Community Action Teams: Garnering Energy and Sustaining Social & Political Action
At our November 20, 2016, Town Hall meeting and in scores of emails sent to Retake Our Democracy from across the state, people have most frequently asked two questions: What can I do on my own? What can we do together?
In response to these questions we have developed a Personal Action Toolkit that will be continuously updated and that summarizes actions that individuals can take. We have also formed ten Action Teams through which teams of individuals can work together to advance our collective goals and vision. Over 250 people signed up for roles in these Action Teams and we are now developing plans to activate their commitments. We have also had over 150 people sign up to become active in other parts of the State and even in other parts of the Nation. Part of what our Outreach & Engagement Action Team will be doing is reaching out to people in other parts of the state to get them organized and active in their communities.
The initial constellation of Action Teams is precisely that: initial. If you have ideas about how another team with a different scope of work might increase our effectiveness, please email in response to any of our blogs with suggestions. But for now, these are the Action Teams we have launched.
Action Teams are volunteer-driven and conduct activities that include:
- Citizen Advocacy-Lobbyingat local, state, and national levels, including advocacy with city council, county, state, and national legislation;
- Reinvigoration of Ward Politics and reconnecting people to local and state political processes–now an activity supported by Retake but not part of our work as we are trying to remain non-partisan.
- Research into a wide variety of issues and the development of issue-focused “Action Packets” that include 500-word summaries with links to video, other articles, info graphics, speaking points, and contact information for legislators and policymakers;
- Outreach & Engagement to expand and diversify our base in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico through a range of activities from Open House Activism parties, book groups, panel discussion, neighborhood-based canvassing (community conversations) and other strategies;
- Media and Social Media to ensure maximum coverage in traditional media through TV and radio coverage, community calendars, letters to the editor, op-eds and feature stories and to increase and make more effective our use of social media.
- Young Leader Recruitment & Development to develop a new generation of diverse leadership to run for school board, city council, and county commissions to inject their voices into a range of locally-based community initiatives; and
- Non-Violent Direct Action & Civil Disobedience to use historically proven practices to draw attention to the needs of the disenfranchised and to continuously magnify what is wrong in our country and what could be different.
Ambitious, crazy goals, yes. But the times call for ambitious, crazy goals. Join us in the next chapter. The one where we Retake Our Democracy and restore some semblance of sanity to this country. We can’t continue to operate as if all things revolve around profit. We need to heed the wisdom of our indigenous friends and neighbors and honor harmony with nature and with each other.
We can do this if we do it together.