People For the American Way is thrilled with our success this month in thwarting the Far Right’s attempted takeover of the California governor’s mansion. When we first reached out to our members about the recall last month, polling was nearly dead even and revealed a dangerous enthusiasm gap. What we saw was that the right-wing base was energized but that progressives were not recognizing the seriousness of the threat.
Thanks to our members’ efforts, the landscape was totally changed over the past several weeks. We got out the progressive vote and Gov. Newsom soundly defeated the recall question.
Our members were a crucial part of this important win. With their help and support, People For the American Way worked relentlessly to sound the alarm in California, jumping in early when polling results showed a high level of voter apathy and disengagement on the part of progressives and Democrats.
- We mobilized our more than 100,000 California members to vote and, perhaps even more importantly since People For members are already such highly engaged voters, provided tools and information to help them spread the word about the urgency of voting in their communities.
- People For members around the country volunteered to phone bank and text California voters.
- We hosted an online briefing with board members Norman Lear and Dolores Huerta to educate and activate members.
- We engaged elected officials across the country to activate their connections in California.
- People For President Ben Jealous wrote an op-ed for USA Today, identifying the recall as a potential “disaster for democratic values.”
- Our digital graphics and explainer videos were shared thousands of times over – including an important video about far-right Republican candidate Larry Elder from our Right Wing Watch team and a video message to voters by Dolores Huerta.
- People For’s Right Wing Watch also provided vital reporting on Larry Elder’s extreme record and other far-right extremists who helped fuel the recall effort.
None of this work was possible without the support and participation of our members.
Now, we turn our attention to the other side of the country, to Virginia, where the most important regular election of the year is taking place this November for governor and state House … and where People For is already playing a major role in defeating the Far Right’s effort to take over the state and undo our progress.
Stay tuned for more on that to come!