People Power FAQ

People Power FAQ

What is People Power?
People Power is the ACLU’s grassroots member-mobilization project. Through People Power, the ACLU engages with volunteer groups across the country to take action when people’s rights are on the line. By mobilizing together in defense of our civil liberties, volunteers will build local communities that affirm our American values of respect, equity, justice and solidarity.

How many People Power activists are there in Washington?
There are almost 12,000 People Power activists in Washington. Find a group in your area here.

What do People Power activists do?
People Power activists across the country seek to bring meaningful policy change at all levels – from local communities, towns and cities, to state and nationwide efforts. So far in Washington, this work has included advocating for immigrant-inclusive policies at the city and county level, protesting Trump’s Muslim ban, participating in May Day marches in solidarity with immigrant communities, canvassing to defeat an anti-transgender ballot initiative, and demanding better oversight over police surveillance.

The ACLU coordinates People Power efforts, or “campaigns,” to bolster the work happening in the courts and legislatures. The first national People Power campaign was focused on Freedom Cities: a blueprint for local-level campaigns to defend our communities against anti-immigrant policies. For more information about Freedom Cities, go here.

In September, People Power launched their second major campaign – Let People Vote. To find out more about the voting rights campaign, go here.

Great! I’ve signed up to be a part of People Power. What do I do now?
The best way to get plugged into People Power is to attend an event in your community! Visit https://map.peoplepower.org, where you can find events posted by People Power activists around the country. Type in your zip code at the top or zoom in to find an event near you. Don’t see an event in your area? Host one yourself and organize your friends! (see below)

You can also connect to other People Power activists by becoming a member of your local Facebook group and Slack, an online communication and organizing tool. Once on Slack, you can chat with activists across the country as well as join discussion channels dedicated to your geographic region or topic interests.

The People Power website has a toolkit for activists, including a tactics guide to give you ideas for how to make change in your community. If you are interested in planning your own event or meeting, go to the People Power map and select “Host an Event.” Please reach out to us at activism@aclu-wa.org to let us know what you’re planning to do in your community and how we can support you!

I am a volunteer for People Power. How should I introduce myself?
People Power is a campaign of ACLU National and state-based ACLU affiliates. Our vision for People Power is to create a strong base of volunteers, activists, and allies who help support and expand the ongoing advocacy work of the ACLU. Please introduce yourself as a “member of People Power” or a “supporter of the ACLU of Washington.” For more information on People Power volunteer guidelines, please refer to the ACLU of Washington Freedom Cities toolkit.

Do you have any tools or resources on how to be an effective ally?
Being an ally to other organizations and communities is a deeply important part of the ACLU’s work. Please visit our Ally Resource & Education page for tools you can use in your activism. There is always more we can do as activists to reconsider our assumptions and position ourselves in roles that are supportive to the communities we aim to serve.

What else can I do to support the ACLU?  
What should I do if I’d like to host a booth or table at an event in my community?
If you are interested in tabling at an event, please contact activism@aclu-wa.org. ACLU of Washington’s Activism Coordinator can direct you to training opportunities and let you know what resources are available.

I’d like to represent People Power and hand out ACLU materials at my own event. What can you provide?
If you are interested in distributing ACLU membership brochures, Know Your Rights wallet cards, stickers, buttons, or other items, please contact us via our web form and we will work with you to provide the resources we have available. Thank you in advance for understanding ACLU staff are working harder than ever. Your patience is appreciated and your activism is essential!

Can I use the ACLU’s non-profit status to promote marches or protests that I organize as part of People Power?
People Power is a political mobilization effort (501c4), so donations, including in-kind donations, are not tax deductible for these events. Please contact us at activism@aclu-wa.org if there is a specific event you would like to discuss in more detail.

Can you provide talking points on a specific policy or ordinance for the upcoming council meeting in my city?
If you are interested in having an ACLU expert provide feedback on your local policies, send a note to activism@aclu-wa.org. While we strive to address all inquiries, please note that due to staffing constraints we may not be able to provide talking points or analysis for every request we receive. The ACLU of Washington and national ACLU websites are useful resources for many issue areas.

Who are my elected representatives?
To find out who your legislative (state) and congressional (national) representatives are, you can enter your address into this online tool. For local representatives, visit your city and county websites.

Can you set up a meeting for my People Power group with the elected official in my district?
We encourage you to collaborate with other activists in your community when reaching out to elected officials. It’s important for elected officials to hear directly from their constituents on issues they care about.

How can we coordinate with other People Power activists in our area to attend meetings with local candidates and elected officials?
Connecting with People Power activists in your area who will request meetings with the same candidates or officials is a great idea! The People Power website, Slack, and local Facebook groups can be very helpful for coordinating these meetings.

I’m having trouble connecting with other People Power activists in my area. What should I do?
There are multiple ways to connect with other People Power activists nearby. We recommend looking on the People Power map to identify meetings in your area, joining the People Power Facebook group for your city or county, and reaching out to folks on Slack. If that doesn’t work, let us know and we may be able to connect you to a group in your area.

Can an ACLU representative speak to my group about a specific topic?
To request a speaker, please fill out the Speakers Bureau request form at https://www.aclu-wa.org/pages/request-aclu-wa-speaker.

Can I reach out to other organizations on behalf of People Power?
Please contact ACLU of Washington staff via our web form or at activism@aclu-wa.org before reaching out to an external organization. As a multi-issue organization, the ACLU has numerous connections with organizations around the state and country, and we may have existing relationships that could be helpful to your group.

How do I learn about marches or protests that are happening?
Check the People Power map regularly – activists around the state are posting events in their communities all the time. You can learn about events that the ACLU of Washington is directly involved in by signing up for our Action Alerts, visiting our Events page, and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

These local alternative weekly news sources, among others, have good event listings: You can also join the email lists or Facebook groups of local activism groups and organizations to find out about actions that are happening near you.

Where can I find Know Your Rights publications?
You can find Know Your Rights publications for download, including “Know Your Rights When Stopped By Police or Immigration Agents,” here. We are also able to send Know Your Rights wallet cards on various topics if we have them in stock. Please contact us at activism@aclu-wa.org for more information.
 
Is there a local ACLU office in my area?
The Washington state ACLU affiliate is located in Seattle and serves the whole state. Our staff travels around the state regularly to attend meetings and events. If you are holding a People Power event in your area, please let us know at activism@aclu-wa.org