Elect prosecutors who will fix our broken criminal justice system.
We fight together.
District attorneys are among the most powerful local elected officials in the U.S. These officials have broad discretion to either reinforce or reform structural racism within our criminal justice system.
The Real Justice PAC works to elect reform-minded prosecutors at the county and municipal level who are committed to using the powers of their office to fight structural racism and defend our communities from abuse by state power.
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The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign pioneered a new approach to mass participation electoral campaigns called "big organizing." The low-cost, high impact, digitally enabled, and volunteered powered strategies developed during the 2016 primary election offer a new playbook for winning down ballot races. Social media offers new opportunities to speak directly to voters with a big agenda for change and build audiences that are willing to take action to win real justice.
The Real Justice PAC will seek to win county prosecutor races by testing, iterating and scaling the "big organizing" approach outlined in the book Becky Bond co-authored titled: "Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything." The PAC will also leverage social media, digital tools and the voices of a new generation of leaders like Shaun King who are organizing massive audiences to take action locally and nationally through rapid response campaigns.
THE OBJECTIVE OF REAL JUSTICE PAC IS TO WIN RACES WITH A BOTTOMS UP APPROACH AND A TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE.
- Elect candidates to county prosecutor positions where they can make a material impact on people's lives by helping to combat discriminatory policing, limiting or eliminating money bail, and rolling back other practices that lead to mass incarceration. Electing reformers to county prosecutor positions will also help restore voters' faith in public sector to address their problems.
- Win county prosecutor races with a systematic, mass participation approach to digital and field pioneered on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Once prosecutors are elected they face enormous pressure from police unions, other elected officials, and the staff in their offices. A campaign that includes volunteer to vote contact, small dollar fundraising, and social media organizing will strengthen the voices of voters as a countervailing, pro-reform voice to hold newly elected prosecutors accountable to the people who helped elect them.
- Win races with a mandate for real justice. By working to help candidates with a bold, clearly articulated platform win by the widest possible margin, we help create a mandate for overcoming the barriers to making big changes on day one of a new administration. The 2017 success of Larry Krasner in Philadelphia raised the bar for what reformers could demand once in office -- and other elected local officials are following suit such as when the Philadelphia City Council voted to abolish cash bail.
DISTRIBUTED FIELD ORGANIZING
We train and deploy volunteers in distributed field programs (door knocking, mass site, phone, and peer to peer text message). Distributed field will be run nationally by a team of staff who train local volunteers and campaign staff to use a suite of mostly consumer software (Slack, Trello, Google Apps, Facebook groups), voter contact specific platforms (peer-to-peer text platform, call center software for phone banking), and a cloud-based voter contact database.
Led by internationally known justice activist Shaun King, social media platforms will be used to educate and mobilize mass audiences of volunteers and donors to take action both nationally and locally. Digital will be managed in partnership with Middle Seat, a consulting firm created by former top Bernie Sanders campaign staffers. A "digital-in-a-box" approach can be applied to multiple county level prosecutor races simultaneously. Digital offerings will include list building, persuasion, voter registration, early voting mobilization, volunteer recruitment and donations.
SMALL DOLLAR FUNDRAISING
Small dollar fundraising will be driven via social media and our national email list to raise money directly for district attorney candidates endorsed by Real Justice PAC. Online fundraising will leverage our national social media and email list race to connect local and national donors with the opportunity to make a difference in key races. Additionally, an "email fundraising in a box" program for candidates will be created by Middle Seat and supervised by Up PAC. Campaigns will also be to harness a suite of pre-coded, editable email templates that are optimized for mobile. The email templates will be organized into a menu of tested campaign email sequences that embody current best practices, along with simple analytical tools and benchmarks for measuring success.
In 2016, 84 percent of county prosecutors ran unopposed. Since the election of Donald Trump, however, we’ve seen a surge of new interest in running for office at the local level. We'll leverage this new national trend to engage the grassroots around candidate recruitment for district attorney races. Special attention will be paid to attracting civil rights defenders who have traditionally not chosen to serve the public in the capacity of a county prosecutor.
Becky served as senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign and is the co-author of “Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.” She was formerly the president of CREDO SuperPAC and political director of CREDO Mobile.
Karthik Ganapathy led communications efforts in New Hampshire, battleground states, and New York for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. He has crafted and implemented media strategy for various government offices, advocacy organizations, and political campaigns, including the ACLU and Rep. Keith Ellison.
Michael was the national campaign manager for NextGen Climate’s $60 million federal election programs in 2016, including the largest independent millennial turnout program in presidential campaign history. He’s the cofounder and former CEO of CREDO and co-founder of CREDO SuperPAC.
Shaun King is one of the most followed activists in the world. A journalist for The Intercept and Harvard Law School’s Justice Collaborative, he has raised over $20 million for grassroots causes while organizing people for justice reform in all 50 states.
Zack helped lead the digital organizing department for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and led NextGen Climate’s campus organizing program in the general election. He is a co-founder of KnockEveryDoor.org, and a national leader in volunteer driven field campaigns.