Day 50 of the First 100 Days of Resistance
On Sunday, March 12, Resistance Voter Registration launched NY19Votes, the nation’s first grassroots, all-volunteer voter registration campaign—the first to be staged in a congressional swing district, NY19.
Residents across the district turned out in unprecedented numbers to lead the change they want to see in America.
More than 350 people district-wide joined forces to canvass in Boiceville, Brunswick, Ellenville, Gardiner, Hudson, Kingston, Middleburgh, Monticello, New Paltz, Oneonta, Red Hook and Saugerties. Volunteers gathered at 12 community launch sites in one of New York’s largest swing districts, NY19, for intensive canvass training and then took to the streets to register new and unaffiliated voters across the district.
Canvass volunteers also collected more than 1,500 signatures demanding Congressman Faso, (R) Kinderhook, meet face-to-face with his constituents at open town hall meetings. Petitions will be delivered to Congressman Faso’s Kingston office on Friday.
Participants included NY19 Indivisible groups, Resistance and Women’s March NY groups, Citizen Action, Democratic and Working Families Party committees and members.
Dustin Reidy, the primary organizer of Resistance Voter Registration and the NY19Votes campaign, states, “By holding the nation’s first grassroots, all-volunteer canvass action, our district has led the way for Resistance groups across the U.S. The fact that so people many came out in frigid temperatures shows how strong, passionate and committed people are to our movement. Organizers and canvassers alike who braved the chilly March weather were rewarded with a greater sense of hope and community for their efforts.”
Lin Sakai, a lead coordinator of the Indivisible groups across the 19th Congressional District, states, “Sunday’s NY19Votes canvass action was extraordinary in that is was a 100% grassroots-lead, first-time-ever collaboration between dozens of emerging and established activist groups from across the district. Driven entirely by volunteers, it was better organized than most professional electoral campaigns.” Lin adds, “The action was an incredibly empowering experience for those who participated—and we’re only getting started!”
Erin Stamper, member of Indivisible Chatham and an organizer of the canvass action in Hudson, NY shares, “We had the largest turnout in the district, more than 100 volunteers turned out in Hudson to learn how to knock doors—we’ve been amazed at the ground swell of energy for this first voter registration effort—canvassing 20 months before an election is pretty much unheard of.” Erin adds, “Our primary goal is to get out into the community—to really make ourselves present. We are excited to put time in on the ground listening to people and learning what matters most to them. We want to invite as many people as possible to join the Resistance Movement.”
In Ellenville, NY twenty-five people gathered for the NY19Votes event. Many of the 25 were first-time activists. Leonard Distel, Town of Wawarsing supervisor, warmly welcomed canvass volunteers and shared community insights and knowledge to orientate each volunteer to their assigned turfs—everyone understood exactly where they going and what to expect when they got there.
Ann Brown, Indivisible Western Ulster coordinator and Ellenville lead site organizer states, “Having so many first-time activists turnout in Ellenville was a huge inspiration. The volunteers were driven by a powerful sense of community and voters in Ellenville were keen to find a way to get their message to Congressman Faso.”
Thomas Brown, also a member of Indivisible Western Ulster, led the Ellenville canvass training and shares, “In 12 years of organizing I have never seen a day of action, with such terribly cold weather—the wind chill never rose above 10F—but volunteers eagerly walked their turfs—and came back full of enthusiasm.” Thomas adds, “The community response to the dedication of the volunteers was amazing. One volunteer was chased down the street by a voter eager to sign the petition demanding Faso to hold open public town halls meetings.”
Jeff Beals, a volunteer canvasser in Saugerties who is also an organizer for Swing Left and a member of the Woodstock Democratic Committee, states, “On Sunday we knocked on many doors. Several of the people in Saugerties are worried that they will no longer be able to make ends meet without the protections offered to their families through the American Care Act.” Jeff noted that for every Trump sign or ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag waving in the lawns he crossed, he met several more people who wanted their government to help them, not hurt them.
Resistance Voter Registration organizers are already hard at work planning a second mass canvass action; details will be announced in the coming weeks on the Resistance Vote NY Facebook page.
Social Media & Web
- Campaign hashtag: #NY19votes
- Twitter: @ResistanceVote
- Facebook photo album
- Event facebook page
- Event registration website
- Dustin Reidy
For background on NY19 activist group collaborations:
- Lin Sakai
(808) 492 8744