While he was the National Field Organizer for President Barack Obama in 2012, Jeremy Bird realized the power behind community organizing: building relationships. Bird is now the president and co-founder of 270 Strategies, a consulting firm that partners with campaigns, companies, and causes. Since 2013, the firm has particularly championed the integration of digital strategy in grassroots organizing:
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In addition to her work as a neuroscientist, Dr. Terry Jo Vetters Bichell is a newly elected official in Davidson County, Tennessee. As the second-most populous county in the state, it was a crucial battleground for Democrats looking to flip seats from red-to-blue during the most recent midterm elections:
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RaCarol Woodard spent most of her day helping folks “get amped about voting” as a Relational and Digital Organizer for the Victory Tennessee campaign in 2018. Using digital apps like Team have made it easier for her to connect potential volunteers to organizers on the ground:
It’s kind of neat that in this day and age, an app can really push people to not only vote, but to volunteer. To be a good organizer, you need to have a good team. You also need to have a good group of volunteers: people that want to do the job. Continue reading “#TeamThoughts with RaCarol Woodard”
Aidan Levinson, a high school senior from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, recently volunteered for Susan Wild’s successful bid for PA-07. As a self-described “tech guru,” Levinson has long recognized the importance of social media in political engagement:
Team is called “Team” because everyone gets to be a part of it. You’re on your phone 24/7. You might as well do something that will make a difference.
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Roslyn Simpson served as a Field Organizer for Susan Wild, a newly elected Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District. Hailing from Washington, D.C., Simpson wanted to get involved in the most recent midterm elections to help elect a woman to Congress. Describing herself as a technology “rookie,” Simpson was somewhat intimidated by digital tools until she started using Team:
I got on-board and now I’m addicted to it. I use [Team] when I have any downtime because I really feel like it reaches a lot of volunteers, and in turn, those volunteers are reaching a lot of people. What it has provided to volunteers is unique, and it reaches so many people who can’t physically volunteer, canvass, or phone bank.
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As the Relational Organizing Director of the Tennessee Coordinated Campaign in 2018, Nicholas Maines is well-aware of the power of meeting voters where they are, online:
We are definitely missing a huge part of the electorate when we are sticking to the tried-and-true methods. We have to figure out a way to reach out to these individuals, whether it be through their friends or through digital means. We have to find a way to them, instead of trying to bring them to us. Who are you going to trust more? Are you going to trust your best friend, or are you going to trust some random person who shows up at your door?
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Reflecting on Stand Up for Ohio’s Partnership with Team
In recent election cycles, there has been a transformation in the ways voters, particularly young Democrats, associate civic engagement with technology.
A “new wave of startups focused on helping volunteers catapult progressives into office” has been fundamental in changing the way communities are contacted and embedded into the political movements that affect them the most.
By harnessing the power of relational organizing, Team helped facilitate these personalized conversations between voters and campaigns across the country in a political landscape where mass texts, robocalls, and spam tools are increasingly distrusted. Through features like friend-to-friend outreach, conversation tasks, and Team Chat, over one hundred campaigns, non-profits, and unions were able to Take Back the House using Team in 2018.
Continue reading “Sharing Kindness through Social Media”