What We Do

Our innovative research, training and our expert strategic assistance helps ensure the best outcomes for ballot measure campaigns. With the support of visionary funders and committed national and state partners, we provide these valuable programs:

The Roadmap to 2020

The Roadmap to 2020 is a multi-cycle, proactive plan which uses ballot measures as tools to strengthen the economy and reclaim our democracy.

The Roadmap to 2020 strategy was created by the Victory 2020 Working Group, a coalition of national and state partners, who have created plans in 11 states, that spell out strategic ballot-measure sequencing across multiple cycles.

This research-based strategy is grounded in the principle that ballot measures are not just a tool to pass good policy, but also to move a national narrative around important a just economy and a representative democracy. In 2016, its first cycle in operation, the Roadmap strategy helped states from Maine to Washington pass policies to raise their minimum wage, provide earned sick time, fund K-12 education and create specific plans to strengthen their democracy.

BISC is currently working with partners in “Roadmap states” to advance economy and democracy measures for the 2018 and 2020 cycles.

Ballot Integrity

The ballot measure process and results are under attack across the country. In 2017 alone, conservative state legislatures and governors have proposed more than 40 pieces of legislation in over 20 states aimed to hamper direct democracy. It’s no exaggeration to say that there is a coordinated, conservative assault on direct democracy.

The conservative lock hold on governorships and state legislatures means that direct democracy is one of the few avenues for voters to enact popular legislation that helps working families, like raising the minimum wage and enacting earned sick leave. Yet, conservatives are using their expanded control of state governments to attack the ballot measure process - trying to silence the voice of voters.

BISC is the only national organization monitoring and drawing connections between state attacks. BISC is also the only organization working closely with in-state and national partners to coordinate a response to these attacks by offering strategic advice to protect direct democracy, and helping states come up with strategies to work within restrictions when necessary.

Training

BISC is committed to increasing the numbers of well-trained operatives with best practices, lessons learned, and ballot-measure campaign skills who can run winning, transformational campaigns that leave leadership and infrastructure long after Election Day.

Since 2013, BISC has trained hundreds of people from 29 states who have gone on to run and win successful ballot measure campaigns, assume leadership positions in advocacy organizations, and use the skills they learned from BISC’s training to fight for progressive policy change.

Some of BISC’s training offerings include:
*The Ballot Measure Campaign Management training (BMCMT). This three day, in-person training uses a combination of expert-led overviews, group discussions, and hands-on exercises to ground participants in the critical knowledge and skills they will need to manage successful ballot-measure campaigns.
*The Advanced Practitioner Summit (APS) is a two day, in-person training designed for those who have worked in a leadership capacity on ballot measure campaigns and want the opportunity to explore in greater detail the different aspects of ballot measure campaigns with other experienced peers.
*A webinar series covering the basics of ballot measure campaigns, including Is a ballot measure the right tool for you? What should you take in to account as you decide? How is planning for a ballot measure campaign the same as a candidate campaign? How is it different? And topics such as polling, campaign governance and structure, fundraising, and equitable coalition building.

For more information about any of BISC’s training opportunities, email [email protected]

Defensive Work

Over the past two decades, BISC has advised states on measures to defend against bad policy that would limit rights, disenfranchise voters, or limit economic opportunity, including threatening workers right to organize. BISC works closely with state and national partners to offer strategic advice, training and sound the alarm on coordinated, multi-state attacks.