Peace Action West on the ground: reports from CA-45 and WA-8

 In Election 2010

Peace Action West organizer Caitlin with congressional candidate Suzan DelBene.

As part of our efforts to elect pro-peace candidates to Congress, we have two of our experienced organizers working around the clock contacting voters for candidates we’ve endorsed in some of the most competitive races in the west.

Caitlin left our phone program in Oakland to pitch in with the campaign to elect Suzan DelBene in Washington’s 8th district. Peace Action West previously endorsed Darcy Burner, who came within striking distance of Republican incumbent Dave Reichert in 2008. With a Democratic voter registration advantage and a 14-point margin of victory for Obama in 2008, this district offers a prime opportunity to get a more progressive representative elected.

DelBene has been gaining momentum, with polls showing a tightening race and newspaper endorsements coming her way, including one from the Seattle Times that noted “DelBene is unequivocal about the need to disengage America from two protracted and expensive wars.” This is the kind of representative we need in a year that will include critical decisions on the war in Afghanistan.

Caitlin shared this report from the ground in Renton, WA:

The campaign is going great! We got that Seattle Times endorsement and we are within 3 point if Reichert in the polls.  We have made over 100,000 calls to moderate voters throughout the entire campaign and everyday we are setting records for the amount of calls we make.  Yesterday we made just under 4,000 ID calls.

Suzan is great! She is in the office almost every day and is very friendly and personable. She loves meeting the volunteers and I even went door belling with her a few weekends ago.

Here in California, we sent Chris from our field canvass program to work for Steve Pougnet, who is taking on Republican Mary Bono Mack in California’s 45th district. The Desert Sun shows how different these two candidates are when it comes to critical foreign policy issues:

The Democratic challenger says the U.S. can save money by eliminating Cold War-era defense programs that are no longer relevant.

When it comes to ending the war in Afghanistan, Pougnet wants to bring the troops home before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To help Steve win in November, Chris is heading up a satellite office in Hemet, reaching out to voters in Riverside County. Chris reports that there is a bustling grassroots campaign underway in this Inland Empire district:

We have five field organizers two represent the DCCC, one representative from Stonewall, one local organizer and me. The finance staff is also from different parts of the country. We have all come together to work on this campaign because Steve would represent a lot of progressive ideas and is an excellent candidate as well as a great person. This campaign has a real family feel to it. We are all working extremely hard to make sure that D45 and the country gets the representation it deserves.

Personally I am working with the Western part of the district, organizing phone banks in different towns, recruiting and retaining volunteers and building a huge army of volunteers for GOTV. Our field strategy is to get people to the polls. Without the use of a predictive dialer or paid phoners and canvassers our volunteers have made somewhere around 120,000 phone calls and we plan on making another 40,000 in the last two weeks. This district was won by Obama in’08 because the people especially Democrats came out and voted and that is how we will win this race, people getting out and voting.

In addition to placing skilled organizers in these key races, we are working closely with Bill Hedrick’s campaign in the 44th district to recruit volunteers to call voters leading up to Election Day. In our last phone blast, we talked to more than 8,500 voters, a significant number in a race that was decided by just over 3,100 votes in 2008.

You can support the critical voter outreach by our endorsed candidates by visiting our candidate donation page.

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