Fight Austerity Policies

Austerity politics underpin all of the issues in public benefits technology. It’s crucial to center the needs of marginalized people when fighting specific technologies — interconnected systems of racism, ableism, classism, and sexism are what enable so many punitive policies and technologies in the first place.

Start with these resources

We all need to fight against the abandonment and denial of social rights of people who are not able to get their needs met under current administrations.

Fight in solidarity

The interconnected fights for disability, racial, and economic justice are obviously much larger than this project. We’ve begun a Political Education Annotated Bibliography that highlights some works we find grounding for our strategy and perspective. In this resource, you’ll find amazing work that connects the fight for access to benefits to larger movements.

Separate the technical from the political

All benefits technology systems are built in a political context to carry out certain policies. But it’s hard to see where the technical design flaws end and the political choices begin — even though this is crucial to knowing what problems to fight. Our Making Sense of Technology Problems Framework will help you pull apart the different types of technical issues from the political issues.

Advocate outside of the courts

Suing agencies can have a major impact, but it takes a long time and can be limited in scope. We’ve written a few guides, including the Public Participation Advocacy Guide, the Media Advocacy Guide, and the Community Building Advocacy Guide. Each type of involvement is important to build power.

Build power through knowledge

You can stay on top of issues and figure out the political context of decisions by sending public records requests to government agencies. We’ve written a Public Records Request Guide to help you create requests that are effective and efficient. Information obtained through public records requests can be very helpful for media campaigns and community building.

Political Education Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography includes readings and video/audio pieces that many of us have found helpful for understanding the United States social safety net. Some of these describe the past and others are more forward-looking, but most have to do with the disability justice movement. This list is definitely not exhaustive, and we can’t 100% endorse every word, but we think these facts and theories are useful for maintaining a sense of direction in our advocacy.

Political Education Annotated Bibliography

Key Resources

Public Records Request Guide

This guide will help you think through how you can use public records requests to help find out why the state decided to implement a benefits technology system, how they implemented it, and how they are using it.

Community Building Advocacy Guide

This guide talks about ways that people impacted by benefits technology and advocates can use community advocacy to fight harmful benefits technology.

Media Advocacy Guide

This guide talks about ways that people impacted by benefits technology and advocates can use both traditional news media and social media to fight harmful benefits technology.

Public Participation Advocacy Guide

This guide talks about ways that people impacted by benefits technology and advocates can use the public participation process to fight harmful benefits technology.