NEWSLETTER — The REAL Risk for Mikie & What YOU Can Do

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Please join us on Sunday for an important canvassing launch!
Register here.


It’s late September, and we’re already in the thick of the midterm elections. New Jersey VBM voters have started to receive (and return!) their mail-in ballots for the midterm elections. Yes, votes have already been cast. There are less than SIX WEEKS until Election Day: Tuesday, November 8.

Here in CD11, we’re lucky — and we know it. Our incumbent congresswoman, Mikie Sherrill, is pretty terrific. She’s personable, she’s warm, and she’s accessible. She projects gravitas and seriousness of purpose, she’s not afraid of a fight, and she both speaks up and votes in ways that align with most of our values. Word on the street is that she has a wicked sense of humor, if you’re standing close enough to hear what she says under her breath. 


Mikie Sherrill with NJ 11th for Change supporters.
Click to hear her take on the fight ahead.

What more could constituents ask for?

But feeling lucky is a double-edged sword … because feeling lucky can very easily lead to feeling complacent. And from the looks of volunteer turnout for local campaigns and local grassroots efforts, that’s exactly what’s going on.


Please don't say this!

We are in no position to feel complacent about winning this election.

Remember Election Night 2021?
Remember watching results like this scroll by
after a season marked by complacency and low volunteer turnout?

Remember Election Night 2016?
Hilary had been given 80% odds of winning.
There’s no such thing as a sure-win.

Mikie’s ultra-conservative opponent, Paul DeGroot, may not be on your radar — but that’s a strategic choice on his part. He’s being very selective (translation: sneaky) about what news outlets he’s talking to, avoiding those that are “general audience” where voters like us are likely to notice him.

Chris Christie inserts himself into the CD11 congressional race,
endorsing DeGroot and taking ham-handed slaps at Mikie
in a pathetic attempt to make himself relevant again.

Instead, DeGroot is focusing on conservative outlets, laying out his MAGA positions and building campaign momentum. We’ve been getting reports that he has multiple social media outlets — some for the general public, and some that are private for conservative MAGA voters only.

Candidates with secret social media accounts?
Never a good sign.

DeGroot is a loyal conservative who bragged during the congressional primary that he was “the most conservative Republican in the race.” A soldier in the culture wars, he believes that New Jersey’s schools are too woke, “indoctrinating our students with leftist ideology” and “socialist propaganda.”



He accuses Mikie of not being a “real” tough-guy prosecutor like him; says she was just some softie P.R. gal for the department. (Right. Naval Academy grad and Navy vet Mikie is a softie. Misogynist much, Paulie?)  And he is perfectly comfortable with allowing states to enact abortion bans — even bans that offer no exceptions for rape or risk to a woman's life, if that’s what a state’s good-ol’-boy legislators choose.


The Sherrill campaign’s new video ad.

Comparing and contrasting the Sherrill/DeGroot positions.

Mark our words: no matter what the man says to moderate voters (as he scrubs his public-facing social media of his most odious positions), this is a candidate who is pandering to the far right. If he is elected, he will vote in lockstep with the far right. One way or another, DeGroot’s MAGA-heavy positions would have an impact on ALL of us. Which is why none of us can afford to say …

Please don’t say this, either!

Sure — looking at the Democrat/Republican registration breakdown in New Jersey, it’s easy to imagine that Dem Mikie Sherrill will have an easy time of it. After all, there are 220,435 registered Dems in CD11, and only 159,038 registered Republicans.

But we know that’s not the whole picture. We know that the results will depend on the hard-to-pin-down “Unaffiliated” voters. There are 214,258 of them in our district — almost as many as there are Dems! And the latest numbers show that, nationwide, unaffiliated voters are breaking Republican at a terrifying rate of 18 to 2.

This worries us.

We also know that red voters are HIGHLY RILED UP and hyped to vote these days … 

… and that the national GOP is ready to dump buckets of cash into DeGroot’s coffers the second it makes strategic sense to do so. Not to mention that MAGA voters — like DeGroot himself — have a knack for staying under the radar until the very moment that the sickening, suffocating election tallies start to roll in.

Are you sleeping easy? We’re not.

With all the heated races going on nationwide, and the historical trend of the president’s party hemorrhaging legislative seats during the midterm elections, it’s going to be difficult to keep control of the House and the Senate for the second half of President Biden’s term.

Difficult, of course, but not impossible. It’s going to take hope, and determination, and hard, hard work from volunteers like you to pull out a win.

Definitely don’t say this.

We know we can do it!

Why are we so sure?

Because we have you, and hundreds of other volunteers like you. Some folks are new recruits, others are veterans. All of us can write postcards, make phone calls and send texts, or (best of all) lace up our walking shoes for an afternoon of canvassing.

We'll be honest:

Canvassing volunteers across the state have been thin on the ground recently. That’s a problem, because canvassing — actually talking face-to-face with constituents — is the #1 best way to get voters to commit to getting out to the polls and casting their votes for Mikie.

Whether it’s a question of complacency, or weariness, or defeatism, too many volunteers are letting others carry the load this year.


We’re begging you not to say this!


Please step up!

We hope you will look at the many volunteer options in the listings below, and choose something! We’re happy to show new volunteers the ropes. We’re quadruple-thrilled when you bring a friend with you to add to the fun.


This? THIS would be a great thing to say.

This Sunday (October 2), NJ 11th for Change is hosting a canvass launch to support Mikie Sherrill in Randolph. ALL are welcome! We’ve got great snacks (empanadas, lemonade, YUM!)  to make sure you aren’t knocking doors on an empty stomach. It’s sure to be a wonderful day. Click here to register or see below for details.

And the Saturday after that (October 8), we’re co-sponsoring the “March to ROEvember” rally, aimed at increasing visibility and voter motivation among pro-choice voters in our communities. We’d love to see you there, and we’d really love for you to come with a passel of neighbors who care about abortion rights. Again, click here to register or see below for details.


Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

Volunteering is up to ALL of us.

We hope to see you out there!



NOTE: Our new Volunteer Opportunities webpage will always be updated with the current week’s roster of actions you can take to support our endorsed candidates: Mikie Sherrill (CD11), Tom Malinowski (CD7) and Andy Kim (CD3). Please bookmark it, and check it regularly! 



  • Sunday, October 2 at 12:00 noon in Randolph
    “Elections & Empanadas” Canvass for Mikie Sherrill
    NJ 11th for Change is sponsoring another important canvass launch to re-elect Rep. Sherrill! You won’t have to knock doors on an empty stomach; we’re offering a selection of delicious veg and non-veg empanadas from Verona’s famous Empanada Lady, and cold drinks, too. Please join us as we energize voters and get them the election information and voting how-to’s they need!
    Register HERE for exact address.

  • Saturday, October 8 at 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in Montclair
    March to ROEvember Rally
    Rally to protect reproductive rights and elect Democrats who choose choice! NJ 11th for Change is co-sponsoring this event; please come out to support the effort and help put this issue FRONT-OF-MIND for voters in our communities.
    Where? Montclair City Hall, 205 Claremont Ave, Montclair, NJ.
    Sponsors: BlueWaveNJ, National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ, Women for Progress, Latinas for Civic Action, the Latino Action Network Foundation, and the NJDSC
    • Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill
    • Jeannine LaRue, Garden State Equality
    • Celeste Fiore, Trans Affirming Alliance
    • Rhonda R Nichols, Healthcare Provider



(Click the links for details, and to register)






Want a Mikie Sherrill lawn sign? Request one here!
Installing it in your yard is a snap!




(Click the links for details, and to register)



Click this link to find more opportunities to volunteer for Tom Malinowski!



(Click the links for details, and to register)



Click this link to find more opportunities to volunteer for Andy Kim!




  • COMING SOON: Postcarding!! Interested in joining our crack team of postcarders? Email NJ 11 Field Director Stacey Abenstein and put “NJ11 POSTCARDS” in the subject line. We'll be in touch VERY SOON(Can't write but want to donate stamps or stamp-money? Email Stacey!) 

  • Operation Diggin’ Up the Dirt: Mikie’s opponent, Paul DeGroot, is a hard-right Trumper. He is also keeping very quiet in the public sphere about his positions; suspiciously quiet, one might say. We’re building a team to gather intel about his positions — and anything else that voters need to know.

    To get involved, contact NJ 11th for Change Research Director Patricia Doherty, and put “DEGROOT RESEARCH” in the subject line.

  • Tabling at Events: Is your town planning any civic events, festivals, street fairs, or farmers markets? Let us know, so we can help your community get ready to vote! There's nothing more satisfying than setting up shop at a local community event and encouraging constituents to vote or learn about their candidates. If you're interested, please email Mara! We're looking for volunteers to:

    • tell us about events in their towns and counties, and 
    • come on out and staff the tables! 

  • Vote-By-Mail Letter Campaign: WHOA! We're up to 42,000 packets out and distributed, thanks to NJ 11th for Change Field Director Stacey Abenstein and a squad of nose-to-the-grindstone volunteers — who could use your help right about now! 

    Not all NJ voters know they have to actively request a mail-in ballot this year. But YOU can give them the information and the tools they need to make it happen. We’ll provide the official VBM request forms and a list of names and addresses; you provide postage, post-its, and envelopes. Write a quick personal note on the post-it encouraging the recipient to vote by mail, stick it to the request form, stuff it in the envelope, and send it off! We have a tight list of in-district voters who need this little push to significantly increase their turnout rates. Let’s make it easy for them to do the right thing!

    Here's a quick peek at a recent delivery: 

    Stacey writes: 

    "I’m making a special push for VBM writers who live in Nutley, Maplewood, or South Orange. We need help finishing all the target voters in these towns. Contact me and I will send you to the VBM leader in your town.

    All other volunteers, I still have lists for Belleville (only 670 voters) and Bloomfield (8231 voters).

    Thanks to the work of our friends at Wind of the Spirit, we added a Spanish how-to paragraph to our Bloomfield letter!

    We still have time to get these out so please do not hesitate to volunteer!!!"

    Interested in helping? Email Stacey Abenstein and put “VBM CAMPAIGN” in the subject line. (Can't write but want to donate stamps or stamp-money? Also email Stacey!)

  • Working America Letter-Writing Campaign: You know that NJ 11th for Change usually focuses close to home — no national campaigns that make us roam far afield. HOWEVER! We do make one exception! Our volunteers have been participating in Working America's national letter campaign for several years, with terrific success! Working America (the activism branch of AFL-CIO) is a data-driven organization with its finger on the pulse of their electorate, and they have a meticulously field-tested, proven strategy for swinging votes in tight races. They know exactly which voters to touch, and exactly what issues and messages will do the job.

    How does it work? You will be sent a document with the text of a carefully crafted letter, focused on one of three core issues that (research shows!) turns red voters blue. You'll also get a list of addresses. Type a few additional personal sentences into the document, print it out, sign it by hand, stuff it in an envelope and mail it off with a handwritten address. Print, sign, and stuff till you’ve completed your list! (You’ll need to provide stationery and stamps.) Our experienced volunteers say that it’s quicker and easier than writing postcards … and the vote-swing rate is the envy of grassroots groups from coast to coast!

    Interested in helping? Get on the list by emailing NJ 11’s Working America expert, Jim Price, and putting “WORKING AMERICA” in the subject line. (Can't write but want to donate stamps or stamp-money? Email Jim!)





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Your contributions make our work possible! Donations allowed us to make almost 160,000 voter contacts in New Jersey's 11th congressional district in 2020, and over 130,000 in 2021; our efforts were a big part of making 11 towns flip from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020 (including some historically deep-red municipalities!) and securing a tight victory for Governor Phil Murphy in 2021. 

Your generous donation goes towards our data analysis and voter-file access, text banking expenses, support for our events, printing, and much more. It allows us to continue our work building a government that is transparent, responsive and accountable. Please visit our "DONATE" link and pledge any amount. Every contribution helps as we charge ahead into 2021 and beyond!


NJ 11th for Change is a 501(c)(4) unaffiliated organization dedicated to advocating for all people of New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. We foster an engaged and informed community with the power to shape our political representation so that it is transparent, responsive and accountable—and so that it reflects the values of fairness, compassion, inclusivity and a decent quality of life.