Venus Jones, our Arts and Culture Organizer, and I took a training with Sacred Heart in December that was full of insight. There are so many issues in front of us, how do we choose an issue focus? We learned that they use these criteria for choosing an organizing campaign. They ask, is it/ does it…
- deeply felt
- widely felt
- create meaningful change
- winnable in a year
- a clear demand
- grow our base
- develop new leaders
We can work hard at speaking out for social justice, but if we don’t create new policies, initiatives and change really broken systems, we are just speaking into air. So having these criteria is such a gift in focusing our actions! Here’s how that works related to campaigns we are connecting with these days….
“TRUST” – WHO YOU GONNA CALL FOR MENTAL HEALTH?
As a nation, we have witnessed repeatedly the challenges of police responses to some 911 calls. Many situations need a mental health response. As a result of the efforts of MH advocates we have a 988 number. But it isn’t working as it should yet, and there is a number with good support by a team called TRUST (Trusted Response Urgent Support Team). Our county won’t publish it now. While we work on making 988 better, this campaign is led by people who want the TRUST number to be public now.
THIS! AND THIRD ACT DAY OF ACTION MARCH 21
Efforts are being joined with already 54 events planned in 20 states. People are moving money out of climate destroying banks and and will take direct action outside of banks in communities all over the country on that day. THIS! gives people support in moving their money and growing the base through climate conversations.
THE PEOPLES’ AGENDA ON HOUSING
Housing advocates came together to create the Peoples’ Agenda asking City Council for three things this year that could abate the growing housing disparities in San Jose:
- right to legal counsel for those facing evictions 2. strengthen the Community Opportunity to Purchase Agreement so that individuals and non-profit organizations have a first option to buy property, which is often swept up by investors and developers 3. end the criminalization of homelessness
The picture below marks the kick-off of this campaign and the presentation of these 3 demands to the City Council