You’re not alone. Growing up, none of the adults in my life were organizers. In college, no one majors in “organizing.” I sometimes still struggle myself to explain to relatives at Thanksgiving or friends over coffee what I do for a living as “Eastern NC Organizer.” And yet organizing is an incredibly important part of building grassroots power in our democracy. My hope is that through contributions to this blog I can share glimpses into the world of organizing and the issues facing Democracy North Carolina and our state. I’ll start by sharing about my past few days on the job!
For a lot of folks, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day off work, but in the world of organizing it’s an exciting and busy time when people’s interest in civic engagement is peaked. This year, MLK Day presented two great opportunities for me to organize against the insane influence wealthy corporate interests have over our state and democracy: 1) Making sure people’s voices from across the region are heard at a Progress Energy rate hike hearing in Snow Hill next month and 2) building support for an effort to get the Rocky Mount City Council to join with many other cities across NC and the US in passing a resolution opposing the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
To aid me in these efforts, I had hundreds of our new informative 2013 MLK brochures and a copy of the new Your Voice, Their Money video, both of which highlight the power of civic engagement and the need to act locally to raise awareness about the detrimental effects the Citizens United ruling is having our elections and government.
A fundamental tenant of organizing is that while one individual can make a difference it is individuals acting in accord together that builds the power to make change. Democracy NC has local chapters of dedicated individuals across the state that meet monthly, including chapters in Greenville and Rocky Mount. We know that to make real progress on these two issues (and others) we need reach out to groups across the region and build a coalition comprised of anyone determined to fight against the steamrolling of our paychecks, our environment and our democracy by large corporations like Duke Energy.
So, many advocates from our local chapters and I set out together to pass out literature, speak in front of crowds, talk to individuals one-on-one, and show a film screening of the Your Voice, Their Money video. It was a great way to spend MLK Day and pretty typical day in the life of an organizer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about what organizing looks like here at Democracy NC. I’m looking forward to sharing more on this blog about the on the ground organizing in eastern North Carolina as the year progresses. I’ll leave you with a few images from the weekend.