Color photo of the March on Washington
Photo by Unseen Histories / Unsplash

๐ŸŒฑย Multi-Racial Democracy is Closer Than We Think

Part IV: Democracy, The Democratic Party, & Easing into the 2024 Election

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: Turning fear into active hope this election year. Taking action keeps the blues away and creates progressive wins.

In Case You Missed It: Subverting U.S. Progressive Power: The Democratic Way

๐ŸŽง Listen to today's newsletter:

12524 Multi Racial Democracy

This week, I helped organize an event featuring Heather Cox Richardson, the historian who writes the daily newsletter, โ€˜Letters from an American,โ€™ where she links events of today to our historical context. I love her writing because she gets that we have to explore the roots to create the lasting change we deserve. As she says in her newsletter, โ€œTo understand the present, we have to understand how we got here.โ€

Nearly 1,000 people joined hoping to hear something hopeful from Heather. Many were seasoned voter outreach volunteers who were itching to start talking to voters, but most seemed to be there to make reason out of this yearโ€™s election. Many of the questions posed to Heather were fearful about the future, in shock over the present, and lamenting about the past. At an organizing event on January 6th, I sat with nearly 50 people to share their anxieties about the election and talk about what we can do. The anxieties that poured out at the beginning of the event were widespread. Worries over turnout, which demographics will ultimately show up, frustrations with the media, shock over the brazen tactics of the GOP, and a feeling of resignation.

Yโ€™all, humans donโ€™t do well with uncertainty. It seems that many millions of people are just now waking up to an election year in fear over what might happen.

Iโ€™m going to say something surprising, that fear is a good thing!

Why? Because having fear means that we are still alive to the world. It means we are accurately recognizing the threat that authoritarian, fascists pose to the wellbeing of everyone and our planet.

While the outward emotion is fear, there is so much energy beneath the surface. I will always think of my friend Brit Holmesโ€™s comment from our interview last year, โ€œWeโ€™re more divided than we ever have been. And I donโ€™t think thatโ€™s because of apathy. Youโ€™re not apathetically opposed to something vehemently!โ€ What we see on the outside is fear, but what lies behind that fear is a realization that people want more for their lives. They want to be able to live a healthy, fulfilling life with ease. People in the U.S. are not apathetic. They are all kinds of things, but they are not without energy. This gives me hope.

To close out our series on the 2024 election, weโ€™re getting real about fear and hope. If we can harness just a little bit of that energy, we can topple the forces that work to divide us.

Our Power is In Their Fear

Throughout this series, we've discussed the many forces that attempt to stop the people from having a say in our democracy. The two-party system, the global links of fascism, and dark money in the Democratic Party.

At the end of the day, the reason why there has been such an opposition to people power is the fear of change. It is humanity's biggest challenge. Getting the collective will to overcome the fear that change that creates more inclusion, sustainability, and equality will hurt those with power in the existing structure. The escalation of extremism and blatant discrimination is proof of that fear. We wouldnโ€™t see the GOP fight so hard to prevent us from voting if they weren't so scared of losing power. My home state of Texas is a perfect example of this. (we cover it more below) Governor Abbott believes himself to be a dictator because he doesnโ€™t think heโ€™s accountable to the people.

Heather Cox Richardson reminded us of the collective power we hold. She emphasized how abortion can be our stand for the future vision of the world we want to live in. She recounted how the Kansas-Nebraska bill in 1854 was a rallying cry for the country to push back against the elite southern enslavers. And she was quick to remind everyone that we are in good company.

โ€œWouldnโ€™t you rather hang your hat with W. E. B. Du Bois and Abraham Lincoln instead of neo-Nazis?โ€ - Heather Cox Richardson

Despite the tensions in the room, Heather continued to bring the conversation back to hope, not to give false promises, but because history shows us.

We Get Out of This Mess with Words & Heart

When we look to November 2024, we can find hope in the time we have to act. We can build a coalition of people who want to vote for elected leaders who are committed to putting money back into the hands of the people (aka shrinking the wealth gap), abolish the filibuster, pass voting rights reform, and begin the process of shifting our government towards a more humanized, equitable purpose.

We have everything we need to not only tip the scales toward progress but cause a waterfall. We know that talking with people about their lives and their hopes for the country is what turns voters out. (My friends at Talk with Voters will tell you!)

We know this because weโ€™ve already done it. Progressive candidates continue to beat the odds even when they have millionaires waging war against them. Abortion alone is an issue that gets people animated. In every special election, Democrats continue to handily outperform polls, even in R+8 districts. Our movement is succeeding.

Collectively, we can continue to organize, agitate, and vote out the elected officials who talk about progressive values, but donโ€™t live up to creating the change needed. We all have different roles to play this year in creating change. Here are a few ways that you can join.

Ideas for Active Hope in 2024

  1. Help make people aware of the popularity of progressive policies. Aka build hope that change is possible.
  2. Tie the failure to make said policies a reality to the elected leaders who stand in the way whether itโ€™s at the local level to the President.
  3. Understand whoโ€™s taking action to pass the policies that a majority of people want. Youโ€™ll know when itโ€™s genuine.
  4. Support local and independent journalists with your eyeballs and dollar bills. (you can support this independent writer too โ˜บ๏ธ)
  5. Donate to local and state candidates. Just like the Republicans, we need to build our strength at every level. State and local levels are great ways for your investment to have a greater impact. Some races come down to a few votes!
  6. Sign up to volunteer for a voter outreach organization or a candidate. Vote Save America has great resources.
  7. Go canvassing or phonebank! Itโ€™s honestly a really fun and rewarding experience and you can channel your election stress by talking to real people. Try Swing Left for national or Sister District for local races. Find a local chapter and join.
  8. Text your friends, family, and colleagues to make sure they have a voting plan.
  9. Take care of yourself. Breathe, take naps, make time for joy. Activism is a relay race.
  10. Vote! Donโ€™t forget to vote the primary and general elections.

I know itโ€™s easy to be fearful, but thereโ€™s hope in action. The organizing event on January 6th began with anxious questions and uncertainty, but we all left lighter. Together, we could talk through our anxieties and feel a little less alone in them. When we realize that we are fearful about the outcome of the election, itโ€™s an opportunity to turn that energy into active hope. I hope youโ€™ll join me to keep speaking up, agitating, and voting this year.

The more we grow and live with our values, the more others will, and the more likely we can achieve systemic change. As we look ahead this year, I want to be practically hopeful. My hope comes from the actions I and thousands of people like us are taking to move our country towards an equitable and sustainable society.

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  • ๐Ÿ“š Wisconsin GOP Want Forced C-Sections - their newest bill would force doctors to wait to administer care until after womenโ€™s lives are at risk.
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - โ€œItโ€™s about forced pregnancy and childbirth, period.โ€ The bills language puts the life of the fetus above the adult woman meaning doctors have to force their patienceโ€™s through traumatic c-sections or vaginal birth.
  • ๐Ÿ“š What Do Palestinians Want?- The Western media talks about a two state solution as a vague goal, while Netanyahuโ€™s cabinet has spoken about an ominous sounding one Jewish state, many do not ask Palestinians what they want.
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - As we continue to hear news about the Biden Administration and interests in the region talk about what comes after the violence, remember to come back to the impacted communities.
  • ๐Ÿงฎ Voters Want A Child Tax Credit, Not Corporate Tax Cuts - Remember that wildly popular pandemic policy that lifted 400,000 children out of poverty? Itโ€™s still wildly popular!
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - Statistics consistently show that a majority of voters (71% in this case) support progressive policies that reinvest in people not profit. Right now, the extremism of the GOP is very loud, but it doesnโ€™t change the fact that the U.S. people are progressive.
  • ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿ’ป Protect Your Digital Self - An Anti-Doxing Guide - In todayโ€™s increasingly toxic tech world, our leaders have failed to pass regulations and protect us. Doxing, the practice of broadcasting someoneโ€™s personal information to harass or traumatize, has become a tool of the right against activists.
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - Do you talk about social change online? Itโ€™s a great time to take some steps to protect your identity, mental health, and security. A few tips can go a long way to protecting yourself.

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The Supreme Court's ruling against Texas Inhumane Border is not the win we wished it was. The 5-4 decision was a narrow victory for humanity.

โ™ฌ original sound - Sam @ Roots of Change - Sam @ Roots of Change

About the roots of change agency โ€” Navigating heart-first activism & storytelling. We explore the ๐ŸŒฑ roots of our world to support organizations and activists ๐Ÿฅต avoid burnout and ๐Ÿ“š tell empathetic stories that cultivate connections that ๐ŸŒ empower โœŠ๐Ÿฝ social change. Support Our Work.
๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ—ณ Democracy๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ for activists & heart-first humans ๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ—ผ๐Ÿ—ž: Newsletter

Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


Navigating heart-first activism & storytelling. We explore the ๐ŸŒฑ roots of our world to support communicators, organizations, and activists ๐Ÿฅต to avoid burnout and ๐Ÿ“š tell empathetic stories that cultivate connections that ๐ŸŒ empower โœŠ๐Ÿฝ social change.

Learn more about the Roots of Change Agency.