Take the Initiative

Voter registration/education/turnout

Fight the Right

In the face of the Right's coherent ideology and tactical plan to launch electoral initiative after initiative against progressive politics and human rights, we believe it is necessary to work in united fronts with other progressive forces to defeat these efforts. Given the two-party move to the right and the need for independent, grassroots initiatives, Take the Initiative seeks to build an educated, independent, progressive voting bloc.

Our focus is to anticipate forthcoming right-wing initiatives, and produce and distribute trilingual flyers and hard-hitting voter education pamphlets to a multiracial movement. Our constituency is grassroots groups in Los Angeles and the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area, with a broad statewide reach throughout California.

Goals:

  • Challenge racist, class-biased, anti-women, and anti-LGBT propositions.
  • Expose the broader right-wing game plan that is systematically working for "free market" unregulated capitalism, a frontal challenge to the social welfare state, mass incarceration and a permanent war against the world and the planet.
  • Provide hard-hitting public education materials for grassroots groups, especially those working in communities of color independent of the major political parties.
  • Increase voter registration, turnout and overall political engagement in Black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and other oppressed communities and among high school and college students.
  • Raise and reawaken a sense of political engagement and political will in a new generation of leaders in low income communities of color whose members feel marginalized, disregarded, manipulated, and under attack.

History:

Take the Initiative was formally founded in 2005, when the Strategy Center was awarded a New Voices Fellowship. However, our work in the electoral arena goes back to 1994, with the Bus Riders Union's work against Prop 187. We have seen in California the use of the initiative process by the Right to launch attack after attack against progressive politics and human rights, in an attempt to beat back many of the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. Examples include Prop 187, Prop 227 (bilingual education), Prop 209 (affirmative action), Prop 54 (raced-based data collection), Prop 83 (Jessica's Law), Props 73, 85 and 4 (parental notification), and more recently, Prop 8, Prop 6 and Prop 9. Often, the Democrats are either silent or offer weak challenges, rarely emphasizing messages that highlight the race, class, and gender biased nature of these initiatives.

 

2008 No On the Six Campaign

 

2004 Don't Whitewash Our Civil Rights Campaign