To stand up to big, powerful polluters and special interests, we need strong grassroots power. And to successfully build that power, you need to be strategic about how you run your campaign.
This is a training manual written for Clean Water Network members that covers the basic principles of developing a field plan for your campaign or organization to organize people at the grassroots level.
It walks through how to develop a goal and a strategy, how to talk about your campaign in a way that resonates with and mobilizes your audience, and how to include tactics in your plan that implement your strategy.
One of the most common pitfalls of organizers and advocates is to forget to set a goal and strategy or to set a fuzzy goal and strategy. Secondly organizers and advocates often aren’t thoughtful about how the goal and strategy hangs together with the execution of your plan.
Use this manual to help you ensure that your campaign is strategic and will successfully build the power you need to win.
Too often, we take safe drinking water for granted. We don’t think enough about where it comes from or what’s in it, even though clean drinking water is fundamental to life itself. Educating ourselves and the next generation of water advocates is an important step towards ensuring that our water is safe to drink.
The National Association of Biology Teachers has created a curriculum for Eighth Graders that engages students in developing informed and critical opinions about water quality and water treatment methods.
This curriculum is fairly simple, flexible, and inexpensive, and could be tailored for use in a classroom or a summer camp. Download here and find this specific curriculum on pages 56-62 of the file.
Is your local stream suffering from too much dirt or silt, which smothers the plants and wildlife in it? This is a common problem, often because of poorly protected construction sites, farms, or roads. I want to share a set of materials that some of your peers like Mobile Baykeeper are using to train volunteers to monitor for runoff from construction sites.
The Muddy Water Watch program trains volunteers to identify when systems are working properly, and how to report problems to contractors and enforcement agencies. Volunteers can use this field guide to identify and document pollution sources, or this smartphone app to snap a photo and submit a report.
This is a great way to stay engaged with community members and build your volunteers’ affinity for your organization all while actually getting more work done. Enforcement agencies and your own staff do not have unlimited capacity to do monitoring, so empowering volunteers is a great way to make progress.
As you might know, the EPA recently proposed a new rulemaking on permitting regulations for small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Our friends at NRDC have written this comment letter, and you are invited to sign your organization on.
To add your name, reply to me, firstname.lastname@example.org and cc Johanna Dyer of NRDC at email@example.com. Please feel free to share with other watershed groups as well. Sign-ons must be received by Friday, March 18.
For those of you who’d like to submit your own separate letter, the official comment deadline is March 21, and comments should be submitted through the online docket here:
President Barack Obama on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, where officials allegedly ignored the detriments of a water source that exposed nearly everyone in the city to lead poisoning and other contaminants.
The White House issued a release calling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County,” where residents have been warned not to drink unfiltered tap water.
FEMA will deliver water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, “and other necessary related items” for about three months, the release said.
The emergency declaration follows a request on Friday from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has been under fire for his handling of the crisis.
The situation dates back to April 2014 when Flint switched water sources to save money. The new supply, from the Flint River, was saltier and flowed through corroded pipes, pulling lead into the system.
Snyder thanked Obama for the emergency declaration and for “supporting Flint during this critical situation” in a statement Saturday, but said an additional request for a major disaster declaration was denied.
A major disaster declaration is used after a “natural event” like a tornado earthquake or landslide, or after an explosion, fire or flood regardless of cause, according to FEMA.
“I have pledged to use all state resources possible to help heal Flint, and these additional resources will greatly assist in efforts underway to ensure every resident has access to clean water resources,” Snyder said in the statement.
Residents began complaining about the taste, smell and appearance of the water, and recent tests have shown elevated lead levels in the blood of some local children.
Also Friday, Michigan’s top prosecutor, Attorney General Bill Schuette,announced an investigation to determine if any laws were broken in the months following the switch in water source.
Federal prosecutors are already probing the debacle and the state’s health department has just started investigating whether an increase of Legionnaires’ disease cases — seven of them fatal — could be linked to the water.
“The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water,” presidential candidate Bernie Sanders alleged Saturday, calling for Snyder to resign.
“Because of the conduct by Gov. Snyder’s administration, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives,” Sanders said in a statement. “The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”
The week of January 11, the House of Representatives is voting on S.J. Res. 22, a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act attacking the Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s landmark initiative to restore safeguards against pollution and destruction for lakes, streams, wetlands and other water bodies.
Fortunately, President Obama is certain to issue a veto, and opponents of the Clean Water Rule don’t have enough votes to override the veto.
National organizations have put together this fact sheet that explains why the CRA is bad for our nation’s waterways, that you are welcomed to use.