reocgnize that it's an uphill battle
betsey boggia quoted $300K
army of 30 = 10,000 with no one knowing, no paid, no media
we don't want anyone's money who can't give it.
rallies and protests won't get measures on the ballot either, and yet we do them.
we aren't doing this because we think it's going to be easy
we're doing this because it's the right thing to do.
we're doing this because a lot people want to get signatures for something meaningful. and if it takes us 10 years, we'll do it…
this is the main issue. if you have an issue with gov't this IS the main issue.
thisi s an extention of Occupy. people want their voices to be heard, and the traditional letter writing, phone calling, rely on legislator approach
we will not pay for any signatures.
last year, we had 4 people at this time. we got a website and a facebook page, filed with the AG, convinced lawyers to advise us, got the petitions distributed, convinced the state to allow is a print-sign-mail copy, and away we went. we had no money, no buttons or banners, and yet we got 10,000 certified signatures. now we have 8 regional coordinators, over 600 people liking us on FB, another 200 or so liking our back off page, boxes of buttons, bumper stickers on the way, a new website built by one of our team members, etc etc. ok, we don't look like a professional operation, but we also don't intend to. we intend to get the job done
Thanks for the typed snail mail letter. I agree that this is the “Battle of
our Age" and I think it is great that you are seeking an amendment to the MA constitution to end corporate personhood. As Terra knows, I was a key member of the 2009 effort to get Instant Runoff Voting ("Ranked Choice Voting") on the statewide ballot. We leveraged the existing network of Jill Stein and the GRP and had over 200 volunteers collecting massive numbers of signatures throughout the state. We hired two field organizers plus a brilliant, passionate campaign manager who had won several ballot initiatives in Oregon. In the end, we failed spectacularly, on track to collect about 30K signatures. Our volunteer army was 4x too small, and our funding base was over $50K too short. I cannot in good conscience lend time or money to the effort if there is not a clear and realistic strategy to actually get the requisite number of signatures. For activists of whom this is not their first rodeo, it is not good enough to make any moral or spiritual appeals, you must convince us that you have a strategy to actually meet these incredibly difficult thresholds. I didn't see that in the letter and I didn't see that in the FAQs. I want to know how big your list is. I get the sense that this inconvenient truth that this is a big-numbers game and, if you are to win, you are required to enter the campaign with these numbers (money or people), has not been directly and realistically addressed. Of course, please correct me if I'm wrong. What you are attempting is a REALLY REALLY difficult thing to do in Massachusetts, and 90% of groups who do a statewide ballot initiative always collect a large fraction or even the whole set of the 90K signatures using paid signature-gatherers, to the tune of $1-$3 per raw signature. It is tens of thousands of dollars, and often over $100K. To say you are "totally grassroots, all volunteer, and no one gets paid" does not bode well for your ability to win. I know I am dispensing unasked for advice, but I would recommend you take the same concept and ratchet it down to something like a change.org petition, or some really creative mailer that everyone sends to their rep where everyone sends: 1) miniature megaphones saying "money is not speech, money is an amplifier -- and they're drowning us all out" 2) little biohazard signs or warning label stickers that say "Health Warning: Unlimited corporate spending in elections is correlated with higher rates of obesity, etc etc" (obviously substantiate this -- just an example) 3) etc or team up with MTA, Common Cause (who already blew us all away by winning over 182 city and town petitions -- now THAT is a network!!!), Represent.us, or other groups that are effectively getting the issue out in front of the public. Understand that I write this because I do appreciate your intention and effort and I deeply wish for the movement's success. In solidarity, *Adam Friedman* 617.784.8993