It began with curiosity and an urgency to take action…”We can’t wait for our state!”
Barnstormers for America originally started as Barnstormers for Pete, a grassroots movement that started to support the 2020 presidential campaign of former South Bend, Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg. Seeing that winning Iowa – the first contest in the primary – was so critical to the campaign, super volunteer in New York, Kat Sosnick, reached out to a fellow super vol and Iowan, Andrew Coghill-Behrends, in August 2019 to ask how an out-of-state supporter could help Pete win the Iowa Caucuses. They discussed planning a trip out to Iowa to attend the Liberty & Justice Celebration on November 1st, 2019. The road trip idea was put out to a vast network of 350+ Facebook groups supporting Pete to see who might be interested in making the journey to Des Moines.
The response was swift and overwhelming…
“If you build it, they will come…”
Within three weeks of the spark of the road trip idea, we had become a super-charged grassroots movement. Over 1000 volunteers from all 50 states and 2 territories signed up to converge on Des Moines, Iowa for Pete Buttigieg at the Iowa Democrat’s Liberty & Justice Dinner. And show up we did! The most astonishing things is that each Barnstormer self-funded their trips. That’s how much our passion and urgency to win the era meant to us!
The energy of that November 1st event was electric. We were already getting asked about the next set of events in the next Early State contests in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. So we organized those road trip events as well as Barnstormer Blitzes back to the Early States to amplify GOTV activities like door knocking and visibility events. In early February 2020, our blitz before the Iowa caucuses resulted in out-of-state barnstormer door knocking of 46% of capacity – which is believed to have played a significant role in Pete’s victory in the state.
“The world has evolved, and so have we. We have only just begun…”
While Pete Buttigieg suspended his campaign on March 1st, 2020, the spirit inspired by his campaign and that ignited the movement’s passion is forever. We are driven by the Rules Of The Road, the idea that we all win when we work together, and that we don’t have a lot of time to get America on stronger footing in order to achieve its full potential. As Barnstormers For America, we have carved a new path to win the era, of course supporting now President Joe Biden (endorsed by Pete, now US Secretary of Transportation) and are throwing our super-charged grassroots energy behind key down-ballot races..
To anyone who believes politics doesn’t play a role in your life, we urge you to join us to see just how much they do. Barnstormers has proven just how joyful and accessible politics can be. Let’s do this together. Join us!