NRL News

NRLC Chapters Primed to take full advantage of awesome off-year election results

by | Dec 9, 2014


2015 theme is “Be a Voice for the Voiceless”

By Dave Andrusko

VoiceforvoicelessI’m pretty upbeat (okay, hyper) by nature, but when I need a boost of energy, I always turn to Jacki Ragan, the director of NRLC’s State Organizational and Development Department.

That lofty title could just as easily be “Director of Affiliate Services,” because that is what Jacki’s department was created to do: create, motivate, sustain, and multiply NRLC state affiliates, which already number well over 3,000.

In preparation for the December digital edition of National Right to Life News, I sat down with Jacki to talk about her beloved chapters and drink in her enthusiasm for 2015.

“We will have immense opportunities to pass meaningful state legislation that will save the lives of unborn baby,” she told me flatly. One of many reasons this is so was captured in a one-page graphic which showed in red and blue just how many houses of the 50 state legislatures are controlled by Republicans (69 of 99); how many governorships are held by GOPers (3l); and how many states where Republicans attained a trifecta–control of both houses and the governor’s office (23).

To be clear, not all Republicans will be pro-life. But clearly the prospects for passing (and defending current laws) are greatly enhanced when state houses are controlled by Republicans.

“Grassroots pro-life volunteers did everything possible to make November 4 the overwhelming success it was,” she said. “They worked very, very hard.” Using the fingers on her right hand, she ticked off just a partial list of activities by local volunteers.

Everything from passing out literature, to making shrewd use of social media, to door knocking for candidates, to talking with parishioners (churches), to calling countless thousands of pro-lifers to remind them to vote (“it really makes a difference to hear a live voice”). All were intended to educate not just pro-lifers but the wider public about where the candidates stood on the pro-life issue. That enormous effort paid off handsomely.

“Chapters have been, are, and always will be the life-blood of the pro-life movement,” Jacki said. “Without active chapters, very little, if anything, can be accomplished.”

Click here to read the December issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”

She reminded me that her department was updating and systematizing a chapter starter kit which includes the “Chapter Starter Brief,” a special guide on beginning in social media and various handouts. It’s all there, Jacki said proudly, everything a core group needs to start a chapter in their area.

Which reminded her of a recent development: chapters “adopting” nearby areas where a chapter doesn’t exist and nurturing one into existence. “We’re in this together,” she added, ”and if one area is having difficulty getting off the ground, that voice of experience from a nearby community can be just the needed kickstart.”

I asked Jacki what the theme for 2015 is: “Be a Voice for the Voiceless.” This is, after all, “why pro-lifers do what they do. We want to expand the unborn’s voice across the country.”

As we wrapped up our interview, Jacki said she wanted to emphasize two additional points. First, that some chapters in particular are doing absolutely amazing work.

She cited one, Goshen County Right to Life in Torrington, Wyoming, that has made incredible strides in just a few years. For example, “the local radio program makes regular announcements about NRLC’s [summer] Academy and will update listeners about the chapter’s monthly activities,” Jacki said.

In what may be the ultimate grassroots gesture, the chapter has a red wagon that it fills with baked goodies to sell to raise money.

Second, to encourage chapters “to send at least two representatives to the National Right to Life convention in New Orleans, July 9-10-11.” Where else can you get CDs and DVDs and videos and pamphlets chock-full of information to supplement what they will learn as they attend the dozens and dozens of workshops and general sessions, she asked.

“We accomplished more than anyone (other than pro-lifers) would have believed possible in 2014,” Jacki said. “The chapters are already eager—trust me on this—to take full advantage of these gains to pass legislation that will save unborn babies and rescue women from a disastrous decision.”

Categories: Pro-Lifers