What Can I Do?
How to Organize/How to Win!
HOW TO ORGANIZE / HOW TO WIN!
Don’t agonize, organize!
MBCA is powered by YOU, and people like you. We’ve all had our own learning curve in discovering the best ways to be effective advocates. There are many paths to keeping our desert a terrific place to live, some involving working with others, some where you can act alone. Below are some links and resources that can help you move past frustrating obstacles to the next level of effectiveness.
Table of Contents:
BASICS AND STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING:
- Organize to Win: A Grassroots Activist’s Handbook, by Jim Britell. One of the best free Internet resources on organizing around environmental issues or any issue. This down-to-earth guide to organizing community campaigns can help the greenest and least empowered among us become a lion in defending his or her community.
Too long, unproductive, tense, full of hidden agendas these are common complaints that cause people to avoid meetings. It doesn’t have to be that way. Ideally, a meeting is simply an opportunity for people to pool their information on an issue and together come to a decision about taking an action. And it’s EVERY participant’s responsibility to make a meeting a success. Learn more about Meeting Judo and making meetings a fair and constructive experience for everyone with the resources below.
- The Meetings Toolbox
- “Process Happens” Think you can ignore “process” at your meeting? Don’t fool yourself; there’s process going on at every meeting. The question is, is it good process, or bad process? Veteran desert activist Phil Klasky provides a short guide to gaining control of the process in your meetings and helping your group be more successful.
- Coming to Consensus: Tips for Cooperation and Collaboration in Decision Making, or How to Run Meetings So Everyone Wins, by Mark Shepard
LOCAL: The Brown Act governs meeting access for local public bodies in California and mandates that such meetings must be "open and public," actions may not be secret, and action taken in violation of open meetings laws may be voided. The First Amendment Project Website provides a simple guide to the Brown Act.
STATE: The Bagley-Keene Act governs meeting access for state agencies. View the text of the Act here.
NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM:
- SLAPP suits: “The United States and California constitutions grant every person the right to participate in government and civic affairs, speak freely on public issues, and petition government officials for redress of grievances. Yet, individuals and community groups are often sued for exercising these constitutional rights. These suits are known as ‘SLAPPs,’ or ‘Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.’” View the First Amendment Project’s extensive on-line guide to protecting yourself from SLAPPs here.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION:
The First Amendment Project Website has a Freedom of Information Resource Center with on-line guides to the California Access to Public Records Act (CAPRA); the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); and courts and court records.