September 1, 2018
This week the field team has been in recovery mode now that the Action Lab weekend has successfully been completed. Although it was a wonderful experience of learning from the training and other volunteers, I was thoroughly exhausted, along with the rest of the field team. So much so, that we collectively decided to come in late to the office the following day to catch up on some well-deserved rest. Once we were all back in the office, it has been about recovering from Action Lab, decompressing, going on a team field trip to go get some ice cream, and preparing to switch gears for the new upcoming project: the mid-term elections.
As the elections near, Beyond the Bomb has been working on finding candidates who could champion our No First Use policy. For me, this means that I have been working on power mapping select candidates that we believe would be a good fit for endorsing No First Use, and would help with gaining momentum when moving forward. Power mapping requires performing extensive research on a candidate, such as finding out personal background information, current stances on policies, and other organizations that they are associated with. All of this information helps Beyond the Bomb find the best way to connect with a target candidate, and possibly foster a relationship with them in one form or another. Something as simple as a staff member sharing the same alma mater, or already being associated with a particular organization that a candidate is also associated with can go a long way in terms of gaining support from them for No First Use. Power mapping also helps discover problematic things about a possible target that might not be known by the mainstream, but might prevent Beyond the Bomb from creating alliances and relationships with other organizations and candidates as a result. I have learned that being strategic and picky with whom you align yourself with is vitally important when trying to sprout a social justice movement. It is very important to keep in mind who you will be shut off to, and who you will open their doors to you when associating with another organization or individual, and what outcome would be most desirable when deciding to align with one and another. I have really enjoyed this project and have found learning about different candidates to be very interesting and eye-opening.
During my time off from the office, I have been busy getting lost, per usual, discovering goofy restaurants, beautiful gardens, and unintentionally visiting several museums (it’s a good thing a lot of them are free). I have been doing a lot of wandering this week since I had a FOUR DAY weekend on my hands, thanks to Derek, the executive director of Global Zero for giving everyone in the office an extra day off over Labor Day Weekend.
This past week I also received a visit from a familiar face from home, my boss, who was passing through the area. It was awesome to catch up over dinner and go see the monuments after dark. This is something that everyone who visits DC should do. There are significantly fewer people, it is much cooler outside, and all of the monuments are lit up and just dazzling. I also recommend renting a bike or scooter for this adventure.
Isabel is a politics major from Mount Vernon, Iowa.