Parties with a Purpose

By Ginna Martin

As a brand new PC, I poured over my walk list and the info it provided on my neighborhood. The excitement of seeing all those D’s gave me goosebumps.

Although I am just beginning my new job as a PC, I remind myself I am already a connected Democrat within my district.
I have hosted two candidate parties for Kathy Hoffman. The first house party was a “Meet the Candidate” event. I invited like-minded friends and neighbors. We shared our disdain for the current political climate and all agreed to turn those feelings into action. Kathy Hoffman picked up some donations, as well as volunteers.

The second house party was to support Save Our Schools Arizona (SOS). SOS advertised a meet-up at my home as a petition drop-off site with a notary available to shore up the process. We can now all celebrate that organization and its successful and impressive undertaking.

House parties are my favorite way to contribute. It is a casual atmosphere and well received. People like to be reminded they are not alone in their politics and more importantly, it provides a safe space for people who want to get involved somehow, but maybe don’t know how.

I am hosting another house event soon to introduce another local candidate, Chris Gifillan, LD 20 House Candidate.
My goal is to create a house party that multiplies into additional house parties, kind of like a pampered chef party. Anyone who hosts the next party brings in their friends, family, and neighbors. It’s a great way to spread the message.

Finally, I am also making calls for AZ Blue 2020. This has been an amazing experience. The calls to folks who signed up for more info at “We the People Summit ” are literally starving for more information and direction. The best part is, I can point them in that direction. As my mother use to say, “Many hands make light work.”

Let’s get together and get this done!

We the People

By Sarah Meaney

The We the People Summit was created to unite people from all levels of political involvement and areas of the state in one place for one day of learning and activism. Organizers collected panels of experts to educate the public on a multitude of topics from creating sustainable organizations to the history of social and political movements. It was to be a day of impact.

Walking into the convention center, past the line forming at the door, I could see tables covered with name tags for the nearly 1,500 people in attendance. I grabbed my lanyard and name tag and headed to the AZ Blue 2020 tent. There was the team in matching blue shirts, displaying our new PC video under the big blue tent.

Shortly after I arrived, the slow and steady stream of people began. They grabbed coffee and milled about in a dull roar of conversation. Many of the people who passed were familiar allies, but the number of new faces was what had us most excited.

I began stickering people and striking up conversations. There were people from Yuma, Lake Havasu, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, current legislators and candidates. People came from all over the state with all different backgrounds.

In between stickering, I stopped at the Progressive Voices podcast table and chatted with Scott and Cara. While there, Athena Salman talked about her experience as a first year representative.

The corridor emptied as the first sessions began. I attended a session with OFA and got some valuable tips for sustaining a group’s members and creating consistent messaging.

Back in the corridor, I continued stickering and promoting visits to the AZ Blue 2020 tent. I stopped by the Save Our Schools Arizona table to talk to fellow volunteers and was asked by Dawn, head of communications, to film a short tutorial about why I support SOSAZ and the SB1431 referendum. That was an easy ‘yes’. I changed my shirt, the SOSAZ tee folded and packed in my backpack, alongside camera equipment and lots of business cards. After the video tutorial, some people stopped me to crack jokes about the ‘uniform’ change. I changed shirts a couple more times that day.

At the next forum, I learned about 501(c)¾ organizations and the tax rules associated with each designation. Fun stuff. After learning how to avoid tax evasion charges, I attended the Leaders’ Lunch. The founding members of many groups were in attendance. The creator of ResistBot spoke, along with AZ Resist and SOSAZ members.

I skipped the afternoon sessions to rejoin the AZ Blue 2020 team back at our blue tent. We received lots of traffic. Jodi signed up six new precinct committeepersons and a number of attendees signed up for our newsletter. We had many groups interested in scheduling AZ Blue 2020 for presentations and even secured a spot on a future Zod and Drea podcast.

Before the last session was over, the AZ Blue 2020 tent was visited by Deedra Abboud, as well as CD8 Candidate, Brianna Westbrook. Ms. Westbrook recorded us live on Periscope while Tricia Sauer interviewed.

When the final session of the day ended and the last bit of traffic filtered out of the corridor, our team packed up and headed to dinner. We stopped at my favorite downtown spot, Carly’s on Roosevelt. We ate, drank and shared our experiences from the day. It really was a day of impact.

IDK, OMG…WTF?

People, can we talk about the acronyms, please!?!? As new PCs, we are all experiencing a learning curve with the lingo, particularly the never-ending list of acronyms. So, with that in mind, we have put together a list of commonly used abbreviations. Most are PC specific. Some we’ve run across because PCs come from many different backgrounds and bring their own jargon with them. And some, well, some are here just because we KIR.

PC: Hopefully this is a short way to describe you. And if not, what are you waiting for? It means Precinct Committeeperson. Also relationship builder, community guru, and Party Superhero.

LD: If you spent much of high school in a small room with five of your closest friends pouring over, amassing and then filing news articles, it means Lincoln-Douglas. But in our circle, it’s short for Legislative District.

CD: It used to mean that thing that came after cassettes but before mp3s. Now it means Congressional District.

ADP: Arizona Democratic Party. More pull than a county, less pull than national.

OMG: A natural response appropriate for a myriad of situations. Ex: “OMG! Did Ducey talk to anyone in Michigan before signing SB1431?” or “OMG, Jeff Flake was so dismissive at his Town Hall.” or “OMG! I just recruited my first PC!”

ADLCC: Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. I think this one wins for most syllables in a title. We appreciate this acronym.

GOTV: Get Out the Vote. The opposite of the multisyllabic ADLCC, there are only four syllables in the whole phrase, but who wants to type all those little words every time?

SMH: The appropriate response for when you ask a person to sign a petition to Save Our Schools (SOS) and they respond they “don’t do” politics…Shaking My Head.

ALEC: Cue Darth Vader’s theme music. This stands for American Legislative Exchange Council.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure. As in, “Launch the SOP to reach and engage PCs and potential PCs so we have a ready and willing army of volunteers come 2018.”

VAN: Not the “stranger-danger” kind, not the “soccer-mom” kind, but the Voter Activation Network kind. Full of more tidbits of info than Cheerios in the backseat of a minivan.

LOL: The sound that unwillingly escapes you when, as a PC, you meet other like-minded people who have been living in your neighborhood for years unbeknownst to you. Short for Laugh Out Loud. Not to be confused with LMAO, which is used when listening to Trump describe his inauguration numbers.

PAC: Political Action Committees. These groups pool money to spend for or against candidates or issues. AZ Blue 2020 is a PAC made up of small, individual donations from a group of grassroots organizers looking to impact growth in the ADP.  PACs get dicey when funded by large corporations trying to leverage money for influence.

IEC: Independent Expenditure Committee. Also known as Super PACs. *sigh* We like them when they’re for our candidate or issue but not when they’re not. Can we all agree there’s just too much money in politics?

AHCA: Abbreviation for Tax Cut for the Uber Wealthy. I know, it’s weird they got the letters wrong…

WTF: The abridged version of what silently goes through your mind when you encounter a voter who supports the current administration and it’s policies. What we actually say? “Thank you for your time. I’ll remove you from our list.” Because, ICYMI, when they go low, we go high.

 

It’s Not Hot

By Candice Eisenfeld

I am dripping wet, my feet sloshing around in flip-flops. My bathing suit is sticking to my skin and my damp hair is smashed, gathered inside my straw sun hat. I’ve packed my zippered coverall, three-gallons of ice-cold water and…petitions.

This is not a day at the beach. Instead, I am going to man a table set up on a sidewalk, outside a bookstore, in the Phoenix summer heat. The Save Our Schools initiative requires over 76,000 legal signatures by July 31st. I won’t allow greedy lawmakers to eliminate more funding from our already struggling schools while they profit from their investments in charter school enterprises.

I arrive promptly at 4:50pm to relieve the two volunteers there since 1pm. They are a couple in their 70s. I expect them to peel themselves from their sweaty metal folding chairs, thank me for alleviating their heat-induced misery and make an escape to somewhere air-conditioned. Surprisingly, they seem to have lots of energy after four hours with no break. They don’t leave. In fact, there is no sign of misery of any kind. Some people stop to sign the petition and the couple engages. They begin to talk animatedly, guiding the political conversation like expert navigators. It’s the most fun I’ve had all day.

These two are resolute activists. I discover they have been fighting for democratic values for decades. During our discussion, I finally ask how they survived the heat of the day. The woman answers simply, “It’s not hot.”

I am inspired.