How To Organize People

The analysis below was performed a while back and may not represent current thinking on the matter... it needs to be updated.

Perhaps the most important part of any project is
  • understanding who is involved and how
  • establishing lines of communication with and among project allies
  • getting press coverage by contacting appropriate media players
  • garnering support by the public
  • prompting action by governmental officials
  • guiding proactive contact by activists

For a given project, we can place these roughly in to PRO and CON groups with regard to any project.

For example, with the Blackwater Potrero project, COPs activists were against the project. The people involved in the project could be placed into the following categories:

Level Allies Opponents
Primary Contacts Project Leaders - Raymond Lutz, Carol Jahnkow, Jeanette Hartman, Susan Friedman, David Wiley. Primary Opponent Contacts - Brian Bonfiglio
Support Allied Organizations and Activists - Citizens Oversight, San Diego Peace Resource Center, Sierra Club, Activist San Diego, Veterans For Peace, Democratic Party Opponent Organizations and Activists - Gordon Hammers, Thell Fowler, Brenda Wise, Jerry Vandeweghe, Dennis Hollingsworth, East County Chamber Of Commerce
2nd Tier Citizen Stakeholders - blackwater list Opponent Followers -
Governmental Decision Makers San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Potrero Planning Group, DPLU
Primary News Media Contacts Anne Krueger, Miriam Raftery, Alternate Focus, Jeremy Scahill, Karen Pomer, Amy Goodman

We can outfit each record of with a Contact Form attached with the fields SupportsProjects, OpposesProjects, and InterestedProjects, and each contact could potentially have a number of these marked when appropriate. Normally, only one of the fields will be marked.

Q: Can we have a single field for Projects and then another field that states Supports, Opposes, or Interest? A: Generally, the organizations will have a single focus on a single project, such as Blackwater being an opponent to the Stop Blackwater project. However, organizations such as the Sierra Club may be both supporters and an opponent based on how the project is stated. If the project is negative (Stop Blackwater, Stop the Powerlink, etc.) then the Sierra Club would be marked as "Supports" whereas if we have a positive project, like Prop 2, protect domesticated animals, then they would be marked as Supports. There is a possibility that one organization would be a supporter of one initiative and be an opponent of another, although that possibility is perhaps somewhat unlikely. In such a case, it would be better to have separate fields for support, opposition, and interest.

Privacy Issues

Whenever the topic of people is concerned, privacy can be an important issue. Generally speaking, organizations (and their primary contacts) that have endorsed the PRO position of the project are doing it publicly, and will not mind being listed on the web site, including their primary contact(s). We will not wish to publicly advertise the organizations and activists who are opponents to the initiative, although the strategy group should know who they are. Rank-and-file activists who have signed petitions or who are on the list-serve should not be publicly reported. Little or no record of rank-and-file opponents will not be maintained at all.

Primary contacts of all kinds that are considered public in nature are maintained on the Common web as wikiword names with a Contact Form attached.

The People database is a private listing of activists that may be on discussion lists and may have signed petitions. They are maintained as numbered entries with a People Form attached.
  • Such contacts should be able to maintain their own subscriptions to projects. Currently, subscriptions in the List Serve is an indication of whether a person is interested in a topic. At present, only a single marking List Serve exists in the People Form, and does not effectively relate to whether the member is interested in club business, Blackwater, or any other project.
  • The subscription to a project should determine what sort of email interaction we should have with that user, either occasional announcements, press reports, or intense discussion.
  • It would be best if the email interaction were archived related to a project.
  • In the near term, People Form Tags field will be marked with the project name with "Team" suffix, like Blackwater Team.

Core working groups

In most cases, there is a core working group that needs to carry on continued and relatively private email conversations. The members of the group need to know who is included in the core group and the members should not necessarily be reported on the project page. The need for a core group exists if physical meetings are to be arranged and the number must be limited, if an aspect of the project (such as coordinating an event) will incur a substantial amount of email and separate meetings, etc.
  • There may be several core working groups working on different aspects of the project, such as if the project occurs in differing geographic areas, or to coordinate separate events.
  • To list these members, mark the People Form Tags field with the project name with the "Core" suffix, like Blackwater Core.
Topic revision: r4 - 14 Jul 2012, RaymondLutz
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