Words by Roland Sykes
Words by R. Sykes words to TRIPIL (now TRPIL) on the conversion of our CIL to a membership-driven CIL:
The name "Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living" sounds good to me.
All Board Members MUST be connected to DIMENET Hotnews, daily.
You must begin shoving the info at them that they have to read in newsgroups. Educate them. Use the tools to create knowledge and consensus on the priority issues.
You need to focus on brainstorming, then filtering and defining your list of issues that you will write up that will be in your Issue Book that you use to explain to folks what it IS that you do. i.e. organize communities around issues to be solved. Then use the Issue Book to recruit support for your cause and encourage folks to help in any of the issue campaigns they want in any capacity they can.
Once you have the issues developed, defined and wrote up they should be ranked by the membership of TRIPIL. NOTE!! This ritual should be a formal process. All should be encouraged to participate.
Hold a series of Forums if needed or desired and then collect the rankings. These rankings are your market research for determining the top five issues that you should focus your organizing around in order to gain the most support and begin the process of checking off issues and moving on down the ranking as the solutions come.
Once the five top issues have been determined Set up fields in the mailing list system for each of the issue groups and identify which information should go to which people.
Secure a leader (not one of your staff) to head up each of the top five issues.
- This person has to agree to use the tools to become informed and educated on their issue and become the spokesperson for the issue with the media.
- They are responsible for recruiting consumers to the issue group and should provide names to add to their mailing list.
- The issue coordinator must also be the source for timely communication pieces to be sent via mail to their group. Backgrounder information, meeting and event notices, calls to action.
- They are responsible for the development of an atmosphere that promotes all members of the group working cooperatively as a team to solve the issue.
You can assign portions of staff time to assist the issue coordinator as needed to prepare mailings, organize meetings, do research and such. As I once mentioned to you. At the height of the Tulsans for Accessible Public Transit TAPT Campaign Woody had Cheryl of My Staff Assigned to his project 25% of her time. And he worked her hard. He could not have done it without her.
They can learn by using the info and become a force you would not believe. You are in an enviable position. You have a capable staff and a new Leadership group to grow. You are on the edge of having full time affordable access to all the known knowledge in the universe at their fingertips. Love it...
As for Kevin Reed's work on the web page. You might call it kind. He does have a contract? Right. Just a Soldier doing his job. You will come to more fully appreciate the range of his talents. Soon enough.
COMMANDER SYKES, December 16, 1996