Bay Area Social Justice Campaigns Go Online

by Stephen Knight on August 23, 2004

Last week saw the launch of Local Impact, a new website that is bringing online advocacy to local issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visitors to Local Impact’s website,, can send free faxes to key decision makers on social justice issues in their community. Within days, dozens of Bay Area residents used the site to have their voices heard on important local issues.

Local Impact launched its website,, with three action campaigns: demanding accountability for the police shooting of Cammerin Boyd; seeking the resignation of Julie Lee from the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission; and calling upon Mayor Jerry Brown to keep Wal-Mart out of Oakland.

National advocacy organizations use online action campaigns to great effect. People protesting the Patriot Act, for example, can log on to numerous websites and quickly contact the President, their Senators or the Attorney General. But advocacy on local social justice issues rarely utilizes this powerful resource. Local activists have to go to rallies or spend all day at hearings to have their voices heard.

According to co-founder Dean Preston, “Local Impact adds an important new component to grassroots organizing on local issues in the Bay Area. The website will help people get involved in local social justice issues and make sure their voices are heard.” Local Impact’s founders hope that activists who come to the site to send a fax on an issue will learn about and take action on other social justice issues in their community. With a growing base of concerned community members participating in each online action, Local Impact seeks to build a progressive network of informed people willing to take action on local issues.

Organizations that would like to see an issue featured on the website should email Local Impact at

Stephen Knight is co-founder of Local Impact. He can be reached at

Filed under: Bay Area / California