We're launching a new endeavor to bring together folks who already meet up locally and anyone who wants to participate in local actions on a national scale: the Rootstrikers Street Team.
What is a street team? The term actually comes from independent music labels in the 90s who developed a grassroots tactic for marketing their artists while circumventing the monopoly of big record labels over mainstream media. We think it's an appropriate description of how Rootstrikers can creatively and directly bring the issue of corruption to new audiences — whether those in power like it or not.
You've heard of Jay Z, right? Yea. So clearly they were doing something right.
Our challenges in the movement against corruption are not unlike theirs. It's true that the election helped shed light on the outrageous fundraising efforts of politicians, but nothing changed as a result of that attention. Just this week Politico reminded us that the fund race is already picking up steam again, and that politicians conveniently "outraged" about super PACs throughout the election season are now leading the charge to court these big spenders as permanent supporters. We've got our work cut out for us, and the only thing we know for sure is that if we, the people, don't do something about the corruption, no one else will. Like the hip hop street teams of the 90s, we can't count on the powerful structures in place to help us spread our message.
The only way any reform is going to succeed is for us to make sure every American knows how bad the corruption is, and what we can do about it. With bills like the American Anti-Corruption Act and the Grassroots Democracy Act on the horizon, there is no better opportunity for us to mobilize an awareness raising ground campaign about the corruption these reforms seek to remedy. Remember what happens to legislation once the media gets a hold of it and politicians transform it with their partisanship? It's up to us to make sure that Americans know the truth about corruption so these pieces of legislation can work as they intended.
Hitting the streets with peer to peer information is not new for Rootstrikers. Last year we challenged Rootstrikers to meetup and form local communities out of the national network. This year we successfully coordinated a national pre-election awareness raising campaign. The street team will encompass all of this activity, bringing together individuals across the country who want to help create and executive direct actions. As a small organization with a tiny staff, we know we have to use our resources widely to support our growing network as best as possible. By consolidating our structures for direct actions and meetups into one place, we hope to create a home for everyone who is passionate about acting locally to make corruption a national priority.
On Tuesday December 4th, instead of our regularly scheduled meetup coordination call, we're having our first ever Street Team call. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome. To join, please RSVP here. And if you can't make it, that's okay. The discussion will continue right here, where anybody signed up for the team can add their voice.
Hitting the streets not really your thing? No worries. We've got more activities ready to launch next month, and there are still plenty of ways to strike at the root.