Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Volunteer Progressive was founded by two millennials with a common vision of supporting progressive candidates in Tennessee. We’re all under the age of 30, but the workload we’ve each taken on in the past for several different local, state, and national projects is no small feat. We’ve been doubted, overworked, and underestimated, and that’s okay with us. Our collective experience and skill sets pertaining to campaign management gave us all the affirmation we needed to know that we were making the right decision. We saw a gap in resources and support for everyday people wanting to run grassroots campaigns, and we’ve been honored to be able to support several different groundbreaking candidates for public office.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with some truly inspiring people running grassroots campaigns here in Tennessee. In August of this year, we met Meg Gorman, who is running for US Congress in Tennessee’s Third District against a ten-year GOP incumbent Chuck Fleischmann. We were instantly struck by her earnest desire to represent all Tennesseans in Congress. Her passion for service to others is unwavering. These qualities stayed consistent as we met other friends along the way.
Marquita Bradshaw is running for US Senate to represent the state of Tennessee. This past October, Al and I had the privilege of helping to coordinate her campaign’s visit to Hamilton County. We met with people at a picnic, toured local sustainable energy sources, met with local social justice activist groups, and traveled to Athens, TN to meet with more voters. Instantly after meeting Marquita I was sure that she is the leader that Tennessee needs in the US Senate. Her drive to meet with people all over the state while always advocating for environmental justice and access to healthcare is one of the most inspiring qualities I’ve ever seen in a political candidate. We got to catch up with Marquita just yesterday at her rally in Chattanooga, and I cannot wait to have her as our next US Senator.
In August, we also met Raquetta Dotley, who is running for Chattanooga City Council to represent District 7. Raquetta is a woman of her community, and it’s one of the first things I ever noticed and admired about her. Everyone knows her and knows that she’s the one to turn to when something in the community needs to get done. Her passion for the people in her community and neighborhood associations is simply unmatched. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to connecting those in need to the appropriate resources. She gets things done, and I have all the confidence that she will continue to do so in the role as District 7 City Councilwoman.
These last few months have been filled with remarkable experiences. For myself, I’ve been able to refine and execute different social media strategies for a grassroots and progressive Congressional campaign. I’ve been able to meet and work with some inspiring women who have changed my entire perspective on what it means to be a woman fighting for others in the political arena. None of this would have been possible without my VPS Founding Partner Al Douglas. Al has a unique ability to make things happen, no matter the circumstances. His genuine want to see a change in the world fuels his drive when organizing and coordinating in the field. I’ve learned from him what it really means to put people first and to do everything with dedication and intention. We are both on a mission to support real candidates that will enact change in representation and policy. Our last two years of organizing voting projects together in the Chattanooga area has informed our approach to supporting real people and real progressives in running for public office.
We both truly value building community with others around positive civic engagement, while operating with the understanding that the electoral process is only one of several avenues for changing the broken systems found in our country. As we move forward in our fight against injustice, we must all support our local organizations that are actively helping others in the community. Support organizations like Semillas, Concerned Citizens for Justice, ICan’tBreatheCHA, Chattanooga DSA, People’s Plaza TN, and so many more.
As we anticipate election results on November 3rd, we are prepared to continue to fight for progressive candidates and real change, no matter the outcome. We're excited to be able to shift our focus on electing real, progressive people to Chattanooga’s City Council, we hope that you will continue to follow our journey to make Chattanooga a better place with better overall representation. Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far, and we look forward to everything the future holds.
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