It's a great privilege to help people create the kind of gathering that works toward creating a better world, or just a little corner of that world. I had this privilege as a visual listener at ActLocal 2017, NYC event. Here was the billing of the event.
"ActLocal will bring together hundreds of community organizers, faith leaders, and citizen leaders in cities across the country to build local power and promote allyship across the progressive movement"
I was happy to help participants think over strategy, learn from each other, and weave a tighter fabric among NYC's progressive coalition.
Got this nice note from one of the organizers after the event:
"I can't tell you how many people commented on your work, and how much it added to the experience."
It was my pleasure! Let's go improve politics in NY State and beyond!
The event started with a few thoughts: 1) After great trauma, there is an opportunity to create positive change, as after the 9-11 attacks in New York. 2) The goal of the day is to support and amplify each others work. 3) Even though we are discussing serious issues, let's mix in some lightness and creativity. The we had a couple of quick presentations to kick off the day, one on creating better access to voting in NY State, and the other on the NY Yemeni bodega strike in response to the attempted travel ban.
Next various organizers discussed challenges and triumphs of the last year, of which there were many.
NY State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, weighed in with "When they go low, we go local," meaning states and municipalities need to pick up the slack when the Federal Government is behaving in ways that are not working for us.
In another session we discussed major players in the NY State progressive ecosystem-Labor, the Working Families Parties, deep-rooted community based organizations, and a constellation of single issue groups.
Travon Mayers of Common Cause New York led an in depth conversation about next steps to remove barriers to voting in New York State. Finally folks wrapped up with a single word each including (picked at random from a long list) hope, opportunities, energized, determined, trust, and action. Here's to a powerful 2018!