Cutting-Edge Campaigning: Why We're Unique

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

It’s tempting to title this post “Why This Super PAC Is Super Awesome.”  We’re a bit biased.  We're innovative, too, so we went with that theme instead.

We’re building something unique – a Super PAC to help the left win rural America.   The goal is to create movement to “Shift the Country” to help democrats win the US Senate & the White House, & to hold the US House in 2020.

Since launching the Shift the Country PAC, we’ve heard so much excitement and interest.

We’ve heard a few questions too.  This post is to address common reactions to this emerging Super PAC.  More details on what this work + tools will do are here.

But first!  You can contribute here!  It's campaign crowdfunding - every bit helps.

Why Is This Campaign Work Unique?

We’re going specifically after rural America.  We’re based in rural America.  We’re not Washington, DC insiders… although there is Washington experience.

PACs, or Political Action Committees, have traditionally spent big money on TV and radio ads, with some money on mailers, etc.  A few do phone calls.  TV and radio advertising are pricey, while audiences for each are diminishing.

The Shift the Country PAC is planning a combination of on-the-ground grassroots organizing fused with social media influence work via digital advertising.  It’s a combination of engagement + persuasion + amplification, with synergy.  We think the approach also helps the investment go farther than traditional media advertising can in terms of permeation, influence, and reach.

The idea here is like what Indivisible (no affiliation) & other groups have created – to put out a set of tools people can use where they live to create influence.  We can build on + expand resistance work already underway too.  The Shift the Country work leverages the power of community + connection to create tipping points at every level.  It’s action + personal connection in the smallest towns... to cities... to social networks... to viral online phenomena to reach voters everywhere.

We start in rural places… and work outward from there.  We are about engaging with the large majority of Americans – not just in small towns, but in micro-cities & cities with higher populations in rural states.  People can use tools we’re developing to build coalitions with shared priorities, to work locally on implementing projects + priorities, & to advocate together to politicians who could help.  People who see real-world activity happening nearby that could positively impact their lives can experience a shift – to become more engaged, & more invested in the stakes.

Why Do We Need Another Group / Movement / Campaign?  Isn’t Someone Already Doing This?

There does not appear to be a high-profile well-established organization using the specific combined methodology in the Proposal to Shift the Country… to amplify and leverage community and connection in rural cities and towns to engage voters and foster tipping points to help the left win in 2020.

We plan to become the high-profile group doing exactly that.  We may be the only Super PAC working specifically on shifting rural America to the left for 2020.

This isn’t your typical political campaign work.  That being said, we can’t get different results doing the same things.  Plus, we need all of the stuff that's already being done - and we need to add to it and expand it.  That's what we're doing.

The left evolved to win the 2018 election.  It can evolve more to win the 2020.  We’re here to help lead that shift.  We will need to build partnerships, coalitions, and alliances, too. 

There ARE other groups working on all kinds of things… voter engagement, voter disenfranchisement, election security, campaigns, rural organizing, organizing, rural advocacy, and so on.  There are definitely many groups.  Here’s the thing:  WE NEED ALL THE GROUPS.  All of them.  This is an all-hands-on-deck type of situation.  It’s going to take all kinds of people everywhere doing all of the things to make sure we have absolutely overwhelming wins in 2020.  #NoSafeSeats.

Are People On The Left Willing To Fund Campaign Work?

Yes!  People have been donating *MILLIONS* to the many democratic presidential candidates.  This site lists staff already hired by each presidential candidate’s campaign.  There are a LOT.

We’re asking for between $15K - $25K per month, for some technology, a few staff, and some serious social media marketing.  More on planned Shift the Country PAC expenditures in this post.

We’re starting work *now* to make shift happen in rural America in time for the 2020 election.  We’re here to support the democratic presidential nominee – whoever that is.  Investment in this work is investment to win the 2020 general election.  The work we do this winter and next spring in communities everywhere is designed to help build rural support for the democratic nominee - and federal Senate and House candidates - come next November.

What Will You Do With Contributions?

The answers are in this post, "Funding Specifics To Get Shift Started."

Okay But For Real What Are You Actually Doing?

Here’s an overview of the work we’re planning.

More details are in the Proposal to Shift the Country – which reads like a thesis.  It’s the combined methodology behind all of this work.  Putting it all together is how we get shift done.

Tools to Shift the Country are outlined but not yet online – they will be developed and published as funding allows.

How Will Your Experience Help Make Shift Happen?

We're based in rural America.  We are growing a mostly-rural board of directors to help us shape and expand the shift (that's the "we" part so far).  A cornfield is 1.3 miles from the home office.  We're in the congressional district that re-elected Congressman Steve King.. again... which is what led to this work in the first place.

We're motivated to work on rural America because we live here.  The stakes are high.

As the founder, I've lived in 10 states, often in rural or remote areas... in IA, VA, MA, CA, CO, AZ, NC, SC, TN, and the District (okay that last one is clearly not rural nor a state).  This country is so great and complex - and often overlooked.  It makes sense for rural Americans to bring attention to rural America.  And so we are.

As for me, I’m a persistent vision-realizer and universe-denter.

As the founder, I’m driving, leading, and doing all of the initial planning and execution.  I am a successful project manager with experience growing national initiatives, innovation, and programs since 2000.  I’m a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bringing the pieces together here.  For now, I am my own researcher, analyst, content writer, virtual assistant, technologist, social media manager, policy wonk, bookkeeper, and bureaucracy-navigator.  It’s been a great skillset to get the Shift the Country PAC rolling, to learn and comply with FEC requirements, and to get all of the pieces and parts up and running.  As we expand, we’ll bring on freelancers with expertise to help get shift done.  We already have a professional educator ready to help develop and publish the Shift the Country tools, and we will get social media experts to help with amplification and digital influence.

After 9/11, I left my fire career and moved to the DC area to help build a flexible, scalable National Incident Management System (NIMS).  I worked in the Office of the Secretary in two federal departments, and maintained a Top Secret / Specially Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance for 9 years.  I've been in emergency operations centers and on critical teams for major disasters and catastrophes, usually helping to facilitate clearer decision-making in crises.

I'm good at navigating chaos - a skill that will be useful in growing an organic, grassroots, flexible, scalable movement in a highly charged, highly fluid political environment.

I’ve been working in information sharing and technology innovation for my whole career.  I studied sociology and mass communication in graduate school.  I've worked in and with traditional media, and run social media for several brands.  I'm an entrepreneur, a critical thinker, and a problem-solver.

I’ve got a background working on large-scale change.  I’ve helped build and launch big ideas.  I’m good at coalitions and teams and partnership.  I’ve seen what it takes to make change happen in communities over time - especially through my work with national first responder organizations, and through public-private-partnership initiatives with critical infrastructure owners and operators to build resilience and security.

I did 11 years in the Washington, DC area.  I’m no Washington insider or professional political operative (well, until now)... but I've learned how to make things work at scale, how to build alliances, how to grow connections, and how to foster real-world change.  I have gone to great lengths to serve this country.  I intend to continue.  For now, this is the fight, and I'm going all out.

We Need Us

You can get in on this action too:  donate here to help us crowdfund this campaign, and/or find ways to engage, amplify, lead, and support the shift here.

We are in a time of great change; we need innovators and big thinkers and team builders everywhere to find ways forward together that help us make big pivots fast.  We need strong leaders and visionaries in every community to help us get there.  We're in that fight, and we intend to lead.  You can, too.  We're going to need all of us.

We're making shift happen.  We do it together.

And we win.

Light it up -


Vanessa Burnett
Founder, President, & Treasurer
Shift the Country PAC

We're campaign fundraising!  It's crowdfunding to make shift happen.  Ths is a fundraising solicitation for the Shift the Country PAC, a federal Super PAC working on the 2020 election from rural America. Not authorized by any party, candidate, or candidate’s committee.

Details on anticipated expenses & fundraising goals are here:  Funding Specifics To Get Shift Started.  Details on the methodology are in the Proposal to Shift the Country.
Shift the Country
How Can I Support the Shift?
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Events to Shift the Country
Tools to Shift the Country

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