CCW conference: Community organizing and building power (1)

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Charly Carter
It can be hard to impact policy change at the local, state and federal level, but it’s even harder to do it without working with the right partners. Join this session to explore concepts in building power through partnership and grassroots organizing.

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CCW conference: Community organizing and building power (1)

  1. 1. Community Organizing& Building Power
  2. 2. What is Community OrganizingCommunity organizing is the process of building powerby connecting people with common concerns andmobilizing them to seek the solutions to those problems;identifying the people and structures that can makethose solutions possible; and creating pressure onthose targets through negotiation or confrontation toreach a resolution.
  3. 3. Rules of Community Organizing• People are motivated by their self interest• Organizing never ends, if you dont continue to buildsupport it will dissipate• No change comes without conflict and confrontation• Anybody can be a leader• Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but themust always be an outcome and a next step.
  4. 4. Rules of Community Organizing•• Organize people from where they are, not fromwhere youd like them to be• Language is important. Make sure you arecommunicating in a way that articulates theconcerns of the folks you are organizing, not yourconcerns.
  5. 5. Organizing is not OrganicBe OrganizedBe Strategic
  6. 6. Be StrategicWhat is your goal?Who else will benefit directly from achieving yourgoal?Who benefits from the status quo?Who do you need to influence?Who are the people/groups close to them?Where do they live/work/govern?
  7. 7. Building Your BaseThe Quick Start MethodBuilding a Core GroupGrasstops or GrassrootsOrganizing LeadersPartnering with Other GroupsGoing Back to SchoolTapping into Star PowerEffective Tactics
  8. 8. Start with a Core Team1-5 VolunteersGood ListenersOrganizedPassionate about the IssueWilling to give time
  9. 9. Grasstops and GrassrootsGrasstops Organizing - targets leaders of otherorganizations that have similar or intersecting goals tocreate a coalition; can demonstrate to policymakers thatyou have a diverse and broad coalition.Grassroot Organizing - a base built on Individuals whoidentify with the issue and solution; growing this base iswhat gives your campaign its momentum.
  10. 10. GrassrootsAdvantagesArmy of “true believers,” directly connected to your organizationEvery identifiable name is an identifiable voteBest opportunity to identify people with powerful stories about why theysupport the cause.Organize or Die
  11. 11. GrasstopsAdvantagesYour coalition represents the total membership of all of your partnergroupsCan give you a bigger microphoneCan give you access to money or other resourcesYou cannot do Grasstops organizing without also doing Grassroots organizing.
  12. 12. The Quick Start MethodOrganize Leaders• “It’s easier to get a second dollar that it is to get thefirst.”• Leaders come with their own followers
  13. 13. The Quick Start MethodPartnering with Community Groups• Community Groups & NeighborhoodAssociations, etc. have already organized theircommunities• They have a handle on who the influencers are andwho they can count on to volunteers; and• They usually have a system set up to communicatewith their members
  14. 14. The Quick Start MethodBack-to-School• Schools can be an untapped resource forvolunteers;• Provide opportunities to educate students, parentsand the community about your issue;• Have built-in communication tools to reach parents• Can present a different voice to decisionmakers
  15. 15. The Quick Start MethodTapping into Star PowerThe ability to tap into the personal/professionalnetwork of a high profile individual:Elected officialsLocal athletesMedia personalitiesOther local celebsThe goal is endorsement of your issue and access totheir supporters/constituents.
  16. 16. Think outside the box.Look for role modelsMore voices means more power
  17. 17. Contactcarter@progressadvocates.com(585) 520-7825

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