Courage Campaign Press Release

I wanted to share the Courage Campaign’s Press Release with you. I am publishing this with their permission. It has some good information and emphasis on some of the issues we are dealing with and how we should pursue the next phase of our journey.


Courage Campaign statement on Supreme Court’s Proposition 8 decision now scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, May 26
700,000-strong group is building grassroots infrastructure

LOS ANGELES -Today, the California Supreme Court announced it will issue its ruling on the three legal challenges to Proposition 8 on Tuesday, May 26. Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the 700,000-member Courage Campaign issued the following statement:
"While we are optimistic the California Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality, the Courage Campaign and other organizations have been building the infrastructure necessary to win or defend marriage equality rights at the ballot box.
"If the court upholds Proposition 8, the organizations involved in the marriage equality movement will need to determine whether to support placing an initiative on the ballot in 2010 or 2012.
"While the tide is turning nationally, restoring marriage equality to California will not be easy. But we know in our hearts that time is on our side, that justice will prevail, and that equality will be ours."
The Courage Campaign has taken a lead role in the fight to repeal Proposition 8, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Californians to sign petitions, organize local media events and share their stories. Since January, the Courage Campaign has been training and empowering marriage equality activists across the state at "Camp Courage" training events as well as building 24 "Equality Teams" across California — serving the organizations and individuals that are fueling the movement toward marriage equality.

Please see the appended fact sheet below to learn more about the Courage Campaign’s activities.

Since last November’s election, the Courage Campaign has acted to channel the new, post-Prop 8 grassroots energy that fueled Barack Obama’s victory. The Courage Campaign’s is providing more than 700,000 members with the tools, skills and infrastructure necessary to build a permanent grassroots movement that will win, defend and protect marriage equality.

Conducting Intensive Training: The Courage Campaign is leading the effort to train volunteers to become field organizers through a program called Camp Courage. Modeled after Camp Obama, these intensive one or two-day programs have been instrumental in channeling the enthusiasm of activists into effective action. More than 700 activists have been trained in Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego and Oakland. Seven more Camp Courage trainings are planned, with a minimum of one per month for the next year. Camp Courage will next be in Sacramento and East Los Angeles.

Coordinating Online: The Courage Campaign is using the same online organizing tools the Obama campaign used to contact, identify, and persuade voters (Blue State Digital and the Voter Activation Network). The project aims to put well-supported voter file technology and voter contact tools directly in the hands of marriage equality activists. The shared database of the VAN, as well as the tools found at the Courage Campaign’s Equality Hub, will allow for coordinated field efforts to maximize one-on-one contact with voters.

Mobilizing Volunteers: For the past two months, volunteer organizers have been talking with voters one-on-one in 15 counties, including 7 in the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills – counties where Prop 8 won significantly. So far, these Equality Teams have walked in more than 30 canvasses statewide, with more taking place every weekend. These teams will be the backbone of any future campaign efforts.

Building for the Long-Term: The Courage Campaign is dedicated to building a permanent online and offline progressive political infrastructure.  We have full-time field staff located across California supporting the efforts of 24 volunteer Equality Teams.

Partnering with Progressive Organizations: The Courage Campaign also has worked with several people and organizations that have become lead sponsors of Camp Courage, including the Human Rights Campaign, CREDO Mobile, Honor PAC and the Dolby Family. The Courage Campaign has also partnered with nearly 100 progressive organizations to promote Meet in the Middle for Equality, a major rally that will take place in Fresno the first Saturday after the California Supreme Court rules on the legal challenges to Proposition 8.

The Courage Campaign believes that by training community organizers and sharing resources like staff support and access to the voter file, we can win — not just in Los Angeles, or San Francisco, but in the heartland of California.

The Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and equality in California.
Rick Jacobs is the founder and chair of the Courage Campaign. He chaired Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in California. He is also the co-founder of Brave New Films and a featured contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Rick has an extensive background as an international investor and senior executive.


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