By Rachel Powell, Blue Future Fall and Winter Progress and Change organizer
In the summer of 2020, I was eager to support Democratic candidates and mobilize voters for the upcoming general election, but I wasn’t sure how to get involved. I wanted to be more informed about competitive campaigns for the House, Senate, and White House and do more than sporadically sign up for phone banking shifts as I saw them online. Fortunately, I learned about Blue Future’s Fall for Progress and Change program from the Columbia University Democrats. I also continued on to participate in Winter for Progress and Change.
As an organizer, I didn’t just make calls and texts to voters and potential volunteers; I also had the opportunity to learn more about effective organizing, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and issue advocacy. Organizing is often said to be thankless work, but I always felt appreciated and supported, especially because I knew Blue Future was working hard to help me cultivate these vital and transferable skills.
Both the 2020 general election and the Georgia runoff election were highly consequential, and I’m so glad that Blue Future gave me the chance to get involved in so many ways. I was initially very nervous about speaking on the phone with people I didn’t know, and now I feel confident about calling voters and making sure that they have all the information they need to vote. It was also so exciting to work with a myriad of organizations and campaigns based all over the country. I was always learning about different issues, different candidates, and different ways to mobilize voters.
Working with Blue Future has given me more confidence in my ability to speak with others about political issues and has allowed me to really feel like I made a difference in these crucial races. Most importantly, Blue Future is full of passionate and enthusiastic people who care deeply about a wide range of issues and are as excited to learn from one another as they are to share their own thoughts and experiences, and working with them has been an extremely rewarding experience.
About Rachel: Rachel Powell is from New York and is currently studying Political Science and Human Rights at Bernard College. Rachel is passionate about social justice, environmental activism, and improving access to affordable healthcare.