The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce our Second Advocacy Skill Share in our winter series, this time on Outreach
and Organizing! Joining us as presenters will be Unny Nambudripod, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Compassionate Action for Animals, and Malik Holt, Program Coordinator at Minnesota Center for Neighborhood Organizing (MCNO). We hope you'll join us too! Come exchange your experience and knowledge with other passionate people as we bring our communities together.
Walker United Methodist Church
Advocacy Skill Shares are put on by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition's Fun Committee Volunteers, and on March 19th, we'll be asking questions like: "How do you pitch a campaign to a total stranger? What encourages them to take action? What do you say when someone disagrees with you but you really need them on your side? What is a 1:1 and how do you do one? How do you find allies and common ground? What have other allied groups done to move a campaign together? What can we do together?" and more!
What's a "skill share" again?
As one volunteer and co-organizer Anneka Kmiecik says, "skill shares are founded on the idea that everyone has valuable expertise and skills from their own life. And when we come together, we both learn from one another and teach one another through sharing our perspectives and experiences. So while we have a great group of presenters lined up to help answer our questions, come prepared to share your knowledge too!" Similar to the last Advocacy Skill Share, this session will be an interactive experience and opportunity for you to ask questions, practice your skills, share what you know, and make connections with other passionate volunteers.
Missed the last Skill Share? Not to fear! Here is a recap from Fun Committee volunteer Sarah Chars:
Navigating the City – Skillshare Recap
Who's in charge of street stuff at the City? When do I contact my City Council Member vs. the Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator vs. Public Works? And wait, what does the county have to do with this?? How do I talk to a public official? What does effective lobbying look like? At the first Advocacy Skillshare hosted by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, four community activists shared tips on how to effectively utilize the city's services related to biking.
Jose Luis Villasenor of Tamales y Bicicletas emphasized the importance of community and how we can start addressing issues by reaching out to our neighbors. “Many of our efforts come out of necessity,” said Villasenor, and by sharing concerns or suggestions at a local level, we are able to receive support in areas we want to see change. In addition, we are then gaining attention as a community and able to grow the issue as a larger movement if needed. Jose Luis shared with us his experience organizing with youth to realize a community vision and work to pass Minnesota’s Dream Act.
Our second speaker, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, was Matthew Dyrdahl of the City of Minneapolis. He shared various examples for which city officials or organizations are best to contact in situations involving specific corridors or intersections, traffic lights, bike lanes, operations, maintenance issues and bike infrastructure. In many cases, calling 311 is a great first step action to report something. Dyrdahl went on to explain the four divisions of Public Works transportation and how they operate. He noted that as part of the planning and programming division, he is a great initial point of contact because his team funnels many issues to the other three divisions.
- Public Works Transportation Divisions
- Transportation Planning & Programming
- Transportation Engineering & Design
- Traffic & Parking Services
- Transportation Maintenance & Repair
Matthew Dyrdahl contact info:
The final speakers were Alexis Boxer and Natalie Cook from Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization working to protect our planet. Boxer and Cook offered a nine step approach on how to talk to your city council representative and be convincing of what you are trying to accomplish.
9 Step Process for Effective Meetings with Decision Makers:
- INTRODUCE yourself
- THANK them upfront
- BUILD the relationship – get to know a little bit about them beyond work
- PRESENT your issue/concern
- ASK for their support
- RESPOND and restate your request
- ESTABLISH next steps – clarify the timeline for action
- FOLLOW-UP – check in, send a personal thank-you
In all, the skillshare was a great success and attendees were energized about making positive changes in our city! Thanks to The Wedge Table for letting us use their beautiful space, and the Fun Committee volunteers for putting it together!