In the past few weeks, we’ve been working closely with our Vote 2020 partners to bring accessible voter education to our community. The League of Women Voters is one of those incredible partners, and they were kind enough to answer a few of our questions about voting, activism, and the music that's keeping them inspired through the campaign cycle. Ever wanted to know what it’s like to work at a political organization? Looking for some voting inspiration or a voting power song? The Programs and Outreach Director from League of Women Voters, Maggie Bush, sat down with us to share all of that and more.
We celebrated our 100th anniversary year this year. We were founded out of the women’s suffrage movement. There were millions of women newly enfranchised and in need of resources to educate and empower their vote. We were founded as a grassroots organization and have been around ever since. We have 750 locations, a vast volunteer network, and supporters and members of all genders, backgrounds, and political affiliations, all of whom are inspired and motivated to empower others to vote.
I went to college in DC for pre-med and quickly realized that I was really interested in political work. I started volunteering for other political organizations and when a job opportunity came up at League of Women Voters, I jumped on it.
I am the Programs and Outreach Director and work to manage nationwide voter engagement and Get Out the Vote efforts through partnerships, presentations, etc.
It’s different every day! Usually, we meet every day with different parts of our team to talk about what’s going on within our program. Right now, I’m meeting with the team to talk about voter registration efforts across the country. I also do a lot of partner conversations and presentations this time of the year. Yesterday we talked to a pro sports association, I’ve talked to other corporate partners, and we recently did a Reddit takeover to answer questions about voting.
I get to see every day the impact that our volunteers have and I feel so lucky to have a job that allows me to do that. I wake up in the morning and open my email and there are photos of a drive-thru voter registration drive, I look on social media and see that we sued the Governor of Texas for disenfranchising voters. I get to see the amazing work our volunteers do to empower people to vote and there’s nothing better.
One of the programs I have managed since 2012 has been our New Citizens Registration. We work to register new citizens at naturalization ceremonies, and it’s incredibly rewarding work. Unfortunately, some of that has been on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re doing everything we can to bring voter registration wherever there are new citizens.
It means that I’m making decisions for my daughter, and for the country she’s going to grow up in. And I’m also voting on behalf of the other three-year-olds that don’t have the privileges that she does. It’s a very powerful feeling, and it inspires me every day to make sure others have access to this special right.
So there's this 90s power song that starts “Y’all ready for this” and, no joke, I play that in my bathroom mirror before a Zoom meeting or a big presentation to pump myself up. It’s become kind of a joke in my office, but it really works!
Last year Ani Difranco released a mixtape of some of her old stuff- I listen to it all the time. She was responsible for my first feminist awakening as a teenager, so to have her music sound so relevant to what’s going on today, is kind of full circle for me. Otherwise, my husband/work-from-home office mate is usually our DJ. We listen to BBC Radio 6 a lot.
We just want everyone to vote early and make their plan to vote. You can do that on our website, Vote411.org.
This is the time to make sure you have a plan to vote and everyone you know is ready to go.
Thank you to Maggie and everyone at League of Women Voters for your important work! We’re looking forward to encouraging more voter awareness and engagement in our community and around the world.
Make your voice heard!