As a D.C. resident who lives in the Virginia media market, it seems as though the only ads on TV right now are political – and understandably so. Presidential, Senatorial and Congressional elections (along with local elections and proposed amendments) are among our most obvious and consistent opportunities to make our voices heard.
This election season, the Reform Movement has been vocal on key issues: voter suppression and mobilization. And, after the debates are over and the pundits have had their say, on November 6 millions of American Jews will join their fellow citizens in heading to the polls to vote. We’ve developed our Get Out the Vote 2012 Guide, in order to help congregations understand both the obligation to vote and the potential barriers to the ballot box, which threaten to obstruct the most vulnerable among us.
But GOTV 2012 is not just a packet of program ideas and organizing guidelines – it represents our larger commitment to our Jewish values that teach: “Do not separate oneself from the community” (Hillel, Pirkei Avot 2:5). Furthermore, in Talmud B’rachot 55a, we are reminded that “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted,” illustrating the importance of many voices in choosing our leaders.
With the election less than 30 days away, we’re re-posting our GOTV timeline below to help you guide your congregation’s or organization’s engagement with the upcoming election. Suggested activities, program tips and sample materials for all the items listed can be found by clicking on the links below or by browsing the Get Out the Vote 2012 Guide. This year, what role will you play to help Get Out the Vote?
- Call college students and community members on November 5 to remind them of the election.
- Vote on November 6!
- Host a party or gathering to watch the results come in.
- Invite speakers to discuss policy implications of the elections.
- Plan a “Meet-and-Greet” with newly elected officials
To learn more about how your congregation or organization can promote civic engagement this election season, download your copy of the RAC’s Get Out the Vote 2012 guide now at www.rac.org/vote.