‘We remind ourselves that fighting the Right is the challenge of our generation; it’s something we’ll need to do for the long haul.’
In 2019 a group of left organizers and activists in the Bay Area started talking about the roles they could play to deny Trump a second term in 2020. As residents of a solidly blue state, they saw a need to connect Left volunteers from blue states with state and local groups organizing in working-class communities and communities of color in key battleground states.
The model they developed, called Seed the Vote (STV), worked in partnership with grassroots groups to expand the electoral ecosystem. Seed the Vote volunteers learned about the integrated voter engagement programs that local, state, and national organizing groups were engaged in, and how their electoral work is part of longer-term strategies to build progressive power in their states.
Convergence’s Sandra Hinson caught up with Rose Mendelsohn, STV Organizing Director and one of the co-authors of the chapter they contributed to Power Concedes Nothing. She asked Rose why it was important for STV to be part of the book and what lessons from 2020 they are bringing into the 2022 midterms and beyond.
“Seed the Vote was an experiment,” Mendelsohn said. “We saw a need and we tried to fill it. We also assumed it would be a one-time project, responding to the urgency of 2020. We were committed to both evaluating and documenting the work. Along with our report on 2020, writing the chapter gave us an opportunity to step back, after a chaotic year, and offer both a narrative and some analysis about Seed the Vote. Doing so has helped us reevaluate our plans and decide to keep building for the 2022 midterms and for the long-term.