The leadership training has brought a new issue to our CWA triangle in that we need to build up our membership. It is CWA’s triangle to organize, build movements and represent. Our local needs to organize, we must have power; to gain power we must continue to identify our self-interest and values as a local. We need to identify those in our communities that do not have representation and present our issue. If we don’t we will not be successful in keeping our triangle strong. The new tools I have learned through the leadership training from Jobs with Justice will allow me to continue our fight to build our local and continue to bargaining for fairness and equality. Our membership has declined in the last 5-10 years and is at an all-time low. Local 6450 was at one time the largest local in legacy T. We need to identify and chart those companies and industry in our community, and begin to plan our mission. I feel very confident we can identify our base and allies within the community that can help achieve our goal of raising our membership within our local. As part of the organizing committee I look forward to bringing these actions to light and working with all of you.
I would like to ask District 6 of CWA to hold an external organizing training to gain strength and new tools on how to organize those within our communities’ that do not have representation. With the new tools I have gained through the JWJ leadership training and the previous trainings, including CWA district 6 internal organizing, the mobilization training for Legacy T CWA bargaining, and the CLUW leadership training. I feel as though this is the last piece I am missing to strengthen our local. Thank you again to my local for giving me the opportunity to engage and represent our Union in the community.
This training really allowed me to see different aspect of organizing people. The first part of training focused on our value triangle, by understanding the basics of having an effective and powerful public life by mastering the values triangle.
As we build relationships publicly and privately with people in everyday life it is important to know their self-interest and values. Once we understand one’s values and their self-interest, they may or may not share with you, you can then start to build your base. Your base will always include relationships with others which share the same values, for example advancing the social and economic justice; or continuing to bring fairness to the work place, relationships are long-term, transparent, accountable and reciprocal. Once you have established your base you can then have healthy agitation. Agitation is a positive interaction with a person within a relationship to shake the “dirt” of any hesitation about our values and self-interest. When we agitate someone within our relationship we can help them understand and see our values within the organization. This is important because sometimes our base can become unaligned with our values, and we may need to help pull them back in by a 1 on 1 about what their self-interest may be. Self-interest is the primary motivator for why someone takes action or doesn’t. It is what drives them deeper than their immediate wants and needs. This then can create power. Power is the ability to control, create, and prevent change with organized people and organize money. We now have our triangle.
The primary mission of CLUW is to unify all union women in a viable organization to determine our common problems and concerns and to develop action programs within the framework of our unions to deal effectively with our objectives.
Training included how to perform 1 on 1’s and meetings within the public and our own base to successfully determine if they share our values and self-interest and begin to build power.
To make this easier we must look at our own life tree and what has shaped our own self-interests. In looking into our own life tree we discover what roots us, by digging deep into our life experiences, those moments that have influenced our life and shaped the way we have grown up. Our roots include our private relationships and filters where our values come from, this becomes the trunk of who we are in life. When we know our values, and why we have those values, we then begin to blossom our leaves. Our leaves include our public relationships. Our public relationships are what we can build power on. Who we know and how we are seen by our neighbors and acquaintances.
To build public relationships we must have meetings and do 1 on 1 with someone. When we request a meeting with someone or an organization, it is not to waste their time, have a plan. A pre meeting will allow you to frame your meetings and set up the agenda and goals for the meeting. Once you know your agenda, identify your leadership within the meetings. Set up the ground rules. Make sure to clarify why we are at the meeting and what we want to accomplish. We can then hold participates accountable by setting up actions. It is always important to debrief your meeting with the leadership team and allow for positive and negative feedback.
When doing 1 on 1’s it important not to take written notes. You want to research the person before agreeing to meet. Knowing who they are, will ease the tension, allowing more time to discuss some of their roots and what their values are and why. Because we are trying to dig deep into their roots, writing down information may seem uncomfortable. We want to actively listen to what the speaker says, means intends, and feels. So responding in a way the lets the speakers know that they are heard and understood it will allow us to build trust and empathy. When we have gained trust and empathy the speaker will open up to us and bring out their values and self-interest. It’s important to be self-aware, empathetic, control your body language, build a connection, have a presence, and react when needed. When we keep that in mind we will have gained information to help lead us in building the right relationship with that speaker or organization.
To have a successful one on one or meeting, it’s important to know what the BIG problem is, and how this person or organization can help. We must first identify an issue of the problem and work from there. When we identify the issue it allows us to break up the BIG problem. The issue must be specific, winnable, and have a clear target. This then allows us to hold someone accountable for that specific issue. Coming up with an issue cut is another way of coming up with a slogan for issue. An issue cut is an agitation phrase that creates a moral crisis in the listener and demands action. It allows us to pierce through those that may not have the education of the issue or may feel helpless about the issue; this issue cut will gain attention to those not directly in our base. This will then help Identify our allies or groups we can work with; usually on one specific issue only. These allies are not in our base but share the same self-interest of our specific issue, and can help us win and gain the power needed to build a stronger organization or campaign. Once we identify some of our allies we can then start to research them and begin to have one on one’s and meetings with them. This allows us to organize people and begin to organize money to gain power. But first we must know why our opposition has power is very important this will allow us to break their power and gain what we want from the issue. We must never stop power analyzing our target. To power analyze someone is to know what drives the organized people and organized money to their triangle. And finding points of agitation, weakness, strength and connection so that you can use it to control, prevent, and create a change. This then allows us to make rational decisions about what you can and should do. Without the full understanding of how your target gains power you will not be able to figure out what is really happening, or why anyone is doing what they are doing.
When trying to organize money for a campaign or specific issue, it’s important to research before asking. Reaching out to your base is the first thing, through members’ dues, or donations. When reaching out to allies do your research and make sure they support your issue. One of the most important things about how to organize money is to simply ASK. Without asking you will never know. Upon asking be prepared to identify your issue and acknowledge how they will be able to achieve your issue cut or goal.
The last day of training allowed us to bring everything together and create our own campaign. Today was exciting to be able to use the tools learned to achieve a specific goal, and gain power.
When putting a campaign together it’s important to remember our values and to never misalign our own self-interest. We must start with identify a problem, cutting out the specific issue we can win and making sure we have a clear target on who can be held accountable. Applying that information to our goals will help direct a smooth campaign, and allow our value triangle to grow within our organization. Whether or not we win the campaign our triangle must never be disrupted. We have to continue to engage the members of our base and encourage new allies to join our fights. This is the only way to continue our fight in social and economic justice for all.