If you live in the US and follow politics at all, you are probably aware that there is an important runoff election in Georgia coming up for 2 senate seats. (I don’t know if it’s just me, but I received over a dozen emails about the Georgia election just today. And I’ve never even been to Georgia!) I know many organizations around the country are eager to help the campaigns of Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock (yes, I do know their names! Even living in another state), and many have stepped up with various projects.
Since so much attention is focused in this one direction, I wasn’t sure to what extent I’d get involved. However, because of my activities facilitating/organizing others’ participation in mailing projects, several of my friends and acquaintances contacted me in the days following the election to let me know that they would be interested in sending postcards to Georgia.
Some of the groups I’d worked with in the summer and fall were planning to do mailing projects, but were waiting to get updated voter lists. And then because so many people have been wanting to help, it wasn’t clear I’d get assigned much. I put my name in the virtual hat for a couple of projects, and got passed over for one of them. But I did get assigned some postcards and letters to mail–enough to distribute to friends. Indeed, not just enough, but of quantities such that after having several weeks of not knowing whether I’d have many to share, I now have to scramble a bit. Even though the numbers of cards and letters I’m working with this time is probably about an 8th of what I’d dealt with (and dealt out) before the November election, I’ve spent quite a few hours the last few day contacting and briefing interested participants: sending info, sorting and counting cards, and distributing (and in some cases delivering or mailing) packets of cards. Being a dealer is work.
I’ve also been doing a bit of writing of cards, which I find to be meditative. I haven’t designed/doodled any cards recently, but I have been having fun making the text of the scripts colorful.
It also appears that I am still blogging. I still have the momentum of last month’s daily posting flow. I’m considering trying a new approach to daily blogging. Rather than putting the pressure on myself to post every day, I may try to spend a bit of time each day on my blog projects. Whether it’s writing, organizing ideas, organizing photos, or actually putting up and editing a post. Perhaps if I both commit some time and also constrain the amount of time it takes, I will be able to sustain my efforts.
I’m still feeling the joy of yesterday’s declaration of the Biden-Harris win. I love seeing the term “joyscrolling,” as people read about the excitement over this historic moment. I am feeling deeply thankful. I am sending out my thanks to the universe, but also to the people who worked tirelessly to combat voter suppression, and to make sure that more voices are heard in our democracy. And to many others who made this election and its results happen.
I’m also working on more directly thanking the group of people I connected with on my postcard and letter writing projects. I’m historicallyVeryBad at sending mail, especially thank you notes. (But also things like letters, emails, and even birth announcements¹. I usually send one Christmas card each year to one uncle, but rarely manage more than that.) So relatives of mine who have noticed my Postal Deficiency Disorder may be surprised to know that I personally mailed out over 600 pieces of mail to voters, and organized several thousand more. And they might be even more shocked that I am planning to send out handwritten thank you notes (or at least postcards) to the 50+ people who helped me with this project. I have finished writing 46 of them, and have only 9 to go.
So, I don’t have a lot of time to write tonight, because I need to write tonight. (Though now I’m realizing that I did just spend a fair amount of time writing this post explaining why I didn’t have time to write a post.)
¹ Let it be known that I only ever sent off one (yes, count them: one) birth announcement when Theo was born. And it was somewhat by mistake, because I had meant to wait to send that one until the rest (or at least some others) were finished. However, John saw the stamped and addressed envelope ready to go and helpfully mailed it. And then who knows what happened to interrupt the writing and sending of the rest of the pile. Here it is, over 12 years later, and I probably still have relatives who don’t know I have a second child.
Here it is, November 1st. It’s hard to think about much else beyond the impending U.S. Presidential election, not to mention all the other critical down-ballot races near and far. I’ve been channeling some of my nervous energy (read “anxiety bordering on panic”) into voter outreach efforts, including good old-fashioned mailing. (Bonus: support given to the US postal service!) I participated in a variety of mailing projects to reach voters, including helping to stamp and label more than a thousand postcards for a couple of local candidates I support. I also coordinated the writing and sending of over 4000 pieces of hand-written mail to voters in various states, mostly swing states. I recruited dozens of people to help me with these projects, and it was very satisfying (if occasionally stressful). And I personally wrote over 645 postcards and notes. I spent a lot of quality time with my pens. For some of the projects, there were pre-printed postcards. For others I had to provide my own cards. I bought quite a few printed cards, but also enjoyed making a bunch of my own. I was able to direct my doodling urges into voting-themed designs. Here are a few of my projects.
November means that it’s that time of year when I remember that I have a blog with a bit more regularity, and try to post every day. I think this month is going to be a rough ride, so perhaps this outlet will help.