Unemployment benefits cut? Petition your senator.
"The Federal $600-per-week unemployment supplement expired and millions of Americans out of work due to the pandemic are wondering how they’ll make ends meet." - Forbes
How can public outrage be harnessed to encourage Republicans to restore unemployment benefits and energize more voters?
Community organizers build support with petitions
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice builds power in traditionally disenfranchised communities across Louisiana. It organizes communities, educates and turns out voters to demand policies for fair policies. The coalition launched a #SaveThe600 petition drive on Movement.Digital that demands Senator Bill Cassidy (R) and John Kennedy (R) put people above politics and vote to restore the unemployment benefits.
Republicans propose cutting unemployment benefits during pandemic
"House Democrats passed a $3 trillion bill in May that would have extended the benefits for those without work at the current level of $600 per week, in addition to their weekly unemployment insurance check. Senate Republicans proposed their own bill on Monday, which would cost around $1 trillion, but would reduce the weekly extra payment to $200 until states figure out a system to replace 70% of a person's wages — with around 50% paid by the states." - MSN
Designing a petition for #SaveThe600
The Power Coalition's petition is simple:
"The COVID relief package that the Senate recently unveiled does not come close to meeting the needs of Louisiana families in this difficult time. Among its many shortcomings, it does not adequately address the unprecedented fiscal crisis facing our state and local governments. If we do not provide full support to those government bodies, the economic recession will be longer, more painful, and more unequal for the people of our state. It will lead to drastic cuts to our infrastructure, education, and public safety agencies, which will have untold ripple effects across our local communities, including making it nearly impossible to operate small businesses.
We are also facing a humanitarian crisis. Without continued federal unemployment support, Louisianans who lost their job through no fault of their own will be in grave trouble. They will not be able to afford food, housing, utilities, and other basic needs. Federal unemployment benefits have been largely propping up our entire economy over the past few months, so not only will their elimination severely harm people, it will cause widespread economic devastation for businesses. Congress needs to put people first by immediately negotiating a bipartisan agreement that will make state and local governments whole, and prioritize real relief for low-income Louisianans who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and its resulting economic recession. We need you to save our state, our municipalities, our families, and our economy.
Thanks, [Enter your name here]
By signing this petition, you give the organizer permission to follow-up with you."
Make it easy for supporters to sign the petition
The petition is created as a link https://campaign.movement.digital/main/SaveThe600 which is shared with potential supporters through social media and by email. Clicking on the link automatically launches your email app with the petition, sender and recipient's email addresses already filled in.
All that's left to do is add their contact details and press SEND. The whole process takes less than ten seconds. Movement.Digtial sends the petition by email to the designated recipient(s) and also saves the petitioner's contact details. Organizers follow-up with this list of people who signed the petition to convert them into campaign supporters. The contact list collected belongs to the petition organizer and isn't resold to other campaigns. The list can also be uploaded into other organizing systems such as Action Network. This is how simple it is to sign a petition:
Takeaway: Use petitions to harness public outrage and build contact lists of supporters
Make it easy for people to demand change through petitions that encourage politicians to do the right thing. Collect contact details of people who sign the petition to identify potential supporters.
DemLabs is currently offering Movement.Digital free of charge to groups fighting for #SaveThe600 and other social justice projects. Apply for your free account here.