Movement updates

Sunrise General Movement Update: December 2021

Sunrise Logo - General Movement Update December 2021

On Tuesday, December 7th, Sunrise held its December + End of Year Movement x All Hands Call, a monthly rhythm designed to bring together Movement Leaders and Sunrise staff to ground in our current organizing moment, share major updates from Sunrise hubs & the national organization, celebrate movement wins, build relationships and take collective action.

If you weren’t able to make it, here’s a summary of what we talked about:

National Updates

  1. Good Jobs for All Campaign Updates
  2. Frontloading / DNA Ratification
  3. Electoral Program
  4. Sunrise Organizational Steering Team
  5. Hub Troubleshooting

National Updates

1. Good Jobs for All Campaign Updates

Key Links/Resources:

Political Context: Where are we at in this moment?  What’s the lay of the land?

At this current moment, not much has changed over the past few weeks with the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. The House passed an almost $2T version of BBB that includes about $550B for climate. That’s the Civilian Climate Corps, clean energy programs and tax credits, and other federal efforts for the climate crisis. Universal pre-K, paid family and medical leave, lower drug prices are included in the current version of BBB too. The House passed this version, and kicked it over to the Senate, where it still sits. Senators Manchin and Sinema have yet to indicate their support for BBB, and we need all 50 Senate votes to pass it into law. Senate Democrats are trying to pass a version before Christmas, so then the House can get back and pass the revised version in the new year. If all goes well, BBB will finally have passed through both chambers so Joe Biden can finally sign it into law in early 2022.

Manchin is stuck on paid family leave it seems, and word on the street is it is likely not to be included in the final bill.

Last week, Haunt4Climate, the post-hunger strike crew in DC finished a week of action targeting Joe Manchin. They held vigils and sit-ins, confronted Joe Manchin throughout the week, and ended with meeting him on the dock outside his yacht. There are great photos and videos of all their actions, and you should check out their twitter and instagram.

Today, there was a rally in DC for BBB led by progressive activists and immigrants “Bring it home for the Holidays” rally.

There are no plans for Sunrise to do any more actions around BBB, but when the bill passes (hopefully) expect to see a mass call invite on Slack or in your inbox. It won’t be everything, not even close, pretty bare minimum, but it will be the final conclusion of our first legislative campaign and the first pieces of federal social-climate policy passed in the United States.

Here’s a small summary of the BBB fight from last month, and could be useful context if you are confused.

Take Action: Call for the GND

We’re keeping the pressure high on our Senators by flooding their offices with calls (especially key senators).  Join a phonebank to do your part or make calls at any time!

2. Frontloading / DNA Ratification

Key Links/Resources:  

Part 1: State of Play: What’s been happening?  Where are we at?

Sooooo much has been happening in the land of Frontloading & Content testing in the last month!  Here’s a run down:

  • Public Content Testing
    • We don’t just want to know what the “choir” thinks about our proposed Sunrise 2.0 DNA, we also want to talk to the public at large to see what resonate and what doesn’t.
    • As such, a crew of Sunrise staff hit the road over the last 1.5 months bringing “Public Content Testing” sessions to communities around the country including: Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, several locations in Texas, California and beyond.
    • Many of these sessions had specific demographic goals, where there was intentional effort to reach young people, BIPOC folks (especially black & latine) and Spanish speakers.
    • So far these sessions have been hosted with more than 100+ individuals participating.  
  • Partner Input Sessions
    • Sunrise’s partnerships team has also been setting up sessions with national partners across the progressive landscape to hear feedback on how Sunrise was effective/ineffective in the context of our 1.0 DNA, and to get feedback on our proposed 2.0 DNA.
    • So far there have been sessions with 5+ groups of partners and this exploration is ongoing!
  • In Person Leaders Retreats
    • We’re gearing up to host in-person retreats to go deep on various topics of Frontloading in February & March of next year with hub leaders. There will be regional retreats and constituency retreats, all capped at 35 people as per our COVID policy.
    • This past week, there was a “Training for Facilitators” in Chicago to train teams of staff and movement leaders to facilitate these sessions for their regions and constituencies. It was incredibly energizing and hopeful for everyone participating, and we’re excited to dive deep into these conversations next year.

Part 2: Analysis – What have we learned so far?

While we’re only half-way through Content Testing, Sunrise’s Data Director recently consolidated some of the learnings and feedback we’ve gathered so far into these three reports!  Feel free to check them out to get a sense of what’s been vibing about the Sunrise 2.0 DNA draft, what hasn’t been vibing, and other main takeaways.  (NOTE: Please take these reports with a grain of salt!  They are still a fairly small sample size, because we’re only half-way through!)

Part 3: What’s Next?

There is sooooo much more in store as we head into the new year!  We’ll be gathering a lot more feedback, making adjustments to the DNA (story, structure, strategy & culture) based on that feedback, and we’re hoping to move toward clarity and ratification of the new DNA by April/May.

In the meantime, to stay engaged:

3. Electoral 

Key Links/Resources:

Jessica Cisneros Endorsement

Jessica Cisneros in TX-28, a 28 year old immigration attorney from Laredo is running to unseat Henry Cuellar, arguably the most conservative member of the Democratic Party. He’s taken over 800,000 dollars from the oil and gas industry throughout this career and is anti-choice, anti-immigration, and just all around really not good. 

We’ve seen over the last four years just how critical it is to have movement allies like Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, and AOC fighting alongside us in Congress. And we just need more of those people in Washington doing their thing. Cori Bush and the movement made the eviction moratorium happen, Jamaal and the movement made the Green New Deal for Public Schools legislation a reality. The more movement champs in office, the more radical change becomes possible. 

We’ve really internalized as a movement that elections are but one tool in our organizing tool box – they’re an important arena for us to fight in public about our  vision for a better world. They help us build a bigger tent, a bigger movement. Electing any individual candidate will certainly not save us, but we can use elections to grow our power and organizing skills. 

Together we can prove that progressives can win. Democrats could lose big time across the board, like badly, and lots of people are gonna blame that on the party being too left. If we can win with some progressive candidates, we’ll prove that Dems lose not because they’re too left or too radical, but because they’re too corporate and too incrementalist and too committed to the status quo.

  • Sign up to phone bank for Jessica Cisneroshttps://smvmt.org/sunriseforjessica
  • If you want support on getting involved in a local election, stay tuned for more info on the electoral coaching + training structure 

Endorsement Process

We’ve been spending a lot of the past few months preparing for the election season and midterms in 2022. Knowing this, we’ve been working on improving our resources and systems regarding elections and endorsements especially when it comes to the back and forth between Sunrise National and hub members across the country. We’re gonna be releasing a few of those resources throughout the next couple months:

  • 2022 Endorsement Frameworka quick explanation of how we recommend approaching elections from the perspective of building power.

4. Sunrise Organizational Steering Team

Key Links/Resources:

Refresher: What is the Steering Team?

  • The steering team is responsible for setting Sunrise’s strategic and organizational goals, including aligning priorities and processes across the organization, working with others across the organization and movement to foresee and address challenges in the transition from Sunrise 1.0 to 2.0, and approving major high-level organizational decisions
  • The current team is made up of executive director, managing director, campaign director, the leadership of Sunrise’s four divisions (organizing, communications, operations, and political & partnerships), and three at-large members who were elected by their peers.

What are the top line things the Steering Team tackled this past month?

  • Coming out of the October leadership retreat, we have been focused on moving forward our November-February priorities:
    • Catch up on operational and financial backlog and create new operational systems
    • Design and build senior leadership structure and begin organizational restructure
    • Introduce a new DNA to staff and base
    • Prepare for and initiate plan for 2022 midterms
    • Pass federal climate priorities and make sense of the current political conditions
    • Lay the groundwork for cultural transformation, esp around JEAO, in 2022 
  • This has included:
    • Planning for 2022 and synching up all of the different pieces of our plans 
    • Supporting a slow-down of in-person events to allow the operations team to catch up 
    • Approving high-level plans for our 2022 midterm organizing 
    • Assisting with the creation of an organizational budget for 2022
    • Creating a systems and communications sub-team focused on providing better lines of communication between the steering team and the organization and movement 
    • Laying the groundwork for the creation of organizational restructure and cultural transformation teams 

Where can people go to get more information or engage with the Steering Team?

  • For now, the best way to get more information is to reach out to Leah or Sophia, who are all on both the steering team and the systems and communications sub-team
  • In the new year, we will be working to develop a clearer, movement-facing tracker about what we’re working on as a team and why 

5. Hub Troubleshooting

Sign up for a Hub Troubleshooting Session today!  We’re here for you!

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