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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Report on Organizing for America

TechPresident has a comprehensive report on the first year of Organizing for America. Some of its conclusions:
  • OFA successfully mobilized and sustained a new corps of super-activists between election cycles in 2009, according to cumulative participation estimates and OFA members interviewed for the report. This kind of governance activism is unusual for the national political parties – and has never been achieved at this frequency, or with such a massive, direct communications network.
  • OFA focused on two priorities in its first year: Lobbying for health care reform, which constituted 44% of the group’s member communications; and community maintenance, aimed at sustaining the social capital and community networks developed during the presidential campaign, which constituted about 10% of communications.
  • Congressional staff in both parties say OFA has mobilized constituent lobbying, but do not say OFA was a major or powerful force on Capitol Hill in its first year. Congressional aides do not think OFA is changing Members’ votes. [emphasis added]
  • Some former staff for Obama’s presidential campaign contend that the White House did not prioritize grassroots organizing in 2009.
  • While noting that OFA faces a large challenge in converting a campaign network into lobbying activities, some former Obama campaign staffers say OFA’s programs are not targeting Congress effectively, or providing sufficiently diverse engagement opportunities for OFA members