In 2013, former First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of Organizing for Action (OFA). The 501(c)(4) nonprofit operates at a grassroots level to build on President Barack Obama’s work by training and empowering the next generation of leaders.
The OFA website reads:
“We’re committed to finding and training the next generation of great progressive organizers, because at the end of the day, we aren’t the first to fight for progressive change, and we won’t be the last.”
It seems the commitment to progressive change goes further than just promoting Obama’s policies. Now, according to OFA, the fight for change means actively targeting Republicans.
A Facebook note titled “Take a deep breath. Then take action” advises activists how to secure Obama’s stance on health care and immigration reform through GOP outreach:
For those concerned about the state of Obamacare, OFA recommends five “actions” someone should take:
- Sign the petition
- Call key senators
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- Share your personal story at ACAworks.org
- Go to your representative’s town hall and meet them in person
There is a link found in the “sign the petition” section to an “online training” from the Trump resistance group, Indivisible. The guide was created by former progressive congressional staffers and the introduction, in part, reads:
Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party could stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.
Indivisible researched the methods of the Tea Party and despite its ideas being “wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism,” the step-by-step guide explains how its tactics can be applied to resisting Trump.
One of OFA’s recommended actions is to go to your representative’s town hall, and the link to the Indivisible guide, which it shared, dedicated an entire chapter to this:
So, as not to arouse suspicion, it’s suggested that opposition signs are left at home. Chapter four also recommends that questions be prepared ahead of time and “handed out” to the group before entering the town hall. It says:
Head into the venue a bit early to grab seats at the front half of the room, but do not all sit together. Sit by yourself or in groups of two, and spread out throughout the room. This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.
According to chapter four in the guide, group members should appear “neutral and friendly” so they are called upon by the staffers. If a congressional member is dodging a question, he or she should be called out.
If this happens, according to the guide, other audience members should “boo” the representative or applaud the person making the inquiries to the congressional member.
Trump detractors are encouraged to disrupt any public place where their representative can be found. While the group claims to want to “save democracy,” a free country isn’t applicable to nonpartisan organizations and local businesses that are willing to host “Trump-friendly” congressional members. Opportunity 2 says:
Hold organizational hosts accountable. Reach out to them directly to express your concern that they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption. If they persist, use social media to express your disappointment. This will reduce the likelihood that these organizations will host the Trump-friendly MoC in the future.
The guide claims that even congressional members in heavily Republican or Democratic areas will be “deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition.”
The New York Post reported that during a conference call, Obama told OFA activists, “now is the time for some organizing.” The organization offers a six-week intensive “training” program that will give activists community organizing skills.