Voters are inundated with political noise. TV ads, mail, online solicitations, Facebook, to name a few. With control of the House of Representatives expected to be decided by a razor-thin margin, figuring out how to break through that noise is the key to winning in November. That’s what Uniting California, a project of the California Labor Federation, NextGen America and community groups, is designed to do.
Today, Labor Federation Chief Officer Art Pulaski, NextGen America President Tom Steyer and Karla Zombro of California Calls Action Fund announced a new multi-million dollar voter turnout program to target more than 650,000 voters across seven key congressional districts ahead of the midterm election.
Uniting California is the only independent expenditure of its size in the state dedicated to field organizing, and through the program, NextGen America, the California Labor Federation, and local progressive groups are working to turn out Democratic voters and build significant grassroots capacity in historically GOP-held areas for the time.
For decades, progressives have lacked the infrastructure needed to win in these districts, but in 2018, Californians are ready to vote out Republicans that put party loyalty and corporate profits ahead of working people. Working people are the foundation of our democracy and economic prosperity in California, and alongside the labor movement, we are going door-to-door across the state to make sure they turn out and make their voices heard this November.
Voters are yearning for more than a soundbite. They want real conversations addressing their anxieties over an economy that’s growing leaps and bounds for those at the very top while the rest of us are losing ground. They want to know why their elected officials keeping breaking promises to make things better. With this new effort, we’re now going to directly connect the dots between those issues of concern and the election. The battle for Congress runs through the spine of California. From the suburbs of Orange County to the vineyards of the Central Valley, we’ll be there day-in and day-out to create lasting change.
Through the program, community organizations are leading neighborhood canvasses and phone banks, and use digital tools — like peer-to-peer text messaging and social media — to connect with and turn out voters to defeat Republicans.
Ahead of the June 5th primary, Uniting California recruited over 1,000 volunteers, knocked on over 265,000 doors and had over 165,000 conversations with voters on the issues that they care about most, like health care, taxes, education, and clean air and water. In key districts like CA-25 and CA-49, voters contacted by Uniting California turned out at rates around 10% higher than the district-wide average. In CA-10 and Orange County congressional districts, turnout nearly reached presidential primary levels, helping Democrats secure a general election spot in every race.
For its general election program, Uniting California is expanding its network of local partners to include groups like: Flip the 49th, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Orange County Voter Information Project, Million Voters Project Action Fund, Working America AFL-CIO, Valley Forward, and the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County.
Winning back the House won’t be easy, but when working people stand together to have real conversations about the stakes this November, we know we win.