Last July, I wrote this column on Creating Your Own Political Giving Strategy. Wow, time flies. Stacey Abrams, the candidate who sparked me to write that won her Georgia Democratic primary, and may be the first female African-American governor in the US. Stacey was one of very few candidates I gave to in the past year, despite the thoughtful intentions I laid out in that blog post.
The other races where we donated were either other high profile national races (Doug Jones, for example) or local races where we knew a candidate (a former co-worker who is running for city council). So what happened?
Mainly, I didn’t follow my own advice. We didn’t set a budget, and didn’t decide on any kind of strategy (PACs vs. candidates, local vs. state vs. national). I did a little volunteering early on by investing some time in Swing Left organizing for CA-10 Congressional District, but not living in the district made it hard to travel and even harder to figure out the best candidates to back. *
All that will be clear after tonight. Today is the California Primary, and if you live here, please go vote. “Bad candidates are elected by good people who don’t vote.” (Not sure who said that, saw it on Instagram). Once the votes are tallied, we will know which swing districts are in play, and which candidates deserve our resources. I’ve made a lot of resolutions for June, but I’m promising myself that before July 4 (or as a July 4 gift to my country), our family will sit down and write our political giving strategy to ensure that Democrats win the midterm elections.
MEMOIR WRITING PROMPT: Write about a pivotal political moment for you. Was it voting for the first time? The first candidate you loved/hated? A campaign or movement you were a part of? Give yourself some time to think and write about how political engagement (or lack of) has affected who you are.
*I ended up volunteering to be on the Oakland Police Commission which has been a fascinating public service commitment, and definitely worth my redirected energy.