Protest Prop 8 on Market Street this Friday

Last night some 2,000 people came out to City Hall to hold a candlelight vigil and protest the passage of Proposition 8. Susie Cagle at Curbed predicts this is just the beginning, and she’s right. You can take part in the next major protest this Friday. Word here. The plan is to meet above the Civic Center BART station (Market and 7th) at 5:30 PM, then march down Market street to Castro Street, down to 18th, and then back along 18th to Mission Dolores Park. The bigger the turnout, the better.

6 Comments so far

  1. cd (cndn) on November 6th, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

    If anyone reading has any insight into how the No on 8 campaign was run in SF, I’d love to hear about it. Here in Sacramento, while there were phone banks leading up to Election Day, there was no actual, day-of get out the vote effort. Political hacks and community organizer types know get out the vote (GOTV) is generally a hallmark of winning campaigns (see eg: Obama, Barack). GOTV means you go back to the people you identified leading up to E-Day as supporters of your cause, and you make sure they vote. It means checking the lists of names at polling places and, when necessary, driving people to vote.

    Had 2000 people helped with that sort of work on Election Day – especially in San Francisco – it might not have defeated Prop 8, but the result would’ve been much closer.

    If there’s another ballot measure and you want to beat it (or pass it, depending on how it’s written), make sure you beat down the door of the campaign for your side and insist on helping get out the vote. As another post discusses below, 1:1 marketing – what people in the field organizing business would also call voter contact – is the single most persusive way to reach voters and the single most effective way to get them to vote.

    All the massively attended protests in the world Will Not Ensure Electoral Victory. Period.

    I think the No on 8 campaign made some big mistakes. I hope I’m wrong and I hope someone who helped directly with the campaign in SF can follow up this comment. If I’m right, we need to be really open, and really loud discussing the missteps so that we’re prepared for next time.


  2. Jeremy Hatch (jhatch) on November 7th, 2008 @ 10:59 am

    Well, this is the best analysis I’ve read so far, from someone who "helped directly with the campaign in SF."

    You seem to forget that Obama’s stunning GOTV operation was made possible by the best-funded political campaign in all history. A lot of people who don’t have LGTB issues at the absolute forefront of their lives saw the early opinion poll numbers on Prop 8 and decided it was safe to give almost everything they could afford to the Obama campaign. (Disclosure: I’m squarely in that category.) By the time it became clear that opinion had flipped and individuals and institutions started pouring in money, it was only four weeks to the election, and No on 8 had little choice but to run the campaign on terms defined by the bigots. And as you know, in politics, the defense almost never prevails.

    Protesting this in the streets may have no measurable practical effect, but it will have intangible effects. It’s a way to express solidarity with the cause, and a way to vent anger, and a way to show the opposition that we supporters are not going away until gays and lesbians enjoy equal marriage rights under the law.

    I’m not an LGTB activist. But I have been married for the past eleven years (to a person of the opposite sex), and the rather narrow passage of this discriminatory measure makes me absolutely /livid/. Right now, whenever I catch a glimpse of my wedding band, it reminds me not of my own marriage, but of the millions of people — among them, several people very dear to me — who just had this legal right stripped from them by a bare majority of voters.

    That’s why I’m taking part in this protest this afternoon, and bringing along as many others as I can. Not to ensure electoral victory, but to assert equal rights for all in the face of bigotry.


  3. cd (cndn) on November 7th, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

    If someone offered me the option of managing a campaign with nearly endless financial support, but very few volunteers, or endless volunteers with a far less amount of money, I would opt for the latter every time.

    If you read coverage about the Yes on 8 – nearly every mention of money – really shocking amounts of money – is paired with a mention of the 10s of 1000s of volunteers who walked precincts and volunteered. I haven’t seen the same on our side.

    I’m with you 100% on the meaningful aspects of these shows of solidarity (and on how I feel about my own marriage in light of Tuesday’s happiness-smack-down of others). But I think it’s ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that we use this as a teachable moment, if you will, to beat into people’s memories and hearts that next time – should we get this chance again – they MUST turn out for campaign action the way they do for protests. Protesting is easy, really. Campaign work isn’t hard, but it takes more time. It doesn’t take money. It just takes stepping forward. You voted, I voted, but I guarantee you, not everyone who protests voted, and neither did all of their friends or family. Not because they are bad people, or irresponsible, but life gets in the way, even on Election Day. Field organizers work to remind people and drive them to the damn polls.

    We have to learn from our mistakes and not pretend that protests – as heartening as they are – make up for what screwed up this week.


  4. Jeremy Hatch (jhatch) on November 7th, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

    Hey there! You make a very good point about volunteering, but I think the relative lack of volunteers on the No on 8 side once again comes down to the Obama campaign being a spoiler. It’s my (totally anecdotal) sense from talking to people in SF that a huge number of people who might have volunteered for No on 8, instead opted to volunteer for the Obama campaign, seeing it as the more important campaign to pitch into.

    But next time — and next time will start very soon, with getting the signatures together to put a proposition to repeal this amendment on the next ballot — supporters of marriage equality will be able to tap a lot of those people who spent all their energy this last time around volunteering for Obama.

    I’m sure there were some people who did both, but I never actually met any — for what it’s worth!

    You know something, this thread has been a nice, interesting, civil conversation — so rare for the internet! :) It’s been a pleasure.


  5. cd (cndn) on November 11th, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

    Discourse! With discussion, maybe we can address the issues – I like it too. :)

    Equally anecdotal and unscientific: I’ve heard from many friends who attempted to volunteer for No on 8 and were either ignored or under-utilized. Every person who showed up on Election Day and was sent out to stand 100 feet from a polling place would also fall into that category (that’d be all volunteers).

    As part of the preparation for next time, we need to acknowledge also that we’ve gone from a position of procedural advantage to one of distinct and potentially insurmountable disadvantage. It was a right to lose, now it’s a right to win. Not easy.


  6. tedlow on November 17th, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    There’s a great video I saw on San Francisco IAM on Proposition 8. It shows both sides of the issue and what it means for same sex couples in California. It’s a must see for those concerned about the issue.

    I’d recommend checking it out:

    http://www.sanfranciscoiam.com/videos/d80e34400efa

    San Francisco Iam also got a lot of other interesting video journalism.



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