The Official NDTC GOTV Playlist 2020 - National Democratic Training Committee

If this is your first time working during GOTV, you may not know what to expect.

Get Out The Vote (GOTV) is an intense period of voter contact to turn out identified and predicted supporters.

Workdays get longer, and voter contact goals get higher as Election Day grows closer. As people who are passionate about making a change in our communities and country, it can be pretty stressful.

Music to the Rescue

To help get you through the long days and nights this fall, we are excited to release our official NDTC GOTV playlist.

We asked our staff, trainers, Staff Academy graduates, and Facebook community to send us their favorite songs to listen to during GOTV. These are the songs that pump them up, make them feel good, and keep them going.

I followed up with a few seasoned GOTV vets to tell us more about what tunes they’re listening to this season. They also shared advice for candidates, staff, and volunteers on how to stay motivated and healthy. Once you’re done learning from their wisdom, go check out the full playlist here and keep the jams pumping through Election Day!

Note: Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Orpa Ali Gets Through with Dance

Orpa Ali

Orpa is a Staff Academy Graduate who now works as a call time manager for a U.S. Senate race.

I’ve been involved with campaigns since high school, mainly with fieldwork. In 2018, I was working in Georgia a month before Election Day for Emily’s List by knocking doors, making phone calls, and helping on the ground. I helped make sure people were registered and that they had access to the voter protection hotline. It was a life-changing experience.

This GOTV, as a call time manager for a Senate race, I’ll be listening to “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison. It’s my husband’s favorite song and it played at my wedding, so it’s a happy memory and reminds me of him. It’s helpful to think of the people you love and are doing this work for as you go through GOTV. This song also makes me want to dance and forget about what is happening for a little bit.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the training I received with NDTC’s Staff Academy in 2019. What I learned about self-care has been applicable as time counts down to Election Day. I’m at home with my family because I was stressed due to the amount of work. I stepped back and I realized I need to be taken care of a little bit. It’s okay to remove yourself from the situation and take some time for yourself. If we don’t take care of ourselves, it will be hard to make it to the end. The hard work will pay off and whatever you do now will pay off. Think of the rest you will get after the election is over – that is helping me get through.

Katie Abadi Eye of the GOTV Tiger

Katie Abadi

Katie previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and has taken many courses in our Online Academy.

GOTV is the most stressful time of a campaign. I worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. I had never worked on a campaign before, so it was a tough time for me in 2016.

Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor makes me feel like I don’t care about horrible things that may happen. I only want to be strong and positive, and do my best to get through it with victory.

This year we have a very challenging election of our time. Trump and the GOP are doing a lot and spending a lot of money to defeat Democrats. But we should be strong and contribute whatever help we can to get through it with victory on Election Day.

My advice for candidates, staff, and volunteers this GOTV season is to have a balanced life. Alongside your work, in your life, you can have fun. Do whatever you like to do and whatever makes you feel good because campaigns, especially GOTV, can be hard work. Don’t forget to exercise and eat healthy.

Jennifer Williams Knows The Uniting Power of a 90s Throwback

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams is a trainer for our Virtual Live Trainings and Staff Academy programs.

Before my first GOTV in 2012, I already thought that we couldn’t work harder or more hours than we already did. It was a shock to the system, but a huge adrenaline rush as I went through GOTV. I have since worked a lot of GOTVs as a field organizer, field director, finance director, and campaign manager.

This GOTV, I recommend playing “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. I remember putting that song on when we were sending out a big Saturday canvass. I was surprised by how many of our volunteers, regardless of how old they were, knew the song. They were so excited about it and wanted to sing every world to it. I could tell it filled them with happiness and confidence to go out and talk to voters. I recommend 90s throwback songs for this reason!

My advice to candidates, staff, and volunteers this GOTV is to leave it all on the field. Remind yourself that the day after the election, no matter the results, you want to have the feeling that you did everything within your power. When you’re having one of your hard days, remember that everyone goes through that and reach out to one of your fellow staff members or volunteers. Remind each other of why you’re here in the first place and why it’s so important, and look out for each other.

Teresa English Turns Bad News into GOTV Motivation

Teresa English

Teresa is a state representative candidate in Massachusetts and has participated in three of our Virtual Live Trainings.

I am running for state representative in the 22nd Middlesex district. This district contains the entire town of Billerica, Massachusetts. I have participated in a few GOTV campaigns. The first major GOTV experience was as a GOTV coordinator for the Democratic Party of Georgia. I look forward to making sure everyone who wants to vote gets the opportunity. As an educator, I enjoy helping people figure out the system and feel good about their civic involvement.

I’m listening to the song “Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges this GOTV season because it relates to my experiences. I have good ideas, empathy for all, and tenacity that never tires. No one in my family has ever held a political office.

Growing up, I heard from more than one person that because we had never achieved much success, we would never amount to anything. As with most things in my life, I took that mentality and turned it into a challenge. Power has not been afforded to people like us. Through hard work and bringing everyone together for a common purpose, we are gaining more fair representation. The last few years have been tough for a lot of us and together we will make a “good good thing out of bad bad news”.

My advice for activists is to keep your eye on the bigger picture. Focusing on our goals, values, and shared humanity will keep us grounded and humble as we work for a more fair society. Self-care is non-negotiable because if you are rundown or tired, it affects how you interact with your environment. For me, self-care is two-minute dance parties, building legos, or meditation. The important thing is to find what works for you and remember that it’s as important as getting sleep, eating, and drinking water.

Click Play And GOTV

With this year’s election being so important, plus the stress of living through a pandemic, it’s even more important to take care of yourself and do what you can to stay motivated. Good music can help us do that.

This GOTV, listen to music that reminds you of the people you love, especially if you can’t spend time with them in person. Listen to music that motivates you to dance and exercise to take care of your mind and body. Listen to music that connects you with other staffers and volunteers, to remind you you’re not alone. Listen to music that reminds you of where you came from and why you’re doing this work.

Finally, listen to music that connects you with all the other candidates, staff, volunteers, and local leaders across the country who were trained by NDTC and are ready to make our communities better this November. Check out our playlist here.

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Jaime Swank

Jaime Swank is a Program Associate who works with NDTC’s Staff Academy cohort to help them succeed in the program and in their job searches. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Korean Language and Culture, Jaime was a digital organizer on the Missouri Democratic Coordinated Campaign, as well as a canvasser for state legislative candidates and reproductive rights in St. Louis. Because of these experiences, Jaime knows how important it is to make campaigns more inclusive to people of color, women, and trans and non-binary folks.

Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Jaime enjoys singing karaoke, trying new recipes, and volunteering with cats at animal shelters.