- Political consulting firm for leftist candidates, labor unions, and activist organizations
The Organizing Group (TOG) is a political consulting firm with close ties to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Founded in August 2005 by Steve Rosenthal and Tom Lindenfeld, two longtime Democratic organizers and campaign strategists, TOG’s aim is to create “winning campaigns” for progressive political candidates, labor unions, and other activist entities.
TOG states that because voters today “have so many ways of receiving information, whether via a growing number of cable TV channels, satellite radio, online messages, or pod casting,” political campaign messages commonly get “lost in the shuffle.” Consequently, says TOG, advertising on traditional media outlets is no longer an adequate strategy for winning political races. Instead, TOG advocates “direct voter contact that is coordinated with media-based communications.” Toward that end, the organization runs and coordinates “full scale campaigns, including campaign planning and budgeting, mail, phones, and door-to-door voter contact.” This modus operandi derives from “more than twenty years of research, study, and analysis of direct voter contact techniques and strategies” conducted at the AFL-CIO and America Coming Together (ACT), the latter of which was the largest progressive voter-mobilization initiative in U.S. history.
TOG’s preferred strategy is to make its initial contact with a given voter by way of an introductory phone call, to be followed up by face-to-face contact during a home or office visit, and followed in turn by a direct-mail piece, another phone call, and an email. Each point of contact in this sequence is designed to reinforce the impact of all the other contacts. As TOG puts it: “[O]ne door-to-door contact becomes 5 to 6 message impressions – deepening the relationship between the voter and the candidate.”
A Senior Associate at TOG is Melissa Roy, who holds a double B.A. in Women’s Studies and Theology from Georgetown University. From 1999-2003, Roy served as the Democratic Governors Association’s liaison to national political committees, gubernatorial campaigns, and governors’ offices. In 2003 she was Director of Outreach for Senator Hillary Clinton, collaborating with Friends of Hillary and Hillpac to carry out systematic state-by-state outreach campaigns. In 2004 and 2005, Roy worked for America Coming Together (ACT), both as Deputy Political Director and as Chief of Staff to ACT’s CEO Steve Rosenthal. In addition to her current duties as TOG’s Senior Associate, Roy serves as Executive Director for the Atlas Project, a private political consulting firm founded by Rosenthal and “committed to the success of the progressive movement.” Roy is also a founding member (and current treasurer) of Democratic GAIN, a self-described “national membership association for Democratic and progressive political professionals and organizations.”
Managing TOG’s day-to-day operations is Political Coordinator Jenna Papadopoulos, who previously worked as a finance intern for two Washington-based Democratic fundraising firms: Christensen & Associates and The Arum Group. Papadopoulos also interned for several Democratic state legislative campaigns in Virginia.