Friday, December 30, 2005

 

why persistence and longevity matter...


ever been in "that place" where you wondering if in opposing the death penalty you're playing out the role of don quixote???

many of "us" have - first you have to admit it ... good, good ... and then you can begin to heal ...

and there would, then, be those mornings where you just don't "feel the love," feel cynical, maybe your heart has hardened, or maybe the existential buzz is gone and you just need to feel like you're getting somewhere ...



totally understandable ... but, you musn't give in to those impulses ... here's why ...

well first the obvious - we need you! ... organizers need activists who can become organizers who can mobilize activists ... who can become organizers (tell me stop when you see the pattern emerging)...

but less obviously your persistence, your marathon approach, will pay dividends ... how do i know???

k', fair enuf ... just yesterday i received a call from the news director at a clearchannel owned a.m. station which also happens to have a news department that sends statewide feeds to small community stations' news departments across the state - every hour on the hour...

why'd he call you ask??? - that's an astute question - lemme tell you - because we're here, we've been here, and he knows we're going to be here until we work ourselves out of a job ... we didn't send out a press release; there was no recent local news story that put the death penalty on his radar; there was no reason ...

except that he was looking ahead to the january legislative session, he knew that we had pursued moratorium and study legislation in the past, and he wanted to know whether or not we would be pushing legislation next session and if so, how would we get the attention of legislators???

it opened the door to lay out our 3 year legislative plan, how we were doing the work, traveling to legislative districts, identifying local activists, training them to be local organizers, and building a grassroots network capable of flexing some political muscle 2-3 years out... and to talk about the potential for a schizophrenic (paranoid type) to be executed in february...

so we may or may not have gotten a particular message onto the airwaves (i can't monitor their news casts from here) but we did continue to educate an important media point person and reinforce our importance and our utility as the go-to place for death penalty information and analysis...

and that's because we have been persistent ... we have tenaciously hung on when times were lean ... when it appeared that windmills were all we were doing battle with ...

our time is a-coming ... the environment has shifted and as a movement we have matured and managed to learn what we need to be doing day-to-day to be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they arise ...

so remember this now or hear me later ... persistence and longevity matter...

peace out...

<3
Comments :
keep tiltin' at those windmills!
 
I can only second these comments with, if you will, a "personal witness." I joined this movement in 2000, after the execution of Robert Glen Coe, and I knew almost nothing about the death penalty issue. I certainly didn't know anything about being an activist or an organizer, having spent much of my life in yon ivory tower. When the Rutherford County Chapter of TCASK asked me to represent it at the State Board, I forgot to go to my first meeting (to my great chagrin). Five years later, I'm heading the State Board, know more about the death penalty than I'd like on some days, and really feel the shift in momentum that is taking place in this state and in our State Office. So take heart, keep working, and we will win!
 
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