Early in March we invoked our particular perspective as Grandmothers.
We are overwhelmed by the numbers of you who have signed up since the beginning of the year. So much so that it may take us a while to get back to each one of you individually, for which we apologize. But while overwhelmed, we are absolutely delighted you have joined our network.
We now have Grandmothers in 40 states plus the District of Columbia!
You are clearly looking for action. We have two immediate suggestions:
- We recommend that you read the Indivisible Guide: www.IndivisibleGuide.com. Written by a group of Congressional staffers, it is full of good ideas for effective advocacy.
- Our issues are the environment, women’s health and voting rights. Find out where your members of Congress stand on your – or if you will, on our – priorities. Let your Senators know how you feel about the Trump nominees to head those departments.
Again, we are pleased to add you to our network. You will be hearing from us soon. Our emails will always have Grandmothers in Action in the subject line, so you will know it is from one of us, or from Alice Pierce, our communicator-in-chief.
Betsy Hatfield and Margot Lindsay
Never have we had such enthusiastic and energetic members.
In the course of the summer and fall, the Grandmothers network sent cards to over 177,000 voters in 5 states: Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Ohio. The cards urged the election of both Hillary and the Democratic candidate for Senate in the voter’s state.
As you know, Hillary only carried two of these states, and only two Democratic Senators emerged victorious – Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. But by the end of the campaign our network had expanded to 36 states and the District of Columbia. And judging from the response to our post-election letter, our members are primed and ready, as the new administration takes office, to fight for our priorities: preserving the environment, protecting women’s healthcare, and ensuring voting rights for all eligible voters. Come join us!
Grandmothers called attention to Republican assaults on voting rights and on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions by defunding Planned Parenthood. We then developed a card urging high school seniors and young adults to register to vote. This group stands to gain or lose hugely depending upon who is occupying the White House as they embark upon their adult lives.
The Grandmothers’ focus was on the U. S. Senate and doing our bit to keep it in Democratic hands. While most of us were heavily engaged in races in our own states, those who could also sent cards to voters in two crucial Senate races: New Hampshire and Louisiana.
Massachusetts Grandmothers directed their energies primarily on New Hampshire because Scott Brown had been briefly their Senator until Elizabeth Warren beat him, and they were determined to see him held accountable for his record. Triumph! Jeanne Shaheen remains in the Senate.
Groups of Grandmothers in Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey and Vermont as well as Massachusetts focussed on Louisiana. We chose Louisiana because of the fear of exactly what happened. Mary Landrieu did not receive 50% of the vote in the general election, and she lost in the runoff against an opponent staggeringly well funded by the full force of ALL that Republican money.
Cheers to all the Virginia Grandmothers, who worked incredibly hard during the fall to achieve the Democrats’ grand sweep of every statewide office. Let’s not forget how incredibly important these races were, particularly from our viewpoint as women. The Republican gubernatorial candidate talked about vaginal wands and the Republican candidate for Attorney General wanted women to report any miscarriage within 36 hours or face prosecution
And cheers to Massachusetts Grandmothers. In 2012 for Elizabeth Warren and 2013 for Ed Markey, working from voter lists provided by their campaigns, Massachusetts Grandmothers sent thousands of postcards such as the following:
Both candidates were elected by strong majorities.
In 2012, Grandmothers for Obama sent postcards to older Americans, primarily women, concentrating on Virginia, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire and Nevada.
The uniqueness of the enterprise was recognized. Articles about us appeared in The Boston Globe and the Times Record of Maine. The State Department even sent a group of 25 foreign journalists to meet with 25 Grandmothers in a retirement community to show them grassroots advocacy at work!