Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Who do you know?

The interesting thing about the demographics of Tennessee is that there are a few cities, and then there are big stretches of nothing. I mean there is a lot of space with very few people out there, I mean John Wilder's Senate district alone encompasses 8 complete counties. This presents a certain amount of challenge, shall we say, for the organizer.

Now supposing that you are a resident of one of these more rural counties and you have become interested in TCASK (and we certainly hope that you have). You may not have an easy organizational structure to allow you to spread your passion of abolition, and it is certainly hard for you to be a TCASK chapter all by yourself. It can also be hard for individuals to fit into the TCASK structure with our committees for outreach, legislation, and fundraising. Obviously, you can't be the representative for your area on all three committees. You'd be overworked like crazy, but if you only are a part of one, your efforts kind of get pigeon-holed and we may never grow in your area like you'd like. What to do?

Well here's a suggestion. Ask yourself, "Who do I know?" Who would be a good fit in one of these committees. Joining a committee, that meets by conference call, can allow new members to become involved quickly, but without putting the burden of organizing an entire region completely on them. It can also allow them to feel connected to both the staff (a representative of which meets with each committee) and other abolitionists around the state. Meanwhile, it allows you to continue as the bulwark of abolition in the area and builds are organizational capacity and structure in your region as well. And we all know someone. Someone who could really offer some good fundraising ideas, or might know a little about local politics and be interested in working on the legislative committee.

So instead of asking ourselves, "How can I organize these big three counties?" ask yourself, "Who do I know?" It might lead you to organizational success faster, and it'll help you keep your peace of mind.
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