What do old political activists do when they no longer have the strength to knock on doors or dial for votes? They sit around the senior living center and figure out what they CAN do. Thus was born a new political organization: Grandmothers for a Brighter Future began as Grandmothers for Obama in 2008, and then changed its name after the 2012 election. They hope to be a force in this election.
Grandmothers for Obama was started when a group of women with previous campaign experience, living in a retirement community near Boston, decided to create cards in support of Obama. The templates, along with voter lists, could then be sent to other likeminded groups of grandmothers to print, write a note, address and mail. They realized not everybody is connected to social media. Snail mail could still be an effective means of communication.
Because they are self-financed at the local level and their network is comprised totally of volunteers, Grandmothers for a Brighter Future are not considered a PAC according to legal experts. This means that campaigns can provide them with voter lists. The first year, they used voter lists, supplied by the campaign, to influence the New Hampshire primary.
By 2012 the Grandmothers for Obama had expanded to a network of groups and individuals in 25 states and the District of Columbia. The Grandmothers continued to send cards to voting lists, this time targeting older Democratic and independent voters, primarily women, in New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Virginia and Michigan.
In 2016, they expect to send cards to a group of swing states which also have Senatorial races. There is no stopping these women. They will make their mark on American politics until the very end of their lives. Their creativity and determination is an example for us all. Maybe they can't walk or hear as well as they used to, but they know how to listen and take action.
Examples of their work can be found at their website. Maybe you should take action by telling that fabulous older woman in your life that she too can participate in the coming election in a meaningful way by signing up with the Grandmothers.