One of our precinct committee persons was asked to speak at the Flagstaff Women’s March 2.0 this past Saturday. Standing in the falling snow, before 1000-1200 supporters, these are the words of Aubrey Sonderegger:
Hello 2018! I’m glad you’re finally here because, I don’t know about all of you, but I’m ready for the chance to reclaim our country.
Like many of you, when the 2016 election results came in I was shocked and horrified. I cried a lot. Then I scrambled to get involved in a government that I had never paid any attention to. I drowned myself in causes. I took every action I could. Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and frozen in despair.
So I stopped and thought about what I could do. Where would I be effective? Where would my focus have the most impact? When I was done thinking, I joined my local democratic party.
Now, to be a ‘Democrat’ is to live under a big tent; we don’t always agree on everything. That frustrates some people, including me. But Democrats, for all our messy diversity, remain the party that wants to move our country, and ALL of its people, forward.
There are some harmful myths we have to address:
that democrats don’t stand FOR anything;
that both parties are the same;
that you are choosing the lesser of two evils;
that your vote doesn’t count.
I challenge you to resist these falsehoods. These are the lies fed to us so we will despair and feel helpless – so that we don’t vote. And when we don’t vote, our government has no reason to listen to us.
Here is what we DO stand for, what distinguishes us, and why YOUR VOTE MATTERS! Democrats believe the government can play a positive role on a whole range of issues, from economic and social equality, to environmental justice, to protecting voting rights. We believe that co-operation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.
Right now races are gearing up for seats on City Halls all the way up to the US House and Senate. Who do we want to be our next Governor? Attorney General? Secretary of State? Who will represent LD6 in our state legislature?
Who will Arizona send to the US Senate?
Could we actually flip the House???
The Coconino County Democrats want to see our House and Senate turn Blue! And we can.
They did it in Virginia.
They did in Alabama.
We can do it in Arizona too.
But we need your help.
Statewide, our last midterm turn out was an abysmal 48%. That means that over half of people registered to vote, didn’t bother. We need to get people to the polls this November. That is what works; that is how we affect change.
Voter turnout improves when more people are educated, engaged, and when the voting process is easier and more accessible. We have a great system in this state called the Permanent Early Voter List where you receive and send your ballot in the mail. It improves a voters likelihood of actually voting by about 30%. When voter turnout improves, democrats and their policies tend to be favored. It’s that simple.
We need to remind people that voting is important. Not just in presidential elections, but in the midterms. Not just for big name candidates, but All. The. Way. Down. Ballot. Flagstaff’s Legislative District should be BLUE! We need to get rid of Bob Thorpe and Sylvia Allen. Instead, come meet Felicia French, Bobby Tyler, and Wade Carlisle; our Democratic candidates for these seats. They are here today!
I know it can be scary and uncomfortable to go out in your neighborhoods, knocking on doors, registering voters, talking about candidates. I’ve certainly never put political action at the top of my list of ‘things I want to do this weekend’. Finding time can be hard too. But it can also be empowering, and fun, and effective! We need more feet on the ground engaging with our community. We need people to join our team and represent our party on a local level. We can help train and mentor you; you never have to do it alone.
There is going to be a lot of attention on Arizona this year – We need to demonstrate that we are showing up; WOKE and ready for action. We can’t do it without you.
We need you to VOTE. We need you to VOTE DOWN BALLOT.
We need your help registering voters and turning your friends and neighbors out TO vote.
Please, come to our 2018 Community Action Kickoff on February 10th. Find out what Flagstaffs activist groups are doing and meet Democratic candidates. Tell them what you want to see in your government. Plan a house party for them. Invite your friends and neighbors to meet them. Get Excited!
There is hope for the future and we CAN do this, together. Let’s turn Arizona BLUE in 2018.
Headline credit to Joan Baez