Lew Friedland, a professor of mass communication and sociology at the UW-Madison has been studying the political transformation of Wisconsin for almost ten years, as it moved from the original “laboratory of democracy” to a state flooded with dark money supporting Gov. Scott Walker, the destruction of public unions and extreme gerrymandering.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is fighting back with a promising grassroots organizing strategy. “Neighbor to Neighbor” emphasizes building strong, autonomous, neighborhood action teams. Since 2017 when the program was implemented, the number of doors knocked, and more importantly conversations at the door, have grown steadily (1.3 million in 2018). Even better, the “doors knocked” increased 80% in 2018 at half the cost, because citizen volunteers did the bulk of that work. Costs per knock dropped an additional 40% in 2019.
Professor Friedland is both a volunteer and a monthly donor to this program and is using his spring break to raise money for this evidence-based initiative.
The professor is feeling encouraged by the level of support he has received from donors on both sides of the county. “I am simply a citizen volunteer working with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,” he reports. “I have never raised these kinds of funds before. The results are starting to snowball!”
There are two ways that you can participate:
- Become a monthly donor. Use this link: WisDems.org/WinWisconsin to make a monthly contribution to a special fund where donations go only to hiring the regional and field organizers necessary to support the grassroots neighbor-to-neighbor teams.
- Help Professor Friedland build a network of donors in the Boston area and plan a trip to meet with donors in person. Use this link (coming soon) to sign up for a call to learn more about Neighbor to Neighbor.