By Rajiv B. (TSB Co-Founder)
During the run up to the 2016 election, I saw a number of stories about Donald Trump that made me cringe. The clincher came on October 7, 2016 following the release of the Access Hollywood tape when Trump was recorded making very denigrating remarks about women. There's no way, I thought, this guy is going to become President. Over my life, I can count on one hand the number of times I've made a bet with money. So sure was I that there was no way the America I knew would elect Trump, that I bet a MAGA hat-sporting old-timer in my office twenty bucks that Trump would lose.
Well, I lost a lot more than $20 on Black Tuesday, November 8, 2016. We lost the soul of America. The very next week, some of us got together to form Silicon Valley Courageous Resistance (www.svcr.us), a movement that has since grown to a few hundred people. We marched, wrote letters, participated in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts, protested, and contributed to campaigns to take back our country. Since that day, which will live in infamy, the depths to which our nation has fallen are beyond fathom. One hardly knows where to begin. It seems like everything we held sacred: education, the environment, foreign policy, truth, inter-racial harmony, respect for the military, trading partners, truth, allies, democracy, fiscal responsibility, the separation of church and state, truth, the judiciary, the constitution, women's rights, voting rights, truth... (it's a long tail of bedlam) everything has been perverted to serve Trump's volatile, erratic ego and the Republican Party's obsession with power. So when four of us Desis got together to figure out what we could do to get Desis mobilized, it was a given that I had to jump in with both feet. "They See Blue" was formed in the backyard of Sunil M.'s home. (We chose the "dual citizenship" version of the name Desi Blue to make it accessible to both Desis and non-Desis.)
We started with a small initial meeting of around fifteen people at my house. We hosted several meetings to share our goals and strategy, gather input, and ally with left-leaning candidates. Our membership grew to over 100 members. Our journey has been remarkable and inspiring. Not without ups and downs but definitely heading in the right direction -- and making a difference. We were featured on an Indian radio program, and our Punjabi team talked and reached out to prospective voters in the Central Valley in their native tongue, in some cases while the voters were doing their jobs driving trucks. Our efforts to Get Out the Vote and raise campaign contributions yielded fruit in the Central Valley where we managed to flip two of the three seats we targeted from red to blue. We helped raise over $57K for Democratic candidates in three Central Valley races. Our efforts helped Democrats Josh Harder and TJ Cox defeat their Republican opponents, in the case of TJ Cox by as little as 862 votes! We gave Devin Nunes a run for his money but sadly he prevailed, albeit by a much smaller margin -- we hope to put him out of office in 2020 forever. And moo! (Google "DevinCow" if you don't understand the "moo".) We were overjoyed to see the House change hands to Democrat in the 2018 election.
Today, They See Blue has an active Youth Leadership Council, has chapters formed and forming in swing states, and has established itself as a factor in the electoral landscape in California. Looking ahead to the 2020 election, of course we want to take back the White House, but even more important, we have to flip the Senate where all good ideas go to die at the hands of the Grim Reaper, Moscow Mitch. That's a tough goal because it requires at least four states to boot out their Republican Senators given that Sen. Doug Jones (D) is at risk in very red Alabama. We have a long road ahead and only 9 months left to get there. (So please donate to Democratic Senate candidates in swing states!)
I hope you will join us in this important journey. Our future depends on it. Our children are counting on us to save our country, humanity, and our planet. Please do your part. And more if you can. Thank you!