Talking to Strangers Changes the World
Resistance Boot Camp — San Fernando Valley, CA
Leaders of change-making local activists groups, many formed since the 2016 presidential election, presented motivational talks and trainings for further actions to a packed house at San Fernando Valley’s Resistance Boot Camp.
Jason Berlin, a continually smiling Tom Hanks type in bright blue t-shirt and jeans, is an organizer with Field Team 6. He said he was warmed by the great turnout and the opportunity to be “bathing in liberals.” Big applause and big laughs from the crowd were a reflection of the solidarity of the assembled for the cause at hand.
Before charging forth with the strategies and hard work ahead for the 2020 election, Jason took the time to recognize the irrefutable success of November 2018, when the Wave we all worked for crashed into the House and turned it Blue by a margin far exceeding our goal. “Thank you for saving the world,” said Jason, “We won our survival.”
Everyone who marched, who called, who wrote postcards, registered voters, knocked on doors, “It all mattered.” Many of the elections were so close they were won by what’s called “field margins,” said Berlin. Margins attributed to work done in the field. That’s us. All of us. “Talking to strangers changes the world.”
The Plan: From now until the primaries, the push is going to be voter registration. Canvassing for particular candidates will ramp up after that. Not only do we have to vote Trump out, we have to protect the House Democrats we voted into office November 2018 and flip the Senate as well! There is no taller order, but no work more necessary considering the circumstances of our Democracy. It’s not lost on any of us.
Field Team 6 organizes regular Voter Registration events and encourages everyone to Volunteer. Volunteers are trained before every event, so no prior experience is necessary. There’s even a handy “How to Register Democrats” training manual.
Berlin covers the nuts and bolts, like how to fill out the registration form, plus proper body language (stand with an open posture and don’t hold your clipboard up to your chest like a shield), the importance of eye contact and a little smile. “So they have to break your heart to walk past you.”
But — what if you do wind up talking to a Republican? “Try not to let them see the light die in your eyes.” Another big laugh.
Don’t try to change anyone’s political view, he instructs. You will be trying to register people who already lean Democrat. Berlin is always clear about where he is coming from so he attracts like-minded people. He wears an Obama campaign shirt, and to passersby he calls, “Excuse me, can you help me save the world from Trump?”
Spend a few hours at a community college, farmer’s market or even outside the DMV registering voters, and “You leave with a force-field of self-esteem,” he exclaims.
For more information and to Volunteer, please visit: www.fieldteam6.org