Hometown Journey

NGP VAN’s MiniVAN Is Driving The Way We Mobilize Voters

In our technology based society, is canvassing neighborhoods still an effective way to reach out to voters before an election? A study conducted by Stanford and UC Berkeley in 2017 sought out to answer this question. Professors David Broockman and Joshua Kalla had some interesting findings.

  • Voters are much more partisan these days. Only about 39% of voters have views and values that fall in the middle of the political spectrum, a figure that has decreased significantly over the last 20 years.
  • Only about 1 in every 800 voters will change his or her opinion or vote differently based on a canvassing interaction.

While these facts might paint a bleak picture, the study did find canvassing to be a highly effective means of gaining votes from those who already support the candidate or issue. Sometimes all these voters need is a reminder that an election is coming up, or a quick moment of education about a candidate or policy that will resonate with their values to ensure that they make it out to the polls. How does a canvasser find these voters? Short of being psychic, like many things today there’s an app for that.

NGP VAN provides campaign software that helps make campaigns as efficient as possible. While the software itself does nothing to sway votes, it makes sure that canvassers are spending their long hours talking to the right people.

NGP VAN’s MiniVAN app has streamlined the process for Democratic canvassers. They are provided with accurate maps, helpful scripts, and voter contact information. They have the ability to upload data from their interactions with voters right into a campaign database. With MiniVAN, campaign organizers do not have to spend long, agonizing hours sorting through piles of paperwork and drawing maps.

This means that NGP VAN can also save parties and organizations a great deal of money when campaigning, yet still ensures that these campaigns are able to reach their full potential in terms of efficiency. For Democrats and similar groups that often rely upon grassroots funding efforts rather than donations from billionaires and giant corporations, this new technology gives them a fresh chance to spread their messages, rally voters, and bring the power back into the hands of everyday people.

Connect with NGP VAN on Linkedin and Facebook.

Avaaz Gives A Voice To All Who Need it

Avaaz is an organization that encourages activism on a global scale. This firm deals with human rights, climate change, corruption, poverty, animal rights, and even conflict. It is considered to be amongst the world’s biggest online activist networks and is also gratefully powerful.

Avaaz means the “voice” in a number of the Asian, European and Middle Eastern languages. This firm can close the gap between the world that exists and the world that we desire. It helps in organizing and empowering millions of people around the globe. It was launched in the year 2007 to bring together individuals from different walks to ensure that they get the education on issues based on regional, national and global matters. This strategy allows that every individual can put in their efforts that will eventually add up to a higher force and more information click here.

Avaaz uses 17 different languages during their campaigns being carried out in six different continents ad handled by thousands of volunteers. The volunteers work by offering to fund the media campaigns, signing various petitions, per taking in direct action and also calling, emailing and lobbying the governments. Additionally, Avaaz comes up with offline protests as other events that allow the views and values of the people allowing us to make significant decisions that affect every individual and Avaaz’s lacrosse camp.

The force put together by this organization gives a voice to many individuals who have urgent matters that need a hearing. Each year, Avaaz sets the main priorities through the use of all-member polls as well as campaign ideas tested on 10,000 randomly selected individuals on a weekly basis. After this, the initiatives that have a high response are taken into consideration. After being carried forward, it is hyped by hundreds of thousands of members of Avaaz that takes part within a few days or even hours and resume their.

More Visit: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/president_trump_letter_loc/?pv=559&rc=fb

Thor Halvorssen: Hammering out Worldwide Injustice

Thor Halvorssen was a college freshman when he received the call that would change his life. His father had been imprisoned in Venezuela, in one of the worst prisons in the world, on false charges of terrorism.

Thor Halvorssen immediately began petitioning ambassadors and international organizations. The media firestorm and support from Amnesty International culminated in the release of his father.

This event catalyzed Thor Halvorssen’s lifelong passion for human rights and began his career. Following the campaign, the International Society for Human Rights appointed him director of their Pan-American Committee.

Halvorssen again entered the public eye in 1999, when he championed a campaign pressuring Lucent Technologies to adopt antislavery policies. That same year he became the chief executive officer and executive director for the Foundations for Individual Rights in Education. He headed the group for five years, forming bipartisan coalitions to defend free speech for all.

In 2004 Halvorssen announced a new foundation that would “champion the definition of human rights that originally animated the human rights movement, centered on the twin concepts of freedom of self-determination and freedom from tyranny.” The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) was born. HRF conducts programs globally, focusing on education and advocacy.

Some of their largest advocacy campaigns have fought for women in Pakistan and the release of Chinese political prisoner Liu Xiaobo. HRF also works to expose dictatorships, human rights violations, and the people who support them, including Hollywood celebrities. The organization’s Center for Law and Democracy promotes legal scholarship and improvements in international law. Finally, they conduct on the ground humanitarian aid programs to assist activists and citizens.

Thor Halvorssen is only 40 years old and he has changed the world. His tremendous contributions to the fields of public policy, pro-democracy advocacy, and individual rights and civil liberties are truly inspiring.


Hall Capital Partners Managing Director’s Resume Is Impressive By Anyone’s Standards

Helane L. Morrison, the Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and General Counsel of Hall Capital Partners LLC has been a stand-out in a world ruled by men for several years. It’s hard to intimidate Helane. Her credentials are impressive and she has established a career that demands respect as it has been forged BizJournals.com. Helane was the director of the San Francisco office of the United States Security and Exchange Commission for eight years. Morrison served as District Administrator and then she was promoted to the Regional Director of the SEC. 

Her role at the Security and Exchange Commission was to enforce, litigate and regulate matters in Northern California as well as in five other Northwestern states. Morrison represented the SEC in financial as well as business and legal issues. She also worked with other government agencies and the news media.

Ms. Morrison practiced law at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, the well-known San Francisco law firm. She became a partner in 1991. Helane studied law at UC-Berkley. She was Editor-In-Chief of the California Law Review while she was there. Morrison also received a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. To see her litigation work in detail, check out the Google Book below.

After graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Helane is a member of the American Bar Association and the Hedge Fund Subcommittee. She is busy, but she finds time to speak to investors about the legal issues that can have a direct impact on their present and future investments. According to the BizJournals.com article, Hall Capital is now one of the most successful investment firms in San Francisco. The firm now has more than $24 billion in assets under management.  The management team is an eclectic mix of investment experts that have been in the business for years. 

Investment firms are usually controlled by men, but Morrison and Hall are changing the face of the investment world. They have proven that women are excellent investors and money managers. Women that know Morrison admire her intelligence, drive, and her ability to function effectively in an industry that measures success in monetary terms. Helane is an inspiration to the generation of women that want to perform in industries that have been notoriously one-sided when it comes to leadership. 


Just Out: Second Charity Drive for Jon Urbana

Our old friend Jon Urbana is back on the fundraising trail and this video is better than his last. Judging by the many online reactions to the video, it’s clear that we’re not alone.

So visit GoFundMe and help a brother out. And if you’re as broke as I am, watch and share these campaign videos like I just did.

Jon Urbana Supports Earth Force, A New Fundraiser from Jon Urbana on Vimeo.

Donate to Jon Urbana’s Charity Drive from Jon Urbana on Vimeo.

Yeonmi Park – The Globetrotting Human Rights Activist

Human rights activists are best known for their role in bringing out human rights violation in the public domain and campaigning for the restoration of such rights. For this, they get involved in various campaigns such as prevention of hate crimes, campaigns for civil and political rights, and many others.

Here, we talk about Yeonmi Park, a young human rights activist who fled North Korea after witnessing the torture and killing of friends and family.

Yeonmi Park – Background

Park Yeon-mi was born on 4th October 1993, in Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, North Korea.

She was born in an educated and politically connected family. While her father was in civil service, working at Hyesan town hall for the ruling Worker’s Party, her mother was a nurse, serving the North Korea Army.

Park’s family was rich by North Korean standards. Nonetheless, her father would later establish a metal smuggling business in the capital, Pyongyang, where he spent the better part of the year leaving his wife and daughters – Park has an elder sister, Eunmi – in Hyesan.

The illegal business led to his father being arrested in 2002 and sent to a 17 years’ incarceration in a forced labor camp. The family was condemned to starvation and struggling to earn a living.

Escape from North Korea

It is after watching a smuggled DVD of the 1997 Titanic movie, which Park’s eyes were opened with regards to the North Korean government’s oppressive rule. According to her, she not only learned the true meaning of love from the movie, but she also felt “a taste of freedom.”

On reuniting with his family, Park’s father decided to escape North Korea; as the only option left to evade starvation and eventually, death. The women would go before him.

In 2007, Eunmi went first, crossing the freezing river into China. Yeonmi and her mother would later follow her. It was an arduous journey, highlighted by terrible hardships and hiding from Chinese authorities, lest they were caught and repatriated to North Korea.

Some of the excruciating challenges included Yeonmi’s mother being raped by traffickers, and her sister getting lost and being presumed dead. While her father eventually joined them, he, unfortunately, succumbed to colon cancer.

Finally, on a cold night in early 2009, Park and her mother managed to cross a stretch of the Gobi desert into Mongolia. The South Korean embassy became their sanctuary. Five years later, Eunmi managed to escape, and they were reunited in Seoul.


Yeonmi Park often felt that the world had forgotten her. She is today driven by the determination that the world should never forget the people of North Korea; who are in misery and dying each day.

She traverses the world with the sole aim of talking about her experiences and raising awareness on the plight of her people. The globetrotting activist also capitalizes on the power of social media to tell the world about the human rights violations in North Korea.