Repost from Thursday evening:
The two previous ‘We Have Agency’ posts laid out an idea and asked for volunteers who are interested in participating. We got something like 50 volunteers. So great to see!
Both of those posts can be found under this link in the sidebar. Going forward, all posts related to this project will be available at that link.
Nyms of the people who volunteered a week or two ago are listed in the first comment on this post.
If you are on that list and are still interested in participating, the simplest way to start is for you to send an email to me. Then I can reply, I’ll have your best email address, I can add you to the list, and we will go from there.
If you are interested but you are not on that list, please chime in with a comment, and then send me an email.
We are starting with a pilot program for these seven states. A proof of concept, if you will.
Starting with these states will accomplish two things: 1) get a jump-start on action in critical states, and 2) work out the kinks early, before we move forward with a large number of states.
⭐️ WHAT ARE WE ASKING PARTICIPANTS TO DO?
Decide to get involved. Take action.
We can form a team for each of the 7 high-priority states.
Different people have different skills and interests, so we are not asking every participant to do all of these things. You can make a difference by choosing to do even one of these things – choose the activities that best suit your strengths and your interests.
Decide to adopt a state.
Nyms with a ? indicate that the person has volunteered for one of the 7 states in the pilot project.
Choose your state(s) carefully.
State teams will allow people who don’t live in states under consideration to play an important role.
If you are going to make contact with elected officials, adopting a state where you live is best – elected officials will care less about you than they might about one of their own constituents.
But for other research and roles, out-of-state is fine. Maybe you want the role of compiling your team’s information once it has been gathered – you most certainly don’t have to live in-state in order to do that!
Once you have chosen a state (and hopefully others have chosen your state, too!)
We are asking you to to the following (collectively, within your state team).
- collect and share information
- research anti-democratic efforts to limit access to voting in any way
- research anti-democratic efforts that allow the will of the voters to be overturned
- research anti-democratic efforts that will serve to intimidate voting officials
- use social networking if that’s your thin, and be the “eyes and ears” of the project
- identify elected officials to contact
- establish contact with elected officials
- establish contact with state and local Democratic party chapters
- identify potential organizations to contact
- establish contacts with other organizations/activists
- share that information with the blog in whatever way suits you (and we will enter it into a spreadsheet)
This is most definitely not a one-person job, particularly because time is of the essence.
Form relationships with your state Democratic elected officials – or rely on them where you have relationships in place.
- your own elected state officials
- democratic party legislative caucus leadership in the state (“Minority Leader” is the typical title)
- other activist elected officials, even if not in your state
Very important — also reach out to legislative staff.
They often know more about what’s going on than the elected officials do. (Did you ever have a job where the employees were smarter than the bosses?) They’re often more willing to share information but you have to be careful to protect their confidentiality in some cases. Never burn a source!
Form relationships with Party activists in your area.
They often can point you quickly to other people you need to talk to, which can save you a ton of time.
Seek out boots-on-the-ground activists in your state.
Starting points for organizations to contact:
- League of Women Voters
- Indivisible chapters (They may not be as active as they were 3-4 years ago but the people and the networks are still around.)
You will obviously find more groups in your particular state. We’re just trying to give you a jumping off point.
Your goal should be to make these relationships ongoing.
Situations change, so you should reach out to the contacts you’re building every couple of weeks while the Legislature is in session. That means you will have to share information that they may want from you, this is not a one-way exchange. That’s fine but only share information in the “public domain.” Never burn a source!
Pay attention to media coverage.
This can also save you a ton of time. Forming relations with media sources is an excellent idea, just don’t assume that because nothing is in the news, nothing is happening.
⭐️ WHAT WE ARE NOT ASKING PARTICIPANTS TO DO
- do data entry (Unless you have spreadsheet skills and want to help in that area.)
- organize demonstrations
- act as formal liaisons, in coalitions with ther groups
⭐️ MOVING FORWARD
So, who is ready to jump in and get to work on this?
If a whole bunch of people are willing to help with these 7 states, that will make for a lot of experienced people who can carry their experience forward, giving us a jump-start when we expand this to include all 23 of the Republican trifecta states, and some other states that are mixed, but are still in danger.
⭐️ JUST DO IT!
Chime in below with a comment to let us know that you’re in and what state you would like to adopt. And please follow up with an email message so I’ll have something to reply to!
Also, if you have anything to add beyond we’ve listed above, chime in with that, too. The more input, the better!