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Would Harry Potter Fight for Immigration Reform?

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, August 6 2012

Dumbledore's Army in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner Brothers)

Nineteen-year-old Julian Gomez just put out a video to fellow Harry Potter fans explaining why they should care about immigration reform. Gomez, a video blogger for the political action group Harry Potter Alliance, announced July 31 that he is an undocumented immigrant. The group is hoping this will mobilize Potter fans, who have already organized around charity work, to get political. Read More

In Socially Conservative North Dakota, a Gay Candidate Using the Web to Win

BY Cody Lyon | Friday, August 3 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Joshua Boschee is an openly gay candidate for public office in a socially conservative state, but observers say he's got a real shot at becoming one of Fargo, North Dakota's next representatives in the state legislature.

Boschee's home state of North Dakota has, according to one study, the lowest proportion of same-sex couples in the United States. It's a conservative state, although "conservative" means something different in the only state in the Union with a state-owned bank and a state-owned grain mill and elevator.

The 30-year-old activist and assistant director of leadership and organizations at Minnesota State University is a special case in part because he and his campaign manager say social media is offering him a competitive edge. People he might not otherwise know how to find in a city like Fargo, such as people who respond to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues but aren't already a part of LGBT-focused communities there, he can find on Facebook instead. And when he builds his constituency anywhere, he says, he immediately sees those persuadable voters following up to find out more about him online.

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Hidden in Plain View: Obama 2012's Organizing Blueprint

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 3 2012

Image from "Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns."

Yesterday, the New Organizing Institute, a progressive training center, published a 210-page manual titled, "Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns." Written by and for campaigners at every level of politics, it is also the Obama 2012 field strategy, hidden in plain view. It is also an argument for a different way of campaigning than the traditional reliance on fundraising and TV ads, one that calls for starting earlier and engaging supporters more deeply in all aspects of a campaign's life, and one that builds on the one thing that may make campaigns in the digital age different: thanks to technology, it makes sense to involve more people. Indeed, it may be the best way to win. Read More

Workers' Voice Asks the Crowd for Campaigns to Care About

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 18 2012

Workers' Voice, the super PAC of the AFL-CIO, is close to finishing its "platform to encourage volunteer action," and expects to launch it next month, Eddie Vale, communications director for Workers' Voice, writes in an e-mail. Using that platform, supporters will be earn the right to direct some of the organization's spending by participating in Workers' Voice field and online program and completing certain actions. To complement that effort, similar to a survey that MoveOn recently sent to its supporters, it has sent a message to its supporters asking them which election races are important to them. Read More

Online Organizing In Wisconsin May Show Shades of Things to Come

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 6 2012

Gov. Scott Walker's supporters celebrate ahead of his win yesterday. Photo: WisPolitics.com

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has many factors to thank for his victory in Tuesday's recall election. His supporters raised $7.50 for every dollar in Democrat Tom Barrett's campaign coffers and outspent Barrett's supporters in advertising. But one of the most striking things about his victory is that Republican grassroots activists used the web to mobilize a polarized electorate, something Democrats have traditionally been able to do more effectively. Read More

Online Organizing 2.0: How Change.org Found Its Groove (and Moved to the Center of Online Politics)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 15 2012

Change.org.

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How did Change.org, a political startup founded in 2007, finally find its groove? And what does its sudden emergence at the center of online politics mean for the future of advocacy? Read More

Obama's Campaign is Prepping to Roll Out the Online Campaign "Dashboard"

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 14 2012

The Obama campaign is "poised" to unleash Dashboard, the campaign tool we've been hearing about in pieces here and there since November 2011, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington and Amanda Michel write. Read More

[OP-ED] Spin Machines: Remember When Political Tech Was Hard to Find?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 8 2012

Political technology has evolved to be faster and cheaper. Photo: Dottie Mae

Finding the tools necessary for political organizing today — on a scale large enough to reach and mobilize tens or hundreds of thousands of people at a time — just doesn't seem as hard or as costly as it may have been even four years ago. People have fewer barriers standing between them and a chance to act outside of existing party or institutional structures, and they're already introducing some eccentricity into the predictable orbit of American politics. Read More

Launching Today: "Worker's Voice," a Reboot of Union Political Action

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 12 2012

In D.C., a new labor group called Worker's Voice is just finishing up a launch event for what they're calling an update of labor's political organizing operations for 2012:

“The labor movement is the original social network,” said Eddie Vale, the communications director for the new group. “Workers’ Voice will be revolutionizing it for today’s world by taking our traditional field and organizing knowledge and applying it to the digital era and making it available to all workers.”
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Things Online Organizers Say

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 22 2012

What do you get when you put hundreds of left-leaning, meme-obsessed activists in the same place at the same time?

One is Rootscamp, a weekend gathering of the progressive organizer tribe in Washington, D.C., that wrapped up Sunday. Hundreds of activists convened for an unconference to talk about new tools and tactics for organizing online. The other correct answer is an, um, stuff people say video targeted to their peers and with a series of guest cameos by leading online organizers, including Rebuild the Dream's Natalie Foster, MoveOn's Daniel Mintz and Julia Rosen, Reddit cofounder Aaron Swartz, and others.

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News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Monkeying

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Punch List

Obama's State of the Union and the Internet; how HealthCare.gov shares personal data with third-parties; Facebook says it will give users tools to tag false or hoax content in their News Feeds; and much, much more. GO

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