Relational Organizing Works—for Elections AND Governing

Relational Organizing Works—for Elections AND Governing

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Oct. 9 3:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Oct. 9 4:45 PM (Eastern)

The People You Know Challenge was an experiment in relational organizing, led in the fall of 2020 by Community Change Action, together with Impactive, the Analyst Institute and 8 CCA partner organizations. The experiment found that recipients of a text message from someone they personally know were 8X more likely to opt-in to future communications from the organization. In addition, these relational organizing efforts led to a 40% increase in volunteers for participating organizations. CCA and partners have continued to build on these lessons in 2021 to lead base building and issue organizing work around infrastructure, childcare, voting rights, and immigration reform. Thanks to the best practices acquired from the election season our base has remained active and continues to participate in weekly organizing calls and actions.


Mike Griffin


Mike Griffin- political strategist, trainer, community organizer.

As the Electoral Organizer for Community Change, Mike is working with organizers in five states on strategies to build power and win issue campaigns utilizing relational organizing tactics.

Mike began his career as an organizer working with the Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Mike then served as the Minnesota State Field Director for Organizing for America and the Youth Director for Minnesotans United for All Families. Mike was the Field Director of FairVote MN, Mike has played a critical role in bringing Ranked Choice Voting to Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Mike holds a degree in Political science at University of Minnesota. Mike loves Netflix and his cat.


Alison Arne

Alison is a Sandy survivor and South Jersey resident. She is a certified teacher but entered organizing in 2018 after working with New Jersey Organizing Project to move their Congressman to vote against ACA repeal. Over the last 3 years Alison has ran the voter outreach programs for a mayoral campaign, NJOP’s endorsement of Congressman Andy Kim, launched the Shorekeeper campaign and created the Community Captain program.

my website

John Keller

John Keller has 17 years of experience in political campaigns, community organizing, and government leadership. At the beginning of 2020 joined Michigan United as Relational Organizing Director as part of the political program. Led a team of 20 organizers on training and developing leaders to use relational organizing to engage voters and nonvoters to participate in the 2020 election. This year he is working with the issue campaigns in Michigan United to use relational organizing as part of their tactics.

my website

Jake Peña

Born in Texas with deep Chicano roots, I am proud to organize for a more inclusive and progressive America. I’ve organized locally with Latine organizations in my community, worked in the TX legislature, and then for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. I left DC in 2020 to work on the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign and then led the relational voter program at Voces de la Frontera Action in Wisconsin. We won the election and then I jumped on with Community Change Action, where we’ve been hustling ever since.

my website