By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Beyond Resistance it is called….watch that hashtag through 2020. Meanwhile, if Kamala Harris is there with Van Jones and George Soros with Nancy Pelosi, you know the agenda is being crafted.
Private memo gives inside look at Democracy Alliance’s latest secret donor meeting
CARLSBAD, Calif.—A secretive three-day conference where big money liberal donors are plotting the next steps of the “resistance” will be headlined by Friday speeches by billionaire George Soros and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Democracy Alliance, a donor club of deep-pocketed liberal donors that each pledge to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to approved left-wing groups, descended on California’s posh La Costa Resort on Wednesday morning for its fall donor summit. The group continued its tradition of secrecy, promising all members and guests of the summit their participation would “remain confidential.”
The first page of the conference agenda, which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and can be viewed in its entirety below, lays out “participation guidelines,” explaining that the Democracy Alliance is a “safe place” for donors and activists to meet. Guests are instructed not to share members’ names with the press and not to post to any social media sites, to contact Democracy Alliance if “the media or a blogger” contacts them, and to “refrain from leaving sensitive materials out where others may find them.”
This latter directive was ignored.
The agenda for the meeting, titled “Beyond #Resistance: Reclaiming our Progressive Future,” lays out three full days of events culminating in a Friday night dinner headlined by Pelosi.
A few hours earlier guests can attend “A Talk with George Soros,” who will be introduced with a “special videotaped message” by Democratic senator Kamala Harris (Calif.).
All of the events are scheduled to take place at the La Costa Resort, which features 17 tennis courts of both clay and hard surfaces including one with 1,000 seats for spectators, 36 holes of golf on the Legends Course and the Champions Course, an array of pools including three hot tubs that overlook said golf courses, a spa building, and the Deepak Chopra Center, where guests can do yoga or receive mind-body medical consultations.
Pelosi and Harris are not the only two politicians to have a presence at the swanky conference—Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf (D.) held a Thursday event on his reelection efforts, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) will speak on Friday about “Russian interference in the 2016 election,” and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D., Minn.), who chairs the DCCC, will attend a “festive brunch” on Saturday morning. Also making a “special appearance” on Friday will be Virginia’s governor-elect Ralph Northam.
The agenda also lists “special guests” at the conference, some more famous than others. Attendees showcased in the agenda range from failed California politician Sandra Fluke to liberal CNN contributor Van Jones to Center for American Progress CEO Neera Tanden.
Jones was headlining a Thursday dinner on “going outside the bubble” and learning from Trump voters.
Not all events and prominent guests are listed in the conference agenda.
Not listed, for example, was a Thursday night happy hour hosted by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who was spotted in attendance.
Also not listed as a special guest at the conference was David Brock, who checked in early Wednesday afternoon and has made himself highly visible at La Costa—slowly strolling around the sprawling property and staying up at the hotel bar till past midnight.
Brock is not a “partner” of Democracy Alliance—in fact, he has worked to create his own liberal donor network—but groups he controls, such as Media Matters for America, are among the many groups Democracy Alliance directs funding to.
Not listed in the agenda or spotted at the resort has been billionaire Tom Steyer, one of Democracy Alliance’s most prominent members in the past. Pelosi publicly reprimanded Steyer earlier this month for running a $10 million ad calling for President Trump’s impeachment.
Also not listed in the Democracy Alliance program was a meeting held by Patriotic Millionaires, who gave a Thursday morning briefing on the “tax fight” and “what is at stake.” The briefing was delivered by Larry Mishel of Americans for Tax Fairness, Thea Lee of Economic Policy Institute, and Jacob Leibenluft, a member of the Obama administration’s National Economic Council who is now with the Centeron Budget and Policy Priorities.
Not all meetings at the conference are open to all guests. Some meetings are “by invitation only,” “for prospective partners only,” or for “partners only.”
Right before Pelosi’s speech, for example, will be a “Partners only” forum dedicated to “committing resources.” The Democracy Alliance has never made its commitment decisions available to the public.
Democracy Alliance president Gara LaMarche wrote in a letter to attendees included in the agenda that President Trump’s November victory was “the most cataclysmic election of modern history.”
They are showing a film by Heather Booth….the founding director of Midwest Academy. Just a few minutes into this video, you can see that child care is a social issue….other people need to pay for it…setting the table as child care turned into political power.
The Midwest Academy has been the go-to training school for turning social justice organizing into practical lessons for social justice organizers. Trainers from the Academy will join CTCP-funded staff for a three-day training that will cover the essentials of community organizing and developing strategies to build organizational power.
In the 1980s, MA was indirectly responsible for funding Barack Obama’s early organizing work, which began in June of 1985 in Chicago. At the time, Obama received key support from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and the Woods Fund of Chicago. In both cases, Ken Rolling — who was a high official with the Midwest Academy, a Woods Fund board member, and a longtime member of CCHD’s national committee — likely played a major role in dispensing this money.
To this day, MA continues to indoctrinate its students in “us-versus-them” ideology, thereby producing an ever-growing cadre of radicalized activists. One prominent MA graduate is Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Andrew Stern.
MA’s training sessions — titled “Organizing for Social Change” — are typically five days long. They teach techniques of “direct-action organizing,” whereby people are made “aware of their own power” to “take collective action on their own behalf” and address such societal issues as “rising inequalty in income and wealth.” MA’s openly confrontational modus operandi is reflected in a quote, attributed to Frederick Douglass, which appeared on the Academy website’s homepage as of January 2011: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.” The chief objectives of MA’s tactics are interrelated: “electing our people to office” and “changing laws and regulations.”
MA training sessions cover such topics as “choosing problems and issues” on which to focus, “understanding preconditions for social change movements,” and obtaining “good media coverage.” Role-play techniques are used in order to help students determine what tactics work best in various situations: e.g., “stand or sit, shout or remain calm, make threats or try to reach consensus.”
An inviolable core principle undergirding all of MA’s tactics is that in every case, activists must “target” a “decision maker”; i.e., a “person or persons” who can be “forced” to “give you what you want.” Observing a central tenet of Saul Alinsky’s community-organizing doctrines, MA emphasizes: “The decision maker is always a person, never as institution.” (Alinsky taught that the people’s discontent must be directed, without exception, at an identifiable face — “a personification, not something general and abstract like a corporation or City Hall.”)
Toward this end, MA activists commonly employ a technique known as the “accountability session,” whereby they target a specific person — e.g., a government official or corporate CEO who possesses the authority necessary to make a decision vis a vis a matter of concern to MA. The activists arrange to meet with this person, telling him or her that they merely wish to have a certain existing policy or plan explained to them. At the meeting, however, the official is confronted by a large number of angry protesters; their activities are directed by an experienced organizer who has analyzed the official’s personal and family life, political connections, and career to find vulnerabilities where pressure can be applied.
To provide an overall structure for its training programs, MA has produced a 425-page manual titled Organizing for Social Change, co-authored by former MA trainer Kim Bobo, MA co-founder Steve Max, and current MA executive director Jackie Kendall. This publication is widely used by radicals and community organizations around the world as a textbook on how to conduct direct-action organizing. Such groups as the Children’s Defense Fund, NARAL, the Sierra Club, and the United States Student Organization have used the manual for training purposes. The AFL-CIO has incorporated the manual’s teachings into its “Union Summer” training camp for labor organizers. Former AFL-CIO president John Sweeney and the Rev. Jesse Jackson have highly encouraged their supporters to read it.
In December 2005, MA announced its establishment of an annual “Heather Award,” in honor of Heather Booth’s decades of work as an activist leader.
To view a list of this award’s past recipients, click here.
In 2008, MA executive director Jackie Kendall served on the team that developed the first volunteer-training program for “Camp Obama,” a two-to-four day intensive course — run in conjunction with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign — designed to cultivate political activists who could help the Illinois senator win the White House.