Friday, 6 June 2014

We are taking a gamble for more community power

[By Nick Durie]

Today we have launched a job application for our first paid community organiser.  I have led our organising efforts since we were first established in 2011 on a volunteer basis, and I want to continue volunteering for the organisation as we take this next step to building this institution.  This institution exists to build and restructure working class community institutions in our communities, and to grasp the mantle of a fairer Scotland with more employment that our reindustrialisation offers.  To date our work has centred on surmounting the challenges posed by the corrupt elite of the old Scotland.  We've done this by building a democratic community based opposition to those undermining reindustrialisation in Glasgow, and we've focussed on helping organised residents gain a negotiated settlement on their combined heat and power, and we are seeking to expand on both of those fronts, and elsewhere.

Our reach, without mainstream press, at the moment, is regularly in the order of 22,000 people. We have a support base of several thousand people.  We have facilitated a significant community victory when the movement we helped build won an inquiry into corruption at Glasgow City Council.

Now it is time to put down roots.  We're taking a bit of a gamble in putting out our fundraising target in public: we need to be grossing more than 70-80 pounds a week or so to make it happen, but we know that the support is out there, to put a paid organiser on the ground.  I regularly volunteer hours of my time to Power In Community, but it would be a mistake to say that I am giving of my time the kind of hours I would work when I did that job for a living.  I meet people when I can (and organising is all about meeting people), but I don't typically do the wall to wall meeting people that really making big impact with organising requires.  I am regularly canvassing people for the YES campaign.  There's lots of people out there in the YES movement who can relate to that, and the kind of conversations you have.  In any campaign those kinds of conversations are the conversations you are constantly having as an organiser.  Imagine being employed to canvass all day, every week.  You could get to know an entire scheme inside out in three months with that approach, whatever you were up to.  That capacity is a deadly weapon, put to work in organising people.  This is why we must build it.

I hope you support these aims.  If you do, I'd ask you to give a fiver a month to this NGO of ours, and to consider joining the advisory board.  This country needs people of talent taking a keen interest in community power, community solidarity, and driving the equality of the new Scotland.

The first advisory board meeting of our new board, following our AGM this August, is on the 22nd of September.  Up to you.

You can donate here.