The recent Lincoln Restler-Chris Olechowski election in North Brooklyn was decided by 19 votes, reminding us that, at least locally, every ballot counts. But that doesn’t always feel true on a national level. Will casting a vote for Obama in Brooklyn do anything for marriage equality in Minnesota? Or to enfranchise Arab-Americans? Will it do anything about the often-maddening process of voting itself? If you feel frustrated, there are ways to get involved that might seem a whole lot more meaningful than casting that single vote of yours on November 6. Here are several local organizations that could use your time—and some apps that could use your employ.
Chris Asta, Board Director: “ACT NOW is not an organization that is about getting together and talking about this or that. We’re about getting together and doing. We put boots on the ground, leading bus trips to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania to reelect President Obama and Metro-North trips into Westchester to support congressional candidate Sean Maloney. When we convince one voter to support President Obama, that voter might convince three others, who can each do the same for three more. Each voter we talk to makes a significant difference, and the outreach we do has the potential to grow quickly and exponentially, such that one person, giving one afternoon, can have an impact far beyond what her one vote allows her. What is important about these interactions is that they’re personal. It’s one voter reaching out to another on a human level. And it’s that personal, human element that seems to always make the difference.”
ACT Now NY website
Marriage Equality USA
Brian Silva, Executive Director: “Marriage Equality USA is the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer-driven organization dedicated solely to civil marriage equality for all Americans. Our work focuses on education, training, direct action and working in collaboration with other individuals and organizations. We invite everyone who believes in this cause to volunteer for a local phone bank or weekend canvassing trip through our 20 Million More Campaign, a coalition of almost 50 local and national organizations working this fall in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington.”
20 Million More website