Mary Pence is a Family Law attorney and long-time activist for the women’s movement and racial justice. In February 2017, she was part of the original core that formed what has become a very effective grass-roots political advocacy group. Drawing its members from DC, Maryland
and Virginia, 31st Street Swing Left canvasses and raises money to flip red seats to blue.
Our data-driven strategy focuses on candidates in the “sweet spot” – not already likely to win and not likely to lose, but rather having a good chance of winning given enough support. Go to www.31ststreet.org for more information.
In 2017, we raised $115,000 for sweet spot candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates, and canvassed extensively for them as well.
In 2018, we raised over $1 million for sweet spot candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. Nine of the twelve candidates for whom we raised more than $25,000 each were elected, and are now part of the fabulously diverse and impressive new class of members of Congress. Most of our canvassing was for Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, both of whom were elected to Congress from Virginia districts.
In 2019, we are hoping to finish the job we started in 2017, and complete flipping both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate to majority-Democratic bodies. Our canvassing this year is focused on districts south of Richmond and in the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area.
In 2020, we will be selecting a new crop of U.S. House and Senate candidates to support with the goal of maintaining Democratic control of the House and flipping the Senate.
This year we are also mentoring other Swing Left chapters and grass-roots groups, providing training both in canvassing and in fundraising to increase the effectiveness of these groups.
We believe passionately that our democracy is at stake in these terrifying times, and that the best solution requires a focus on the ballot box.
Mary Pence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.