In February 2020, at the annual Road Ahead conference, BISC INC and BISC Foundation unveiled our 5-year “Tree of Life” strategic framework to provide clarity on our vision, goals, and strategies for the progressive ecosystem and to move fully into a transformational leadership role.
Our Mission remains the same: to strengthen democracy by implementing a national progressive strategy for ballot measures rooted in building state-based power.
Ultimately, our vision — the world we want to live in — is a world where all people are fully liberated, live with dignity, and thrive so that equity and justice prevail.
BISC is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic nationwide movement-building infrastructure organization that leverages ballot measures across the country to re-imagine our democracy and center the communities that have been historically excluded from power in the United States. By centering Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian & Pacific Islander, queer, low-income, immigrant, people with disabilities, and young people (as well as the intersections between), we can move towards equity, build and transform power, and galvanize a new progressive base.
Critical to our strategic framework is our theory of change, which includes the 360 ballot measure lifecycle and an expanded definition of winning. We believe to create transformational change and build something that lasts over and beyond a ballot measure win or loss, we must use every phase of the 360 lifecycle (incubation, decision making, qualification, campaign, and implementation) to build capacity, bring people together around a common goal, center those most impacted, and shift the culture of how we do things. It’s how we win that helps us to build power. We must move beyond only defining success at the ballot by 50% + 1 of the vote. To build a more equitable and just world, we must consider who’s driving the change and whether it will have a transformational impact on the communities that have been excluded for too long.
Since we launched this framework, we continue to find ourselves, our movement, and our country in the middle of great political and generational change, which was amplified by the pandemic, racial reckoning, and 2020 election. As we move forward during this time of transition, there will be tension and challenges to these changes. We have witnessed resistance to shifting power as more communities of color are using ballot measures and more progressive issues win at the ballot. Our collective success since 2016 has led to a rise in the attacks on voter-approved progressive initiatives and the ballot measure process. We now find ourselves needing to defend direct democracy and leading a national campaign along with our state partners to ensure it is available as a tool for liberation led by the People.
The “Tree of Life” strategic framework reflects a resilient and holistic approach to achieving our mission and vision, as we see that our work (the strategies and tactics we deploy) is interwoven between our goals. We do not view this as a timestamped piece of paper, or a linear and mechanistic tool for productivity but more like a tree — rooted in our core values and goals and reaching toward our vision in ways that are organic, interwoven, living, breathing, and ever-growing and changing.
We ask you to be a partner with us in our vision and co-create what is needed to actualize our strategic framework. Thank you for tending to the growth of liberty, democracy, dignity, and justice for all of us.
For more information on our strategic framework click here.