Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear organizers, group leaders, and resisters

Dear organizers, group leaders, and resisters,

The first week of Donald Trump’s presidency has confirmed our worst fears. Donald Trump intends to act on his most radical, racist, and sexist promises.
Six weeks ago, we published the Indivisible Guide based on a simple idea: Donald Trump’s agenda doesn’t depend on Donald Trump. It depends on your elected members of Congress and whether they go along with him—or whether they fight back.
When we put the Indivisible Guide online as a poorly formatted, typo-filled Google Doc, we never imagined how far and fast it would spread. Since December, the guide has been downloaded over a million times. More than 4,500 local groups have signed up to resist the Trump agenda in nearly every congressional district in the country. What’s more, you all are putting the guide into action—showing up en masse to congressional district offices and events, and flooding the congressional phone lines. You’re resisting—and it’s working.
We are absolutely floored. It may have started as a tweeted Google Doc, but now (and sorry if this sounds corny) we feel an extraordinary sense of responsibility to help this movement as best we can. To do this, the Indivisible Guide team is starting a (nonprofit) organization, and we want to tell you why.
Bottom line, we want to do two big things better:
  1. Demystify congressional advocacy. We get hundreds of questions every day about what Congress is doing, how to organize locally (see the toolkit!), and how to advocate in different situations. We’re going to start sending out timely updates and resources on what’s going on in Congress and how you can best organize, make your voice heard, and influence your members of Congress.
  2. Support the community of local groups putting the Indivisible Guide into action. We want to provide shared tools to help groups organize events, communicate with each other, and share best practices and resources. This also means spotlighting local successes and supporting a sense of a shared purpose. You can see that shared purpose already forming—just look at this beautiful movement on Rachel Maddow.
We are already doing some of this! We now have over seventy (70!) volunteers working early mornings, late nights, weekends, and sick days on everything that you see the Indivisible Guide team do—email responses, congressional updates, the group directory, the website, our social media, and a bunch more. It’s been an amazing labor of love by a stellar group of, yeah we’ll say it, patriots. But we want to do more.
As we form a nonprofit, we want to make something clear: we're not the leaders of this movement. The last few weeks have made it abundantly clear that local groups are taking ownership of the resistance to Trump’s agenda themselves. You all are the leaders—we’re just here to help.
We’re still developing our long-term strategy, and we want to hear from you about what you need and want. But going forward, you’ll see a lot more from us in those two buckets of work above—we want to demystify the hell out of Congress and build a vibrant community of angelic troublemakers.
As a means to this end, you’ll now see a donate button on our website. So far, we’ve been relying on free help from partners and footing all the other costs ourselves. But we know that’s not sustainable on its own, and we’re in this for the long haul. So if you’d like to pitch in a few bucks to support the activities described above, we’d be very grateful.
But to be clear, donating is the last thing we want you to do. If it’s a choice between going to your local group’s meeting or donating to us, go to the meeting! Really.
We’re proud to be in this with you. This week, we partnered on a national day of action that saw thousands of you in hundreds of local groups from communities across the country stand up. In groups of a few or a few hundred, you exercised your constituent power in person at your own congressional offices. You braved the cold, the rain, the sleet, the snow to make your voices heard. You stood together and for each other.
This is the end of Trump’s first week--and we’re just getting started. Stand indivisible with us, and together we will win.
In solidarity,
Ezra Levin
President of the Board
Leah Greenberg
Vice President of the Board
Angel Padilla
Secretary of the Board
Sarah Dohl
Board Member
Matt Traldi
Treasurer of the Board
P.S. We’ve also fixed all the typos in the Guide now. Thanks to those well-wishers who emailed with corrections—you know who you are.