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Community Organizing:

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Community Organizing: Building Power and Making Change Wednesday, April 4, 2007 -- 9 PM EST Facilitated by Willie Dodson, from the Southern Energy Network – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Community Organizing:


1
Community Organizing Building Power and Making
Change
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 -- 9 PM EST Facilitated
by Willie Dodson, from the Southern Energy
Network http//www.climateaction.net Mattie
Reitman, from the Energy Justice Network and the
Student Environmental Action Coalition http//www.
energyjustice.net http//www.seac.org
2
Introductions Hello! -Go
Around 10 minutes
3
Advocacy Vs. Organizing Grassroots Organizing
organizing the people Grasstops Organizing
organizing power holders, other organizers
Advocacy advocating for something flyering,
lobbying, etc. -all are important and useful,
but we're just talking about grassroots
organizing here 3 minutes
4
The Importance of Self-Interest -Selfishness
vs. Selflessness vs. Self-Interest -The
central motivating force that gets people
involved is self-interest this isn't good or
bad, it's just something we have to remember when
organizing Picking Your Issue is a Privilege
-communities don't choose to get polluted! -need
to find and recognize our own self-interest why
do I care? 2 minutes
5
What do Grassroots Groups Work On? Two types
offense and defense -offense community
gardens, service programs (i.e. Black Panther
free breakfast program), Cool Cities, etc.
-defense landfills, incinerators, power plants
(coal, nukes, natural gas), refineries (oil,
ethanol), sewage sludge dumping (as fertilizer
on farm fields or in strip mines), fluoridation
of drinking water, toxic waste site cleanup,
waste transfer stations, ash dumps, medical waste
facilities, nuclear facilities (waste
storage/disposal, nuclear fuel processing
facilities), roads/highways, power lines,
pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals,
mining/quarries (coal, limestone, aggregate,
etc.), development/sprawl (housing developments,
box stores, etc.), paper mills, cement kilns,
logging, water extraction (bottled water or for
energy or other industries), factory farms,
chemical plants... 3 minutes
6
Research Talk to people! to find out 1)
Social, political, economic, and cultural past
and present. 2) Past and present status of
organizing and activism around community
issues. 3) Groups and individuals already working
on similar issues. 5 minutes
7
Initial Contact methods tabling at community
events, organizing your own events, creation and
distribution of literature, telephone calls,
media, actions, door to door (listening
projects) -be brief -engage in a familiar and
comfortable setting -gauge people's interest,
get contact info 2 minutes
8
One On One Follow-Ups They're important! Some
tips - keep an open mind listen to what people
have to say - talking should be 70 community
member 30 organizer - drive at self-interest
action what's the problem? who's responsible?
how can it be resolved? what do you want to do? -
say things others have done in similar situations
- develop your strategy and next steps (based on
community members ideas, self-interest, etc.) and
know this when talking to people. they will
probably have ideas that work well with yours. -
gain trust before offering ideas and asking
things of people. 5 minutes
9
Community Meetings -Connecting people with
similar interests, get them talking to each
other -Remember it's about generating
ACTION! -After people are comfortable, get
them talking about next steps -Try and keep it
comfortable/familiar 2 minutes
10
Recipes For Winning and Losing Losing Step
1 Group forms. People get involved. Step
2 Group does advocacy, with tables and flyers
about their issue, etc. Step 3 People in the
group sit back, assume that they're doing good,
and it's up to their target to start caring and
do something about the issue. Step 4 Instead of
gaining public support, the group alienates its
target audience and decision-makers people
start to feel hopeless and tired. Step 5 Time
passes, nobody is recruited, and the effort
dwindles away. Winning! Offense target
makes the right decision Defense the company
gives up or some level of government says
No -work backwards from your goal, and make a
plan! -useful tactics - getting local ordinances,
going after project funding 5 minutes
11
Action Building power leads to action,
otherwise it's all for nothing. - can be
internal action, but must be campaign-related -
action sustains involvement - once trust is
established, you can ask specific things (call
the regulator responsible, come to the hearing,
come to the nearby university to tell the
students about your situation etc.) 3 minutes
12
Roadblocks? What are some problems and
difficulties you can foresee in doing this kind
of work? 5 minutes
13
Examples of Campus-Community Collaboration
5 minutes
14
Closing, Next Steps, Assessment -How did it go?
Can you use this? -A note on solidarity -Upcomin
g things to plug into Step It Up!, Energy
Justice Summer, etc. sorry there weren't more
pictures! 10 minutes
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