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Represent.Us Action Hub

Building and Organizing a RepresentUs Chapter

If you have any questions or would like any clarifications on the chapter building process - feel free to reach out to our organizing team at grassroots@represent.us or give us a call at 413-333-5629.

Step 1) Assemble your team.

It will take people working together and building local power to end corruption - we don’t expect you to do it on your own! To build a sustainable chapter, start by finding 3-5 people to help you lead the charge.

One of the best ways to find your co-leaders is by reaching out to your own social circle - it's much easier to organize with people you know. Family, friends, co-workers, teammates, fellow faith members, etc. are a great place to start.

If you're still stuck and are need to start looking outside your personal network, social media can be a great tool. Post about your interest in starting a chapter on your own social media and inquire amongst Facebook groups with similar missions about their interest in assisting. Try posting in a local group about your plans and create a Facebook event to invite folks to come out to. Use whatever platform you are familiar with - try Twitter, Instagram, email or even door knocking!

Your first meeting doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Go to a local coffee shop or bar - you can even host it at your own place if you feel comfortable! Sit down and talk with the group about the goals of of the anti-corruption movement and why they matter to you and your team. Everyone is affected by corruption in some shape or form - and it's okay to get personal. Tell your story about what brought to the movement - whether it be a personal story about healthcare, economic development or education. The closer the issue is to the community, the more passionate your volunteers are.

Engage with your team- learn about each person’s individual interests and talents, and brainstorm ways to apply those talents the broader goal at hand. Be sure to always keep in mind that RepresentUs is postpartisan, and make sure everyone feels welcome. And of course, while this is an important movement for your community - this should be fun for all of you!

 

Step 2) Designate Leadership Roles and set expectations

Before your team begins their work - make sure to read through RepresentUs’s terms & Conditions

We want to make sure you are familiar with our Chapter Program Guidelines & Candidate Engagement Guidelines. Your team should have the expectation that RepresentUs HQ can support and give resources to  your chapter work so long as they follow our postpartisan mission and program guidelines. Be mindful that RepresentUs is a nonpartisan organization that focuses on comprehensive legislative reform and we do not support any political candidates or work on any type of candidate campaign.

Now that you've got your team and you understand our volunteer guidelines, you can decide who's responsible for what. Here are some sample chapter leadership roles for your team to choose from that will help things run smoothly. Take some time to think amongst yourselves about what each person on the team can bring to the table. You don't have to assign these roles - but we've found it works as a great model for a sustainable and successful chapter!

  1. Facilitator: This person sets up meetings, keeps them running, and acts as the point person between HQ and your chapter.
  2. Messenger: This person will be the main communicator of your chapter's mission! They'll get press training and coordinate writing and speaking to the media about your chapter's efforts.
  3. Recruiter: This person helps raise the chapter's overall visibility, brings new members up to speed, and builds your strength in numbers.
  4. Events Coordinator: The coordinator helps the facilitator plan the meetings but with a focus on fun. Keeping people in this movement for the long haul means building the group cohesively through bonding.

 

Step 3) Start thinking about goals

Know Your Terrain

While the most important thing in your chapters early stages is to establish your leadership team and begin growing your chapter, it never hurts to start doing your research.

You and your team should take some time to research your local government, whether it be your local legislative body or city council.  Begin discussing what issues your community faces and the best ways to go about engaging your community and the issues they face.

Start thinking about what you would like your chapter to accomplish.

Are you looking to spread awareness in the community, pass a local anti-corruption resolution, tap into a statewide campaign? How much time do people on your team have to dedicate to the chapter? What is realistic for your team?

Take notes on how you can learn from other groups in your community, what their mistakes and successes were and what tactics they used to get their message out.

Create Timelines and Once-a-Month Goals

Consider making a timeline for your goals to discuss with your team. What would you like to accomplish one month, six months, and a year out from your first meeting? Creating benchmarks for you and your team to hit can help keep you motivated and give you tangible goalposts to strive for.

Once a month - chapters should have at least one meeting and once action. They can be the same date and time, as long as you come together. Examples of actions include:

  • Phonebanking with our Calling Out Corruption program
  • Tabling/Petitioning locally
  • Educational forum or presentation
  • Attend a city council meeting

These milestones don’t have to be big things - but we do want your chapter to be taking action on a regular basis. Make sure to remember to have some fun while you work!

One thing that can be useful in keeping your team motivated is asking your leaders to create personal goals for themselves within your chapter. Encourage them to share things they would personally like to pull off within their roles, and urge them to set those as aspirations.

Step 4) Schedule your Chapter Launch Call

You have found your 3-5 chapter co-leaders - now it is time to let an organizer know so you can be on your way to establishing your local RepresentUs chapter!

Your next step is to set up your chapter launch call here. The launch call is conference call between RepresentUs HQ and your leadership team. This is a chance for HQ to get to know your chapter and walk you through your next steps for becoming an official RepresentUs chapter.

If you have any questions or would like any clarifications on the chapter building process, feel free to reach out to our organizing team at grassroots@represent.us or give us a call at 413-333-5629.

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