by Beth Posner-Waldron, UUCW Get Out the Vote Team
What’s all this talk about becoming a Good Trouble Congregation?
In April 2022, JaZahn Hicks was hired to be the Campaign Director for UU the Vote, the UUA’s voting rights campaign. He has challenged congregations to put our faith into action and galvanize ourselves to vote love and defeat hate, upholding the legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis by getting into GOOD TROUBLE and “work collectively to get in the way of injustice and get into Good Trouble to build a truly multiracial democracy.”* What is a Good Trouble Congregation? From the UUA website, ”Good Trouble Congregations are congregations that answer the call to organize their communities and engage in the multiple and necessary tactics that will help us win big for our communities in 2022”.
How can we become designated a Good Trouble Congregation?
One way is for several folks from our congregation to write letters with Vote Forward. If we are a congregation of 145 members, collectively we would need to write 2900 postcards or letters. Each person who takes action writing letters, making calls or participating in the election process (not just voting) helps us meet the goal of having 20% of our congregation support action on democracy and voting rights with volunteer engagement. That will satisfy 2 of the criteria–see list below.
How can you help with letter writing?
Learn how on Saturday, June 25, 2022: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET
JOIN THE UUTV @ GENERAL ASSEMBLY VIRTUAL LETTER-WRITING PARTY
Join UUCW online with our UU the Vote community across the country.
Led by the UUTV staff and partner Vote Forward, learn how to go about letter writing and write letters together with other folks online and folks who are attending GA in person.
PLEASE NOTE THAT, SINCE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS IN PORTLAND, OREGON, YOU WILL BE SIGNING UP FOR “Virtual: 12:30 PM – 1:30PM PT”
Make some good trouble! Take action to dismantle racism and oppression by sharing tools for voting and making their voices heard with those in the BIPOC communities.
Note: you don’t write the entire letter. You print out a template and there is space in the letter where you write a sentence or two about why you vote. Suggested ideas are provided on the Vote Forward website and in the training.
What! 2900 postcards or letters? Impossible! No, not really. We already have commitments from folks for more than 1500 letters with Vote Forward and we will have 1000 postcards done between April and September. So, we’re within reach!
Here’s a tip from Ann Hollander about how she set her goal of 600: “I found it helpful to think about how many letters I can commit to writing in a week and then multiplying that by the remaining weeks until October. I’m retired so I have plenty of time to write 20 per week. Others may feel they can only write one or two a week, but however many you can write will have a crucial impact.” Read more about why Ann writes letters with Vote Forward.
Want some input from another letter writer? Talk to Lynn Gostyla. Lynn and David Williams did 1200 letters for the 2020 election and are planning to write at least 800 this time.
Are you already a Vote Forward letter writer? If you are already making good trouble and writing letters with Vote Forward or taking other actions to support democracy, you can report your progress here or if it is easier, report your activity to Beth Posner-Waldron, Coordinator of the Get Out the Vote Team (). Please make sure to indicate you are part of UUCW.
What criteria must we meet to be a Good Trouble Congregation? We need to satisfy 4 of the following criteria:
- Average 20 postcards or letters per member – easy, we can do this!–Learn how on 6/25!
- Average 200 text messages per member – we could do this, too!
- Average 20 calls per member – easy, we can do this!
- Average 20 doorknocks per member – who wants to go with Evan Wilson & me?
- Reach 20 percent volunteer engagement – easy, we can do this!
- Average 2 newly registered voters per member – any takers?
- At least 2 congregants are line warmers, poll workers, or poll watchers – I think we got this, too!
Stay tuned for more organized activities to Get Out the Vote with UUCW. If you want to see what else is happening with UU the Vote, go to https://www.uuthevote.org/events/.
If you want to be added to our email distribution list for upcoming activities and events, contact Beth directly or via . Meetings are held from 6:30-7:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month by zoom. Contact Beth for the zoom link if you would like to tune in.
*quotes are from the UUA website Become a Good Trouble Congregation