Forward March DC
Though I am familiar with the well-known adage, "in business, at the dinner table, at the barbershop and elsewhere, never talk about religion or politics," it is sometimes a must as is in the case of Alabama's upcoming special election. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that on December 12th, Alabama voters will elect someone to fill the vacant seat in the United States Senate left by Jeff Sessions who resigned last February to become the U.S. Attorney General.
Feeling VERY strongly that Republican candidate Judge Roy Moore MUST NOT be seated in the U.S. Senate, I found a group that, along with other issues, is working to oppose him. In fact, this group called Forward March DC, is a Montgomery County resistance group of active and engaged citizens working to effect all sorts of change following the 2016 election. This Sunday morning, members and guests like myself, gathered in a beautiful Bethesda home to do things the old fashioned way -- participate in a postcard campaign! Over 25 women and 2 men (really, men?!) wrote over 400 postcards to registered democratic voters in Alabama. Though scripts were offered by the organization 5 Calls, we were invited to write our own compelling message to Alabama voters. The idea behind this being voters may respond more to something handwritten and personal than a telephone call or other campaign method.
In my postcards, I tried to be endearing but inspiring as well. I included niceties such as "Dear Caring Voter" and "Happy Holidays" but then urged them to make their election day plan, make their voice heard, and do the right thing for Alabama and our country by voting for Doug Jones. We can't wait for others to speak for us - we must speak for ourselves! Unfortunately, there was much to regret after the 2016 election because many of us never imagined the horrific outcome as possibile. We let our guards down and, in a sense, allowed it all to happen. I didn't want this to happen again in the Alabama election.
I am someone who let her guard down in the last election and relied on others to speak for me. I can't do that again; I won't do that again! This is what compelled me to join this group of activists this Sunday morning. I hope to soon celebrate a victory (poo poo poo) with them and work alongside on other important issues. Being politically engaged is an important form of community service and so, even if you disagree with my politics, I hope you'll still respect my participation in the political process as an act of good citizenship.
My Takeaways: (1) As I progress in my journey to 50 service projects, my definition of community continues to grow and expand. Earlier, I may have felt too disconnected to an election in Alabama to get involved. Why though? Who is in the U.S. Senate certainly effects me regardless of which state they represent. How could we ever let someone with Judge Roy Moore's values, offenses, total disregard for the law, and so un-american principles into Congress? We absolutely cannot and as I reminded Alabama voters, we must use our own voices and take action instead of waiting for others to do. (2) This grassroots postcard campaign was so refreshing to be a part of. It was great to be surrounded by intelligent and active community members. They are all busy, complex, and active people who gave up their time on a Sunday morning to do something without no guarantee of a positive outcome. I was thrilled to be a part. Forward March, DC, thank you for having me. Now, it's in Alabama's hands - we tried!