-- GET ORGANIZED --
HOW TO GROW THE RESISTANCE
It is key to figure out what motivates people to act. This may be different in different areas. Know your audience by tapping into the “locals” in any given area.
Gain as much knowledge as you can about regulations for your state or specific area.
Set up a structure. Start small with launching a social media Facebook site for one region (can be a county, geographic region, large district). Don’t start too small - you will be able to reach smaller areas through “satellite pages.”
You need to change the conversation. You want your message to be heard over and over until it is the accepted thought of the masses. Take lessons from the marketing community.
Once you get a firm grasp on your message, spreading that message is important.
Advertising with minimal $ (all can be ordered in bulk to save $)
Using sites like Indiegogo and gofundme.com for raising money for larger cost advertising such as the following:
Hold local forums
Once you have enough of a following and parents begin to take mass action, you can have a big effect on local and state campaigns.
It is important to join forces with organizations that share your vision and have similar goals.
This can get tricky, as you need to navigate around organizations that have been corrupted by reformers or politics, but there are many good ones around. Local education groups, statewide organizations aimed at maintaining arts and music, urban groups working toward building community schools rather than charter takeovers, grassroots organizations, and local and sometimes state PTA organizations can all be allies. I work very closely with local teacher associations, regional union leaders, and caucus leaders (caucuses within the union often take a stronger stance to support the cause). It is important to maintain an independence from these groups, but certainly use the resources and access to people to your advantage. Whenever I run across an individual or an organization that seems to be getting themselves “out there” with a similar message, I reach out to see if we can coordinate actions or efforts. A word of caution: make sure the groups you collaborate with have motivations that match yours. Once your group’s name is linked to another, even briefly, it becomes difficult to distance yourself from its name. Example: we have had many groups pop up briefly in our region that come on strong, then descend into political extremism, hatred, and in-fighting. When it comes to grassroots organizations, much of our power lies with our reputations. Keep your reputation above the fray.
Groups to connect with
This is key to any movement. You can have access to thousands with a single post.
This movement is successful, because there are so many amazing leaders throughout the country.
Each has his/her own personal strengths that he/she brings. No one is looking to be the hero—we all want the same thing—to save and protect our children and public education. We will never be free of the assault on public education. Once the flood Gates (pun intended) were opened for corporate greed in education, it will never fully close. It is our responsibility to create new leaders to continually add strength to this movement. Give others responsibility and they will rise to the occasion. Everyone can have a voice in this. Every parent is an expert on his/her own child and what his/her child needs. Give them the opportunity to be heard, and heroes will rise out of the masses.
Paint the Road Red – we chose one road (with a lot of traffic) that ran across the entire south shore of LI (45 mile stretch). Union groups, parents, kids, and community members all wore red and went to the closest location to them along that road with signs. There were thousands that participated all across the Island with lots of press.