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Local Indivisible groups build and wield power in ways that individuals can’t. To create change, you need the collective constituent power that comes with working together, as Indivisibles.

Indivisibles organize -- which means building power and flexing at key moments. Indivisible Groups take action in their communities, build collective purpose, and create change.

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We’re a grassroots movement of thousands of local Indivisible groups with a mission to elect progressive leaders, rebuild our democracy, and defeat the Trump agenda.

2020 Presidential Debates Weeks of Action

Introduction

On September 28th and October 15th, Vice President Biden and Donald Trump will take the stage to face off for the first two of three Presidential debates. They will go head to head on issues like democracy reform, the environment, racial justice, and immigration. These debates are an incredibly important moment for Vice President Biden to articulate his policies and win over the American people with his compassionate, detailed arguments to counter the destructive Donald Trump’s destructive and callous stances that have hurt the electorate during his time in office. 

Vice President Biden needs our support now more than ever. Last year, over 33,000 members signed the Indivisible Pledge committing to support the eventual Democratic nominee. The pledge was a commitment to make the Democratic primary constructive, to rally behind the winner of the primary, and do the work to beat Trump in the general election. Now is the time to do the work. . This means not only cheering him on during the debates, but also phonebanking and texting with vigor. We have no time to lose. 

Indivisible is launching our final weeks of actions around the first two Presidential Debates. In order to show our support for Vice President Biden, and our determination to oust Trump, from September 28th through October 4th and October 15th through October 18th, Indivisible groups all over the country will be hosting phonebanks and textbanks as part of Windivisible. During our last two weeks of action, Indivisibles hosted over 700 events across 39 states and reached out to over 2 million voters. This is amazing work, but we have big goals this year. Our network is going to reach out to 20 million voters over the course of this election season and these Weeks of Action are the next step. 

What is Windivisible? As you may already know, Windivisible is a one-stop shop for your most strategic and effective direct voter contact. Through our peer-to-peer texting and phone banking tools (we use Hubdialer), you will be directly connected to the exact right voters we need to win the Presidency and flip the Senate. We will continuously monitor polls and political shifts to ensure that we are always targeting voters in the most effective ways at strategic times, so who we are targeting and when can shift from day to day. You may join a texting program expecting to reach Pennsylvania voters only to see it shift to Georgia. That is strategic and intentional. Be assured that we will always provide you with talking points and everything you need to have great conversations whenever there is a shift. Note: If you are in a target state for the Presidential or the Senate, your organizer or the Support Team (supportteam@indivisible.org) can set you up with a virtual phone bank for voters in your state.

A note about local races. We know you care a ton about important local races too, and we want to support your group’s work on those races as well. That’s why we are grounding our national work in four Weeks of Action- plus GOTV- giving you plenty of time to hold your House seat, flip your state legislature, and elect a City Council who will Defund the Police. 

Alright, let’s get started. This guide will help you plan an effective direct voter contact event. If you need anything, please reach out to your organizer or the Support Team (supportteam@indivisible.org).

Hosting Virtual Events

While we want nothing more than to meet in person, lead some rally chants, and share some pizza while making calls or texting voters, the last four months have taught us that most events can be adapted online. While we might lose some elements from in-person actions (it's just not the same with a personal pizza), we have been blown away by Indivisible group leader’s creativity in building fun, and effective virtual events (check out our talent show!).

We have developed some resources to support groups with hosting virtual events. You can see our Hosting Virtual Events resource for some creative ideas and best practices. Additionally, we have a few guides for new hosts or attendees on Google Hangouts and Zoom that you can see below: 

If you’re new to hosting virtual events, check in with your Indivisible Organizer or our Support Team (supportteam@indivisible.org) and they’ll be able to help talk you through it and provide more resources.

A Word About Social Distancing Events 

While we’ve designed our full election program to be digital and are encouraging virtual events, we wanted to share some tips in case your group chooses to do a small socially distanced event. Any in person event carries a higher risk so we discourage planning any large in-person events even with social distancing. 

  1. Wear a mask! And make it a requirement that all attendees wear masks! Have extra masks you can give to participants who may forget to bring one.
  2. Stay at least 6 feet apart -- really, keep a safe distance from one another. 
  3. Follow any local guidance/regulations, including any limits on the number of people per gathering. Even if you don’t have local limits on people per gathering, keep your events as small as possible. 
  4. Keep in mind that folks have different circumstances and risk factors, so make sure there are different ways for group members to participate. 
  5. Ask participants not to join in person if they feel sick or have any concerns about recent exposure to COVID. Consider creating a questionnaire during the sign-up process that asks participants to confirm the following screening questions:
    • I am not showing any COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. fever, dry cough, sore throat, fatigue)
    • I have not had contact with others with a confirmed positive test of COVID-19 in the last 14 days 
    • I have not traveled to restricted countries in the last 14 days 
    • I will wear a mask for the duration of the event

Planning Your Event

These are our Presidential Debates Weeks of Actions. The final two of four Unity Weeks of Action to Beat Trump, Flip the Senate, and Save Democracy (Unity Events for short). We know that by now, Indivisible group leaders are experts at hosting events and as experts, you know that it is always important to plan ahead. Plus, our unified digital program has a few extra details. 

What are these events?

These events are a lot of fun and a great way for groups and friends to experience the debates together. We will be working to give you instructions and technology to be able to host virtual watch parties which, in conjunction with strategic voter contact events (think: phonebanks or textbanks) before the debate programming will make for an effective and engaging way to both experience the debates and talk to voters across the country. 

Choose a date and time.

Our first Presidential Debate Week of Actions starts on Tuesday, September 28th and runs through Sunday, October 4th, with the debate airing on Tuesday, September 29th. Our second begins on Thursday, October 15th and ends on Sunday, October 18th, with the debate airing Thursday, October 15th . Our texting and phone banking tools will be open to groups and volunteers from 2 pm- 8 pm EST every day. Check back here for more details about debate programming, as we’ll be updating this page as more information becomes available. . 

We understand that there are some time constraints on the actual debate nights here as they are scheduled for the evening and are immovable. But, that doesn’t mean that both the voter contact event and the debate watch party have to happen in-tandem. You could host an event earlier in the day, if that works better for your group, and then reconvene for the watch party later. And remember, you have several other days to host voter contact events. The important thing is that your group dedicates time to reaching out to voters.

Choose a tactic.

During our Presidential Weeks of Action, the most strategic thing you and your group members can do is to take part in Windivisible. Through this program, you will be able to text and call voters in target states for both the Presidential and Senate elections. While you might not know who you are reaching out to until you log-in, we will always prepare you with the most effective talking points possible. That best thing that you can do is get on the phones. Phonebanking is a great, tried and true effective way to make a real impact on this election. And, our Hubdialer is both easy and fun to use! Texting is also a great way to reach voters and help drive them to the polls. 

Do you want to host a phonebank or a texting party? Do your group members have the gift of gab? Or speedy fingers? Or both? Pro-tip: texting requires more training in advance so you might want to encourage your last minute guests to phonebank instead.

Register your event on the Indivisible map.

Once you have your event set, register it on the Indivisible map (including Windivisible Week of Action as the event issue focus). That way we can measure Indivisible’s reach and help push out your event and help recruit attendees. Putting your event on the map is an important step because it helps us measure our collective power as a network and flex our movement muscles. And it demonstrates our influence as a movement to elected officials - making it that much more likely that we are effective agents of real change. Pro-tip: Is your event only for established group members and volunteers? Mark it as “private” when you register. 

Event Swag.

We’ve got fun Indivisible stuff to send to you for you to share with your members and attendees!! Once you’ve registered your event on the Indivisible map, go to this link and fill out the form to request merch. Please note that, to ensure that the items are delivered in a timely fashion, the deadlines for ordering are: 

  • Presidential Debate Week of Action #1: Sunday, September 13th 
  • Presidential Debate Week of Action #2: Sunday September 27th 

Delegate and determine roles.

Any event is a great opportunity to develop leadership within your group and empower folks to take on new responsibilities- especially as we move into election season. Depending on the scale of your event, you may want to create teams or just have one point person for specific duties. You can find some specific ideas for roles below. 

Build a Recruitment Plan and start recruiting.

Did you catch our June webinar series on recruitment and building inclusive groups? If not, don’t worry! We have a handy new guide all about recruiting, and a worksheet to help you build a plan. Start by re-engaging members who have dropped off over the last few years, and build out to new folks who are itching to oust Trump. 

Get ready to text.

Already a part of our texting program and in our texting slack? If yes, great! We will see you during your event. If not, you and any new texters from your group will need to be trained up and onboarded before your event. If you are hosting the event, we recommend that you complete 1-2 texting shifts before your event so you can help newer texters troubleshoot. We have created a handy training video to help you, and your fellow texters, get up to speed and ready to text effectively. We will also be offering a limited number of live trainings - check back here for the schedule! 

Get ready to phonebank.

Phone banking requires less set-up than texting but it's still important for you to have a sense of the technology before you join, even if just to tell all your group members and attendees how easy it is. Check out our Hubdialer training video here and you will be ready to go! You might also find our FAQ page useful for troubleshooting. You can sign up for phonebanking here. 

Fun Note: To make your event even more entertaining and engaging we’ll be creating Bingo cards for you and your guests to use while texting, phonebanking, and watching the Debate. Check back here for these, which will be available soon!.

Who we’ll be calling and texting.

Once available, you will be able to find below the states and the ‘asks’ we’ll be making during these weeks of actions. And, here is an explainer to help you further understand who we are calling and texting and why. The calls we’ll be making and texts we will be sending are particularly important as they are into presidential battleground states and states with top senate races. Note: those who are in target states can also call into their own state using a VPB (virtual phonebank) if they’d like - just ask your organizer. Here are the target states: AZ, CO, GA, IA, KY, ME, MT, NC, SC, TX, AL, FL, MN, MI, PA, WI

You will be able to find the full schedule for phonebanking here, and the full schedule for texting here. We will list a full schedule here, as well, as soon as it’s available. Stay tuned! 

Livestream Event. 

After the first debate, we’ll be hosting a livestream event wrapping up the first debate and look forward to this next event. Special Guests will be announced shortly, so check back for more details. This event is tentatively scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 7th at 8p EST and we'll provide links here for you to watch once they are available

Watch Party Logistics 

After you phonebank, get your group together to watch the debate unfold together! The process will be simple. We’re working to provide a direct link with which you will be able to stream the debates directly. Each debate is expected to begin at 9p ET and run for 90 minutes. Once we have more information about this link, we’ll be able to provide further information and instructions. 

Should we not be able to procure this link, you can still have a watch party! You’ll simply stream from one of the outlets that will be carrying the events online (think: CSPAN) and use the same process as you would with the direct link. All you need is access to either Zoom or Google Hangouts and a computer or laptop. You’ll open two tabs - one with the active Zoom/Google Hangout and the other being the event stream. Click ‘Present/Share Screen’ and you’re set! You can interact with your group members and attendees while the debate is happening. 

Twitter Storms

This is going to be fun! In order to show our support for Vice President Biden, and our determination to take back the White House, in solidarity we will flood Twitter with texts. They will both happen the nights of each debate. We’ll keep you updated with the details, so stay tuned! 

Debate Event Roles

Windivisible Events, and especially our Presidential Debate Weeks of Action, are about launching our general election program, flexing our national muscle, and reaching out to tens of thousands of voters across the country . You can’t do that by yourself. It is important to split up the work among your leadership team, or your best activist friends.

This is good organizing. People will be more invested in events, and more likely to participate when they have a clear role. So gather your top volunteers (and the activists you are developing into your top volunteers) and decide on roles and tasks. Here are some sample roles to get you started.

  • Tech Support: This person will decide on a platform for your virtual event, send out the link, and help any newbies. They are also in charge of muting loud phone bankers! Ah, the power. This person will also be in charge of setting up, and supporting, the tech for your virtual watch party. 
  • Information Lead: This is your member who reads every Indivisible email and keeps in close touch with your organizer. This person is in charge of making sure everyone in the group is aware of any new updates or info shared from national to groups that affects their events. 
  • Icebreakers and Fun Captain: These are your friendliest folks who always know how to make someone feel comfortable. Once everyone is settled, turn the agenda over to them to get the conversation started. And build in frequent breaks for fun.
  • Texting Lead: Got any members who can’t get enough p2p? Or is an expert at navigating the texting Slack? This person is your first line of defense for texting questions. Pro-tip: our texting moderators are always available on Slack as well. If it's helpful, your Texting Lead can collect questions from your texters to ask the moderators. 
  • Phone Banking Lead: These are your phone banking experts that always seem to have the best conversations. This person will help your newbies get set up on the Hubdialer, go over the talking points, and troubleshoot any questions.
  • Tracker: We will announce our full network stats at the end of the Week of Action, but this person’s role is to keep track of all the texts your group sends (and even all the calls and letters over the course of the campaigns). Stats are important to tell your story and keep your members motivated. Note: you will not be able to tell how many dialers your members made on the Hubdialer but you can ask them to keep track of their conversations via a personal tally they share with you at the end of their shift. 

Sample Agenda

Windivisible events are direct voter contact (DVC) actions so the agenda is pretty simple: get folks set up on the tools so they can reach out to voters. But it’s been a looooong election season, with still a couple of months to go (we’re getting closer!) and in order to keep your members engaged and motivated, your events need to be fun. Here is a sample agenda to help you plan.

Welcome and Icebreakers

Kick off the meeting by asking everyone to introduce themselves and answer a thoughtful question. For bonus points, connect the question to the election, like “If Vice President Biden wins the presidency, what is the first bill you want him to sign into law?”

Set a Goal

How many texts does your group want to send tonight? How many conversations with voters can you have over the phone? Over the course of the week, our goal is to reach out to 500,000 voters. Set individual goals and a group goal to contribute to the larger goal and keep you on track. 

Texting/Phonebanking Set-up

Make sure your texters have all either taken our training or watched our training video and are part of the texting slack! From there, they will be able to request texts and send replies. Phonebankers can watch this simple video and get started, and texters can watch this helpful video. 

Breaks/Fun

Keep it interesting by playing Texting BINGO or having a one-minute dance party every time you hit a goal. Okay, you can have two minutes.

Schedule your next event

C’mon, it's us. Of course we have your next Unity Week of Action ready to go. We’ve got a lot of work to do so, if you haven’t already, plan your next event for October 15th - October 18th . After that we’ll be only 16 days until the election so every moment counts! On October 13th, we’ll officially be launching our GOTV (Get Out The Vote) efforts and will need all hands on deck - so be sure to save that date and be ready to kick it into high gear and get voters to cast their ballots or drive them to the polls! 

Closing

Before everyone signs off, bring everyone back together and ask them to reflect on one good conversation that they had with a voter. Everyone has one. These conversations ground us in the work and remind us why direct voter contact is so important. 

Leader Debrief 

Over the next few days, pull your leadership team together for a debrief. Debriefs help us refind our events, fix and missteps, and continue to build a stronger movement. Here are some debrief questions to shape your conversations:

  • What went well at this event? Why?
  • What didn’t go so well? What was the cause? You will get the best results if you approach this without assigning blame.
  • Were there any equity implications from how we approached this? Positive or negative?
  • What feedback do we want to highlight for our organizer? Positive or negative?
  • Overall, what should we do differently in the future?
  • What are our immediate next steps?

That’s it! Congratulations and thanks for hosting your first event through our unified digital program. Check in with your organizer or our support team (supportteam@indivisible.org) and fill out your debrief form to let us know how it went.