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Announcing: Our 50-state Political Program!

Leah GreenbergEzra Levin - 05/29/2018


This time last year, we wrote about building the Indivisible organization. In just four months, we’d evolved from a Google Doc to a movement, and we were excited to rise to the challenge of building an organization to support the work happening on the ground.

But the journey didn’t end there. For months, thousands of Indivisible groups across the country have worked to resist the Trump agenda. From the travel ban to TrumpCare, we’ve seen how powerful constituent lobbying can be. And building power on your home turf is crucial to making long lasting change.

But what happens when your member of Congress or elected officials in state houses don’t actually represent you? Vote. Them. Out.

For decades, the political establishment has told progressives that it’s a waste of time and resources to compete in vast swaths of the country. Shamefully, too many of us listened to this “conventional wisdom,” and bought into a narrative that discounts millions of Americans. And that means, for too long, and in too many districts, we’ve allowed far-right conservatives to drive the conversation and win without a fight. This strategy alienates millions of people, including working people and communities of color.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the next evolution of the Indivisible movement: the official, on-the-ground launch of Indivisible435, our 50-state political program.  

That’s right! ALL. FIFTY. STATES. We’ll get into all the details below, but here are the cliff’s notes:

  • We’ll build tools for thousands of Indivisible groups. Beginning today, every Indivisible group will be able to sign up to use canvassing and phone banking tools. We’ll build long-lasting power by equipping neighbors to talk to their neighbors.
  • We’ll engage millions of voters. We’ll build a national volunteer program to help support key races to take back the House and Senate, elect progressive governors in red states, and flip state legislatures.
  • We’ll target 73 key elections in 13 states. Over the last 6 weeks, we’ve doubled our organizing team to better support the thousands of Indivisible groups on the ground.

So, what’s the plan?

Every district’s different, and Indivisible groups make strategic choices about how to best get involved in races, and we’ll be there to support them at every step of the way. There’s a massive, movement-wide effort underway to take back the House and Senate, governor’s mansions, and statehouses, and Indivisible groups will work collaboratively in their communities to win in November.

And over the last few months, we’ve had hundreds of conversations with group leaders and movement allies to identify gaps and needs for our movement, and the larger progressive movement. Based on those conversations, we’re investing our resources into programs that will support the long-term powerbuilding of our movement: building scalable electoral tools for all Indivisible groups and providing deep support on targeted races.

Here’s a deep-dive into our political program:

Beginning today, Indivisible groups not coordinating with political campaigns can sign up for their members to use scalable voter contact tools (they’re literally signing up right now!). We have tested the tools and trainings during the primaries to inform our general election and get out the vote efforts. As we get closer to the midterm, our organizing team will:

  • Provide access to canvassing and phonebanking tools to members of every Indivisible group.
  • Train and guide Indivisible groups on using these resources to grow their membership, build their power, and, yes, win elections.
  • Build a national volunteer peer-to-peer text-banking and phonebanking program that could reach millions of voters.

We’ve also already doubled our organizing staff capacity to heavily support races in 13 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Our work in these 13 states will touch:

  • 11 governor’s races (7 GOP-held seats, 4 Democrat-held seats);
  • 12 Senate races (6 GOP-held seats, 6 Democrat-held seats); and,
  • 50 competitive House races (40 GOP-held districts and 10 Democrat-held districts).

Most importantly, we’re not going to close up shop, turn off the tools, and pull organizers out after election day. We’re committed to this sustained, long-lasting support that will:

  • Equip all Indivisible groups, especially in places where we may not win, as they build long-term power to contest e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.
  • Democratize the tools to win elections that so often live with political parties and candidates (and get turned off the day after election day).
  • Change what’s politically possible so that no seat will ever be “unwinnable” again.

One quick note...

Indivisible Project (that’s our 501(c)(4) organization) worked on elections in Virginia and Alabama in 2017, and Pennsylvania this March, in targeted political programs in accordance to the political spending limits of 501(c)(4) organizations. But, political spending rules are complicated and severely limit how organizations like ours engage and spend money on elections, particularly for state and local races.

That’s why we’re also announcing the formation of a Hybrid Political Action Committee (called Indivisible Action… we know, all the names are confusing) that will be independent of any candidates or party structures. The paperwork was filed earlier this month.

Indivisible Action—unlike our 501(c)(4) entity—will allow us to follow the lead of Indivisibles everywhere (seriously, everywhere!) and support their work with organizing staff, skills-building, and a scalable national volunteer program. Long story short: Indivisible Action will help us realize the promise and power of Indivisible435. We will not leave out anyone who wants to get involved this election.

Launching today: nationwide VAN access for Indivisible groups

Okay. Now that we have the IRS, legal mumbo jumbo out of the way, here’s what we’re rolling out today:

The first piece of our program is the launch of nationwide access to phonebanking and canvassing through the Voter Activation Network. Right now, Indivisible groups are getting an email laying out how they can sign up, get trained, and start using VAN to continue building toward November. VAN will empower groups to:

  • Canvass door-to-door using only a cell phone or tablet
  • Make phone calls to voters in your area
  • Keep track of voters’ responses to questions
  • Bring in new members
  • Show a group’s power and impact with numbers
  • Mobilize voters in the final days before the election

Yep, that’s right. Instead of someone in DC making a plan, or someone in a campaign office printing out packets, we’re helping Indivisibles across the country take the election into their own hands.

So, if you’re a group leader, check your inbox today. You’ll get an email to sign up to begin using these tools! And if you’re a supporter of our movement, help us launch this program with a bang by contributing whatever you can to help us meet our one-day $75,000 fundraising goal.

We’re so excited to do this with you, the thousands of group leaders, and hundreds of thousands of Indivisible activists across the country.