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Although I wish I'd done more in hindsight, I did put a lot of money and effort into fighting Prop 8 prior to its shocking passage. Now that my overwhelming anger has subsided to the point where I can think clearly, I'm ready to fight for the inevitable repeal. I have money I'm ready to give, but I'm no legal scholar, and I don't pretend to understand the differences between all of the groups competing for my donations. I'm writing this diary to ask Kossack input into where exactly should I focus my support.

I've made comments asking for input in other diaries, and gotten a few responses. The problem for me is, I've gotten at least five reasonable responses to this question:

  1. Courage Campaign
  1. National Center for Lesbian Rights
  1. Equality California
  1. Lambda Legal
  1. ACLU of Northern California

I'm not trying to be difficult here, but I feel like it'd be better for me to send $100 to the group who is actually LEADING the fight against this assault rather than $20 to each and every one. I want to give today, and give again and again as this battle moves on. I feel like my support prior to the General Elections was probably not as well used as it could've been, and I don't wanna feel that way again.

Any input from the masses here?

Originally posted to RNinNC on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:39 PM PST.

Poll

How Should We Be Focusing our Support?

33%9 votes
18%5 votes
11%3 votes
11%3 votes
7%2 votes
0%0 votes
18%5 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am always in favor of supporting (6+ / 0-)

    the ACLU, but like giving to the Red Cross after a disaster, not all of the money you give will go to the cause you are giving to.

    It is hard to say that any of these groups will truly lead the repeal fight, but they will all contribute. So, you are safe with which ever you choose, though the ACLU is likely to be the lead counsel on the court cases that will be the very first challenge to this odious institutionalization of bigotry.

    Obama will win 364 EV's to 174 - For Dora, Get The Vote Out!

    by Something the Dog Said on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:43:46 PM PST

  •  i have given to the Courage Campaign (9+ / 0-)

    mainly because they have sent me solicitations pledging to begin now to work on fighting to repeal Prop 8, and I believe they are formulating a plan.  But actually I think probably all of them are contributing in some way to a centralized campaign such as "No on 8" - they were coordinated prior to the elction.

    louise 'hussein' to you! proud donor to "White Dudes for Obama" Endorsed 11/1/07 and never looked back!

    by louisev on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:44:14 PM PST

  •  Where is tip jar? (6+ / 0-)

    And I'd recommend changing title to reflect that you're looking for input on where to send money since you're NOT saying that you haven't given yet - maybe something that says 'Poll - Where Should I Donate to un-do Prop 8?'  That's not quite right, but it looks you're waking up after the fact, and that's not what your diary is saying...

    ...there is water...at the bottom of the ocean --Talking Heads

    by MsGrin on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:44:37 PM PST

  •  This is an especially difficult question (7+ / 0-)

    because different groups are sometimes pursuing entirely different methods of working towards a repeal.  So it's not even a question of picking the one with the most cred - you also have to factor in which route you think has the best chance for success.

    I'm biased toward the ACLU (in many ways), and I think they have a sound legal strategy as well.  The downside is that donations to the ACLU don't necessarily go to the issue you support, but might be funneled toward another case/issue.  (Can someone confirm otherwise?)

    Like you, I've been holding off while I try to get a good sense of what groups are coalescing behind the strongest strategy.  That, and I feel like I can do better work hitting the street for visibility in the short term.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:44:54 PM PST

  •  None of the Above! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius, KentuckyKat

    All of them are merely in general fundraising mode.  Not a single dollar is going to go to an electoral repeal rematch.

    Wait for an organization to form first, then ask them what their strategy is and whether they intend to reach out to minorities this time (incl ads in chinese and spanish), then give.

    To help fund the litigation that will rule prop 8 invalid (hopefully), ACLU has an LGBT fund that you have not listed.  Lambda Legal is also a choice.

  •  California Democratic Party should take the lead. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norm, RNinNC, homogenius

    Human rights protection, general civil rights, these are fundamentals for Democrats. Why isn't the California Democratic Party taking the lead?

  •  I've Given to the Courage Campaign (5+ / 0-)

    based on their very promising telephone conference last Thursday night.  Based on how bad the No on 8 Campaign was organized and run, I do not intend to give anything to Equality California at present time.  I've given regularly to the ACLU and I would definitely continue at this point.  I may begin withholding donations to the Human Rights Campaign.  This is due to a continual round of disappointments I've had with this organization for over ten years now.

    I probably will give to Lambda Legal in the future.

    •  I'm With You (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      norm, scrape, SallyCat, homogenius, KentuckyKat

      I spent my time and money before Election Day on Equality California, and felt it somewhat amateurish (to say the least). I have a friend working with Lambda Legal, but haven't been able to get in touch yet to ask questions of him. HRC lost my support a couple of years back (and I honestly didn't think to include them, although I suppose they should be yet ANOTHER option for some).

      It's a lot to try and decipher.

      •  I, too, gave (a lot) to EqCA (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        norm, RNinNC, homogenius

        and, in retrospect, feel they did a piss-poor job overall. They wasted my money and my time.

        Here's a telling sign: The "No on 8" yard signs and bumper stickers all had green check-marks, which I thought was a bit odd at the time. Especially from these people who purported to know so much about messaging and framing. NOW their website (and many signs) show red x-es. Duh! Green check mark for the illiterate: universal sign for YES. Red x for the illiterate: universal sign for NO. Designer, please! (Go deeper than a few pages into their sites, or look at any of their PDFs, and you'll still see the green checks...)

        Early on, they paid for a bunch of research on "messaging" and "framing" -- and I think it turns out they were too clever by half. Their early ads (esp. the Hispanic wedding ad) were weak and confusing... a waste of time and energy.

        And their inability/slowness to respond to the negative ads that were sure to come... real disappointment.

        Also, my experience with their phonebanking (in comparison with my experience with Obama phonebanking)... night and day. These people were waging a 1992 campaign in 2008.

        I'm holding off until a group who shows they know what they're doing comes forth.

        I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by scrape on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:08:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our Ads Were Awful (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          norm, scrape, SallyCat, homogenius

          and I don't wanna give to any group that might do an equally amateur job of the court fight.

          •  In Hind Sight (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scrape, RNinNC, LuvSet, SallyCat, homogenius

            the Equality groups are probably the worst.  Equality Colorado ran a worse campaign back in 1992, from everything I saw advertised and their response to the Yes ads, at that time.

            Sixteen years later, and I feel nothing has really been learned.  I started to, but stopped (because it was depressing me) reading a scholarly book about the anti-gay initiative campaigns that were waged back in the 90's.  I feel like maybe if we read about it and learn from it, maybe we as grassroots activists can learn something that the consultants apparently do not.

            •  Consultants first learn how to get paid. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              norm, RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius

              Everything else is secondary.

              The people running the campaigns -- those in charge of the campaigns and hiring the consultants -- are the ones who really merit our disapproval.

              I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

              by scrape on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:43:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I Think I ended up giving No on 8 (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scrape, RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius

          almost $500--that is money that could've gone to Charlie Brown, Bill Durston, to a general election protection fund across the country, because I needed to focus on my rights, somehow.  And I'm really ticked off at them.

        •  I'd love to hear from someone inside EqCA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RNinNC

          and the whole "alliance": When exactly did they realize the green checkmarks weren't such a good idea, and switch to the red x-es. (From what I've seen, it appears it was only AFTER losing on the 4th.)

          I don't remember receiving any announcement or apology to contributors, that they had squandered our money on confusing (perhaps even counterproductive) signs. And I don't mean to suggest that this whole green checkmark, red x issue is the key to success or failure... but it's emblematic of the incompetence.

          They're busily scrubbing their websites... move along, nothing to see here. Using what's left of our money in staff time to erase their mistakes AFTER THE LOSS.

          "What's that... green checkmarks? Are you mad!?!?! They were ALWAYS red x-es!"

          (Unfortunately, the signs are still in yards, the stickers still on cars. You can't scrub away all the evidence of incompetence.)

          I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by scrape on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:53:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Lambda Legal is good (7+ / 0-)

    They're having to lay off folks due to the poor economic climate, and they're one of the "big three" involved in the anti-Prop 8 court case.  

    My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Shuriken of Freedom. What's yours?

    by sandiegoblues on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:51:33 PM PST

  •  I'm currently waiting for more direction (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norm, RNinNC, PerfectStormer, homogenius, pico

    If I was going to make a donation now it would be to LAMBDA Legal. They are one of the law firms in the case that was filed the day after the election to the CA Supreme Court.

    In waiting, it will probably be to the Courage Campaign. Since I've been blogging and know some of the individuals with the CC from meet-ups, I'm most confident in their organizing skills and contacts. Also several with CC are very, very involved with Calitics.

    Just my .02

    Not another dime to an out of state race until CA has equality for all. Period.

    by SallyCat on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 01:57:28 PM PST

    •  I Also "Know" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      norm, SallyCat, homogenius

      some of the people involved in Courage Campaign, but I'm impatient to know exactly which organization is gonna LEAD this battle now that it's come to this. I'm wary of another unprofessional, arrogant response from my side.

      •  Hang in there..it will get sorted out in the next (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RNinNC, homogenius

        few weeks...or at least that is my thinking.

        Not another dime to an out of state race until CA has equality for all. Period.

        by SallyCat on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:05:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it will be months. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RNinNC, SallyCat

          We may hear in a few weeks if they'll issue an injunction pending adjudication, but based on previous experience the full hearing will go well into next year.

          "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

          by homogenius on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:11:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius

            In Colorado with Amendment 2 in 1992 (and I was not politically active then, but followed this story closely, obviously), it took two months to seek the injunction of which it was successful and then it took I think it was a year and a half for the state supreme court to hand down a decision.

      •  My Interpretation Right Now (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius

        from Thursday night's call and from someone I know from the Courage Campaign is that right now, Prop. 8 is ranking first, even above what would've been their central position if it hadn't passed, which is repealing the 2/3 requirement for passing the budget.  

      •  I think it depends. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        norm, RNinNC, SallyCat

        Right now the fight is going to the Court. Of the three key players, Lambda Legal is the one that is dedicated to our issues. ACLU, whom I love, has deeper pockets and more issues. Nothing against NCLR.

        I think these guys have their eye on the ball. It isn't our legal strategy that has been deficient--it was our political strategy (and leadership) that was asleep at the switch while the train derailed.

        I'd go with Lambda or split it three ways.

        If the court case fails, we're back to the proposition process, only this time we'll be the ones collecting signatures. That will be more difficult and we'll have to hold some peoples' feet to the fire. Our leaders and organizations screwed the pooch on this one.

        "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

        by homogenius on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 02:10:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As a member of Certain Progressive Clubs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinNC, SallyCat, homogenius

    I do have to say I am outright disappointed in how Prop. 8 was handled.  Its organization was sad.  There was too much conviction from too many that history would be on our side (while the last sixteen years has demonstrated the OPPOSITE when it comes to ballot initiatives, regardless WHERE they take place. (At least in Oakland and Berkeley, some of the anti-prop 8 efforts were also linked to Prop. 4 and Rebecca Kaplan--otherwise you had to drive to San Francisco if you wanted to phone bank.  I can only imagine how much worse it was in Los Angeles, where it DID pass).

    I am an officer of an organization that much to my frustration went from very active last spring, to little active in the Fall.  Due to scheduling problems, our planned forum on the propositions was cancelled and replaced with an Obama phone bank, and even then the forum we were going to hold was to focus on the more "controversial" proposition progressives would be split on, such as Prop. 11, because on Props. such as 4 and 8 the support would be obvious (even though I suggested we invite reps. from those campaigns to talk).

    In hind sight, I think such decision making was a big mistake, nothing should have been taken for granted, and the way the Prop. 8 campaign was way too top down, consultant driven, little organization with any real ground game, Equality California NEEDED our help--but with many little clubs, it probably would have helped with better organization with the California Democratic Party, and how they turn out the vote--with the exception of an ambitious Neighborhood Leader Program (which I would also strongly criticize as it needed some real training and maybe still needed precinct captains, etc.), I think the CDP has a long way to go to effectively work with grassroots efforts.

    While the turnouts may not be as small as they seemed on election night, what was as of the next day, slated to be 50% turnout in San Francisco County and 55% turnout in Alameda County, is pitiful, to say the least.

    So the biggest fault was complacency.  Not that I TRIED to sound the alarm remembering Colorado in 1992 . . .

  •  This is probably (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinNC, SallyCat, pico

    a large part of the reason the proposal failed in the first place. The Gay Agenda is notorious for having several dozen different disparate organizations that rarely work together--the Gay Agenda's version of alphabet soup.

    GLAAD
    PFLAG
    HRC
    NLGTF
    Victory Fund
    Equality Federation and its 50 state organizations (are there EqFed orgs in all 50 states?)
    Lambda Legal

    The list goes on and on and on. If we learn nothing else from our defeat over Prop 8, I hope we learn some organizational skills.

  •  also, make sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinNC, pico

    that you give your money specifically to the tax-deductible nonprofits of each of these groups....the ACLU, for example has both the ACLU and the ACLU Foundation.

    ACLU Foundation pays for all of the legal challenges.
    ACLU is the political lobby.

  •  Four groups are working together on this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norm, RNinNC, SallyCat, pico

    NCLR, Lambda Legal, Equality California, and ACLU of Northern CA.  

    Of those, NCLR and Lambda Legal are focused exclusively on LGBT legal issues.

    I'd say go with either/both of those.  NCLR has a fantastic record and is extremely well run--plus it's headquartered out here, so probably more familiar with California issues.  

    •  I Think I've Been Leaning (0+ / 0-)

      more strongly toward Lambda Legal, and don't know a lot about NCLR. I'm new to CA, and I'm a gay male, so I honestly haven't looked that closely at NCLR. I sure hope that this whole fiasco will have a positive effect on pulling gay men and lesbians into a more cohesive pact.

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