By Dana R. Fisher
Activism, Inc. introduces the USA to an more and more conventional political actor: the canvasser. She’s the twenty-something with the clipboard, preventing you in the street or knocking in your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.Granted remarkable entry to the “People’s Project,” an unknown but influential association using left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the genuine tale of outsourcing politics in the US. just like the significant firms that outsourced their customer support to businesses in another country, the grassroots campaigns of nationwide revolutionary movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra membership, keep the youngsters, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at assorted instances to this unmarried association. throughout the 2004 presidential crusade, the Democratic get together the same outsourcing version for his or her canvassing.Fisher examines the heritage and reason at the back of political outsourcing at the Left, weaving jointly frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officers around the political spectrum, and People’s undertaking administration. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts at the correct, which stay firmly grounded in groups and native politics.This publication deals a chilling evaluation of the implications of political outsourcing. Connecting area people at the streets all through the US to the nationwide organisations and political campaigns that make up revolutionary politics, it indicates what occurs to the passionate younger activists outsourced to the consumers of Activism, Inc.
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Extra resources for Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America
Indd 34 5/11/06 11:29:06 AM Institutionalizing Activism 35 Ann Arbor office, had very strong feelings about the daily announcements: “I felt there was . . a lot of phoniness . . ” Marie was disturbed by what she perceived as the insincerity of the office setting and reported that it contributed to her decision to leave the canvass after six weeks. Like the office procedures, the politics of the canvass itself are also centralized. All of the campaign goals were set for each canvassing office by the regional or national branches of the People’s Project.
5 The People’s Project was using the canvassers to accumulate political clout in the form of postcards to bolster its lobbying efforts on their clean water campaign. Instead of educating the public about ways to pressure their political representatives personally, or actually cleaning up the polluted river—both of which are difficult, long-term projects—the organization identified how much money and how many names it needed to work the political system and then paid the canvassers to achieve these instrumental goals.
Then, I started canvassing awfully, so it was sort of depressing . . and they pretty much just kept throwing us in, not really giving us a lot of direction actually. Although Brandon expressed discomfort with his quick promotion, he thrived in the environment and chose to return to the canvass in 2003 as a director in the Atlanta office. Kimberly from the Baltimore canvass had a similar experience: “Like from day one, I knew I was training to be a field manager, they told me that on the first day .