A few weeks ago, with help from some friends, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to get on the ballot for US Congress. I'm a working dad with a five-year-old daughter and two jobs (one in Sebastopol working as Communications Director of national nonprofit Transition US, and the other teaching Anatomy at the World School of Massage and Holistic Healing Arts in San Francisco). I'm a man with a dream: true liberation and justice for all, a system that treats all people with dignity, and a healthy world for us to pass down to our children and future generations.
My time for campaigning has been somewhat limited by my working-class reality, but I committed to the race and filed as a candidate with the FEC. I found out that the cost to get on the ballot was just shy of $2,000 - and, alongside working, parenting and maintaining holistic health, I began to labor on this campaign - reviving my presence on social media, beginning to refresh my old campaign website at www.nilsforcongress.com, and putting the word out into the community that I was doing this and needed to make a fundraising splash and raise $2k by February 7th.
I'm posting this to celebrate that WE MADE IT!
Thanks to the generous support of my friends and community members (including several total strangers) - and thanks to the positive encouragement and prayers from countless people who believe in this movement - we will be on the ballot!
I am humbled.
And I've also got my eye on the future, all the work ahead of us.
Even as I pause to celebrate this milestone, I'm aware that, by March 9th - a month from now - I'll need to scale up this fundraising more than tenfold and summon over $10k simply to get my official 250-word candidate statement on the election guide mailed to all voters. (...You mean it's not FREE?) Then there will be yard signs, printing, venue rental, hiring staff... All to ensure that I am positioned to place in the top two in a four-way primary race that includes a tremendously wealthy incumbent establishment Democrat, a Republican, and a Green candidate whose mere presence threatens to split the progressive vote! June 5th may feel like it's a long way away, but I assure you: it is right around the corner. And then, after we achieve #PeoplesVictory in the primary election, there is another entire election cycle, leading up to the general midterm election this November!
Yes, there is an entire mountain climb ahead of us. These are just the foothills. And as we ascend the slope, the mountaintop will not always be readily visible. But I trust that, putting one foot in front of the other, the path will continue to lay itself out ahead of us. Before we know it, if we have faith, remain steady and take right action, we will reach the promised land. I take each step with joy and gratitude.
Thanks to all who have supported this movement to #FlipTheHouse, take back our government, elect a brand New Congress, get money out of politics, achieve Medicare for All, and ensure social, racial, environmental and economic justice for everyone!
There will certainly be more in the days, weeks and months ahead. I can't do this alone. I need help. I'll be calling on volunteers with all sorts of skills to join me in this community effort to elect a Representative that stands with our people and planet.
Above all, though, I want to express GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION to my PEOPLE.
Thanks for being on the journey with me. Wherever we go, at least we'll be together. And whatever we do, at least we'll do it with integrity and do our best!