“Brown is the New White” is a must read

If you work in politics “Brown is the New White” by Steve Phillips is a must read.  If you donate to political organizations you should also consider this a must. If you are at all interested in politics beyond the soundbites then is a should read bordering on a must read. It will make you smarter, better informed, and elevate your discussion around politics.


Having seen elections from a number of vantage points like inside of the DNC, inside of a SuperPAC, and Obama 2012 I can tell you this book is spot on. During the 2010 midterms as a newcomer to national politics I couldn’t believe what I watched and consulted against. As a regional new media desk at the DNC in 2010 I tried to counter the idea that to win Representatives, Governors, and Senators need to appeal to middle of the road and independent whites to win.

    I started 2010 in South Florida trying my best to advocate to bring in more staff to get the based turned out for a mid-term for a number of candidates most of  the state was otherwise uninterested in. More than once I was told I was wrong, the path and the area staffed to victory was the swing area of the I-4 corridor. That year Marco Rubio took a seat in the Senate and one of the most disastrous Governors Rick Scott took and still holds office.

    But I also had the good fortune of working to support Senator Bennet in Colorado that cycle. One of the few winning Senate races that cycle. He stood strong on his support of Obamacare and rallied the Obama coalition of voters to stay involved in the election.

    If you are working in politics you should pick up this book and figure out how the races you work on turn out more like Colorado and less like Florida of 2010.

Digital Organizing: Presentation April 2016

Here is an intro presentation I put together for a discussion on Digital Organizing for a masters class on political theory. It's designed to start the conversation on what Digital Organizing is. You'll see a several slide emphasis on the reality that in the this new, new modern era. People are still overly obsessed with pushing people online to offline. And the right question to answer is, "What is the right ask, at the right time?" 

Feel free to use materials for non-profit endeavors. If you'd like to use for a training you are paid to present please reach out.

Matrix of Engagement

If you have worked in any sort of organization that relies on people to fund your action, attend your events, or rally around an idea or cause you've probably heard the term “Ladder of Engagement.” It’s often held up as the holy standard in community organizing. For those unfamiliar it works a little like this:

  1. A person is introduced to your organization or cause (in person, social media, a sign or poster, some form of media, etc.)
  2. They are asked to take an initial action. Maybe it’s just sign up for info.
  3. They are then asked to take a next successive action. (In modern times maybe like some content or sign a petition.)
  4. They take that action and then the next action and are moved along up the ladder to some ultimate actions.

Here is where I say this idea is deeply flawed. Maybe it made sense in the pre-web-2.0 pre-accessible-data world but I imagine even then it didn't work. But this idea of a ladder is the easiest way for an organization to wrap its head around getting action or resources from people to fuel it’s mission.

But it’s time to throw away the ladder and embrace the Matrix of Engagement!

Full read on Medium: https://medium.com/@bradaschenck/matrix-of-engagement-537e2680ff16