TON Newsletter - Sep 09, 2020

Welcome to Tectonica Organising Network’s twice-monthly newsletter! We work hard to curate and create the best content out there on progressive digital organising and share it with you, along with some updates on upcoming events and trainings, what we’ve been up to, and even a bit about what’s going on on the other side.

What We’ve Been Up To

Deadline for European Report Survey Extended to this Friday

Many of you have recently returned from some well-deserved vacations, so we have extended the deadline of the survey for the Report on the State of Digital Organising in Europe until this Friday, September 11. Thank you to the many organisations who have already completed the survey. If you still haven’t you have a last chance:  Take the survey now. 


We’re proud to share the latest case study of our project with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). ALDE is the only pan-European party where individual citizens can become members and have a say in the party’s platform and policy work at the European level. This case study is a great example of how to work with an organisation to modernise its digital presence and approaches to engagement online in the age of social distancing to more effectively reach party supporters, engage new members, and connect deeply with a community of liberal-minded Europeans through their shared values. Read more about our work with ALDE hereAnd to see ALDE's new website check it out here

Keeping people together through 2020 —and beyond

Organisers know that the ability to physically bring people together is a critical component for any campaign. Social connections, whether through rallies, door-to-door canvassing, or charity events, that come out of activists working together at offline events is a driving force of movement building. But in the age of Covid-19, we need to think strategically about how to integrate virtual gathering into our movement building and find alternatives that balance the objectives of real-world meeting with the real constraints of our times. In our latest blog post, we outline 6 concrete things you can do when organising open and accessible digital or online events with some examples from our work with partners and clients. Check out the full blog post here.

ACT Wazalendo

We’re excited to announce the launch of ACT Wazalendo’s beautiful new Tectonica-designed website. ACT Wazalendo is the fastest growing political party in the United Republic of Tanzania, and their inspiring movement is centred on creating a free, prosperous, and growing Tanzania founded on the values of freedom, accountability, transparency and responsibility. You can read more about our work with ACT Wazalendo here.

Featured Digital Organising Tools

Empower Engine for GOTV

Empower Engine has recently rolled out a special GOTV plan that allows organisers to bolster their GOTV efforts with maps of VAN data, track absentee ballot returns and early vote turnouts with maps that update automatically, monitor your voter contact and shift resources based on your data, and more! Learn more about the different plans available here.


With what is arguably the most important election in Americans’ lifetimes happening this November, effective GOTV tools and canvassing alternatives are in high demand. We’re thrilled to share a new platform with you that covers these needs and much more: OpenField.

OpenField is a comprehensive organising toolkit that gives organisations the ability to host phone banks, launch canvasses, and remotely register voters all from a single interface on any device. We believe it presents an all-in-one option that fits perfectly into the peculiar organising times we’re in.

Moreover, it helps to carry out deep canvassing and features powerful analytics like automated natural language processing that makes it easy to learn from conversations at scale.

We love this approach; we’re passionate supporters of deep canvassing as one of the most efficacious ways to build progressive change that OpenField, and tools like it, will help progressives win not just in November, but in the years to come.

Featured Digital Organising Campaigns

Pizza to the Polls

Long lines, waiting times, and empty stomachs discourage many voters from exercising their right to vote. That’s why we love the Pizza to the Polls campaign--they take reports of long lines from voters across the country and find local pizza places to deliver pizzas to folks waiting to vote to encourage people to stay in line, cheer up poll workers, and involve the community in making sure people feel encouraged to vote. To learn more and get involved, click here.

Featured Digital Organising Resources

Digital Disinformation and Vote Suppression

This report by the Brennan Center looks at the enormous challenges voters face during the 2020 U.S. elections, including the Covid-19 crisis, Russian interference, and other bad actors attempting to trick mainly communities of color, low-income communities, and immigrant communities out of voting. The report offers concrete recommendations on what election officials should do to combat voter disenfranchisement so they can take the necessary steps ahead of the very important November election.

Upcoming Trainings & Events

Learn digital campaigning essentials, Thursdays at 1:00 pm EST, Online

NationBuilder is offering this new webinar series to help you run and optimise winning your digital campaign. Topic areas include How to create a vote-by-mail plan for your campaign, Contacting your voters in a digital era, Running a digital campaign fundraising program, and more. Recordings will be made available to everyone who registers.

What We're Reading

Nanoinfluencers Are Slyly Barnstorming the 2020 Election, by Katie Joseff, Anastasia Goodwin, and Samuel Woolley, 15 August 2020, Wired

How social justice slideshows took over Instagram, by Terry Nguyen, 12 August 2020, Vox

Facebook’s new research project will show how it influenced the 2020 election — after it's over, by Issie Lapowsky, 31 August 2020, protocol

Biden campaign launches official Animal Crossing: New Horizons yard signs, by Makena Kelly, 1 September 2020, The Verge

Political ads have little persuasive power, by Mike Cummings, 2 September 2020, Yale News

Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem, by Tate Ryan-Mosley, 6 September 2020, MIT Technology Review

Black and Latinx People Are Primary Targets for Disinformation. We Must Fight Back, by Bridget Todd, 31 August 2020, Newsweek


Watching Alison Klayman’s The Brink in September 2020 is an interesting exercise in perspective, now that the former Breitbart News director has been arrested under allegations of siphoning money from his “We build the wall” initiative for his own expenses.

The documentary follows Steve Bannon as he is ejected from his position as Trump’s White House strategic advisor, through his European tour where he is fixated on gathering the continent’s most extremist and anti-democratic forces behind a sort of political alliance that he calls “The Movement”. We can see Bannon in all his splendour and charisma, gulping down smoothies and RedBull as he confesses to a journalist from “The Guardian” his intentions to bring millennials onto his side: “you reach the audience I want to get you (...) I’m going to convince 20 percent of your guys”. Europe beware: this is what we're up against, and the seeds have already been sown...


D.C., NYC, Oakland, LA: Email Fundraising Director, Color of Change

Apply now!

D.C., NYC, Oakland, LA: Email Fundraising Manager, Color of Change

Apply now!