At Groundwork Project, we invest year-round in local community organizing. With a primary focus on Appalachia, the Deep South, and the Plains, we play the long game. Day to day, year to year: We show up to help build durable civic and political infrastructure in places Democrats have gotten used to writing off.
Meet our first three partner states. And stay tuned for more!
Alabama’s rich political history features some of the most history-changing local organizing of the Civil Rights Era – and some of our nation’s most stark setbacks to justice and equity in the form of white supremacy. Reckoning with this juxtaposition and building off the momentum created by the organizers and activists in Alabama who pulled off an unlikely victory for Doug Jones offers a path to durable Democratic power and progress in the next ten years.
Beginning with the infamous “Southern Strategy” of the 1960s, Republicans executed a successful effort to wrestle near-complete political control in Alabama at the local, state, and federal level. They’ve used this power with reckless abandon in recent years, imposing myriad voter suppression tactics, a near-total ban on abortions, and a transgender athlete ban.
Nevertheless there are signs of real opportunity and hope for the road ahead including Doug Jones’ successful run for US Senate and a vibrant, multi-racial coalition of 501c3 and 501c4 organizations and local political leaders working creatively and collaboratively to execute a long-term plan to undo conservative dominance in the state. Donald Trump may have won Alabama in 2020. But more people of voting age didn't vote than voted for him. Sustained organizing is needed to engage those potential voters, listen, and build trust.
In Alabama, Groundwork Project Will:
Invest in local organizers on the ground who are working year-round to engage and educate voters, fight back against GOP control, and expand progressive power.
Support efforts to create the durable political infrastructure needed to expand the Doug Jones coalition, break the GOP’s state supermajority and build a Democratic base that can consistently win statewide.
Partner with organizers, activists, local leaders, and everyday voters in the frontline fights over Alabama’s future, from voting rights to labor rights to racial justice.
Check back soon for updates on our work in Alabama
For all of modern history, Mississippi has been the epicenter of some of our nation’s most consequential fights for voting rights, racial justice and democracy itself.
Today, the legacy of Jim Crow echoes through the politics, public policy, and lived experience of residents in this still deeply segregated state. But there are signs of hope for progress and growing Democratic power in the electorate – as evidenced last cycle when voters overwhelmingly passed progressive ballot initiatives to remove the Confederate flag from its state flag and legalize medical marijuana.
With this in mind, local leaders have built on Mississippi’s historic tradition of organizing and advocacy, working over the last five years to create critical infrastructure, develop voter engagement strategies and expand data capacity. But more resources are needed to overcome generations of racial disenfranchisement and build equitable power for all residents.
To counteract the powerful forces of white supremacy and segregation still at play in the state, a deep, sustained, and year-round effort is needed to engage young, Black voters, activate sporadic voters (particularly those in rural areas that have lost faith), and to implement long-term strategic persuasion campaigns aimed at shifting moveable white voters (90% of whom vote Republican in the state today) around a more progressive future.
In Mississippi, Groundwork Project Will:
Invest in the local organizers on the ground who are working year-round to engage and educate voters, fight back against GOP control, and expand progressive power.
Support efforts to develop and execute a long-term plan that will end the systemic political disenfranchisement of Black Mississippians, increase voter participation among young people, in particular, and build a Democratic base that can consistently win statewide.
Partner with organizers, activists, local leaders, and everyday voters in the frontline fights over Mississippi’s future, from voting rights to anti-poverty and racial justice.
Check back soon for updates on our work in Mississippi
The roots of the Democratic Party run through West Virginia. But to win again, we have to build back trust, with rural voters in particular. And you can't do that with just one election cycle or campaign.
The premier front for some of the most consequential labor battles in modern American history, West Virginia spent decades as a solidly blue state, defined by proud populism, a distinct economic identity, and a deeply rural livelihood. But its red turn has been stark. Hollowed out political infrastructure has left Democrats largely hamstrung in efforts to address the impact of the generational decline of the steel and coal industries on policy, politics, and public opinion in the state.
The only way to build back depleted trust is a coordinated, sustained, and several-cycle deep-canvassing effort, led by trusted, local community members, to persuade the voters Democrats have lost that a progressive future will benefit them and their loved ones.
A growing organizing ecosystem on the ground is ripe for additional investment as it begins to implement smart and sustainable strategies. From expanding 501c3 and 501c4 civic engagement tables to an energetic populist coalition, we see a rising generation of leadership who will change the trajectory of the state if they can secure the resources to do the work.
IN WEST VIRGINIA, GROUNDWORK PROJECT WILL:
Invest in the local organizers on the ground who are working year-round to engage and educate voters, rebuild progressive infrastructure, and improve the lives of West Virginia families.
Support efforts to execute a year-round, likely decade-long voter engagement strategy to understand, communicate with, and persuade voters who have lost faith.
Partner with organizers, activists, local leaders, and everyday voters in the frontline fights over West Virginia’s future, from voting rights to labor rights to economic justice.