Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif. and Changing Hands Bookstore with locations in Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., have partnered in a drive to register Arizona voters and persuade them to vote Democrat in this year's presidential election. "We're trying to help support them in their efforts to turn Arizona blue," Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, told PW.
Protti said she was inspired to help after learning of the effort Changing Hands was putting into persuading voters. "It's a big risk for them because they are in a deep red state," said Protti, "but for us it is easier because we are in a deep blue state and being politically active is part of our brand." She said there is no risk of alienating Republican customers. In the past Bookshop Santa Cruz has offered George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump countdown clocks, and once sold a book by Rush Limbaugh for the price of baloney.
This current campaign will see the bookstore host "action nights" where customers will be encouraged to write postcards, make calls, and fundraise for voter registration drives in Arizona. The first is next Monday, February 17.
By the end of the year, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Indivisible and Changing Hands commit to:
- Mobilize 1000 Santa Cruz County residents to take action to support efforts in Arizona before the presidential election.
- Write over 5000 postcards to send to voters in targeted Arizona precincts.
- Make over 5000 phone calls or text messages to voters in targeted Arizona precincts.
- Recruit over 100 people to canvas with us this fall in swing districts.
- Hold three high profile community-wide events, including a recruitment fair, fundraiser and canvas weekend, to support identified high needs in Arizona.
Protti said the store plans to share success stories with those who help in the effort and may organize a road trip to canvas voters in Arizona later in the year.
For her part, Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands located in both Phoenix and Tempe Arizona said, “More than ever the 2020 election is about the human condition. We have always been a politically engaged bookstore, but since 2016 we have stepped up that engagement in a more profound way. We know that a change in leadership will improve the human condition, and we will do all we can to help provide accurate and truthful information and engage all people in the process.”