All Hands Brigade
Kim Fellner is a member of All Hands Brigade, a collaborative of seasoned organizers and activists passionate to enlist as volunteers against encroaching fascism threatening our democracy. Launched at the beginning of 2020 to add skilled and strategic capacity to progressive electoral organizing in key states, the Brigade is anchored by Just Strategies, the (c)(4) sister organization of the Seattle-based Alliance for a Just Society.
As a first test, the Brigade had planned to send a team of eight to Wisconsin to assist Wisconsin Organizing Together (WOT) and a few local groups in the lead-up to the April 7 election. The first Brigadista, Annalee McConnell, hit the ground in Milwaukee on March 6, so she was able to spend about 10 days in person with the WOT team. But just a few hours after the second Brigadista, Leslie Abbott, rolled her motor home into the driveway of the large Airbnb we’d rented in Racine, the coronavirus rolled in too. Leslie had time for just one meeting with the local folks before in-person became online—and organizing 2020 became a whole new ballgame for everyone.
Over the next three weeks, leading into the April 7 election, the state became a real-time lab for an entirely virtual campaign. Members of the Brigade, hunkered down in their homes across the country and expanded by a few dozen friends, helped WOT reach out to Wisconsin voters by any socially-distanced means possible. “Through every call we made, on message boards, Facebook posts, and text threads, we saw that people in Wisconsin were mad at their leaders for failing to take action and that motivated them to vote early like never before, both in person and by mail,” said Peter Drummond, who heads WOT. “As organizers, the biggest thing we had to do was be present, available, and well informed to help folks navigate how to safely engage in the election, despite conditions that changed every day, and during a pandemic.”
Given the short timeframe and chaotic environment, the Brigade segued from its original plans to help with interactive, on-the-ground infrastructure and canvass support, and took on the dogged chugga chugga of voter contact, focusing on Racine. We started out on phones to do voter ID, later moving into texting for GOTV, and chasing down absentee ballots right through the final hours of Election Day. Ultimately, the cohort generated 20% of all the texts sent by WOT volunteers. 
Los Angeles DSA member
Labor unionist Kim Fellner has been a member of Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America.
Endorsers of the project included Kim Fellner, executive director, National Organizers Alliance.