Rally+Rise is a is a group of New Yorkers who organize and lobby locally. They engage in conversation with legislators around key policy, so that our priorities become their priorities —no matter what happens on a national level. In other words, they're amazing.
The Deep State team is fortunate–– and super grateful–– to have Rally+Rise as a partner organization. We spoke to the team's founder, Rebecca Willa Davis, via email about the mission of Rally+Rise, and what she hopes to accomplish during Deep State:
How did your organization start?
I like to say that we're a Day-After-Election-Day baby: conceived on November 9 2016, born on November 29, 2016. (That was Giving Tuesday, our kick-off event).
Many of my friends, who had never been politically active before and work in traditionally apolitical creative fields, were looking for ways to take action that felt both authentic and impactful. I realized that there was an opportunity to do something that spoke "activist" in a different language, while focusing specifically on issues and legislation within New York state.
What are your key issues right now?
Overall our group isn't issue-specific, but the way we function is by being hyper-focused on what we view as one critical issue– one that's endangered on a national level by the Trump administration and Republican Congress– for approximately 6 months. This allows us to become experts on a topic and not overwhelm our members. (Because unfortunately, there are daily outrages going on right now--and it can be pretty overwhelming.)
For the first six months of the year, we were focused on getting the Reproductive Health Act passed in New York state. For the rest of the year, we're looking to educate New Yorkers around the Independent Democratic Conference and the ways in which the eight members have, in effect, been preventing important, proactive, and progressive legislation from getting passed in New York.
What’s a big victory that you’ve had in the last year?
Creating a coalition of groups organized around the Reproductive Health Act--it's helped us lay the groundwork for future coordinated campaigns.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of the current political moment?
Burnout, burnout, burnout.
What excites you, if anything, about the current political moment?
Meeting and working with so many passionate activists who had never been political before.
What are three other orgs that you want to shout out for their amazing work?
Why are you participating in Deep State?
Activism plus sleepaway camp is basically my dream way to spend a weekend.
If you want to learn more about Rally+Rise, check out their website.
This interview was edited for brevity and clarity