Friday, February 16, 2007


Gittin' Er Done in East TN

Well there's been so much going on at the capitol and around the country, that I haven't even had the opportunity to report on my two day trip to East Tennessee earlier this week. And it was a terrific trip, so I do want to share a little bit.

I spent time in two cities in East TN, Sewanee and Knoxville, and had great visits to each. In Sewanee, I held back to back lobby trainings at 4:30 and 7:00 in the evening (yeah, it was a little tiring). These trainings were set up by Leslie Lytle, and all hats off to her! We trained 14 new citizen lobbyists against the death penalty, a number of whom have signed up to take part in our March 1st write-a-thons and Justice Day on the Hill on March 27th! All from an area where we really haven't worked previously. Hats off to Leslie!

As for Knoxville, what a day on Tuesday! I had six meetings, with everyone from college professors at Maryville College and the UT Law School to folks at different churches to NASW members. Six meetings and then a lobby training in one day is a lot, but it was extremely useful. Because organizing is all about forming relationships, and we need to form them all across the state. So these face to fact meetings are essential to building strong connections, to making new contacts (I came away from these meetings with a very long list of new contacts to follow up with - so long, in fact, that I haven't gotten to all of them yet!), and to bringing new ideas and energy to local affiliates (there's an entire church youth group that is planning on attending Justice Day on the Hill for instance).

So get set, East Tennessee, because TCASK activists, energized and empowered, are coming at ya! And I am pumped up!
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