Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the Action Council:
What is the Action Council?
The Action Council is a coalition of autonomous community organizations (e.g., grassroots groups; nonprofits) that is non-partisan, non-hierarchical, and volunteer-based.
What is the purpose of the Action Council?
The purpose of the Action Council is to:
- Facilitate collaboration between community organizations working in CA-49.
- Support the progressive movement in Northern San Diego County and Southern Orange County.
- Promote on-going accountability for elected officials.
- Facilitate innovations in community organizing and activism.
What does the Action Council do?
The Action Council is a framework to facilitate and support collaboration and coordination, and innovation among organizations working in the 49th district. The Action Council offers monthly meetings for member organizations, sharing of informational resources, organizes high-profile issue-based advocacy events, and provides a framework for broad action.
Who runs the Action Council?
You do! All member organizations have equal “ownership” of the Action Council. The Action Council is coordinated by the volunteers and staff of member organizations. The Action Council is “for the People, by the People.”
Is the Action Council affiliated with any political party or candidates?
The Action Council is non-partisan and does not support specific candidates. Progressive political organizations and parties can be members of the Action Council, just like all other groups.
Has anyone else used the Action Council model for community organizing?
Yes! The Action Council builds on local grassroots community organizing approaches (e.g., Carlsbad Community Voices), as well as the long established “Spokes Council” model for organizing autonomous groups to advance shared visions and goals. Spokes Councils similar to our Action Council have been central to effective community organizing since the Spanish Civil War, from Seattle/WTO to Porto Alegre to Occupy Sandy.
Is the Action Council an official organization?
No. The Action Council is a coalition made up of member organizations. The Action Council does not receive any direct funding to support its activities.
For Member Organizations:
How does the Action Council support my group?
Benefits to member organizations include:
- Opportunities and support for collaboration between groups.
- Framework for increased coordination between groups to reduce duplication and make a bigger impact.
- Greater visibility for your group’s events through district-wide sharing of events and higher attendance.
- Programs and informational resources to support action in your community.
- More efficient use of limited resources (e.g., volunteers; money; time).
- Access to expertise, such as public policy, community organizing, and event coordinating.
Is my group required to participate in all the Action Council activities?
No. Every organization makes their own decisions as to when and how they want to participate in Action Council activities.
Can I volunteer with the Action Council as an individual?
Yes! The Action Council relies on volunteers for all coordination, outreach, and activities. We have several teams that help to coordinate the Action Council, as well as volunteer opportunities with the Neighborhood Leaders and Strike Teams programs, events, and more!
Is my group still autonomous as a member of the Action Council?
Yes! All member organizations maintain their own group identities, priorities, operations, membership, etc. The Action Council is simply a resource to support community organizations in collaboration, coordination, sharing of resources, visibility, and more to make a bigger impact.
Programs Working with the Action Council:
What is the Neighborhood Leaders Program?
Neighborhood Leaders engage in issue-based conversations with voters in their neighborhood to build relationships with voters, promote voter registration, educate voters about key issues, and gather voter current information. The Neighborhood Leaders Program is open to organizations and individual volunteers.
What are Strike Teams?
Strike Teams host weekly scheduled canvassing, tabling, and phonebanking activities to register voters, provide voter information, and improve voter data. Organizations can host a canvass in their area and individuals can volunteer at scheduled events.
Are the the Neighbors in Action and Strike Teams programs supporting specific campaigns or candidates?
No. The Neighbors in Action and Strike Teams programs are intended to increase voter registration, voter engagement, and issue awareness within the community.