Friday, December 02, 2005



Well, maybe cheap comes with the wrong connotation. Can all the Southern abolition organizations that have tons of excess money and staff please step forward? . . . .

So as is probably evident from the clamor of organizations stepping forward after my previous sentence, we're blessed with many things in the abolition movement, passion, truth, committed people, but we don't generally have a lot of money (and of course this is true of most groups working for social justice). And that brings us to the phone, the organizer's best friend.

Since arriving in Tennessee three months ago I have spent a lot of time on the phone. Every week I send letters to 3-5 churches in targeted legislative districts, which are then followed up with phone calls 9 days later. Imagine my having to visit all of them. Even though people sometimes don't seem to know how to answer the phone, it is just so much more efficient.

Plus, Tennessee's a long state. I mean we exist in two separate time zones. To drive across the state we're talking about a 7 hour trip. And we have chapters all around. It's hard to keep track of everything going on and we need to coordinate our work in the state office with all the great work going on around the state, so we turn to our friend the phone again. And our friend the conference call.

Last night, I was able to spend an hour on the phone with some of our members in Chattanooga. It's been hard to get things going in Chattanooga, but with just an hour of orienting me to the situation and talking about some organizing strategies, techniques, and resources that we have been using in the state office, we came up with a fairly good outline of our strategy in Memphis over the next 3 or 4 months! Putting your heads together really works.

We also use conference calls for our monthly committee meetings (see "Who do you know" previously posted), and now someone from the state office will be on each of those calls as well, so really maximize our work.

So remember, even if you're off in a deserted rural area, as long as you have a phone you can be a big part of TCASK's work. God Bless the telephone, the conference call, and cheapness, I mean fiscal responsibility!
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