Introducing our first political fundraising effort of 2022…
November is coming up fast!
Promote the Vote 2022 is a Michigan group working to make elections more fair, more secure, more convenient, and more accessible. For everyone!
We already know from our Four Directions fundraising that we have a lot of connections to Michigan, and that became even more clear when BG put up a culture post related to Michigan.
We all know that Michigan is one of the key states in the 2022 election. The threats in each key state are unique, and the response to those threats must be as well.
Promote the Vote is a Michigan-based coalition of organization and individuals fighting to protect the vote in that critical state. Some of their early supporters include the ACLU, APIVote Michigan, League of Women Voters, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the NAACP, and Voters Not Politicians.
These organizations have a track-record of success. In 2018, they worked together to pass one ballot initiative that provided equal access to absentee voting and Election Day registration and another ballot initiative that established Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Promote the Vote 2022 has carefully-drafted a new ballot initiative to amend the Michigan Constitution to ensure all voters in Michigan can make their voice heard and that their votes are counted. They need enough signatures to qualify for the Ballot by July, and they need boots on the ground to promote the initiative in advance of the November election, assuming they get enough signatures to qualify.
If it passes, we can worry a lot less about election subversion in Michigan. And the people in Michigan will have elections that are more fair, more secure, more convenient, and more accessible. For everyone!
Here’s where we come in.
In keeping with our goal of supporting boots on the ground organizations – particularly those who direct their efforts to underserved communities – we want to raise $25,000 for an outreach project targeted toward underserved communities.
Promote the Vote 2022 will work with trusted messengers in key communities – across all the protected classes, including the Arab-American, LGBTQ, veteran, and disability communities – to recruit volunteers and hire fellows to gather signatures, and forge relationships going forward.
As they go door-to-door to gather signatures, they can also register people to vote if they aren’t registered already. So that pays off directly in 2022, but we are looking further ahead than that. After the signature-gathering step, we would like to keep those “fellows” on for the second step, which is working to get the ballot initiative passed in November 2022.
We talked about the possibility of “matching” funds, and once enough signatures have been collected to qualify, Promote the Vote 2022 will work to find matching funds for the second step of working toward getting the initiative passed.
The direct goal is, of course, more signatures. But it is important that Promote the Vote 2022 continues to work with those critical communities that have been negatively affected by voter suppression across this country. By engaging new and infrequent voters by way of this initiative, Promote the Vote 2022 will also foster greater civic participation in the midterms. Plus, ballot initiatives across the country have historically served as a way to increase turnout during the mid-terms. And the fellows and volunteers will continue their education efforts in critical communities after the initiative makes the ballot and through the election.
These people at Promote the Vote 2022 know what they’re doing. They’ve already written and passed two constitutional amendments, and they know how to draft it to withstand challenge. There’s a lot at stake; the time to act is now!
If successful, this Michigan effort can be a template for other states with a similar distribution of power and a mechanism for constitutional amendment by referendum.
For all those reasons, we think this can be not just win-win, but it has the potential to be win-win-win-win-win in the coming years.
Opportunities for Action, as well as Fundraising
They’ll be holding “days of action” and “weekends of action” for residents of Michigan and nearby states to help canvas in communities across Michigan (you don’t have to be a resident of Michigan to gather signatures – just registered to vote in your state).
Other opportunities for participation are enumerated on the Promote the Vote 2022 website.
To Learn More
We have scheduled two Balloon Juice events:
– Q & A post/thread with them for Monday 4/4 at 5:30 Eastern
– Zoom Q & A for Tuesday 4/5 at 7:00 Eastern.