Call to save the ACA

We’re not out of the woods yet. Yes, two Senators have pledged to vote against the Graham-Cassidy-(-Heller-Johnson) TrumpCare bill. But we need three. We don’t know for sure who’s on the fence. And there’s still a week for Republican leadership to press them into submission.

We know Tammy Baldwin will vote against the bill, and we know that Ron Johnson is a cosponsor who is beyond persuasion. So you may be wondering what you can do to help defeat the bill.

You can use Indivisible’s TrumpCare Ten peer-to-peer dialing tool. This is the same calling tool used last July when we won the TrumpCare battle. In the final two days before the healthcare votes, 1,000 Indivisibles made 100,000 phone calls to constituents in ten target states with swing Republican Senators who might be persuaded to vote against the bill. It worked then, so let’s do it again.

Many people feel uncomfortable making calls to strangers. But these strangers are our friends. You’ll be talking with people like you who attended the Women’s March, who are standing up to defend DACA, and/or who fight for progressive causes.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up at https://www.trumpcareten.org/calls-to-kill-trumpcare/ to make phone calls from Indivisible’s peer-to-peer dialing tool. Once you’re signed in, you can start making calls immediately.
  2. You’ll get a script to make it as easy as possible. You’ll be reminding these voters why the continued fight against TrumpCare is so important—and why they have particular power in this moment to affect the outcome.
  3. Next, you’ll call a voter in a key state with a swing Republican Senator. You’ll ask them to call their senator and to share their own reasons for opposing the bill.
  4. The tool connects them directly to their Senator’s office. The call tool will allow you to automatically patch them through to the Senators’ district offices.

Here are some phone banking tips from Indivisible Madison’s May 30th newsletter to help you get past any stage fright.

  • Set a goal for how long you’ll make calls. This helps you make a commitment to the task, but it also sets a limit—I can make it until then.
  • Read the script out loud a couple of times before you start. You want to sound like you’re talking rather than reading.
  • The script is a baseline. Your goal is to convince the voter to talk to their Senator’s office. Exactly how you get there is up to you. Be friendly; make it a conversation. If your script feels natural to you, you’ll feel and sound more at ease.
  • Don’t give people easy outs when you start the conversation. The answer to “Can I ask you a few questions?” or “Do you have a few minutes?” is almost always “NO.”
  • Smile and dial. People can hear smiles. That’s because your facial expression changes both the way you feel and the way you sound. If you’re smiling, you’re going to feel better and sound more enthusiastic on the phone. That will have a big effect on the conversations you have. Set up a small mirror to check yourself. (No, you’re not being vain.)
  • Allow five rings before you hang up. The script may provide a voice mail message for you to leave.
  • If the voter says no, say thank you and hang up. There’s no point in trying to convince that voter to change, and they’re just wasting your time.
  • Don’t badmouth the Republican party or specific Senators unless they do first.
  • Don’t stress over a call you think went badly. The good news is that that person doesn’t know you and you’ll never talk to them again. Think about what went wrong and how to do it better next time, but don’t dwell on it or beat yourself up. There are always other voters.
  • Make a game out of it. Put candy (jelly beans?) in a bowl, and ration out one piece for every five calls. That might be enough to keep you going for a bit longer.
  • Share your results on the Indivisible Madison group Facebook page – click here – so you can inspire others to call.