Person

Judith Freeman

Judith Freeman is a Democratic political operative and strategist who co-founded the New Organizing Institute (NOI) and the New Organizing Institute Education Fund, a now defunct left-progressive set of organizations that trained digital organizers and campaigners for the Democratic Party and left-of-center political causes. [1] Freeman has worked for several left-leaning organizations and Democratic campaigns, working for former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, then-U.S. Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and the political department of the AFL-CIO. [2]

Background

Judith Freeman is a longtime consultant to Democratic campaigns and left-leaning organizations. Early in her career, she consulted on online strategy and data for U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)’s first campaign. Freeman also worked on Democrat Phil Angelides’s unsuccessful California gubernatorial campaign and on several campaigns for the Wilderness Society.

Immediately before founding New Organizing Institute, Freeman was the senior political strategist in the AFL-CIO’s pollical department. Freeman had previously worked for the AFL-CIO as the director of information technology for Working America. [3] As of June 2021, Freeman operates a two-person consulting firm called B&G Strategies. [4]

New Organizing Institute

In 2005, Judith Freeman founded the New Organizing Institute (NOI) with follow left-leaning organizer Zach Exley after hosting a conference for Democratic political fundraisers the prior year. The organization became notable in left-leaning organizing circles for its signature Rootscamp “unconferences,” meetings offering mostly but not exclusively left-progressive political technologists the opportunity to network and study other organizers’ successes. [5]

Freeman worked as the executive director of NOI until she stepped down in 2013, making Ethan Roeder executive director. Roeder had most recently worked as data director for the 2012 Obama campaign. Freeman stayed active with the organization as the chair of the board at NOI. [6]

Freeman was at the center of the staff walkout that led to the ultimate dissolution of NOI. In February 2015, a memo signed by eight senior employees of NOI was sent to the board of directors, which Freeman chaired. The memo accused executive director Ethan Roeder of financial mismanagement that had allegedly pushed the organization towards “insolvency”[7] and demanded his firing. In her capacity as board chair, Freeman refused to fire Roeder, leading to the departure of employees who signed the memo and the walkout of a majority of the remaining staff members. At the time of the shakeup, Freeman pledged that the organization would continue operations, but it dissolved several months later. [8]

References

  1. Fung, Brian. “Inside the Democratic Party’s Hogwarts for Digital Wizardry,” April 24, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/07/08/inside-the-democratic-partys-hogwarts-for-digital-wizardry/ ^
  2. “About.” B&G Strategies. Accessed June 10, 2021. https://www.bngstrategies.com/about ^
  3. http://www2.americanprogress.org/o/507/t/29/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=20408 ^
  4. “About.” B&G Strategies. Accessed June 10, 2021. https://www.bngstrategies.com/about ^
  5. Stirland, Sarah. “New Organizing Institute Changes Leadership.” Tech President. January 8, 2013. Accessed via Wayback Machine June 10, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20150101021657/http://techpresident.com/news/23347/new-organizing-institute-changes-leadership ^
  6. Stirland, Sarah. “New Organizing Institute Changes Leadership.” Tech President. January 8, 2013. Accessed via Wayback Machine June 10, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20150101021657/http://techpresident.com/news/23347/new-organizing-institute-changes-leadership ^
  7. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon.” Buzzfeed News. February 10, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/new-organizing-institute-implodes ^
  8. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon.” Buzzfeed News. February 10, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/new-organizing-institute-implodes ^
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