On the evening of Tuesday, 6/15 VOP members and ally organizations and friends went to bat for the residents of a Mobile Home park in Chesapeake, Virginia. The residents of this park faced eviction if the owner/applicant has its way. Thanks to a collective organized effort by the Virginia Organizing Project, the City Council was put at checkmate. The Council voted unanimously to deny the application. For now the residents stay right where they are with a roof right over their head.
There are several things I learned about this experience:
Your best spokespersons on your side are the ones who would be most impacted. Bring out those directly affected by the issue and let them do the talking.
Heed to Sinclair Lewis' quote that says" "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (I add: or election votes) depends upon his not understanding it!" This is true of politicians – local or otherwise – and anyone involved in real estate.
Take the turnout you want, multiply times two, solicit the greater number and keep your expectations cautiously optimistic.
Keep the momentum going. It's all about momentum. Once you organize, it's much easier to keep the momentum going with not as much work next time.
Don't expect big results within a small timeframe. Great things take time to accomplish. "Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch. Yard by yard everything is hard." Take small steps but think big.
Every successful organized effort is a worth the time and effort regardless of the outcome. Don't keep a hard score as a measure of success. Just keep your efforts going in the right direction.
When it rains…dance!
It felt good to win one for a change!