I have never fundraised before and there are probably a million templates I could be looking at for guidance but instead, I have decided that I’m going to just speak from the heart. Today, I am asking you to donate to Politics Reborn so our organization can continue fighting the good fight.
I must admit that I am reluctant to ask for donations for Politics Reborn and I have been putting it off for as long as possible. It’s not just because I feel uncomfortable asking others for money, but I’m scared that when I solicit donations from my family and friends, they’ll say no to me. I view reluctance as a personal failure on my part. Donations to causes or organizations are often so mundane that we do not view them in the sacred way I do.
A donation is one of the most inspiring gestures one can often make. It is an action that signals that you believe in an organization, that you believe in the people like myself who are leading it. It is an indicator that you have come to know my work ethic, my character, my capabilities and my compassion so much so that you are willing to make a financial sacrifice, however small that may be, because you believe that the people behind Politics Reborn have done good work to improve the lives of the many and will continue such work.
It is because you believe in both, the messengers of this organization, and the messages and strategies we are conveying which are supported by empirical data. It is my mission to get as many people as I know personally to display their faith in this organization through some kind of donation. We welcome those who can give time and/or money to Politics Reborn.
My hope is that fundraising does not consume all of my time which is why I am spending such a great deal of time on this particular message. For every donor we inspire, we will have more time to organize various communities, and less time will be needed for fundraising. If I do not win you through this message, I hope a phone call will. If a phone call does not sell you, then I and/or my team will schedule a personal visit to make our pitch because the truth is in the long run, we are going to make YOUR LIFE easier and more stress-free. So donate here to prove to everyone that we are not going back to sleep after Election Day!
For those who may not know me well, I would like to discuss the work I have done for this movement. I canvassed in six different states as a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders’ campaign. I hosted petition trainings and meetings from Astoria, Queens to Southold at the end of Long Island. I collected so many signatures during the petitioning process to get Bernie on the ballot and in so many different areas that I can now tell you what congressional district most likely a neighborhood in New York City or Long Island is in. I hosted phone banks, welcoming attendees into my home as well as debate watch parties where food was served for all those attending.
During the period when obtaining needed information about how to help the Presidential Campaign was pretty difficult, I created and continued to update a Guide for Bernie Sanders supporters that was a map for all those on how to get involved. This guide received amazing feedback and right before the last primary in June, that guide was still helping volunteers in California.
Long after the primaries were over, I was motivating others to continue this movement by running for political offices few have ever heard of. And it is true that there are groups and individuals in this movement who may not have the best things to say about me, and I have probably gotten into more fights than I would have liked during the campaign. I know I can be outspoken and abrasive, but I always felt my goal in this election was to help get Bernie elected and not worry about being liked by this person or that person. I had no intention of getting a political job when this was all said and done.
Instead, I got involved because I saw Bernie as a once in a lifetime candidate who could help so many groups of people others had stopped caring about a long time ago. So my passion made me butt heads with this person or that person. Sometimes it was simply because this campaign could make us so passionate that our emotions got the best of us. Of course, I also butted heads with those who I felt were maliciously or ignorantly hurting our chances of winning the election and for this movement to succeed. And I felt if we ever wanted this revolution to truly be a revolution, we had to start calling people out for what we perceived to be transgressions on their part.
What Politics Reborn has achieved and plans to do in the future is pretty astounding. The strategies we are proposing were endorsed by Noam Chomsky. We were able to help make a district leader race against one of the most powerful Congressman (and the Chair from The Congressional Black Caucus PAC) competitive. Gregory Meeks had to actually fight to win reelection and appear at a debate in southeast Queens to persuade attendees to vote for him to maintain a party position few even knew existed.
We have a chapter in California and may soon have a second one in that state. We have a fifteen- year-old organizer, creating our first ever Politics Reborn High School club here in New York City. We have successfully filmed our first of what we hope to be many Tell Your Story Events which is using strategies of organizations like MADD by putting a personal face on the statistics of those suffering.
Many people came to the Tell Your Story filming event because our government is failing them. There are those who do not have access to adequate healthcare, who are in massive college debt, who are overworked and underpaid, who have been impeded because their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation are ignorantly perceived by some to be inferior. There are those who told their stories as outspoken critics of the establishment, who have suffered because their moral conscience interfered with the profits of some governmental agency, department, or private corporation. Our Tell Your Story film is currently in the editing process and we will start releasing some of the footage soon.
Up to this point, I have been using whatever I have in my personal savings to fund this organization and I have been blessed to have parents who will let me live in their home for the next several years where I will not have to worry about paying for necessities such as food and shelter. This has allowed me to put all my energy into Politics Reborn.
Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before my own personal funds run out but if they do, my concern will not be for me. I am an upper-class white male. I have a college degree, some of the best grades you’ll ever see and a network of connections to employers and professors who would likely give me a job in a heartbeat. So do not cry for me if I do not have one extra penny in my bank account when this is all said and done. My life will not be over if this organization fails and it is unable to solicit enough donations. No, what scares me is the fact that the lives of others may be over if this organization does not succeed and I do not want that to happen.
There are so many people suffering and we need your help. Your donation will allow us to organize communities, create block associations all throughout America, recruit more and more ordinary people to run for local party committee seats and thus, reshape our political parties. Your donation will help us expand our consciousness-raising art projects and implement the administrative aspects of this organization (office space, paid staff, website maintenance, printing of literature, bookkeeping, access to voter files, etc.).
Here’s the last beautiful piece I would like you to keep in mind – we don’t need millions of dollars to succeed in our mission. If we are to fundraise several hundred thousand dollars a year, the effects it would have on this nation would be astronomical because we are focused on creating significant change in the most efficient way possible – community organizing. City Council, State Legislature and Congressional races are expensive but organizing several blocks in your neighborhood isn’t. Phone-banking, television advertising and hiring political consulting firms during an election cycle is costly. But having people knock on the doors of their neighbors, engaging them in the political process and holding elected officials accountable throughout the year isn’t.
We care about the latter because the latter is more effective. It plants the seeds for the long-term game. I want you to think about this fact: for many public office positions, incumbents have a 90-95% percent chance of being reelected. If you want this to change, you’re going to need some amazing community organizers with a great deal of name recognition to start running for office but in this country, there aren’t enough of them and many of our communities are more disconnected and disorganized now than ever. That’s where Politics Reborn comes in. Every block will have a representative, every community will have an organizer and the canvassers knocking on your doors every now and then will no longer be a stranger hired by a political campaign but a neighbor you have come to know.
Our Board of Directors includes: a renowned community organizer, a former Bernie Sanders’ campaign official and incredibly dedicated Bernie Sanders volunteers. The faces behind this organization are as smart, meticulous and genuine as they come. You have no idea how personally confident I am of what this organization can and will achieve if we start bringing in numerous donations. In fact, I can’t think of anything that excites me more than when I imagine the kind of amazing stuff we will be able to do if and when the flow of donations start coming in. So I am asking you to donate to Politics Reborn because like a man wiser than me once said, “some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?”
Founder & President