Since the 2005 Special Election, Speak Out California has been a leading progressive voice for educating and informing California's voters on key ballot measures and statewide and legislative races through our Voter Guide. During the three critical election cycles, we have registered over 2.6 million hits on our site. During the November 2006 election, we had over 1.6 million hits as progressives sought accurate information about the candidates and the issues.
Unlike misleading slate mailers or bought-and-paid- for voter guides, Speak Out California does not recommend candidates or issues because we've been paid to do so; the secret to our success is that Speak Out California is supported solely by generous contributions from those who share our commitment to restoring the California dream. Our endorsements cannot be bought, so the information you get is based upon an honest, straight-forward commitment to progressive values.
We're proud of the unique niche we've established with our website. We will provide the true progressive perspective during the upcoming legislative session as Speak Out California continues to blog on the key issues of the day and provide the inside view of the Legislature similar to the exclusive series "From the Floor" posted by Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg during the last week of this year's session.
We know there are many worthy groups competing for your financial support at this time of year. We believe that Speak Out California provides a unique and critically important role in the emerging California progressive infrastructure. To keep Speak Out California growing, we look to you, our supporters and subscribers, to help keep its vision alive and working toward a progressive future for our state and nation.
If you agree that Speak Out California has been a valuable resource, please help us continue our work by
sending your check, payable to: Speak Out CA, 1528 Chapala Street, Suite 205, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
or make a contribution here on-line.
Please note that Speak Out CA is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization. Contributions are not tax-deductible due to our issue advocacy work.
In addition to our #1 Ranked Progressive Voter Guide, Speak Out California has played a pivotal role in combating right wing attacks on the California dream through activating progressives to:
· Send thousands of e-mails to the Governor and Sacramento lawmakers, laying out alternatives to the Governor's draconian cuts to social services and programs during 2005 and 2006 budget discussions.
· Mobilize successful e-mail opposition to the Governor's attempt to appoint a former oil industry lobbyist to the California Air Resources Board. Speak Out California members sent more than 3.000 e-mails to the Senate Rules Committee urging rejection of the nomination.
· Oppose the wasteful and unnecessary Special Election called by the governor to try to advance a blatantly right-wing agenda. Speak Out California took the lead in opposing this power grab, providing the first online voter guide after the Governor called for the election. Our framing of the issues became the model for a wide variety of other progressive interest groups, including environmental protection and women's rights organizations, and organized labor.
· Reject the Big Oil/Tobacco/Pharmaceutical//HMO attacks in key primary races by identifying the corporate interests hiding behind innocuous "Citizens For..." names. Our up-to-date blogging has become the place for progressives to get key updates on who is funding last-minute stealth attacks on progressive candidates and tracing the money trails.
· Provide information about right-wing candidates who attempted to hide their extremist views until after the important 2006 general election. By exposing their real positions on key progressive issues, we were able to educate voters on just how out-of-touch these candidates were on the issues most important to our state.
In the coming year, we hope to expand our efforts into the community and provide direct leadership by taking full advantage of the internet's potential for getting grassroots activists mobilized and organized. As the internet expands into the world of social networking, we hope to make Speak Out California a leader in merging those capabilities.
As always, we would welcome your thoughts and ideas on the issues so important to our state. We also welcome your input on how to build on our success and expand our role in the emerging world of political internet activism.
We are very optimistic about expanding our vision and impact in the year ahead, but we need your help and support. You've seen what we've done and what we can do to assure a progressive future for California. We will appreciate your end-of-the year contribution to help us achieve these goals
We thank you for your support and wish you a very happy, healthy new year.
Hannah-Beth Jackson, President and former Assemblymember
and the rest of the Speak Out California team