UUtheVote at UUC: with THANKSGIVING for your tremendous efforts!

UU the VOTE (and the UUA logo)

Ed. note: Steve Carlson, who led UUC’s UUtheVote efforts this fall, wrote this to the dozens of volunteers who worked to get the vote out. I thought the rest of us might enjoy reading it too.

Dear Democracy Friends,

Having enjoyed a couple of weeks away walking among the Redwoods and the Sequoias, and exploring the surprising diversity of Death Valley, I am returned to Seattle to find that, finally, the creaking gears of our beloved democracy are beginning to turn toward the work of restoration and, even beyond that, toward more justice. I am grateful. May it continue unabated.

I hope you will join me to pause, take a deep cleansing breath, and allow yourself to feel a sense of celebration, joy, and thanksgiving for our tremendous efforts together this year on behalf of our UU values and the rights of our fellow citizens to have their voices heard!  Mmmm-mmmh, doesn’t that feel great?! You did that. We did that.

So many of you did so much outreach and advocacy – just among the 32 of you who responded to my survey of a couple of weeks ago, I see we did the following non-partisan work, often in states with a history of disenfranchisement, particularly aimed at people of color:

  • Wrote letters and postcards to over 5,000 voters;
  • Made phone calls to another nearly 4,500 voters;
  • Sent text messages to well over another 5,000 voters;
  • Advocated with elected officials across the country re voter access and enfranchisement for over 100 hours;
  • Made significant financial contributions;
  • And brought so many hearts-full of care and concern along the way!

Though we had challenges along the way, and tried things that made us uncomfortable (calling strangers!), we persevered! Here is just a bit of the feedback you all shared with me:

  • It felt great to do this work, together
  • I appreciated the variety of ways to get involved
  • I learned how good it feels to actively work in this democracy, and that democracy can’t be maintained unless we all participate
  • I still don’t like making phone calls, but I did some!
  • Felt hopeful
  • Felt patriotic
  • I feel more connected to my fellow UUCers and to UUs across the country
  • I felt supported and encouraged by my fellow UU cohort
  • Being involved was a great help for anxiety
  • I still have hope

While we will never know for certain all the ways in which our work has made a difference, I am measuring our success in a couple of ways:

  • The record-breaking voter turnout around the country, in a challenging time of pandemic; and
  • The hope for the future that we have helped to bring to one another and to those we reached out to

I expect we will find ways to continue this important work going forward – please stay tuned.

In gratitude for you and our work together,

Steve, Volunteer leader, UUtheVote at UUC