Relational organizing

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Relational organizing

Community Change and our partners are bringing the basics of community organizing into civic engagement strategies that are proven to increase participation in our democracy. 

Our vision is to develop a network of community members who encourage people they know–friends, family, and neighbors–to take action. This kind of volunteer leadership is at the heart of organizing–now, we’re providing digital tools to make it easier. Cristina in Nevada, for example, can get a reminder about the U.S. Census, check her personal contacts for folks who might not think to be counted, send a text message, and start a conversation with her friends and family members across the country. The people she knows are more likely to respond to Cristina since they already know and trust her. 

Our sister advocacy organization, Community Change Action, is using this tool to drive voter participation along with 37 state partners. They launched one of the largest relational organizing programs in the country in the summer of 2019. 

This type of relational organizing has a rich history in our country, including in the Civil Rights Movement and the United Farm Workers Movement. By training our partners on new digital tools and teaching them how to effectively scale up their programs, we can fuse these old-school organizing tactics with new technology to reach existing social networks — friends, family, neighbors — through the communications tools they already use. 

Community Change is uniquely positioned to support this kind of organizing to grow to a larger scale than has ever been previously possible. We, along with our grassroots partners, have worked hard to develop trust and credibility with key constituencies in our communities. Our partners have an existing base of activists who trust that the best model to change their lives is to work on the issues that impact their lives while also engaging in their democracy.