Since March 1 our congregations participated in a phone banking campaign to stop Amendment 3 that hit just under 250,000 calls! And more than that, our congregations knocked almost 1,000 doors and sent hundreds of texts. Shout out to Eliot Chapel and St. Mark UMC for all the doors they knocked. St. Cronan’s sat up tables in the Grove, registering new voters, educating all voters and notarizing ballots for mailing. St. John’s/The Beloved Community hosted a socially distanced candidates’ forum for St. Louis City voters. Trinity Episcopal/St. Louis canvassed doors every Saturday from March right through to November 3. This was on top of regularly scheduled shifts for phone and text banking.
Nearly every congregation with a food pantry offered census help and voter registration. The pandemic didn’t hold people back, in fact it seemed to fuel extra efforts. Congregations found all kinds of creative ways to inform and encourage people to get out and vote. As a bonus, these congregations are now in touch with neighbors they may not have known before.
It’s a testimony to the fact that people know change is possible and we can make it happen. It doesn’t take a miracle, just a conversation. Or two or 20,000! Just think what we can do with all our issues, all year long. If people understand an issue and are offered a way to act on their values on that issue, guess what. They act! The world changes and lives are better for it.
Unfortunately, Amendment 3 passed. This reversed the 62% vote of Missourians in 2018. The gerrymandering we ended back then has come roaring back with a vengeance. What happens now is that the only census information the Missouri Legislature is interested in is the number of registered voters. All non-voters, like children and immigrants will be excluded. A committee hand-picked by the governor will draw the lines and there is almost a non-existing opportunity to challenge a district’s make-up. BUT….
We still have much work to do and will not be deterred. We will work in the coming year to get Unlock the Vote out on the floor of the House and Senate for a vote. We will work to ensure there is necessary funding for the changes brought to the juvenile system by Raise the Age. We will continue to fight the overuse of out of school suspension….still an issue even with on-line classes. We are still working to gain the release of people in the Missouri Dept. of Corrections system to reduce the possibility of Covid-19 infections and deaths. We will continue to reach out to those we had conversations with through phone/text banking and door knocking. They are members of the community and we want to continue to keep them in the loop on our current issues and learn what other issues need to be addressed. This is organizing!
We will start 2021 with a membership zoom assembly on January 19, 2021. We’ll plot a course for the new year. Be a part of that. More information will be coming… SO…
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Ask Susan to add you to our regular email: Susan@mcustl.com