LGBT Rights: Strategy & Special Projects
- “Zero for Thirty-One: Lessons from the Loss in Maine“
- “Why We Lost in California“
- “Abstinence Education“
- Amicus Brief in support of the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which challenges the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 under federal law. Download it here.
WitnessArts: Experiments in Public Art
Our Work: 2004- 2010
2010: As part of our ongoing efforts to promote LGBT equality, we filed an amicus brief in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal Constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. As part of WitnessArts, we continued the Backyard Band/with series with two shows in Jamaica Plain, MA, during the summer of 2010. In the buildup to midterm elections, we connected people to collaborating organizations and campaigns, including Jamaica Plain Progressives and Organizing for America.
2009: Through canvassing and phonebanking, we worked to defeat Question One, a proposed amendment to the Maine constitution to strike down a law legalizing marriage between same-sex couples. When the measure passed, we published an analysis with proposed innovations in The Democratic Strategist. In Asheville, Cecil Bothwell (one of the founding organizers of TPP) was elected to City Council. Our Boston team also explored methods for turning out the vote through existing social networks in the 2009 Municipal Elections, reaching thousands with targeted messages in an election that saw a noted turnout bump. Finally, we piloted Backyard Band/with, working with partners in Jamaica Plain. This series features silent film, live music and homemade pies and explores the impact of art in public spaces. We also presented TPP’s work at the Solutions Conference at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce’s Creating Change Conference in Denver, CO.
2008: During the 2008 election season, we were active in six cities: Asheville, NC; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY; St. Louis, MO; and Albuquerque, NM. Using lean, nimble organizing models, we connected people to the Obama campaign across the country, and to actions in nearby swing states; in the weekend leading up to Election Day, for example, we worked with Jamaica Plain for Obama to send hundreds of canvassers to New Hampshire, where they completed over 400 volunteer shifts. We were also thrilled to see North Carolina, where we have been organizing towards this goal since 2004, swing blue; and to see Larry Kissell elected to Congress in NC’s 8th District: in both cases, these wins were the result of a wide-spread commitment to grassroots organizing and a recognition of shifting political trends in NC politics. We also connected people from across the nation to the “No on 8″ campaign in California and were the first group to coordinate out-of-state phonebanks and to call for a national grassroots mobilization as part of the campaign’s field strategy. After Election Day, we were one of the first groups to publish a strategic analysis of why Prop 8 passed.
2007: We focused our efforts on revising our models, planning for 2008 and beyond. This included launching The Idea Factory, our workshop for developing innovations in organizing.
2006: Working in western North Carolina, TPP was proud to support the campaigns of candidates for local, state, and national office, including Susan Fisher (a NC State Rep) and Larry Kissell (US Congress). We were also proud to support the ongoing efforts of Democracy for America, Asheville, as the organization hosted a regional grassroots training institute and activated the progressive community for this mid-term election. TPP also helped to found the Coalition for Equality, an alliance of organizations in Western North Carolina working for full equality for the LGBT community. This coalition comes together in time-sensitive moments to coordinate community responses to events related to LGBT civil rights.
2005: TPP coordinated a month-long Get-Out-the-Vote effort for Robin Cape’s victorious Asheville City Council Campaign. We targeted key precincts and voters, working in coordination with other campaigns to ensure full GOTV coverage across the city. Our efforts helped to elect Robin’s as part of a new progressive majority on the Asheville City Council and as the second-highest voter getter. In all of this work, we kept our eye on the big picture: achieving change locally while we develop the skills and infrastructure to create change nationally.
2004: In our first year, TPP registered over 1,000 voters, mobilized hundreds of volunteers and coordinated Get-Out-the-Vote activities in over 15 precincts throughout Asheville, NC. We organized and led trips to Kentucky to fight the anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot there. Working with local artists, we also organized Step Up, Asheville, a fusion of poetry, music and performance to turn out the vote. In these efforts, we partnered with and brought more resources to organizations including: Democracy for America, Move On, Equality Kentucky, the Young Democrats of Buncombe County, the African American Caucus of Buncombe County, the Progressive Democratic Caucus of Buncombe County, and Driving Votes.