Building Your Rising Team

Part of what makes a Rising Team special is that it requires us all to sit down, take a breath, put away the distractions, and talk about how we want to improve our community and country. We put this Toolkit together to make some of the first steps a bit easier. All of the suggestions are things that we have tried and found valuable. We hope you feel the same.

The Core Components of a Rising Team

Committed: 

12 – 15 members so all can contribute and hold each other accountable.  

Community-oriented:

Group members live in the same neighborhood (or legislative district). Name your team after your neighborhood, a nearby park, or street, etc.

Convenient:

Choose a date, time, location that works in your schedule. Remove barriers to participation!

Confidential:

Use a Secret Facebook group, email, or Slack App.  Add members to the group communication after they have attended a meeting.

Consistent:

Groups make a pledge to meet monthly, at a minimum. Find what works for your team, but monthly meet-ups are what is working for us.

Concerted and Independent Action:

Teams work together (on organization-wide goals) and work apart (on team-specific goals).

Setting up your first meeting

  1. Set up a Facebook event!
  2. Reach out to your network! Invite people you don’t see as often as you’d like.
    1. Focus on like-minded allies and friends for your initial meetups.
    2. Reach out to people within a couple miles (max) of where you live. Convenient meetings times and locations are vital to long-term success.
  3. Initially, don’t worry too much about accommodating everyone’s schedules — no date is perfect. Just pick a good time on the weekend for a 2 hour get together.
  4. Find a place to meet: a library meeting room, a restaurant at off-peak times, a home if you feel comfortable inviting people there and know the people you are inviting.
  5. Invite lots of people. If you end up having more than 12-15 people at your first meeting, that’s the best problem to have!
  6. Follow up with “yes” RSVP’s with a direct message, text, or call. Thank them for RSVP’ing, and let them know how excited you are they’ll be able to make it.
  7. Do the same with “maybe” RSVP’s, but instead, encourage them to commit to coming.
  8. If you follow the steps above, they will come!

Then comes the fun part — hosting and getting to know your neighbors! Make sure those attending have directions. Prepare some snacks: maybe coffee and pastries, maybe your dad’s famous chili, maybe you get a few dishes from the new local restaurant everyone’s raving about, maybe you put out a call for a potluck. Make it fun and share the responsibility in your future meetings!

We imagine that your group will build and develop over time. Learn together, talk with one another. By getting to know each other and learning about civic engagement together, your group will discover actions to take that fit your values and priorities.

To get the conversation flowing in a semi-orderly manner, we suggest the below agenda for your first meetup. Feel free to adapt, modify, or follow a different route. We support what works for you and your Rising Team.

First Meeting Agenda

    1. Introductions and Welcome   [20 min]
    2. What is This Land Rising? [15 min]
      1. Focused on resistance and organizing people into Rising Teams
      2. Recap of the above Rising Team Core Components
      3. Each Rising Team is independent, but Teams do join forces for maximum impact
    3. Who Represents Us? [15 min]
      1. Ask everyone to text their zip code to 520-200-2223. This will tell everyone who their representatives are.
      2. Ask your team to put these numbers in their phones as contacts!
    4. Priority building for our TLR group [25 min]
      1. Discussion aimed at selecting areas of common interests
      2. Ask each attendee to spend 3-5 minutes privately writing a list. Read aloud and edit your list as the discussion progresses. Focus on the similarities and overlap.  Do not focus on areas of disagreement. We are strongest when cooperating. (Possible topics might include local elections, school boards, city policy, voter registration, visiting Olympia, protests, redistricting, police-community relations, etc.)
    5. Strength assessment:  Take an inventory of team member expertise, and leverage that expertise for your team’s benefit. [15 min]
      1. If you’d like help or suggestions for how to set this up, please email: teamleaderinfo@thislandrising.com
      2. Individual skills: editing, marketing, personal connections within government, law, tech, community location, research, writing, photography, art, comedy, etc.
    6. Collect stories: To make an emotional connection, we need to share the stories of our friends and neighbors. They help persuade and impact our representatives as they work on legislation.  [15 min]
      1. Ask for stories of personal experience benefitting from good legislation
      2. Ask for personal experiences of those hurt by bad legislation or policy
      3. Examples: healthcare, immigration, cutting of arts funding, etc.
      4. Include any stories in the Meeting Report Notes (covered below)
    7. Wrap up: Set date for next meeting, identify next meeting hosts, next steps [10 min]
      1. Ask your members to ‘like” This Land Rising PNW on FB
      2. Take a group photo and post on This Land Rising FB page!
DON’T LEAVE YOUR MEETING UNTIL A DATE AND TIME ARE SET!

Download the First Meeting Agenda as a PDF.

Post-Meeting Report

  1. Send meeting report notes to TLR, including any information to pass on to other Rising Teams using the template we have provided.

Download the Meeting Report Notes form as PDF.

Once your group has found its footing and has met once or twice, consider using this suggested agenda for your monthly two-hour meetup:

Monthly Meeting Agenda

  1. Introductions and Welcome [15 min]
    1. You might establish a routine for this as your meetings progress; perhaps you take turns facilitating a welcome activity to build community.
  2. Recap of actions since last meeting. What worked, what didn’t? [30 min]
  3. Independent team action. Decided on and guided by the team. [30 min]
  4. This Land Rising concerted action. . [30 min]
    1. Find options at www.thislandrising.com
  5. Wrap up, identify next meeting date and host(s) [15 min]
  6. Send meeting report notes to TLR, including any information to pass on to other Rising Teams.

Download the Monthly Meeting Agenda as a PDF.

If you have questions, please email us at teamleaderinfo@thislandrising.com .

Remember, this should be approachable and fun!

We will continue to host periodic team leader training meetings, and we would be happy to send an experienced This Land Rising member to help facilitate a meeting if you feel this would be useful to get you off the ground.  The goal of This Land Rising is to offer an easy entry point into participating more fully in our governance.

Thank you for joining us as we RESIST, ORGANIZE & RISE!

Continue on to Rising Team Best Practices –>