Organizing in our communities is a foundational part of building a grassroots, independent political movement. While we cannot send organizers into various communities to help local Green Socialist organizers on the ground, we want to provide as many resources as we can to help you organizing in your community. From media basics to how to run a meeting, our Party Building Resources are designed to help you with various aspects, both internal and external, of building a grassroots movement in your community.
Local Organizing Resources
How to Run a Meeting
To organize big actions and political campaigns, we must work with others and cooperate with them to develop and implement a plan. But who wants to work on a plan they had no say in creating? This is where a meeting is important!
Meetings allow members to discuss, deliberate, and refine proposals and plans for actions, campaigns, statements, and more.
Many hear the word “meeting” and immediately start rolling their eyes. And for good reason! “Meetings” held in a corporate or capitalist context can often become one-way dictations from management. Meetings without agendas or goals can result in wasted time and frustrated members as the meeting concludes without any actionable decisions. Sadly, these problems can sometimes transfer into our green socialist organizing spaces if we are not careful to teach other good meeting facilitation skills and consensus processes.
Local Media Guide
Whether local papers, radio, TV, podcasts, or blogs, local media is an important medium for getting out your message and growing your audience of potential supporters. While mainstream national media rarely gives positive coverage to independent political organizing, alternative and local media sources will often cover us, especially if the time is put in to develop relationships with journalists.
Local Merchandise Guide
Merchandise is a great way for a party or campaign to increase awareness, provide members with a way of showing their support, and even offer a supplemental revenue source. But with Green Party’s limited resources, operating a store can often seem like a big task.
This guide is intended to provide an overview of various merchandise and fulfillment systems that are available to Greens. These options should allow any Green Party or campaign, no matter their capacity or resource level, to offer at least a minimum selection of Green branded merchandise to their supporters.
How to Run a Reading/Discussion Group Guide
Murray Bookchin, who founded social ecology, a theory that strongly influenced early Green Socialist thought, strongly advocated the discussion and study group as the first step of any revolutionary movement. A group of individuals meets to expand their knowledge of radical thought and form a radical intellectual community; through the give and take of discussion, can eventually form ideas for next steps in organizing and political activity. According to Bookchin, study groups help create solidarity and a shared language — with a shared coherent vision — for building a mass, organizing, political movement!
This guide is designed to help a member of the Green Socialist Organizing Project (GSOP) create a new reading and discussion group.
Member-Guided Discussions Guide
Educational events are an important part of any independent political organizing project. They provide an opportunity to establish baseline political education. They can provide an opportunity to collaborate with current and potential allies, both individuals and organizations. They can provide an area of work that your current organizers can engage in. They can provide access to potential members and supporters that are outside of your usual engagement areas.
But the prospect of developing a whole political/skills education curriculum can be overwhelming for a local grassroots organization. This guide provides an outline for how to run a decentralized discussion group. focused either internally or externally, that requires minimal resources to organize.
Hot Topics Guide
Running a consistent traditional education program requires the setting of topics, booking of guests aligned with those topics, the preparation of guests and hosts/moderators/etc, and more. In short, it can be a lot of work to do well, especially if the responsibilities fall on too few people and as time goes on direct contacts for experts, presenters, guests begins to run dry. Beyond the logistics of booking and scheduling, while the use of experts and guests to guide a discussion can ensure quality of information, it also creates a more one-directional transfer of information that minimizes the knowledge, experiential, theoretic, or practical, of the “students,” at whom the information is directed.
An alternative to this more one-directional approach is popular education, a method by which participants share their knowledge and experience concerning a topic and then through discussion, identifies common themes and develops action oriented conclusions. This guide, will give an overview of how to run decentralized education program.
Why a Mass Membership Party?
To avoid the political cul-de-sac of choosing between a greater and lesser evil, the left must commit itself to building an independent, membership-based working-class party. Building a mass-membership party is not only important for creating an accountable democratic structure that expresses the will of the membership. It is essential for unifying the working-class majority to take power. Local branches should serve as forums for political education where the disparate elements of the working class can find their common interests.
This resource looks at why your local/state chapter (and GPUS) should consider a dues-model of membership.
The Case for an Independent Party
This book serves as a guide for ecosocialists who want to change the capitalist system, not just lobby the capitalists’ political representatives in the Democratic Party.