Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin - 05/14/2018
When we put out the Indivisible Guide, we wrote that “we are not starting an organization.” Three weeks later, the urgency of the Trump Administration and excitement from thousands of people on the ground prompted us to in fact start a nonprofit.
Over the last 16 months, the Indivisible movement has grown beyond our wildest beliefs. We have two legal entities—Indivisible Civics, a 501(c)(3) that helps us serve our educational and movement building work, and Indivisible Project, a 501(c)(4) that (until today) has served as the home for our partisan and political work (i.e. stopping the Trump Administration in its tracks and electing progressive leaders to defeat his racist, misogynistic, plutocratic agenda).
Indivisible Project served as the home for our advocacy work to defeat TrumpCare and our first foray into elections in Virginia last fall (and subsequently Alabama and Pennsylvania special elections).
But political spending rules are super complicated for a 501(c)(4). And they severely limit how organizations like ours can engage and spend money on elections, particularly for state and local races.
That’s why today, we’re excited to announce the formation of Indivisible Action, a Hybrid Political Action Committee (aka a Carey PAC).
This is the first small procedural step in a big development for our movement. In a couple of weeks, we’ll have some exciting details about what this will mean for Indivisible groups.
Wait. Aren’t PACs dark money black holes used by rich billionaires to steal elections?
They can be. There are Sheldon Adelson or Koch Brother-style PACs that allow billionaires with dangerous agendas to write blank checks to fringe candidates (ahem, Trump). In fact, just last week it was revealed that Adelson is giving $30 million to a GOP PAC intended to help Trump Republicans keep the House of Representatives.
We don’t have Adelson or Koch brother funders - and we don’t want them. We have you and this movement of people getting engaged across the country. And at Indivisible, we’re committed to fighting corporate money and influence in politics. Indivisible Action will be overwhelmingly fueled by small donations (for example, the average gift to the Indivisible Project is $37!) from individual people supporting our movement. Indivisible Action commits to not accepting donations from for-profit corporations, and will be independent of any candidates or party structures.
Indivisible worked in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. Why is a PAC necessary to work on elections?
Forming a PAC is a key next step for our movement to mobilize voters at a larger scale this November (and for future elections to come), and to access powerful tools to do it.
In 2018, we want to be able to build power everywhere, in state and federal elections. Indivisible groups have told us that they want voter contact programs and tools that are typically only available to parties and campaigns. And they want to work on races up and down the ballot. Between the size of the Indivisible movement and complex state-by-state IRS and FEC regulations, a PAC is the right structure for this program and this movement.
In short: forming Indivisible Action allows us to better support local Indivisible groups across the country and add more more muscle to their endorsements and programs to help elect grassroots candidates up and down the ballot.
Between now and the full launch of this new entity, we will have a lot (a LOT) of conversations with Indivisible group leaders in every corner of the country—from ruby red districts to progressive strongholds.
What happens next?
Watch this space! In the coming weeks, we will share more information about a 50 state national program rollout that takes groups through stages of training, onboarding and running an electoral program. We believe an Indivisible movement with the best support, training and the best tools in their hands will be absolutely unstoppable.