Taking it to the states: Anti-Trump resistance goes granular with Our States, a map-based organizing project

While national attention has been fixated on the constant state of emergency that is the Trump administration, and the intense grassroots response that has dramatically crippled its earliest efforts, it’s a different story in state legislatures. But that’s about to change, thanks to a new project, Our States, launched by Stay Woke, an organization that came out of the Black Lives Matter movement. Our States’ map-based interface is designed to inform, empower and facilitate state-level action in a way that has only been seen on the federal level until now.

It was a natural development, according to Samuel Sinyangwe, a Stay Woke co-founder who spoke with Salon. “We launched Campaign Zero about a year and a half ago,” he said. “It was focused on policing and police accountability, which was predominantly a state and local advocacy campaign. As the Trump election happened and the broader movement expanded into this resistance movement, it became clear that while so much energy was being directed at the federal level, whether it was on the ACA repeal efforts or on the immigration deportations, that so many of these issues were actually being decided in state legislatures all over the country, There wasn’t enough attention being paid to what was happening [at that level], such that in many cases states were enacting policies that were more severe in terms of their impact than what the Trump administration was able to do federally.”

But state legislators, even when they were voting on draconian new laws, “weren’t having their phone lines flooded in a way that Congress members were, or having their town halls interrupted and disrupted in the way that Congress members were around ACA repeal,” Sinyangwe said. “So what we wanted to do was create a platform that could help translate the energy in the resistance movement and direct it — in addition to the energy that is going federally — to the state level,…

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