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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Midnight Friday Deadline to Help Texas Anti-Death Penalty Groups Win $3,000; Vote for Us Today!

The deadline to vote for Texas anti-death penalty groups in the Jenzabar Social Media Leadership Award contest for $3,000 is Friday, May 8, at midnight.

They will announce the finalists on May 11 and the winner on May 13. We are doing great, especially considering our entry is made up of all-volunteer groups that are able to accomplish a lot with very little funding.

Forward this to your friends and let's bring this money to Texas to use against the death penalty in the state where on June 2 the governor will be in office for the 200th execution since he became governor.

Several Texas anti-death penalty groups are jointly entered in the Jenzabar Social Media Leadership Award contest for $3,000. The winner is the entry that gets the most people to comment on their entry by May 8, so to "vote", you leave a comment on the blog post of their nomination. They deserve to win because they have used social media tools very effectively to jointly mobilize against the Texas death penalty.

Go here to vote by leaving a comment on the nomination page for our entry.

We just had another great success by getting a floor vote for Monday on the Law of Parties bill that we have been lobbying in favor this session. We held a lobby day on March 24, we met with legislators again last week, we testified in committee, we made many phone calls, we held a rally on May 2, and now the vote is this Monday. We could not have done it without social media.

The cooperating groups are Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, the Austin chapter of Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Kids Against the Death Penalty, Students Against the Death Penalty and the Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center. They have a cause on Facebook called Abolish the Death Penalty in Texas. Each organization brings unique skills and experiences to the cause.

This alliance is a great example of how small organizations can have a remarkable impact way out of proportion to their funding by using social media tools to work together.

These grassroots groups work against the death penalty in the state that has executed more people than any other state. Texas has executed 437 people since 1982. The second place state has executed 103.

A few weeks ago, members of the groups were at the Texas capitol from 9:30 to 1 AM meeting with legislators about HB 2267 to end the death penalty under the Law of Parties, talking to the media and testifying at the hearing on the Sharon Keller impeachment resolution. In 2007, Texas Moratorium Network used online social media tools to gather around 1,900 signatures on a judicial complaint against Keller. Here is a video of a news report on Austin TV Monday night.

While at the capitol, we updated supporters online by posting to the blog, using Twitter and uploading video to Facebook and YouTube, all good examples of using social media tools to affect change and build a movement, and a good reason our groups should win the Social Media Leadership Award. Vote for us at the link below.

Go to the page and scroll down to the comment form. There are four fields, name, email, website (you can leave that blank or put in your own personal website or a website you like), and a text field for a comment.

Our entry is called "Texas Friends and Allies Against the Death Penalty"

From the entry:

This alliance is a great example of how small organizations can have a remarkable impact way out of proportion to their funding by using social media tools to work together.

Texas is a challenging political environment in which to work against the death penalty, but these groups have found a way to make significant progress against the death penalty by working together both offline and online using social media tools for education, outreach and grassroots organizing.

If you think these groups have been doing a good job using online social activism tools, especially considering that they are all-volunteer organizations, please vote for us in The Jenzabar Foundation Social Media Leadership Award by leaving a comment on our entry.

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