This story is about a group of regular people with full-time jobs, families, and lives who decided to do everything we could to win the general election in 2020 by empowering voters of color around the country.
Walk the Walk was founded when Seth and Emily -- a couple in California -- woke in November 2016 realizing that we couldn't explain to our kids how an openly racist, misogynistic bully had won the highest office. We couldn't let 2020 be a repeat.
Because we're data nerds, we researched all we could about elections, voting, and strategy. Some big truths emerged -- although billions of dollars are spent in US politics, the vast majority goes to high profile campaigns where an individual contribution won't make a big marginal impact.
For the 2018 midterms, we identified a panel of flippable 'under the radar' races in Toss Up and Lean Republican districts, where just a little money could make a difference. We shared our "Democracy Moneyball" initiative with friends, and we had a lot of success in helping to flip 22 U.S. House seats in races that were very close. It was fun. But it wasn't enough.
In 2020, we asked a dozen friends and family to join us as co-leaders. More regular folks --physicians, attorneys, artists, social workers, professors, and even a physicist - from Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Connecticut, Illinois and California. If we all reached out to our own networks, we knew we could scale our impact. Our team of co-leaders continued to grow.
We developed a strategy that we knew would be effective for winning the Presidency, and also flipping the Senate and key down-ballot races. In the summer of 2020, the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent national protests reinforced our commitment to supporting these communities.
We started giving presentations to anyone who would listen, explaining how this strategy is both the most effective and most ethical way to win. We began with a goal to raise $200,000, but something went crazy. Over the next year and a half, we raised nearly $5 million from 6,000+ donors from nearly every state in the nation and closed the funding gaps of all of our partners. In the process, we've gained a deeper understanding of the impact of structural racism on our democracy, and how each of us, no matter who or where we are, has a role to play in this democracy.