Girrrrrrl. WHAT. A. NIGHT.
As the polls settle after the historic midterms, we are starting to understand the generation-defining impact of this election.
Let me get this out of the way up front. YES. We wanted wins for Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum and Beto and it hurts that those didn’t happen. But those weren’t supposed to happen and it’s incredible how close we even came. We still have SO much to be excited about and proud of in the outcomes of this midterm election.
So. The good, no great, news. Together, we proved there is incredible POWER through people having their voice heard, standing up and showing up to realize the change they want to see. What does that mean? Well, following the Women’s March of 2017 when millions of us marched I don’t know that we had a purpose beyond just to be seen, come together and say we are not going to take this President’s administration lying down. We’re not sure how but we are going to fight for women’s justice, equality for all and so many other values that will come under attack from the White House and Congress.
There was a real danger that that energy would fizzle out and we would fall back into the status quo. But it didn’t. What that energy evolved into was a beautiful and dedicated focus on electing more women, people of color and LGBTQ+ persons to every level of government so that it better reflects our communities. I am especially excited to see historic levels of women go to Congress.
At SameSide alone, our work together in this election cycle led to:
125,000+ calls, texts and door knocking to GOTV (Get Out the Vote)
Electing the first openly Gay Governor (CO)
Sending over 100 women to the House of Representatives
Electing so many more women, people of color and LGBTQ candidates across the U.S. and at all levels of government
TAKING BACK THE HOUSE!!!!!!!
And we were just a drop in the bucket. So many of you joined Indivisible, Swing Left, Planned Parenthood and so many more to advocate for candidates that represented your values.
So here we are. It was a tough fight and we accomplished something amazing. So that’s that right? Mission accomplished. We can kick off our heels and head to the spa for some R&R right?
NO. Not even close. Think of this work we did to get here as a new normal. All day, every day, it is important to think about all the decisions we make and the impact they have as advancing the issues we care about. At SameSide, we like to say that politics is happening to you every day so you can choose to participate and be in control or let decisions be made for you.
There are incredibly important issues still affecting women’s equality like equal pay. In California, the progressiviest of the progressive states, our governor vetoed a bill that would have required large companies to report their pay data based on gender and race so that they and the state could see the income gaps in plain sight. (face palm)
And with conservatives grabbing an even larger share of the U.S. Senate and a more conservative leaning Supreme Court, women’s reproductive health rights are going to be further challenged, particularly in states that are already working to roll back the protections under Roe v Wade.
So what can you do? Well, beyond the simple everyday items like supporting women-owned businesses, it’s important to start incorporating outreach to your elected officials about the issues you care about into your everyday lives. Sending an email and making a call about an issue you want them to support is so powerful because they do work for you and they listen. They record every call, email, tweet, letter, postcard on all issues to guide their legislative focus. The reason why money seems to rule politics is because lobbyists are vocal. But guess what - lobbyists have just as many votes as you: 1.
At SameSide, we try to make it easy, and fun! You can go to our website and find all kinds of different movements and issues and easily take action from our site. But what we’re really proud of is empowering YOU to host a gathering that brings people together to learn about issues and take action. Whether it’s over brunch, a wine tasting, yoga flows, movie screenings or just friends getting together for a discussion, we provide you the tools to easily email, call or tweet at your elected officials.
If you’re interested to learn more - check us out or email us email@example.com. Regardless, just continue to stand up and have your voice heard. Because when we come together to do work, amazing things happen.