Well, here we are in some truly new territory for all of us. I hope you’re all able to hunker down, work from home, avoid contact with others, all in this community effort to protect everyone from the coronavirus spread. What we do has such a tremendous impact on vulnerable members of our communities, so I’m grateful for how seriously everyone is taking this situation.
Campaigning is a bit tricky now, of course, most of all because I’m not doing anything face-to-face for the foreseeable future. The bright side is that my primary is uncontested, but we’re still working hard to get the word out and build momentum for November. I will say this: the public health crisis we face reveals even more keenly how we need stronger public access to healthcare, as well as stronger safety nets for individuals and small businesses in the face of disruption. A lot of people are very anxious right now, with good reason, wondering if they’ll be able to afford treatment, or be able to afford lost wages from the necessary closures we’re experiencing. Governor Wolf has so far responded admirably, but I believe we need stronger legislative action to prevent so many people from living in perpetual financial precariousness, whether we’re facing an immediate crisis or not. That precarity makes events like the coronavirus so economically devastating. And we need to make sure everyone has the ability to be vaccinated, have access to doctors, and in general stay healthy. 2020 votes are going to matter a lot in that context, both at the state and federal level.
Since I imagine that separation from face-to-face campaigning could easily continue to the April 28th primary, a couple of thoughts here about the campaign itself. Please share with anyone you think would find the information useful:
1) I’m holding the first of several planned digital meet-ups this Thursday, March 19th, at 6pm. We’ll do it as an Ask Me Anything via Facebook live. The link to the event is here. Please tune in for a virtual chat, and please consider dropping some questions in the comments of the event, to get things rolling. And I would be deeply grateful if you’d share the event via Facebook, and invite neighbors in the 6th to check it out. I’m hoping this is a convenient and useful way to continue having important conversations about the future of NWPA.
2) We all have the wonderful opportunity to use mail-in ballots this year. Particularly in light of the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation, and the importance of the Presidential primary, I encourage everyone to look into mail-in ballots from the state. The deadline to apply for one is April 21st. It’s important to note, however, that if you request a mail-in ballot you must use it for voting. That means it needs to be received — by mail or in-person delivery — at the county board of elections by 8 p.m. the night of the 28th. You won’t be able to vote at the polls if you request a mail-in ballot. Detailed information is available here.
3) Fundraising. Yeah. That. We’ve been doing pretty well, but sign purchases (the first batch should arrive soon!) have depleted a big chunk of change. Those suckers are expensive. Please consider donating on our secure ActBlue page here. We have some awesome holographic stickers to give out to any new recurring donors (those who set up auto-contributions of $5 a month of more). Pretty darn soon we’ll have some swanky t-shirts that we’ll give out with one-time contributions of $20. T-shirts are at the printers and should arrive in a week or two. I’ll send a notice when they’re ready, but if you’re already into it…let me know!
4) About signs. We have a smallish batch coming first (see above: $$$ And also: I’m not keen on putting too much plastic out in the environment for a campaign…trying to strike a balance between necessary publicity and green ethics), so if you have a front yard that has good traffic flow passing by, would you consider having one? Email me and let me know!
Hang in there, wash your hands, stay home as much as you can. Let’s be together in our separate spaces, and show this virus we know how to quarantine!