Right now, someone on the ground in Maine is swearing like a mother----. The damn router went down again. Or a volunteer didn't show up when they were supposed to. Or someone printed the wrong walk sheet with the wrong script and forgot the map and canvassers got lost and oh sh*t tomorrow is election day and time is running out.
Someone else is looking for that first meal of the day. Four cups of coffee and half a stale donut from yesterday's supply donated by some volunteers can only get you so far into the afternoon. It wouldn't be quite so bad if not for that 2-3 hours of sleep you've been getting a night this whole week. And if your phone would just stop ringing for five minutes maybe you could get a bathroom break. Except that the field office ran out of toilet paper last night, and no one has had time to get more.
And yet, victory is within your grasp. The race is so close. But you can feel the energy - this campaign is different. You can rewrite the story of marriage equality at the polls.
You know exactly what you need to do between now and the poll closing tomorrow. Get. Out. The. vote.
Some of my friends and colleagues are out there, all the way on the other side of the country, working their hearts out to win this campaign that means so much to so many people. These activists and organizers are some of the best in the business.
This is for you - a chance to send some love and thanks and hope and prayers and blessings.
Hopefully all of us reading this have already done something to help you in a more concrete way. We've had the chance to send some money - either to the campaign or to the travel for change site that is supporting volunteers coming to help on the ground.
Update: No on 1 can still use your donations - I see they are looking for another $20,000 by midnight. Click here to become a supporter.
Update 2:And here's something from Julia Rosen in the comments:
you made me get all verklempt here in the comms boiler room.
What a wonderful letter. An extra bit of motivation over the goal line.
Today Jesse Connolly the campaign manager and Darleen Hutchinson were crying as hundreds gathered in the public square in Portland for a big GOTV rally.
Everyone is wound tight with emotions just below the surface (or just above) as election day approaches. All of these countless weeks of insane hours and heroic work and it comes down to this.
Jesse just headed out the door to the bank to wire the money we raised thus far ($54k and counting) for a last minute ad buy. Keep it coming and we will send Jesse out again. Give what you can on Act Blue.
Julia (juls) Rosen
Online Political Director
Courage Campaign (on loan to the No on 1 campaign)
You heard her folks, keep it coming!
If you are close by, I am told it is not too late to drive up and help with GOTV tomorrow - visit Drive for Equality and find out.
Here's the update from Paul Hogarth posted by BiPM this morning:
Urgent update from Paul Hogarth: We are providing FREE HOTEL ROOM SPACE in the Portland area for anyone from out-of-state who can make a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive up and volunteer. We have a block of rooms for tonight and tomorrow night, so people can stay until Wednesday. People who sign up at the Drive for Equality website will get a call back within 15 minutes. The phone number---someone will always answer it---is 415-935-4552. The polls are tight as a tick and it's not too late to influence undecided voters.
You can also help make calls to get out the vote using the virtual phonebank tool.
The other thing we can do is say thank you. This is the backbreaking, invisible, unglamorous work that wins elections. It doesn't get enough credit, and it sure doesn't get you a big name and fawning adulation in the blogosphere. Thank god you are there doing it.
Tomorrow, if all goes well, you will contribute to an historic victory. And you will show us all not just that it can be done, but how it can be done. I'm optimistic about the fact that No on 1 has a real field operation. You are taking a lot of the lessons organizers have known for a long time, and some of the innovations we developed working on the Presidential campaign last year, and the spirit of the people in Maine who are committed to equality, and building a new model for the marriage equality fight.
Me, I am in this for my kids. We've worked hard in our house to make sure our kids understand there's a fight about who should get married, and that it's wrong in California that not everyone can. My husband and have been privileged to have the full array of legal and social sanctions on our relationship. But as I have written here before, I stand at The Rawlsian "Original Position" on marriage equality:
I have become a parent of two children. They are still too young to know who they might grow up to love. The fact that society might artificially exclude them from marriage at that point is unthinkable to me. Of course I always wanted this change for the couples at our wedding, and for others who are part of my life. But the tangible impact on my family is something new.
I have no idea if my kids, who are only 5 and 7 right now, will grow up to love boys, or girls, or both. Regardless, I want to dance at their weddings and see my children create families of their own. I can't take the chance that the kind of marriage they will want as adults might still be illegal. We have 10-15 years to get it done for them. Hopefully it won't take that long.
This weekend, my 8 year old son pestered me to play the board game Life with him. As he steered the little plastic car around the track and stopped at the "Get Married" square I wondered - should I say something? Make this a teaching moment? Thankfully I held back, and simply watched in silence as he nonchalantly put a second blue "boy" peg next to the one already in his car. "I want a whole car of boys" he explained, putting it back on the board and spinning for his next turn. "I want a whole car of girls" his sister chimed in, putting two pink pegs in hers.
So hang in. Less than 48 hours to go. Sleep, food, showers, these are distant memories. Get out the vote, every last vote, don't leave a single one on the field, as I know you would anyway.
You are almost at the finish line of this election. Win or lose, and I believe you can win, you are already changing the world.