Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the whole world. ~Hilary Clinton
The past week has been … enlightening.
As I watched a petulant Brett Kavanaugh sneer at a patient Senator Klobuchar and interrupt Senator Feinstein (and y’all know how I feel about men interrupting women) I saw – as you likely did – the true essence of Brett Kavanaugh. It seems that the pressure he’s under is so strong it squeezed out all of his bullshit lies until finally, on Thursday, we met the concentrated, 100% pure Brett Kavanaugh.
What a sight.
He’s Andy’s boyfriend Troy from the Goonies. He’s Steph from Sixteen Candles. He’s the rich, snotty kid who taunts us with his well-practiced “I’m guilty as hell but you’re not powerful enough to catch me” look. That pursed mouth, the flip of his head while he sneers “I’m innocent,” with a sideways glance and a smirk.
I saw it. You probably did too.
The problem is he’s not a character from an ’80s teen movie.
He might be our next Supreme Court Justice.
So as I was watching this “circus” unfold, I had the strangest sensation. My skin felt like it was on fire. My arms tingled. They were familiar sensations, but ones that I hadn’t felt since November 2016.
As much as I counsel women to remember the rage and fear we felt on November 9, 2016, the space and time between now and then makes that hard – even for me.
But last week we all had a refresher…
So at the risk of repeating myself, let’s recognize that we’ve been given an incredible gift: rage at the best possible moment. We’re far enough from the most important election in our lifetime that our efforts can dramatically impact the outcome, but close enough that we won’t lose momentum. We’re now in the sprint finish to the marathon we’ve been running – and the GOP just goosed us in the butt in the last 50 yards.
So how do we channel that rage to make it the most effective?
How can you use that energy to propel yourself forward – rather than just self-combusting?
You do something. I call it Action Therapy.
So this week, rather than giving you actions to take, I wanted to share a guide that I created that I hope will help you channel your energy – helping you be efficient with your time, and effective with the tasks you undertake in the last month. I really hope it’s helpful for you – if it is, I sure hope you’ll say so. And please feel free to share with friends!
You can download you own nifty PDF copy of it here – which you should do, because the PDF version comes with a super handy two-page checklist to help you organize.
Okay, enough talk. We’ve got an election to win.
Let’s get to work.
The Busy Woman’s Guide to Channeling Your Rage
Note: If you would like to download your own PDF copy – which comes with a two-page checklist for you to use – you can do that by clicking here.
Are you full of the kind of energy that only rage can provide – but so busy that it’s hard to figure out what to do and when? Wondering what organizations need help, what candidates to support, and how best to reach voters in the next few weeks?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
Below are some questions for you to ask of yourself, resources that you can utilize, and ideas for you to implement over the next few weeks.
Before we begin, ask yourself a serious question. Do you want to contribute your time, or money, or both?
If You Answered Time, ask yourself two more questions.
First, what is my time budget? What amount of time do I have to give per week, and per day.
I have _____ hours per week.
The best days for me to volunteer are ______.
The best times for me to volunteer are ______.
Mark on your calendar the days that are best for you. Those are the days to fill up first.
Mark on your calendar The Last Weekend, November 3-4. That weekend is critical for “Getting Out the Vote” (GOTV). Studies show that personal outreach in the last four days before an election are the most effective in turning out voters. So keep that weekend free.
Now look at your regular calendar and see what events you already have scheduled that lend themselves well to political activism. For example, coffee with my friend Jessica (also very politically motivated) becomes canvassing. (With a stroller!)
Now look at your regular calendar to find those hidden bits of time that you normally can’t find much to fill. You know what I mean – the minutes you sit in your car in school pickup line, the empty space during a child’s practice or game, or even while you’re getting your hair done. For me, it’s waiting for my son to be finished with an appointment that becomes prime time to write postcards. You get the drift.
Okay, now that you know what time you have to work with, ask the second question:
Do I want to volunteer for a specific candidate, an organization, or do I want to personally reach out to voters?
If you answered candidate, below are some resources that will help you find progressive candidates to support. Just head over to that campaign’s website and contact them directly or check out their social media for volunteering ideas. I promise, they’ll have a way to use you!
- Vote Pro Choice endorsed candidates: https://voteprochoice.us/endorsed-candidates/
- Planned Parenthood’s endorsed candidates: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/elections/endorsements
- Emily’s List (state and local endorsed candidates): https://www.emilyslist.org/pages/entry/state-and-local-candidates
- Emily’s List (federal endorsed candidates): https://emilyslist.org/candidates/gallery/federal
- And here’s a list of literally every Democratic nominee for Congress. https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_candidates_running_in_U.S._Congress_elections,_2018
Even without coordination with your local candidate, you can submit a video to MoveOn explaining why you’re supporting them. (Go here: https://realvotervoices.moveon.org/submit-your-video-pfaw/) The process is really simple – you just create a video on your laptop or phone, upload it to MoveOn’s platform, and give them authorization to use it. Easy!
Postcards to Voters: https://postcardstovoters.org/volunteer/ Postcards to voters is an organization that helps support candidates across the country. Volunteers write out messages on postcards, and send them to prospective voters. It’s simple, you can do it in your spare time, and it’s a great outlet if you’re crafty. https://postcardstovoters.org/volunteer/
If you answered organization, here are some to start with. (And yes, there are many more – but these are a few that are posting specific volunteer needs right now.)
Run for Something: https://runforsomething.net/why/ “Run for Something recruits and supports young progressives running for local office with the long-term goal of building a bench for decades to come.” RFS volunteers help with candidate screening – and other projects as they become available. You can also apply to be a RFS mentor. If you have skills that you’d like to share and are looking for a place to do it, RFS is a good place to start.
Swing Left: Swing Left has need for copy editors and people to text and phone bank. Apply at https://swingleft.org/p/volunteer-online.
Together We Will: twwusa.org Together we will grew out of the secret Facebook group Pantsuit Nation. They’re on the lookout for good writers, and are “especially interested in amplifying voices that are usually marginalized, and publicizing the amazing grassroots actions of our members and groups.” Contact TWWnewsletter@gmail.com if interested.
TWW also seeks folks who have graphic design skills to “create images to accompany written pieces, or stand-alone graphics that work well for being transmitted over social media.” They also have work for video editors and sign makers. If interested in volunteering with TWW USA, please contact TWWnewsletter@gmail.com.
If you want to reach out to voters personally, excellent! Here are some ideas:
Turnout Challenge: Studies have shown that the most effective way to get people to vote is social pressure. When people know their neighbors will find out if they voted, turnout increases by around 8%.
I’m not encouraging you to tell your neighbors that you will be checking into whether they voted. (Although you could).
What I am encouraging you to do is to use the popup groups that you’re part of to ensure Democratic turnout from the groups you belong to is 100%. How do you do that? By telling your members that you’re taking the Turnout Challenge and you’re aiming for 100% turnout in your group. Let them – and all members – know that you’ll be checking voting records after the election (which only shows whether you’ve voted – not what candidates you vote for) and you’ll be noting who didn’t vote. Do the same for any Democratic organizations that you’re part of. Let’s make sure OUR base gets out there.
Friend/Contact Mapping: Canvassing – going door to door to tell people about candidates or issues – is very effective. But reaching out to your own friends/contacts is even more so.
Right now, take 10-15 minutes to make a list of friends and people that you know who might not be planning to vote. (I’d encourage you to reach out to as many women in your networks as possible.) Who do you send holiday cards to? Who do you talk to at the dog park? What family members “space out” and sometimes forget to vote? Who in your network is most impacted by healthcare, or income inequality – or any other issue that’s on this year’s ballot? Write their names down on this helpful contact sheet.
Now, contact them by phone, e-mail or text.
Don’t just “encourage them to vote.” First, ask them specific questions that help them think through their own voting plan. Questions like “are you going to vote before or after work? Is your polling place closer to your house or your office? Is there parking or are you taking public transportation?” require people to think through the process of voting, and are shown to be much more effective than simply asking someone the yes-or-no question of “are you going to vote?”
Second, send them helpful information, like links to voter registration websites (so they can easily check to see if they are registered – and register if they aren’t), polling place information, and information about their congressional district.
- Here’s a website that has polling place information: https://gttp.votinginfoproject.org
- Here’s a link to register to vote: https://register.vote.org/
- Here’s a link to find your Congressional district: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/map
The Last Weekend: www.thelastweekend.org Studies show that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3rd–Tuesday, November 6th). When you sign up with The Last Weekend, you’re committing to help with GOTV efforts.
100k Stronger Missouri: If you live in Missouri, you can participate in 100k Stronger, which has a goal to send postcards to Democratic voters in Missouri to encourage them to get out and vote. It’s not specific to individual candidates but a more general GOTV. Text STRONGER to 66866 to get started.
Vote Save America: https://votesaveamerica.com/dosomething If you are looking for face-to-face in-person events (canvassing opportunities, rallies – you name it) Vote Save America has an incredibly comprehensive database of events near you.
Phone bank with Mobilize America and/or Flippable: If you’d rather pick up the phone, you can phone bank from your home, by going to https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/ofa/ to find events near you, or https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/flippable/
The Future is Voting has great ideas on how to connect with folks in your network via social media with videos. Take a video of yourself explaining why you’re going to be voting in this election – and why you want your friends and followers to vote, too. Take some hints from the folks at Future is Voting – they have sample scripts and hashtags, and even some graphics to use. The key here is to make it (1) simple (2) personal (3) short. Then just upload to facebook, twitter, instagram! https://thefutureisvoting.org/take-action
If you’d like to contribute money, once again the first question is: what’s my budget?
So, what can you do without this month (just for this month!) to give a campaign a boost? A cup of coffee? A Chipotle?
Did you know that a five dollar donation is enough to buy TWO yard signs? Think of how many people see those signs, and what kind of an impact your $5 is making in ensuring people know about that nominee. Every single dollar matters, so never ever feel like your contribution isn’t enough.
Write down what you plan to spend. “I have _____ to contribute to campaigns and organizations in the next 30 days.”
And please plan to contribute anything you’re going to contribute to a candidate in the next week – campaigns need to know the money is there before they can spend it, so give them time to use your donation!
You can go to any campaign website to donate specifically to that campaign, but here are some other ideas:
When you donate through www.itstarts.today, your donation is split between every one of the Democratic nominees for House and Senate that are up this year. Although the donations recur – they only recur until November 6. So, in essence, it’s a one-time donation at this point.
Emily’s list has a helpful donation platform that makes it easy for you to donate to their endorsed nominees. You can also split your donation among all of their featured races. https://www.emilyslist.org/donate
The National Women’s Political Caucus has a Parity PAC – donations to it will go to help endorsed candidates. http://www.nwpc.org/paritypac
Crowdpac: https://www.crowdpac.com You’re already familiar with the viral campaign to fund Susan Collins’ opponent if she votes for Kavanaugh’s confirmation – but did you check out the website that hosts it? It’s called Crowdpac, and it’s like Kickstarter for progressive candidates and causes. There are a whole bunch of interesting voting-related campaigns going on there, like funding voter IDs for teens. Check it out!
Don’t neglect your state races! For Missouri folks, you can make it easy on yourself and fund every Democratic Missouri state legislative nominee at www.itstarts.today/missouri
You can also fund every single pro-choice Democratic Missouri sate legislative nominees at www.itstarts.today/missouri_pro-choice
If you want to support state legislative races but don’t live in Missouri, your first stop should be your local state legislative campaign. With just a few weeks to go, they need every dollar they can get for GOTV. Then, after the election, check out Forward Majority at https://go.forwardmajority.org/page/contribute/donate-now
So, there you have it.
Some resources to help you be the most efficient and effective rage-filled female activist you can be.
Remember – individually, we sparkle.
Together, we light the way.
I hope this guide helps you direct your energy. We can’t do this without you.
Download your own PDF version with the two-page checklist by clicking here.
If you found this guide useful and you want to help support this work (and help me “keep the lights on,” so to speak) you can do so:
via Patreon at
or via paypal at
My deepest gratitude in advance.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together.
If you want one more quick action, make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!