Why Halloween is the perfect holiday for GOTV

Juni and Jona watching a worm they found in the garden.
Two small children with light brown hair look down at an earthworm in dark garden soil.
Juni and Jona watching a worm they found in the garden.

Hi, I'm Jennifer, and up to now I've been behind the scenes emailing you about phone banking for climate and justice this election cycle! We're actually taking the day off from calls for Halloween (turns out a lot of folks aren't home in the evening on Halloween), but I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of this holiday, about things that are scary, and also about finding antidotes to fear. Long story short, yes, there's a lot to fear, AND there's a proven antidote to the fear and anxiety of the last stretch of election season: finding your place in the work of organizing to win.

I'm the mom to two small children, Juni who is 5, and Jona who is 3 (pictured above). They are stoked about Halloween in the purest and most adorable way. Dressing up is fun, and candy is so dang exciting when you're that small. Do you even remember being so excited about candy? 

I'm an online organizer by trade, so my whole professional M.O. is to use words to try and convince you (yes, you!) to take action, like signing up for a phone bank. 

Because my task is to find words that will inspire you, I think a lot about inspiration, and that means I think about my kids a lot -- and not just when they literally climb on me during meetings. I must pause here to offer sincere thanks to my infinitely patient colleagues who have never once made me feel like less of a teammate because a baby was crawling on me or yelling while I attempted to work. 

Juni and Jona are at the center of everything I love about life, including their joy and curiosity about nature, their deeply felt sense of fairness and their growing awareness of being part of a world and a community that needs "upstanders" against injustice, as Elmo put it.

But, of course, they are growing up so, so quickly, and that constantly reminds me of the future. Frankly, when I think about the future I do have a lot of fear. 

What am I afraid of right now? I'm scared that opponents of democracy are really well-organized. I wonder about Juni and Jona's future. What legal situation will they face if they or their loved ones ever need abortion care? How bad will climate instability be when they're grown ups? Will they keep that precious sense of fairness and be good upstanders against injustice?

Luckily there's plenty of reason to hope, too. For example, early vote totals from Georgia are indicating BIG turnout numbers -- especially for a midterm election. In Kansas this summer, voters made it extremely clear that they demand reproductive justice. And in SCIA's key races, our team of volunteers is talking to voters every day to help them wield their power and elect the climate and justice champions on their ballots.

Halloween is the perfect holiday for GOTV. Originally, the holiday was a time when communities gathered together to scare away things they were afraid of with bonfires and costumes. Togetherness as an antidote to fear.

Today, I'm inviting you to join the community of volunteers joining together to scare away what we fear, and to build the future we need, both for ourselves and for those who will come after us. 

Are you ready to make a move for hope and chase away the fear? Check out the GOTV phone bank schedule and grab a shift or two!