Welcome to Louisiana Lefty, a podcast about politics and community in Louisiana, where we make the case that the health of the state requires a strong progressive movement fueled by the critical work of organizing on the ground. Our goal is to democratize information, demystify party politics, and empower you to join the mission, because victory for Louisiana requires you.
We hope you enjoyed Season One of Louisiana Lefty. This month, we're on summer break. So while we won't be releasing new interviews until August, we will be providing you with some Action Lefty mini pods to fill in the gaps until then.
Lamar White! Thank you so much for joining me on Louisiana Lefty today.
Thanks for having me.
Well, you're supposed to come back for a full podcast later this season. But we're still on our summer break. So this is just my friend joining me on one of my Action Lefty mini pods.
All right, well, I will be happy to join you next season. So...
Well, Season Two, yeah, which will start in August. So we're just around the corner from that. So we're talking today about Organizer of the Month, which is a program we had talked about starting, back before the pandemic, and it got delayed a little bit, because I wasn't exactly sure how people were going to organize during the pandemic. Turns out, people really did, and did a lot of really good work. So once we started this podcast, you and I kind of reconnected on this issue and decided we'd go ahead d anlaunch Organizer of the Month, which we've been posting on our social media for seven months now. But if you're a listener to the podcast, and don't follow us on social media, you may not know about it.
Right. And by the time this is out, I presume, there will be a gallery on the Bayou Brief. So for people who have not heard about this and have not seen who's won, I guess, won, so that you want to say it's an award, I mean, it's a recognition, you know, for the last several months, there will be a page with all of the all of the folks that have been bestowed this honor.
And we've had some great folks. We started in January. So every month we've been putting this out, we send a certificate, from the Bayou Brief and Louisiana Lefty to each awardee that says they were recognized as our Organizer of the Month, and we have a lovely graphic that goes out on all our different social media channels that you'll be able to see on the gallery page on Bayou Brief.
It's really cool. Actually, the artwork I think is really awesome.
Thank you Drew Prestridge, for the artwork this year. And the theme is we're giving flowers to the organizers. There's this idea of giving people their flowers while they're still alive. So we're wanting to follow up on that theme. So the imagery is, in fact, a floral theme.
You know, yesterday, I spoke with a couple of interns at Crooked Media - this is sort of related to the Organizer of the Month idea - who are interested, as you know, because you've spoken with them, interested in Louisiana as a project. And they asked, "Well, what do we need to know about Louisiana? How can we turn Louisiana? How can we encourage Louisiana to do what Georgia has done? Or what can we do to help?" And I just said, I think it's about cultivating these this local talent and training local people to empower them. And that's what a lot of these folks that we're recognizing, that's exactly what they're doing. They're not necessarily names that everyone would know. But they're making a difference in their own communities. And, you know, that's what I would tell anybody who's interested in, especially an outside group that is not from Louisiana, how can we help? Well, what you could do is, you could help these people, because they're already here, you know?
That's right. And organizers tend to not be recognized. There are awards for people who do political ads or campaign ads, any kind of digital work or physical mailers, people have the opportunity to get awards for that communications work. Any other kind of staff position that you have on a campaign, there's all kinds of ways, all manners that those people get recognized. And organizers just really don't seem to, but they're the people that do the work on the ground, and are, as I say, over and over and over again on this podcast, they're my superheroes. They're the folks who really do the hard work.
And as you know, oftentimes, organizers aren't necessarily officially associated with the campaign. They can be people who are running their own operation and are there in a support role, or, you know, we saw in the governor's race was outside groups that were there to support the governor in the runoff that really made a difference in bringing those 40,000 extra votes out to secure his win. And if it weren't for those people who were not part of the official John Bel Edwards reelection campaign, he probably would not have won reelection.
I think that's right. You know, I wrote about that for you in the Bayou Brief, which I've linked to several times in the podcast notes, but I'll do so again.
Alright, good. Ground Game!
I'll also link to the gallery page that you're talking about in the Bayou Brief. And I will link to just as importantly, as all the rest of it, the nomination form. So if you know an organizer that you're working with, or that you've seen doing great work in your community, I hope that you'll nominate them for this award, so that we can recognize them publicly, and give them their flowers on social media, and send them a certificate that acknowledges their work. Lamar, sometimes organizers get paid, sometimes they get paid, but not a whole lot, and sometimes they're volunteers.
So this really is work that people do because of their passion, and their commitment to their community. And that's why to me, it feels so important to lift it up.
Yeah, and I'm happy to lift those folks up as well. And this is really, you know, kudos to you too, because this was not really something that that I created. This was Lynda Woolard's idea. And I think it's a really good idea. It's necessary, I mean, especially in a state like Louisiana. I'm originally from Alexandria, right, in Central Louisiana. And I know that a lot of people that we've been recognizing are not necessarily from New Orleans. And I think that's important to recognize people all over the state, because they often feel, you know, folks in Shreveport say that they're the redheaded stepchild of Louisiana, no offense to redheads. But I mean, I get it, the media market here in New Orleans dominates
What's great about these awards that you were talking about Lamar is that we have had them from all over the state. We've had different kinds of organizers, we've had people who organized not only on campaigns, but at legislative session on issues, faith based organizers, digital organizers, we're trying to really cover all of it. So hopefully, we'll be able to eventually get around to all the folks who deserve credit in the state.
Yeah, and there will probably be, next year, another theme and another round of Organizers of the Month. So if you have not heard about it this year, and it's already a little late for you, don't worry, I would say, right, that there will be an opportunity next year to nominate people, that this is not the end of the road for this honorific.
Correct. It is our intention to keep rolling with it.
Thank you, Lamar, for helping me talk about this so that more people can know about it, and check out our social media so they can learn all about this and learn about these great people working in our communities and our state. And I look forward to having you on the podcast later this season.
Thank you and it's BayouBrief.com, and at the very top of the page on the desktop version, you'll see a link at the top that says Organizer of the Month. It's pretty obvious. So just click on that and you can see the gallery.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Talk soon.
Don't forget to check out our podcast notes for resources like the Organizer of the Month gallery page and nomination form. And whatever podcast platform you listen to us on, please give us a follow. We'll be back next week to kick off Season Two of Louisiana Lefty.
Thanks to Ben Collins worth for producing Louisiana Lefty, Jennifer Pack of Black Cat Studios for our Super Lefty artwork, and Thousand $ Car, for allowing us to use their swamp pop classic, Security Guard, as our Louisiana Lefty theme song.