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TBE Members Reach 1,800 Voters through Postcards

10/12/2020 05:14:54 PM

Oct12

by Erica Serlin

On August 4, the Temple Beth El Civic Engagement Action Team held a postcard writing event to help combat voter suppression in six targeted states. This initiative was part of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s partnership with the Center for Common Ground for their nonpartisan Reclaim Our Vote campaign, a highly successful strategy to get unregistered and deregistered voters back on the voting rolls and able to cast their ballots.

More than 30 members convened on Zoom to learn more about the campaign and then broke into smaller groups to hand-write and decorate postcard messages to disenfranchised voters of color. Participants were asked to share personal stories and objects related to voting, and some fascinating narratives and objects emerged. Several congregants talked about memories of their own initial voting experiences or of accompanying parents to the polls. One participant recalled registering first-time student voters and needing to wait while at least one new voter called his mother to retrieve his social security number! Another congregant was able to persuade an African American young man that indeed his voice was important and that his vote should be cast and counted. Another member shared a touching story of her immigrant mother voting for the first time following her naturalization in 1949, and she displayed her deceased mother’s proudly preserved certificate of citizenship!

At least 60 kits of 30 postcards each were ordered from the RAC as part of this project, and more kits were ordered and completed independently by TBE congregants and friends. That means TBE alone reached more than 1800 potential voters! Our thanks to Jane Taves, Nancy Brower, and Erica Serlin for organizing this great event.

January 24, 2021 11 Sh'vat 5781