Update: 8/26/2020:

In light of the positive reactions and turnout, we will be continuing to phone bank on Tuesdays from 5-7 pm until the election. If you would like to be added to the contact list for these events, please email Erin McNeil at [email protected].

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Original Post from August 19, 2020: 

A month or so ago, Damon and I joined with the writing staff of Minnesota Playlist to have a listening session. Fueled with anger over the murder of George Floyd and unsure what our current place is in our national aftermath, as well as worried about our families’ safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, many writers expressed a desire to help.

As such conversations usually go, we found our way to politics. Each of us hoped, in our turn, that there would be progressive election results in November. Nationally, the group concurred that we wanted to replace Trump, and locally, our wonderfully eloquent Kit Bix expressed her hope for a blue Minnesota Senate. She explained that there is so much wonderful legislation (both for the arts and for other progressive causes) which never sees the light of day because of the strong Republican forces in the senate.

I haven’t been able to shake this thought – for so many of us in the performing arts community, we are at a standstill. It is hard to know when there will be a thriving theatrical calendar again, and I wonder if some of you are feeling as hopeless as I am. For this reason, Kit Bix and I have set up a way for the Minnesota Playlist community to join a digital, remote phone banking session for the DFL. As a group, we are uniquely situated to bring energy, panache, and stellar script-reading skills to bear on the local electorate!

We will be trying this idea starting on Tuesday, August 25th, from 5-7pm. If there is a lot of interest from our performance community, then we will schedule more times leading up to November 3rd. We hope that you (and your friends, family, and supporters!) would consider joining us! For this first round, we will be working with the DFL to encourage mail-in voting and to help build voter lists. This is critical work--as we approach November, we will want to get as many of our fellow Minnesotans to vote as possible.

For those of you who haven’t done phone banking before, here is the topline summary:

  • You will need a cellphone and a computer.
  • Everyone gathers on a big Zoom call at the beginning of the session (5-5:15pm) to say “hi” to each other, to go over the evening’s script, and to train any new volunteers on the technical aspects of phone banking.
  • There is always assistance available via the DFL organizers during the full 2 hours.
  • All phone calls are placed through your computer (so no one gets your real phone number).
  • Perhaps the most important part: the more people we have during the session, the better the auto dialer works and the more people we can talk to!

If you are interested in signing up for Tuesday, August 25 from 5-7 pm, please email me, Erin McNeil ([email protected]) by Tuesday the 25th at noon, and I will make sure you are on the email communication list for the group.

We look forward to working with you!

Erin & Damon