2023 In Review
As 2023 comes to an end, we’re taking some time to look back on all of the amazing organizing work that’s been done over the last 12 months. As is often the case, the last year saw a lot of hard fought battles. Organizing work is never done, and it’s important for us to pause to celebrate the victories that our partners have achieved all around the world.
🇦🇺 In Australia, leaders in Victoria proposed cutting the budget for visiting teachers – experts who provide direct support for children with disabilities and other complex needs. The Australian Education Union created a petition on Megaphone AU, a project of the Victorian Trades Hall Council. Thousands of supporters came together to demonstrate the importance of visiting teachers and prevent the layoffs.
🇨🇦 Amnesty International Canada organized hundreds of events at schools, cafes, libraries, and private homes in support of activists fighting against oppression.
🇫🇷 Thousands of Greenpeace France supporters joined a campaign on Greenvoice to secure increased funding for railways. Their pressure worked – Prime Minister Borne included a 100 billion Euro investment in railways in her transport plan.
🇳🇱 Milieudefensie and their supporters joined the Amsterdam Climate March, with groups of supporters traveling in together from dozens of cities in the Netherlands – including one group that cycled in! Milieudefensie’s supporters were among the more than 85,000 people who turned out in support of tougher climate regulations.
🇳🇿 In New Zealand, thousands of women have received pregnancy support and labor care at the the Nga Hau Māngere Birthing Centre. 75% of those who received care at the centre identified as Māori and/or Pasifika, populations who have historically received inequitable care. When the local community learned that the centre faced imminent closure, they mobilized with the help of ActionStation to reverse the closure. Nearly 10,000 supporters came together and were able to secure the funding needed to keep the birthing centre open.
🇷🇴 In Romania, parental medical leave only applied to parents of children under the age of 7, leaving parents of older ill children few options. More than 65,000 supporters joined a Declic supporter’s campaign to extend medical leave to the parents of any sick child under the age of 18. Following months of organizing and public pressure, the campaign claimed its first victory: parental medical leave was extended to parents of sick children up to 12 years of age. Organizers are continuing to campaign so that all parents of sick children have access to necessary parental leaves.
🏴 In Scotland, parents fought back against a plan to stop funding access to after-school clubs for disabled children. Working with 38 Degrees, parents in Edinburgh started a petition, organized a media campaign, staged an in-person delivery, and won – securing ongoing funding for the program!
🇿🇦 Thousands of supporters joined a campaign on VUMA to raise their voices about dangerous E. coli levels in rivers in Durban, South Africa. Greenpeace Africa Durban volunteers staged a petition delivery, which led to invitations to speak with experts and join the restoration work.
🇸🇪 In Sweden, 12,000 residents in Malmö were facing their second round of rent increases in less than a year. The Malmö Tenant’s Association launched a campaign on MittSkifte, and working with Skiftet were able to prevent the increase.
🇨🇭 In Switzerland, Campax saw a victory in a long running campaign. After four years of campaigning, abolishing the ‘tampon tax’ moved closer to success. They’d already sealed approval from the Bundesrat (Federal Council) and Nationalrat (National Council), but this year saw the unopposed approval of the Ständerat (Council of States) too. This is a big win for women in Switzerland, and they’re now pushing for free menstrual products too!
🇬🇧 Workers at St. Mungo’s (a charity tackling homelessness in the UK) saw their pay not keeping up with inflation while their workloads skyrocketed. With the help of the Trades Union Congress, the workers and Unite the Union created a petition on Megaphone UK to increase visibility while also organizing strike actions. After three months of campaigning, they won at 10% pay raise!
🇺🇸 EveryLibrary used their Fight for the First platform to prevent book bans in the United States. By partnering with and providing their expertise to local library and school associations, they’ve secured victories and defeated book bans across the country.
🇺🇸 Similarly, MoveOn organized authors, celebrities, and hundreds of thousands of supporters to prevent book bans across the US. They even sponsored a banned bookmobile that went on a multi-state tour giving out the most commonly banned books.
🇺🇸 Starbucks Workers United has been organizing Starbucks employees across the country and promoting solidarity events all year. In November, they launched their Red Cup Rebellion, with more than 500 events taking place at Starbucks locations around the country.
These are just some of the great campaigns we watched in the last year. A very big congratulations and a hearty thank you to each of these organizations – and all of our other partners and friends who have fought for a safer, more equitable, and more progressive world in the last year.
On the tech side of ControlShift we were also excited to roll out various platform changes in 2023. Here are some of the highlights:
- We made it easier for staff and supporters to find great, royalty-free images for their petitions and events.
- We overhauled our partnerships feature with new page designs, additional permissions for partner admins, and improved functionality.
- We rolled out support for coalitions – made up of multiple partners who can all work together on events, petitions, and days of action.
- We retired our previous mapping integrations which allowed us to make maps available to everyone, even those in the EU. We also improved searches and embeds, to make it easier for supporters to find ways to get involved.
- We improved the local groups experience, giving more control to local organizers and making it easier for people to find, join, and engage in local groups in their area.
- We improved security by updating our two-factor authentication method, tightened restrictions on banned users, and improved contact messages to prevent misuse.
We’ve been honored to help support the important work our organizations have done in the last year –– here’s to a great 2024 together!