Political Party/527

Activate America

Website:

www.activateamerica.vote

Location:

Oakland, CA

Status:

527

Type:

Political Action Committee

Executive Director:

Ronnie Cohen

Activate America is a Democratic super PAC (political action committee) focused on flipping seats in the United States House and Senate from Republican to Democratic to ensure Democratic control. Originally named Flip the 14, it started focusing on flipping seats in California during the 2018 elections. During the 2020 election cycle, it changed its name to Flip the West and expanded its focus to additional states in the west. [1] In 2021 it changed its name to Activate America [2] and expanded its focus again to include states that are expected to have competitive races in the 2022 election cycle. [3]

Activate America uses volunteers and allied organizations such as Swing Left and America Votes to communicate directly to voters through phone banks, texting, and postcards to encourage them to vote for specific Democratic candidates. [4]

Background

Activate America (formerly Flip the 14 and Flip the West) is a Democratic political action committee founded by left-progressive activist Doug Linney in 2017. [5]

Activate America works with activists, groups, and volunteers to maintain and expand the Democratic majority in the United States Senate and House of Representatives by contacting voters. [6]

During the 2018 election cycle, Flip the 14 recruited volunteers to contact California voters in 14 target seats. The organization claims to have played a role in flipping seven of the 14 seats to Democratic control. [7]

During the 2020 election cycle, the organization’s name was changed to Flip the West, expanding its activities to include Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Alaska, and Georgia. [8] The organization made more than 13 million voter contacts [9] and claims to have played a role in flipping four of eight target seats to Democratic control. [10]

In April of 2021 Flip the West changed its name to Activate America. [11] For the 2022 election cycle, it is working to retain and expand Democratic majorities in Congress, with a focus on House and Senate elections in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and California. [12]

Programs

Activate America’s programs rely on direct communication to voters, with a focus on newly registered voters, inactive Democrats, and Democratic-leaning independents. [13]

The phone banking program entails hosting phone banks for volunteers that leverage automatic dialers. Many of these events are co-hosted by allied organizations. In the 2020 election cycle, more than 2.6 million calls were made. [14]

The text banking program reached over 3.6 million voters in the 2020 election cycle. Texts were sent encouraging recipients to vote for specific Democratic candidates and included information such as polling locations and hours. [15]

The postcards program leverages volunteers and partner organizations to write personalized messages to voters on critical issues and election information. Activate America provides the voter addresses and scripts to the volunteers. In the 2020 election cycle, 6.7 million postcards were delivered. [16]

States

Activate America is targeting seven states for the 2022 election cycle that are expected to have competitive races. The group argues that in these states, a small number of Democrats can swing an election. [17]

California was the original focus of the newly formed Flip the 14 for the 2018 elections and has continued to be a target state. It is expected to have competitive House races in 2022. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are the additional states that Activate America is focusing on, as they all are expected to have tight races in 2022. Activate America claims that in most of these states Republicans are working to gerrymander the states in their favor and suppress the Latino, Native American, and Black votes. [18]

Allied Organizations

Organizations that partner with Activate America include the California Democratic Party, Commit to Democracy, Field Team 6, Swing Left, and America Votes. [19]

Commit to Democracy (CTD) joined Activate America in 2019 as a special project, which allows CTD to leverage Activate America’s legal structure to stay in compliance with the Federal Election Commission. It is a grassroots organization of volunteers working to elect Democrats in Congress and the White House through phone banking, texting, and postcard writing. [20]

Field Team 6 works with volunteers to register Democrats. The organization tracks down eligible voters in the states where just a small number of Democrats can swing an election, encourages them to register as a Democrat, and to sign up to vote from home where possible. [21]

Swing Left is a grassroots fundraising and voter mobilization organization supporting the Democratic Party. [22]

America Votes describes itself as “the coordination hub of the progressive community.” It is a voter engagement organization that also advocates at the state level to make it easier for anyone living in the United States to vote. [23]

Financials

For the two-year period of 2019 and 2020 Activate America had total receipts of $1,402,075 and total expenses of $1,203,430. [24]

Top donor organizations in the 2020 election cycle included Alaska Progressive Donor Table, The Nature Conservancy, Take Back the White House, Earthjustice, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, and the Clean and Prosperous America PAC. [25]

Founder

Activate America founder Doug Linney is the president and founder of the Next Generation, a left-progressive campaign consulting and environmentalist advocacy organization in California. Linney has been a board member of the California League of Conservation Voters, a left-of-center environmentalist political activist group, since 1995. He is founder and executive director of ZEV 2030 that advocates for only Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) sales in California by 2030. [26]

Leadership

Ronnie Cohen is the executive director. She has been with Activate America since its inception in 2017, first as a campaign manager, then as the executive director. Previously Cohen held several positions focused on environmental water policies in California, including Natural Resources Defense Council and Water Foundation. [27]

 

References

  1. Raymond Arke. “California-focused super PAC looks to expand and ‘flip the west’ from red to blue.” Open Secrets News & Analysis. February 20, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/02/california-super-pac-looks-to-expand-flip-the-west/ ^
  2. Activate America website homepage. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.activateamerica.vote/ ^
  3. Activate America Strategic Plan 2021 – 2022. Activate America – About. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451db8050e72265d8c7a08/1631919656235/Strategic+Plan+2021-2022+%28May+2021%29.pdf ^
  4. Activate America website homepage. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.activateamerica.vote/ ^
  5. “Doug Linney.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-linney-6320574/ ^
  6. “Activate America.” Instagram. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.instagram.com/activatevote/ ^
  7. “Ronnie Cohen.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronnie-cohen-48b214aa/ ^
  8. “Ronnie Cohen.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronnie-cohen-48b214aa/ ^
  9. “Flip the West: By the Numbers.” Flip the West 2020 Report. Accessed April 25, 2022. ^
  10. “Ronnie Cohen.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronnie-cohen-48b214aa/ ^
  11. Activate America, FEC Form 1, Statement of Organization. Filed April 5, 2021. ^
  12. Activate America website homepage. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.activateamerica.vote/ ^
  13. “Flip the West: By the Numbers.” Flip the West 2020 Report. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451e68b9a496281597aff8/1631919737419/Activate+America+formerly+Flip+the+West+2020+Year+End+Report.pdf ^
  14.  “Phone Banking.” Flip the West 2020 Report. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451e68b9a496281597aff8/1631919737419/Activate+America+formerly+Flip+the+West+2020+Year+End+Report.pdf ^
  15. “Texting.” Flip the West 2020 Report. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451e68b9a496281597aff8/1631919737419/Activate+America+formerly+Flip+the+West+2020+Year+End+Report.pdf ^
  16. “Postcards.” Flip the West 2020 Report. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451e68b9a496281597aff8/1631919737419/Activate+America+formerly+Flip+the+West+2020+Year+End+Report.pdf ^
  17. “Activate America Strategic Plan 2021 – 2022.” Activate America – About. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451db8050e72265d8c7a08/1631919656235/Strategic+Plan+2021-2022+%28May+2021%29.pdf ^
  18. “Activate America Strategic Plan 2021 – 2022. Activate America – About. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6049869c2901a02ddf00c94e/t/61451db8050e72265d8c7a08/1631919656235/Strategic+Plan+2021-2022+%28May+2021%29.pdf ^
  19. Take Action with Activate America.” Activate America – Sign Up. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.mobilize.us/activateamerica/?show_all_events=true ^
  20. “About.” Commit to Democracy. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.committoflipblue.com/about_us ^
  21. “The Plan.” Field Team 6 – Mission. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.fieldteam6.org/mission ^
  22. “Swing Left.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/company/swing-left/ ^
  23. “About.” America Votes. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://americavotes.org/about/ ^
  24.  Activate America, Federal Election Commission Financial Summary 2019-2020. Accessed April 30, 2022. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00640300/?tab=summary&cycle=2020 ^
  25. “Activate America – Top Donors, 2020 Cycle.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/contrib.php?cycle=2020&cmte=C00640300 ^
  26. “Doug Linney.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-linney-6320574/ ^
  27. “Ronnie Cohen.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronnie-cohen-48b214aa/ ^
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Activate America


Oakland, CA