Plan your 2022 fund–figure out how much you can set aside, in both time and money, for the 2022 political races.
In the past, we at OTYCD have asked you to start a fund for underwriting your political activity in election years, with the focus on determining a specific amount you can commit to setting aside every week between now and the Big Day.
Well, we’ve all lived through a few election cycles at this point, and we’ve learned a thing or two.
One thing that jumps out in the wake of the 2020 Senate elections is it is, in fact, possible to give too much to Senate candidates.
Candidate campaigns are, and will always be, bottomless cash funnels, at least until we fix the effects of the Supreme Court of the United States’s (SCOTUS’s) Citizens United ruling.
It might make more strategic sense to steadily give to a grass-roots organization on the ground in a candidate’s state that will do the vital support work to help that person win office.
The point? It’s OK to change how you save.
Instead of solely focusing on an event that’s two years away, maybe split your political budget.
You should put something away for 2022. Don’t stop doing that. But you can reduce that contribution in favor of making it part of a now-and-later fund.
The “now” can be ongoing, albeit small, contributions to organizations such as Spread the Vote (which has a Georgia branch, by the way); Flippable; Run for Something; Swing Left, Sister District, and similar efforts that support registering people to vote or support Democratic and progressive candidates running for local and state offices.
In other words, budget to assist organizations that perform vital work year-round that becomes even more important once elections loom large on the calendar.
This same political budget, from which you will draw during the 2022 campaign, should also cover routine contributions to Democratic members of Congress who represent you directly: your House Rep and your two Senators.
If any of your members of Congress are lousy, reallocate what you would have spent on them to 2022, so you can underwrite the campaign of a challenger.
And! This same political budget, which covers steady contributions to your Democratic Congressional representatives, worthy organizations, and your 2022 nest egg, should also include people who represent you on the state and local levels.
You can find your state Senator and your state House rep through:
The websites for your town or city hall should list your local elected officials, but they won’t give the dates of the next local election. Look to local political organizations and local newspapers for help with finding that out.
So! That is a lot of things to set aside money for, yes? Well, it doesn’t have to be. The amount can be small so long as it’s steady. Choose a sum you can consistently earmark every week, or every pay period, whatever works best for you.
If you can give monthly to your chosen organizations and your federal and state representatives, great! Do that.
If it makes more sense to give once a quarter, aim to give on these days:
Those dates represent the ends of fiscal quarters (informally known as Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4). Donations on these days can be extra-powerful, because big donors look at quarterly filings to decide if a candidate or an org is sufficiently big-deal to merit their help.
If it makes the most sense for you to direct everything to a 2022 fund and leave it alone until campaigning kicks off, so be it.
As for budgeting your time: Same deal. Make a minimum commitment of minutes you will spend each week or month on your chosen organizations, incumbents, races, and likely candidates.
If no one needs volunteers, educate yourself instead. Read relevant websites, books, and newspapers. Learn about pervasive problems and likely obstacles, and think about how to face them.
Your weekly or monthly time contribution need not be large, but it needs to be consistent. Pick a number and stick with it, knowing that your time commitment will likely grow as the 2022 election approaches. (Pssst! Reading the One Thing You Can Do blog daily definitely counts here.)
The work we all did for the November 3, 2020 election felt like a goddamn marathon. It won’t be the only political marathon we run. We need to stay in shape. We can’t afford to go soft.
Trump is on his way out of the Oval Office, yes, but he showed that would-be dictators can get elected in America. Rest and recuperate, but keep doing the work, and stay ready to do the work.
Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!