In the recent election, few would argue that ISAIAH occupied a unique position in the Our Vote Our Future coalition that worked to defeat the voter restriction amendment. “There is no doubt that people of faith, and leaders from all faith traditions, played a pivotal role,” said Eric Fought, Communications Director for Our Vote Our Future (the coalition of over 80 separate organizations working to defeat the amendment). “ISAIAH and its allies were there from the very beginning, speaking out and working hard to stop voter restriction. Without that support, I don’t know if we would have succeeded.”
ISAIAH is a coalition of 100 member congregations in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud regions that promotes racial and economic equity by working to ensure that all people are involved in creating the region’s future. ISAIAH believes that a more just and inclusive democracy starts with everyone being able to fully participate.
“We started this movement with the courage of our convictions and our belief that every voice should be heard,” said Doran Schrantz, ISAIAH Executive Director. “Against what looked like overwhelming odds, we threw everything we had into the fight to defeat this amendment. Driven by the power of thousands of grassroots people making a decision that everyone matters in Minnesota, we defeated this cynical attempt to restrict the vote in Minnesota.”
This ambitious and unprecedented effort was ISAIAH’s first attempt to mobilize people of faith through a civic engagement program in the context of a ballot initiative. ISAIAH, using volunteers mostly from congregations, gained new insights on integrating social media with grassroots organizing to effectively reach thousands of new constituents and volunteers.
This campaign, called “Faith in Democracy,” was a statewide effort of Prophetic Voices. Through this campaign, ISAIAH succeeded in having powerful multi-faith, multi-racial interactions that reached more than 2.4 million people. Since November 6, 2012, ISAIAH’s efforts have been recognized in the media as a “key piece of a coalition that helped produce the greatest upset of the 2012 election season.”
Learn about how we did it by watching this slideshow and clicking through the links below: