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Editorial Board Meetings to Stop the Alito Nomination

Samuel Alito is a notoriously right-wing judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Alito has consistently ruled against individual rights that are sacred to Americans and in favor of large corporations and special interests. And he has repeatedly deceived Congress and the nation to hide his extreme views and lapses in judicial ethics. His nomination to the Supreme Court could set our basic rights back decades.

Newspaper editorials will shape public opinion and guide politicians on this issue. Meeting directly with editorial boards to show that local citizens are against putting Alito on the Court is one of the best ways we have to shape their position on this issue.

Thanks for taking the lead on setting up a meeting with the Editorial Board of your paper (or papers).

STEPS

Start by reading our guide, which outlines the steps to organizing a successful Editorial Board meeting on any issue.

Guide

Then, before your get started, review the following Alito-specific information for each step:

1. Line up some knowledgeable folks to go with you.

Most often you'll want to do this before you call to schedule the paper to request a meeting. This will significantly increase your chance of getting a meeting. If you’re targeting a big paper, you will want to line up 1-4 coalition partners before you call to schedule your meeting. Then when you call, mention everyone who has committed to join you. If you’re not targeting a big paper, you can try calling for the meeting first and then lining up partners, although you're more likely to succeed with these papers too if you line up your attendees first. If you’re not sure whether to line up coalition partners before you ask for the meeting, check with your organizer or Regional Coordinator. The message guide includes suggestions on who to invite.

2. Set up your meeting(s)

Make sure the paper(s) you're calling haven't taken a final position on Alito's nomination. You can search online. It's a good idea to read some of the paper's recent editorials in any case to get a sense of their tone and political orientation.

Make sure the paper(s) you're calling aren't on the following list. There are a few papers that we're asking you not to contact, either because they're top priorities so the coalition will contact them directly, or because they're very conservative: New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Washington Times, NY Sun, Colorado Springs Telegraph Gazette, Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times, Bakersfield Californian, Detroit News, Manchester Union Leader, Cincinnati Enquirer, Boston Herald, Dallas Morning News, St. Louis Globe Democrat, Arkansas Daily, Weekly spectator, Chicago Tribune

Review our sample script for calling to schedule a meeting.
Call Script

Number of petition signers in your state to use in your call are posted here.

3. Get up to speed on the issue and prepare for the meeting.

The message guide outlines the main message and supporting arguments you want to convey in your conversations with the paper.

The Q&A lists questions you might be asked by the Editorial Board and sample answers.

The guide also includes links to reference material, including reports by other non-profit groups and unions about Alito's nomination.

We've also posted a selection of editorials critical of Samuel Alito’s nomination from local and national newspapers, here.

You’ll be much more confident if you’ve done enough background reading to speak knowledgeably about the issues involved, but you are probably not a legal expert and you don’t need to pretend to be one, so don't feel like you have to study all the background.

4. Download materials to bring with you to the meeting.

If you have trouble downloading these materials, be sure you have the latest version of the free Adobe Reader software installed.

Petitions and letters: Click here to download letters and petition signatures for your state. Letters and signatures are both divided by county, so you can pick some from your area if there are powerful, short ones. In any case, if you're in a state with a lot of signatures, you'll most likely want to scroll to your county, note the page numbers, and print only the relevant pages. Some states have 6,000 pages of signatures, so you don't want to print them all.

Look over the letters and comments in advance, and pick 1-3 good, short ones to read aloud at the meeting. See if you can find some that bring the above arguments home, and ones that apply to the personal life of the author or your community (keep it short, though—this whole bit should take no longer than 1-2 minutes).

Fact sheet: Click here.

JOIN US FOR A TRAINING CALL

We’ve scheduled a one-hour national training conference. Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn’s Communications Director, will review some tips on successful Ed Board meetings (including advice on how to get a meeting). Advocacy Director Ben Brandzel will review our message and supporting arguments. And we’ll save time at the end for your questions.

If you participated in the training call on January 10th, you don't need to join this one—we'll cover the same information.

Monday, January 16th, 9 PM Eastern Time/ 6 PM Pacific Time

To join the call , go to https://www.spiderphone.com/36847117
(This link will help connect both your browser and telephone to the call)

OR dial 1 (888) 550-5602 or +1 212-812-2800 and enter 3684 7117

AFTERWARD

Please let us know how it went. Whether or not you were able to schedule a meeting, we want to know about your experience. This is a new tactic for MoveOn.org, so your input is really important.  We need to know what happened and what you learned, so we can be even more effective next time.

Please take a minute to fill out our survey here.

Also, please let us know about any coverage resulting from your efforts.  If you were able to get a meeting or if you submitted an Opinion Editorial, we’d like to know about any coverage that comes about thanks to your work.  We can use the clips you send to help demonstrate opposition to Alito. 

Report coverage here.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON OPINION EDITORIALS

An Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed) is an opinion piece written by a citizen with expertise or standing on an issue—a victim, expert, politician, VIP, etc. Op-Eds usually appear on the page opposite the actual editorials, which represent the position of the Editorial Board). We suggest asking the paper to publish an Op-Ed column on your issue if you get a definitive "no" to scheduling a meeting or if, after your meeting, the paper decides not to editorialize or editorializes in support of Alito. You don't really need to ask to submit an Op-Ed—you can just send it in—but you'll have a better chance of being published if you ask first. It's best not to even mention submitting an Op-Ed earlier (like while you're trying to schedule your meeting)—don't make it easy for the paper to say no to meeting with you.

You can review our guide to writing Op-Eds here.

If you do submit an Op-Ed, you can sign as a MoveOn volunteer, but if you do that, it's important that we review the Op-Ed before it's submitted. This is critical to protecting our tax status, credibility, and even our existence. If you don't identify yourself as a MoveOn volunteer, we don't need to review it.

If you will be submitting your Op-Ed as a MoveOn volunteer, please follow the review instructions here. We promise a quick turn-around!

Questions: If you have a question that isn't answered here, please ask your Organizer or Regional Coordinator. If you still have a question, you can email edboards@moveon.org.