The Passionsitas Project welcomes Jessica Craven from Chop Wood, Carry Water. Jess gives phonebank training and chats about ways to get involved in the final weeks leading up to the November 3 election.

Jessica Craven is a community organizer, activist and member of the California Democratic party’s County Central Committee. Jessica is the author of "Chop Wood, Carry Water," a daily actions e-mail that’s been published five days a week since November of 2016. Her emails provide detailed text and scripts for the everyday person to reach out to their Congress people and Senators to take action on the important issues of the day. She’s made it her mission to get regular people more involved with politics on both a federal and local level.

Hear Jessica's full episode here.


Passionistas: Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for being here with us today. Um, anybody who's been reading our posts, especially lately knows how anxiously I have been about the election and where things are headed. And, uh, our guardian angel spirit guide in this entire process has been our guests today. Uh, Jessica Craven, who does an amazing newsletter, um, which is how we first were introduced to her. It's called chalkboard carry water. We'll let her tell you about that, but it gives you daily actions so that you can be involved politically and make a difference. And, um, and then when we did our summit in August, uh, we asked just to do a workshop that she has called activism one Oh one, and it was an incredible hour where she gave us all these different things that we could do to be involved and help, um, make a difference during the election period.

And we had been doing them tirelessly. We've been writing letters, we've been sending postcards. Uh, we have been texting, they've done everything but calling cause we're still a little shy, introverted when it comes to that, but just assures us that even introverts could make calls. So she's going to tell us about that today and a bunch of other things. We're just going to talk with her about what we can all do in the six weeks, 39 days. I think that we have left, um, to make a difference. And she's going to maybe talk a few of us off the Lake, um, anxiety and nervousness, no pressure. Um, but so welcome to our group today, Jessica grade.

Jessica Craven:  Thank you. Thank you for having me. Um, thanks both of you.

Passionistas: You've been such wonderful advocates and, uh, this is a great group and I'm very glad to be here. And, uh, yeah. Do you want me to start by just talking about the thing that Nancy and I were talking about before we started?

Jessica: Okay, well, you know, we, Nancy was saying that she was having some anxiety and I think that a lot of people were having a lot of anxiety because of the news is extremely anxiety provoking right now. And, uh, I was just saying simply that I, my tactic right now is just to stay very, very, very busy. Um, I feel that there is an enormous amount of fear-mongering happening in the news right now. And there is a, um, you know, there is a payoff for Trump and for his side, when we are all freaking out and running around, um, you know, wringing our hands about the fact that he is going to steal the election, because every minute that I'm doing that, I am working to get out the vote.

And honestly, I see what's happening right now is a very successful form of voter suppression. They are very successfully getting people to feel like it's hopeless and we're gonna lose cause he's already going to steal the election. And so what's the point. And in that sense, he's a giant bully who is successfully bullying the entire school yard right now with a threat that he can't even possibly carry out. And I know that people read the Atlantic article and I know that people feel that he's going to get all these people to sort of line up and do these horrible things to, um, and I just am not, I'm not there. I actually still have enough faith in the American system as a whole, although parts of it are very broken right now. Um, and I, I subscribed to this wonderful writer or Hubbell who writes a political, uh, newsletter every night.

And, um, you know, he, he said exactly this this morning, he was like, it's quite frustrating to see people so quickly buy into this kind of, you know, Trump says all kinds of things. He says insane things all the time. And like, I never believed anything that he says. So I don't know why we're all believing this part so much that he is going to successfully organize a coup right in front of us, that the entire country will participate in, um, or enough to carry it out successfully. It's I have a very sort of, you know, my, my spiritual practice is such that what I, what I have learned to do no matter what is happening in my life that is troubling or scary is to stay in the day and do the thing in front of me that I can do. And that's where the Chop Wood Carry Water comes from is just instead of freaking out about something that might happen in six weeks.

Um, what can I do right now? And, and frankly, I'm distressed at the level to which his tactics right now are successful. I'm distressed at how many people I see who normally would be busy making calls right now who have spent their entire days sending frantic emails back and forth about is he going to still be election? Well, yeah, he's going to win the election if we don't work. So work. You know, I mean, as I try to remind people, if Trump were this able to steal an election, he would not have, let us win. In 2018, we would not have won Doug Jones's seat in the Senate. We would not have won the governor seats. We won last year, we flipped to Virginia state house. We flipped essentially the New York state house, although they were Democrats, but they caucused with Republicans. We got them all out.

Like we have voted so many bad actors out and nobody, one time has said, Oh, that election wasn't valid. Sorry, people accept the results of an election. Trump won't. But Trump is a malignant narcissist. He's insane. So who cares? I mean, he he's, I won't even begin to list the delusions that guy lives under, but there are a lot of people who would have to cooperate with him. And I fundamentally don't believe they will. Um, and, and whether or not okay, even if they will, there's nothing we can do about it now. But what we can do is wind so overwhelmingly that that's not even a possibility. And if our numbers are enormous, which they absolutely can be, we absolutely have the numbers for it. All indications are that early voting is overwhelmingly on our side. So just keep it up. Don't let this total loser, baby man distract you from saving the country.

He's seen, does not work the gum on the bottom of my shoe. This man and people are giving entire days and weeks to worrying about what he's going to do, who cares? He's a loser, the guy is a loser. So let's just make sure that we have so many votes that even he, with his total delusions and delusions of grand jury or whatever else he has cannot lie. I keep thinking of the inauguration crowds. You know, he said over and over again, that it was the biggest inauguration crowd ever, but history and all of us know that it wasn't. So he can say we're all cheating or we're all, but everybody else will know that that's not the case. And frankly, I don't think that the military is so behind them at this point that they're going to enable him in a coup it's just not going to happen.

So sorry. I'm very passionate about this because my job is to recruit people into action. My job is to get people busy making phone calls, which is a proven tactic for winning elections, right? Sending letters, sending postcards, texts, making these things work. And when people are wringing their hands in this kind of like fear mania, they're not doing that. So I just got off the phone with, I mean, often about call with flip the West with their team of people who were working to flip the Senate. It's an enormous team of people who are so committed and working so hard. Don't let all of these people work so hard and then give all of our attention to the, the ninny and the white house instead, you know, come and join us in the work. We will win in the work. So that is my sermon. Sorry. I'm just drinking my tea. So I'm very thankful.

Passionistas: It's, no, it's excellent. We need to hear it. Yeah. We need to hear it, everybody already saying great advice and thank you.

Jessica: It is true. I mean, I wake up every day, I feel like totally panicked. And then I go through the list in my head like, Oh, am I freaked out about this? Now this now I'm going to go, Oh, to see a lecture. And then I roll out of bed and I pick up my posts in my list and I just start writing and I wait until I can get onto the texting. And I start flexing and I feel better, you know?

Yeah. Action is the antidote. And it is every time. And you know, I'm doing these activism one-on-one classes. And so many people were coming, which is great. So part of my job is just to let other people know how many people are doing this work right now. So w in my workshop, you know, you heard me talk about the drop of water, right. And it's very easy for us all to feel like that individual drop of water, like, Oh, who cares? I'm just, I'm so small. And if I just make like one hour of calls, who cares, like it's so insignificant, but you have to remember all the other drops of water who are also doing their little jobs. And when you get that many drops of water together, that's, as I say, when you start to carve stone, like then you are participating in something so much bigger than yourself.

And there are a lot of people doing this work. I am telling you because I do it with them. And I see them. And I hear about the groups that are phone banking and post carding and sending letters to voters in Milwaukee and just little groups that have got brilliant ideas for ways to help and are doing them. And, uh, the news doesn't talk about it. And I remember before 2018, the news didn't talk about it either. I was like, am I crazy? Because I feel like with this much stuff happening, we are going to win, but everyone keeps saying we're going to lose, but I see what people are doing. How could we possibly lose? And we weren't. Right. But the news is not going to say, Oh, we're going to win because that doesn't get clicks. And we, these little, you know, we middle-aged women, activists, we definitely don't get clicks.

Right? Like nobody cares about us. We're middle-aged women. But the work that we're doing is massive. And we are going to save the country. Don't get me wrong. That is what is going to happen. And the news will not carer until after it's happened. And then they'll give the credit somewhere else because no one wants to credit people like us, but it doesn't matter. We're not doing it for the credit. We're doing it for. Right. Right. So who cares? But believe me, I remember this from 2018, no one covered the resistance back then either, even after the fact, no one covered us, but it's fine. We're still going to do the work and we're still going to win. You can attribute it to the tooth fairy for all I care. I don't really care, but we are doing the work and we know how to do this work.

And let me tell you, people are doing this work in vast numbers. So, but that's not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about phone banking, but I just, you know, I get passionate because it's important. I want to wear a big t-shirt that just says less news, less news, more action. Because honestly, even I can get sucked into Twitter. And after five minutes on Twitter, I want to kill myself. It's over. Right. But that's not reality. That's Twitter. And there's, uh, you know, there are aspects of reality on it, but there's also a lot that is not real on it. The work is real, you know, talking to voters on the phone is real. I've phoned banks several times already this week. And when I get someone on the phone who was like on the fence and I convinced them, that's real. And, uh, you know, you guys and the people doing this work, we are real. And we, we will make a difference. So I guess I'm here to do the opposite of what Trump is doing today, right? Like I want to power people and give them their faith back and remind them that they have power. And that, you know, you have agency, you can make a difference. Every single person listening to this, it's hugely powerful. Don't let Trump take that away from you. He doesn't deserve to have anything of yours. Nothing.

Passionistas: Thank you. I needed to, I needed to hear that. Thank you. Thank you. I had one other question for you about something I read this morning. Did you read that Esquire magazine article about, um, maybe people who can, should vote in person?

Jessica: I didn't. Okay.

Passionistas:  Because it was just saying that it was just that, you know, this whole, his whole scam right now is based on, you know, mail in votes and de-legitimizing the mail in votes. So what do you think about that? Do you think it it's better? If people can take the chance and go boat in person, is it better to mail it in person?

Passionistas: I don't know. I think that I know in California, we were told that if we mailed our ballots by October 10th, that they would be counted by election day. Um, but again, we've had so many elections where the results were not determined for weeks after and nobody cried foul. No one said that election is not valid. Katie Porter, her election was determined like two weeks after the fact, no, she's there in Congress kicking . I mean, Trump can say what he wants. It requires more than him saying that something is fraudulent. And frankly, I really don't see Mitch McConnell as awful as he is. He's he made a statement today saying like, we're going to respect the results of the election. He's not going to go down that road. I just don't. I mean, so I think vote, however you feel I'm voting by mail. I'm going to mail my ballot right after I get it.

And I'm going to track my ballot. Just vote. I don't think when we vote is as much at issue. If it makes you feel better. Sure. Go vote in person. Most States have early voting. We go to the grocery store. I don't actually think that voting is like a super dangerous activity. But if you're someone who's highly at risk vote by mail. Yeah. I don't think it matters. Just vote, vote and track your ballot, make a voting plan and get three friends and family to vote. Especially those who probably wouldn't have voted unless you prompted them. Because honestly your friends and family are more likely to vote. If you ask them to then if I, some stranger calls them, you know, this is relational organizing. It's really critical right now that we each take responsibility for getting three people who maybe wouldn't have voted otherwise to vote. I'm working on my niece. That's my, that's my goal. No, she's one person who is right now is thinking of writing into candidate and I'm working on her with everything I know to get her not to do that. And it doesn't matter the reasons, this is just really important to me. And if I fail, I'll work on someone else. But if we all do that, think about the power of that.

Passionistas: You bring up a good point too, which is you can track your ballot once you send it. And everybody should do that just to…

Jessica: Not in every state, not in every state. Sorry to interrupt you. But in many States you can. Yes. Yes.

Passionistas: Okay. And where do you find, where do you go to do that?

Jessica: Secretary of State website? The secretary of state website is really your friend. You just Google your state secretary of state, and then all of your questions are, are, can be answered there. So, and yes, in California, they make it very easy to sign up where you can actually, you'll all get a text message when they received my ballot and the text message when it's been, um, you know, entered into the system. So I don't know that every state does it as well, but look into your state and find out.

And another really important thing about voting by mail is to follow the instructions very carefully. Yes. Yeah. If you sign, if you sign in the wrong place or you sign your signature sloppily and it doesn't match what they have on record, or you don't steal the inside envelope or whatever it is, you do wrong. That vote will be disqualified. So I need to make sure that you follow the directions very carefully.

Well, and in Pennsylvania, in particular with this whole naked ballot thing, if you mail in your vote by mail ballot, put it in the inner envelope, because if you don't put it in that inner envelope, the secrecy sleeve, they will not count it, which is absurd. But you know, we have to work with a lot of servers right now. So yes. Being educated about what the rules are in your state is incredibly important.

Passionistas: Particularly if you live in a swing state or voter suppression state, right?

Jessica: Yeah. And like, I'm going to, I'm getting together with some elderly relatives. I told them once they get their vote, that we're going to go to lunch, we're going to take a risk and you go to an outdoor restaurant and I'm going to walk them through it. I'm going to make friends to do it exactly. Right. And then we're going to go wherever they can go to drop it off. We're going to drive there with them. We're going to make sure.

Passionistas: So if you know anybody that might not, you don't think a hundred percent is going to understand the process because it's so different than what they used to offer to help them.

Jessica: Yep. Yes, absolutely. That is exactly right. Yeah. And elderly people. Don't always, a lot of times when we phone bank, we'll find someone who has, you know, 81 years old. Yes. I want to provide them, but I don't have internet. I mean, not everybody has internet. Right. Um, and so those people need, sometimes some of them to show up at their door with a form or, you know, help ordering the form for them and having it sent to them or whatever. But yes, I think we all need to think of the older people, the less tech savvy people and reach out to them.

Passionistas: Yeah. Yeah. And as Lisa said in the comments, also, if you add a stamp, even though a lot of votes on ballots, don't require a stamp. If you add a stamp, it will make sure that it's treated as first-class mail. Yeah. So that's how that plus what supports the post office, which is exactly win-win. Yeah.

Jessica: Yeah, totally. And you know, and try to remember, I just want people to remember that the majority of America desperately wants Trump out of office. The majority, like, yes, he has got a very devoted small following, but the rest of the country will, is desperate to have him out. So people are going to work very hard to vote and make their friends vote. It's just, I know there's so much fear. And I, I mean, look, I share it, but I also, I want us to have faith in each other. And I want us to have faith in this country. It's not broken fully yet. It's very broken, but I still believe there's enough of an infrastructure in place that we can have a fair election, as long as enough of us show up. This is not an election that anyone can sit out. We need numbers.

Passionistas:  So can we talk about phone banking now?

Jessica: Excellent.

Passionistas: I want to say one thing though, I today started to, um, to write postcards for Jon Ossoff. You know, him for everybody who doesn't know is running for Senate in Georgia. And I really wanted to point out that the thing I love about him, which is his hashtag is his name is Jon Ossoff, O S S O F F. And his hashtag is hashtag #VoteYourOssoff.

Passionistas: Oh, he deserves to win.

Jessica: So I just wanted to give him a little plug. That's great. Georgia is doing really well. Stacey Abrams released some statistics today about, uh, early vote and vote by mail and Georgia. And it's already off the charts with, you know, typically voters who vote our way. So she's been working her butt off in that state. People are working very hard. I have a lot of faith. I have a lot of faith.

Passionistas: That made us all feel better. So, um, so now what do we do? How do we make it happen?

Passionistas: Well, let's talk about fun banking for a second, because this is the, you know, this is the big challenge right now. So first of all, people are voting already, right? In a lot of States, the election has started. We are officially in the election and starting next week, that's it like it's election month. We are fully in, GOTV get out the boat. Right. So, um, all of the big organizations are having their big weekends of like training and phone banking starting next weekend. So Y Mo you probably all know this, but why do we phone bank? Why can't we all just send postcards until the election? Because postcards increased voter turnout somewhere between one and a half to 2%. Right. Which is a nice little bump in turnout. Um, as I always say, in my workshop, Donald Trump won in Wisconsin by seven tenths of 1%, right?

So we're not going to sneeze at one and a half percent because that would have won us Wisconsin. He won the entire election by 77,000 votes. You guys, it's just not a lot of votes, um, or you peoples are very much trying to stop saying you guys. Um, but, um, so those postcards about one and a half to 2% bump don't forward letters, which are amazing. And I know you are doing those as well, and I've done a bunch of my husband does them. Those letters are great. They increased turnout by about 3.4%, right? That's their studies have shown. So phone banking is a significantly more than either of those things, right? Phone banking, talking to a person, voice to voice can increase turnout by maybe twice what the vote forward letters can when we're lucky. So again, these don't sound like huge percentages, but that's more than enough if we can get enough people on the phone.

And, um, there's a great phone banking video that I'm playing in my workshop now that, um, this woman is just talking about why we fund bank. And it's not as many people think to persuade Trump voters. And I think that people think that they're going to be forced to get on the phone and argue with somebody like their uncle in Alabama. Who's, you know, got the mag ahead. You're not going to, first of all, campaigns are generally having you call lists of people that they think, or at least potential supporters. They're not sending you to call heavily Republican list. That's just counterproductive. It's a waste of their time. But even when I do get somebody on the phone who is just like, you know, girl Trump or whatever, or I only vote Republicans, the response is thank you so much. Have a great day. And we hang up the phone.

Our job is to find our people reluctant Democrats, who almost never vote independents, who are persuadable, um, declined to States. People who are just low propensity voters or people who want to vote, but are fuzzy on the process. Like, yeah, I do want to vote, but I still haven't gotten my absentee ballot. And they're like busy doing something else. So they haven't taken care of that yet, but we can help them. So most of what we do when we phone bank is help people who want to be helped if they don't want to be helped, they'd get off the phone. But it's not about trying to persuade someone who has totally drunk the Kool-Aid and is like screaming about things that are just, you know, upsetting. And we don't want to talk about those. People are not who we're trying to persuade. We don't need them.

It is a waste of time. The campaign doesn't want you wasting your time with them. So when I get someone like that on the phone, again, I'm going to say, thank you so much, have a great day quick. I'm going to Mark them as strong opposed. And the campaign's going to take them off of their list, right? They don't want people like that on their lists either. They want to maximize their time and our time by looking for people who are potential votes. So part of what we're doing when we're phone banking is just finding those people and sort of sorting them into piles of like, that's not someone who's going, gonna vote for us. That's someone who maybe they definitely need more attention. That person is so into us that like, we're going to put them in this pile over here. We're not going to bother with them again until the day before the election, just to make sure they voted because there are definite supporter and a high propensity voter.

Then we're also right now doing stuff, we call it cleaning the lists. So if for those of you who like to clean, we're basically just making sure everybody's phone number is still the same. You know, we're calling lists that are from elections two years ago, mostly. So some of that information is outdated. Sometimes people no longer live in that place or their phone number has changed, or they've moved. Sometimes they're deceased. Sometimes they've changed parties, whatever their thing is. So that's what we're doing. We're sending that data back to the campaign. So we're both gathering data from the voter about who they support, where they are and their thoughts. And we are bringing data back to the campaign. Hey, that person now lives in California. So take them off the list. And that's the wrong number. It's disconnected. Take that off. This person wants to volunteer, call them.

This person wants to drive people to the polls, reach out to them. This person wants a yard sign. So it's a lot of data exchange. And, but there is something about calling and talking to someone voice to voice, which every time I run a phone bank, I have a volunteer say, I just talked to somebody who was on the fence. And we talked about like our kids and healthcare. And by the end, they they're going to vote for Biden or, you know, so it's not like every person we talk to is a massive victory. But again, we think about our own tiny contribution. And if I phone bank for an hour and I get three people or two people who were on the fence and are maybe going to support my person, now I have done my job. Other than that, it's a lot of not home.

It's a lot of leaving voicemails. When, when the campaigns want you to leave voicemails, they do sometimes. And they don't sometimes. Um, if you're nervous about using your own phone number, which a lot of people are, a lot of the campaigns now are using something called an automatic dialer or predictive dialer. You can just make sure that you use one of those and it all goes through a computer program. So your phone number never comes into it. And you literally just sit there on hold until somebody picks up and it's great. And you actually talk to more people. And, um, it's all very scripted. And I guess the last thing I'll say is that in my experience between texting and phone banking, I mean, I love canvassing. That's awesome, but we're not doing that right now. Um, I actually find people are much nicer over the phone.

My craziest meanest responses from voters have always been, um, texting. I actually don't text all that often because people are so much nicer on the phone. I would just rather deal with the, the politeness. I had someone today just tell me to F off on a text bank. And I'm like, Oh, I had asked him was how he, you heard of the candidate. No one would do that over the phone, but on texts, do they feel like they can do that? So I like calling people tend to be nicer, especially when I speak with a smile, which is one of my big tips for phone banking is smile talking, which is as a woman, I don't like to be told to smile, but in my experience that when I smile talk, it's the same thing that anybody who does any work on the phone knows like, I sound different when I'm talking like this.

And when I'm talking like this, it's just different. So when I kind of talk with a smile and, and I, myself, I'm I'm, I am me on the phone. I don't pretend to be somebody else. I act like myself. Um, if I make a mistake, I say, Oh God, I'm so sorry. I'm a volunteer. And I'm, you know, I'm a mom and I've been doing homeschool all day and I'm tired. You know, that's how people actually connect with us. They relate with us through our humanity. So, um, I emphasize the fact that I'm a volunteer. I recognize the fact that I'm barging in on people. And I say even sometimes I hate when people call me, but this election is so important and people appreciate it. So, um, I just encourage people to try it. We really do need more people on the phone. And, and, and the last thing really I will say is, you know, my daughter is very obsessed with “Hamilton” right now, right?

So we're talking about the revolutionary war, revolutionary war a lot. And you know, we talk about the fact that during the revolutionary war, the people who fought to found this country like died in massive numbers, right? To sort of defend the idea of our freedom and eventually our democracy, right? They died to form this country or they lost legs, or they were blinded, or, you know, people suffered horribly. If I am being asked to get on the phone and be a little bit uncomfortable to literally save our country, we are literally talking about saving this country. Then I am going to do that. And I am pretty sure that all of you can, I know YouTube can cause your, you know, the worst that can happen. What does it mean to me? I get to keep my legs. You know, I don't have to walk through a snowy valley with leather straps wrapped around my feet.

I mean, yeah. The stories from the revolutionary war pretty normally we're just being asked to make some phone calls. We can do it. You can do it. All of you can do it. I will turn it on to my phone banks. Yeah. How do people go to your phone beds? Well, um, you can there's uh, let's see. Do you guys do like show notes or anything like that after this? Will you post some information?

Passionistas: Yeah. And we can put you post things in the chat and everything. Yeah.

Jessica: So you can post my email address. Uh, the, the chop wood carry water, email address, see WCW daily People can email me and I can add you to my big list. I invite people to a bunch of phone banks and you can come or not come as you see fit. But every phone bank I do either I or somebody else will train you.

Um, you always do them on Zoom. They're all remote. So you're with a group of people. And if somebody is mean you can come back to the group and just say like, Oh, somebody just called me the devil. And then everybody laughs and people send you hard emojis, and then you go on, right. Um, and if you have a victory, then you come back to the zoom and you share that. And people are really excited for you. Uh, so you can do that. I highly recommend flick the West if you're concerned, particularly if you want for RBG, if you, if you're concerned about flipping the Senate flip, the West is an extraordinary organization. They do great bone bank trainings, like four times a week. Um, they just launched a training called demystifying phone banking for geo TV. That is apparently amazing. Um, there were these women who do a phone bank training called bone banking for introverts, which I can provide a link for.

Um, and that's supposed to be great, actually, it's on my Google doc. You, you have access to my group. So it's in their phone banking for introverts. That's supposed to be great. Um, you know, it's one of those things like you'll try it once or twice, and then you'll be like, Oh, this is actually just mostly kind of boring. Like mostly I'm just getting people who aren't home and it's model that exciting, but it does feel so good when you get somebody who needed your help. So those are a few of the ways. And I mean, my God, you can just Google like phone bank for Biden or, you know, there's million ways to get involved, swing left. Um, flippable any number of organizations can guide you to phone banking, but, um, you can post the link to my Google doc, which has a gazillion phone banks in it.

If po choice is your thing planned Parenthood does phone banking. If environment is your thing, three does phone banking. So there's a million ways in, and they'll all basically take you to the same kind of event. You know, we're not reinventing the wheel. This is something that we've all done for a long time and it works. And you know, scientists say that getting out of your comfort zone is actually very good for you. People who get out of their comfort zone regularly actually live longer. So, you know, this is an opportunity for us all to do something that we don't want to do, but that is good for us and good for our country. How exciting is that?

Passionistas: That's good. Yeah. And I don't think anybody wants to look back on November 4th and wish they had done more. That is for sure.

Jessica: That is for sure. And that's what this great. I should I'll, I'll get you the link to the video too. And maybe you can post it in the chat after this great three minute video about phone banking, but she says that she's like, yes, it's uncomfortable, but you know, what will really be uncomfortable is waking up the morning after the election and finding out that we still have Trump in office. Like that will be devastating. And I definitely don't want to wake up the morning after and think I could have done, I could have done more. And I I'm happy to say, I am not going to wake up and say that, but I, I, you know, I don't think that anyone wants to feel that way.

Passionistas: Yeah. So, yeah.

Jessica: And it feels good to be part of a win. You'll love it. You'll love the feeling of having helped us win. Yeah. It's a wonderful feeling.

Passionistas: And I should say this wasn't something you've done all your life. I mean, this is something that you chose to do in recent years and you've educated yourself and now you're really comfortable doing these things, but it's not like, I just want people to know, like, it's easy to sometimes look at somebody who's talking like this and say like, Oh, well, but you know, you've dedicated your career to this. Like, this is something that you came to in after 2016 is not really opt in.

Passionistas: Right. And so you can, you can make the choice to make the change in your life to make this a priority.

Jessica: Absolutely. I am not a, I'm a volunteer. I'm not, uh, I, you know, I mean, I have Patrion sponsors, but like I'm not paid by anybody. Um, and I only ever phoned bank during presidential elections before Trump was elected. So yeah. And I think people come to my workshop. I always tell the story of Sally. She came to my workshop a couple of months ago and she, you know, my age, very, you know, just by, I don't know what she does, but definitely does not work in politics. And she was like, I mean, I will try it once, but I'm telling you, I'm going to hate it. And I'm dyslexic. I can't read those scripts and I'm going to suck at it, but I'll do it one time because you're telling me I should. And she came to my phone bank and God love her.

Ended up staying on. After we all got off the zoom, she was like, I'm still calling. She got us three volunteers her first time out and then just started putting banking all the time. And now I don't even hear from her anymore because she's just off phone banking. She found out she loved it and she was good at it. And she was positive. She would not be. So for some people, it really is underbelly uncomfortable, but you won't know until you try. And for most people it will not be unbearable. Um, and, and if you find out that it is, at least you tried, at least you gave it one try, but for 90% of us will be like, huh? I mean, it's, you know, I'd rather be taking a bubble bath, but you know, I'll do it, bring the phone into the bathroom phone, into the bathroom.

Passionistas: I obviously haven't phone banked yet, but I have been texting and you're right. People can be really harsh on texting. Um, but the other day I got a text, you know, the first question I was supposed to ask was, can we count on your support? And, uh, and I got this really like inappropriate response back. And I was gonna just, you know, send back the thanks, have a good day. And then I was like, no, I'm not going to do that. And so I forget how I replied, but I kind of replied like, what are your issues kind of thing. And, and, you know, it felt not to be judgmental, but it felt like, like a 16 year old boy texted me back. Um, and he was like, if I get a hell, yeah, I'll go to provide me.

I'm like, how much, how long am I going to let this person jerk me around? And I was like, doesn't really hurt me just to text back and see what he says. And so I texted back hell. Yeah. And then he texted back and he was like, wow, you must really want me to vote for bud light. Cause I'd stuck with it for these few comments now it's like, yeah, I do is really important. And I gave like, check the rate registration email, and it ended up in this like really long chat with this person. And by the end they're like, all right, well, awesome. It didn't hurt. It was like, you know what? I can let this person intimidate me because they think they're cute and funny interview noxious. Or I can just see where it goes and give it five minutes of my time. And it felt really good at the end. It was like, all right, well, that's not the back in line. What's next. It's amazing.

Jessica: I did a lot of texting with Open Progress for a long time. And you would see these conversations that people would post in the Slack that were so incredible where someone starts out very mean and hostile. And then when you send them a reply that lets them know that you're a real person, half of the time, they're like, Oh, I did not know that you were real person. Like they genuinely think you're a bot. And then once they find out you're real, sometimes they will actually have a conversation. And yeah, sometimes there were some people who are so unplugged from politics that they're basically like, I don't, I don't really care. Like what's the difference. And if you're like, okay, this is actually really important to me. They'll, they're like, all right, fine. I'll do it for you. Like I, I had that experience before and, you know, whatever, whatever gets them.

Yeah. Well, anyway, I don't want to share that story publicly, but I mean, whatever gets somebody within reason to vote, you know? Yeah. That is just a persuasion. It's wonderful. That's great. And yeah, texting can be really effective. Sometimes it does require a bit of a longer conversation and sometimes you got to get creative. I saw one texting conversation where the person they were texting with was started talking about Fortnite and the volunteer fortunately knew a lot about Fortnite. So she started responding with these very like insider comments about Fortnite and she won his vote because of that. Whereas I would have had no clue. So, I mean, it was just kind of good luck that he got her and then he was like, you're amazing. I'm going to vote. It was a whole thing. So, you know.

Yeah. But that's what it's all about. Right. It's all about reminding everybody that we're all the same common interests. We all worry about similar things. Right. I mean, we all want our kids to grow up in a safe world and we, you know, most of us worry about the same things, not all of us, but generally I can find an area of connection with a person on the phone.

Passionistas: Yeah. And I have to say both ways, like I've also, I started yesterday morning texting with a friend and feeling really angry and down about Republicans and Trump supporters. And in the course of texting yesterday, I had a few people who are like, I'm voting Trump and you know, you just say, all right, great, thanks for letting me know, have a good day. And they lived, there were a few people that are back on like half a nice day. And thanks for checking, you know, and it was just not like, I don't understand the fundamentals of the decision to vote for the man, but it doesn't mean everybody who is, is the person. And it kind of just re renewed my faith and the other side, like, I still can't, can't forgive anybody that's going for them. But at least I felt like it was a reminder. Like there are people too, and they, some of them are really nice people, you know, they just are misguided for whatever reason. Um, so in that regard, it made me feel slightly more optimistic about some of the people in that.

Jessica: Exactly. Oh, that's good. Yeah. But I couldn't turn them that texting is hard too, because I think they cast a very, very wide net with texting. So I think that you will tend to get more Republicans. Um, I feel like phone banking. They're a little bit more judicious about where they're sending you to call and I'm not sure why that is, but it's, it's just, I think because they can cast a wide net texting. They do. So you do, you end up getting a lot of people who were like Trump 2020, and you're just like, Oh my God, really? But calling, I don't get that. I don't know that I've ever had somebody just yelled Trump 2020 at me. Okay.

Passionistas: Oh yeah. You can definitely get that yelled in the, it may just be my imagination, but I honestly feel like between last week and this week I've been texting in Arizona mostly. And um, since RPG passed away, I swear to God more people there have been fewer Trump, 2020s, interesting work and more either neutral or onboarded by which, because the first couple of days I did it within her, it was like really depressing. And it was like 90% of the people were Trump 2020. I mean, and take me off the list. And then she passed away everything every time since then, it's been like a very small fraction of the people. So maybe I'm just trying to keep myself positive or maybe there is some shifts that happened.

Jessica: Um, well, yeah, I think you're going to actually like phone banking. I do feel like, I feel like

Is very comparatively is very draining and phone banking. I find very uplifting. So, um, I, I'm not sure everybody feels that way, but for me, I tend to get depressed when I'm texting. I think because there are so many Trump people because they're casting such a wide net and calling it's not, I don't know. I always feel pretty uplifted afterwards.

Passionistas: Wow. I'm definitely going to try it. I'm terrified of it. I am too, but I'll do it.

Jessica: Um, come to my Biden phone bank on Monday. It's it's great.

Passionistas: Okay. Yeah. It's not Monday. I can't Monday thought through with all that.

Jessica: I'll send you my whole schedule. Yeah, definitely. We'll definitely get, we are going to commit right now that yes, we're committed.

Passionistas: I definitely check out the Flip the West trainings. They're really good there. Those are definitely in my Google doc. Also, you can post them for your people wherever that's fabulous. And

Passionistas: Does anybody listening have any questions? Just pop them in the comments and we'll pass them on. So just, do you have any thoughts on flipping the Senate and whether that's going to happen or what, what do you, what's your gut it’s going to happen?

Jessica: It has to happen. Yes. It's going to happen. I mean, you know, none of us can see into the future, but I believe it's going to happen. Um, the polling in Iowa is extremely good. The polling in Kansas is really good. Um, pulling in Arizona is outstanding. Obviously. Uh, Georgia is somewhat competitive. Alaska is competitive. Um, Montana is somewhat competitive. I mean, I think we still have a little bit of work to do there. Uh, Colorado is extremely competitive. North Carolina is competitive. There's a lot of seats. We just need four, if we can win the presidency. Um, and we need to hold Doug Jones seat. But, um, yeah, I mean, it's, we have a lot of money. There's been a lot of money raised. So financially we are destroying the other side. I actually think, uh, Jamie Harrison is to win Lindsey. Graham was on Twitter, crying about how desperate for money he is, you know, he's awful. And I think he's going to get punished at the ballot box and Jamie.

Passionistas: Yeah. I think if we get him in McConnell out then…

Jessica: McConnell, I mean, we get McConnell out by winning the majority. McConnell will then become a minority leader and that will actually almost be worse for him. Yeah, no. And I mean, look, I'd love to see Amy McGrath win, but that's a, that's a tough, you know, that's a tough seat, but it doesn't matter if we win the Senate for me, that's enough. That's enough. I don't care. Mitch McConnell can crawl off into obscurity and you know, I don't even want to start all back under his wing. I shouldn't say on Facebook, but yeah. Yeah. Just, you know, flip the West is a great organization. If you want to flip Senate seats, I really recommend them very highly. And um, yeah, we should all be working on that very, very hard because if we flip the Senate, I feel that that will bring us also Biden. Um, and, and you know, if Trump steals the election, but doesn't have the Senate, he can kick and scream all he wants. He's still not going to have really much he can do. So I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm just pointing out that it is another way that we can protect ourselves. So, um, but yeah, I think we're going to do it. I know we're going to do it. We're going to flip the Senate. We're going to hold the house. We're going to beat Trump and we're going to flip a whole bunch of state legislatures. It is going to happen, mark my words.

Passionistas: You heard it here.

Jessica: People also, if, if we flip the Senate, it's harder for Trump to claim you won. Right?

Passionistas:  Right.

Jessica: Well, that's, that's the thing is that in order for him to claim that he actually won, he has to say that every election in the country was invalid at which point, okay. Then that's just chaos. Then what do we do then? Like, we don't have elections anymore because we're holding elections the same way we always have. So you can't have one and not the other, this is why it's not going to happen. He can't it's, it's not just ignore him. Okay. I rarely  talk about this. I'm going to say something right now that I rarely, rarely, almost never talk about, but my dad was a filmmaker. Right? He made horror films. This is something I do not talk about, but it's applicable here. He made a movie called “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Right. And I don't know if you've ever seen it. Probably some people have and some people haven't, but there's, you know, the bogeyman is Freddy Krueger. And in the end, the way the woman in the film beats him, her whole thing is you turn your back on them and you take away their energy. And then they literally just evaporate. And I'm not comparing Trump to Freddy Krueger. I actually, so much of his energy from us, you know? And so my whole thing with him is just a screen. I don't give him, I don't talk about him. I don't read his tweets. I don't re I don't listen to him talk. He does not exist for me to the best of my ability, because what he wants is to exist for all of us all the time. So, um, turn your back on him. He's just Freddy Krueger. He is, uh, he is, defeatable just like further Krueger was and just like everybody is defeatable, he's not a supernatural being, he's just a human politician. So, um, that is the, probably the last time for 10 years that I will talk about that publicly again. But I just wanted to

Passionistas: I'll say it. Yeah. I always think of, um, since we're using movie references, I always think of “Labyrinth.” When she finally realized that realizes it and says that line, you have no power over me.

Jessica: Right. Right, right. Right. So like, why am I giving you of my energy? It's a classic abuser and abused relationship at this point. And we as women, especially, you know, the, the middle-aged women who are running this army right now, it is our job to say, like you can't the second I turned my back on you, you have no power over me. And we are working very, very, very hard and we will demand. And this is a female business. We are fighting the patriarchy I could go on. But like, our job is to not be bullied by this man. And the way we are not bullied is we get on those darn phones and we text and we write and we call and we talk to our friends and family and we get people to vote. And that is how we defeat this man. We women.

Yeah. And especially these almost all women. Yeah.

Passionistas: And especially in honor of RPG, since it says he's going to replace her, he thinks that he can say, I'm replacing her with a woman and we're all stupid. I'm going to be like, Oh, that's great. I'm fine. He's destroying her legacy by planting, whichever one of these, your, so we need to fight harder in her memory, in her honor to be the women that, you know, don't, don't stand for it.  

Jessica: Right. And he can't destroy her legacy. He can't destroy it if we don't let him. Yeah. Yeah. Her legacy is in us to win. That is how we carry her legacy on is we win. We destroy him at the ballot box. And uh, and then who's destroying who at that point, when he can't destroy her legacy, again, her legacy is so much bigger than him. She's worth a million of him literally. Right?

Passionistas: Yeah. Did you see his visit too?

Jessica: I just, I did. And this is the thing I want people to remember is that when you take him out of his little supporter bubble, America hates him. And it's really easy for us to forget that because all the press shows us is his supporter bubble. I don't know why, but that is what they choose to cover. But the majority of the country hates him. So it is when you take him out of that bubble, it's the same thing with the town hall he did last week. People don't, he's awful and people know what Americans are not stupid. So that is why I just want people to stop watching news. Yeah. And do the work. That's how it was fed.

Passionistas: The town hall was fascinating because fascinating. You couldn't see most people's mouse because they had their masks on their eyes were. So every answer was like, every person's eyes were like, that's not what I asked you. Or like you're a or whatever it was, but just like in their eyes. Yeah. Really interesting. Yeah.

Jessica: And he's just, you know, he never lets himself be in those situations, but as we get closer to the election, he will. And he has to, and yeah. I mean, yeah.

Passionistas: I was going to say, what's your thought on how the debate's going to go next week?

Jessica: I don't know. And I don't care quite frankly. I mean, honestly, I don't really care again, like to me, that's all part of the, the press, the end of the show, like the circus, like, I mean, I know who I'm voting for and there's obviously no question. Like, we all know we don't even need these debates. I don't know if there was an undecided of Oregon left and if there is good, the debates, right, right. That's great. And they should watch them. I'm not, I am not. I mean, if anyone really has a question right now about who is more fit to be president than they're insane, quite frankly, so sorry if I'm offending anybody, but not in this area, then we lost them a long time ago. I probably lost them in the first part of this podcast. But I think, I think that, you know, Trump will be insane and crazy and Biden will hopefully, uh, I think Biden is going to do great Biden. Hasn't been doing great. And Trump is destroys himself every time he opens his mouth. So yeah, but I will not be watching. I can't watch Trump. I don't, I don't watch him. Freddy Krueger.

Passionistas: No, it's really, it's good advice. It's I do it to myself because I feel like I need to stay informed, but I guess I have all the information I need right now. Yeah.

Jessica: I don't think, and you're not getting informed by him anyway. You're getting lied to so it's not information. Yeah. Yeah.

Passionistas: No, for me, it's not about informed about what he, he is saying or doing. It's more like we watch at least an hour of Fox news every day. Oh God. Oh yeah. Because it's really interesting to hear how the other side is getting brainwashed. I don't know what the talking points are and what's avoided. So it's, it actually is really interesting in the context of this, like talking to people and texting people or having conversations with people that I know that might be on the fence. It's like, I, I understand like if you, if you buy into that at all, like Fox is brilliant at making it seem real and logical, you know? Um, so you know, it, sometimes it makes you think like, wow, am I is brainwashed by the other side as these people are that this side has it, it makes sense if you're crazy, if this medic Nazi, this makes sense.

You know? Um, so it's just interesting. I can only do it in short skirts, but we do watch a bit every day. Um, and, uh, and you see you, it just gives you, I mean, all you see is Portland burning the block of Portland that's burdened, which makes it seem like if you buy into that agenda, it makes it seem like the country's role, unless you stop and say, it keeps showing me the same law of Portlands over and over. Or we'll say like April 21st, 2020. It's like, though that didn't happen yesterday. It it's just interesting from, from that perspective to, um, to kind of just keep an eye on what's what the dialogue is. Um, but then it gets like insanely frustrating and I either have to leave or I get angry. So I do it in little, little spurts. Yeah.

Jessica: You're way more emotionally resilient than me. I couldn't do it. Yeah. I can't do it. I can't do it. I don't know. Maybe I'm just more of a masochist, but I think we should end this the way we started, which is, I agree. I am hopeful that there are enough, strong-willed good people out there that are going to vote the right way and convince as many people as possible to do it. And all we can do is, do, do as much as get up every day before the time we have, you know? Um, so you know, we thank you because you really have, um, we've learned so much from you and you really do inspire us. And, and now what, you can get a God willing more than you've been to try and get some other people to join us. Yes.

I think flip the West even has the training tonight. They have, I think every Tuesday and Thursday, twice a day. So yeah. Check them out, go check them out, come, come join me at one of mine. They're short and easy. And uh, yeah, it's like, one of those come on in the water is fine situation, but of activism one-on-ones coming up this week. So if anyone wants to come and do a one hour free workshop, that'll give you other ways you can help, uh, you know, email me and I'll send you the schedule. I've got one in about an hour. Actually. I've got one at five o'clock tonight.

Passionistas: Yeah. Cool. So the same, the same email address as before. And they can reach out to you and then be, yeah.

Jessica: And I'll send them the Zoom registration. Like I've got one at 5:00 PM tonight, Pacific time. And then, you know, one on Saturday, one on Sunday, a couple of next week. So yeah.

Passionistas: And we have, like we said, we have done Jessica’s workshop as part of our summit. And it's amazing. There's so many different things you can do that are in your comfort zone. If you are afraid to do one thing or another, we get it.

Jessica: You know, we're not trying to pressure anybody into doing anything they don't want. There are enough things you can do. I just said, even if it's, it makes a difference of 1%, that's huge. So do what you feel comfortable doing and get used to it. You know, I think I feel ready to do phone banking because I feel so comfortable with all the other stuff right now that it's like, Oh, why not give it a shot? So start by doing what you can.

Passionistas: And there's also, I want to say there are, um, Nancy what's at organization. You sent me today that to do, I know it can be expensive to do letters and postcards. If you got to buy the postcards goodbye to stamps, you know, it's not always easy for people, but we'll post a link in the chat of an organization that you can, even, if you can't afford the postcards, they'll send you postcards and stamps

Jessica: Is that Sunrise, it's gotta be at Sunrise.

Passionistas: You posted about it today. Jess, I did. I posted about it. I got the information from you.

Jessica: Yeah. It's pay what you can. So if you can afford to pay for it. Great. And if you can't, they will literally send you all, everything you need for free, which is great. Yeah. That's really good. And they're beautiful postcards.

Passionistas: They're beautiful postcards. And the other thing about them is that they're, um, they're, they are trying to mobilize younger people too, which is great.

Jessica: The young voters. Yeah. Which is great. Sunrise is a fantastic organization. I can't say enough good things about them. I am a member of, but I'm really too old. So I'm like, I'm like a sunrise grandmother, but a great organization for young people.

Passionistas: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, so we will post that link as well. So if, if you can't afford it, you can afford it. That's all. Um, yep. So, well, this has been amazing. Thank you ladies. Six weeks away, everybody. So 39. Yes. Follow chop wood, carry water on social media as well. And stay on top of what justice is doing because there might come a day where you think you don't have time and you find you do and see what Jess is doing. Because the other thing I'd have to say is what's great about dress is she sends out a daily email blast election aside. There's a daily email blast that goes out and it gives you action items that you can do on a daily basis. Like these are the things you should do today. Call this person, emailed this person, you know, the representatives. And this is what you have to say. This is what you should write in your email. It makes it so easy. And in five minutes you can make a difference and you can do it every day. And it's an amazing, amazing resource. Thank you. Just trying to stay safe.

Jessica: Hope is an action. Woo.

Passionistas: All right, well thanks. Have a great day. See you next five. Next time. Bye.

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