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First POST: Half-Orcs and Whips

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 6 2013

Two Google network security engineers vent their anger at the NSA's hacking of their systems; the President and First Lady as White House ushers on YouTube; the Amazon book review war heats up on Amazon; and much, much more. Read More

On Syria Fight, OFA is Missing in Action

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 9 2013

The White House is making a huge effort to convince Congress to support President Obama's request for authorization to attack Syria, but one big piece of its political machine is conspicuously absent from the field: Organizing for Action, the nonprofit "grassroots" continuation of the 2012 campaign. On BarackObama.com, which functions as the group's online front-page, the top issues OFA is working on are climate change, immigration reform and reducing gun violence. All of OFA's upcoming actions are on defending Obamacare, pressing gun violence prevention and the like. The group's Twitter account is similarly focused on those domestic battles. Read More

Organizing for Action Says It Can’t Move Climate Change Legislation In Congress

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 24 2013

Beleaguered on one side by pressure to take a stand on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and hoping, on the other, to hang on to the activist energy of the president's progressive base, Organizing for Action leadership and partners aren't holding out much hope for the power of grassroots organizing to motivate action in Congress. Read More

Organizing For Action Doubles Down On Push For Gun Control

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 9 2013

Dozens of volunteers for President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action on Thursday delivered the 1.4 million signatures that they gathered over the past 10 days to the leaders of the House. Kelly Byrne, OFA's ... Read More

Upcoming Weeks Will Test Organizing for Action's Influence

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 8 2013

Sharing stories: OFA has built pages with thousands of individuals' stories sortable by state, and media type

The upcoming weeks will be a proving ground of sorts for the second iteration of President Obama's issue advocacy group Organizing for Action, as Congress reconvenes to debate hot button issues such as immigration reform, the federal budget, and gun control. Read More

Organizing for Action Tries To Guilt Members Into Donating

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action stepped up its campaign to raise money online last week by blasting the subscribers of its e-mail list at least seven times over the course of five days asking them ... Read More

Organizing for Action Is Ramping Up

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 21 2013

Organizing for Action isn't wasting time letting the lessons of 2012 languish. The campaign is ramping up and just sent out a list of positions that it's looking to fill. Among those wanted: e-mail strategists and ... Read More

Organizing for Action Solicits Stories On Impact of Sequestration

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

The Obama administration is trying to mobilize the public with a push to tell them about the impact of the looming automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect Friday. But the public doesn't seem to be listening. Read More

Friday Was Organizing For Action's First 'Day of Action'

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 22 2013

Organizing for Action volunteers were scheduled to swing into gear Friday in 80 congressional districts to promote President Obama's push to enact new legislation to crack down on gun violence. Read More

Organizing for Action Files To Trademark Its Name, Tries To Reclaim Its Domains

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 13 2013

Art: Courtesy IvanPw/Flickr

Someone, presumably Jon Carson over at Organizing for Action, has filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum to reclaim the Web addresses organizingforaction.com, organizingforaction.net and ... Read More

News Briefs

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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