“We can’t think of Occupy as distinct and alone. It’s a continuity of things that had been happening. We need to just jump in and build the relationships. When you jump in and get involved, you build trust with those involved.”—
“Issue-based groups working with Occupy should be honest about what their issue is and how it fits in with the broader 99% movement. As long as that narrative connects, it can become a symbiosis.”—Will York
“Occupy accomplished a hell of a lot in a relatively short amount of time, especially compared with big, expensive national campaigns. It’s incumbent upon us to put in the time and energy to work with this movement.”—Michael Kink & Ron Deutsch
“Establishing a working relationship by going to General Assemblies, working groups, and just working together is the best way to avoid what could be interpreted as co-opting.”—Michael Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition
A:The national infrastructure is still there. There's planning going on for September 17th, the one-year anniversary of Occupy. Their talking about the same issues, but taking it a step forward to actually take public space is what's noteworthy with Occupy.
“The reality is that the Occupiers need your organization’s expertise, infrastructure, etc. just as much as you need the Occupiers’ tenacity, youth, and creativity.”—Will York, National Lawyers Guild & Occupier
“My experience working as an Occupier working with established Nashville organizations was very positive. What was successful in Nashville was when the organizations got involved in general assemblies and other events.”—Will York, National Lawyers Guild and Occupier
Lessons from Creative & Cultural Strategies for Tax Fairness
- Go where people like to be and make it fun. - Culture is the policy of the irrational. - We need to use symbols that are not part of normal context. - Don’t start where we normally default - go somewhere else. - Taxes are scary and can be inaccessible. We can take taxes, use different parts of the brain, and involve people with a variety of skills to create some really creative stuff. - Use satire. - Take ideas and revisit them to pump them up to the next level. - Test your concepts - receive feedback - recognize what works. - You have to do something. Don’t just sit around and think or talk about it. - Being creative doesn’t have to be a huge process or take a lot of time. It just requires a leap and a risk. - Step from the symbol. - Remember that this work can be fun.
“Occupy does not have a list of 50,000 people that it can mobilize for a march. What Occupy does have is courage, creativity, and a willingness to make a connection with our established groups.”—Michael Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition
“We brought 20,000 people together in a wildly creative ways in the months prior to the start of Occupy Wall Street in New York. It’s important to remember that the work we [tax fairness organizers] had done was one of the catalysts for Occupy.”—Michael Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition
“The way I have come to view this work—either with ballot measures or legislative strategy—is that we have been divided into such tight silos based on how the right has decided to define issues (taxes, choice, etc.). This is how we’ve come to view our supporters. Really, humans care about a number of issues. We need to not view voters as one-issue commodities. We need to become a more sophisticated movement.”—Justine Sarver, BISC
“The hardest part about proactive ballot measures on taxes is figuring out how to separate ourselves from elected leadership while also conveying the message that government can work.”—Justine Sarver, BISC
“In terms of proactive goals, I think every defensive campaign we’re on is a proactive opportunity. Every dollar we spend should be us defining the field of play. Every single proactive campaign is an investment in our values.”—Justine Sarver, BISC
“The time is ripe for tax fairness. It means something to people. They feel like they’re getting screwed, they’re angry, and they’re ready for change.”—Robb Grey, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
“In four election cycles, progressives have spent more than half a billion dollars defending against ballot-measure attacks to protect an insufficient status quo. In 10 years, progressives will change the game and effectively use ballot measures as a political tool for victory across the country.”—Ballot Initiative Strategy Center’s vision