Coalition Building Guide

Please view the Coalition Building Guide in Google Drive if you’d like to print or save it.

MISSION

Our mission is to build a coalition people’s party that is free of corporate influence by uniting organizations and individuals who share our progressive vision.

 

ACTIONS

  • Make a list of progressive groups in your area.
    Form relationships with the groups that you think will be most supportive of a new party.
  • Keep a spreadsheet for each state to record interactions with the groups.
  • Tell us about the groups you’re approaching on our Potential Coalition Members form.
  • The bottom line: see if the organization or individual would sign on to a letter calling for a coalition party free of corporate and billionaire influence. Or join the coalition themselves.

 

METHODS

Identify – Make a list of possible progressive allies with chapters in your area. (Google is your friend.)

  • Unions (Locals, Unionist.com)
  • Campus Groups (Universities, Colleges, Community Colleges)
  • Progressive Political Group Chapters (Our Revolution, Democratic Socialists of America, Represent US, etc.)
  • Committed to reforming the Democrats: DFA, Indivisible, Move On, Justice Democrats, Progressive Democrats of America
  • Progressive Political Parties (Working Families Party, etc)
  • Other Progressive Organizations (What the Frack Arapahoe?, Audit AZ, Clean Slate Now, Organic Consumers Association, Ignite Change, other environmental groups, single-payer groups, Open Primaries, anti-gerrymandering groups, homeless advocacy groups, etc)
  • Academics Political Science Professors and colleagues, especially with expertise in political parties and coalitions.
  • Prominent Progressive Individuals (Musicians, actors, Bernie surrogates, etc)
  • Other individuals that may be interested and want to spread the word

 

Research and Contact – Go to website or talk to a member(s) of the organization to gauge level of support for a new party.

  • Groups who support a new party are a high priority.
  • Contact groups you are a member of first.
  • If you have a friend who belongs to a local progressive organization, attend a meeting with him. Ask if the group would like to join a coalition.
  • Have a mutual friend introduce you to a member of a progressive organization, in person or on social media.
  • Call the leader or member of a progressive group and get a sense for whether the group would be interested in hearing the case.
  • Build a relationship first. Go out for coffee.
  • Attend a group meeting. If the group agrees, make a presentation to the group about the need for progressive groups to unite.
  • Host a forum with other organizations to discuss working together on issues. This can be the beginning of a coalition.
  • Hold a barnstorm, house party, chapter meeting, or small event and invite people, other groups, and media.
  • Talk with individuals who may be interested just to spread the word.

 

Sample scripts (gear towards your particular situation and remember to ask questions and listen):

 

REPORTING

After you have talked with a representative from one of the groups above, we would like you to rank them on your state ranking spreadsheet on how receptive they are for coalition building. We will have one for each state. Sample Group Ranking Document

 

 Talking Points

Why not just reform the Democratic Party?

This may require educating people who don’t know the party’s history or are unaware of how it has lost touch with the needs of working people. The Dems have become a party that opposes the progressive policies that the majority of Americans support. They oppose policies that would benefit the people to protect their big donors, just like the Republican Party. Americans are leaving the party, including people who tried to reform it. You can refer them to resources like the Sanders-Lincoln article or The People’s Party Briefing.

Know your audience and share information that relates to their greatest concerns. For instance, if you’re speaking with a specific action group or person such as an anti-fracking group, you’d want to include information on how the establishment Dems have voted for legislation that supports fracking along with how much money Dem politicians have taken from corporations supporting these bills.

 

Why not just join the Green Party?

The concept of a new party, from the beginning, has been to build a majority voting bloc of groups that support progressive issues. For this to work, it’s necessary that the bloc not assume the identity of any particular member of the bloc, but of a new entity made up of mutual interests of all the groups. No single existing progressive group can defeat the establishment parties on its own. However, a coalition of groups in favor of progressive issues, working together under a common platform to which all agree, can form a major new party capable of electoral success in coming elections. In other countries it’s common for progressive parties and organizations to unite in coalitions. When they do, they begin to attract groups of people who did not belong to any of the member groups. They add up to more than the sum of their parts. Success takes collaboration.

 

Other talking points (You may think of some, also!)

The left has historically been split into many factions. If they were to join together around progressive issues and candidates, a viable new national party could arise to support the interests of the working class.

We have gained many coalition partners since we launched early this year, including Bernie surrogates, independent media, progressive groups and thought leaders. We are researching how other countries have formed their coalition parties – Spain, Greece, Chile and others.

We would have a founding convention where we would vote on the platform, bylaws and name.

Present or summarize these articles:

 

Political outreach for volunteers to consider attending or hosting for the purpose of soliciting signatures for the sign-on letter:

  • Social media outreach
  • Chapter meetings
  • House parties
  • Community meetings
  • Regularly scheduled community events such as farmer’s markets
  • Barnstorms
  • Flyering
  • Canvassing

 

Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Reddit

Messaging is important! — Many volunteers are more comfortable posting to Facebook than coalition building. We have Facebook groups in every state to share on anf from. Our state leads should oversee their state Facebook group pages, share information and articles from our national page and grow the number of likes and shares. There are themes, terms and hashtags that we will be emphasizing. We will need our state group pages to reflect this messaging so that our volunteers can in turn share to their personal timelines. As always, state-specific info will be stressed and tied in with the following overriding themes: independents and Millennials are the largest voting block, the electorate needs to be accurately referred to as “the progressive majority,” we need a “major new party” or people’s party or viable national party (not a third party), we need a coalition to achieve new party status and our main goal is getting rid of the corrupting influence of corporate and billionaire money.

State and regional leads should contact those on their state Facebook groups and ask if they are members of progressive organizations that might be interested in joining the coalition. Ask them to volunteer in social media outreach and getting the message of a progressive coalition party across the digital world. Also see if they are admins on any FB pages and could help post our content.

 

General communication and persuasion tips: Dr. Robb Willer Persuasion Tips