8 Ways to be an At-Home Organizer: Lessons from Our Network

Staying at home and practicing social distancing has been our new normal for nearly two months now. But this has not stopped the Alliance from organizing young people to build political power. Every organization in the Alliance network has found new and innovative ways to transform their events, programming, and local organizing work to fit our new reality. Here are 8 innovative tactics Alliance network organizations are using right now to mobilize young people.

Virtual Town Halls

On April 16th, Alliance network Executive Directors co-hosted a virtual town hall with Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden on reforming our democracy and securing our elections in 2020. Check out the highlights here. 

Next Up hosted a COVID-19 Youth Town Hall with legislators and community leaders that covered mental health, the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities, access to technology, and more.

New Era Colorado partnered with Colorado Senate Majority Leader, Steve Fenberg, and the Student Borrower Protection Center to host a town hall on how to navigate student loans during the COVID-19 outbreak. New Era also partnered with Colorado’s Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, to host a virtual town hall where they discussed options to vote safely in the upcoming elections and celebrated 17-year-olds for turning out in droves in March for their first primary elections.

Online Classes and Trainings

Social distancing did not stop Leaders Igniting Transformation from launching their annual Black Hogwarts program! Black Hogwarts, now a virtual training program, provides leadership development and political education curriculum to high school students, college students, creatives, and more. In this year’s adaptation of the program, participants can choose “houses” like Civics Gryffindor or Culture Hufflepuff. 

Class is still in session at MOVE University! Since social distancing began, MOVE Texas has hosted seven MOVE University classes on topics including voting rights, paid sick leave, arts and activism, DACA, and building a new generation of voters. 

Instagram Storytelling Series

The Washington Bus has been collecting stories from young community members about how they are stay civically engaged while social distancing as a part of their #DemocracyStillMatters Instagram series

 Forward Montana launched a fun and engaging Instagram series informing their followers about the importance of the Census and how to fill it out.

Instagram Live Events

As part of their Give A Sh*t Week of events, Chicago Votes hosted “Sh*t Talks” on Instagram Live with organizers about cannabis and community activism and creating during COVID.

Every Friday, college fellows from Leaders Igniting Transformation host “Staying Lit”— an Instagram Live series exploring current events like immigration during COVID-19 and starting a business as a college student.

Tweet Storms

As part of their Give A Sh*t Week of events, Chicago Votes hosted a Twitter Storm to get people to sign their petition to Unlock Civics for incarcerated people.

Ohio Student Association launched a spearheaded “Action April” calling on the Governor, Health Director, and local sheriffs to release incarcerated people statewide and provide adequate health treatment and sanitization via Twitter. They also formed the Montgomery County Jail Coalition and sent a letter to the sheriff and judges demanding to halt all plans to build a new jail and to release incarcerated people during COVID-19.

Movie Nights

Using Netflix Party, Engage Miami, MOVE Texas, and Chicago Votes, hosted a joint movie night featuring Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th” accompanied by a live tweet-along.

Virtual Phone Banks

Forward Montana has taken their Census organizing work completely online by hosting virtual phone banks with their organizers. Their statewide teams have made over 15,000 phone calls to ensure Montanans have the information they need to get counted.

Art and Activism

The Washington Bus hosted a contest to collect art from young creatives with prize money designed to offset financial burdens young people are feeling right now. See all the submissions here!

Minnesota Youth Collective is building a “Quaranzine” filled with written and visual art submitted by young organizers.

Want to learn more about how Leaders Igniting Transformation, Ohio Student Association, and Loud Light mobilized young voters for their primaries during COVID-19? Read more in our “The Alliance Network in the Primaries” blog.