Power Produces Heat

July 2022 Newsletter

Our Inside/Outside Strategy at Work

This summer, we’ve employed our inside-outside strategy to amplify the grassroots voices of our partners and uplift the power of low-income people. In June, we helped exert “outside” pressure as we joined thousands of people demanding a stronger democracy and better policies at the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington. Several of our partners showed up and spoke out; some of their reflections and calls to action are documented in this episode of Melissa Harris-Perry’s news program The Takeaway

Reverend James Woodley (MORE Justice) and CC Organizer Kayla Gilchrist.

This month, we and several of our partners engaged the “inside” of Washington politics at an event we co-hosted with the Urban Institute, A Community Forum: How the American Rescue Plan is Helping Advance Equity. Representatives of our partners Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Parent Voices Oakland, Maine People’s Alliance, MOSES, and MORE Justice joined representatives from the Biden-Harris administration, members of Congress, representatives from local and state governments, and other community organizations to explore how communities worked together to deliver “the most equitable recovery of any federal stimulus package in U.S. history” through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Participants discussed how they shaped public investments, highlighting narratives of underserved communities and persistence. The discussion was informed by the White House’s May 2022 report, “Advancing Equity Through the American Rescue Plan.” You can watch a video of the full forum on Community Change/Action’s YouTube page. 

Dorian in conversation with (L to R): Erica Crawley (Franklin County, OH Board of Commissioners); Clarissa Doutherd (Parent Voices Oakland); Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson (Children’s Defense Fund); LaNoral Thomas (SEIU).

Our partners had these opportunities to shine thanks to our phenomenal staff members, who continue to approach this work with joy, strategic sophistication, creativity, and a whole lot of heart. Many thanks to each and every one of you who touched both of these events in ways big and small.


Update on the Defend Black Voters Campaign

Since last October, the Defend Black Voters (DBV) Coalition has been escalating pressure on the six largest corporate contributors to extremist Michigan state lawmakers that are backing a voter suppression initiative. A loophole in Michigan law will soon allow backers of this initiative to submit signatures to empower the GOP-controlled legislature to pass changes to voting rules that strategically and cynically make it harder for Black and working-class voters to access the ballot. Highlights of the DBV Coalition’s efforts to push back on this initiative include:

  • Taking direct action, focused on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, by land, sea, and air at Michigan’s largest policy conference on Mackinac Island.
  • Moving the first major public clients of Blue Cross to engage publicly on the need for Blue Cross to align their political spending and their professed values, passing a resolution at the Wayne County Commission, and moving the mayor of Ann Arbor to issue a biting public letter to the CEO.
  •  Launching the “Taking Back Our Power” initiative to move legislators and regulators to start working for the people instead of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, the state’s electric utilities. Now voter engagement canvassers are using the utilities’ efforts to increase rates as a hook to start conversations at thousands of doors, move people into the fight around utility rates and voter suppression, and get voters motivated to go to the polls.
  • A guerrilla action to drop a massive banner outside of DTE’s shareholder meeting.
  • A rally and march outside of GM’s annual shareholder meeting and work with Majority Action and SEIU to help inform investor involvement.  A group of investors are now engaging GM, Ford, DTE, and Consumers around concerns that they are funding legislators who are working to suppress the Black vote.

And there’s more to come soon!


Dear MacKenzie and Dan: Advice for America’s Biggest Donors from Inside Philanthropy

Inside Philanthropy founder David Callahan lays out some big ideas on how the biggest funders in philanthropy can help reduce economic and political inequality in U.S. society – and mentions Community Change’s impact on the world.

Off-Kilter Podcast: “Child Poverty Was Always a Political Choice”: What’s Next for America’s Child Allowance?

Advocates for children and for low-income families haven’t given up the fight, though chances of bringing the expanded child tax credit of 2021 back anytime soon appear dim in the current political climate. The Off-Kilter podcast revisits the topic of the child tax credit, and looks at how kids and families are faring half a year after our elected leaders allowed a policy estimated to cut U.S. child poverty nearly in half to expire. The episode features our partner Aisha Nyandoro of Springboard and Magnolia Mother Trust.

What Borders We Must Cross

Watch and share this stunning animation by our new video fellow, Catherine Killough. She’s brought to life her journey as a mixed Korean-American crossing multiple borders in this rich and dynamic story of self.  

Stay tuned for the launch of Community Change’s 2021 Annual Report: The Power We Carry.

We are excited to announce the launch of our 2021  Annual Report in August. The report dives deep into how we transformed policies, changed minds, organized allies, connected people, and advanced progress in 2021.