LISTEN: Managing Director Jonae Wartel on Georgia
March 22, 2021
Jonae Wartel, Managing Director at STG, spoke with Nathaniel G. Pearlman for The Great Battlefield Podcast about her career in organizing and experience being Runoff Director for the Democratic U.S. Senate races in Georgia.
“That’s been my life’s work: How do we sustain momentum and build infrastructure? We know that the best organizing happens when people represent communities they grew up in, that they went to school in… Good organizing reflects communities. These organizers who have been through [this last] election cycle, they’re going to begin a journey of lifelong organizing.”On the Georgia Runoffs:
“One of the biggest opportunities we had was to scale up the grassroots organizing through the coordinated campaign… Scaling up meant hiring a bunch of organizers very quickly and getting started with voter contact very early on. We only had a couple weeks to do it. We had three major holidays in the middle of the runoff... And then, oh yea! There was the height of a pandemic.”
“Our work was cut out for us. As we scaled, one thing we felt was very important was to maintain local and diverse talent. The first place we looked was to all the local organizations and folks who had been on the ground for weeks and months and years. We said ‘how can we hire more local organizers in your community?’ From there, we were able to build up the talent we needed.”