Unprecedented grassroots voter program helps propel Democratic victory

November 7, 2018 1:20 pm

For Immediate Release: Nov. 7, 2018

Contact: Marisol Bello, [email protected], 202.339.9329

 Unprecedented grassroots voter program helps propel Democratic victory

Community Change Action and its partner groups engaged 2.5 million new and infrequent voters in 21 states

A historic midterm turnout of new and infrequent voters, particularly younger voters and voters of color helped to drive a sharp rebuke to the divisive politics and policies of Trump and the GOP.   Voters stood together for a more hopeful America, delivering the House to the Democrats, turning a swath of governorships blue and securing a number of other important state victories.  The so called wave was not as big as many who fight for a more inclusive America dared to dream, but there is much to celebrate as the struggle for America’s best self continues.

Community Change Action and its partner groups engaged 2.5 million potential voters during the election cycle.  We and our partners completed 3.6 million door knocks, made more than 900,000 phone calls and sent two million texts. Unlike traditional voter outreach, this program reached voters who would otherwise not have voted. Grass roots leaders did this through trusted messengers, promoting a positive vision, and with literally millions of engagements with voters – from their doorsteps to their social media feeds. They held hundreds of events and motivated infrequent voters through user-generated personal video messages about why they became voters.

“Today’s wins show that the Community Change Action and its progressive partners are successfully leading a quiet revolution on the ground to upend politics as usual,” says Dorian Warren, President of Community Change Action. “With every door-knock, text-message, Facebook ad and phone call, the voters we reached realized the change they want in their own lives can be brought about by political participation.”

Community Change Action accomplished this work through two large-scale collaborative voter turnout programs.

The first, Win Justice, was made up of Community Change Action, Color of Change PAC, Planned Parenthood Votes, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and ran statewide mobilization and turnout programs in Florida, Nevada and Michigan. In Nevada alone, the early vote turnout numbers were four times more than in 2014 in the same period with the same voters.

The second program called Unite the Vote was with Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Action – a network of dozens of immigrant community political organizations across the country. FIRM Action and the Community Change Action engaged hundreds of thousands of immigrant and pro-immigrant voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box in key U.S. House races around the country and in the Tennessee US Senate race.

Besides our critical role in flipping the House we note a numbers of victories in which we were proud to play a role:

  • In Florida, over 1.4 million returning citizens will be able to vote again after passage of Amendment 4.
  • In Nevada, control of the governor’s mansion shifts to Democrat Steve Sisolak and for the second straight cycle our program has helped Nevada send a woman to the U.S. Senate.
  • Kris Kobach, one of the faces of white nationalism in America, defeated in his quest to become Kansas governor.
  • Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected Michigan’s next governor and former Community Change board member, Garlin Gilchrist II, will be Michigan’s first black lieutenant governor.
  • Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico and Tony Evers in Wisconsin were elected governors in states where Latinos and immigrant voters were poised to make the difference.
  • An ugly anti-sanctuary initiative went down to defeat in Oregon.
  • The early and absentee vote among Latinx voters was up over 200% and battle ground polls show the Latinx vote broke heavily Democratic.
  • The popular vote in both the Senate and House were dominated by Democrats in a sharp reminder that a majority of Americans want a more inclusive and progressive America.

“The historic turnout today is not a one-off,” Warren says. “We are seeing a shift in elections that every year has deeper roots and will shape elections for years to come. Tonight’s results show that CCCA and our partner groups have the formula to reach the voters who will choose a progressive vision for our future.”

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Community Change Action is a national social justice organization that builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives.

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