Below is a description of the roles available to Rethink Our Democracy volunteers. Please review these roles and then use the link to the sign-up form below to tell us what you’d like to do. If you have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Gather research and resources and identify leading-edge practitioners in policy areas supported by Rethink. You would work at home on your own, with guidance from Roxanne and Paul. The product would be a one-to-two-page list of resources with links on a specific Rethink topic of your choice. This summary of resources could be focused on an entire topic area or a narrower slice of that topic area. No writing is required. We will provide a template to help organize the work.
- Write research briefs of varying lengths on Rethink policy areas. We need briefs that offer a broad sweep of a topic/issue, as well as pieces that focus on specific models or initiatives that would fit within one of our 17 focus areas. We will develop a draft template.
- Identify and reach out to engage potential allies, including legislators, researchers, and other grassroots advocacy groups or CBOs such as Voices for Children, Think NM, Common Cause, etc. This is more of an administrative task that would entail taking a specific focus area and using Google and other search tools to identify organizations in the state who may be interested in that area. You would call the organization, explain what we’re doing, and ask who within the organization might be interested in providing input and/or help develop legislation related to the focus area. We would provide a script and a spreadsheet to record your findings.
- Track and observe Interim Legislative Hearings related to Rethink policy areas. This would involve two separate tasks — the first could be done easily by one person and the second would be more appropriate for a team.
- Review “What’s Happening” on the nmlegis.gov website every couple days to identify when and where hearings will be scheduled and what is on each hearing agenda. We would provide a template for recording this info, which would be used to craft legislative alerts and to organize folks working on the team below.
- Interim Hearing advocacy team — Since we do not yet know exactly how the Interims will be conducted (in person? Zoom? hybrid?) or how the public can be involved, we are still uncertain how this will play out. Much depends also on how many people are interested and how much time they are willing to devote. Once people sign up and we have a better idea of the timeframe and process for the Interims, we will convene the team to jointly develop strategy, process, and roles. At a minimum, we will want to have a visible presence remotely for most hearings.
- Conduct social media activity to expand awareness of Rethink policy areas using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This could be conducted by a small team with some members focused on Facebook and others on other platforms. We see this as occurring in several ways:
- Post relevant articles, news, and events on the Retake and ultimately the Rethink Facebook page.
- If we have someone who is familiar with effectively using social media ads to drive traffic to our site, we would offer a budget for placing ads and tracking impact;
- Follow Twitter and develop a Retake presence, largely focusing on the many NM legislators who are on Twitter.
- We are open to other ideas from those with more experience in using social media.
- Write Letters to the Editor or longer opinion pieces on Rethink policy topics for local newspapers. Very straightforward. We would choose a priority issue every week or two and ask people to write op-eds or letters to the editor on that topic. If you’d recently published in your name, we would find other volunteers to submit your letters. We have a comprehensive list of newspapers in every part of the state that includes guidelines and submission rules for publication. This is a strategy with immense potential for expanding awareness of our work and we are hoping to get several people interested in doing this.
- Organize Retake / Rethink Zoominars and Radio Shows. This is also essentially an administrative task. Roxanne and I would lay out a series of options for guests for the radio show and for panels and topics for Zoominars and the person in this role would do the logistics involved in engaging and scheduling a radio interview or a webinar. Having someone to do this would be a significant relief and big help.
- Fundraise for Rethink. This would definitely be a team effort and one that was closely supervised by our board. This could involve both research into foundations who might provide funds, as well as developing a campaign to secure monthly donations, large donations, matching donations, and even bequests. It could also involve organizing events, although our experience with events is that they are labor intensive, risky, and may not pay off sufficiently for the effort expended. All these strategies and others could be discussed in a team Zooms.
- Participate in twice-monthly Rethink Huddles via Zoom to provide input and direction (a big contribution, even if you are not doing any of the above). This is easy. Come to our huddles, read our posts to keep abreast of what we are doing, and offer your input. Hopefully over time, you will find a niche.
- Other: Suggest other ideas about how you might contribute your skills and knowledge, either on your own or as part of a team.
Click here to get to our google drive page so you can sign up to explore a role in Rethink.