The weather in Southern California this summer shattered records across the region, and so did progressive volunteerism. People from every district gave up precious SoCal summer weekend time to come together in a way they haven’t before in between Congressional cycles. Great way to head into the local election season and ramp up to the big event in 2018: taking back Congress.
Here’s a look at some of the heroes who came out to fight the Summer of ’17 ground game:
CA-25: Simi Valley, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Lancaster
Nowhere in SoCal does it get hotter in summer than CA-25 where Steve Knight holds office (for now). It’s usually enough to deter much canvassing.
Does it look that way this year?
Local groups like the Simi Valley Democratic Club, 25 United For Progress, WIN to Lead, the Democratic Alliance for Action and the Democratic Club of the High Desert were joined by volunteers from neighboring district groups like the LA-based Victory Starts Today , Indivisible 33, Congresswoman Karen Bass’s Sea Change PAC and the many chapters of Swing Left CA-25. These groups and others formed a 25th District Leadership Council to promote dramatically heightened coordination across the district.
Swing Left East Side scored 25 registrations with 5 people in 4 hours under the blazing sun around the Antelope Valley Courthouse, and here, you can see the voter registration notes team leader Jason Berlin put together, if you want to take a run at the group’s record of 27.
CA-39: Fullerton, La Habra, Brea, Buena Park, Chino Hills
Straddling the line between Los Angeles County and Orange County, CA-39 saw several organizations come to life on either side of the border, and help pouring in on both sides. The California Democratic Party’s March into ’18 was led in 39 by CADEM rep Steve Timberman, seen in so many places, he may in fact have a clone. March into ’18 worked in tandem with Swing Left grassroots groups like Swing Left San Gabriel Valley and Swing Left Riverside plus Indivisible-39 and Next Gen America. CA-39 is home to state Senator Josh Newman, who you may have heard, is facing a misleading recall campaign spearheaded by local shock jocks. Many signatures were gathered under the pretense that they were to repeal a gas tax. Canvassers have been coming together every week via No On the Recall to knock on doors and warn voters of the ploy.
Here’s what it looked like on the ground in CA-39…
CA-45: Irvine, Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Mission Viejo
In the deep heart of Orange County–where Trump acolyte Mimi Walters emails one impassioned cry for financial help after another to fend off the challenge posed by her awakening constituents even as she sits on a boatload of big donor cash–the GOP still holds a large lead on voter registration. It has shrunk noticeably though as new registrations since the last election have been considerably more in favor of Democrats and the unaffiliated than of Republicans, which Congressman Walters seems to have noticed. There is still a big gap, and a lot of people to be registered and reasoned with. The district is home to the offices of the newly energized Democratic Party of Orange County, which has been training volunteers throughout the county.
The DPOC has come out of the gate far quicker than in cycles past and been holding canvassing and voter registration training through its new Grassroots Organizing unit, GRODPOC. The Democrats of Greater Irvine have been out canvassing every week all summer. Thanks all.
CA-48: Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Alison Viejo
Plagued by negative headlines involving his Russian connections, bizarre claims the Charlottesville incident was a Democratic conspiracy, his close questioning of NASA about a recent civilization on Mars, etc., Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been losing steam in the polls as the many Democratic clubs and grassroots organizations that have sprung up since last November mount a full-scale “hot spot” voter registration program and other such activities no one’s ever seen before in this part of the cycle.
The participants include volunteers from such in-district groups such as Indivisible OC48, Imagine Action OC, the Aliso Viejo Democratic Club, Together We Will Orange County, Courage Campaign, the Huntington Beach Huddle and the Newport Beach Democratic Club. They have been joined by allies from the national group Code Blue and neighbor district organizations like Indivisible CA-46 and One Country over Party. The Laguna Beach Democratic Club, bolstered by new volunteers, hosted one canvassing drive and one voter registration every month this summer.
CA-49: Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas
Numerically last but never least, CA-49, on the bubble between Orange and San Diego Counties, came bursting out in force. The 49th District was the first district (but not the last, stay tuned) to form a council of progressive organizations. The 49th Action Council groups met each month to plan and execute Strike Team and Flip The 49th events. The Democratic Club of Carlsbad and Oceanside (DEMCCO) were at the Sunset Market every other weekend registering voters. Republican Congressman Darryl Issa is the richest man in Congress and flush with party cash, so every foot is needed on the ground.
That’s it. Bye Summer ’17. Hello local elections and 2018, we see you and are prepared. If you helped out with any of these groups, thank you. Please keep taking pics. If you’d like to hook up with one of these groups in the future, please check out their links in this story or visit the Swing Socal Left main calendar.