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Let's Get Organized: Part I

Jun 13, 2008
ICE: Internet Changes Everything. Nowhere is this more evident than in grassroots political organizing. Back in the day, it was a matter of street-corner setups and endless telephoning, mimeograph machines and word-of-mouth. If you were out of the loop and wanted in, you weren't too sure how to begin. If you were a fairly standard Republican or Democrat, there was probably an accessible local committee; however, if you were inclined somewhat more to the right or left than the standard-issue elephant or donkey, kindred spirits could be hard to come by.

No more. The Internet is chock-a-block with grassroots organizations that you can join with a click of the mouse button. They organize petition drives, phone-in campaigns, door-to-door canvassing, fundraising, vigils, demonstrations, candidate interviews and debates, etc., etc. And they are increasingly effective in getting the attention of our elected leaders, as well as getting the right ones elected in the first place.

The granddaddy of these organizations is MoveOn.org, now divided into two organizations:

MoveOn.org Civic Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization ... primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. MoveOn.org Political Action, a federal PAC ... mobilizes people across the country to fight important battles in Congress and help elect candidates who reflect our values. Both organizations are entirely funded by individuals.
MoveOn.org has its roots in the Clinton years, during the impeachment brouhaha. Their motto then was "Censure and Move On." Their call for supporters back then elicited hundreds of thousands of responses within days, and a new grassroots paradigm was born.

There's no cost to join the 3.3 million MoveOn members; joining will put you into the loop, where you can pick and choose among the initiatives MoveOn is organizing, and where you'll have a voice in suggesting new ones. Their daily emails may seem like a nuisance, but hey! If you're a progressive in this day and age, you know you have a job to do. And in politics, it's numbers that count. If you're sympathetic to MoveOn's goals, you've got 3.3 million like-minded individuals at your back, and together they are making a mighty loud noise.

In future weeks, we'll feature other Internet-based political grassroots groups you may wish to support.
tags: Politics

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