Staff lead: Annie Levenson-Falk (alevensonfalk[at]citizensleague.org or 651-289-1072)
About the ProgramThe Citizens League started the Action Groups program a few years ago in response to demand from emerging leaders for more substantial engagement opportunities. Many had experience volunteering in service roles, but they told us they wanted to take on more responsibility.
The 2010-2011 Action Groups will be self-led groups of members organized to advance Citizens League policy work while receiving support and civic leadership training from the Citizens League. In response to members' interest, groups have been organized around Health and Medical Care, Pathways to Prosperity, and Transportation.
GoalThe goal of the Action Groups program is to give emerging leaders opportunities to build their civic leadership and active citizenship skills and their networks while advancing important policy work.
This goal is both for the participants as individuals and for the Citizens League as an organization: to build civic capacity in Minnesota, and to engage young people who go on to take leadership roles in the Citizens League and the other organizations in which they are involved.
Tasks for the GroupThe first step for any group is to identify the skills, interests, experience and knowledge that members bring.
Each group will create and carry out a project in the policy area it focuses on. This can be a project that advances the Citizens League's recommendations on the topic or a policy question that the group will address. Agreeing on a project is generally an Action Group's most difficult task.
Once the group has determined what it will work on, it can develop and carry out its work plan. To do the project, groups may decide to partner with other organizations, to do some fundraising on their own, to contact the media, etc.
At any point, groups may want to reach out to other individuals within or outside the Citizens League for input or collaboration.
Resources and SupportThe Citizens League will support the Action Groups with:
- Trainings on skills and practices relevant to the projects.
- A connection to a group "mentor:" a member who has been through the Action Groups process before and who can help the group overcome some familiar challenges.
- Connections with subject matter resources and experienced Citizens League members who can share skills such as public speaking, identifying and working with power and resources, media relations, etc.
- Funding: Thanks to a grant from the Comcast Foundation, each group will receive some funding to carry out their project.
- Membership: Action Groups participants receive a one-year membership to the Citizens League.
Groups will meet regularly with each other and Citizens League staff (Annie Levenson-Falk) to check in on projects and share questions and advice. Groups may also want to connect with other Citizens League staff or members working directly on the policy topic they are addressing.
|This initiative is made possible with a generous grant from the Comcast Foundation.|