Join us today and invest in effective grassroots organizing efforts on sovereign lands!
The antidote to voter suppression is turnout. Arizona Republicans are trying to stop us from casting ballots. They are intentionally passing bills designed to suppress and intimidate, making access harder for Indigenous, Black and Brown voters. Republicans are operating out of fear and they want us to give up. They want us to be so overwhelmed with the process of registering to vote that we stop. They don’t want us to show up at the polls, they don’t want more ballot boxes in tribal and rural communities, or to even vote by mail. It’s so bad that in some Arizona counties extremists are brandishing guns in public spaces trying to scare voters. They are interrogating people, asking if they are citizens and who they voted for. This is undemocratic and an attempt to rig the next election.
Here’s the thing: We’re not going anywhere. There are more of us and we will show up. As Stacey Abrams said, “We can overwhelm the system with our presence.” To put it another way, our Democratic and Independent votes can win the midterms.
This is why we created the Family Votes Matriarch program under the Northeast Arizona Native Democrats. We believe so much in our voting power as tribal and rural communities that we are centering much of our voter registration and education efforts on matriarchs because women in our communities get things done.
Several weeks ago we set in motion our innovative grassroots initiative to recruit and train Indigenous Matriarchs so that they can register their families and communities to vote, then get them to the polls. There is a lot to this idea because once Matriarchs are activated there is no limit to what can be accomplished, genuine community change, advocacy, holding leadership positions, and, best of all, running for office.
Women in our communities are the direct line and the heart of our social structures, based on clanship and kinship. For generations we’ve been the civic engagement directors. Now it’s time to invest in our Matriarchs because we can do so much more with additional resources.
To date we’ve had 10 training sessions, several strategy meetings, and are continuously recruiting and talking with Matriarchs in-person, through phone banks, and sending out postcards on a weekly basis.
- We've made 2,985 calls reaching out to potential matriarchs to date; we've recruited 64 leads for the Captains to follow up with
- Sent over 76,000 postcards to our communities (thanks volunteers)
- Delivered 20+ Family Votes Kits to matriarch
- Brunch in Hopi with more to be planned on Navajo and Whiteriver
- 200+ Registered voters (both new and updated)
We know in-person contacts are always most impactful. We set up at community flea markets, supermarkets, post offices, visit folks one-on-one, and now that more events are opening up will have more opportunities to have in-person meetings. The use of our offline communication strategies in rural remote areas is an important way we reach voters. Postcards, mailers, radio ads, flyers/brochures, and homemade billboards and signage are just a few ways we connect with voters in areas that have limited phone and internet service.
Matriarchs will increase voter registration and our goal is to add 500+ more Democratic voters through the Family Votes program across three counties (Navajo, Coconino and Apache) in northeast Arizona.
Arizona is a battleground state and every single vote counts for statewide and federal democratic offices. Tribal voters in our counties overwhelmingly are registered Democrats and tend to vote for Democrats. It's almost impossible to overstate the significance of the Native vote in delivering Arizona for Biden-Harris, and it helps to invest in these key regions. Thankfully, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, and the largest tribal nation in the country, with the largest land base, the Navajo Nation.
Native organizers, rural and non-Native allies, and volunteers helped deliver these big election wins. Now with the impact of redistricting and new voter suppression laws that target our communities we need more matriarchs, organizers, and volunteers in the field now to counter these bad tactics.
Another important part of the Northeast Arizona Native Democrats Family Votes team is reaching remote communities that historically have had little to no contact with campaigns and are largely ignored. Our year-round outreach is the first of its kind on tribal lands in Arizona and is key to building long-term power for Arizona voters on sovereign lands.
Our 2022 campaign will be far more impactful with more Matriarchs using culturally relevant organizing approaches, strategies, and their own languages to reach voters. Matriarchs carry extensive knowledge and our Family Vote program is here to support them and expand their reach.
While Republicans continue to push lies, embrace false narratives, try to hurt our communities, and stir up chaos and confusion, we have something more powerful. We have Indigenous Matriarchs, and for generations they've been playing the long game too. That is why we are still here fighting and will continue to.
Thank you to everyone in the Daily Kos community who donated, got the word out, or signed up to volunteer. Through all of your efforts we’ve been able to register more voters and reach more communities through our Family Votes Indigenous Matriarchs initiative.
On a personal note, I was so excited to talk with my own mom about when she first registered to vote and it lended itself to conversation about when mom voted for the first time. Here’s a snapshot shot of my post: www.facebook.com/…
Help our team get a strong start for the Arizona primary election and a more solid footing for the general election by making a one-time contribution today or by joining our Circle of Friends with a $5 recurring monthly donation or our Circle of Matriarchs with a $25 recurring monthly donation.
Checks may also be mailed to: Navajo County Democrats PO Box 144, Lakeside, AZ 85929 · (928) 224-8021
Indigenous and rural organizers can win elections, that’s why it’s so important to invest in tribal and rural voters. Thank you!
Jaynie Parrish, Executive Director
Navajo County Democrats