Friday, January 22, 2016

NBC Fourth Democratic Debate Recap - The Bernie Debate

Remember when I said I didn't understand why we like to decide who won debates? Well, I have to take it back because I really felt like Bernie killed this debate. For once, I wasn't staring at the screen listening to candidates talk about their different perspectives or yell at one another. This time, something more came through, and I really felt like Bernie came out on top. Here's a break down:

Before the Debate

Lots of things happened before the debate, and I think they added to the momentum.

First there was the MLK roundtable with Cornel West, Killer Mike, and Nina Turner. The link before is the full discussion, but there's another shorter version with clearer audio that the campaign also released.

Before the debate, Bernie also found time to join a march in Charleston for living wages.

Also, Bernie released some details on his health care plan.

And before all of that happened Bernie issued a statement for the resignation of Michigan governor Rick Snyder as a result of the Flint water crisis. If you'd like to help the city of Flint, you can check out this article.

The Debate Itself

If you missed the debate, you can watch it here.

If you're just looking for the highlights, the debate got pretty firey with punches coming left and right from Clinton while Bernie dodged them all with grace.

One moment that went viral during the debate was Bernie's "side eye" that he gave Hillary after she accused him of calling Obama "weak." I actually missed this moment because I was giving Hillary a similar look from my couch.

Another moment that got shared a lot was Bernie's answer to how he would make sure that cases of police violence were reviewed and prosecuted fairly.

The debate on Wall Street and campaign funds is also worth watching.

Check out Bernie and Hillary's disagreement on how to handle Iran.

And Bernie and Hillary's disagreement on health care.

After the Debate

Even if while watching the debate you weren't sure who came out on top, the after effects of the debate were clear.

If the first time since the Democratic debates started, Bernie ended up with more speaking time than Hillary.

NBC Today called the debate "clearly the Bernie debate."

During the debate, Bernie was the most searched candidate in every state across the country.

Bernie did so well, that the campaign released this moving video.

During the debate, Bernie raked in $1 million in campaign donations.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When to Register and Vote for Bernie in the Primaries is a fantastic resource for information on when to vote and register for voting in your state. If you visit the website, a pop up will even appear where you can sign up to receive email reminders for deadlines in your state. (If for some reason it doesn't pop up, you can find the sign up on the webpage just before the states are listed)

But, one of the things I've been looking for and haven't been able to find is a list of registration and voting deadlines by date, while VoteforBernie,org lists these deadlines by state. Their method is great for people going to their site to look up voting information for their state, but it's not so useful for people wondering what deadlines are coming up so we can get the news out on social media.

So, taking the information on, I have reorganized voter registration deadlines and primary dates in order so everyone can see what is coming up. Note that some states have party affiliation deadlines, which are also listed. Check your state for more information.

Special Note - 17 Year Old Voters

In some states, if you are 17 but will be 18 by the presidential election Nov 8th 2016, you can vote in the primaries. Check your state for more information.


Oct 2015
9 - New York party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as Democrat)
30 - New Hampshire party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as undeclared or Democrat)

December 2015
31 - Kentucky party affiliation deadline

4 - Colorado voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Connecticut party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as Democrat)
26 - Rhode Island party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as undeclared or Democrat)
27 - South Carolina voter registration deadline
30 - New Hampshire voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)

1 - Arkansas voter registration deadline
1 - Georgia voter registration deadline
1 - Iowa caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
1 - Tennessee voter registration deadline
1 - Texas voter registration deadline
3 - Louisiana voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
5 - Mississippi voter registration deadline
5 - Oklahoma voter registration deadline  (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
8 - Michigan voter registration deadline
8 - Virginia voter registration deadline
9 - New Hampshire primary
10 - Massachusetts voter registration deadline (must register undeclared as Democrat)
12 - Alabama voter registration deadline
15 - Florida voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
16 - Illinois voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
16 - Ohio voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
17 - Missouri voter registration deadline
19 - Maine voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
19 - North Carolina voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
20 - Nevada caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
21 - Utah voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
22 - Arizona voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
24 - Vermont voter registration deadline
26 - Delaware party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as Democrat)
27 - South Carolina primary

1 - Alabama primary
1 - Arkansas primary
1 - Colorado caucus
1 - Georgia primary
1 - Massachusetts primary
1 - Minnesota primary and voter registration deadline
1 - Oklahoma primary
1 - Tennessee primary
1 - Texas primary
1 - Vermont primary
1 - Virginia primary
5 - Kansas caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
5 - Louisiana primary
5 - Nebraska caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
6 - Maine primary
8 - Michigan primary
8 - Mississippi primary
15 - Florida primary
15 - Illinois primary
15 - Missouri primary
15 - North Carolina primary
15 - Ohio primary
16 - Wisconsin voter registration deadline
22 - Arizona primary
22 - Idaho caucus and voter registration deadline
22 - Utah caucus
25 - New York voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
25 - Wyoming  voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Alaska caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Hawaii caucus and voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Rhode Island voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
28 - Pennsylvania voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
28 - Washington caucus (no voter registration needed)

2 - Delaware voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
4 - Indiana voter registration deadline
5 - Maryland voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
5 - Wisconsin primary
9 - Wyoming caucus
13 - New Jersey party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as Democrat)
16 - Puerto Rico voter registration deadline
18 - Kentucky voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
19 - New York primary
19 - West Virginia voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)
21 - Connecticut voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Connecticut primary
26 - Delaware primary
26 - Maryland primary
26 - Oklahoma voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
26 - Pennsylvania primary
26 - Rhode Island primary

3 - Indiana primary
8 - Montana voter registration deadline
10 - New Mexico voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
10 - West Virginia primary
16 - Washington DC party affiliation deadline (must affiliate as Democrat)
17 - Kentucky primary
17 - New Jersey voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
17 - Oregon primary
23 - California voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
23 - Washington DC voter registration deadline (must register as Democrat)
23 - South Dakota voter registration deadline (must register as undeclared or Democrat)

5 - Puerto Rico primary
7 - California primary
7 - Montana primary
7 - New Jersey primary
7 - North Dakota caucus (no voter registration needed)
7 - South Dakota primary
10 - New Mexico primary
14 - Washington DC primary

I missed my state's party affiliation / voter registration deadline. Now What?

Some states offer same day registration if you miss the original deadline. Check your state. You may need to call your state or local voting office to make sure you can still change your party affiliation.

My state doesn't offer same day registration.

Some states offer grace period registration for citizens who missed original deadlines. You will need to call your state or local voting office to see if grace period registration is available.

My state doesn't have grace periods or same day registration. :(

Sadly, you won't be able to vote, but you can still make your voice heard and help Bernie win. Check out all the ways you can volunteer. Check local events to see if people are gathering in your area to support Bernie. Every little bit helps. Do whatever you feel able to do to.

How can I connect with others in my state who are voting for Bernie?

Always check with local events to see if any meet ups are happening in your area. Also, Grassroots for Bernie has put together Facebook events for every state's primary. Join up and share.

UPDATE 1/27/16: fixed Puerto Rico and South Carolina date errors

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Volunteer for Bernie

I've noticed on Bernie's campaign events that there's a lot going on in the way of door knocking, phone banking, and voter registering. Now seems to be prime time to reach out to undecided voters and tell them about Bernie. There's tons of resources out there, so here's a comprehensive guide.

1. Check for local events

It may be that there are volunteer events happening in your area, in which case all you need to do is sign up. The host of the event should be able to provide you with all the details. If, however, you can't find a local event, you can create your own. Bernie's campaign has all the info you need for hosting a successful event and using the event tool.

2. Get to work

Fill out the linked forum and check the kind of work you'd like to do for Bernie. A campaign staffer should get back to you with more information on how you can help.

3. Phone banking

Phone banking involves calling voters in early primary states and asking them which candidate they support. This helps the campaign identify undecided voters and voters leaning toward Bernie so campaign efforts can target those voters. Identifying Bernie supporters also allows the campaign to connect them with volunteer opportunities. There are four states that have their primary voting in February. Eleven more states their primary March 1st. Rather than do this all yourself, why not host a phone bank party?

4. Flyering

Print and pass out flyers anywhere you can. Here's an official field guide to get you started. has tons of flyers on every issue Bernie supports in English and Spanish. Also check out FlyersforBernie, NYCforBernie, and one or two other resources. Googling "Bernie flyer" also earns some great results.

Business cards have gained favor with some people over flyers for their convenient size and how most people are more likely to slip them into a pocket to read later. You can find Bernie business cards here and here. And SCforBernie has cards you can order without the hassle of printing them yourself.

5. Tabling

Tabling involves registering (and sometimes paying) for a table at a college, farmer's market, conference, or other event. You'd talk to people about Bernie, hand out flyers, and collect information from people who'd be interested getting updates from the campaign or volunteering. I wasn't able to find specific information from the campaign on tabling, but I did find a nice guide from AAUW and I have seen tabling events on the campaign site.

6. Door Knocking / Canvassing

Door knocking is exactly as it sounds. The campaign has a helpful guide on what to say and what data to record. You can do this in your own neighborhood or check for or create local events to cover more ground with more people. Here's a helpful video from Bernie supporters on canvassing.

7. Gathering petition signatures

Bernie needs signatures to get on the voting ballet in some states. The campaign has a list of states where signatures need to be gathered. Sign up to help if you can.

8. Writing letters to the editor

Since mainstream media isn't as interested in covering Bernie, it's up to us to write letters to the editor of our local newspapers. Those letters hopefully get published and Bernie gets publicity. You could this on your own just by locking up your local newspaper and their submission guidelines. But why not join a group while you're at it? The campaign also has a guide for letter party hosting.

9. Hosting a watch party

Create an event on the campaign site and host a watch party for a debate or important Bernie announcement. The campaign has this helpful guide.

10. Fundraising

Fundraising for Bernie can very a simple process. Supporters have hosted events and sold baked goods or beer, the proceeds of which are then donated to Bernie's campaign. Others simply host events and ask for donations at the door. Musicians have sang, and artists have sold art for Bernie. Others have created facebook events and invite people to donate small amounts of money on a specific day. The possibilities are endless.

11. Chalking the Block

Chalking the block involves doing chalk art for Bernie in public spaces. Check out the campaign chalking guide. And don't forget to look for or plan your own event.

12. Sign waving

Sign waving involves creating Bernie signs and going out to high-traffic areas and waving signs to spread the word about Bernie. It's always safer to do this in a group and remember to stay out of the road.

13. Light brigade

The Light Brigade is a group of volunteers who build light signs supporting Bernie and display them in busy areas to gain support for Bernie. Signs are easy and relatively cheep to make. And it's fun to do as a group.

14. Voter registration

Register people in your area to vote. The campaign has a guide on how to choose a location and what tools you will need. And as usual, create an event to go with a group of people.

15. Primary state campaigning

Primary state campaigning involves taking any of the suggestions listed here and traveling to a primary voting state to raise support for Bernie. This is best done in a group, and you should especially check for carpools or other events in your area if you live near a state about to enter primary voting.

16. Social media

Share what you can about Bernie on social media with your family and friends. Spread awareness and stimulate conversation.

17. Decorate your car

You don't have to go all out on your car. A simple bumper sticker can go a long way to drawing awareness for Bernie.

Other resources

Check out other volunteer resources and apps at the Bernkit and the campaign's official toolkit.

Rallies and marches are also an effective method of raising awareness, but they can take a good amount of planning and organization.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

How to Caucus for Bernie Sanders

The way we choose presidential nominees in the US is a little confusing. First, votes are cast by state citizens, either through primaries or caucuses. The percentage of the vote determines the number of delegates each candidate receives. The delegates then go the national convention of each party to represent and vote for their candidate for the presidential nomination.

Most states vote through primaries where citizens go to designated polling areas and cast a vote. But some states hold caucuses. Voters must travel to their precinct meeting place and gather into groups to show support for their chosen candidate. Caucuses can take hours to complete as opposed to primaries, meaning that many voters don't show, which is why it's super important for Bernie Sanders supporters to show up to ensure he receives the most delegates possible. Visit this link to see what the Democratic caucusing process is like.

States that hold democratic caucuses in 20016 and their dates are as follows. These dates are subject to change, so make sure you double check if you want to caucus for Bernie! You must be a state resident and a registered voter to caucus for Bernie. Some states also require that you are a registered Democrat. You can check your state and registration deadlines here. Click the state links to find out where your local caucus will be meeting. You should also check your local area for caucus training if you're not sure what to expect. Additionally, you can check out this caucus tool.

February 1

Bernie's campaign is currently reaching out to Iowa voters. Take the pledge to caucus and earn points toward a free Bernie T-shirt.

Iowa for Bernie has put out this caucus video.

February 20

March 1

March 5

March 6

March 22
Idaho - not yet available

March 26
Hawaii - not yet available

April 9
Wyoming - not yet available

June 7
North Dakota - not yet available

UPDATE 1/11/16: Added paragraph links
UPDATE 1/13/16: Added caucus training link and caucus pledge
UPDATE 1/14/16: Added caucus tool
UPDATE 1/21/16: Iowa for Bernie video added