This IS what Democracy looks like!

MARCHING FORWARD MASS leaders, members, friends and neighbors.  WOW, what a group of activists! This is a LONG blogpost but we have lots to say and we hope you enjoy reading.  Please send thoughts and comments to

From our start in January 2017 as we returned from Marches across our nation (and world), we came together to form strategies as a positive and pragmatic path forward during the most volatile political times in many of our collective memories.  

We gathered friends and neighbors from the South Coast to decide on best practices for our nascent group.  We aligned with Indivisible Guide together with Sister Organizations in regions within the State of MA. First, we formed HUDDLE groups around key areas requiring protective actions:  Healthcare, Immigration, (Protection of) Honest Journalism, Political Actions and Environment. We huddled in subgroups and "rolled up" into our combined MFM (Marching Forward Mass) group to gain knowledge, share learnings and form actions.  Speakers included Helena DaSilva Hughes with State Senator Chris Markey (Immigration), Paul Feeney, newly announced MA State Senate Candidate and now State Senator (Foxboro) and Tad Devine (Al Gore, Bernie Sanders National Campaign Consultant) with Scott Lang, Attorney and former Mayor of New Bedford, as well as Michael ROCHA MD , who spoke with our Healthcare Huddle on moving to Healthcare for All.  We closed the year with a forum for constituents with our U.S. Congressman Bill Keating and our Journalism Huddle hosted an evening with Charles Sennett, The Ground Truth Project.

We have deepened long term friendships, made new friends and welcomed many new residents to our towns seeking like minded political activists looking to affect positive change.To enable this our website,, provides our home base for communication, outreach and database management.  450 interested citizens follow us on our Facebook page. All of this "funded" by volunteers and a donation jar passed at meetings and events*.

Early last Spring, we turned our attentions to the essential Midterm Elections, November 6, 2018.  We first attended an Indivisible Guide conference in Worcester, MA and then met with a partner IG (Indivisible Guide) team in Weston, MA who are expert at tracking data on candidates in "swing regions" of our country. We learned that Congressional seats were the most likely to benefit from our actions.  Our leaders met together to form strategies: First, we decided that we wanted to "step out of our Blue state" with attention on Congressional Campaigns in regions close enough to travel to at Canvassing time. We launched our "ADOPT A CANDIDATE" program in April and backed our first Candidate Conor Lamb, PA 17.  Our list of candidates was sent to our full membership for online voting and four additional districts (some had primaries) were selected for focus and support: NJ03, ANDY KIM (in June, Mary Boger and Terry Cryan hosted a well attended breakfast at Mary's home in June with ANDY); NJ11 MIKIE SHERRILL, led by team leaders Laurie Bullard, Nancy Train Smith (who both grew up in the district) and John Bullard; ME02, JARED GOLDEN led by Vic Mailey, Bess Coughlin and Bettina Borders; and NY01, PERRY GERSHON led by Judy Jenkins, Barbara Trecker, Susan Kehoe and Rachel Lewis.

Each team expanded to include relatives, friends and neighbors to participate in each campaign's plan of attack.  Every team began by connecting to Campaign Directors to determine how we could best help. Tactics included postcard mailing, calling, texting, sending money (of course) and canvassing in districts. We were all so grateful for the generosity of TIME, resources and donated housing from the members of each team.  Many of us have now lived together, walked muddy roads together, discovered "minivan" software, had like-minded and vastly opposing political conversations, felt safe and unsafe but mostly purposeful in our attempt to contribute to the complex work of protecting our democracy, piece by piece. Working together with focus, purpose, passion and AN END DATE has been hard work and rewarding.  Mostly we agree that it has been spirited FUN.

The 2018 Midterm Election gave Democrats control of the House AND gains in Governorships and State Legislatures, too.  Democrats gained enough seats to deprive Republicans of super majorities in Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and set a record for the number of single-party-controlled legislatures. Only Minnesota will be divided. The last time U.S. had only one divided legislature was in 1914. With final ballots counted, Democrats have achieved a total takeover of congressionals seats in the one-time Republican bastion of Orange County known as “Regan Country”).

Women have never held more than 84 of the 435 seats in the House. 100 Women, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, have been officially declared winners (net gain +4%) and it's not just numbers but a diverse group of women:  

  • MA and CT are the first to have African American Congresswomen;

  • Texas elected its first two Latina women;

  • Two Muslim women and two Native American Women will be part of our new Congress;

  • Two of the youngest women, both 29, were elected to Congress.

Our Adopted Candidates results:  

  • Perry Gershon, NY01: Our group, lead by Judy Jenkins, Barbara Trecker, Susan Kehoe and Rachel Lewis,  found campaign directors to be most responsive and eager for our engagement. Leaders led many of us with strong actions and thousands of postcards written for Perry.  The campaign was a very difficult race from the beginning as voters liked status quo in this very red, wealthy district believed to be enjoying tax breaks both corporate and individual. Further complicating this campaign was a population low in year round “millennials.”  Trump-like incumbent remains.

  • MIKIE SHERRILL, NJ11: Mikie is a strong candidate seeking a seat vacant due to retirement. Our group, led by Laurie Bullard, Nancy Train Smith (who both grew up in region) and John Bullard, found the Campaign well-staffed (both paid and volunteer), organized, and welcoming with progressive training from canvassing 101 on up.  John and Laurie spent time with Mikie’s father at a post-election party and Laurie received an email from Mikie post-election. Canvassers spent several (often rainy) weekends in the region.

  • ANDY KIM, NJ03: After accepting a very narrow win and a challenge of results, Andy was declared the winner a week following election. The campaign was very responsive and eager for “boots on the ground.”  Andy was well known to many of us as we were introduced and devotees after meeting him in our hometown in June. A band of activists led by Terry Cryan and Mary Boger rented a place in the NJ region together (dorm room anyone?) and knocked on hundreds of doors over a four day stay just prior to Election Day.  

  • JARED GOLDEN, ME02: After a nail biting challenge to “ranked choice voting” law, Jared Golden has been declared the winner in this very tight race.   Leaders Vic Mailey, Bess Coughlin and Bettina Borders spent seven weeks in this huge district with three contingencies. It is the largest Congressional District East of the Mississippi (28,000 Square Miles) and the 24th largest district overall.  Generous friends donated housing in multiple locations and several teams participated in sections and blocks of time. Rick Schnure hosted groups for canvassing in Mexico, Rumford and Bethel, Maine and Betsy Powell canvassed together with her sister through their childhood neighborhoods and surrounds. When I witnessed the campaign outpost being set up in Machias by Bettina, Vic and Bess, I realized how deeply embedded they were and how the campaign was so deeply grateful for their leadership, actions, organization, compassion and fight!  Vic says “In all the areas where South Coasters worked - Hancock, Oxford and Washington Counties - Democrats outperformed their showing in 2016”.

MIKIE SHERRILL, NJ11, ANDY KIM, NJ03 and JARED GOLDEN, ME02 now represent their constituents in the 116th U.S. CONGRESS!  

I am SO honored to have served by your sides as we took strategic actions together.  

We gathered many of our leaders together two days post-election day while several of our AAC races were still pending.  We shared stories and experiences. As I walked into my kitchen to join our activists, friends and neighbors, whom I know so much better now, I nearly burst into tears as EVERY PERSON in that room (and many who couldn’t make it on that particular night) would have been active in the Midterm elections in some shape or form.  What they, and many of you have said, is it is the sense of “community” in our group that unites us and forms a collaborative to form strategies and actions with spirit. Our “regional, neighborhood group” MARCHING FORWARD MASS is like SO MANY activist organizations that sprung up after the 2016 election. We are united as Indivisible Guide groups and part of the whole.  YUP. This IS what Democracy looks like.


So now.  We are taking a break to enjoy some wins and some family, holiday time.  We continue our cause and politically related actions on a local, statewide, regional and national basis.  We are reaching out to leaders in the Democratic Party and to activist groups that we may choose to join together with in the near future as we look ahead.  We know 2020 is just around the corner and we will be back in late January/early February with a Speaker forum and thoughts about “next”. Until then as we gather in thanks please plan to join us in 2019 as we MARCH FORWARD   


*Funds are used exclusively for website software fees and incidental meeting fees.

Local Action - Where to go, What to do

Local Action

There’s lots that we can do locally in this final week before the election.
Here’s contact information for two key organizers, along with more specifics below. Canvassing, phone calling, are much needed. Also, call if you want to volunteer to drive people to the polls, etc.

Shannon Morrell - local coordinator for all Democratic candidates

Lisa Lemieux - Vice Chair of the New Bedford Democratic Committee


Huge kudos to all of our Adopt A Candidate activists for their phone calling, letter writing, and canvassing on behalf of our chosen candidates in Maine, New York, and New Jersey!

There is also much that we can do to help locally. Please consider pitching in for a few hours or a few days, right here close to home.

Shannon Morrell is the local coordinator for all the Democratic candidates. She will enthusiastically welcome all who want to help. Their focus is on Get Out The Vote canvassing and phone banking.

To volunteer, contact Shannon at 508-971-6790, or Or sign up online for a canvassing or phonebanking shift here: GOTV SHIFTS


Here’s what Shannon has to say:

“For GOTV from November 3-5 we will have canvassing shifts at 10 am, 1pm and 4pm, and phonebanking shifts at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm.

 On election day November 6th we have CANVASSING shifts at 7am (for a special silent knock/doorhanging shift), 9am, 11am, 2pm, or 4:30 pm. 

PHONEBANKING shifts will be 10am, 12pm, 3pm and 530pm. 

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The link provided below allows you to sign up for whatever shifts work best. We really need the help - with canvassing as priority. All shifts are three hours long and we encourage folks to sign up for three or more. 


This work can't be done without the help of volunteers, and with how incredibly important this election is, we can't take anything for granted.”

Representative Tony Cabral is State Rep for the New Bedford area, and is running for re-election. Here’s how you can support him.

Pre-Election Day Standout Schedule:

Thursday, November 1st
4pm to 6pm
Corner of Kempton Street & Rockdale Avenue

Saturday, November 3rd
10am to 12pm
Corner of Hawthorn Street & Rockdale Avenue

Monday, November 5th
4pm to 6pm
Corner of Rivet Street & County Street

Tuesday, November 6th
7am to 8pm, 2 hour shifts
Polling Locations across district

As we move into the final week of the campaign, WE NEED YOU!
Please come to one of our standouts and volunteer to hold signs at a polling location on Election Day. We want to make sure we reached everyone in the district.

If you would like to sign-up  or have questions, please send a message to I wouldn't be able to do this without your assistance and support.

Thank you,


Posted by Katie White

Maine, New York, Early Voting

Early Voting in MA

You can cast your ballot early. Here’s the information for Dartmouth.

Where: Town Hall, 400 Slocum Road
When: Now through November 2
Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

Check here for information on locations and times for other towns.

Look here for information on casting and ABSENTEE ballot.

According to the Cook Political Report, all four of our candidates have a shot at winning their races. Mikie Sherrill ranks strongest, at “Likely Democratic”. Both Andy Kim and Jared Golden are in the “Toss Up” category. They rank Perry Gershon’s race as “Likely Republican”. Practically speaking, this means that all of these candidates can use whatever help, financial or otherwise, that we can offer. NOW is the time to act if you want to help one or more of these candidates.

Thank You!

Mikie Sherrill for Congress
Andy Kim for Congress
Perry Gershon for Congress
Jared Golden for Congress

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Jared Golden for Congress

Team Jared Golden in Maine

Some members of Team Golden have been in Maine almost continually since early September. Needless to say, they’ve been very involved with the Jared Golden campaign and with Maine Democratic Office, both in Ellsworth.

Do you want to help with the final crucial effort in Maine? Accommodations are available.
Contact our AAC Team Golden at:

At the Jared Golden office in Ellsworth, Maine. From left: Bess Coughlin, Katie White, Bettina Borders, Bob Truslow, Jackie Merrill (Maine Dems coordinator in Ellsworth), Carole Ferguson

At the Jared Golden office in Ellsworth, Maine. From left: Bess Coughlin, Katie White, Bettina Borders, Bob Truslow, Jackie Merrill (Maine Dems coordinator in Ellsworth), Carole Ferguson

Here’s an update from Vic Mailey:

Vic and Bess preparing canvassing materials.

Vic and Bess preparing canvassing materials.

“Greetings, SouthCoasters!

The Jared Golden campaign steams ahead with a number of positive turns.  President Obama and the Bangor Daily News have both endorsed Jared.  B.D.N. endorsed Bruce Poliquin two years ago; but, now it says, the "district deserves a representative who better reflects its needs and values.  Jared ... would be that representative."

In addition, Roll Call, a political newspaper, has named Poliquin as the 10th most vulnerable GOP congressman--for the first time jumping into the top 10.

Throughout October, SouthCoast MFMers have had a solid impact in Hancock County and in Oxford County.  We have knocked on well over 2,000 doors and have had scores of good conversations with folks in their kitchens and on their stoops and decks.  We have made canvassing forays into Penobscot County (Bangor) and into Washington County (Cherryfield). 

Between fabulous feasts at our evening enclaves and hikes through the surrounding beauty, there's been considerable work in cars, on phones, and at writing tables.  It has been fun and exhausting.

Now, though, comes the crunch.  Another week or so of persuasive canvassing, then the major GOTV campaign for the final days.  There is room here for more worker bees!  Drivers, canvassers, gofers.

For turning ME02 Blue, every vote counts!  For turning the governor's office Blue, every vote counts!  For turning the state legislature Blue, every vote counts!”

Comparing notes after a full day of canvassing.

Comparing notes after a full day of canvassing.

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Perry Gershon for Congress

Barbara Trecker from Team Perry Gershon writes:

“Perry Gershon, Democratic challenger for the House in NY01, has just been endorsed by the New York Times. The Times noted that Gershon “supports Medicare for All and has backed the Affordable Care Act, which the Republican incumbent, Lee Zeldin, voted to gut.” Gershon is also for sensible immigration reform and backs protection for Dreamers.

Zeldin has “enthusiastically backed Mr. Trump,” the Times notes, and has also campaigned with far-right former Trump aides Sebastian Gorka and Steve Brannon.

“For his legislative good sense and opposition to Trumpian excess, Mr. Gershon is worthy of voters’ support,” the Times concludes.

Marching Forward has supported the Gershon campaign by writing 2000 post cards, and we’re all pulling for him in a very tight race.”

From the New York Times:

Like most campaigns this fall, this one has focused on what Congress can do, not what the White House has done. Perry Gershon, the Democrat, supports Medicare for All and has backed the Affordable Care Act, which the Republican incumbent, Representative Lee Zeldin, voted to gut. Mr. Gershon, who wants to discuss sensible restrictions on immigration, has backed protection for DREAMers without other stipulations, unlike Mr. Zeldin. Mr. Zeldin supports withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, which could have dire consequences for district with miles of coastline.

But the president has had a cameo part in the race. Mr. Gershon has provocatively said he was inspired to run by seeing parallels between Hitler’s rise and Mr. Trump’s rise while visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Mr. Zeldin, who has enthusiastically backed Mr. Trump, kicked off his re-election campaign at an event with Sebastian Gorka, a far-right former Trump aide who has worn a pin from a Hungarian group founded by Nazis. That group has claimed Mr. Gorka as a member, although he denies it. Mr. Zeldin has also had a fundraiser with Steve Bannon, another former Trump aide, who has been connected with some of the most extreme right-wing groups in Europe and the United States.  

For his legislative good sense and opposition to Trumpian excess, Mr. Gershon is worthy of voters’ support.

Posted by Katie White

Canvassing, Videos

Interested in Canvassing for a Candidate?

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Thinking about canvassing for a Congressional candidate...but never done it before and not sure what to expect? On October 15, 7:00-8:30pm, three "veterans" will share their recent experience knocking on doors for Jared Golden in Maine: Bess Coughlin, Carole Ferguson and Pattie Garrahy. While this meeting is hosted by Team Andy Kim (NJ3), anyone and everyone who's thinking about canvassing for any candidate is encouraged to attend.

Monday, October 15

55 School Street
South Dartmouth
(Terry Cryan’s house)
There will be snacks, desserts, coffee, tea and wine. 

Questions? Email:

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Here are three great Get Out The Vote videos. Share them all. “Don’t Vote” is a good one to send along to anyone under 35!

Michelle Obama is inspiring in this clip from Daily Action’s Facebook page.

Don’t Vote: A Knock the Vote PSA. Edgy, funny - and it’s truth may make you squirm. Let’s hope it inspires Millennials to Vote! Created by Andreas Burgess (husband of Sadia Shepard) and his team.

Save The Country. Bryan Mcpeak, a good friend of Pattie’s, created this together with his daughter, editor and collaborators. Thanks to them all for this uplifting and timely gift!! …And for those of us who are Laura Nyro fans, it’s a sweet little trip down memory lane…

No blog next week, your blog creator will be in Maine, canvassing for Jared Golden.

Posted by Katie White

Do What You Can

Heating Up

As I write this, we are 5 weeks from the November 6 election. That’s a lifetime for a political campaign. But for us, it means that there’s precious little time to help our chosen candidates.

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Now is the time to act!!

Read on for updates on what our Adopt A Candidate teams are doing now. Think about how you can contribute. Whatever you can do - large or small - THANK YOU!

Ways to Help

Simply put, campaigns run with a few paid hands, lots of volunteers, and lots money. All of our chosen candidates have a shot at winning their races. None are a sure thing. If you’re thinking of contributing money to any or all candidates, now’s the time. Here are links to their web sites, all of which have clear, easy to use “Donate” links.

Andy Kim for Congress.
Jared Golden for Congress.
Perry Gershon for Congress.
Mikie Sherrill for Congress.
Paul Feeney for MA State Senate.
Bill Keating for Congress.

Postcards. Team Perry Gershon has led the way on postcards. Now we’re reaching out to the other campaigns to offer similar help. Stay tuned!

Speaking of postcards, at the end of this post is an email from Several of us have been writing cards with them along with our Adopt A Candidate efforts. The email is a call for more volunteers. Sign up on your own at: with ‘join’ as the subject, or email me at: I can get you started with everything you need.

And let’s not forget our local races! Congressman Bill Keating is facing a tough and well financed challenger in Peter Tedeschi. And some of you may remember Paul Feeney, who spoke at one of our early meetings. He won his special election, and is now up for re-election.

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Meeting for Andy Kim

Join us:
Monday, October 15

55 School Street
South Dartmouth
(Terry Cryan’s house)
There will be snacks, desserts, coffee, tea and wine. 

Questions? Email:

Andy Kim for Congress.

Just to get us fired up:   Flyers supporting the incumbent Tom MacArthur have featured a photo of Andy Kim in a Chinese restaurant-type setting , with the headline: “Not one of us.”  To quote a certain someone ….”SAD.” (FYI - Kim was a born and raised in the USA of Korean born parents)

Words of wisdom from Adam Schiff

Team Kim leader Mary Boger had the opportunity to hear Congressman Adam Schiff speak recently. Here’s what she had to say.
”I had the pleasure of meeting with Congressman Adam Schiff this week.  He spoke to a group of supporters and had some very pertinent views on the November election. 
We all know the importance of winning, but he pointed out the greater importance of not losing.  I will do my best to paraphrase what he told us.
If we are not successful we will further empower the politics of the far right. If we do not win we will also be empowering the current occupant of the White House.  
Our victories can send a message to Republicans who remain in office to stand up and be counted for their country, not their party.  It may help them to be freed of the mind set that they cannot win without kowtowing to the far right.
If we lose, we lower the enthusiasm of all those who are now striving to change the  face of the political discourse in our nation.  Especially the young and those who have stepped into this amazing melee of politics for the first time.
We must pour our blood, sweat, tears, money, energy, and time into each campaign.  We must win.  We must return our country to its time honored place in the world. Win and we not only empower women and men across this country, but tens of thousands more around the world who look to us for rational, reasonable, and humane leadership.
So let’s all look at our budgets again and see if we can part with another $10, $20, $50 or $100 contribution to our candidates.   Create the time to be there the week, or at the very least, the weekend before the election.  Its time to March Forward Massachusetts!!  Let’s get this job done!!”
Mary Boger

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Jared Golden

ME 02, which Jared Golden is working hard to win from incumbent Bruce Poliquin, is a very large district. “Boots on the ground” is key to his strategy. Team Golden leaders Bess Coughlin, Vic Mailey and many others are in Maine working for Golden’s campaign. They plan to be there for the rest of October and through the election. They cordially invite any and all to join them. Free accommodations are available. Check your calendars, and get in touch with Vic.
Email Vic at: for more information.

Hosts Betty LaStaiti and Edward Dufresne (back left) with Team Golden members Vic Mailey, Bettina Borders, Bess Coughlin, and unnamed emotional support dog…

Hosts Betty LaStaiti and Edward Dufresne (back left) with Team Golden members Vic Mailey, Bettina Borders, Bess Coughlin, and unnamed emotional support dog…

From Team Golden:
”Many thanks to our wonderful hosts, Betty LaStaiti and Edward Dufresne, for hosting us at their Penobscot home this week as we knocked on doors in Bucksport and Orland, finding many Jared Golden supporters and Bruce Poliquin foes.
Now, on to Sorrento and more work in the eastern towns. Perhaps a return to Betty and Edward's  to help nail down the Blue Hill peninsula.
Reinforcements coming in today with Carole Ferguson!
All of us working to turn ME02 Blue!”

“Hi Bess.

Good work, you guys! And I gather that Vic is going to be in Maine for the duration!  I’m up in Lovell now with two sets of voter lists to work on around my home town. Yesterday I had far too many “not home”s but we’re going out again Sunday PM. (My sister drives me and stays in the car reading (she’s 87); our coordinator says going to the door alone is the best.)    People I have met are all polite. My favorite was the gentleman who was at home while the two women on my list, were away. He said he has always been a  registered Republican but no more. He was going to vote straight democrat from now on, just like his wife and daughter. I got one absentee voter signed up. The coordinator will drive up from Raymond Monday to pick it up and make sure a ballot is sent to him.   I have an app on my iphone where I enter the results. It looks like an offshoot of hubdialer.  We both enjoyed the day visiting and poking around unknown roads. We’ll go again Sunday. 
This is fun! If you can’t outspend the Kochs you can be one of the little drops of water who go knock on the door and give the voter the chance to talk. We all know what little drops of water can do when they get together!”

Betsy Powel

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Postcarding for Perry

Postcarding for Perry. Get Out the Vote reminders to registered Democrats can really help a campaign!

Postcarding for Perry. Get Out the Vote reminders to registered Democrats can really help a campaign!

Team Gershon sure knows how to turn out the volunteers! In one evening they managed to write close to 1,000 ‘Remember to Vote’ postcards for the Gershon campaign.

They’ve received huge thanks from the campaign, and inspired us to reach out to the other campaigns to see if we might do the same for them!

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An update from Postcards to Voters

Hello Postcards to Voters Volunteers!

We have been busy, busy, busy lately. Now that the mid-terms have kicked into gear, we’ve already launched 6 campaigns (for candidates in 5 states) since Labor Day!

For those six campaigns, you have written to 301,164 addresses!  That’s an average of 14,341 addresses A DAY.  You are amazing!

Media is picking up on this with a television newscast on NY1, an in-depth radio segment on WNYC, and I’ve been interviewed about our grassroots effort for stories that are coming out soon in major national publications.  Campaigns are reaching out to us every day.  New coalition groups are also asking how they can help.  We all knew this would be a busy time for us and it certainly has been.

We welcome over 100 new volunteer writers nearly each day.  Past writers who may have taken some months off are reaching back out to help again.  All told, we now have over 25,000 volunteers signed up and friends of theirs writing with us.  At this time last year, we had fewer than 5,000 volunteers.  That’s a lot of growth.

Person-to-person recruitment is effective, and we need to double our size to help all the campaigns waiting patiently in line.

Postcards to Voters now has 6 fun, volunteer-drawn postcard designs sold in sets of 50 and 100.  All proceeds go to offsetting our operating expenses.  You can buy our cards here.

I want to encourage and thank you for all you’ve done with Postcards to Voters.  Everyone who is a witness to our achievements together is in awe of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time.  And, frankly, on such a small budget.

Plus, we are not going to stop when the mid-terms are over.  There is always an election going on somewhere.  And ways we can help voters overcome barriers to voting such as the postcarding we did to remind Florida voters how to sign up to get Vote-at-Home ballots.  We already have an important Special Election immediately after the mid-terms, in fact.

Posted by Katie White