WE failed. Those of us working on the campaign. We didn't do a good enough job. Period.
We spent too much time preaching to the white middle class SF and LA choir and not enough knocking on doors outside of our neighborhoods and engaging with people different than us. When the Pro-8 people were knocking on those doors and telling people LIES we weren't there to correct it. It's really pretty fucking simple.
Ad after ad told voters that without Prop 8, their churches would be forced to perform same-sex unions and be stripped of their tax-exempt status; that schools would teach their children to practice homosexuality; and, perhaps most effective, that a smiling Barack Obama had said, "I'm not in favor of gay marriage." This last bit went out in a flier by the Yes on 8 campaign, targeting black households.
What did we do about that? Did we have a flier with Obama's face on it stating that he was strongly opposed to Prop 8 itself?? Or were we over-confident we could win by doing the same old thing?
Andrea Shorter, a black lesbian volunteer for the No on 8 campaign, told me that the outreach to the African-American community began in earnest a week ago. "What's happened is that there's been an outcry from communities of color, including African-American communities, who say, 'Include us!' Now there's a GOTV strategy, but for some it seems last minute," she said in an interview before the election. Another No on 8 activist, Karin Wang, told me at the City Hall rally that when Asian Pacific Islander groups went to buy ads in Chinese and Korean newspapers, they were informed that Yes on 8 had been renting space for weeks.
Learn from this Equality Campaign, learn from it and do better next time. Cuz there will be a next time.