Local Democrats with two years worth of pent-up energy are eager to make a difference this November. And one way to do that, they’ve decided, is to look outside the county.
Santa Cruz Indivisible has set its sights on two districts, California’s 21st Congressional District, home to Republican Congressmember David Valadao and its 22nd, home to Congressmember Devin Nunes.
The forecasting website FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats the edge to take back the House, and it gives the Democratic Party anywhere from a 26-71 percent chance of unseating Valadao. The same experts give Democrats between a 3 and 13 percent chance of unseating Nunes, who has earned special ire from liberals over his acrobatic contortions, bending over backwards to defend President Donald Trump.
Winning Nunes’ seat may sound like a long shot for challenger Andrew Janz, but Communications Director Amanda Harris Altice says that Indivisible has picked its districts based mostly on geography, and, given Democratic feelings about Nunes, the challenge of taking him on might be more of a blessing than a curse. Altice, who has already started canvassing the Central Valley district, says that Nunes doesn’t talk to his constituents, and that the voters she’s talked to—including Republicans—have been listening.
“If you reach people that way, who knows? We ended up with Trump. We didn’t think that would happen,” says Harris Altice, who helped organize a volunteer recruitment event at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 8. The summit included canvassing workshops, and it got about 150 people through the door, but there’s still plenty of time to sign up and help.
Chris Bowman, who manages merchandise for Santa Cruz Indivisible, says, that by pooling the zeal of its various teams, Indivisible can fill areas that may not fall into purview of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“A lot of people are putting in their free energy, and nobody’s getting paid or anything like that, just working hard and smart,” Bowman says, lugging a box of shirts to her car after Saturday’s event. “A lot of people are ready to go because we need to fix things and save our country, basically.”
For more information, including upcoming events, visit santacruzindivisible.org.