Posted on September 13, 2021
With help from CREDO members, DFA is empowering the next generation of progressive leaders
Since 2004 Democracy for America has fought back against conservative tactics with courage and the campaign experience that has made big things possible for grassroots candidates. Each year we work hard to empower the next generation of progressive Democrats with battle-tested, legacy-quality tools and material support. DFA’s proven system of using influential endorsements, strategic campaign support, training, fundraising, and national outreach has elected more than 1,000 progressives to office in all 50 states over the past 17 years.
Through the years we have worked tirelessly to build an unflinchingly progressive, people-powered movement that wins up and down the ballot in all fifty states. Not only has DFA raised over $70 million for candidates we’re also committed to grassroots organizing and providing direct voter contact campaigns, through this work we have made over 24.5 million voter contact calls to help drive turnout in key states.
In 2020, like many organizations, we faced a unique challenge. We had to remove Donald Trump from the White House, expand our majority in the House and flip the Senate. In response to one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime, DFA decided to launch Protect America’s Vote (PAV), to make sure we delivered for progressive candidates. The PAV program was designed to get out the vote by reaching out to voters who vote infrequently. Traditionally infrequent or sporadic voters are an ignored segment of the electorate but throughout our years of work, DFA has consistently seen that reaching out to infrequent voters and helping them make a plan to vote is one of the best ways to expand the electorate and deliver wins for progressive candidates.
The PAV program was able to show voters the importance of the election, help them find where they vote, and make sure they made it to the polls. DFA members signed up from all across the country and were trained by DFA staff on the best practices for GOTV. Our volunteers were able to effectively text and respond and assist voters in Battleground states. DFA members made over 1.6 million voter contacts in Georgia alone in the run-up to the November 3 election — helping deliver the state for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It was the first time in nearly three decades that Georgia went blue in a presidential election.
A few months later with the Senate majority on the line, DFA members continued to contact Georgia voters and help them make an actionable plan to cast their ballots for Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff by January 5. We set a goal of making 3 million additional voter contacts by the runoff election. With the help of our amazing volunteers and partners, we were able to surpass that goal and help flip the senate. In just the last election cycle alone we were able to text over 7 million infrequent voters and newly registered voters in 13 battleground states across the country including Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
In 2021, we are not taking an “off-year”. We plan to work just as hard for our progressive candidates across the country and get voters to the polls this November. In 2020, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia were proof that our 50 State Strategy, when combined with unapologetically progressive messaging, can flip red and purple states to blue. We recruited hundreds of thousands of voters who, for years, hadn’t shown up to the polls. The appeal of progressive candidates and sustained engagement by DFA earned their votes. These votes were transformative in 2020, but without continued investment, we risk losing them in 2021 and 2022. That is why we plan to launch our text out the vote campaign this Fall in states like Virginia and Pennsylvania to make sure we do not lose any of the ground we worked so hard to gain.
Republicans’ fear of the 50 State Strategy and the popularity of progressive ideals have only made their attempts at voter suppression more brazen. The January 6th insurrection is further proof that they will embrace white supremacy, violence, and oppressive authoritarian tactics to win. However, no matter what the other side decides to do we know that grassroots people-powered campaigns win with the right support and resources and DFA will continue to do the work to build a true democracy for America.