About BLOC: Since its inception in 2017, BLOC has been centering underrepresented Black voices in Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin to ensure a high quality of life and access to opportunities for members of the Black community. BLOC is educating people civically and building a strong sense of community. BLOC has a year-round field program, which is critical for maintaining a strong voter base in election years. BLOC’s goals include:
Investing in community and engaging citizens to build long-term political power
Coordinating political action to ensure a high quality of life and access to economic opportunity for members of the Black community in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin
Empowering Black leaders with the tools, training, and resources needed to organize and guarantee that their issues, concerns, and values are represented at all levels of government
In 2020, BLOC drove turnout, helping Wisconsin cast 28,454 more votes for Joe Biden than Hillary Clinton in 2016, in a state that Biden won by just 20,500 votes. To engage voters, BLOC trained more than 70 Ambassadors to reach out to community members. These Ambassadors made a total of 242,156 calls, sent out 650,670 text messages, and dropped literature and information at 37,173 doors. Due to Covid, they hired a digital organizer to organize virtual town halls, plan fun and educational online events, and partner with officials and organizations to engage community members.
Once the election was over, BLOC hired a Special Projects Organizer to develop and implement coalition-based strategies for the post-election work needed to affirm the fair results of the November 2020 election. BLOC’s work has been featured heavily in media pieces about the election, including the video Dress Rehearsal, which was shown in the Crooked Media pre-game show at the Democratic National Convention.
In 2022, BLOC will fight for a democracy in which all voices are heard, by advocating to restore the right to vote to all incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Americans and prevent voter suppression and big money influence in politics. BLOC is continuing its Ambassador program and plans to have over 20,000 conversations with voters over the course of the year. These conversations will focus on voter education about efforts to fight voter suppression, the city and state budget process, and other issues important to BLOC’s communities. BLOC was recently a plaintiff in a redistricting lawsuit, which has given Ambassadors a way to engage communities in a process from which they have traditionally been excluded. In addition to this core work, BLOC plans to:
Create a Political Ambassador program to develop relationships with elected officials and candidates in order to hold them accountable and create agendas that advance priority issues;
Hire a Democracy Organizer who will build a BIPOC coalition focused on voter rights and democracy; and
Develop a Court Watch program to advocate for fair treatment in the criminal justice system by observing sentencings in order to curb bad behavior from judges.
Wisconsin has two critical statewide races in 2022 – defeating Republic Senator Ron Johnson to expand Democratic control of the Senate and reelecting Democrat Governor Tony Evers to protect against Republican attempts to interfere with the electoral process in 2024. BLOC’s outreach will be critical for achieving these goals.
Flip the Vote’s Support Means:
BLOC will be able to build the capacity and leadership critical for success in the 2022 and 2023 elections. It will do this by expanding and developing its Ambassador Program to go deeper, reach more people, and engage people multiple times. BLOC will continue its expansion into the Racine and Kenosha areas (home of Jacob Blake and a significant police reform movement).
Flip the Vote donations will also help BLOC create Task Forces to develop advocacy strategies for priority issues, such as education and public safety. Each Task Force would have its own organizer from within BLOC, which will foster leadership development and scalability, and assist BLOC to better engage with its communities.