Thursday, April 19, 2007


Warms an Ol' Organizer's Heart

As we look to hire an organizer here in the TCASK state office, one of the big questions I always ask applicants is, "What is the difference between an activist and an organizer?" Basically, what is an organizer's goal? There are a lot of possible answers, but, for me, an organizer works to make themselves obsolete by empowering the people they work with to take effective action on their own.

It's a tough job and I don't know how regularly we all succeed, but today, I got an email from a TCASK member that reminded me that, occasionally, we do get it right. By permission, I'm going to share the email with all of you:

Just want to thank you again for being such a good leader and organizer for those of us from Memphis who have been working to end the death penalty in Tennessee, and especially for the Justice Day on the Hill experience. Without your leadership, I probably would not have requested an appointment with my reps for last week's Catholic Day on the Hill. I returned to Nashville with confidence to speak up about immigration reform because of my years of involvement in teaching English to immigrants and refugees. I brought two people with me from (my church) who had never done this before. (One) was especially concerned about health care and TennCare reform because of her job as a social worker with the elderly poor. And they looked to ME as if I knew what I was doing! You've made me a more effective advocate because I not only speak up locally now, but I am no longer timid about approaching our representatives who make policy decisions."

TCASK works hard to build the skill set of our activists with trainings and events like Justice Day on the Hill. It's really thrilling to know that we are succeeding!

Thank you to all the activists who are making our work a success!

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