I (maybe) ❤️ Chloe Maxmin (and Canyon Woodward)
If you don’t have time to read this whole post, OK. I know you are busy. So here’s the short form.
Chloe Maxmin is a young woman elected to the Maine Senate from District 13 as a Democrat. I have not met her, or seen her, or talked to her.
Canyon is a Dude from North Carolina. He managed Chloe’s successful campaigns for House and Senate. I have not met him, or seen him, or talked to him.
She’s progressive but thinks the Democratic party is forgetting about people who are not already part of the club.
Their approach to campaigning: start locally, making connections. They are also making effective use of internet technologies.
They might be able to do better. They might be able to export what they are doing to other campaigns. I might be able to help.
I might be in love with them, or just the idea of them.
Where my love affair started.
A friend of mine sent me a link to this article in The Nation: How a Climate-Justice Champion Won Office in Rural, Working-Class Maine.”
Wow! Impressive. Inspiring.
I wanted more.
Interview with Chloe.
No, I didn’t interview her. Esther Pew did. I found the interview on the Maine Beacon website: “Chloe Maxmin on building a movement and what to expect in 2021.”
Beacon is a website and podcast created by the Maine People’s Alliance to highlight the experiences of everyday Mainers, share information about the political and policy processes that affect Maine people and promote a progressive worldview based on community, fairness and investing in the future.
Mike Tipping is the communications director and hosts the podcast.
Wow! Impressive. Impressive enough to inspire me to download the episode, run it through Descript.com’s magic software and produce this audio excerpt and transcript for your reading, listening, and copy/pasting pleasure.
Before the fact
“What a Rural Maine House Race Can Teach the Left.”
This is an article written by Chloe and her campaign manager Canyon Woodward.
What a Rural Maine House Race Can Teach the Left | The Nation
This is a short documentary about Canyon (mainly) and Chloe (importantly). It gives you a sense of their individual characters and values.
Internet presence and stories
The internet is where many people go to meet others—or find out about them and decide whether they want to meet them.
The internet is a storytelling medium. Stories are how people relate to people.
So if you are present on the internet and tell your story, you become more real, more relatable, more effective.
You can use the internet to build communities. The technology is cheap and sometimes free. You can do things locally pretty easily. But we don’t have good models for how to do this.
I think (hope) that Chloe and Canyon might be at least pointed in the right direction and do some of this. Chloe is posting Instagram stories that tell her constituents what she’s learning. More is possible. But it’s a start.
I’d like to see more. I’d like to see “politicians” using their visibility to create small online communities and local initiatives.
I’m going to compare Chloe’s Instagram Maine Representative Jared Golden’s. The sun does not rise and set on the Instagram empire. But it’s one data point.
I haven’t talked to Chloe, but I have met and talked to Jared and even campaigned for him, I think he’s a first-rate guy but his internet presence—to the degree that I can see it—is inferior to Chloe’s.
I would have loved (and still would love) hearing stories about Jared and his wife Izzy’s Washington experiences. What’s it like being a freshman Representative? What’s it like being a Representative’s wife.
Instead, I get requests from money.
Meanwhile, Chloe has monthly “Coffee with Chloe” zoom meetings, posts video updates on her Instagram and Facebook pages to connect, not just announces.
Interestingly, her Facebook follower count is 1/4 of Jared’s, while her voter constituency is roughly 100th the size. Her Instagram follower account is larger.
Team Golden, I think this is a missed opportunity.
Democrats, this is a mistake. Republicans, you too.
A snapshot comparison:
Chloe’s telling stories about her legislative experience.
Jared announced that he won.
If you are want to find out more about Chloe and Canyon, here are some resources I found:
Canyon Woodward (@canyonwoodward) • Instagram photos and videos
I don’t usually post this kind of stuff. But who knows what the future will bring.
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