Rebuilding

How a campaign staffer deals; Democracy Works gets Knight Foundation cash infusion; and more.


  • Action needed: Last week, the home in Bahrain where human rights digital organizer Esra’a was living with her extended family was mysteriously ravaged by a fire. No people were hurt, luckily, but they lost everything (and are not insured). For security reasons, we aren’t sharing her full name or tagging her in social media, but attendees of last June’s Personal Democracy Forum 2016 should remember her inspiring talk about Majal, the organization she founded. Esra’a has dedicated herself to standing up for repressed voices and marginalized people, and it’s time for us to help her. Her team has set up a fundraising page in partnership with Yvette Alberdingkthijm of Witness (where Esra’a is a board member) to help her family recover.

  • Opposition watch: The AP’s Steve Peoples reports on Meetup’s launch of the #Resist network, which is being run by Hillary Clinton’s former digital organizing director, Jess Morales Rocketto, and now being spun off into the hands of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. More than 1,000 Resist meet ups have been formed using the platform with more than 120,000 RSVPs.

  • Related: Rocketto offers a deeply personal statement titled “An Update on Grief: How a Campaign Staffer Deals.”

  • Still no word from Clinton data director Elan Kriegel.

  • Fight for the Future is looking to fund small activist teams, with initial support of $15,000 for one month.

  • The MIT Media Lab’s Andy Lippman is running Fifty Nifty, a grassroots challenge to get friends in 50 states to make calls to their members of Congress on the issues they care about.

  • Lawyers, coders, and victims advocates are gathering in Suffolk University Law School in Boston today to work on tech that will help users report hate crimes, Kay Lazar reports for The Boston Globe. Currently, she notes, it is difficult to find a central online resource that explains hate crimes and offers detailed useful, advice for victims.

  • Trump times: America tourists on spring break in Cancun chanted “Build that wall” while mixing with Mexicans on a tourist boat ride, the Yucatan Times reports.

  • Photographic evidence has surfaced showing that Sebastian Gorka, a top Trump national security adviser, was an admirer of a Hungarian fascist leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews during World War II, Allegra Kirkland reports for Talking Points Memo.

  • This is civic tech: The Knight Foundation has announced $2.5 million in new support to Democracy Works, conditioned on the voting-modernization group’s raising an additional $2.2 million in matching funds, as its co-founder Seth Flaxman explains. Knight’s backing a nonprofit with a strong track record: TurboVote, their first tool, signed up its millionth voter in 2016; GetToThePolls.com, a site Democracy Works runs for the Voting Information Project, served more than 11 million voters that year.

  • Pia Mancini of Democracy Earth gets profiled by GovInsider.Asia.