“It is not one person or group of people on the top who are going to make change. It is grassroots activism, and that is what Rights & Democracy is doing.”
– US Sen. Bernie Sanders
Today, we are announcing a $25,000 matching gift challenge!
Several major supporters of Rights & Democracy—including Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield—are matching dollar for dollar up to $25,000 to support RAD’s movement-building work leading up to the 2018 election cycle and beyond.
Your contribution of $100, $250, or $500 will be doubled between now and the end of the year and will help to build our grassroots movement for political and social change.
In just two years, Rights & Democracy has gone from being a scrappy startup grassroots organization with a handful of key New Hampshire leaders and staff to a bi-state organization with 12,000 members and a vision to change the world.
Here are a few of our key New Hampshire success stories from our first two years:
Developed a robust canvassing operation to knock on 60,000 doors in the 2016 elections in support of Sen. Maggie Hassan in a tight race for US Senate, and brought thousands of our members who came in the door supporting Bernie Sanders to stay involved by defeating Donald Trump and Kelly Ayotte in incredibly tight races.
Launched the Transgender Organizing Leadership Development (TOLD) project that has been a leading voice for transgender nondiscrimination in New Hampshire. Nearly 500 people turned out in Manchester's Victory Park in the Summer of 2017 to stand in unity for LGBTQ+ protections in the coming legislature.
Mobilized thousands of Granite State residents to take direct actions - like our "die-in" when US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (who has since resigned!) visited the state. Other actions included calling on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to push back against the Trump administration's most horrific proposals to kick millions off health care.
Defeated yet another misnamed "right to work" legislation push that would undermine worker protections in New Hampshire.
Won legislation to allow acupuncture to treat addiction, thanks to a grassroots advocacy effort led by Elizabeth Ropp, RAD NH leader and acupuncturist. The law allows frontline workers to use ear acupuncture to treat addiction to heroin or fentanyl, also known as auricular acupuncture or acu-detox.
Worked with the Monadnock Progressive Alliance, which is now an affiliate of RAD, as a way to build a truly progressive movement in the region's communities. RAD-NH’s long-term goal is to develop and invest in similar local organizing teams throughout the state.
Connected with voters in two special elections in New Hampshire, which helped to elect Democrats to the NH legislature in districts that have, in previous elections, supported Republicans and even voted for Trump in 2016.
Provided our key allies with support around clean elections, universal health care, immigration rights, reproductive freedom and more.
Our growth is thanks to a mix of savvy and dedicated staff organizers who–most importantly–work closely with powerful member leaders, numerous member volunteers, as well as members who take action by making calls, showing up to rallies – and donating money to RAD. Whether it’s a monthly sustaining donation or an annual contribution, RAD is building out its network of member donors to help fuel lasting political change.
You are a critical part of the success of our third year as we work to impact local, state, and national decision-making, and to put our own people in the positions as decision makers.
Building on these successes will take time, and people, and money. That’s why several donors are matching – up to $25,000 – every contribution of $100, $250, or $500 – between now and the end of the year. That $50,000 will help us reach more people and build a lasting grassroots movement for political and social change.
RURAL ORGANIZING: THE NEW PATH FORWARD
Rights & Democracy was founded as a multi-issue and multi-tactical grassroots organizing and movement-building project in Vermont and New Hampshire. It has since been using as many tools the grassroots organizing toolbox to build a people-powered movement for political and economic transformation.
The failure of President Trump to make good on his campaign promises, and the stalling of the GOP’s congressional agenda—to date—is a huge testament to the power of grassroots organizing. More importantly, however, it provides us with a key lesson for how we can move forward to not only defend against Republican attacks on health care as well as the environment, public education, and the rights of workers, immigrants, women, communities of color and LGBTQ individuals but also offer an alternative political, economic, and social vision.
In two years, RAD has made remarkable progress in these areas and is developing an extraordinary team of staff and member leadership. We also have learned many lessons from our own efforts, and those of our allies like Indivisible, Our Revolution, People’s Action, and Center For Popular Democracy. Movements throughout our country have yet to figure out a strategy for the successful transformation of our political and economic system. Therefore, a primary goal of RAD is to provide the broader movement with a new, transformative organizing model—“whole movement organizing”—that is showing signs of success in small, rural states.
A PEOPLE’S PLATFORM
At the local and state levels, we need to tap into the deeply felt concerns and hopes of poor, working, and middle class Americans—of all races, in both urban and rural parts of the country—to organize them around a unifying platform for progressive change.
Our Revolution is best articulating this platform at the national level, which includes universal health care and education, supporting worker’s rights and women’s rights and voting rights. As well as calling for environmental, racial, and criminal justice initiatives and taxing Wall Street.
In New Hampshire, Rights & Democracy is pioneering this model of state-based campaigns to build grassroots movements around issues of economic, environmental, health care, social, and racial justice. They include:
Raise Up NH – To improve living standards for working families by raising the minimum wage, winning paid sick days, winning paid family and medical leave, and increasing access to affordable, quality childcare.
Rural Organizing – To engage economically challenged, white majority communities with a powerfully populist economic program that directly confronts the right-wing strategy of racial resentment.
Jobs, Justice & Climate – To demand clean energy policy solutions that support job growth and an economy that meets the needs of our communities.
NH Health Care Justice - To work toward a universal health care system in New Hampshire that is equitably funded and treats everyone equally, while also addressing immediate community crises such as our growing opioid epidemic.
Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development – To demand basic nondiscrimination and protective legislation for trans family and friends, as well as elect LGBTQ+ folks and allies to local and state office.
LEAD NH – We’re excited to help launch LEAD New Hampshire, which will counter the growth of extreme conservative organizations like American for Prosperity in New Hampshire. LEAD NH knows that it is critical for RAD and our partners to likewise build local, sustained organizing plans that support next waves groups that have risen up after the Trump election.
Developing a people’s platform is our way of unifying these different grassroots movements and building a truly transformative political revolution right here in New Hampshire. This is a tall order with major capacity needs and cannot be built overnight, which is why we need your continued support today.
So have your contribution of $100, $250, or $500 doubled and help us raise a total of $50,000 before the end of the year. You’ll be supporting our formative grassroots organizing model that is poised to bring about lasting, forceful change in our communities.
Together We Win!
The staff and leaders of Rights & Democracy NH
PS: SAVE THE DATE!
2nd Annual RAD Membership Assembly, “Power to the People: Organizing in 2018 & Beyond”
WHEN: 1–6PM, Sunday December 10
WHERE: Lebanon High School, Lebanon, NH.