Welcome! You either already know me, or you know someone who does, and they thought you’d like to know more about this project!

If you’re like me, you’re a Democrat in Massachusetts who feels like it can be hard to take action when we’re living in a blue state. I was struggling with this and then in the fall of 2017 discovered Postcards to Voters. Postcards to Voters writer focus on increasing registered Democrat voter turnout for races, from very local to state races for Senate, House, and Governor roles, where the seat has been identified as potentially “flippable” from red to blue. 

This grassroots organization started in Georgia in March 2017 to support the Jon Ossof special election bid. 5 people started it, and within one month, they had 1,200 volunteers across the country, sending 51,000 postcards, at their own expense of time and cards and stamps. I heard about P2V last fall and started with their 36th campaign in December. We’re now over 100 campaigns deep into our writing, with 20,000 volunteers sending out close to 3,000,000 postcards as of late August. 

If you’re thinking that sounds good, and you want to be a part of it, first, consider signing up on your own! Email join@TonyTheDemocrat.org and get started right now!

But if you don’t want THAT much commitment, come to a Postcard Writing Party (or more than one!) at my house! I’m going to host some open-house type postcard writing parties, allowing people to join with others in a social setting and get some postcards sent. I would like to invite you to join me for any or all of them, and to feel free to bring anyone with you who you think would be interested in such an event!

 

What to know about the parties: 

  • WHEN ARE WE DOING THIS?: 6 parties, 4 evenings and 2 daytime, in September and October (dates below). While it will be “open house” setting, meaning you don’t have to be there directly at the start time, ideally you join us within the first 90 minutes of a session and can stay for at least an hour or hour and a half. As each person should target writing 10-15 cards, some people can take about 5 minutes a card, and some can take much more.

     

  • WHERE ARE WE DOING THIS?: Kathy and Robert Vines’ house in the Horace Mann area of Melrose.

     

  • HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN COME?: I can accommodate up to 15 people or so per party. I’ll assign with a “first come, first served” approach to the sign-up list, and create a waiting list after that. I know sometimes people will cancel on the last day, so if you’re willing to be on a waitlist, that is awesome!

     

  • HOW MANY CARDS WILL I WRITE?: Please be willing to write 10-15 postcards if you join a party. I will get addresses for recipients as we know how many attendees we have, so postcards will be written and ready to mail by the end of the party. I will have MANY cards for you to use if you like, or you should feel free to bring your own.

     

  • WHAT IF I’M NOT ARTSY AND/OR CRAFTSY? You do NOT need to be super creative to help support Democracy! I’ll have markers and pens (bring your own, too, if you have some you love). I will have stickers (oh… I have so many patriotic stickers, you have no idea!) Some people turn their postcards into works of art (#Craftivism) and some people create simple messages, like flashcards for exam prep. Anything goes, but don’t feel any pressure to make yours creative if that isn’t your comfort zone. But no puffy stickers or bedazzling! Everything needs to be perfectly flat to the card for proper mail handling.

     

  • DO I NEED STAMPS? Stamps are obviously the biggest expense of any Postcard Writing effort. Ideally, if you bring some postcard stamps to the party with you, that would really help. Postcard stamps are 35 cents each, and a sheet of 20 costs $7 at the post office, though you can probably buy less than 20 in person. I can also have some stamps on hand that you can buy from me.  (Why am I not saying “hey, just chip in some cash towards stamps”? There are laws that vary from state to state, and I think it depends on the state of the candidate, not the state of the postcard writer, about donating $ at a postcard party, as it may legally be considered a “fundraiser” for a candidate and they have to claim it or something. I’m no lawyer, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once. So, to stay away from that and keep our candidate out of trouble, we can say “Postcard Stamps will be available for purchase at the party” and I will have some there. Also, yes, there are Republican candidate campaigns raising some questions in races across the country about various postcard efforts and whether or not the candidate is violating any rules by having support like this, so we’re staying on the bright side on this one.)

     

  • SO, THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME RULES. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? While there aren’t a lot of rules, there are a few we DO need to follow, in order to stay clear of any campaign finance violations. Postcards to Voters have worked extensively with legal counsel to understand how we can best support our candidates and not get them in trouble. The rules are:
    • They need to be handwritten. (This makes your note a First Amendment right to express your opinion, rather than with preprinted marketing materials, which are subject to campaign finance rules, you know, like the “this message approved by ____”)
    • They need to have the core messages, usually 3 of them, written on them, exactly as prescribed. I’ll provide those for whatever candidate we’re writing for at that party. It usually includes the name, the seat, the date of the election, and maybe a sentence close to their campaign mission or call-to-action. There will also be other items and facts about the candidate you CAN share if you like, but those are not required. 
    • Keep the language positive. We don’t bash opponents; we only promote candidates and our desire that they VOTE. 
  • TWO MORE IMPORTANT THINGS:
    • SNACKS AND DRINKS: I’ll provide some snacks, but we’ll keep it light. In my experience, people are more focused on writing than on snacking, and open drinks on the table can be a recipe for disaster. You should feel free to bring a water bottle or something safe that won’t tip, spill, and we end up with tears 🙂
    • PARKING. I live in the Horace Mann area on Howard Street, right near a curve. This means street parking is best found on Hesseltine Ave, directly across from my house, or Haskell Ave, a few houses down. I will also have spots in our driveway people can use. (Don’t worry, I will send the street address to any RSVP’ed attendees in the reminder text.)

 

Next steps for you:

  1. Take a look at the dates/times and your calendar. Let me know which you’d like to plan to attend, by FILLING OUT THIS FORM.  And there is an “I can’t commit just yet but very interested to please keep me posted” option, in case you want to stay in the loop. 
  2. Share this page *privately* with anyone you think may be like-minded and interested and who is local to the Melrose area (does not have to be a Melrose resident!) Be sure they let me know who sent them when they reach out to me. Please don’t just share this page on your public social media profile. If you want to post on FB to generate interest, please consider a message like “Melrose area people: I’m joining others for a Postcard Writing party for races across the country that are flippable from red to blue. If you’re interested in an invite, let me know” or something like that. 
  3. Things happen, even with the best-laid plans. Please re-confirm with me if you’re planning on attending, and actively reach out to me if your plans change last minute. I can text you a reminder 48 hours before to make sure it’s still on your radar. Please be courteous with a prompt reply. 
  4. If you’re confirmed for a party, I may email you the information about the candidate we’re writing for in advance of the party. Honestly, I may not even know until that day who we’re writing for! You’re not required to read it or take any action, but if I have it available and you’re able to check it out the candidate info it may get you grounded in understanding who we’re writing for and why. 
  5. Think about if you want to bring your own postcards (but I’ll have plenty for you to use), any markers or pens or flat stickers you love, and think about if you’ll bring stamps on your own, or if you’d like to buy some from my supply. (It would be helpful for me to know if you plan to buy them, so I have plenty on hand.)
  6. For fun: Check out the Twitter feed for the #PostcardsToVoters to see the excitement of Craftivism at its finest! You’re joining a highly motivated group of 20,000 people ready to drive change at the most local level!

 

Dates and Times:

Please join within the first 90 minutes and plan to stay at least 60-90 minutes to complete 10-15 postcards.

  • Thursday, September 13 – 7 pm – 10pm – EVENING session (DONE!)
  • Monday, September 24 – 7pm – 10pm – EVENING session
  • Wednesday, October 3 – 9am – 12pm – DAYTIME session
  • Thursday, October 11 – 7pm – 10pm – EVENING session
  • Wednesday, October 17 – 9 am – 12pm – DAYTIME session
  • Thursday, October 18 – 7pm – 10pm – EVENING session – NEW DATE ADDED!

 

Don’t forget to fill out the form to RSVP, even if you’re a “maybe”. There’s an option to “please just keep me posted”!