Social Justice in Motion: Video Training Offers Organizers an Engaging Way to Tell a Story

From sharing the perspectives of the children of immigrants to calling out the Speaker of the House for his opposition to a proposed increase of the federal minimum wage, a group of a dozen emerging leaders and organizers from across the country gathered in Seattle last week to learn new ways to tell a story.
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Hitting the Jackpot

This is part thirteen in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

In a state known for excess and wealth that does not extend to most of its residents, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) dug up the dirt on political campaign contributions. PLAN published three reports, one of which they titled the “Jackpot Report,” because they had found a stash of money politicians had been hiding from public record. Read more

Project Vote Smart

Role in the Landscape

This is part twelve in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a transparency/data organization with a vast collection of data on candidates and incumbents. Their website, http://votesmart.org/, allows users to search at the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative levels. Read more

Good Jobs First

This is part ten in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Role in the Landscape

Good Jobs First focuses on corporate subsidies and works to promote corporate and government accountability around subsidies, economic development, and smart growth. They work with organizations by providing research, training, communications and consulting assistance. Read more

Sunlight Foundation

This is part nine in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Like MapLight.org, the Sunlight Foundation is a technology-oriented group that connects their own federal data (lobbyists and fundraisers) with other sources such as http://opensecrets.org/ and http://followthemoney.org/. Sunlight does not take positions on campaign finance reform or other issues. They are, however, very interested in training and supporting grassroots groups on the tools they offer.

The Sunlight Foundation provides funding for the creation of “cutting-edge tools to enable the media, bloggers and citizens to sift, share and combine government data in ways that are useful for them.” Read more

MapLight.org

This is part eight in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Role in the Landscape

MapLight.org tracks the influence of money in the U.S. Congress as well as in California and Wisconsin. Their research team and free online tools shed light on the connections between political inputs (such as campaign contributions) and political outputs (such as legislation). Their data partners include the Center for Responsive Politics, GovTrack, National Institute on Money in State Politics, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Read more

Common Cause

This is the part seven in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Role in the Landscape

Common Cause is a membership-based organizing group that operates in 36 states. Campaign finance reform is one of their key issues. They have worked on presidential public financing, banning soft money, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, and establishing an independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Read more