Progressive Communications Structure

Finding Our (Collective) Voice and Making It Heard

Do you wonder why the catchwords and messages of the Right have such traction in the media marketplace, while progressive voices seemed to be drowned out?

The California Civil Rights Coalition is committed to finding effective, powerful, and creative ways to express our shared messages, and to developing vehicles to make sure our voices are heard.

We hope you will join us for the communications session of the Civil Rights State of the State where we will talk about our shared values and find practical ways to make our communications more effective. This session will be led by Claudia Pena, CCRC Coordinator; Bilen Mesfin, EJS Communications Consultant and Principal at Change Consulting, LLC; Keith Kamisugi, EJS Communications Director; Elaine Elinson, EJS Communications Consultant and former ACLU-NC Communications Director.

We have designed this session to be useful to many kinds of groups – from local, grassroots organizations who do not have communications staff, to larger groups with experience, national connections and resources to share.  But only your participation will make it really work!

Highlights include:

Identifying Opportunities and Challenges – A frank accounting from seasoned communications professionals about the benefits – and pitfalls – of doing joint media work.

Defining Our Common Values – We will begin the conversation in attempting to name the shared values that underlie all the work we do – whether in health care, immigration, education, race discrimination or LGBT rights – and explore the best ways to express those values.   We will look at how the messages and vocabulary of the right have seeped into the media and our daily dialogue – phrases like “birthright citizenship,” “illegal aliens,” “colorblind society,” and “special interest groups,”  — and how we can debunk them.

Staging a Press Conference – Dos and Don’ts – Here, you will have a chance to take an issue in the news (like the stonewalling that led to the collapse of the state budget talks or how proposed cuts affect your community) and work with others to determine the most effective messages, messengers and media strategy.

Finding Our Way Forward – We will begin finding the best ways for the Coalition to create a unified response around major issues, support organizations seeking to publicize their key issues, and figure out how to provide resources (like a handbook, training, etc.) to groups that do not have communications staff.

Let CA Vote

Dear Allies,

Are you using your Facebook and Twitter accounts to get the word out and encourage legislators to LET CALIFORNIA VOTE on the revenues we need to prevent another $9 billion in cuts to schools, health care and human services?

If you’re on Twitter, please start using the #LetCAVote hashtag to encourage legislators to let California vote!

We need to use social media to GET THE WORD OUT and let ALL LEGISLATORS know that we’re counting on them to stand up for democracy and let the people of California vote on Governor Brown’s modest and common-sense budget proposal!

Specifically, Californians need a chance to consider and VOTE on the Governor’s proposed extension of TAXES WE ARE ALREADY PAYING to prevent another $9 billion in cuts.

Without these revenues, Californians will be subjected to even more dangerous and potentially life-threatening cuts to essential health care and social services.

That’s why we need your help!

Tweet It!

Spread the word amongst your followers and the broader Twitter universe by disseminating messages with the #LetCAVote hashtag encouraging legislators to let California vote. To help you get the conversation started, here’s a few sample Tweets:

Stand up for Democracy and #LetCAVote on #JerryBrown #cabudget revenue proposals.

Be a champion – #LetCAVote on the Governor’s modest #cabudget revenue package and help prevent more dangerous cuts.

With so much at stake – Californians deserve the chance to vote for the #JerryBrown #cabudgetrevenues. Don’t stand in the way of democracy! #LetCAVote

CA is already suffering $12 billion in cuts – Why not #LetCAVote on #JerryBrown #cabudget rev. package to prevent even more brutal cuts??

If opponents think voters will reject these #cabudget revenue proposals, then what harm could come by putting them to a vote? #LetCAVote

(Not on Twitter yet? Getting started is easy and it’s FREE! Simply go to and sign-up and get started TODAY!)

Change your Facebook Status & Profile Picture!

Tell your friends and fans on Facebook why Californians deserve the opportunity to voice their opinions on these critical revenue proposals. Change your Facebook status to encourage your network to spread the word and urge our legislators to let the voters decide on the Governor’s $12 billion revenue package.

You can also go to the HHS Network Facebook Fan page and “share” the “LET CALIFORNIA VOTE” badge with your friends, or even post it as your profile picture.

And while you’re at it – encourage your friends, families, and loved ones to do the same!

(Not on Facebook yet? Getting started is easy and it’s FREE! Simply go to and sign-up and get started TODAY!)

Take your picture with a sign saying, “Let California Vote!”

Want to get creative? Design a sign, poster, or placard encouraging legislators to let California voters have a say on these necessary revenue proposals and take a picture, or better yet, a video and upload it to TwitPic.

You can also upload your picture or video to Facebook and share it with your friends!

Visit us online at HHS Network of California
“Like Us” on Facebook!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Civil Rights State of the State Agenda

9:00am      Registration/ Breakfast

9:30am      Welcome and Overview of Coalition

Tom Saenz, MALDEF &  Eva Paterson,  Equal Justice Society

10:15am    California Budget Crisis and Tax Policy

Create a united platform & develop  strategies to achieve working solutions to the budget crisis

11:15am    Policy Priority Issues

Groups will update each other on their organizational priorities and how they are pursuing civil rights (this discussion will inform CCRC’s priority issues)

12:30pm    Lunch

1:00pm      Progressive Communications Structure

Building a communications echo chamber and statewide support network (see more)

2:30pm      Closing

3:30pm      Transition to Secretary of State Building

4:00pm      Policy Briefing at Secretary of State Building

Issues to be addressed are criminal justice, health access,workers’/immigrants’ rights,   education equity & environmental justice

5:15pm      Reception

Civil Rights State of the State

Civil Rights State of the State

Westminister Presbyterian Church
1300 N Street (at 13th) Sacramento, Ca 95814

April 11th 9:00am- 4:00pm
Reception to follow






The California Civil Rights Coalition cordially invites you to the Civil Rights State of the State.

Please join leaders from civil rights organizations across the state to come together to discuss the latest on social justice issues in California from the budget crisis to immigrants’ rights, from education equity to environmental justice.

Come learn about the coalition’s priority issues,  share your updates, challenges &  victories with fellow members and seek support from the coalition for your latest efforts. We also invite our member organizations to send their communications directors to convene and begin to develop a more cohesive progressive communications structure. See the full agenda for the day here.

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