Do you think you can bring together people on your street? The floor in your apartment building? Are your friends from the soccer game, or your cards night, or the kids in your band angry about the Ford plan and want to something about it? Email Us! Let’s talk.
How to Organize a Neighbourhood Committee: Suggestions
Here are some proposed ideas from Stop the Cuts on how to get a community group started, and things that might be important to think about when starting a community group:
a. Scheduling a meeting
- How do you decide when to hold a meeting?
- How did you find a place to hold your meetings?
- What kinds of things did you put in place to make your meeting accessible?
b. Running a meeting
- How do you plan the agenda for a meeting? What does a typical agenda look like?
- What different types of roles can people take on during meetings (minute taker, chair/facilitator, childcare person, etc)?
c. Staying in touch
- Do you use email lists, phone trees, etc?
- Any advice for avoiding communication breakdown?
d. Democracy in action
- How do you make decisions? (e.g. consensus vs. voting; formal vs. informal)
- In what ways do you try to encourage participatory decision-making?
e. Prioritizing issues and starting campaigns
- Many people come to new organizations with big ideas. Some are more fanciful or obscure than others.
- What processes did you use to prioritize what you wanted to work on?
- How did your organization try to avoid reinventing the wheel (replicating campaigns already taken up elsewhere)?
f. Assessing the terrain
- How did you figure out who your potential allies were?
- How did you connect with resources like money, meeting space, or materials?
- What helped you predict potential roadblocks to achieving your goals?
g. Skill-building and sharing work
- What are your strategies for making sure that people develop skills and share work?
- Does your organization have strategies for avoiding burn out?
h. Dealing with conflict
- What are some common problems/conflicts not already covered that come up in activist groups?
- What are some effective ways of dealing with these problems?
- how do you spread the word that you are starting a new organization/ neighbourhood committee/ campaign? (posters, emails, facebook…)
- how do you deal with declining meeting or event attendance?
- how do you advertise your events and campaigns?
- do you have a media strategy?
- *If you decide to start a Stop the Cuts committee get in touch with us so we can help with this part- we can add info on our site, etc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)