what is rapid resist?
Rapid Resist supports front-lines progressive leaders in rural and conservative areas. We do so to protect those that are most at risk and tangibly improve the lives of those left out of economic progress. We are critical infrastructure that amplifies activist leaders’ voices, creates new connections for them, and helps the progressive movement build power in underserved areas.
Between our launch on May 1st and November 18th 2017, we recruited and passed off 70,060 activists for 514 events/actions targeting key legislators. Our 1,107 volunteers have supported a network of 248 red area grassroots organizers in 41 states. We are the largest peer to peer progressive texting program by volume in the US, edging out MoveOn and Planned Parenthood.
rural progressives deserve a boost
As progressives have migrated away from rural areas, social justice leaders are increasingly isolated and under-resourced. These leaders in critical areas must be supported to heal the nation. To understand how to help in critical areas, we surveyed and followed the progress of leaders of newly formed resistance groups in OH, NV, AZ, ND and FL between February and April 2017. Three data points rose to the top of our research:
53% of leaders mentioned member communication when asked their top challenge
42% of groups listed their greatest success as an action targeting a key lawmaker that got press
31% of group leaders mentioned burn-out when asked about their top challenge
Rapid Resist addresses all three of these. It is a system built on Hustle that uses peer-to-peer SMS to reach people directly and ensure critical actions are well-attended. It reduces burn-out by requiring no added work from organizers and supporting them with contact information of volunteers to delegate work to.
how's it work?
1. Partner with Local Organizing Groups. We check-in bi-weekly with our network of local organizers. They help us maintain a pipeline of newsworthy events such as townhalls, marches, and other ways of building power.
2. Text Recruit for Actions. We make sure that the event is well attended. We purchase or partner with organizations to build a list of locals likely to be interested in the event and organizing. Our volunteer texters have text conversations with locals about each event using our technology platform.
3. Continued Support of Local Organizing Groups. Most critically, we pass contact information for RSVPs, and those interested but unavailable, to local organizers and coach them on how to use these new recruits to build power.
CASE STUDY – STOPPING ACA REPEAL
Rapid Resist has sent over 1 million text messages to stop ACA repeal, for instance:
Senators Murkowski and Collins constituents received 140,799 texts from us – we’ve recruited 2,120 locals for 24 events or actions led by Maine and Alaska grassroots groups pushing for “no” on ACA repeal. Then we made sure local organizers stayed in touch and built these new recruits into their ongoing organizing.
Senator Jerry Moran announced a last-minute townhall in Palco, Kansas - 4 hours from any population center. Within 24 hours, we texted 7,834 people nearby and turned 25 out. National media covered the townhalls, including members of the audience that we recruited. Afterwards the Senator pledged not to vote for a full ACA repeal.
we also get new activists to run for office
We ask the activists we recruit to become candidates for otherwise uncontested races. Then we connect them to local and national training partners to help them file to run!