Organizing Resources

How to Organize a Voter Assembly Manual

November 7, 2012

I want to organize a Voter Assembly in my community, where do I start?

Choose a Good Location and Time

Accessible, public spaces outside (parks, prominent intersections, or in front of civic buildings) are usually a good bet. If you need to use an indoor space then an accessible, public space such as a community center would be ideal.

Fair Elections Legal Network's 2012 student voting guide

October 30, 2012
Fair Elections Legal Network

Check out Fair Election Legal Network's student voting guide for information about voter registration deadlines, how to find your polling location, and other common questions about voting.

Community Wireless Resources

October 1, 2010

Free Press

www.freepress.net/communityinternet

Description: Provides legislative updates and searches for community networks in your area.

MuniWireless

http://muniwireless.com/

Description: Home base for anyone interested in the municipal wireless movement. Portal for news and information on projects around the world.

Monitor Provisional & Absentee Ballot Processing

November 5, 2009
Emily Levy

Provisional ballots are not counted on election night, but must first go through a qualification process to determine whether or not the voter was eligible 1) to vote at all, and 2) to vote in all races on the ballot that was cast. . . . Observing this process can increase the chances that it is conducted fairly, in part by providing a deterrent to biased decision-making.

Ruckus: A Call for Nonviolent Direct Action

October 30, 2009

The Ruckus Society has developed an election-focused action toolkit you'll want to check out. As they say on their website:

Become an Election Integrity Activist on Election Night

October 7, 2009
What Can an Election Integrity Activist Do On Election Night?

Bev Harris of Blackbox Voting has put out a brief educational video about what citizens who want to ensure election integrity can do. She tells you exactly what to look for and video on Election Night to protect the count. You can take some easy steps to minimize election machine voter fraud.

Your help is needed. Thousands of citizens can ensure a fair election if they get active and involved in working for election integrity.

Analyses of Participatory Democracy Elsewhere

October 1, 2009

Argentina
www.linesofflight.net/work/rosario_pb_columbia.pdf
Learning Citizenship and Democracy Through Participatory Budgeting: The Case of Rosario, Argentina, by Josh Lerner and Daniel Schugurensky. Analysis of the pedagogical dimension and educational effects of participatory budgeting.

Australia
Active Democracy: Citizen Participation in Decision Making
www.activedemocracy.net
Description: Run by Lyn Carson at University of Sydney, this is an interesting collection of mostly Australian case studies and links.

United Kingdom
WE Power
www.powerinquiry.org

Local Democracy Associations and Organizations

September 30, 2009

 

America Speaks

www.americaspeaks.org

Description: A nonprofit organization that develops tools and provides consulting on achieving greater citizen input into public decision making.

 

  Chicago Area Participatory Economics Society

www.chicagoparecon.org
Description: The Chicago organization dedicated to public education on democratic economic models.  Based on "parecon" or participatory economics. 

 

Local Democracy News Sources

September 29, 2009

Inter Press Service News Agency -- The Word From the Street: City Voices
http://ipsnews.net/new_focus/cityvoices/index.aspDescription: Stories from around the world about local struggles against neoliberalism.

The International Budget Project
http://www.internationalbudget.org/
Newsletter with lots of updates on participatory budgeting and other participatory democracy programs.

Direct Legislation Resources

September 28, 2009

February 8, 2006: Council Ordered To Address Iraq Issue
Description: A judge orders city council of Watertown, Wisconsin to decide whether it will vote on a resolution to withdraw US troops from Iraq or let it proceed to referendum. The judge found it a legislative matter and proper for the council to consider. Advisory referenda are proper subjects for direct legislation.

 

Participatory Budgeting Resources

September 27, 2009

A Guide to Participatory Budgeting
http://www.internationalbudget.org/resources/library/GPB.pdf
Description: A primer on PB by Brian Wampler.

Voter Bill of Rights

September 26, 2009

From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots, to partisan election officials and 10-hour waits at the polls, it is clear that our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul. To build a more just, secure, and robust democracy, please support the following 10-point Voter Bill of Rights:

1. Pass a Constitutional Amendment Confirming the Right to Vote

Democratizing Education Network (DEN)

September 25, 2009

The Current Crisis in Higher Education

Over the past year, campus-based organizers have staged a series of significant mobilizations across the Unites States, including (but not limited to) antiracist rallies, massive antiwar demonstrations, sit-ins and building occupations, labor strikes (by both grad unions and staff), student strikes and boycotts, and Tent State Universities.

PROGRESSIVE STATES NETWORK: Trade and the States

July 29, 2009
A Stateside Dispatch Report

As we have written in the past, states have increasingly taken action to stop global trade deals from undermining state authority and state regulations that protect consumers, workers and the environment.

In recent weeks, the debate has heated up over the need to institutionalize the voice of states and protect state authority within trade negotiations. Just last week the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) passed a resolution asking the White House to commit its trade office to avoiding preemption of state authority. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade also recently held a hearing on the issue of strengthening state voices within the trade negotiation process.

Tips for Effective Guard Home Petitioning

July 29, 2009
Leah Bolger
  1. Provide good training to your petition gatherers. Make sure they can explain the basic legal argument of the campaign. Give them info sheets and FAQs.
  2. INSIST that signers print. Consider making blocks for each letter to help people be legible. Because this is not a ballot measure petition, you do not need a signature.

SAVE THE NEWS: Toward a National Journalism Strategy

July 20, 2009
From Saving the News: Toward a National Journalism Strategy

"Journalism is a public good. As a society, we all benefit from quality news and information. But like many public goods, journalism has always been heavily subsidized. The subsidy model that prevailed for the past century — advertising-supported journalism — appears to be dying. If current trends continue, America could soon embark on an unprecedented social experiment by becoming the first advanced democracy to leave wide sectors of society and entire geographic regions without a fully functional, professional press. We are venturing into uncharted territory."

CCFS: Free Speech Organizing Toolkit

June 19, 2009

The Free Speech Organizing Toolkit is designed to provide campus leaders and free speech supporters with the tools to work with higher education leaders to remove impediments to a marketplace of ideas on their campus.

This valuable toolkit was produced by the Center for Campus Free Speech. The Center acts as a clearinghouse of information, provides specialized support to campuses, and connects concerned educators, administrators, lawyers and students into a national network. The Center draws advice and guidance from a group of leaders in the higher education and legal communities.

Democratizing Education Charter

June 16, 2009

Adopted at the 2005 Democratizing Education Convention in Madison, Wisconsin:

  1. Full Public Funding for Public Higher Education
  2. Free Access to Higher Education and Abolition of Tuition
  3. Affirmative Action to End Institutionalized Racism and Sexism
  4. Full Recognition of the Right of Students and Workers to Organize
  5. Democratic Self-Government of Higher Education
  6. Service to the Public Welfare, Not Corporate Profits
  7. Free Speech and Academic Freedom
  8. Debt Forgiveness of Student Loans
  9. Civic Education for a Democratic Society
  10. Education, not war. Schools, Not Jails

National Guard Legislation

June 1, 2009

State legislation designed to end National Guard deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan and to reform state National Guard law . . .

- 2009 Session -

Note: Legislation is also pending in Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Campaigns are also underway in California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C..

Maryland:

HB907
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/hb0907.htm

SB501
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/sb0501.htm

CENTER for CAMPUS FREE SPEECH: Guide to Student Activity Fees

March 31, 2009

The Center for Campus Free Speech releases there Guide to Student Activity Fees - a primer on the legal issues involved in creating and managing a student activity fee system.

Student fee systems are used by students across the country to provide the resources for a wide variety of out-of-classroom activities.

Students fund everything from service organizations to advocacy to educational forums and guest speakers. They debate and learn about critical issues like multiculturalism, the environment, education policy, conflicts in the Middle East and religion. They learn new skills and create change on major problems the world faces.

Student activity fees give involved students the resources to create a vibrant marketplace of ideas on campus.

STUDY GUIDE: Benson Scotch on war powers, defense policy, and the National Guard

March 22, 2009

RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW WHERE IT MATTERS MOST:

The new debate over war powers, defense policy,
and the National Guard

This study memo–maybe more dependent on computer literacy than on a knowledge of Latin legal maxims–consists of three features: The author’s narrative, documents or parts of documents integrated into the syllabus for easy reference, and links to the full texts of these documents as well as to other documents.

Many, many thanks to Ben Manski of the Liberty Tree Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Law School for creating this opportunity for dialogue.

Guide for starting a "Guard Home!" campaign in your state

March 9, 2009
Joy First & Leah Bolger

“Bring the Guard Home! It’s the Law.” is a national movement of state campaigns to end the unlawful overseas deployment of our National Guard. There are active campaigns in over 20 states working with state legislators to pass laws that will help keep our National Guard units from being sent to Iraq, and prevent future deployments that are not legal. With this legislation, the states can begin to reassert their historic national defense responsibilities and to honor the Constitution's genius for distributing power over issues of war and peace. This campaign can also help to bring an end to an occupation that has caused incredible suffering and death for untold numbers of innocent people.

The Legal Basis

CEPR: Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns

March 9, 2009

This report, by John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, updates an earlier report from January of 2007, which found a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It updates the index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign, using published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It also takes into consideration the increase in card-check organizing campaigns that began in the mid-1990s and adjusts the index for this factor.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

January 26, 2009

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples

 

Adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13 September 2007