Friday, February 26, 2010

Live Blog Feed: ESLC Annual Planning Conference

Process and Participation in Community Planning

Anne Fitzgerald-Pittman, Field Organizer
Maryland League of Conservation Voters

What is your goal?

This step is often overlooked in processes. We need goals to define success, to know if what we want to do is achievable, to make sure that we are all on the same page, and to drive our work efficiently.

Goals must be achievable and specific. You can have overall goals and short-term goals. All must be integrated into one vision. Involve the key players in the process.

When establishing plans with goals do the following. . . .

#1 Work Backwards
#2 Be Flexible
#3 Be Responsive

It is also important for you to figure out what your message is. What message will most get the citizens in my town to take action on this issue or to at least be informed and engaged?

A message is a short statement that lays out exactly what you want citizens and decision makers to think of when they think of your issue.

Who do you need in the room?
-civic leaders
-agency officials
-community members

How do you get them in the room? Use targeted recruitment by directly contacting the person you want at the meeting. Mass recruitment is contact one person who will then contact several others.

You must ask people, don't just let them know about a meeting. Follow up with them and make sure that they know that you really want them there.

Quick tip: The community land fill or dump may be the place you take your trash, but it is also a great place to connect with people. In a couple Saturdays you could make contact with 1000s of people in your small community.

Public speaking is important. When you speak be sure to introduce yourself, state the problem, present the solution, emphasize the urgency, give the call to action. Here is a quote for thought: "Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated."-Abraham Lincoln

When speaking in public: practice out loud, keep it simple, engage people, pace yourself, memorize it, and be yourself. Anne says to "Think about your messengers and much as your messages."
Contact Anne at

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