By Kate Franch
2020. It’s here. Happy New Year! Will it be a happy BLUE year?
We are already off to a momentous start with an impeachment trial on tap, the abrupt breakdown of relations in the Middle East, and a local special election for sheriff. 2020 promises to be an exciting, probably exasperating at times, eventful month-by-month trek to November. There will be any number of ways for you to be involved – to make a difference – beginning now. It’s not hyperbole to say that everyone will be needed in order to achieve the outcomes we have been dreaming of and working toward since 2016.
What you can do to get us there:
DONATE. I list this first because the scope of how much more the GCDP can do will be defined by the money in the bank. Our communications outreach, precinct development, and candidate recruitment and support are poised to move to expanded and far more effective levels with discretionary funding. Donating to the GCDP just 10 percent of what you’ll give to candidates in the attention-getting races means more voters activated in Greenville County and seats flipped. Green and Blue are integrally related after all. (Do it now at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/greenville-county-democratic-party-1
VOTE. Every time you can this year – February 29, March 10, June 9, November 3. (There is a possibility of yet another special election in Greenville County before November – to replace Rep. Bobby Cox who was named in late December to lead the state’s new Veterans Affairs Department.) Take one or two or three people with you when you vote. Our candidates might not always win, but they definitely can’t if we don’t show up. Moreover, our turnout always sends a message about our values and our engagement. Check whether your polling place has changed for the Feb 29 and Mar 10 elections. Be sure you’re registered and that your registration is up-to-date by checking on scvotes.org.
REGISTER new voters and ACTIVATE lapsed ones. So many groups are registering voters – the GCDP, High School Dems, League of Women Voters, NAACP, COVE – choose one and give a few hours to help empower more voices. The Greenville County Democratic Black Caucus canvasses lapsed voters every Saturday – join them at Headquarters between 11 and 3. Help your precinct officers with reaching out to and connecting with your Democratic neighbors. We’re building strength through numbers.
POLL WATCH. We need your assistance to protect the vote every Election Day. The sheriff’s election on March 10 is a particularly important one. You can work a half or a full day. Our goal is to be able to assign a poll watcher in every polling place by the November election. There’s no better time than the present to start. Training/support will be provided. Sign up here.
GET INVOLVED with your precinct on March 14. (And encourage your friends, neighbors, co-workers to do the same.) Democrats in Greenville County will gather that Saturday to discuss issues important to you (they become resolutions to the Party platform) and elect neighborhood leadership. If you haven’t been to a precinct meeting, try it. You’ll be delighted to see who shows up and get some questions answered. Consider being a precinct leader. The precinct is the heart of the Party and, frankly, where winning begins . . . with voter engagement, which can be as simple as helping your neighbors learn that they are not alone. Being an officer will not be overly demanding, but a bigger team will make more connections possible. Many hands make light work, as they say. Learn more about precincts and stay in touch with activities on the GCDP website.
I’m mixing metaphors to some degree, but in the serendipitous circle that is life, every January we begin the new year with honoring the indelible and aspirational legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His insistence that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – intended, I’m sure, to keep us hopeful and unequivocally committed to the cause – could not be more relevant nor demanding than it is now. I have these words pinned to my bathroom mirror so that I will start every day with clear focus. Knowing that you and I are working together, in community, also inspires me to keep the faith. Thank you! I look forward to boldly, intentionally continuing the shift to a bluer Greenville County.