All. Together. Now.
I knocked on one door and a small boy was playing on the porch. He was immediately interested in what we were doing, why we were there, and what we had on our clipboards. His mother refused to come outside to talk with us, which is not unusual. But the boy wanted to talk. He wanted to talk about the hosues with the guns, the houses with the drugs, the vacant houses with homeless squatters. He knew what was going on at every single house.” –Betty Martin, volunteer with Coalition for Economic Justice, Buffalo, New York
Some organizations only do electoral organizing and talk to the voters at election time.
Pushback Network is different.
PBN was created from the ground up by permanent, indigenous, local and statewide organizations for whom electoral organizing is the core strategy of a much larger body of work. Each state must have a plan to contact voters in multiple, strategic regions of the state. Each state must develop a plan with defined, specific goals and targets.
State Alliances will employ door-to-door, in-person voter education and mobilization strategies that rely on an expanding network of indigenous volunteers and leaders.
We want our constituencies fully engaged and participating in the “democratic process.” Many low-income, people of color communities are unregistered and disenfranchised. But by acting together to register, endorse, campaign and vote for candidates, people have a real ability to exercise their collective power.
The Mississippi Demography Group is a group of high school and college students who have been trained, over the past four years, in mapping and charting skills and tools to support the larger organizing work. In 2007, six of the students, working on behalf of parents and students in several low-performing school districts, created extensive sets of charts to enable educators and community members to visualize the performance of students on standardized tests, and to identify the key problem areas.
Two of the students who first took the training are now in college and, in turn, are training middle school and high school students on how to create these visually accessible materials to educate the educators on what’s happening in the schools.