Hey everyone! We need to run candidates, absolutely. However, once our people are in-office, we need to hold them accountable and provide the right public pressure that makes them popular for doing the right thing. The cycle should look something like this (at the state level):
- Raise issues that are important and pressure your state rep to propose a bill (works best as part of a coalition of activists who pressure multiple reps to co-author a bill)
- Go to their town hall meetings, visit their offices, and call their offices with strategically discussed (within your organization) ideas, questions, critiques, and praises.
- Inform local mainstream and independent media of your organization’s efforts and responses from state reps (or their staffers). This would include your agreed on list of ideas, questions, critiques, and praises, as well as how the state reps and staffers reacted and/or responded. Video, audio, and notes are important to share here.
- Do some of your own media work on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, websites, podcasts, etc. (Cliff adds: let us know what you’re up to and we’ll provide links on our site and possibly even have you on the show!)
- Continue this cycle until your bill is passed and even if it fails, continue to raise the issue and push for new bills until one of them passes.
Here is a current bill (SB 54) that the El Cerrito Progressives (with whom I work) has been working on, in conjunction with a massive coalition of civil rights organizations, activist groups, city councils, and Federal reps. It just passed the California State Senate (in a recently amended form) and is going for vote in the California State Assembly. If it passes there, it will become state law. However, a lot of amendments have been made and the bill has been bouncing around from Senate to Assembly to approve of each new version. It has been exciting, but I really hope we just get this passed, to protect immigrants in our more conservative cities and to overrule the wills of conservative county governments and their agencies, such as my own West Contra Costa County Sheriff.
Some action related resources:
- Action 0: Pick important issues and stay informed
- Independent Media: Democracy Now, The Young Turks Network, and local independent news channels or radio stations. Check out the Pacifica Foundation.
- Justice Democrats Platform
- Subscribe to city or county proposals for ordinances or resolutions, as well as bills (proposed laws) for state and national issues.
- Action 1: Getting organized on issues: Indivisible Guide
- Action 2: Getting our people in office: Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress
- Action 3: Holding our people and our other reps accountable: Indivisible Guide