***All of you wonderful and generous past donors have been anonymized for privacy, as this is likely to be shared more broadly. Thank you all so much for supporting this work!!!***
Hey, good folks!
If we want strong data privacy and anti-surveillance laws that protect us: The time is now.
This work is urgent, it’s already underway,
and we're going to need to continue building some serious people-power to go up against the money and lobbying influence of big tech. This is going to be a David and Goliath kind of fight, and we have to build power at local, state, and national levels in order to win.
Your help is needed to get some more basic infrastructure in place that can help support this local grassroots organizing! WA People's Privacy is not yet an established entity (501c4 or other) that allows us to use all of the typical fundraising and action tools many organizations use, BUT becoming one... guess what? That takes funding!
If we want strong laws that actually protect people, instead of increasing the harms, we have got to organize NOW.
Data Privacy is something we all need, and it's also an intersectional issue. Privacy and surveillance are completely intertwined with racial, immigrant, labor, gender, health AND housing justice. Now that Roe has been rolled back, and multiple states have banned and criminalized abortion healthcare, surveillance and data privacy have risen to the top of more and more people's awareness.
That's a good thing! But, it's so important to recognize in this moment that surveillance and invasions to privacy have always been a threat to bodily, personal, and community autonomy for many people in the U.S. — mostly BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and immigrants of color.
The national (and international) legislative conversation on Data Privacy, Automated Decision Systems/AI, Biometric Data, and surveillance technologies has really had the lid blown off by SCOTUS's reversal of Roe, as well as a report preceding Roe's overturn that data brokers have been selling/sharing data with law enforcement agencies and ICE and violating/skirting sanctuary laws.
Thanks to our work, we're convening well-established and newer organizers in this field to fight for good laws, and WA grassroots organizers and a growing number of local communities across the U.S. ARE now represented in national conversation! Again, that's progress! AND we need to organize and mobilize much, much more for a people's win.
With the push to pass national laws that protect business profits and law enforcement interests, rather than people, it’s so important for WA state organizers to remain in this work. We won an epic four-year battle against industry-written data privacy laws last year that would not have protected us. And, having successfully passed surveillance bans via city councils and ballot initiatives; we're skilled up to talk to everyday people as well as lawmakers, in order to pass laws that can protect us from #bigtechharms.
Current Federal legislation passed out of the House Commerce committee July 21st would preempt the passage of stronger consumer-based data privacy laws in states (consumer data collection and sharing/selling is where a lot of our privacy is invaded), among other preemptions. That means it’s very much within the realm of possibility that our fight in WA for the last four years could be made moot. It could even compromise the great work of our AG's office to hold big tech accountable.
And, it should not only be those people with tightly gatekept access to congressional bodies and the lawmaking process who are crafting laws in closed rooms that have vast implications on all of our rights and liberties far into the future, as well as our safety. WE MUST to be in this mix, and our voices have to be heard!
In an era where many of our hard-won rights are in danger of being rolled back by what has become a perilously politicized Supreme Court, the importance of facilitating everyday people's awareness of the threats and harms and mobilising our input and action on data privacy laws cannot be emphasized enough!
What are the specific funding needs?
Here's a list of what more funding is needed for:
- Fixing our web-page and reimbursing me for domain and web-service payments already made.
- Getting web-resources and actions up and running quicky to support current federal AND upcoming state advocacy.
- Service subscriptions to web, webinar, graphics, tech tools and action network tools.
- Seed money to file for status and organize a formal board.
- Organizer stipends/mini-grants to support travel, educational workshops and events, and compensate folks for our work.
- Printing of contact cards, flyers, educational materials, posters, and GOTV materials.
- Holding virtual and in-person community events and teach-ins.
- Honorariums for board members' time and efforts (if not financially able to donate).
- Honorariums for community member input sessions & for tech/organizer/legal/policy professionals' working time (if not financially able to donate).
Why fund this work rather than just donate to a big non-profit?
Grassroots organizers can mobilize within time-crunched urgency, and work on campaigns and in community coalitions in flexible and informal ways that non-profit staffers and legal organizations simply cannot take on as part of their formal employment. Staffs of big orgs are often functioning on very limited time and capacity due to the constraints of their formal roles and/or being overloaded with multiple projects and the fundraising dictates or strategic priorities of those workplaces.
Also, grassroots organisers are really good at knocking on doors when we need to acheive wins at the ballot box!
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It's so exciting to continue building and laying the groundwork for more organizing and mobilizing efforts for data privacy, and against creepy and dangerous surveillance, in ways that are deeply intersectional, and that truly help us build power in our communities.
Please consider donating whatever is do-able for you & please share!
WA People's Privacy organizers and I are humbly and respectfully asking for your support.
If using this platform isn't your jam, reach out directly through our website's "Get Involved" link!
You can also find us on Twitter & Insta.
☕️ If you are a larger organization open to helping us via fiscal sponsorship; or a grantmaker or larger donor interested in supporting us with seed funding for WA People's Privacy/People's Privacy Network, please reach out via our website link above.
Poem linked at the top is called Prerequisites for Preservation By Naima Penniman
Photo: Gathering signatures for municipal ballot initiatives during the 2021 summer heat wave!