Left Action is the flagship site of the Left Action Network, a series of online properties fighting in tandem for the causes near and dear to progressives. These include:
Explore them all today!
Left Action is proud to partner with a range of progressive organizations, and to help match them up with activists with a demonstrated passion for their causes. Have an organization or cause that you would like to promote? Looking for ways to quickly and creatively build your base of supporters? Please contact us.
John Hlinko is the founder of Left Action. A long-time progressive/netroots activist, Hlinko was the founder of "DraftWesleyClark.com" in 2003, and co-led "DraftObama.org" in 2006-2007. He was named one of the top 5 PR professionals of the year by PRWeek, and one of the world's top 25, "individuals, organizations and companies that are having the greatest impact on the way the Internet is changing politics," by the World Forum on e-Democracy."
He has appeared frequently on TV, radio, and in print to argue for progressive causes and positions, and to fight back against right wing stupidity and extremism. He is also the co-host of the podcast "Sexy Pundits." (sexy, only by DC standards)
Hlinko is also the author of the book, Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread, published in early 2012.
Got questions? We've got answers...
Q: What is Left Action?
A: Left Action is a network encompassing a range of sites and Facebook pages, powered by millions of progressives. The flagship web site is at http://LeftAction.com, and the main Facebook page is at http://Facebook.com/LeftAction.
Q: Who is behind Left Action?
A: Left Action was formally launched in early 2011 by John Hlinko, a longtime progressive netroots activist leader who in the past has worked with MoveOn.org, the ACLU, and a range of other progressive organizations. The full team includes a number of folks (primarily volunteers) who help keep things running, come up with ideas, and make things happen.
Q: How is Left Action different from other progressive organizations?
A: There's a range of great organizations out there, and we encourage you to check them out (and we often highlight them right here). What makes Left Action a bit different is our greater reliance on humor, edginess, and yes, sometimes outright immaturity to make a point, promote progressive causes, and fight back against the right wing.
Q: But isn't it wrong to use humor when the cause is serious?
A: No! Think of "The Daily Show." Yes, it presents news and politics in a humorous way, but in doing so, it does a phenomenal job of drawing in and educating a large audience who would be put off or bored by a straightforward delivery of the same facts. In short, humor works, and is incredibly effective in engaging an audience. And if we are serious about our causes, we must be willing to be humorous about how we "preach" them. So while 90% of what we do is in fact straightforward and serious, we believe the other 10% is also critical to building the base, instead of just preaching to the choir.
Q: I am outraged by your immaturity!
A: Thanks for sharing. Now go share somewhere else.
Q: How do you decide what causes to promote?
A: We try to focus on causes that are important, and that we believe we can build traction for among the Left Action community. Some of our progressive partners for the causes we promote also help by paying, which is critical for covering our costs (for technology, marketing, etc.). This is frankly awesome, and essential for keeping this effort going.
Q: What if I have a cause I want to suggest?
A: The best way to do it is to post something on the Facebook page wall. If it gets a lot of "likes" from others, that's a sign to us that there's support, and it's something we pay serious attention to. On the other hand, if it doesn't get a lot of likes, it's probably a sign the Left Action community isn't interested, and we don't push items that simply aren't going to gain backing or traction among our supporters.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: We'll be building out a volunteer infrastructure over time, but for now, the biggest thing you can do is *get more fans for this page.* Seriously, the more we have in terms of numbers, the greater the impact we can have in whatever cause we're fighting for in the future.
Q: How do you deliver petition signatures?
A: It varies, depending on the petition. Some letters to Congress are instantly sent via a connection to those members' web forms. Others are delivered publicly via Facebook or Twitter posts (i.e., aimed at targets, with posts pointing to the signature pages). This is most common, since it brings the advantage of greater attention when viewed by others. Finally, some are delivered physically. It really depends on the specific petition, and what we think will work best.
Q: I have an organization or cause that I'm seeking to build an activist base for. Does Left Action work with organizations in this way?
A: Yes. We often work with progressive organizations in exactly this way. This can include helping with advertising, list building, or creative consulting on building effective campaigns. If you're interested in working in this way, please use our contact form at LeftAction.com.
Q: How do I add or remove myself from the Left Action Facebook feed?
To add yourself, click here to go the the Left Action page and click "like." To remove yourself, click here for removal instructions from Facebook (we can't add or remove people, Facebook requires users to do it directly)