A Movement-Building Strategy-Part 3: Getting Organized

by: Paul Rosenberg

Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 16:24

After last weekend, and my experience at the "Moving Forward" conference that I diaried about ("Birth Of A Movement?"), I thought it might be time to switch gears a bit and try to start getting some work done--out of which would certainly come some more ideas, and possibly the beginnings of some real support.

So, on the flip I've laid out a table highlighting the sort of information that I see as helpful in getting started: the districts, current officeholders, what tier Democracy Corps assigns them, relevant blogs (separate columns for statewide and local or regional), unions, democratic clubs, and local chapters of national organizations.  These are all the sorts of information that we can at least begin to glean without actually living in the districts.  As we draw in people with more specific knowledge, we can then add columns for local organizations, as mentioned in my previous diary, "A Movement-Building Strategy-Part 2", such as:

  • Liberal and/or mainline churchers with social welfare concerns, and an internal organizational structure to provide service, at the very least. In many cases, there is also an advocacy structure as well.
  • Social service agencies.
  • Local organizations dealing with specific issues.  These include environmental groups with specific local missions, non-profit housing corporations, community-development organizations,  etc.

So, if you're interested in helping out, or even just seeing what I have in mind, and maybe offering a suggestion or two, then join us on the flip...

Paul Rosenberg :: A Movement-Building Strategy-Part 3: Getting Organized
Okay here's the deal: if you have any information that can go into the slots before, let us know in the comments.  If you've got any other ideas, let us know in the comments.  If you think it's a stupid idea, go write about it on your own blog, thank you very much.

Democracy Corps Battleground Districts: Organizing Information
Local chapters of national orgs
AZ 01 R 1Rick Renzi AZNetroots   
AZ 05D 1Harry Mitchell AZNetroots   
AZ 08D 1Gabrielle Giffords AZNetroots   
CA 4R 1John T. Doolittle Calitics   
CA 11D 1Jerry McNerney Calitics   
CO 04R 2Marilyn N. Musgrave SquareState.net   
CO 07D 2Ed Perlmutter SquareState.net   
CT 02D 2Joe Courtney MyLeftNutmeg   
CT 04R 1Christopher Shays MyLeftNutmeg   
CT 05D 1Chris Murphy MyLeftNutmeg   
FL 08R 2Ric Keller FLA Politics   
FL 10R 2C. W. Bill Young FLA Politics   
FL 13R 1Vern Buchanan FLA Politics   
FL 16D 1Tim Mahoney FLA Politics   
GA 08D 1Jim Marshall Tondees Tavern   
GA 12D 1John Barrow Tondees Tavern   
IL 06R 2Peter Roskam Prairie State Blue   
IL 08D 1Melissa L. Bean Prairie State Blue   
IL 10R 2Mark Kirk Prairie State Blue   
IN 02 D 2Joe Donnelly Blue Indiana   
IN 07D 2Julia Carson Blue Indiana   
IN 08D 2Brad Ellsworth Blue Indiana   
IN 09D 1Baron Hill Blue Indiana   
IA 03 D 1Leonard L. Boswell Bleeding Heartland   
IA 04 R 2Tom Latham Bleeding Heartland   
KS 02 D 1Nancy Boyda     
LA 03 D 2Charlie Melancon The Daily Kingfish   
ME 01 D 2Thomas H. Allen Turn Maine Blue   
MI 01 D 2Bart Stupak Michigan Liberal   
MI 07 R 2Tim Walberg Michigan Liberal   
MI 09 R 1Joe Knollenberg Michigan Liberal   
MN 01 D 1Tim Walz Minnesota Campaign Report   
MO 06 R 1Sam Graves Show Me Progress / "Fired Up Missouri   
NV 03 R 1Jon C. Porter My Silver State   
NH 01 D 1Carol Shea-Porter Blue Hampshire   
NH 02D 2Paul Hodes Blue Hampshire   
NJ 02 R 2Frank A. LoBiondo Blue Jersey   
NJ 07R 1Mike Ferguson Blue Jersey   
NM 01 R 1Heather Wilson New Mexico FBIHOP   
NM 02R 2Steve Pearce New Mexico FBIHOP   
NY 13 R 2Vito Fossella Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NY 19D 1John Hall Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NY 20 D 1Kirsten Gillibrand Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NY 24D 2Mike Arcuri Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NY 25R 1James T. Walsh Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NY 29R 2John R. Kuhl Jr. Daily Gotham / The Albany Project   
NC 08 R 1Robin Hayes Blue NC   
NC 11 D 1Heath Shuler Blue NC   
OH 01 R 2Steve Chabot Buckeye State Blog / As Ohio Goes   
OH 02R 1Jean Schmidt Buckeye State Blog / As Ohio Goes   
OH 15R 1Deborah Pryce Buckeye State Blog / As Ohio Goes   
OH 16R 1Ralph Regula Buckeye State Blog / As Ohio Goes   
OH 18D 1Zachary T. Space Buckeye State Blog / As Ohio Goes   
PA 04 D 1Jason Altmire Keystone Politics   
PA 06 R 1Jim Gerlach Keystone Politics   
PA 07 D 2Joe Sestak Keystone Politics   
PA 08 D 1Patrick Murphy Keystone Politics   
PA 10 D 1Chris Carney Keystone Politics   
PA 15 R 2Charles W. Dent Keystone Politics   
PA 18 R 2Tim Murphy Keystone Politics   
TX 17 D 2Chet Edwards Burnt Orange Report / Texas Kaos   
TX 22 D 1Nick Lampson Burnt Orange Report / Texas Kaos   
TX 23 D 2Ciro Rodriguez Burnt Orange Report / Texas Kaos   
VA 02 R 2Thelma D. Drake Raising Kaine   
VA 06 R 2Bob Goodlatte Raising Kaine   
VA 11 R 1Tom Davis Raising Kaine   
WA 08 R 2David G. Reichert WashBlog   
WV 02 R 1Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia Blue   
WI 08 D 1Steve Kagen Uppity Wisconsin   
WY 01 R 1Barbara Cubin     

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in NJ2 (4.00 / 1)
This district contains Atlantic City and the (rural) southern region of New Jersey.  Democrats have had a number of victories at the state senate level.

I know the Salem County chapter of the NAACP was just reactivated. 

There are active -- and successful -- county-level Democratic clubs. 

[  On the union side, unfortunately a number of unions in Atlantic City support LoBiondo.  I'd have to look into it more to give examples and counterexamples. ]

The Unplug Salem (http://www.unplugsal...) group campaigns against the nuclear reactors. 


Maybe NJ3 should be added to the list, since it is an open seat.


New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Thanks! (0.00 / 0)
The link to Unplug Salem shows me that I shouldn't have waited to add a column for such groups.

Since you brought my attention to it, there's a DKos diary discussion of the district from early November here, with maps, even.  A CD map and State Senate maps, too.

I can't imagine that the unions think they're getting all that much from this guy--a 22% Progressive Punch score on labor rights.  They just haven't had a viable challenger in a long time, so that 22% looks a lot better than 0%, I imagine.

If you can find out more specifics--particularly links to other organizations--let me know.  Contacts for Democratic Clubs, for example. Just respond to this comment.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'll work on it (0.00 / 0)
over the next few days.  I think it's a great project, and I really should get to know that information.  I should ask for help on Blue Jersey.

ps. For reasons that make no sense now, my username on dkos is actually John DE, so that's me, but very glad you liked it.  :)

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
Pretty Sneaky! (4.00 / 1)
Getting me to pimp your diary for you!

OTOH, I don't know what to think about the work ethic of someone too lazy to pimp their own diary!

But, seriously, I thought it was a very good analysis, and I'm happy to have your help in moving this forward.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Here's MN-1 (0.00 / 0)
Info. I'll do lots more later.

Great CD1 specific blog updated regularly.

A blog of university students at a local collage.

Go to MNCampaignReport and scroll down to Local Blogs Links for a full list of good state and local blogs for Minnesota. MNCR and MNPublius are the two best.

I'm not sure if you're talking about statewide or locals but the Minnesota AFL-CIO is here: http://www.mnaflcio.... and the teachers union is here: http://www.education...
Democratic Clubs
Again I'm not quite sure what you are talking about. If you're talking about the Democratic Party for the CD then it is here: http://www.cd1dfl.or...

Local chapters of national orgs
I hope you're talking about statewide on this. Here are some.
Sierra Club: http://northstar.sie...
Common Cause: http://www.commoncau...

TakeActionMinnesota: http://takeactionmn....={22AAC175-1780-457B-A8A6-874A6C1C8B5A}
They are not a national organizations but they are the most important orginazation in Minnesota Progressive politics.

If you want more I'll get more I'm just not quite sure what you're looking for.

Oh and THANK YOU for starting to turn this into a action campaign. If there is anyway I can help please tell me.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

Oh and (0.00 / 0)
I recommend you add Reform Judaism to the other progressive org list. They are very active is social justice issues.

The local one in MN-01 is http://www.bnaiisrae...

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Oh My God, You're Going To Make Me Do Work! (0.00 / 0)
Thanks!  This is great!

I'm going to have to brainstorm a bit about how to move forward.  As soon as I think I have some idea about how to ask folks to help that makes efficient use of their time, I'll get back to you.

A little bit of time stumbling around in the dark is usually a pretty good way to come up with ideas about how to do it better.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I recomend (0.00 / 0)
Like I did it a previous comment setting up a Google Group. Then we can work on this during the week when you don't have FP posts.

Try to get Matt, Chris and Mike to add something to the side of the site like they did for the Bush Dogs campaign. Get a sign up to build the progressive movement bit with a Join the campaign, about the project and donate buttons like they have for Bush Dogs and a list on the side of the districts with links to profiles of the districts. That would be a start.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Thanks from the prairie (MN-01) (4.00 / 1)
Just got home from a progressive event in the Cities; what a treat to find this.  Don't forget Minnesota Monitor for statewide coverage or The Uptake videoblogging project

Sally "Ollie Ox" Jo Sorensen

[ Parent ]
We'll keep up the great work (0.00 / 0)
You're blog is the best they come. And thanks for giving us Tim Walz. He is truly a gem.

Minnesota Monitor is officially a non-profit journalism organization so I don't think they would be very useful because they can't advocate. I would try to get them to give coverage but I don't think they could help advocate. Same with the Uptake.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
We are already planning on reporting on CA-04 and CA-11 (0.00 / 0)
and doing what we can with mobilizing volunteers and cash.

Bear Republic Action Group

I recommend you get multiple blogs for each campaign involved there are some real good smaller ones such as:

California Progress Report

at: http://www.californi...

Blogs should take little or no effort to get involved just link to, add ideas and stir. Check out what Spazboy did with FDL in CT. That's where this came from: The Boxer Short

How about that special page or pages for this effort? There you can have folks coming together on one page for each campaign and the synergy should be enormous.

This is an opportunity, I believe, to use the distributed power of the Internet to come up with new ideas and actions, see The Courage Campaign re: Censuring Feinstein, that  a centralized movement would not necessarily think of.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

Great! And, Absolutely, Re Distributed Campaign (0.00 / 0)
Actually, where I'm at right now is trying to figure out how best to give away this idea.  I'm thinking it's time I finally checked out Google Spreadsheets.  A bit too late to be an early adapter there.  But, then, I didn't have the need for it before.

As you can see from a couple of the state examples, the intention is to list as many blogs as are out there.  I just started with those listed right here on Open Left.  Beyond those, I want to be sure that I'm adding blogs that it makes sense to add--i.e. that actually would want to be involved, that have a fairly high degree of georgraphical & issuse/electoral focus.  Which is why I'd be happy to add Bear Republic Action Group, but I didn't think of California Progress Report right off the bat, because it's been more of a policy blog.  But I see it's definitely getting more of an activist flavor of late, so maybe you're right.

It looks to be a pretty hectic week for me, but I'm going to try to squeeze in some work on how to make this a more cooperative venture at a faster pace.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Pace yourself this is one Big Job! (0.00 / 0)
As for CPR best way is to ask Frank. I just like the guy and he's very knowledgeable about CA politics.

Tell him A.Citizen and malcontent of Drinking Liberally, Oakland sent ya and see what he says. He might be ready to do some more activist stuff and he's one smart progressive guy.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
Ohio Daily Blog (0.00 / 0)
Ohio Daily Blog also does a great job of covering the political news around the state, including state legislature races:


Also, OH-14 isn't on your list, but I hope that retired judge Bill O'Neill will beat incumbent Republican Steve LaTourette. To me, this looks like OH-05 -- a possibly winnable district.

Thanks, I'll Add It (0.00 / 0)
The blog, that is.  The district isn't on my list because it's not my list. It comes from Democracy Corps. And the idea is that if we poll the same group of districts that they do, we get comparable data.

I'm certainly in favor of promoting activism across a wider range of districts, but I want to start with this common core.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Just want to say (4.00 / 1)
This looks like a really great project.  I didn't know what to think at first, but it seems to be a really excellent way to build activist networks that will continue to be valuable organizing tools.

I like the idea of the project becoming institutionalized (though funding is something to think about) and being released every six months or a year.  I especially like it because it means that as new districts open up from deaths or retirements (of Ds or Rs) they can be added to the list. If you can release two polls between a retirement is announced and a primary happens, you can build support not just for the Democrat, but for the progressive in the primary.

It might screw up the results of this particular project to include solidly D districts in the same poll (by skewing the results Left) but a similar project targeting any safe D district with an open seat or legit primary challenger might be really worthwhile as well.

A final comment might be that if this project is a success, we should certainly look for similar ones that aren't centered around polling.  It sounds a bit silly, but I think the poll itself is far less important than the process, and I hope that a similar implementation may be used in the future for different events.

Anyway, I've strayed greatly from my original point. This kind of project; national in scope, local in implementation, and democratic in design, is the future of progressive politics.  Good Luck!

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

Another thought (0.00 / 0)
Don't know a whole lot about them, but might the Progressives States Network be of help with this? Since they seem to try to link up progressive legislators, organizations, journalists and blogs, it might be worth checking out at the very least whether they'd be able to help with finding appropriate contacts and networking in the districts in question.

I don't know what their budget is like, but since we're not talking massive sums, maybe they could be some help on the funding side.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
hmmmm (0.00 / 0)
You do realize that for CT-02 you should have Jim Himes up there not Chris Shays. Don't give Shays any more press than you absolutely have to, because the man is out to screw CT. Please put Jim Himes up there instead of Shays, thanks.

NY13 (0.00 / 0)
district blog:

dem clubs:
Staten Island Democratic Association
The local community boards are also very influential here.

With fusion voting in NY you should add Working Families Party and even possibly the Independence Party as affiliations that may be useful.  The WFP has an amazing ground operation. 

DC37 (local AFSCME)
32BJ (local SEIU)

Thanks. Good Info, Good Points. (4.00 / 1)
I appreciate the suggestions.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
What about DFA and PDA and others? (0.00 / 0)
What I don't see is any reference to DFA or PDA.  In Illinois DFA is very active at least in the Chicago-land area.  In Ohio PDA is quite active.  Former Congressional Candidate Christine Cegelis along with others started the Greater Chicago Caucus. These organizations are very active in politics at the local, state and federal level.
  In Illinois there is also the Illinois Peace and Justice Network with a network of peace and justice groups that spans several states.  Check out http://www.ilcpj.org... and http://www.ohiopeace...
  A movement is already afoot but there is still a need to coordinate and work together.

Good Points! (0.00 / 0)
Actually, I was going to start with PDA, then thought, "Well, they aren't everywhere, and I want to start with the broadest possible groups."  That was when I wrote the earlier diary. Then, I was so rushed in putting this one together that I forgot about putting them back in.

I'm still pretty rushed right now, but I will be doing an update, and I will add them in.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
New York (4.00 / 1)
I wish I could say with a straight face that ALL of New York is covered by The Albany Project and Daily Gotham, but it is not. That's not bashing those two blogs. They are terrific blogs (I'm a contributing author to TAP). But there's other blogs who are doing the true work in their respective areas.

First off, New York's 25th and 29th. How could you overlook Rochester Turning? If you want Rochester, NY area news, you go there.

Then in NY's 25th, you have Walsh Watch, a site dedicated strictly to Jim Walsh and his Republican ways.

We have a similar site here in NY's 26th district as well. Tom Reynolds Watch is often overlooked, but is consistently updated with new facts about Tom Reynolds. I'm a contributor to TRW and one of our "frequent customers" comes from The U.S. House of Representatives...

I also started my own blog about issues in Western New York and the 26th district.

And I'm sure there are others statewide that have been missed.

Please acknowledge all of these blogs, who work just as hard as any and who will provide you with more news about their area than TAP and DG will.

In New York's 29th, you have the Fighting 29th.

There's no such thing as illegal immigration. But there are illegal wars...

Thanks! Not Ignoring, Just Not Having Time At First! (0.00 / 0)
Sorry, I was in rush mode, and still am for a few more hours at least.  Your patience is appreciated. 

I took the blogs from our front page list.  (View Page Source, copy, paste, yadda, yadda, yadda.)  It's not like I know all these places like the back of my hand! (Embarrasing admission of the week #457,395!)

That's why God invented the internets, right?  So we could all make up for each other's blind spots.

Anyway, yes, I actually have heard of Rochester Turning, and even visited on occassion.  There are some other local blogs I've seen, too.  I'm not totally oblivious to that scene.  Just don't have handy lists to cut and paste from.  If anyone does have such lists, why not cut and paste them here?

Again, thanks!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'm in Ohio-- Add this Blog (0.00 / 0)

For Ohio you might add www.progressohio.org

It is a blog site meets MySpace site, and does a lot of press and organizing. It is a central organizing node for a lot of people in Ohio.

That aside....
I am in Pryce's District, and am the volunteer coordinator for MoveOn. There is not a strong core MoveOn group here, most people who come to events come and go. But if I can be of help or offer information/research etc. I am at your call.

Very cool project. I am still relatively new to the netroots and am learning as I go and as I read. But I really like the project idea, and it was what I was aimlessly thinking about in one of my very first open left posts back when I did not undertand blogs beyond writing a post and commenting on it.... http://www.openleft....

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join MoveOn.org and fight for progressive change.  

Great! Thanks! (0.00 / 0)
I'm a bit rushed right now, but I will follow up and greatly appreciate your offer of help.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
In NJ 7 (0.00 / 0)
we have a great candidate in Linda Stender, and mike Fuergson dropped out.

and more (0.00 / 0)
she endorsements from NJ for demorcacy. Blue wave. Progressive democrats of New Jersey, emilys list and green peace. She got all of the unions in the area last time, I can't find if they have gotten around to endorsing her again yet.

[ Parent ]
MI-09 (0.00 / 0)
MI-09 has VoteNoOnJoe.blogspot.com which attracted national attention when blogger Bruce Fealk was berated by Joe Knollenberg's former Chief of Staff Trent Wisecup. Bruce caught it on video, and it was featured on Countdown with Keith Olberman and seemingly every regional newspaper around the 9th district.

RE: Getting Organized (0.00 / 0)
This topic, from the start, has been a great idea, and to see it taking shape as an action campaign is very exciting.

I was disappointed that (but understand completely why) Utah was not on the chart.  I would still like to play a part in this, as would many other Utah bloggers.

If there is anything we can lend to the effort, please don't hesitate to involve us.

The SideTrack
and many others at the Utah Bloghive

Shameless Blog Plug: The SideTrack


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