Movement updates

Sunrise General Movement Update: October 2021

General Movement Update: October 2021

On Wednesday, October 6th, Sunrise held its October Movement x All Hands Call, a new 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. Frontloading / Content-Testing
  2. 2022 Electoral Engagement
  3. Sunrise Organizational Steering Team
  4. Community Care
  5. Line 3 

Hub Updates

  1. Hub Digital Sharespace

National Updates

1. Frontloading / Content-Testing

Sunrise is going through a process called Frontloading, and right now we’re getting into the stage of “content testing”, where we draft different ideas for feedback. This feedback will be integrated into our new DNA, and then the movement will go on to ratify the new DNA by voting.

On October 24th, we’re launching public content testing in Chicago, where a team of people will be traveling to a few cities around the country to get feedback from Black folks, Latine folks, poor and working class folks, and highschoolers, not currently in our movement, on our DNA. Some of the cities we’re traveling to include El Paso, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Oakland, and Phoenix.

The weeks of 10/25, 11/1 and 11/8, we’ll also be hosting online content testing sessions for current Sunrise members. There will be one session on story/strategy and another on structure/culture, with each session being 2.5 – 3 hours long. There will also be two bonus sessions for a deeper dive on specific topics. In addition, the content testing team will also be doing online hub visits with 10-15 hubs to go deep on hub structure.

There are several teams working to wrap up their work to finalize our DNA:

  • The Culture Team is developing new draft principles, which will get feedback through content testing
  • The Story team is wrapping up its work to create metanarrative + key narrative interventions
  • The Strategy team is in the phase of developing campaigns and tactics to test
  • The Structure team has been working on proposals for hub structure, democracy and decision making, and the foundations of our organizing structure. They are beginning to move into the question of national support structures.

2. 2022 Electoral Engagement

2022 will be here before we know it, and that means we need to start preparing now if we want to continue to have a fighting chance to win a Green New Deal. Stay on the look out for more information, but for now, here’s a breakdown on why 2022 matters…

  1. Defend the Majority – Most immediately, it is really important we don’t lose our majorities, especially the razor thin “majority” in the Senate. We’re seeing how Manchin and Sinema can hold shit up with a 50-50 split – if we lose seats, it’s game over on legislation for a while. Ideally we’ll grow the majority so corporate Dems like Manchin aren’t as much of a block. There’s more leeway in the House, but it’s still important to maintain that majority and elect more progressive champs. The Progressive Caucus flexing its power in the infrastructure negotiations is proof that our work to elect the Squad and other progressives is vitally important.
  2. Build Power for 2024 and Beyond – When we look at the impact we could make in 2022, we should really be thinking about 2024. It is more than likely that Trump will run for President, and we should prepare for a dangerously close race. Many of the important races in 2022 are in places where we’ll need to win in 2024 – PA, WI, AZ, etc. We can use the midterms to build infrastructure and get ready. Not only that, but we want to build long term organizing power throughout the movement so that we have the ability to fight locally and nationally for big legislative victories!

Things we are looking at overall about the midterms are…

  • Ways to develop skills across the movement to build powerful campaigns that include the election 
  • Which places/races help us tell a larger story that would benefit the movement as a whole 
  • How to use 2022 to set us up for 2024 and legislative wins in 2023 and 2025 
  • Over the next few months, we are going to consult with hubs in strategic 2022/2024 locations + bring together members across the movement to discuss what national decentralized support would look like.

How Sunrise could reorient our view of upcoming elections…

Principles for Elections in Sunrise 2.0: 

  • We see elections as tactics in larger campaigns/goals for the next 4 years: Where we choose to organize must move our overall goals forward too 
  • Sustainable leadership development and powerful organizing is our top priority in places we devote capacity towards in electoral work 
  • We invest in races where we have a GOOD chance to WIN! 
    • Not just blue cities/states, but purple places where we want the GND to make the difference
  • We organize, not just mobilize: If we centrally organize around an election, it should also build lasting organizing power for our base in that place 
  • Borrowing a principle from WV Can’t Wait: we need 1,000 leaders, not just 1, and our structure should make that possible 
    • For Hubs: We want to offer resources, training, coaching, and community that hubs can opt-into that would help develop electoral skills that will not only help during the election, but to build power in communities after election day as well. 
    • We want to run another badass phone banking operation that helps us make a ton of voter contact for people like Jessica Cisneros!!! 

3. Sunrise Organizational Steering Team 

Since the Steering Team launched we have been trying to find the balance of the time and commitment that goes into a leadership team and the immediate need for responses and much needed changes to our org structure/culture. Here are some things the steering team has been up to: 

  • Creating streamlined processes – most notably for reviewing proposals
  • Digging into Justice, Equity, and anti-oppression work for the org as the JEAO team disbands – the implications and the opportunities 
  • Legitimizing leadership – along with having directors on the team we are trying to more accurately define the roles of leadership teams like Frontloading and Campaign Team and how we all interact with one another 
  • Org health/culture – we have been working with outside facilitator groupsto help us determine how we begin to transform our organization for the better

And here are some things the steering team still needs to work on:

  • Creating streamlined processes – improve the hiring process, project/proposal approval, data management, etc. 
  • Communication- broadly we are trying to undo and implement avenues of communication that are conducive to our work and our values [especially as it relates to vertical & horizontal communication]
  • Continue to legalize leadership and work to improve the health and culture of the organization

4. Community Care

Some background on the CHAT team (Community Healing Accountability and Transformation) and the SJ team (Survivor Justice) team:

  • CHAT team (Community Healing Accountability and Transformation) aims to grow capacity for our movement to navigate conflict through transformative justice, generative conflict and nonviolence frameworks so we can move away from the dominant white supremacy culture of conflict avoidance and lean into practicing abolitionist and trauma-informed systems of consent, accountability and healing. 
  • SJ team (Survivor Justice) builds a culture of consent and nurturance in the movement by providing a space for community support and healing, ensuring survivors of gender-based or sexual harm (GB/S) have a voice in movement decision-making, and educating the movement on how to prevent and respond to GB/S harm. 
  • Both CHAT and SJ are prioritizing building capacity across the movement to create a broad cultural shift around how we handle conflict, accountability and GB/S harm within Sunrise.

Currently the The CHAT and SJ teams are working together to launch a role network/community of practice for folks doing conflict, healing  and/or harm work in Sunrise called the Community Care Network. This network would have monthly/regular calls for both teams and individuals– people who are working on bringing transformative justice, nonviolence, and generative conflict into their Sunrise organizing.

CHAT and SJ envision three main goals for the role network:

  1. To create a community of practice where people doing this critical care work can be supported, learn from each other, and grow capacity for this work to be sustainably done across the movement. 
  2. For CHAT and SJ to better share resources and learnings with the people doing care work now, and to better understand where our movement needs more support and resources.
  3. For CHAT and SJ to work alongside this community of practice to develop new tools and resources for the movement so we can nurture the crucial and necessary cultural shift that our movement needs to thrive!

5. Line 3

For over a year, Sunrisers in Minnesota have been supporting the Indigenous led resistance movement against the Line 3 pipeline. They’ve been joined by more hub members from across Turtle Island. Through legal battles and public engagement, protests and rallies, and lots of nonviolent direct action, the movement to stop Line 3 has caused years of delay to the project. On October 1st, though, Enbridge officially announced that Line 3 is operational. 

October 11th-15th there will be a People vs Fossil Fuels Week of Action. Indigenous matriarchs are taking the fight to Biden’s doorstep. You can join frontline leaders and climate justice movements in DC for this week of action. Each day will have a different focus. Line 3 and Indigenous Sovereignty and Treaty Rights will be on Oct 12th and Sunrise has been asked to help with turning out young people on the Youth Led Day of Action that wraps up the week on Friday October 15th. This is a big moment to mobilize our base and supporters, one of our greatest sources of power, to meet this moment alongside our partners and relatives. Sign Up Here for People vs Fossil Fuels and Register Here to Help with DC Youth Turnout

Camp Migizi has made it clear that they are building for the long term and aim to be an evergreen home to Indigenous resistance. You can financially support them by donating on venmo @CampMigizi and following their Instagram page. Or join their monthly workshops led by Indigenous teachers and speakers.
The RISE Coalition is also holding their third Camp Firelight Occupation and have carried the coals from the first occupation’s ceremony at the headwaters of the Mississippi to their current location on 1855 and 1863 Treaty Territory. They have made a call to action for folks to join them there and continue to fight in defense of Treaty Rights and Tribal Sovereignty on the ground and in the courts. You can find their call to action on their facebook page.

Hub Updates

1. Hub Digital Sharespace

During the call, hub members from across the country took to the Hub Digital Sharespace to answer a few questions and give regional share-outs on what they’re up to this month! Check out their answers to these prompts:

  1. What’s one highlight from your hub that you’d want to share with others in the movement?
  2. What activities is your hub planning to focus on in September?
  3. What’s one major challenge your hub is facing right now?
  4. What is one question your hub is asking right now?

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