The SWFL 9.12 Project has been evaluating tools to use in Precinct Organizing. We have received training from American Majority and The Voices of America. Most of our leaders have become Precinct Committeemen under the Precinct Committeemen Strategy. We have created a non-partisan precinct organizing initiative in our local SW Florida area and are evaluating tools for managing our voter contact efforts. Activities such as Precinct Canvassing and GOTV can be simplified with automated tools. One such tool evaluated is AnyStreet.org. Note that some of the links below may not work if you do not have an AnyStreet account.
Overview: AnyStreet is the creation of Modern Conservative. I know very little about this organization except the President is Christopher Cook. He has been involved with research for creating “Hilary: The Movie” and co-owns “Castleraine Consulting and Research”.
1. Membership costs $25 per year for each activist that wants access.
2. You can join one State and County group. Easy communication between all members.
3. Access to StreetSmarts™ activism manual
1. Sections: Introduction and Overview of AnyStreet structure down to precinct volunteer level
2. Operational field guides: 13 guides of very useful “How to” information
3. Leadership handbooks: 5 handbooks for leaders
Groups Selection: This feature allows a user to view the hierarchy of groups from County up through the State and National levels. It allows the user to select and send emails to anyone on the list. One drawback is that it uses your email client to send the email, thus exposing your email address to others. Note that AnyStreet states that they are developing a “Complete Contact System”.
Activist Tool Box
1. Government Contact List – A limited list of other groups lists of government contacts.
2. Media Contact List – A reasonably complete contact list of news media. A mixture of addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
3. Local and regional Info – 2 links to other groups. No added value.
4. Educational Resources – 6 links to other groups. Nice to have in one place, but no added value.
5. Handouts and Flyers – 27 various documents that are useful in Precinct Organizing, but allocate about 30% of space to advertise AnyStreet. Some are PDF and some are MS Word. The Word documents can be edited with your local info. This would be useful.
6. AnyStreet Equipment – This feature is not yet operational.
7. The Operation – Step 1 is “Put up Signs”. No step 2 yet.
Blog – It could be useful, if enough people used it. No indication on how a user would post a new Blog.
Forum – A forum that has five topics that have received little use. This Forum could be used to support answering questions about Best Practices, etc.
All Things Conservative – A separate directory function. This site can be filtered to your state and county. It is free of charge and useful.
Action and Events calendar – A separate calendar function. This site can be filtered to your state and county. It is free of charge, but does have 2 drawbacks. You have to enter each event that you want to list, and anyone (including liberal troublemakers) can view your entries and thus attend the events. It would be useful to learn what is happening in your state, if enough conservative groups took the time to post their events.
Action and Events – A separate calendar function. This site can be filtered to your state and county. It is free of charge, but does have 2 drawbacks. You have to enter each event that you want to list, and anyone (including liberal troublemakers) can view your entries and thus attend the events. It would be useful to learn what is happening in your state, if enough conservative groups took the time to post their events.
I recommend new start-up groups join AnyStreet if they are interested in Precinct Organizing. This is totally based on access to the StreetSmarts activism manual. The ability to connect with like-minded groups and individuals in your state and county is also useful. However, I would not continue paying $25 per activist after the initial startup of your group.
A note of caution: I noticed a tendency to invoke top-down command structure very similar to a Political Party structure. Getting “approval” to do certain things. An example is: “Your supervising authority (SA) is your state director. Please apprise him/her of recruitments for all positions.” Passing names and identifying information up the “chain of command” is not something I am comfortable with, so I will be keeping a close control of volunteer names and contact information.