Greetings from Denver – I’ve finally arrived!
Not without incident, of course. I wish sometimes I had counted how many hours over the past five years I’ve spent stranded in airports, wrangling with airlines, and cursing the lack of electrical outlets in terminals. I won’t bore you with the details but to say that Delta managed to make me miss my first flight, which put me next to a drooling hunter on the second flight…but it was all well worth it!
The fabulous Beth K. of NARAL Colorado picked me up from the airport and took me and my absurd amount of luggage back to the NARAL headquarters. It’s truly a campaign office, with ‘No on 62’ yard signs, buttons, stickers, and the like all over the place. Oooh, and zucchini cupcakes. And, of course, a crew of fabulous hardworking young feminists – I arrived as several were coming back from canvassing for votes, two were making volunteer recruiting calls for the next canvas (which is, no joke, on a party bus!), and one was cutting out small invites for the members-only champagne reception on September 30th.
I sat down with Beth to go over the schedule for the next two weeks – I won’t recount it here because it’s long but mostly because it’s overwhelming. There are rallies on campuses, rallies in parks, a potluck, meetings with students, a screening of my film, phone banks, canvassing, and media interviews. I’m also taking charge of NARAL Colorado’s Twitter and Facebook streams so, go follow!
The picture above is of Beth serving as a human teleprompter for me as I film a video promoting the NARAL Colorado Voting Guide. See, no one told me when I became a feminist organizer that I would be asked (with increasing frequency, for some reason!) to be in videos, on the spot, with no prep time. I’ll post it in a few days if it’s usable!
After that, dinner and dessert with the amazing staff, who I will introduce you to in the next couple of days. Tomorrow, look for video, more photos, and the start of a series of stories from the women working on the campaign and those who will be affected most if the “personhood” amendment is passed.
Finally, a note on the title of this series, ‘On the Ground.’ As you probably know, nothing makes me angrier than the myth that young women aren’t feminists. But a close second and third are the myths that the young feminists of my generation who do exist don’t care about reproductive rights and we don’t do any offline activism to complement our blogging. Both are untrue and both stem from a misunderstanding of what I see as evolving Forth Wave feminist ideology. We care very much about reproductive issues, so much so that we’ve expanded the framework from advocating for political ‘reproductive rights’ to advocating for and making ‘reproductive justice’ for all women and men. And, yes, we do a lot of that activism online, writing to raise consciousness, making out own counter-media, and connecting our networks to amplify previously silenced voices. Often, as I hope to do with this series, we do all of these things in conjunction with on the ground organizing, whether it be making calls, canvassing, organizing rallies schools or community centers, lobbying representatives…the list is endless.
As I said in a (very tired) toast last night: here’s to young feminists, not cogs in a wheel but the brains behind the operation, not the future of the movement but the now, on the front lines, changing the world, saving lives, on the ground.