Kudos to Jim Siwila

In our new “Kudos” section, Together We Elect will be celebrating the outstanding work of our volunteers and allies who have gone above and beyond in the work to elect Democrats to Congress. 

“Please do as much as you can. If you can get involved with Together We Elect or any other organization that’s working to save democracy, then yeah, every little bit helps.”

“I feel like our best hope is at the ballot box and getting out the vote as best we can,” says Jim Siwila, a longtime activist and Together We Elect star volunteer. An activist since his student days, he’s been focusing on political campaigns for at least ten years.

He has a gentle demeanor but his present concentration on the midterms is fueled by outrage, which he’s been feeling since the shock of the 2016 presidential election. It’s “the need to address the threat to our values and our democracy that Trump, and increasingly the whole Republican party, represent.”

Now retired from the computer industry and living in Lexington, Massachusetts, Jim feels an affinity for what Together We Elect is doing. Part of it is the flexibility — that volunteers can choose to make phone calls, text, coach other volunteers, or support the campaign of an at-risk incumbent. “I just jump on where I feel I can do some reasonable work,” he said.

“Recently I’ve mostly been making V2V calls.”  Volunteer-to-volunteer calling strikes him as much more pleasant than most political phone banking, because it involves contacting people who have previously volunteered and are likely to be receptive. When Jim reaches volunteers, his principle is to “engage them on a more individual level, like ‘What sorts of things do you like to do? Do you like to make phone calls, text, write postcards?’”

Beyond Together We Elect, Jim works with several local political organizations, but he still finds time to pursue other passions.  Originally an English major, he‘s taught a course on Chaucer and is planning on teaching more literature courses. What else? “I play golf.”

Like many volunteers, Jim has his fears about the upcoming midterms, but he overcomes them with determination. “I’m not going down without a fight. We all have to fight.” His form of combat is convincing others to join the battle. “Please do as much as you can. If you can get involved with Together We Elect or any other organization that’s working to save democracy, then yeah, every little bit helps.”

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