Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

Posts tagged ‘community organizing’

Community organizing with OFA: Neighborhood teams

I attended another OFA meeting yesterday, this one for people interested in being neighborhood team leaders. Eight of us from two counties attended. We talked about the positive and negative aspects of last week’s training, and we found there were mostly positives. My only mild critique was that I agreed with David, who said it would have been nice to have concrete action for people to take or a firm date for a future meeting. Things were left open-ended last week, and I think that’s a good way for people to drift away from the movement. That’s one reason Rick and I try to recommend action you can take on certain issues — signing a petition, calling your representative. I don’t think it does any good to inform people about a problem and not tell them what they can do to fix it, or to stoke people’s passion, then not give it an outlet.

After some discussion, we decided to set up a meet the candidates night for those running for mayor and city council, because the primary is in May and there are many candidates who will be unfamiliar to voters. I think the regional field director said there are 25 people who will be on the ballot. Obviously not everyone will be able to come, but it’s still an opportunity for voters and candidates to interact.

We also split into groups based on ZIP code and will set up meetings for those in our neighborhood to get more acquainted with OFA. OFA has a list of all of the people who have ever donated to or shown support for President Obama, so we will call or e-mail them to see what we can do to keep them interested in his agenda. One woman suggested holding a movie night where we could show movies that deal with unions. That would be a fun and informational way to talk about national issues.

I’m not someone who has an easy time talking with strangers, which you might find odd considering what I talk about here on the blog, but after the meeting I was eager to start contacting people to attend the neighborhood gathering. Our list of potential attendees has 78 names on it, but I would be happy if half a dozen show up. I’ll keep you posted.