“Grassroots organizations grow stronger to the extent that their leaders go out and engage more people. It's about building as broad a base as you can.”
In 2013, CAFE introduced its Community Organizing for Our Regional Environment program, as the next step in renewing the grassroots environmental movement in Sonoma County. The CORE program will build upon CAFE's effort to organize the environmental community through the establishment of regional environmental core teams. These core teams will function both to educate and engage members of local communities, and to take action on county wide issues.
- At the heart of CAFE's CORE program are the core teams:
- Five core teams will be established, in the North, South, East, West, and Central county.
- Each team will function both as an independent unit, and as a cell of the larger organization.
- Teams will receive training in effective organizing techniques, allowing them to both identify issues, and to build a base within their community.
- There will be 7-10 primary leaders in each core team, and 20-30 peripheral leaders engaged.
From the heart of this core team, an expanding web of relationships will grow. When countywide issues arise, all five teams can be mobilized.
The simplicity of the core team model is its strength. The focus on basebuilding within communities is a strategy to move environmental and community issues into the minds and hearts of the larger community, and to strengthen each community as a whole.
Initial Program Goals
- Establish 5 core teams
- Identify 5 issues for core teams to work on
- 7 regional core team trainings
- 2 countywide convenings of all 5 core teams
- 100 new relationships built, based on commitment to the environmental and local communities
- Continue building relationships/partnerships with other local organizations
- Expand capacity of local environmental groups
- Develop sophisticated environmental leaders