As most of you already know, I have been in Reno, Nevada for the last few weeks helping Barack Obama win the White House. I am officially a part of the big Purple Army known as the Service Employees International Union. But I wanted to give all of you an update on another project I am working on-- Traction Action.
Shortly before I left Raleigh, I was asked to join the board of a new political group in North Carolina. Known as Traction Action, it's the 501 (c)4 offshoot of Traction, which was started a few years ago in the Triangle. The purpose of Traction Action is simple: To promote political activism amongst the youth of North Carolina, and to create positive, progressive change in our state. But this isn't some normal every day "let's get 18-24 yr olds to vote so we can win" effort run by an out of touch babyboomer campaign consultants from DC.
This is an effort to make political organizing fun and build activism for the long term. Traction Action will be making a few trips around the state this election cycle to help progressive candidates that we believe in and reach local youth through peer to peer outreach. We'll collaborate with local groups of motivated young activists to do election work while still having fun. For instance we might pair knocking on doors on a Saturday with white water rafting on a Sunday. Or maybe a trip to the beach. Or maybe one of the many festivals that cover the state during the fall. Or maybe we will spend a day visiting local stores and places that progressive minded youth hang out, helping them to get engaged.
This also is not just some group that is funded through November, and then closes shop after the election. This is a grassroots group aiming to make a long term impact on our state. Traction's 501 (c)3 arm has already been up and running since 2005, with fun events such as Sushi-Making work shops where they also talk about water quality and how each of us can help (compact fluorescents). Traction Action will be here after November, pushing for a more progressive General Assembly, more activism by young people and making sure that political action is as fun and inspiring as it should be.
Stay tuned for more info on Traction Action, and for now you can check out the Traction [501 (c)3] website at www.getTraction.org