Update: please digg here.
One of the topics that came up in our phone call on Saturday was Senator Russ Feingold’s early March visit to Wisconsin. Green Bay resident Jean told us that at his Listening Meeting there on March 4, she and several others were planning on bringing up domestic spying. And lo and behold, Green Bay is on the ever-growing list of cities our partner SaysMe.tv supports!
So it’s a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to Senator Feingold and his staff, and to get some media attention as well: at least in Green Bay, probably in Madison and statewide, and hopefully even more broadly. And in the broader context, this is a prototype for something that we’re going to want to replicate in all 50 states.
There are several different things we’ll need to be working on in parallel for this:
- the in-person plans: working with local activists, what collateral do we want to hand out, what will various people say when Feingold asks what’s on their mind, make sure we get good pics and videos.
- ad buy. we have a couple of videos that are already approved for airing and about $700 left over from the Inauguration ad, so that’s enough to get us started. We’d like to raise enough money (probably via a moneybomb) to get saturation coverage in Green Bay that day and the day before; we’ll find out from SaysMe how much that’ll cost.
- local and state media outreach: contact reporters, radio stations, bloggers, and any independent and community media groups and let them know about the upcoming story (details TBD).
- “approach mail” to Feingold: since Feingold’s an ally, he’s probably interested in helping us make best use of this opportunity. Exactly what that means … well, we don’t know at this point; but there’s almost certainly somebody on Feingold’s staff who’s the person to work with on this. A short e mail to the Senator saying “hi, here’s who we are, we’d like to work with you, who should we talk to?” seems like the easiest approach.
On the phone call, Frank volunteered to do a draft of #4. Once we have something go start with, we’ll put it on the blog and get feedback.
We’re going to need people to help with #1, #2, and #3 — hopefully including you. If you’re interested, please leave a comment and let us know what you’re interested in — as well as anything useful you can contribute. (I’ll go first as an example. )
We’ll probably have a couple of phone calls discussing this, and follow up with more specific requests; for now, we need to see how many people will be involved.
I know there are a lot of other important things going on right now, and civil liberties aren’t necessarily at the top of anybody’s short-term priorities. That said, it’s critical to use these next few months to prepare for this summer and fall, when Congress will be debating renewal of PATRIOT Act sections 206 and 215 (including national security letters). And remember, one of the great things about online activism is that you can help no matter where you are.
So please: get involved.
* As I pointed out on the phone call, “the FISA protesters on MyBO” are actually relatively famous in the online political world