President Biden can’t be effective unless we do this NOW

Heidi Fiske <>
Date: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 7:07 AM
Subject: ✳️Heidi endgame alert #3: President Biden can’t be effective unless we do this NOW

Dear savvy liberal,
You hoped your political work would be done November 3rd but
the most game-changing actions you take this election cycle may be what you do NOW.See how, where to help below.
If Biden is to be effective we need to control the Senate, and that won’t happen unless Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their runoff Senate races in Georgia January 5th. If they lose, Republicans control the Senate 52-48. If they win, it is 50-50 and VP Harris can break any tie. 
Don’t send money to the campaigns now ...
One of the wisest political activists I know states: “My advice is to wait. There is so much money pouring into GA that it is almost impossible to know who can use the funds effectively.” And a few very large donations are expected within a week.
It may be a somewhat different story for groups seeking to register voters (ends December 7) and to get out the vote, especially in particular communities, — actions that both Republicans and Democrats agree are key to winning these races (as opposed to persuading people to change their vote). If you give to any such group, be sure it is one with an ongoing presence, so that if the money isn’t used in these races, it will work in 2021-22. 
… but do volunteer. A few caveats
Georgians can be downright rude about out-of-staters “parachuting in, telling us what to do as if they know more than we do,” says SE Georgia organizer Amanda Hollowell. And their frankness is a good  thing, because they’re telling you how to be effective. Here’s some of what they say:

  • while the election is of national importance to you, the issues that are going to get Georgians fired up and to the polls – especially in rural communities of color – are entirely local: notably health care access; COVID; environmental justice; criminal justice reform; and treatment of immigrants. “Take back the Senate” cuts no ice here. Says Black Voters Matter’s Wanda Moseley, “it’s not about what the nation needs. It’s about what black voters need. If it isn’t about that they won’t come out. Period.”
  • two important groups to get on board are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), who cast 91.3% more ballots in 2020 than 2016, and Hispanics: who cast 72.2% more. But each group is varied, and the differences are important, so let the locals teach you how to approach them.
  • Georgia has many ways to suppress the vote. You will need to understand them, because your major value may be helping people navigate the system.
  • Don’t come to work on the ground. First, there’s COVID. Second, plenty of people already do it. Finally, obvious out-of-staters trying to exert influence may raise hackles. One exception: poll watching if you are a lawyer
  • There are places where digital outreach does not work “because lack of broadband aligns exactly with Black and brown communities.” 
  • However you are interacting with Georgians, take it slow and be a friend, not an official. “Georgia voters are tired, overwhelmed,” says Fair Fight’s Hillary Holley. “They want to hear from people they trust, so come at them with grace.”

Groups to work with
Well over 40 highly credible progressive organizations are fighting this fight in Georgia. The few listed below match one or all of the following criteria: They use out of state volunteers; were recommended by several reliable sources; and/or reach special cohorts.  Shown in alphabetical order.
America Votes americavotes.orgAV assembles national and state-based coalitions to advance progressive policies and increase voter turnout for Democratic candidates. In Georgia it coordinates the activities of a dozen or more local and national groups so that all bases are covered and none are duplicated.volunteer page opportunities You can check off any of 13 organizations for which to volunteer (including several listed separately here), or choose among these activities: phone banking, texting, canvassing, writing postcards. 
Asian American Advocacy Fund AAAF advocates for national, state and local policies that will improve the lives of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and all immigrant populations in Georgia. Though this cohort is small, in a race that may well be won at the margins these energized voters could play an important role. (As noted, they increased their votes more than 91% between 2016 and 2020.).volunteer page opportunities phone banking, text banking, postcards
Black Voters Matter“At BVM, we … are NOT an electoral organization. We are, first and foremost,  a power building organization.” BVM works year-round in many communities to make sure that the issues that matter to black communities have political heft.volunteer page opportunities texting, phone banking, postcard writing, social media campaigning, Fair Fight Fight is a national voting rights organization founded in Georgia by Stacey Abrams. It is the leading voting rights groups in Georgia. Count on them to know the landscape everywhere and to offer fine training.volunteer page opportunities poll worker, “line warming,” calling voters, texting voters. Can always use lawyers
Flip the West“Harnessing grassroots power to take back the Senate. Current target: Georgia.”volunteer pages (phone banking) card writing) opportunities phone banking and postcard writing
MomsRising https://www.momsrising.orgMillion-member organization targeting voting blocs that turned significantly more progressive between 2016 and 2020: suburban white mothers; unmarried white mothers; and low propensity voters of color. Helping to get out the vote in Georgia now.volunteer page: opportunities: call leaders, write postcards, text, share MomsRising social media with your networksPoder Latinx“Votar es poder.” Presently seeking bilingual volunteers for Georgiavolunteer page opportunities register voters and get out the vote
Postcards to Voters is the original postcard program, founded, in Georgia, by “TonytheDemocrat.”volunteer page
Voto Latino organization devoted to uniting and empowering the Latinx community. Now very active in Georgiavolunteer page opportunities text banking, trainings and webinars, general advocacy and call to action alerts
Volunteer with each campaignthe Ossoff campaign Warnock campaign
inspire everyone you know in Georgia …… to vote for these two candidates, and to get all their friends out to do so. Check your contact list for “GA” “Georgia” and zip codes beginning “300.”  Revel in your old yearbooks as you look for forgotten classmates. After the wearying fights in 2020, it will be difficult to get people to the polls December 14 to January 5, so every vote will matter!
Talking points

  • Biden cannot be effective, hence this country cannot move forward, unless Democrats control the Senate. McConnell has proved this again and again since 2009.
  • Here we have two fine Democratic candidates vs. two appalling (and, in the case of Perdue, corrupt) Trumpers

Organizations that can train you to leverage your Georgia contacts: 

Galvanize your Republican friends
Use the take-no-prisoners arguments and ads of the Lincoln Project, founded by Republican strategists determined to defeat Trump. One might have expected them to support a Republican-controlled Senate to offset a Democratic President. But to their great credit, they also are fighting as hard as we are to have a Democrat-controlled Senate, because they want to defeat Trumpism.
Excellent, non-partisan guides to all the candidates’ positions. These are also available in Spanish from : 

Thanks to …

Especially helpful in compiling this memo were the following, whose work you might value on a continuing basis. With their permission here are their contacts: Evan Kost, (AV coordinates GOTV groups nationwide and in select states); Jane Whitney (wise readable commentary):; Deepak Puri, founder of the DemLabs (free/affordable apps for political work): 

Thanks also to Richard O, Craig K, Ellen BN, Victor K, Trey B, Chris B, Daniel S, Sally M, Larry H, Paul LHeidiHeidi

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in 2020 elections, Biden, senate and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s