Connecting with Allied Voter Campaigns

In conjunction with our 2020 Civic Participation Campaign, Circles USA (CUSA) Board Member Joan Kuriansky prepared this list of allied efforts.

But first, let’s review the basics: How 501(c)(3)s Can Talk to Candidates During an Election Year. Alliance for Justice provides this wonderful resource for nonprofit organizations.

Below, we share other 501(c)3 organizations undertaking voter participation efforts this year in states where Circles Chapters are located. These organizations share our commitment to addressing poverty in our country. 

Connecting with these organizations could be useful this year and for many years to come. In the short-term, these organizations might:

  • Provide Chapters with an easy way to join a voter engagement project
  • Partner with Chapters on efforts to engage candidates or government officials;
  • Share with Chapters relevant information or background on some of the Big View issues being addressed. 

In the long-term, some of these organizations might be partners in the Big View efforts that chapters undertake, bringing new visibility to the mission of ending poverty.

Poor People’s Campaign

This effort was created by Rev. William J. Barber II to raise the voices of the poor and allies of the poor. The Campaign advocates for policy changes at all levels of government and more recently has been engaged in many efforts to “get out the vote.” In addition to collaborating with campaigns across 20 states, the campaign has developed state-by-state fact sheets for nearly all U.S. states. Fact sheets include state-specific data on the extent of poverty in each state, along with principles and a “call to action” with specific policy goals. Between May 2019 and May 2020, the Campaign is leading a major national bus tour. The tour will culminate in the Mass Poor Peoples’ March and Assembly in Washington, DC on June 20, 2020. 

Community Change

This organization works at both the grassroots and national level to affect policy change by empowering women, immigrants, people of color, and those experiencing low incomes. Their goal is a “just, equitable, and inclusive economy and democracy where all people and communities thrive.” They collaborate with many organizations and use innovative community-organizing models. Notable is their work building an “electoral powerhouse” in communities of color through Community Change Action in 20 states. 

Movement Voter Project

This is a nationwide campaign to engage disenfranchised voters to participate in elections at all levels of government. Their innovative approach supports local community-based organizations in 40 states working for both long-term policy change and efforts to “get out the vote.” They are placing emphasis in five key states. Chapters should consider as possible partners the local and national organizations they are supporting.

When We All Vote

Their purpose is to “make sure that every eligible voter is registered and ready to vote throughout the country.” The organization is addressing the race and age divide in voting and changing the culture around voting. They provide tools and training materials to help partner organizations. It was launched by Michelle Obama in conjunction with a large, partially celebrity-led advisory board, and is directed by Valerie Jarrett. 

~Joan Kuriansky, Board Member, Circles USA