Tuesday, May 16, 2017

alliance4action FYI--Retreat Summary-100 Days of Resistance and Action


a4a FYI Retreat Notes 100 Days Reflection

Celebrating 100 Days of Resistance and Action

The alliance4action (a4a) formed, organically—and quickly—after the November 2016 presidential election and has been active ever since.   On May 3rd, about forty a4a activists met for two hours to consider our first 100 days!

  •   What’s worked;
  •   Explore how to improve; and,
  •   Begin to determine future directions, group and      individual priorities.
Here’s what we heard from many of you. We plan an on-line survey to the broader group later this summer and hope all will participate so we can get more input.

 What’s worked well?
  •   Rallies and marches
  •   Facebook and website 
  •   Action Groups 
  •   Pressure on elected officials 
  •   GVNews coverage 
  •   Farmer’s Market exposure
There is general agreement that participants are happy with a4a now, that we should keep up the good work, that we should remain flexible to address concerns as they come up, and keep active and visible in creative ways.

How to improve? 
Action Groups: 
  •   Strengthen and fortify current action groups·    
  •   Provide activist training to general members: 
  1. -   How to effectively contact/speak with elected officials/staff 
  2. -   Provide talking points on the web for specific MoC contacts 
  3. -   Educate ourselves more re all sides of issues to clarify thoughts/actions
  4. -   Find ways to tie actions of the President to consequences in our community

  •    Expand our influence (see Future/Priorities, below)
  •    Be welcoming/friendly; get to know one another. Socialize.
  •    Celebrate our successes and congratulate ourselves.
 Communication: (Flash, !ACTNOW!)
  •    Keep a4a postings “clean” (e.g., not re-posts from other groups) 
  •    Reports from Action Teams should be accurate, up-to-date, simple—and limited. (Everyone already has too much information!)
 Future Directions, Ideas and Priorities  
    Continue to advocate for:  
  •    Affordable Healthcare
  •    AZ state issues:   Engage public more about Arizona legislation/legislators
    1.   All a4a issues:  Continue to encourage members to contact our MoCs.
    2.   Educate our community. 
    3.   Find new, creative ways to advocate and educate.

  •    Work to elect progressive candidates 
    1.   Teach everyone how to register to vote.
    2.   Engage community with door-to-door canvassing      and other education.
    3.   Support progressive candidates.
    Design speaking opportunities and fundraisers.
  •    Increase a4a membership 
  1.   Include focus on millennials and Independents.
  2.   Consider high school students, teachers, school board members.
  3.   Engage/ally with other organizations.
  •   Connect and collaborate with other groups (e.g., Indivisible, Sierra Club, etc.) 
  •   Do more formal outreach, marketing and publicity: our goals and successes should be known.
    • Form technology/social media group to support outreach efforts: editorials, public service announcements, raise money with other groups for TV and radio ads.
    • Speakers Bureau (drawn from Action Groups, leadership and general membership). 
    • Tee shirts, tri-fold posters, colorful handouts/FAQ sheets. 
    • Provide training in action groups re: outreach. 
    • Continue to get the word out about Action Group issues to the media to not make the President’s actions seem NORMAL.
  •     Keep snowbirds active and engaged over the summer:  contact MoCs in each home state; get reports from them.

 Other potential issues to address: poverty, peace, voting rights, environment (vs. solely climate), women’s rights  
  •  Consider a Human Rights groups that would include:   Women, LGBTQ, Race and Immigration.
  •  Don’t grow too big too fast:  quality over quantity.
  •  Don’t burn out!  Learn how to sustain our energy and effectiveness: self-care (action groups and a4a in general). 
  •  Support each other.
 Potential Community Service:  Outreach to the Syrian refugee community in Tucson (Kathy Stocker)