Calling for Progress
Winning campaigns to solve America’s problems ultimately depends on our ability to organize people: to bring people together to call for change in one voice. While digital is a powerful tool in the organizing toolbox, an email is no match for a personal phone call from a constituent. Nor does a web signup form deliver the same motivational power as an organizer calling a member or volunteer.
To help groups take advantage of telephone advocacy, Progressive Future Network launched our Calling for Progress grants program to back progressive non-profit organizations whose goals we support.
Through Calling for Progress, we combine the old-fashioned power of the telephone with up-to-date calling technology to reach hundreds of thousands of people each year, building the membership of social change organizations and amplifying their voices in the halls of power. Across 2019 and 2020, we donated over $420,000 in Calling for Progress grants to social change organizations.
Working for universal background checks with Giffords
To spur action to address gun violence, Progressive USA was pleased to partner with Giffords on a campaign to pressure legislators to hold a vote on H.R. 8 — a universal background check bill that was passed by the House of Representatives in February of 2019. In the fall of 2019, we connected more than 20,000 Americans with their U.S. Senators to call for action. The Republican-held Senate has yet to bring H.R. 8 to the floor for debate.
Building support for Washington, D.C. statehood with D.C. Vote
Despite having a population that is much larger than several U.S. states, Washington, D.C. lacks representation in Congress. In 2019, Fair Share worked with D.C. Vote to ask members of Congress to co-sponsor the poetically titled House Resolution 51 that would make D.C. the 51st state. We were able to connect thousands of citizens from across the country with their congressperson to ask for their support. By the close of 2019, H.R. 51 held 223 co-sponsors, and on June 26, 2020 it passed the House by a vote of 232-180.
Stopping a government shutdown with People for the American Way
In 2019, Progressive USA partnered with People for the American Way in a joint effort to stop Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republican caucus from shutting down the federal government. We contacted 11,930 people in Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa and Alaska during our campaign, asking them to urge their senators to take action to avert a shutdown and keep our public servants functioning.
"We really appreciated the help. It allowed us to engage our members in key states to put pressure on their senators to vote against the Readler nomination and then to close the loop with those offices to express their disappointment. We would not have been able to do this without the support from the donated calling program." - Matt Baker, Executive Vice President for Policy and Program, People For the American Way
Helping get out the vote with For Our Future WI
When a presidential election year rolls around, the nation’s eyes are fixated on Wisconsin. That said, we often forget about how important often overlooked elections and offices are, especially when it relates to funding for, and leadership of, our schools. This spring 2021, The Fund and For Our Future Action recognized the need to communicate to Wisconsin voters the importance of the April 6th election for State Superintendent. This partnership supplemented For Our Future’s preexisting multi-modal GOTV plan, which included educating voters about how they could both vote by mail and help their friends and neighbors do the same. We spoke with more than 13,000 Wisconsinites.
"Just 6 months after an historic Fall Election Wisconsinites shattered records again. More voters cast ballots in the 2021 State Superintendent race than ever before, and the Public Interest Network's outreach in Wisconsin was a huge contribution to the coalition effort to make sure that traditionally disenfranchised voices were heard at the ballot box." - Peter Drummond, State Director of For Our Future Wisconsin
Supporting the right to choose with NARAL
In 2019 the Georgia legislature passed an extreme ban on abortion. So in 2020, NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia knew it was time to reclaim women's rights by fighting these unconstitutional laws in the courts and mobilizing Georgians to hold these anti-choice legislators accountable. Progressive USA took to the phones to help NARAL bring their action to scale. Over a two month period, we spoke with over 10,000 Georgians, calling on them to take action in support of the right to choose.
Reaching out to North Carolinians with the Black Male Voter Project
The Black Male Voter Project’s goal is straightforward: engage with Black men about issues that affect their daily lives and then, in turn, encourage them as individuals, and as a collective, to engage in the electoral process. During the summer of 2020, Calling for Progress worked with The Black Male Voter Project to amplify their ongoing voter education work in North Carolina, a state that was at the time host to so many nationally resonant contests, from President to U.S. Senate and governor. With our calling capacity at hand, our collaboration helped Black Male Voter Project connect with over 9,000 North Carolinians to ask them what mattered the most to them, their families, and their respective communities.
Calling to defend the citizen initiative with Arizona Wins!
In spring 2019, Fair Share worked with the Arizona Wins coalition to oppose legislation that would undermine Arizona’s citizens’ initiative process by imposing arbitrary administrative burdens on collecting signatures. Arizona Wins mobilized 2,332 voters to ask state legislators to oppose the bill. After legislators heard from their constituents by phone, as well as by email and in person, support for the bill started to erode. Unfortunately, by a narrow margin of 31-29, the State House passed the bill and it was signed into law.
"The Public Interest Network helped us raise the alarm about a series of terrible voter suppression bills. We're so grateful for their efforts to contact Arizonans and get them engaged in our democracy!" - Montserrat Arredondo, then Acting Executive Director, Arizona Wins
Educating Georgians about health care issues with Georgia Engaged
Georgia Engaged (now America Votes Georgia) has been leading a comprehensive, progressive effort to educate Georgians about how their governor and legislature were failing to meet the state's basic healthcare needs. In 2019, we were thrilled to help amplify their ongoing Medicaid expansion accountability program. Our phone outreach allowed Georgia Engaged and its partner organizations to connect directly with more than 17,000 people across The Peach State. We were also able to recruit nearly 2,000 Georgians who committed to take further action on this critical issue.
"Public Interest Network’s phone program allowed us to communicate with voters we’ve traditionally waited until later in the cycle to talk with due to limited resources. In addition we were able to take the ids we gain through this program to help with our coordinated Medicaid expansion program during the 2020 Legislative session." - Leslie Small, America Votes Georgia State Director