I’ll be honest, I’ve been struggling to write this e-mail all day.
I’ve written this email 3 times in the last 4 years. You know the one — “no matter what happens tonight, we’ve already won.” I wrote it on the eve of the 2015 election, and I wrote it twice last year when I ran for office. But something about this time feels really different.
I’m in awe. I’m in total awe of how much political power you’ve built, and how much you are all doing right now.
Since the sun came up over Halifax Harbour, Our Time organizers have been hitting the doors to pull the vote for our 35 endorsed candidates. These candidates aren’t just lesser evils, but they genuinely do politics differently. They’ve shown it through their track records, and through the way they’ve run their campaigns. I know that once elected, we can work with them to shake up the status quo and tackle the climate emergency.
As I write this email, dozens of volunteers are texting thousands of people to make sure they get to the polls. Our texting program has been one of my personal highlights of this campaign because it’s such a powerful example of the level of distributed leadership we’ve helped foster. Take Jaret, for example. He started volunteering on our text team, where he sent thousands of texts asking people to vote for Green New Deal champions. Then, he stepped up to become one of our text bank moderators, coordinating dozens of other volunteers to do the same thing. But, that wasn’t all. Last week, during a text moderator training, my colleague noticed something odd — Jaret wasn’t calling into the training from his home. Instead he had pulled over on the side of the highway and joined the call somewhere between Edmonton and his family farm, more than an hour away. The next morning, he showed up at the University of Alberta, ready to hand out hundreds of copies of the Our Times, spreading a message about the world we can win.
We’ve come such a long way in the past nine months. It all started at the tail end of the PowerShift convergence when 50 of us took to the Rideau Canal for our first Green New Deal canvass. It was a bitterly cold February 17th and the canal was packed with skaters. We were nervous, some of us because we had never canvassed before, others because it was the first time we were publicly talking to people about a Green New Deal for Canada. But, the nerves quickly gave way to a palpable excitement. The more conversations we had, the more we realized that the idea of tackling the climate emergency and deepening economic inequality was wildly popular.
We didn’t know it then, but we we were exactly two months away from launching Our Time. Instead of insider-politics-as-usual, we bet on a youth-led campaign to win a Green New Deal, and it’s working. Our Time has built people power and political power. We’ve knocked on countless doors, mobilized thousands of people to join the historic climate strikes, and spent thousands of hours building a movement of organizers who are ready to fight tooth and nail for a Green New Deal.
We’ve built something special here. No matter what happens tonight, our movement for a Green New Deal is stronger than ever. You’ve changed what’s politically possible in this country and you’ve done it with humour, with joy, and while taking care of each other. There’s no group of people I’d rather throw down with and I can’t wait to see what we do together next.
If you want to be the first to hear all of our hot takes tonight, visit our live coverage page. We will keep it up to date all night as we get news on the results — especially on our Green New Deal champions’ races.
Have a good time tonight,
P.S. Do you have any favourite memories from the campaign, or reflections you’d like to share? Just reply to this email to let us know. We’ll be debriefing the campaign in the coming days to make sure we learn as much as possible.