Karen Edwards: Enjoying Activism

In our “Kudos” section, Together We Elect celebrates the outstanding work of our volunteers and allies who have gone above and beyond in the work to elect Democrats to Congress. 

“I just signed up to do V2V calls because it sounded so interesting,” Karen said. “It’s very nice that I get to have a conversation with a like-minded person.”

“I really was not very politically active,” says Karen Edwards. “My work was all-encompassing.” Now retired in Connecticut, Karen spent decades as a pediatrician and faculty member of New York Medical College. “It’s where my heart was, working with kids.”

Her conversion to political activism was gradual. “My first baptism into doing online political volunteering was with Beto’s campaign in 2018. It was just a fabulous group.” Through a chance encounter at a meeting of a voting rights organization, she heard about Together We Elect. “I just signed up to do V2V calls because it sounded so interesting.”

Karen was struck by the support she got from TWE as a newbie. Someone “reached out to me after I volunteered and was very, very gracious about helping me figure out how to do it.” Though many volunteers shy away from making phone calls, talking with people who have volunteered in the past suits Karen’s sociable temperament. “It’s very nice that I get to have a conversation with a like-minded person.”

Another feature of TWE that impresses her is the website, which offers “a very well curated collection of different types of activities. I’ve sampled from the candy box.” She’s even used the website to help others figure out what they want to be doing. In fact, she guided her own daughter, who was itching to get back to activism after pulling back to pursue a demanding PhD. “We went through that beautiful calendar and she picked out a few things that she wants to be doing.” (The calendar has filters, like “Action Type” and even “Time of Day,” to help you select activities that suit your preferences.)

“Stepping back and choosing, in an evidence-based manner and also in a heart-based manner, what are the couple of things you can commit to? I’ve actually delved into other opportunities besides V2V that were advertised on the calendar, like All In PA, a texting group.”

Both Karen and her semi-retired husband are “very service oriented” — her phrase — but they make sure to carve out time for gardening, hiking, getting together with friends safely and other activities away from phones and screens. But she’s clear about her mission between now and Nov. 8 and is drawing up her personal plan of action.

“Democracy is at stake. We really have to do what we can around making a bigger majority in the Senate and keeping the House. We just absolutely need to do that.”

Inspired by Karen’s story? ACT NOW and help win in November! Talk to an Action Coach who can help guide you to best fit actions or check out Together’s calendar.