We just returned from three trainings in central and southern California.
In San Luis Obispo, our workshop on Strategy was hosted by their wonderfully progressive mayor, Heidi Harmon. We gave their politically active group the nickname “Endless Coalition” because they were the first group where we had to cut them off before they finished listing potential coalition partners — they had listed over 50 groups! And they already had connections with the vast majority of these groups.
We had dinner with a number of the attendees including Mayor Harmon and they have already requested that we come back to bring our Participatory Democracy workshop to their city.
In Long Beach we met with DSA’s electoral committee. Long Beach is the 7th largest city in California, with 500,000 residents, predominantly people of color. The introduction to our model inspired some good discussion about the type of coalition they could put together, which districts to focus on, how to work with the progressive members of their city council, and how to reach disaffected voters through town halls. Their goal is to have at least three DSA members elected to the nine-member city council by 2022.
- “In a brief 90 minute introductory meeting, we shared a fascinating dialogue and outlined an inspiring locally-specific vision towards building a coalition in Long Beach to take back our city’s legislature. I’d be thrilled to have a full workshop with more coalition partners in the near future. Thanks a ton!”
- “Thank you so much for coming out to introduce us to your awesome program. I’m hoping we can get a Coalition together and have you back sooner than later to help us take the next step.”
In Pasadena we met with a coalition of Indivisible groups from Pasadena, Los Angeles, and unincorporated areas like Altadena. In a condensed 2-hour workshop we introduced them to the RPA model. We’ll let their words speak for themselves.
- “Every local resistance group needs this workshop! This is a great framework to flip the power in your own local community and build leadership for higher offices!”
- “So impressed to learn of your organization as the workshop is a must for every activist and so urgent.”
- “This process was ingenious. I could see how people’s needs are identified and served more readily [by using the model they taught]. From this, everything else logically flows.”
- “Eye-opening workshop — didn’t just raise my awareness of what I didn’t know about my local government, raised my awareness of what is possible and made me believe that I can make change happen.”
- “I only learned of this 24 hours ago but am so glad I scrambled to attend. Will definitely be advocating for more just like it — especially in red areas.”