Indivisible States: Organizing Your State to Win

Organize Locally

The original Indivisible Guide clearly outlined the importance of organizing locally in groups to exert maximize pressure on your elected officials. That still holds true today!

We have a full National Organizing team spread out across the country to support you in your work. So when you are ready to begin exercising your constituent power at your statehouse, the first thing you should do is work with your National organizer! There is a full-time organizer on Indivisible National’s staff dedicated to providing you resources and support in your activism. Your regional organizer can connect you with other Indivisible groups, provide materials to help you strengthen and grow your group, share calls to action from National, and more. Find out who your organizer is here and take advantage of what they have to offer you and your group!

There are local Indivisible groups in every congressional district across the country, so chances are there is an Indivisible group near you: Find it here using our group map. If you are already part of an Indivisible group, the next step is to grow and strengthen your group. Organizing takes thoughtful planning and consistent evaluation to make sure your group is as strong as possible. Make it a top priority for your Indivisible group to recruit new members so that you can build power to push for change in your state. Check out our resources to learn how to create, grow, and strengthen your group:

Check out some ideas for statewide Indivisible collaboration based on what Indivisibles are already doing.

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Collaborate with Other Indivisible Groups in Your State

The Collective Energy of Indivisibles Across a State Can Be Powerful. Coordinating with other groups in your state is a key type of coalition building — it reduces redundancy, expands your reach, and builds your power. Indivisibles in some states have already begun to work together in various ways, such as Indivisible Illinois’ statewide call to Indivisible CA: StateStrong's statewide state legislative working group. Whatever form it takes, cementing some sort of communication or coordination structure for state legislative efforts will elevate your advocacy, allow for Indivisible cohesion, and create a stronger coalition of groups that can mobilize around a legislative campaign. Work with your regional organizer to get connected with other Indivisible groups and find a method that works for the groups in your state.

Connect with Partner Organizations

At all levels of advocacy (federal, state, and local), it is critical that you work in collaboration with value-aligned partner organizations to be a respectful part of the movement and maximize your collective power.

  1. Your Indivisible group may be new to the advocacy space. Policy experts, state advocates, and other grassroots organizations have been working toward social justice in their communities for decades before the Indivisible movement even began. We must all work intentionally and respectfully with those that have been championing social justice fights before us.

  2. Organizing and advocating in a silo is inefficient. Indivisibles bring enthusiasm and people power to any advocacy arena, and that is your biggest strength. So find the people already working on your issues and coordinate with them, otherwise you might be getting in each other's way. Combining your time and resources with organizations that have different strengths means that you and your partners will be most efficient and effective and more likely to win!

How to Be a Good Partner

When working with partners that represent marginalized communities, it is always important to be thoughtful, respectful, and intentional. Check out Indivisible Highland Park’s blog about how they worked with local immigrant rights groups on a successful effort to make LA a sanctuary city. Below are some tips for being a good partner.

  1. Cultivate transformational relationships. A transactional relationship is a give-and-take relationship grounded in self-interest, whereas a transformational relationship focuses on building longevity and trust. Instead of talking to partners only when you want to ask for help (transactional), build an ongoing relationship and determine how both of your groups can contribute to the movement (transformational).

  2. Build strong allyship. Start by educating yourself and your group on the background of organizations representing impacted communities and the history of their movement. But don’t stop there. Next, commit to dismantling the abusive systems and institutionalized practices that have created inequity. That means donating to impacted communities with time, money, and resources. That means learning what microaggressions are and how to avoid them, and educating your own white friends about the harms of white supremacy and institutional racism.

  3. Don’t parachute in. Parachuting is rushing into the advocacy sphere out of nowhere and taking an authoritative position over marginalized communities that are most impacted. For example, you may feel passionately about protecting immigrants in your community, but unless you're talking to the groups that regularly work on immigrant rights and serve immigrant populations, you won't know what they consider most important. At best you might be ineffective; at worst you might actively undermine their priorities. Avoid parachuting by being a consistently visible accomplice and by deferring to the leadership of impacted communities.

  4. Take an intersectional approach. Intersectionality refers to individuals experiencing multiple forms of discrimination or privilege that compound each other. It’s the idea that the experience of being a woman or of being black is different from the experience of being a black woman. When you are working with partners, be sure to intentionally consider how multiple identities can inform a struggle.

Read our other resources to learn more about how to build local partnerships and how to ensure that those partnerships are inclusive.

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Indivisible States: Empowering States to Resist the Trump Agenda by Indivisible Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.