Villescaz’s first serious foray into Democratic politics occurred last summer when she attended the state party convention as a volunteer and saw a speech by Charlie Brown, a netroots-supported Congressional candidate challenging an entrenched Republican incumbent in Northern California. She immediately signed up as a campaign volunteer.
“All these people were telling me I shouldn’t waste my time because he was a such longshot,” Villescaz says, “but he was an engaging speaker and really inspired me.”
After showing a flair for managing the campaign’s financial data, she was hired as a finance assistant, working out of Brown’s house alongside the rest of the shoestring campaign staff. When school started in the fall she decided to stick around.
“I arranged my schedule so I could get off early in the afternoons and headed over to Charlie’s house to crunch spreadsheets until they basically kicked me out and told me to go home.”
Villescaz started posting on Calitics and DailyKos about the campaign and rallied netroots activists online to get Brown voted in as one of the “DfA All-Stars,” which would allow him to raise money nationwide from DfA members.
After Brown narrowly lost, she ran this January for a seat on her local county party committee, earning the privilege to attend this year’s convention as an official delegate. Villescaz, who is 18 years old, hasn’t figured out where she’s going to college, but she intends to work for another campaign in 2008 and is attending a session of the traveling DfA Training Academy on how to run campaigns.
In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?
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