Moving Forward

August 28, 2008 -- Leslie Moody

We Are All Organizers

What an intense season this is.  In the wake of groundbreaking CBA victories in Pittsburgh and Seattle, on the eve of implementation of the LA Clean Trucks program, in the midst of dozens of campaigns around the country to raise standards, support worker organizing, and engage communities in a vision for a brighter future, we are on the whole incredibly busy.  But enthusiasm begets energy, and our hard working movement is up for the challenge!

Between the coordinated Poverty Day release, the Western Organizers Convening, and the civic engagement campaign to defend opportunity in Colorado, we are integrating our work and building off of each other's strength like never before.

On August 26th, 10 partners in 7 states released reports on the regional findings for just-released census data.  Capturing the attention of dozens of media outlets, including print, radio and television, they brought this data home for cities and counties where working families are being hit hard by the economic downturn.  Researchers from across the country supported each other throughout this valuable learning and broadcasting process, and we are excited about the potential of future collaborations.

On September 5th, we convened 35 organizers, leads and apprentices from 9 partner organizations across the west and southwest.  They shared lessons from the field, including in-depth workshops for new and experienced staff on power analysis, organizing and escalation strategy, mentoring and supervision, and sustaining ourselves in the movement.  This amazing group of organizers illustrated what a powerful front line we have to develop community and worker leaders and run winning campaigns in our cities.

Since Labor Day, 43 organizers, researchers, directors and community leaders from Partnership affiliates around the country have committed to come to Colorado and support FRESC in what is proving to be one of the hottest campaigns of a lifetime.  Extremist attacks on equal opportunity, union organizing, and public employees have galvanized an incredible coalition, and FRESC is leading the charge to defend workers' rights.

Whether for one week or three, your energy and passion is needed to protect Colorado's future.  The recent gains made by FRESC, 9to5, the Colorado Progressive Coalition, ACORN and dozens of other social change organizations in the state stand to be rolled back by right wing ballot initiatives.  In addition, the growth of a progressive labor movement, including recent organizing victories that have brought more than 30,000 public employees, hospitality workers, and janitors into a revitalized labor movement, is under direct attack.

If our Colorado sisters and brothers lose, we all lose.

Many of you know that I live in Denver, and cut my teeth in organizing here, and you are probably thinking that this is a selfish ploy to bring the entire Partnership to my hometown.  There is some truth to that.  The greater truth is that we all need to go where we are needed, when we are needed, if we are to win justice in this country.  Today it is Denver, next time it may be your city, and it is all of our work to keep each other strong and successful as our movement grows and takes on greater challenges.

Finally, I can guarantee that if you join us in Denver, we will make it worth your while with an energizing campaign, incredible cross-training, and a chance to work alongside some of the best organizers in the country.  What more could you want?

Solidarity!

Leslie Moody
Partnership Executive Director