Back in October of 2018, an editorial appeared in the New York Times entitled “In a Deep Blue or Red State? You Can Still Influence Politics,” written by Tufts Professor Eitan Hersh. Our hearts were charmed by the first line of the article: “Organize your own precinct”! It seemed like we had actually carried out many of the author’s recommendations. So we communicated with Eitan, thanking him for the piece and telling him about our group. That led to more emails, lengthy phone conversations, and even a visit to North Carolina. Eventually, The Precinct 206 Democrats became the subject of one of the chapters in his book, Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change (Simon and Schuster). The phrase, “Political hobbyism” refers to political activity that is largely insular and individual: Facebook rants, binging on CNN and MSNBC, signing internet petitions. Much better, Hersh says, to organize and work with your local precinct: knock on doors, make phone calls, distribute literature, plan gatherings, meet new people who share your political values. That’s exactly what we’re doing! You can read more about the book here, and of course, order it from your local, independent bookseller.
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