Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wow, those marches! What next? (Our plan.)

Yesterday, we marched in hundreds of cities and towns around the country in what appear to have been the largest protests in US history—a gorgeous showing of our resilience, strength, and solidarity.

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday, we marched in hundreds of communities around the country in what appears to have been the largest set of protests in US history—a gorgeous showing of our resilience, strength, and solidarity. Tonight, over 20,000 of us will join an Emergency Call together with our partners at Indivisible and the Working Families Party to discuss strategic actions to fight back against Trump's agenda in the next few weeks. (If you haven't RSVPed already, click here to listen to the call over your internet connection starting at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.)

But we also need to take the long view. Where do we go from here?

I wanted to take a moment to share our current thinking on the work we must do together in the months and years ahead—informed by what MoveOn members like you have said in surveys, email messages, and at hundreds of community meetings last weekend.

We've made a short video summarizing our plan; click here to watch it right now. And this email goes into much more detail.


Our overarching goal is clear: We must help grow a mass, accessible opposition—or resistance—movement to challenge Trump’s agenda, defend frontline communities, preserve the essential foundations of our constitutional democracy, and prepare to retake power in the 2017, 2018, and 2020 elections.

Here's more about our key goals:

1. We must mobilize around strategic campaigns to stop Trump and the GOP's devastating agenda.

The first big fight we're prioritizing is the effort to protect health care for tens of millions of Americans by saving the Affordable Care Act from repeal and stopping Trump's efforts to privatize Medicare, gut Medicaid, and defund Planned Parenthood.

What does that fight look like? Most of all, it means SHOWING UP and making our voices heard by members of Congress—showing Democrats that we expect them to stand strong and fight hard, showing Republicans that their constituents are fired up in opposition, and ensuring that the media and broader public understand that the GOP has zero mandate to take away health care from millions of Americans or increase their health care costs.

MoveOn members have already made tens of thousands of phone calls to members of Congress, organized rallies at more than 75 targeted senate offices, held planning meetings in hundreds of communities, launched a coalition to stop Representative Tom Price's nomination for secretary of Health and Human Services, lifted the voices of members who would lose their health care, led visible, legal, and peaceful protests in Washington to help showcase broad-based opposition to Trump's plans, and started working on a new Robert Reich video about the disastrous impact of taking health care away from tens of millions of Americans. And there's much more to come. 

But health care is just the start. This effort is a good example of what we'll need to do going forward. Together with partner organizations, we’ll need to mobilize a visible mass movement that's clear and convincing. As we do, we'll need to get our message out through the mainstream media AND use our own social media channels to spread the word. 

We'll need to partner closely with other organizations and individuals as we go, so that we can be greater than the sum of our parts. For instance, the amazing organizers who led the charge on the Women's March are promoting 10 actions that we can all take in the first 100 days of Trump's Administration. We'll help promote this and other collective efforts.

Along the way, we must be strategic in our actions and messages so that we’re not working from Trump’s script.

And crucially, as we campaign to stop the worst abuses, we must build and maintain momentum around an inspiring and positive vision of our future — not just say “no" to extreme policies.

We’ll lean in on the kinds of big ideas that can galvanize a mass movement. Like Medicare for all. Ending mass incarceration. Keeping carbon in the ground. An economy that invests in people and communities, not just endless growth and shareholder profits. We'll campaign for an inspiring progressive agenda and win some real victories—starting with places where Democrats hold power, at the local and state levels.

2. We will work to protect communities that are being scapegoated by Trump’s bigoted and hateful rhetoric.

This means drawing a hard line, starting with supporting undocumented Americans and Muslims—and all communities of Americans who may be specifically targeted by Trump and the Republicans, or by surging hate crimes around the country. We will carry out legal and peaceful protests and advocacy—including at the local and state levels—and media campaigns in solidarity with and in defense of those among us who are part of so-called frontline communities. We will refuse to let anyone be scapegoated, harassed, deported, locked up, or otherwise targeted.

To that end, we partnered with the organization DRUM and a range of allies in December on a campaign that successfully called upon President Obama to end NSEERS, a Bush-era program that could have become the framework for Trump's Muslim registry. This was a crucial victory that will slow Trump's ability to institute such a program—and it demonstrated the impact of our collective will to fight state-sponsored Islamophobia. 

We also joined with leading immigration advocates to support massive rallies before the inauguration—and to call upon mayors across the country to declare their localities "sanctuaries" for their undocumented residents. We will continue to support local and state efforts to resist escalating deportations.

We'll need to be really clear: An attack on any one of us is an attack on us all.

(As a reminder: Click here to watch and share this short video outlining MoveOn's plan to resist Trump and his GOP while rebuilding progressive power.)

3. We must help to preserve the essential foundations of our constitutional democracy during the next four years.

Although the Republican Party bears significant responsibility for Trump's rise, this administration isn’t just a group of Republicans. Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is a white supremacist. Trump's other advisers and Cabinet nominees seem to think that they are above the laws and norms of our democracy—with their threats to the freedom of the press, attacks on ethics officials calling out corrupt behavior, and already evident efforts to politicize government agencies.

We’ll need to prevent this administration's behaviors and actions from being normalized. That includes running campaigns that call on independent institutions—from corporations to nonprofit groups&mdsh;not to legitimize or give cover to the Trump administration when they're carrying out appalling attacks on our democracy and communities. And we'll support those that stand up for inclusive American values.

For instance: More than 100,000 MoveOn members like you joined an effort, led by CREDO, that asked Democratic lawmakers to boycott Trump's inauguration, resulting in more than 70 House members deciding not to attend.

This administration is not business as usual, and every institution in America has a role to play in stopping the worst possible outcomes.

By modeling a principled stand in defense of our democracy and our best values, we can inspire the same spirit of resistance in others and grow the power to push back. That includes Democratic senators and members of Congress, state government officials, mayors, university heads, bureaucrats, CEOs, and others.

4. We need to prepare to win back power in 2017, 2018, and 2020 elections.

We shouldn't underestimate the challenge of taking back the White House in 2020. It will require that we mobilize around our key values and aspirations and create an inspiring and inclusive alternative to Trump’s right-wing nationalist agenda.

The roadmap to retaking power looks something like this:

  • Wage strategic issue campaigns that, among other things:
    • Model an inspiring and inclusive vision for our future.
    • Help drive down Trump’s support in the general public (which is historically low even at the beginning of his term!).
    • Keep millions of progressive-minded Americans engaged in the political process.

  • Identify and support great leaders who embody fierce opposition to Trumpism and embrace an inspiring alternative. And we need to hold accountable Democratic leaders who fail in this regard. This includes fighting for a Democratic Party leadership that embraces an inclusive, populist, and progressive agenda and distances itself from corporations and lobbyists.

  • Win races in 2017 to help demonstrate the backlash to Trump and his extreme administration. This year, there are key state-level elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

  • Defend key Democratic seats in Congress in 2018—a challenging year. We'll have to defend our champions and support other Democrats who've been principled members of the resistance to Trump and Trumpism. And we'll need to expand progressive power at the state level including by winning back key governorships.

  • Mobilize around our key values and aspirations—with a great candidate—to win the White House in 2020.

Along the way, we will continue to track and call out the shocking levels of corruption and apparent entanglements with foreign governments in the Trump Administration. If legal experts agree that there’s a strong case for impeachment, MoveOn members may be needed to help press that case in Congress.

This plan is summarized briefly in our new video, which you can watch and share with friends and family.


We can’t yet know which will be the decisive fights in the coming months and years, or which exact races will be the most important for us to work on together. But we can say with some certainty that you and I will be in the middle of those fights, together. MoveOn will continue, as we always have, to respond rapidly to emerging challenges—while keeping in mind our larger progressive vision.

Despite the real threats we're facing, I am optimistic. I’m optimistic in part because I know what we, together, are capable of achieving. During the post-9/11 years, MoveOn members helped turn back the worst excesses of the Bush era—from opposing and helping to end the Iraq War, to helping stave off the privatization of Social Security.

And, as Saturday's marches made clear, we are the majority. As we fight for a fair economy, civil rights and liberties, health care for all Americans, and a healthy environment, we'll be standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans from all walks of life.

While the days ahead may be among our greatest tests, we have never been stronger. I’m thrilled to share with you that in the two months since the election, the number of MoveOn members chipping in monthly to support our work DOUBLED; there are now more than 50,000 people who contribute monthly to sustain our resistance work. This allows us to organize and build our campaigns in 2017 and beyond from a position of strength.

With Trump in office, we need your sustained support more than ever before. Will you consider chipping in $5 a month?

Yes, I'll chip in monthly.

No, I'm sorry, I can't make a monthly donation.

This is an incredibly challenging period—unprecedented in our history. But I’ve never been more confident in the power of MoveOn's members, our staff team, and our broader community.

Our strategic priorities are ambitious—but we can achieve them.

In the months and years to come, we will be channeling, supporting, and stoking mass peaceful and legal opposition to the Trump Republican agenda, and we will be laying the groundwork to win back power. Our resistance will be broad, inclusive, and accessible. We will protect our communities from harm. We will survive the Trump era while preserving our civil liberties and constitutional democracy. We will gain ground in elections in 2017 and 2018, and we will win back the White House in 2020 through an inclusive, equitable progressive platform.

Our values will prevail through these challenging times.

MoveOn has been here for 18 years, and we're not going anywhere. We're only getting stronger. Some of you have been here that whole time, some of you have been part of MoveOn for just a few days. You, along with the millions of MoveOn members like you, give me hope.

Thanks for all you do. 

–Anna, Ilya, and the rest of the team

P.S. Reminder: Our plan is summarized in our new video. Click here to watch it and share it with friends

Here's a link to watch the video on YouTube, if you'd prefer:

P.P.S. Don't forget to join us tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT / 5 p.m. PT for our Emergency Call with Indivisible and the Working Families Party, where we'll discuss the next set of strategic actions that each of us can take to fight back against Trump's agenda. If you haven't RSVPed already, you can listen in via your internet connection here:

Want to support our work?
The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?

Yes, I'll chip in $5 a month.

No, I'm sorry, I can't make a monthly donation.


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