Monday, July 17, 2006


Personal Contacts

The state of Tennessee is big. Now it's no Texas, but there is no denying that there is a lot of space there. And an interesting bit of the Tennessee geography is how so many of the big cities are right on the ends of the state and there is a lot of space in between them without a very large population. However, those areas still have state representatives and often very powerful ones, such as House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and Lieutenant Governor John Wilder, and we need to be able to demonstrate support within their districts to rural legislators as well. And that means that we have to get out there and start talking to folks in those areas.

One of the ways that we do that is doing the general systematic outreach to faith communities within those llegislative districts, but, especially as areas get more spread out, it's often harder to locate networks of people, so we need to work through some personal contacts. Let's say that I know someone in Bolivar, Tennessee. I give them a call and ask them about people they know - their minister, active people in the community, professor at a local college, head of a local NAACP Branch. Then I ask them if they will provide me contact information for three of these people (three just seems to be a good number) and (and this is an important and) if they will call the people first and tell them that I will be calling them. This way, I'm not some crazy New Yorker, currently living in Nashville, randomly calling or writing to people. Then, after I speak to each of these contacts, I may ask them to do the same. Ask a local minister to give me some other good prospective faith communities in the area and call the pastors as an introduction, etc. With this process, we can go from knowing one person in an area to doing presentations at a couple of churches, building our contact lists, holding vigils, and conducting write-a-thons.

So as we work to deepen our outreach this summer, I'll be calling the people that we know. If you live in an area where TCASK hasn't been too active yet, don't be surprised if your phone rings!
Comments :
luv yer' nuts n' bolts posts lil' jesuit dude!!!
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