We are the people we’ve been waiting for. No one else can get this done. Together and with leadership, we can overcome all challenges. We will host a Leadership Planning meeting on Jan 26, details below, but we only want those firmly committed to playing leadership roles to attend. So please review this post and follow up by developing a personal statement.
The times demand that every one of us finds time to devote to activism. No one is too busy and no one should feel that a few daily Facebook posts or signing 3 online petitions is activism. Too much is at stake. This will require sustained commitment.
I have stated many times that we are going to need thousands of people across the state to make activism a part of their daily lives if we are going to be able to:
- Insulate New Mexico from the challenges imposed by a Trump administration,
- Advance progressive initiatives despite federal obstructions;
- Protect neighbors threatened by racism and xenophobia; and
- Engage, educate, and activate an ever broader base of activists across the state.
To provide a well-coordinated framework of opportunities, tools, events, research, trainings, outreach, and lobbying, we will need a cadre of trained leaders to motivate, coordinate, and advance volunteer teams. Without this cadre of leadership, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish a good deal. If you want to be part of something important, to become colleagues and friends with other leaders, and be able to look back years later and know that you did all you could to advance a more humane society and to protect our planet and its people, read on. Together, we can do this.
More specifically, we need leaders who will:
- participate in a structured sequence of training to better understand best practices in community organizing, communication, activism, and advocacy;
- participate in periodic retreats to develop plans, prioritize actions, assign or reassign responsibilities, reflect on how we are doing and make mid-course corrections in our strategies;
- assume responsibility for coordinating a team (or teams) of volunteers in a specific area of activity, examples include:
- Coordinate a team of volunteers researching effective national, state and local strategies to combat climate change (or any of two dozen other areas of research);
- Coordinate teams of volunteers doing outreach to other parts of the state to build hubs of progressive activity in communities that are more conservative and therefore more important in lobbying their representatives at the Roundhouse;
- Coordinating volunteers organizing house parties, panels, trainings, community meetings, and other events;
- Coordinate ongoing, non-violent direct action events aimed at gaining media attention on critical issues that would otherwise be ignored; and
- Coordinate a media team that will be initiating a wide range of mainstream, non-traditional, and social media actions.
This is just a small sampling of leadership roles. Coordinators won’t necessarily be “doing” any of the above activities. They will be managing and supporting the volunteers they are coordinating, developing realistic timelines for completion of tasks, communicating with their team members about next steps, and organizing periodic meetings of the team at 1420 Cerrillos Rd., which is largely available to us most any time of day.
To make the coordination function easier, leaders will be trained in Nation Builder, a powerful database program designed explicitly to facilitate coordinating complex movements or campaigns. Once trained, it will be exceedingly easy for you to manage a team or multiple teams, target your communication to your members, and monitor progress.
We will be holding a Leadership Orientation on January 26 at the Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd., 5:30-7pm. But before you come to this meeting, we want to make sure that everyone coming is serious about this responsibility and has a solid grasp of what Retake Our Democracy is and can become. So please click here to find Retake Our Democracy’s Statement of Purpose and Principles. Please then write a personal statement of why you want to be a leader in Retake Our Democracy, how you feel you might be able to contribute, any relevant experience or expertise you may have, and how much time you can commit to this work.
If you can’t find time to complete this statement and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, then you probably should not attend the meeting. This is a serious commitment. We are going to be relying on each other and we need to know that every one of us is making a sincere commitment to the work ahead.
Paul Gibson, Director
Retake Our Democracy