Last night, Swing Left launched a suite of national volunteer mobilization events over the long weekend between November 1 and 5, the crucial final days before the midterm elections. Two major volunteer-focused events on November 1, 2018 in Los Angeles and New York City kicked off a countrywide wave of volunteerism with the goal of taking back Democratic control of the House of Representatives and transforming our government. The events reflect Swing Left’s support of The Last Weekend, an initiative organized by Swing Left as part of a coalition of more than 60 progressive groups working to spur get-out-the-vote efforts on the last weekend before the midterm elections in key races up and down the ticket.
In Los Angeles, MC and comedian Tim Heidecker kicked off the night at the Palace Theatre introducing stand-up comedian Sasheer Zamata to open up the evening. What followed were inspirational speeches by Swing Left leaders and actress Minnie Driver proceeded to introduce Bird and the Bee with Dave Grohl who delivered a ground shattering performance with a surprise appearance by Beck who joined the stage to sing iconic single “Where It’s At.”
Continuing to motivate the Swing Left volunteers were back to back speeches byMayor Eric Garcetti, Adam Scott, Chloe x Halle, a hilarious yet motivational stand-up by Baratunde Thurston, and outspoken Congressman Adam Schiff, Karen O & Nick Zinner of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs captivated the audience with an energetic set with“Heads Will Roll” while Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright delivered another memorable live performance on a beautiful Steinway piano performing his powerful rendition of “Hallelujah” and new song and video “Sword of Damocles.” To close the evening legendary musician and activist Moby took the stage to leave motivated volunteers in the audience with a message to keep driving their efforts towards a better future.
In New York City, Swing Left was firing on all cylinders at The Grand Hall in Cooper Union as a list of star studded speakers took the stage including actor and actresses who are long time activists in their own right, including Mark Ruffalo, Piper Perabo, Melissa Villasenor from SNL, and Amber Tamblyn. Ruffalo interviewed a Swing Left College Fellow about the importance of volunteering during The Last Weekend, and comedian Chris Redd put his improv skills to use to demonstrate the volunteer door-knocking experience, with the help of several Swing Left super volunteers. ComedianCecily Strong brought down the house with a powerful speech and introduced legendary singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles, who lit up the stage with the world premiere of a live performance of her new song “Armor.” Speakers included activistBlair Imani, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America; and NY Assemblyman & Vice Chair of the DNC Michael Blake. The evening was filled with musical performances from pianist Chloe Flower, a set by DJ Mia Moretti, and the awe-inspiring Resistance Revival Chorus to close out the night.
The events were free for volunteers and served as energizing and motivating kick-off rallies for thousands of grassroots volunteers, who were able to sign up directly for canvassing and phone banking shifts and meet Swing Left’s grassroots organizers.
Swing Left asks participants to sign up to volunteer early at thelastweekend.org or by texting WEEKEND to 50409. Volunteers will immediately be provided actions they can take between now and November 6th as well as educational and training resources to help them make the most of their time and energy.
Voting AND Volunteering is needed now to make a winning difference and drive multiple votes in key races by getting out and talking to voters. Launched in January of 2017, Swing Left has grown to more than 600,000 grassroots volunteers. Swing Left’s volunteers have already made more than 3 million door knocks and phone calls to voters in Swing Districts and are expected to make millions more on the last weekend alone