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WHAT IS NAT?
The Northside Action Team (NAT) is a Madison, Wisconsin neighborhood team supporting politically progressive values, initiatives, and candidates, active in Northeast Madison and Maple Bluff neighborhoods since 2008. NAT is one of many neighborhood teams in the Madison and Dane County area. CLICK HERE for a map and contact list of all of the teams.
See NAT’s history below for more details.
WHAT DO WE DO?
NAT works to promote progressive causes and candidates. In non-election seasons we reach out to our neighbors to find out what issues they care about and help register voters. When there is an election we contact voters to encourage them to vote for the progressive, usually Democrat, candidate. Perhaps you’ve shared your views with one of us at your door.
NAT welcomes new volunteers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved. Our activities include:
- Voter Registration – We sponsor Voter Education Ambassador training from the Madison City Clerk. Then with our trained volunteers we set up Voter Registration events on the Northside and participate in other events in the area.
- Phonebanking to Volunteers – We have a core group of volunteers who make phone calls to recruit other volunteers for door to door canvassing events. Phonebankers are provided a list of past volunteers to call and a script with the details of upcoming canvass events. We’ve been using printed lists but in 2020 will add the use of a Virtual Phone bank to call right from your PC or mobile device.
- Canvassing (PAUSED FOR 2020/21) and/or Phonebanking to Voters – The primary activity is to reach out voters to find out about issues of concern, make sure they know about upcoming elections, and to encourage them to vote for the progressive candidates. We train volunteers, pair you with a buddy if you prefer, provide printed lists, and support you in any way necessary to help us reach as many voters as possible.
- Manage Canvass Site (PAUSED FOR 2020/21) – During a canvass event there is a team of people that supports the canvassers by setting up the site, checking-in volunteers, training volunteers, distributing materials, providing snacks, and greeting returning canvassers. In 2020 we will also offer the option to use a mobile device based App to reach out to voters and some phonecalling to voters in locked building or whether the weather is prohibitive.
- Data Entry and Volunteer Records – After a canvass event, a team of behind the scenes data entry people enter the responses from people that have been canvassed. Often these people help at the canvass site. We also keep track of who volunteered so we can reach back out to our committed NAT volunteers.
NAT was formed in 2008 during the Barack Obama Presidential Election along with dozens of other teams in Wisconsin. The election approach was a grassroots organizing one, with the idea that local teams were best equipped to organize and get out the vote in their own communities, and also that these networks of volunteers would stay in place over time instead of starting over to build a volunteer base each election cycle. This model has shown to be a successful way to engage volunteers and win elections, despite intense gerrymandering in WI since 2010. There are currently over 250 teams like NAT around the state of WI, and apparently WI is one of the only states with this type of field network in place at this time.
NAT coordinates our activities with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) , the Dane Dems, and of all the other teams in Dane County. While we are not formally part of these organizations, we affiliate with them and rely on them for resources. Typically it is through DPW and Dane Dems that we work on campaigns rather that coordinating directly with the candidate.