wave gears up to work on mid-term elections and important national issues, we will be starting up with postcard parties again. They may need to become a hybrid of in-person and Zoom events, so that we can easily accommodate everyone. I hope you will join us!
To be notified about new campaigns, as well as future postcard parties and other events, please sign up here for updates.-Faith, Art Director [bio]