When I first started doing electoral work, I remember looking at canvass maps with entire communities crossed out. We’ve all witnessed presidential candidates ignore states due to assumptions about party allegiance or voter propensity. But last night in Kansas, voters surprised the nation when they beat a constitutional ban on abortion, reminding us that when we organize, our communities are powerful beyond measure. Today, we celebrate a hard-fought win that is rooted in organizing: neighbors talking to neighbors about values and building power to change laws and systems to help communities thrive. This is what happened in Kansas. And it can happen in more states and in your communities if we work together.
There is still more work to be done. We need more people to build the power we need to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate in the 2022 midterms. Join us for the Power to the People Volunteer Action Huddle on Sunday, August 28, 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT. This is a national multi-issue volunteer event where you will have the opportunity to find a volunteer role or join a team to help bring our values to the 2022 elections and beyond.
When we launched UU the Vote 2020, we declared that we would be prophetic, not partisan. We were clear that our focus was on people, our values, and building alongside the communities that are systematically neglected and exploited. UU the Vote 2022 is focusing on ballot measures and values-based electoral organizing because that is how we build political power to dismantle systems oppression and deliver concrete victories with and for our communities. Nothing is inevitable as long as we continue to build community around our shared values and harness that power towards our collective liberation.
UU the Vote is collaborating with UU State Action Networks and frontline organizations and to work on ballot measures that will impact abortion access, voting rights, and the criminal legal system. We’re also working across programs with Uplift Action, Create Climate Justice, and Love Resists to advance our values and build movements that Side With Love. But we need your help to grow our work.
For me, faith-based organizing is about radical belief in community. As a Unitarian Universalist, I believe that democracy is a fundamental practice of a just community. It’s more than voting–it’s cultivating community, even when parties or polls tell us that our communities don’t matter. Fannie Lou Hammer said, “There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.” This is what the LGTBQ+, BIPOC, and youth and young adult organizers held central as they built more inclusive campaigns capable of winning the fight over abortion today, and building community resilience for tomorrow.
We need individuals and teams in this work. Get started by bringing 3 people in your community to our Power to People Volunteer Activation Huddle.
I hope to see you there.
PS. One thing we’ve learned is that a win does not mean the work is done. Help support continued organizing and abortion access in Kansas by donating to these groups: