Your Vote Really Counts: See “Berkeley vs Big Soda”

young people who campaigned for Measure D

Berkeley vs Big Soda Campaign Workers

In the run-up to the 2016 elections, Berkeley vs Big Soda, the video, is a terrific reminder that every vote really does count and that committed people can beat big money.  The video, by Helen de Michiel for the Ecology Center, shows that personal contact from people in your own neighborhood, from your own ethnic, racial or other group, is the best way to engage and persuade people to register and to actually go to the polls or send in that mail-in ballot. Watch and share this video to motivate folks to register and vote.

The film demonstrates vividly that motivated individuals can work together to beat Big Money; voters and election workers can organize and take back our democracy from moneyed interests who are contributing millions, even billions, to make their interests are served by government and not the interests of citizens.

The League endorsed the measure strongly, but the feet on the ground were mainly organized by a citizen group, Berkeley Healthy Child Coalition, who gathered community support quietly early on. Dr. Vicki Alexander, former head of the Berkeley Public Health, School Board Member Josh Daniel, City Council Members Linda Maio, Lauri Capitelli and Max Anderson were among the early organizers, along with many community leaders and organizations.

The Berkeley vs Big Soda Campaign was run very effectively through the Ecology Center.

A core of young people, of many ethnicities, were the heart and soul of the ground game–walking precincts, knocking on doors, calling voters to remind them to vote—right up to the last hours of election day. They had been trained  by Larry Tramutola, the political strategist for the campaign, many through The Organizing and Leadership Academy which trains groups of young people intensively on how to organize communities effectively, [For more on TOLA, The Organizing and Leadership Academy, established by Larry Tramutola, see For Tramutola’s book on organizing “Sidewalk Strategies – A practical guide for candidates, causes, and communities”  100% of book proceeds support TOLA, Academy. Order on Amazon.]

You’ll see many familiar Berkeley faces in this video, including Robert Reich, Carol Davis Kennerly, former City Council member and LWVBAE member …and even LWVBAE president, Nancy Bickel, joining the last minute get out the vote phoning [at 7:36 minutes into the 13 minute video, just in case you’d like to know].

Nancy Bickel

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