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Face-to-Face: Grassroots in 2012

We learned a lot from the 2010 campaign. One of the most important of which was an old lesson that now has new fire: the power of grassroots organizing. We proved this to be true in Massachusetts just 11 months after the 2010 Republican defeat. Under the exceptional leadership of State Democratic Party Chair John Walsh, old-fashioned door knocking was leveraged as the key to reelecting Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray, and kept statewide offices and congress Democratic.

With the emergence of the Tea Party and the passing of Citizens United, connecting with people one-on-one has become more important than ever. New methods of engaging voters have been cultivated through social media, from mainstays Facebook and Twitter to newer platforms like Pinterest, but door knocking still remains as the most impactful medium for reaching voters.

A recent study by Yale University shows that face-to-face canvassing is the best method for improving voter turnout, and the candidates chances for winning. This strategy is being put to practice on a larger nation scale, as labor poised this year to deploy an unprecedented amount of resources to create a permanent ground infrastructure for federal races. To execute this mission, unions, like the AFL-CIO, have announced plans to match or exceed the $90 million spent in the 2008 election, and train 14,000 local coordinators.

The Young Democrats are made up of young, active, and engaging individuals. We need to harness that energy for direct action for our endorsed candidates. That’s why the Young Democrats of Massachusetts have decided to concentrate efforts this election cycle on putting “Youth Boots on the Ground.” Through this program, with each endorsement across the state, we will tap into our over two thousand strong membership and pledge to canvass voters on the candidate’s’ behalf. (Brush up on your canvassing skills: check out our blog for tips on canvassing for beginner and advanced door knockers.)

They don’t call it a battleground for nothing. This year in Massachusetts we have some tough political fights, from Elizabeth Warren taking back the Senate for the Democrats, to Joe Kennedy and John Tierney in Congress. What will make a difference in these elections is the connection that we young, active and engaging Democrats can make with other voters.

How will you be supporting your top candidates this election?

Julie Kaviar

Communications Director

Young Democrats of Massachusetts