On Allyship and Action

Ivy HestHow-To, Individual Sustainability, Real Talk, Skills and Principles

(About 5.5 minutes to read, plus some great posts) On Saturday, an historic (ugh I always hated that grammar thing) event happened across the country as thousands joined marches for the Millions March .  Seeing that kind of mass action was both upsetting and inspiring.  I attended the march in Oakland, first with the organized march and then later with … Read More

How to Get a Bunch of 80-Year-Olds Arrested

Ivy HestHow-To, Skills and Principles, Strategy

“Let’s occupy the Governor’s office!” “What?” “Yeah!  Let’s do it!” “What?  No!” The public transit authority in Boston had decided to increase prices for transportation for seniors and people with disabilities by 100%, and in some cases 150% by July 1st.  Members had been mobilizing and organizing for almost a year, without any response from the public transit Board.  We knew … Read More

Learning How to Lose

Ivy HestHow-To, Individual Sustainability, Supervising and Mentoring

Tuesday was election day, and the end of my first cycle in electoral politics.  Many of you know that I worked for a State Senate candidate since March, have been helping with the Democratic Committee in the area since April, and in October took on Field Director positions for two City Council campaigns.  It was a lot to handle at … Read More

When Grassroots Organizations Get It Right

Ivy HestHow-To, Skills and Principles, Strategy, Theory

(About 5 minutes to read) Not all organizing is created equal.  Unions have a different model of organizing from interfaith organizations. Some organizations integrate direct service and community organizing, others organize around public policy, and still others organize around local issues.  Some build power in solidarity, others build power for themselves.  The basic principles are generally the same throughout, but each … Read More

That time I had a chair thrown at me (or: 10 Rules for an effective decision-making meeting)

Ivy HestHow-To, Skills and Principles

  (About 9 minutes to read) It was a beautiful evening at someone’s house that had a view of the ocean.  Buoys and boats were peacefully bobbing around in the water.  The colors of the sunset were distractingly beautiful through the floor-to-ceiling windows.  And then someone picked up a chair and threw it clear across the room toward me. Planning … Read More