You hear the term often, from every politician and movement that tries to appeal to the masses; “This is a grassroots ________”. Well, with all the rhetoric and misconception, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when they use this beaten down term, especially in US politics. That’s where the Bernie Sanders campaign, like the man himself speaking on the issues facing this country, actually means it.
The campaign began in a new form of grassroots gathering. Thousands came together in living rooms, bars, coffee shops and anywhere that could fit people to usher in a truly grassroots movement and watch a web based address from the newly minted campaign at the end of July. Since then, the campaign has learned and grown from the overwhelming support that has been pouring in from across the US by empowering people to be the campaign. To be the true grassroots movement. To be the change they want to see.
Now this all sounds very grandiose and utopian, but it in fact is incredibly empowering and very real. Right now there are hundreds, yes hundreds of volunteer events planned , with even more in the planning stages all across the US. From standing on the streets and passing out flyers, visiting underserved neighborhoods, gathering together to brainstorm ideas and even just having a handful of homemade materials in your pocket ready to talk to anyone, we truly are the campaign.
How is this different? Why is this so exciting? Simply put, it’s because it means something, it means everything. You can right now go to the events page on the campaigns website and find an event in your area. Don’t see something near you, the campaign has empowered us to make our own. Why is this so important? It’s vitally important because now we have the ability to actually do something! There are scores of folks who have no idea who Bernie Sanders is, let alone what he stands for and what platforms he’s championing?! Get out there and do the work! If you don’t how to get started just ask someone, there are plenty of people out there to help get you started.
Let me tell you, it is incredibly rewarding and the feeling that you not only support Bernie and he has your vote, but that you can talk to real people about the real problems in their lives brings you closer to those in your community. I am a man of modest means and cannot contribute as much or as often financially as I would like to the campaign, but my time is something I do have and utilizing it to reach out to the community might be even more valuable to the campaign.
There are tons of resources at our fingertips friends. Go to the campaign website and learn more about how to talk to strangers. It’s scary, I know, but you’d be surprised how much your parents were wrong about them. Sign up or plan an event. Gather with friends to identify local events which you can go to and set up a table. Network with groups in your area and lend your unique talents. Bernie’s r/subreddit is also an incredible resource for folks that want to get involved.
So friends, sharing a snarky meme or reposting something online is one thing, but going out to talk to people face to face is another thing. This is how we connect. This is how the campaign grows and this is how we can give the term “grassroots” a new meaning. Or maybe we’re simply taking it back from those that would use it to pander to a sense of humility. Let’s find out.
Tabling for Bernie at “Celebrate Holyoke” in Holyoke MA
Tabling at “RPM Fest” in Greenfield MA.