BATTLEGROUND TEXAS MARKS SECOND ANNUAL NEIGHBORHOOD TEAM SUMMIT
Jeremy Bird talking with volunteers
#NTS15 Brings Together Nearly 200 Volunteer Leaders from Across Texas to Share Lessons Learned, Build Skills for 2015 and Beyond
Nearly 200 Battleground Texas volunteer leaders came together Saturday for the grassroots organization’s second annual Neighborhood Team Summit (#NTS15). Traveling from communities all across the state, including as far away as El Paso, Galveston and Lubbock, summit participants shared lessons learned from the 2014 election cycle; took part in skill-building sessions on best practices in community organizing, data-driven tactics, voter registration and election protection issues; and made regional and statewide plans for 2015 and beyond.
“We made a lot of progress last year,” said Miki Ramos, from San Antonio. “We were talking to people who had never been registered to vote before, and who had never even heard from a volunteer for a political campaign. We know there’s a lot of work to do, but we also know that the way to change Texas is to keep fighting.”
Volunteers debrief at the 2015 Neighborhood Team Summit
Volunteers heard from Congressman Joaquin Castro; Elections Division Director Keith Ingram; as well as Battleground Texas Founder Jeremy Bird, Executive Director Jenn Brown, and Field Director Danny Lucio.
“Almost 200 people gathered here today, in the February of an off-election year,” said Brown. “That’s what long-term infrastructure looks like: people who are excited about organizing year-round, and who don’t give up the fight.”
Volunteers get ready to attend one of the day’s trainings
Founded in 2013, Battleground Texas partnered with the Wendy Davis campaign during the 2014 election to build one of the largest volunteer grassroots field programs in Texas history. Nearly 34,000 volunteers helped to register almost 100,000 voters, and reached out to voters on the phone and at their doors 7.5 million times.
In 2015, Battleground Texas volunteers have already begun to register voters again, with hundreds going through the state’s mandatory training and certification program within the first two months of the year.
Jenn Brown speaking with volunteers
“Texas has voted Republican for 20 years,” said Kim Gilby from Cedar Park. “That doesn’t change overnight. But that’s why we’re here. This is a Texas-sized marathon. We know what we’re doing works, and we know that in order to make a difference, we need to keep going.”