Steve Deline

Co-Founder | New Conversation Initiative
Pronouns: He/him

Steve Deline is co-founder of the New Conversation Initiative. He began in this work as a gay volunteer terrified to talk to anti-gay voters. Over 8 years on the Leadership LAB team Steve helped develop the original deep canvass conversation model.

He helped the LAB team partner with other organizations to apply deep canvassing. In 2012 he embedded with the Minnesotans United marriage equality campaign. That successful campaign organized over 14,000 volunteers to have more than 220,000 deep canvass conversations. He is deeply passionate about the superpowers of vulnerability and non-judgmental curiosity, especially in a political context.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Running *Towards* Race and Immigration on the Doorstep: using Deep Canvassing and Race Class Narrative to win in rural communities and red states

The conventional wisdom in political circles is that we have to run away from race when we talk with voters. This has allowed the far right to fill up all of the space and define the conversation about race and about immigration, especially in the Trump era. The results for our collective movement have been disastrous, as the narrative about communities of color has become even more toxic and treacherous. What are we to do as organizers, especially as we look beyond the 2020 elections?

The good news is that when we contest for space and meaning, our narrative will win – even in the places we think are the hardest to break through. Based on over 3,000 Deep Canvass conversations with conflicted voters in rural areas in red/purple states, grassroots organizations of People’s Action have demonstrated that we can lead with our values and stories and break through to victory.

Join this breakout and training session to learn about Deep Canvassing, using the Race Class Narrative pioneered by Anat Shenker-Osorio. Participants will learn the foundations of Deep Canvassing, hone a script, practice their own Deep Canvass skills and reflect on how they could bring these skills home. Organizers and canvassers from Pennsylvania Stands Up and Down Home North Carolina will help lead the training session.

Speakers: Mehrdad Azemun, Anat Shenker-Osorio, Mahsima Hallaji, Dominic Holmes, Steve Deline