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October 22, 2020 52 min

Baratunde digs into the feeling of disconnect and neglect felt by the black community in Milwaukee during the 2016 election and learns from Angela Lang, Executive Director of Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC MKE). They are changing what it means to get people politically engaged in their community, and it doesn’t start with knocking on doors, begging for votes two months before an election! Quentin Palfrey also weighs in on how data scientists and lawyers are uniting on the ground to stop voter suppression, especially targeting communities of color. 

Show Notes + Links

We are grateful to Angela Lang and Quentin Palfrey for joining us. 

Follow @angela_lang and @blocbyblocMKE on Twitter. You can learn more about the BLOC MKE at and in this press piece here

Follow @qpalfrey and @protectthevote on Twitter. You can learn more about Voter Protection Corp at

We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at

Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!


INTERNAL ACTIONS (Actions that help you reflect and explore your emotions and experiences related to these topics or personal actions that don’t involve others)

What does it mean for your community to thrive?

This is the question BLOC asks the people of Milwaukee, and we want you to answer it for yourself. Yes, it could be speedbumps. It is probably more. Think about it. Write it down. 

Real change starts by doing the hard internal work. Let’s keep it up!

In June, many of us participated in Black Lives Matter protests, posted BLM messages on our instagrams and bought all the books on how to be anti-racist. Have you read the books, continued to share content from organizations, activists, artists, and business owners within the Black community since then? Time to revisit and re-engage. 

EXTERNAL ACTIONS (Public actions that require relationships and interaction with others) 

Support BLOC MKE

As a grassroots organization, they need our support to be able to go deep in engaging their community in and out of election cycles. You can give to their non-partisan or partisan arm at

Volunteer to be a Voter Guardian in Milwaukee. 

BLOC MKE is training people to monitor the polls for intimidation and are trained to de-escalate situations in lieu of calling the police. You can message them if you’d like to be trained and help ensure people feel free and safe to cast their ballots. Contact them at and mention Voter Guardian and How to Citizen in the subject line. 

Volunteer to be a poll worker. 

Sign up to be a poll worker through Voter Protection Corp at The more poll workers the better to help reduce long lines. 


If you take any of these actions, share that with us - Mention Making Our Presence Felt in the subject line. And brag online about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 

We love feedback from our listeners - 

Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

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