February 18, 2020
Bookstores are trying to turn Arizona into a blue state
by Stephanie DeLuca
One of the biggest challenges of the upcoming 2020 election will be turning red states blue. In Arizona, bookstores want to help.
Changing Hands Bookstore, which has locations in Phoenix and Tempe, has teamed up with Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California, to register Arizona voters and try to convince them to vote Democrat in the 2020 Presidential election. Arizona is a red state that voted for Trump in 2016.
Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz told Publishers Weekly that they want to help Changing Hands in their mission, and because they are known for their liberal politics in a blue state, there is no danger of alienating their customer base. “It’s a big risk for them because they are in a deep red state,” said Protti, “but for us it is easier because we are in a deep blue state and being politically active is part of our brand.”
The drive at Bookshop Santa Cruz will begin their “actions nights” on Monday, February 17, with an agenda that will encourage customers and supporters to “write postcards, make calls, and fundraise for voter registration drives in Arizona.” The goals that both bookstores have committed to include:
Mobilize 1,000 Santa Cruz County residents to take action to support efforts in Arizona before the presidential election.
Write over 5,000 postcards to send to voters in targeted Arizona precincts.
Make over 5,000 phone calls or text messages to voters in targeted Arizona precincts.
Recruit over 100 people to canvas with us this fall in swing districts.
Hold three high profile community-wide events, including a recruitment fair, fundraiser and canvas weekend, to support identified high needs in Arizona.
The co-owner of Changing Hands, Cindy Dach, told PW, “We have always been a politically engaged bookstore, but since 2016 we have stepped up that engagement in a more profound way. We know that a change in leadership will improve the human condition, and we will do all we can to help provide accurate and truthful information and engage all people in the process.”
Want to support Changing Hands? Consider buying a book from them, no matter what color state you live in.
Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.