Wondering what it takes to start a local CODEPINK group? Here are the
basics to get you started. Contact our Local Groups Coordinator at info[at]codepink.org
for more info on getting started!
Being a CODEPINK Coordinator means that you are:
Willing to organize actions or share information about events in your
Agreeing to be the contact person for CODEPINK in your area
Pledging to take action locally at least once a month
Once you feel ready to commit to organizing with CODEPINK, you can register
your local group online by filling out our new
local coordinator form.
It's important to identify what types
of activities you are interested in and passionate about. Your enthusiasm
and excitement about taking on campaigns or actions will help inspire
others to join you. Use your first meeting to discover your interests
and the kind of actions that appeal to your group and are needed in your
area of the country. This is also the time to organize your skills, talents,
and the roles you wish to take on in producing the actions of your choice.
Ask yourself and your new team:
Do you enjoy making banners, or doing fabric art?
Do you like doing street theater or creating other artistic acts?
Do you want to coordinate a meeting with your government representative?
Are you experienced at organizing fundraisers, house parties or demonstrations?
Is there a particular aspect of US militarism that most upsets you
(such as the local cost of war in your community, military recruiters
in high schools, family members or friends serving in Afghanistan or
Iraq, concern for civil liberties, or profiteering by Blackwater/Halliburton/Bechtel
and other military contractors)?
Have you looked at the Local
Spotlight to get an idea of the range of creative actions CODEPINKers
are involved in all over the world? You can define CODEPINK with your
bold actions for peace!
Organize a gathering!
A good first step might be hosting a potluck dinner at your home or
a gathering at local café for an evening of conversation about
people's interests and skills. Gatherings can become monthly events
to rejuvenate and inspire local activists, and you can feature guest
speakers or show one of the many excellent
films about war and militarism.
Start with an action!
Many groups were launched by holding a candlelight vigil (in memory
of the thousands of soldiers and countless civilians who have been killed
during the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) at a busy intersection or
in front of the local military recruitment station. You can use the
vigil as an opportunity to collect signatures on a petition calling
for an end to war funding, and then deliver the signatures to your congressperson
or senator (you can also contact these people about future events!).
What does it look like to have a strong local group?
Well-organized local groups meet regularly (once a month or more);
create local actions and take on national campaigns; rapidly respond
to national news, local appearances by politicians needing to prodded
about the war; fundraise to support the costs of materials for actions;
have their own webpage and a local listserv; and inspire activists to
travel to Washington, DC, to join the action on Capitol Hill, or if
overseas, their federal government capital.
What kinds of actions do we organize?
Each of our CODEPINK local groups has its own spirit and flavor. Groups
may pick a particular campaign to work on over time, such as a legislative
pressure campaign, countering military recruitment, bringing the National
Guard home, or an ongoing regularly scheduled vigil to distribute information
about the wars and increase awareness around the number of soldiers
and civilians killed. Groups may choose to take action around particularly
important days, such as March 19th, the anniversary of the occupation
of Iraq; October 7, the anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan;
or Mother's Day, which was originally intended to be a women's
day of protest against war. When elected officials who are refusing
to take action against the war come to town, local groups organize to
bird-dog them, pressuring them into changing their position with creative
and fun actions and inside disruptions.
Local groups set their own agenda, choosing to work on particular
grassroots anti-war campaigns, and they are also willing and eager to
participate in our national campaigns and actions. To get a feel for
some of the inspiring CODEPINK actions that are happening around the
globe, you can visit our online Local
IMPORTANT Non-Profit Information:
CODEPINK is a women-initiated peace movement,
and is also a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization.
While we are working to create political change on a single public policy
issue—peace—CODEPINK can never endorse
a candidate, fundraise for a candidate or say we are working against
As a nonprofit issue-based organization, we are focused on peace,
and on creating a voting bloc that will prioritize peace, not on electing
particular candidates for office. We can educate people on the issues,
but we cannot tell them who to vote for. In addition, we put pressure
on elected officials post-election with actions such as the Mandate
for Peace campaign, pink slips and office visits. Individuals
from a local CODEPINK group are, of course,
free to assist in candidate campaign efforts, but cannot do so under
the banner of CODEPINK.
The benefit to having non-profit status is that people can make tax-deductible
donations to our national CODEPINK organizing
efforts. Local groups can also use our tax-exempt status for donations,
but only if your funds are processed through our national account. Local
groups may also seek to collaborate with another local non-profit for
You may also want to visit our political action site, www.codepinkaction.org,
which will be updated in the next few months. CODEPINK Action is a 501(c)(4)
issue advocacy organization. We do not support or oppose any federal
candidates. Instead, we seek to call attention to their positions
on those issues which are fundamentally important to CODEPINK's mission.
For more info about what is and isn't appropriate as a non-profit
(c)3 and (c)4 organization, visit the Alliance
If you're a local CODEPINK
organizer or have questions about building a local
CODEPINK group, please
email Janet at locals[at]codepink.org.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. The name CODEPINK satirized the Bush Administration's color-coded, fear-mongering "security" alert system that has since been phased out. CODEPINK is a lively call for the people of the world to "wage peace." More...