After a spate of efforts to roll back citizens’ voting rights, ReThink is working with local, state, and national voting rights experts and advocates to drive pro-voter policies across the country. This includes building a whole new cadre of local and state spokespeople. So far that has included local spokesperson trainings in Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, New York, North Carolina, and Mississippi.
Jamal Watkins, vice president of civic engagement at the NAACP, attended a two-day training with us in Atlanta in 2018, where we covered the findings of our two-year audit of media, messaging, and public opinion in the voting rights sector, as well as message guidance informed by several message research projects. We followed up with talking points, a workshop focused on how to go on offense and drive your own message, and hands-on practice in writing and placing op-eds.
Just weeks later, Jamal appeared on TV and pivoted from a question asked to him about “election integrity” and voter ID to discussing the barriers to participation and the need for a pro-voter agenda—perfectly mirroring the research recommendations.