Civic engagement can help us thru COVID-19 + other crises threatening our future, stability, lives, & economy.
Shift the Country is a new initiative founded in this moment of great disruption to help people help each other through several crises happening at once, to get voters engaged, to hold civil society together in this country while we get through, and to make structural transformation along the way. That’s the mission.
We can help Shift the Country toward a more equitable, just, resilient, and sustainable society using the five principles of connection, community, inclusiveness, resilience, and problem-solving.
OUR 5-PART STRATEGY...
** Provide Key Civic Engagement Tools: We recommend a core set of 15 all-purpose civic engagement tools designed for exactly this moment and mission that any individual or group can use for action at any level – with ideas, context, and examples for use;
** Help Engage the Majority of Voters: We help get voters engaged to counter the natural tendency of humans to disengage due to collective trauma from the worsening coronavirus catastrophe, and from emerging tyranny and nationalistic oligarchy (an engaged, active majority of voters can push back tyranny and oligarchy);
** Drive The Narrative + Public Agenda: We help drive the narrative, and help people advocate for solid opposition agendas/priorities at every level to build consensus for revitalized institutions and a social contract that serve all Americans better than ever before;
** Leverage Social Networks To Reach Further: We leverage social networks plus marketing for greater permeation and reach in both the real world and online – to foster the “viral spread” of action, engagement, activities, problem-solving, stories, messages, and ideas.
** Help Build Power Through Greater Alliances: We build power by helping people build bigger and more coalitions of coalitions, groups, teams, businesses, organizations, nonprofits, institutions, and individuals in greater alliances than ever to help us have more engagement than ever.
The US is in a massive disruption. Americans are fighting for our lives, the lives of the people we love, our safety, and a fair shot at getting through. At every level, elected officials, governments, and institutions are often not helping us survive, stay alive, and thrive as best they could. This country is in a giant pivot.
“We believe that COVID-19 will be one of the biggest economic, political, and cultural turning points of our lifetime, and how we respond will shape our future.” – New Media Ventures website
This civic engagement approach can help people help each other through all of this, help people save lives, help get more voters engaged and voting, help hold this country together… and create something like a phenomenon. A shift to a different future. Shift. We make shift happen.
We're imagining that there will be different kinds of information for each of the 15 tools - like a basic quick "how to" page, and then videos, podcasts, examples, and stories of people actually using the tools.
Plus, you can combine the tools and use them in different ways for action in any of the 10 Structural Areas - For Action & Change, or for any action. So we'll plan to put out videos, examples, and stories of people doing that, too.
And we'll do videos, workshops, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, and other stuff to help people make shift happen in general - for the mission. For helping people through, for getting voters engaged, for holding society together, and for making change along the way.
HOW FUNDING HELPS MAKE SHIFT HAPPEN...
We're super-brand-new as of July 2020. We're at the very very beginning of fundraising. Every bit of help helps us make more shift happen.
The funding we are asking for is for about $10,000 a month in operating expenses for six months through the presidential transition, plus $10,000 for start-up expenses. Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.
Our expenses include things like the time it takes to create content to put out the official 15 civic engagement tools, guides and examples on how to use them, and supporting videos and podcasts. We will put out similar material on the 10 structural areas, and on how to use the elements of the 5-part strategy. Expenses will cover things like technology, some hardware for podcast production, production of FB and YouTube videos, podcast production, software and other technology to make all of this happen, subscriptions, and hosting and platforms for email, outreach, and websites.
Funding will also go to digital marketing as part of the 5-part strategy. The base funding helps us do a bit of marketing per the strategy to get the tools and info out so people can make some shift happen.
EXTRA funding on top of what we're asking for can help us do WAY more marking - and to make even bigger shift happen.
The US needs action, coalitions, ideas, and empowerment now.
The Shift the Country framework can help catalyze organic, structural, systemic action and transformation in US communities as we find our way through, together.
WHERE THIS SHIFT IS HAPPENING...
** The 15 civic engagement tools to Shift the Country
We'll also be setting up community on Discord, and a YouTube Channel. Email is team at shiftthecountry dot com.
Change is coming, whether we drive it or not. We – all of us – can help that change be transformation.
Thank you. Be safe. Be well. Love some people. And try not to get dead.
There are ways through this. We find them together.
- Amy Craane
- Lisa Meece
- Holly McCain