Last week’s diary went into more detail about the concept of creating CUA Circles: Starting with the people you know right now, you can be the source of factual, encouraging Democratic messaging. We may not have the nationwide communications advantage right now, but as individuals, the Blue Team outnumbers them. This means the way we talk to each other makes a world of difference.
start your own cua circle
Your CUA Circle has three simple active weekly goals:
- get the facts
- spread the news
- encourage one another
We have to start somewhere. Let it be here and now.
this week’s assignment
Get the Facts
- When is the next election in your area? Are you sure? Your next election may be the national midterm elections that end on November 8, but it may not. Double check that there is no primary, special election, or other schedule anomaly happening locally for you between now and the midterms on November 8th.
- What is the last day to register to vote in that election?
- Do you have early voting for that election? If so, what is the first day of early voting?
Spread the News
Mention the first part to someone in your circle. I’ll use my own state as an example.
“Wow—I just saw that the Massachusetts Primary is a month from today! Did you know our primary was this late in the year?”
Regardless of their answer, continue in this vein:
“I was surprised to see so many races on the ballot. I finally looked at all the candidates and decided who I am voting for, so I won’t be doing it the day before the election like I usually do!” (Note: So far, you have not said who you support, or even which party’s primary ballot you are taking.)
If a conversation begins, ask if they are planning to vote in the primary. Regardless of their answer, continue in this vein:
“Summer is when I check and make sure I am still registered to vote. Too many shaky things are happening these days with people getting dropped off voting rolls and not knowing it. I confirm my registration in the summer just to be sure.”
If they say they are voting:
“This is the first primary I can remember with early voting locations. I’m planning to get myself out there on August 27, the very first early voting day, so I won’t have to think about it over the Labor Day weekend.”
If they ask about candidates, make sure you have a very short sentence (max five seconds/ten words) describing why you have picked your candidate. This may be the hardest part of all. I can help you come up with that language, too, if you need it. You have to be able to toss it off, not present it as a debate argument.
Q: “Who are you picking for Attorney General?”
A: “Campbell—Healey endorsed her.” (Note: Healey is the current AG and the likely Democratic nominee for Governor.)
Q: “Who’s your pick for Lt. Governor”?
A: “Driscoll—I like her executive experience as Mayor of Salem.”
If it gets contentious, back off immediately and drop it.
“Hey, I wasn’t trying to start an argument or anything. I just think it’s weird that we have our primary the day after Labor Day. Seems like a time when a lot of people might not remember to vote, so that makes me feel my vote is even more important.”
If you had a good conversation, you planted a seed. If you had an argument, you may have sparked their curiosity. At the very least, you spread some factual news—and that is always a win.
Encourage one another
This assignment is simple and will be the same every week. Find someone who is working on an issue that is important to you, and give them a word of encouragement.
Tell a volunteer you appreciate their long hours, thank a politician for voting the right way, or tell someone their blog post gave you important information.
Write a protest song that inspires people to be activists, draw a cartoon that lets us laugh at our adversaries, create a piece of art that fires people up, or one that is just restful and relaxing to behold—but make sure you share it somehow. Even if with just one other person. Find something encouraging that someone else wrote or drew or shared and keep passing it along.
we are the communication network
The extremist wing of the Republican Party built its power exactly this way. Individuals talked to one another, formed small groups, which formed larger groups, which formed intersecting groups. It’s not just the churches and snail mail lists—they did it with conversation and personal letters and emails and social media posts.
We can do that, too. We need to start now and see what foundation we can set before the midterms so we can really crank it up to eleven for the next cycle. 2024 Presidential candidates may start announcing in six months or sooner. Yes, I said six months. Barack Obama announced his candidacy in February 2007. Republicans might have a huge 2024 field. We need to be ready.
Your CUA circle already exists. It starts with you. You are enough to get a circle started. Your goal is not to start arguments; instead, we want to spark curiosity and interest and create a circle of well-informed people who will then spread the information even further.
It won’t take long for folks to figure out you are the one to ask for political information: You always know who the candidates are, when the registration and voting deadlines are, how the local and national issues connect—and the more often you get it right, the more they will trust you.
We outnumber them. Let’s fight back with what we have. Start where you are.
report on last week’s assignment
Does anyone have a report or feedback from last week’s inaugural assignment (who are your state representatives, and when is the next election to choose them)? Did you find an opportunity to do it? Was it easy? Was it difficult? If you didn’t get started, what would help you get started this week? My personal experience with last week’s assignment is in the comments. Please add yours!
Will it fly high, like a bird up in the sky?