OVER 100K PEOPLE MARCHED IN OAKLAND. We help them use their energy strategically to stop Trump's agenda.
Rapid Resist was founded in February 2017 to leverage blue state energy in support of resistance work across the country. Our theory of change is that local organizing efforts will build the long-term people power necessary to stop autocracy. We have the capacity to build those organizations now, long before the 2018 elections.
We started by interviewing the leaders of activist groups pressuring critical lawmakers to figure out how help them, and codified their responses in a white paper. Our main take-aways ware:
· It’s hard to cut through communications clutter
· Massive, press-worthy actions are motivating
· Leadership are nearing burn-out
So we developed a system that uses peer-to-peer text messages to recruit for big events and requires little from local activist leaders. When someone is interested, we pass their contact info onto the organizer who can make sure they stay plugged in.
In months, we grew from an idea into an army of volunteers that have reached over 1.2 million people in critical Republican districts across the country. We've recruited for organizations like the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Indivisible Jacksonville, and Working America. We've grown into the national immune system for the resistance.
Right now we are working in twenty five states, primarily around ACA repeal, supporting activists with a responsive recruitment system that can recruit for a town hall scheduled 24 hours in advance. Anytime one of our targeted lawmakers shows their face, we flood them with angry constituents by recruiting over texts sent by our army of volunteers. We use the results of these text-banks to generate power for our organizing partners.
What we've done so far
We started off in Nevada as California Organizes. Nevadans voted for Clinton by 2.5% and Republican Senator Dean Heller criticized Trump during the campaign. We partnered with Chip Evans, Reno’s Democratic Congressional Candidate, and local organizers from progressive groups to help plug new volunteers into critical organizing.
Our Nevada pilot showed that rapid response recruitment for resistance events was an effective strategy to pressure our targeted lawmakers. We learned about Dean Heller's fundraising kickoff in Vegas 72 hours in advance, and worked with Organizing for Action to text 2000 folks, recruit 69 for a demonstration outside, and stop Heller in his tracks. Before the protest could hit the news cycle the next day, Heller announced that he would not support ACA repeal.
Since then we've expanded nationwide, working with organizing partners to build for recess town halls, immigration and labor marches, and legislative contact blitzes around the ACA repeal. We've sent over one million texts and recruited nearly 20,000 activists.
Which lawmakers can stop Trump?
We target lawmakers who fit at least one of these criteria:
- Key Swing Vote - on critical legislation like ACA repeal, we focus on the vote count
- Moderate constituencies - these folks know they should be representing people who disagree with Trump's agenda
- Committee Chairpeople - Lawmakers like Kevin McCarthy whose districts are unlikely to swing, but for whom a little acquiescence can go a long way
- Vocal Critics - Lawmakers who stood up to Trump in the 2016 Primary or General, we need to encourage them
This is our list of targeted lawmakers as of May.
- Lisa Murkowski (AK)
- Bill Cassidy (LA)
- Shelley Capito Moore (WV)
- Dean Heller (NV)
- Jeff Flake (AZ)
- John McCain (AZ)
- Cory Gardner (CO)
- Marco Rubio (FL)
- Susan Collins (ME)
- Pat Toomey (PA)
- Ben Sasse (NE)
- Rob Portman (OH)
- Joe Manchin (WV)
- Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
- Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
- Paul Cook (CA-08)
- Jeff Denham (CA-10)
- David Valadao (CA-21)
- Devin Nunes (CA-22)
- Steve Knight (CA-25)
- Darrell Issa (CA-49)
- Ed Royce (CA-39)
- Charlie Dent (PA-15)
- Barbara Comstock (VA-10)
- Steve Stivers (OH-15)
This list is in flux. We are constantly watching the news and coordinating with national groups like Indivisible, MoveOn, Swing Left, major unions, and the DNC to see which lawmakers could make a difference.
Who do we partner with?
Our primary partners are grassroots organizing groups in red or purple areas. We've worked with local groups affiliated with Indivisible, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Organizing for Action and Working America to name a few.
If you are leading an organizing group and targeting one of the legislators above, please contact us find out more about how we can help you. We also partner with organizing groups in "blue" areas, training them on how to use our system to do the kind of effective activism that their members are seeking. If you're group has been looking for this sort of thing, contact us to find out more.