Congressional Bird Dog Training
Monday, February 5, 2018
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
24901 Orchard Village Rd., Valencia, CA 91355-3074
“Birddogging” is the activist tactic of putting a policy maker on the spot, in public, and hopefully on camera, with inescapable, bullet proof questions. A birddogger may decide to be perceived as a friend or foe, and birddoggers may come in groups small or large. All that is necessary is to pose a question directly to the person who has the power to give us what we’re asking for. This form of simple, direct advocacy, when applied consistently, is amazingly effective--and yet, astonishingly rare. In 2018’s election year, birddogging is how we will win the policies we need.
A nationwide network of birddoggers was formed in February 2017, in response to attacks on our healthcare. When the Trump Administration pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act by Inauguration Day, people power stopped it. Birddoggers played a leading role in halting the ACA repeal, and bottling up most of the Trump’s Administration’s legislative agenda. They packed every town hall meeting. When most Members of Congress essentially went into hiding by late spring, refusing to meet or appear in public, birddoggers refused to take no for an answer, and started going to Washington. In a series of actions that rapidly grew in size, the network ended up occupying every single Senate office that had not come out against ACA repeal, and were arrested in 49 separate Senator’s offices.
Birddoggers put themselves on the line, and literally stopped the last Senate hearing about taking away our healthcare. By putting politicians on the spot, in-public, and in-person, birddogging is the boulder-on-the-scale tactic that stopped TrumpCare, and helped drag out the tax scam fight for months, exposing the bill as the giveaway to massive corporations and making the bill toxic to voters.
The Administration is still trying to sabotage the law of the land, chipping away at our healthcare, and forcing rates up and quality of coverage down. But the reality is this: the Trumpsters have activated an unstoppable giant. 2018 is the year where we deliver payback to opponents–but also shape the future, influencing the policies of insurgent candidates.
We’re hosting a training! Everyone should join us who wants to learn how to birddog like a champ at election campaign events and fundraisers, when and how to use civil disobedience tactics, and get plugged in to the national network that is stopping the Trumpsters and winning the future.
Please join CA25 United for Progress (CA25UP, 25UP), the Center for Popular Democracy and Housing Works at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (24901 Orchard Village Rd., Valencia, CA 91355-3074) on Monday, Feb. 5 from 6:30-9:00pm for a 2.5 hour training and organizing session on how to birddog our way to a just and healthy America in 2018.
The most effective tactic has been to pack politician’s offices and public meetings, putting them on the spot, in person, and in public. Even though many politicians stopped holding town hall meetings out of fear of being exposed by their own constituents, campaign season is around the corner. Congress critters seeking to keep their jobs or win new elections must come out in public, or else they lose. Aspirants for office will be out and accessible, and in a wave year like 2018, reaching the challengers may be even more important than incumbents. We need to make sure that every candidate knows that universal, affordable, high-quality healthcare is a priority for voters everywhere.
Experienced trainers and organizers from our friends at Housing Works (the nation’s largest community-based AIDS service and activist organization) and the Center for Popular Democracy (a national umbrella of community organizing groups), have set up a nationwide network of people in 80+ cities and 40+ states who are linked up, trained up and getting face-time with their Members of Congress at in-district town halls and other public meetings, and sometimes getting to DC for high-profile national-level direct actions. And when our electeds are refusing to hold public meetings, this team will help us develop strategies to make our politicians respond to community needs.
Your sponsorship donation will be used to pay for supplies, signage, coffee and refreshments, and payment for the venue.
$100 Sponsor Benefits: