Organizing for Action

What does it take to organize a grassroots project or event? According to the ten tips found here Tips for Grassroots Project Organizers one of the most important elements may be to Capture Hearts:

 “When people can feel the passion behind a project they are more likely to get involved.…a project that engages people’s hearts is totally worth the effort.”

 For a Step-by-Step guide to successful community organizing, read on.

Step 1: Analyze

1.Identify the Issues – Gather with people to identify the microcell and 5G issues that concern you and your community.(For ideas on what to focus on Read this Primer.)

Food for Thought

    • Why do these issues matter to you?
    • What’s the question nobody is asking?
    • What do you think the “other side” wants?
    • What do you and your supporters need to learn about the “other side” in order to understand them better?

2. Find Solutions & Set Goals – As a group, identify what you see as a solution to the issues you’ve identified. Set some short-term and long-term goals.

3. Find your Targets – Think about the scope of your goals.

    • Do your goals involve a behavioral change, a legal change, and/or an institutional change?
    • Who are the key players involved in this issue? Who has the power to make the changes that you want to see? Who is your target?
    • Suggestions for who you might target: Educators, Parents & Grandparents, Law and Policy Makers, the Scientific Community, Physicians, Environmentalists, Consumers, Local Leaders, Telecom Companies, the Federal Government.

Step 2: Plan

 Develop a strategy that could help you achieve your goals.

  • This could be a plan that informs the public, identifies your base of support and allies, or encourages people to take an action (like boycotting, voting, writing to a lawmaker). This action will affect your target, guiding them to make decisions that will help you meet your goal. A clear strategy will help you to create the best possible action plan. Learn more about crafting successful social activism strategies Here.
  • Use these tried and true Principles of Successful Activism to guide you.

 Identify the Tactics in the strategy.

  • How will you execute your strategy? What are the best ways for your particular group to influence your Targets? Once you understand the forms of power you can deploy, you are ready to activate your campaign plan. Find lots of Great Action Ideas here.
  • What steps do you need to take to fulfill your strategy? For example, if you want to build your base of support, you could hold house meetings. If you want to influence a lawmaker, you could do a letter writing campaign.

 Identify roles in the strategy.

  • Who is going to hit the streets? Who is going to speak at events? Who is going to create the message and the flyers? (Find some great Info Flyers here.) Who is going to prepare the snacks?
  • This Guide will help you think through the roles and tasks involved in creating and realizing a community event or action.
  • Roles could include leaders, coordinators, social media experts, (Tips on Using Social Media Here)  logistics planners, or cooks!

Step 3: Ready, Set, Action! 

You’ve got your plan, and now you’re ready to jump into action and implement your campaign!

  • A campaign is a series of tactics deployed over a specified period, each of which builds the strength of the organization and puts increasing pressure on the target. All tactics are connected, and each one is chosen on the basis of how much work it requires to pull off and how much pressure it will bring to bear.
  • A strategic campaign has a beginning, middle, and end. It ends, ideally, in a specific victory.
  • Along the way, keep track of your timeline and milestones. You may need to modify your tactics depending on the organizing conditions.

Step 4: Evaluate your Impact

Reflection is important. Take time as a group to talk about your actions.

  • What did we achieve? Did we build community? Did we “win”? Did we develop an effective strategy? Are we closer to achieving our vision? What did we learn? What was successful, and what can we do better next time?

Celebrate your wins!

  • Celebrate the success of your short-term goals.
  • Celebrate the success or your long-term goals.
  • Celebrate that you are coming together in community to create a healthier world.

Adapted from the Resident Action Project’s Community Organizing 101 –Toolkit for Organizing