The Real Story Behind Those Austin Craigslist Ads

The Real Story Behind Those Austin Craigslist Ads

Several people on Twitter have noted Craigslist ads which seem designed to hire people in connection with the protests taking place in Austin, TX this week. It turns out these ads are part of an ongoing Planned Parenthood campaign, not a response to last week’s filibuster.

The ads read are titled “Stand with Pro-Choice Texas: Leadership Positions to Ensure Healthcare.” Below a bunch of photos of young, hip looking people the main ad reads “Protect Women’s Rights’ in 2013! Grassroots Campaigns is immediately hiring passionate and motivated people to help educate the public and identify new supporters to protect reproductive rights.”

Given what is happening in Texas this week (and last) it’s possible to read these as an advertisement for protesters. A link contained in the ad leads to this page on Grassroots Campaigns’ website where prospective applicants can sign up. At the bottom of the page there is a blurb which suggests this could be some form of protest operation:

Grassroots Campaigns is a progressive organization that specializes in
running face-to-face campaigns for political parties, candidates, and
advocacy groups. We build membership bases and mobilize citizens for
groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Democratic National
Committee, the Nature Conservancy and Oxfam America.

However I called Grassroots Campaigns and spoke to an individual there familiar with the ad. He explained it is part of an ongoing campaign being run on behalf of Planned Parenthood. PP has been hiring grassroots fundraisers since last summer. The Craigslist ad is part of that fundraising campaign, not an attempt to hire protest organizers.

There is another link on the ad itself which leads to this page offering full time “Assistant Canvas Director” jobs. The job description reads in part “Canvass in the field for four days per week, to train new and
experienced staff in the field and meet personal fundraising
requirements.” So it’s definitely a fundraising job.

Planned Parenthood is working with Grassroots Campaigns to hire fundraisers in Austin and also, it appears, in other locations around the country. These job listings are not part of the recent attempts to block SB5 though it’s probably not a stretch to imagine some of the folks will be participating in the protests.

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