This past weekend I had the honor of volunteering with the 350.org team during the final 48 hours of their global day of action on October 24, in more than 180 countries and every single time zone. It was filled with the same intensity and emotion as Election Day — complete with lots of under-slept bodies and a dank campaign office. I was thoroughly impressed, learned a good deal, and had a blast. I’m preparing a more in-depth write-up on lessons learned, but in the meantime I wanted to pull together my status updates from the day (start reading from the bottom!) as well as some of the videos i shot.
ok, 350.org has basically turned into a porn site for online organizers. (and my coworkers have caught me sneaking peeks) #350ppm 11:49 PM Oct 26th
Grandiose q’s for a Sun, exploring future of citizen organizing + leaderless orgs in social change w/ @heif after ystrday’s @350 events 2:08 PM Oct 25th
There’re few thing more beautiful to me than what @350 crew + thousands of vol organizers achieved today. all deserve much sleep. #350ppm 1:33 PM Oct 24th
Photo: From times sq, proud organizers, mvmt builders #350ppm global day of climate action 4:16 PM Oct 24th
Big rally in times sq right now, showing pics of millions ppl taking action in almost every cntry to change our climate future #350ppm 4:07 PM Oct 24th
350 global day of climate action takes over TIMES SQ right now, photos frm around world. Unreal! VID: #350ppm 3:59 PM Oct 24th
this is what new organizing looks like. what’s happening behind largest distributed global action; VID: #350ppm 2:11 PM Oct 24th
athletes organizing events around the world for #350ppm global day of climate action; behind scenes video: 1:16 PM Oct 24th
McKibben re digital organizing: this is beta test of whether we can take this new arch. + make it serve some useful end 1:12 PM Oct 24th
incred photos coming in fast and furious frm #350ppm actions around the world: several of us tagging/sorting furiously 12:15 PM Oct 24th
I try not to be a product evangelist but this was the first international trip i’ve taken with my iphone, and man has it performed in ways that I didn’t anticipate.
1. WIFI — enough said; ATT’s international roaming plans will cover you for some emergency email checks, tweeting, or mapping, but beyond that, tapping into hotel or conference wifi has proven invaluable for uploading photos, downloading messages, checking flight information, and most importantly, making phone calls (see 1B)
1B. SKYPE — in Turkey, ATT’s best roaming plan (at $6 for the month) brought the voice rate down to $1.99/min (from $2.99/min); nice to have for emergency use, but otherwise Skype has saved me; at point-zero-something-per-min to landlines, i’ve talked as long as i’ve wanted on clear connections and barely made a dent in my skype credit (just lookout for unstable wifi networks that drop your calls); pair this with free incoming on an inexpensive local SIM chip (cost me less than $20 for a number + some minutes) and I probably didn’t even need to tell my clients i had left the country; although the 7 hr time difference on email may have tipped them off.
2. VIDEO — i recently upgraded to the 3GS, but the video was incidental for me; not anymore; having video has been a cool way to capture unique stories or experiences as they happen; i’d never travel around with a camcorder (i eventually abandoned my Flip after a several-month honeymoon was over), but when there’s one on your cell phone, you’d be amazed at what starts to be come video-worthy all of a sudden.
3. MAPS — English is not so prevalent here, even in Istanbul, as most people had me believe. As in, I have yet to find a cab driver who knows where my hotel is. But everyone can read a map of their own city, so shoving a screen in a driver’s face has proven to be remarkably effective. (Or if you’re suspicious of the results of your exchange, follow along on GPS to see if you’re heading in the right direction.)
I’m still reading and reconciling the flurry of ‘how Obama won’ articles — in particular the ones relating to field and internet. In the meantime, I want to share three short conversations I had with local volunteer leaders I was working with on Election Day in the Jackson, OH office. They’re a great snapshot of the backbone of the campaign’s ground efforts. I shot them during smoking breaks or down moments, but I still feel guilty taking 90 seconds of their time on E-day.
Some context: In just under a week, I drove close to 1,000 miles across half a dozen conservative Appalachian counties to assist the tireless field organizers in “Region 3” with their get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operations, the final push. As did Ben, Asher, and Jen in their respective regions. Ginny had been there for several weeks and was coordinating the entire GOTV picture for our part of the state.
Our work included everything from figuring out the logistics of getting tens of thousands of location-specific door hangers ready for volunteers to shuttling last-minute supplies around or training poll-watch volunteers. Asher and I both unknowingly ended up with Chevy HRR
‘s from the rental agency. What some consider a herse, i like to think of as Dick Tracy’s pride and joy.
This first clip is of Sandy, who explains how she went from being an online volunteer to running the entire office and staging location on Election Day, something she never imagined she’d be doing.
Next up is Betty, Sandy’s mom. Betty was classic, which i think is fair to say of anyone who lives in a town for 75 years. Betty explains how she got pulled into this massive volunteer effort along with her family and what she’s seeing for the first time:
Finally, Marleen, overseeing the phone canvassing (and big fan of pumpkin pie), on why this campaign is different from Kerry 2004 and more important than her wedding day:
It was a big german shepherd type. And it was in my dream.The dog bit my hand, in the webbing between my thumb and pointer finger, and it wouldn’t let go for several minutes. The pain was excrutiating and the dog’s people didn’t intervene despite my (very masculine) yelling.The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is this: why would a seemingly nice dog do such a thing? I’ve never had trouble with dogs beofore– they always like me—sent from my wireless handheld
(pointing) “oh look, there’s another italian place on the corner — Cosi!”—sent from my wireless handheld
work voicemail, checkwork email, check.Cell voicemail, check.Facebook?SMS?where’s the emergency exit for these two?Oh well… wheels up. See you in a week or two—sent from my wireless handheld
that’s the HQ for the metro system, as far as I can tell from the announcement I just heard them make from inside the tunnels: “all station managers, contact central control”we already know it’s gonna be an awesome place with lots of red buttons and wall-sized maps and monitors, but the name is tremendous. definitely beats ‘headquarters’, is somehat cooler than ‘operations center’, and it just may, I fear, rival ‘CTU’ —sent from my wireless handheld