Are you working to bring energy into your community? Do you want to see more people in your downtown spaces? Are there a number of local craftspeople, artists, farmers, and other entrepreneurs in your region that you’d like to bring together?
“Who else should we involve in community-level change?”
Relationships drive the work of community change forward. You are working to build relationships with a central team right now, but what about building relationships outside of your team? You need funding, resources, volunteers, and other assistance as you move through executing projects.
The work of building relationships needs to happen before asking for something from organizations or individuals–your goal is to cultivate long-term and authentic partnerships while identifying what is important to community decision-makers, potential funders, and volunteers.
In order to build strong relationships with others, you need to understand how you work with others. Continuing to learn more about yourself is important as these relationships develop.
Activities: Choose 2-3 activities to complete to identify common interests and build relationships with your team. You’ll be tempted to jump straight into the work, but understanding what matters to others on your team and how they work best is important to your long-term success. Take your time with the activities; they aren’t intended to be completed in one sitting.
Here’s your chance to take some time to think and reflect on your dreams and interests. Keep a community building journal, scribble notes on some post-its, or simply think about these questions before moving on to the next lesson!
MacKenzie Walker is a community leader in Matewan, WV who utilizes the power of relationship development to harness resources and funding for the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum. Through building powerful partnerships, the City of Matewan has completed a series of small wins and met goals through a community development process, leading to larger projects currently underway. Learn more about what’s happening in Matewan in this video.
Watch this HubCAP video highlighting Matewan and their amazing work!
Much of the work that goes on under the dome is the work of compromise.
Legislators, citizen lobbyists (community members who are interested in influencing the policymaking process), and other interested parties will often make concessions on their original proposals in order to get legislation passed. Here are some tips and tricks that seasoned citizen lobbyists use once the wheeling and dealing begins.
First, and most importantly, citizen lobbyists need to discuss their bill with legislators. Specifically, legislators who have a role in moving the bill forward such as committee chairs or majority leadership. Listening for the concerns (read our article on this) that they may have about a bill is the basis for finding a middle ground – one in which they agree to move a bill forward, and the bill still addresses the issue at hand.
It can be challenging to be open to compromise for both legislators and citizen lobbyists, but it’s essential in order to keep things moving through the legislative process. Understanding that both legislators and citizen lobbyists put in a great deal of time and effort on the issues they care about can provide a common place to start. And approaching this part of the process as an opportunity to collaborate can move everyone closer to finding policy solutions for West Virginia’s big challenges.
We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new program at The Hub! Downtown Appalachia: Revitalizing Recreation Economies (DARRE) is a three-year initiative to build local economies in West Virginia.
The Hub’s Executive Director, Stephanie Tyree, was one of five national leaders who participated in a public roundtable discussion hosted by Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm.