Getting Your Local/Org to Help Out: A Handy How-to Guide.
This is a guide for union members and others on our J20 defense campaign and where you might fit in to it. Written by a former teamster rank-and-filer.
Here at the Mid-Atlantic GDC, we've spent a good amount of time putting together a nice letter explaining what's going on and asking for organizations to endorse a demand to drop all charges related to the J20 inauguration protests. We want to show a breadth of support, and that's going to take your help. Here's how:
- Know the background: if you're going to be asking others to support the campaign, it's likely you'll gets some questions. You don't need to be an expert, but feel free to email info@midatlanticGDC.com if you're unclear about anything.
- Consider your organization/local's culture: There's a lot of information in this, and for people who don't know anything about it, it might be a bit of an overload. Try and think about what the folks in your local or org might be most moved by, and make sure to emphasize that. For some groups, this might be the violence from the police that day. Others might be more engaged in anti-Trump protests. For others, it might be the confiscation of a union card for evidence. Either way, just think about how to best engage with other members of your group.
- Get on the Agenda: union locals have regular meetings for members. They are frequently put on the local's website, and if not, you can generally ask a steward or other union rep about when and where they are. Show up early and ask if you can speak for a minute about something you'd like to get the local to endorse. Helps to have a copy of the letter. A lot of union local officials will prefer to get things done at the level of the executive board rather than in the regular meeting. Ask if you can at least talk a bit about what's going on.
- Keep it short and simple: give a quick overview of what's going on, ask for support--don't go into every detail if you think that will overload folks. Make your case and hope for the best!
- Follow up: This is the most important. If the motion passes, make sure that we know about it and can put it on our site. Also, ask for someone to put it on the union's social media or website. Likewise, follow us so that when important updates come in, you can let others who are interested know.