EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The kind of data-driven, multi-ethnic grassroots organizing that helped flip Georgia blue is already at work in border states, national activism groups say.
The change in Georgia came about as people expressed frustration with job loss, status-quo politics and what they perceived as an inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the groups say it took a coalition of black and Hispanic groups to reach younger people, displaced hotel and domestic workers as well as naturalized citizens from Africa and Latin America who usually don’t vote.
“We had an unprecedented ground game. We knocked on (millions of) doors in six weeks despite the pandemic, we reached 360,000 people, with 83% being people of color,” said Gwen Mills, secretary-treasurer of Unite Here, a group that organizes hospitality industry workers.
She said coalition volunteers listened to the voters, shared their own stories of getting laid off and struggling to provide for their families and conveyed a message of hope and the need to get involved. They also scanned voter registration rolls to target their visits and used social media to engage younger voters.
“That’s what democracy looks like, not storming the Capitol,” Mills said.