How We Organize
WFPower’s aim across all of our states is to achieve durable power that can win and defend policies that broadly benefit working class people and people of color. We seek not only to advocate for policy and to hold elected officials accountable from the outside, but also to support cadres of champions in office and organize with them to enact progressive policy. Through leadership development and legislative organizing, WFPower is growing a multiracial, working class base that is well informed, skilled, and committed to taking consistent action so that the movement for a multiracial democracy is stronger in the process. WFPower’s competencies include legislative campaigning; state and federal coalition building with community and labor organizations; coordinating caucuses of innovative elected officials; mass popular education, skills development, and digital and on-the-ground tactical implementation with volunteers; candidate development and electoral campaigning; and working with culture and content creators to reach well beyond the choir of our current contacts.
Organizing the Multiracial Working Class
WFPower and our grantees have established a strong track record delivering material improvements in the lives of working and poor people. At the same time, we work to change the rules of the game, base build, and shift the public discourse. Our approach is multimodal, aligning and empowering individuals, institutions, and social movements. Each strengthens and is strengthened by the others. We recognize that these are separate things in the world—each with their own unique incentives and power. We seek to unite them in a way that unleashes the kind of collective power that can deliver the deep structural reforms that have eluded our imperfect union since its inception.
- Individuals: There is a large gap between the number of people activated and energized by progressive campaigns and the number of people who need and/or believe in the reforms we are championing. In other words, there are masses of unorganized people needing to be organized. WFPower focuses on meeting people where they are to bring them into our programs and campaigns. That doesn’t just mean growing WFPower’s own supporter base, but also those of our allied organizations. One way we’ve tapped into the power of individual organizing is organically—training the people we bring in to organize their own networks.
- Institutions: Community and labor institutions are the bedrock of progressive infrastructure in the US, and there is untapped potential in our ability to work as coalitions in deep ideological and strategic alignment. Acknowledging this, WFPower recognizes the individual members of our allied institutions as our own; we share our resources (experience, staff, and technology) in the spirit of radical generosity. In response to the crises we face, we’ve placed emphasis on fostering strong alignment and coordination with our allied organizations/partners to create a united front that understands and embodies the interlocking values of our pro-worker, anti-racist, feminist causes.
- Movements: As social movements swell and protest flash points emerge, it is in the interest of existing movement-aligned organizations to engage them to absorb as many new activists as possible into the permanent progressive infrastructure, while also working to maximize their effectiveness and impact in the moment. Movements are moments of collective consciousness that organically give rise to new leaders, democratize advocacy, and bring in new people at potentially unmatched scale. WFPower invests deeply in relationship with movements and provides the catalytic technology/tools and know-how to unleash the amazing opportunity that movements provide. WFPower’s work initiating and co-leading Frontline Election Defenders with the Movement for Black Lives and Rising Majority is a powerful example. In the 2020 general election cycle and subsequent Georgia runoffs, WFPower scaled the internal infrastructure we had already built to provide trainings, action opportunities, and tech infrastructure immediately and en masse. The project succeeded in absorbing a swell of movement activist energy and channeling it into a campaign that countered voter suppression nationwide by protecting voter access and rights before, during, and after Election Day.