This week a coalition of activists and non-profits kicked off a video challenge called #MyVoteMyVoice, which is designed to leverage social media's greatest utility: shame.
"It's like the ice bucket challenge but without the ice and without the bucket," says Stephan Cox, one of the organizers and the host of WA State Indivisible Podcast. The instructions are as follows. First, someone creates a 60-second video about what they think their vote will "say" on November 6. Then that person tags three other friends, thereby issuing a challenge for them to make their own videos and to tag three more people. The hope is the trend will continue until everyone that everyone else has ever known will be told to vote by a close, personal friend of theirs.
"If somebody commits publicly to voting and talks about why they’re going to vote on social media, they’re going to do it, they're going to remember," says Maggie Cuevas, an organizer with SEA NO H8.
Cuevas says she was moved to start the project after hearing someone from Seattle say they didn't think their vote was important because "we've already got it covered" here in Washington—meaning, I guess, that Washington is already "progressive" enough. "I was so floored by that," said Cuevas.
Confidential to that person: we do not "already have it covered" here in Washington. We have massive income inequality perpetuated by a regressive tax system and political leaders who bend over backward (and forwards) for their techno-libertarian overlords. Cops still aren't being held accountable for shooting a disproportionate number of people in the street. Our gun laws are fucking stupid and lax. Soda companies are trying to prevent cities from raising money for education. And that's just half of the issues on the ballot this cycle. If all of that seems a little overwhelming to you, no sweat! Just read our endorsements and vote the way we tell you to.
Cuevas also thinks that spreading the word through social media may inject the spirit of democracy into the hearts of relatives across the country, and/or other people who otherwise may fail to mail in a ballot or drive to the polls on a regular basis.
Congresswoman Jayapal and Governor Inslee are slated to make #MyVoteMyVoice videos soon. In the meantime, you can sample a few from people who like to hang out at Volunteer Park:
To help launch the campaign, organizers are throwing a party next Monday at Optimism Brewing on Capitol Hill. Guests include heartthrob (and potential future gubernatorial candidate?!?!?!?!?) Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, and few other special guests. DJ Megabooty will spin some golden-era funk. Representatives from ACLU Of Washington, Planned Parenthood, Lawyer Moms of America, Washington Immigration Solidarity Network, Washington Immigrant Defense Network, Civic Link, VoteWithMe, Amplifier Art Lab, Indivisible WA-8, and Seattle Indivisible will be there with sign-up sheets and directives for the best ways to use your time between now and election day. Bring your dog, bring your ballot, get a little tipsy on local beer, and march to the mailbox with a full band behind you.