2017 In Review
Organize Alabama! was officially formed as a statewide Democratic Club in June 2017. However, financial records exist prior to that time, and a Spring conference was held under the name Organize Alabama! in April. This record covers the entire activity of the club in 2017. The group registered as a Political Action Committee with the state of Alabama in June 2017.
Together, we’ve been busy organizing Alabama. Since Organize Alabama! started, we have over 2302 FaceBook members and 326 donors, conference attendees and dues-paying members; we also hosted two statewide conferences, registered hundreds of new voters and helped elect a Democrat to the United States Senate!
Thanks to our members and donors, we were able to purchase Votebuilder for Montgomery and Lee County, which allowed volunteers to target key voters to get out the vote in the Special Election. Thanks to the expertise and experience of our Board members we were able to provide tools and training, virtually and in-person, across the state, encouraging people to get involved, whether phone banking, registering people to vote, or canvassing in their local areas. On our Montgomery virtual phone bank alone, we had 135 volunteers make 4784 calls during the last few weeks of the Doug Jones campaign.
Laura M., Auburn, Lee County
After attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January of 2017, I was eager to return home to Lee County and get involved with local politics. I immediately became active with the local Democratic Club, another progressive organization known as Alabama Together, and began regularly attending city council and county commission meetings in an effort to become a more involved citizen. After connecting with Organize Alabama! Leadership through social media, I attended the inaugural conference in Montgomery during the Spring of 2017 and immediately felt that I found my niche. The expertise shared by Board Members and speakers motivated me to return to Lee County with my newfound information.
With Organize Alabama’s guidance, I felt assured that my county could develop a great field organization team. We immediately began numerous voter registration drives at various events, attended parades and the fairs, and tailgates every home game in Auburn where we distributed water and candy to thousands of Auburn fans. The unexpected Doug Jones candidacy provided us practical experience in developing a ground game, and with Organize Alabama! providing VoteBuilder to our county, we became the biggest swing county IN THE STATE (with a 40-point swing) for Doug. Without the resources and invaluable knowledge from Organize Alabama’s! Board, Doug’s landslide victory in our county would not have been possible.
Arlissa M., Ozark, Dale County
My county is so red that being a Democrat is almost akin to being in a secret brotherhood. So it was a no brainer when Doug Jones won the Democratic primary election that I would help in my neck of the woods to get the word out about him. Since I love talking to people and making new friends, naturally canvassing was the perfect way to do both of those things and get a little exercise while doing it!
Linking up with about twenty other brave souls who heard about Organize Alabama!, we met at McDonald’s on Saturdays for “Coffee and Canvassing” where we outlined a plan, then hit the streets. We absolutely LOVED using the MiniVan app to log our progress. Hearing from people who were excited to see Democrats out working was very invigorating and made working in the cold worthwhile. Moving forward, we are harnessing the momentum from the Doug Jones win and are planning on registering more voters (2 voter registrations scheduled so far), utilizing VoteBuilder more and of course, more “Coffee and Canvassing”.
The goals of this organization include raising over $1,000 from multiple sources to help influence the election of democratic candidates by grassroots organizing, voter education and get-out-the vote activities. This statement qualifies the group as a political action committee (PAC) in Alabama.
Itemized contributions over $100: $4,235.00
Non-itemized contributions: $4,980.83
In-kind contributions: (auction items not included in total revenue): $ 900.00
Sales of fundraising items: $1,441.00
Total reported revenue: $9,215.83
Votebuilder Purchase (Lee and Montgomery Counties) $ 983.70
Conference fees: $3,545.47
Web page platform: $ 144.00
T shirt purchase: $ 712.99
PO box: $ 38.00
Total expenses:: $5,424.16
December 31, 2017 cash on hand : $3,791.67
What’s Next for 2018
1. Votebuilder Drive - Want Votebuilder purchased for your county? Then become a member and help us recruit more members! The more people who join, the more resources we’ll have to fund Votebuilder in your county. This important technology can be the difference in a close election, and we need every vote we can get if we’re going to get more wins in 2018.
2. Event - Last year, we hosted two statewide conferences that focused on teaching one another about the best ways to connect and organize in Alabama. A statewide conference in Birmingham is in the works, featuring lessons learned from 2017. Additionally, regions of the state can request a conference or workshop in their area as the Wiregrass is planning for the spring.
3. Online resources - As we continue to build our network and collaborate across the state, we plan to create educational materials to assist progressive organizing efforts across the state.