Fair Budget Organizing
Fair Budget Coalition Organizing Goals
The Fair Budget Coalition seeks:
In the last few years, the fight for a racially just budget in D.C has made topics like defunding the Metropolitan Police and affordable child care to the forefront. However, many Black and native Washingtonians are left out of the advocacy for a variety of reasons. Our organizing will work to provide D.C residents with the space to question and talk about social issues with support to create their own ideas of change.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many of these conversations will be conducted via Zoom or in small groups with safety procedures in place.
FBC organizing will strive to center in Black Feminism.
Black Feminism will allow D.C residents regardless of how they identify to talk about social issues that are inclusive and rooted in dismantling oppressive systems for liberation.
What is organizing?
Center for Community Change describes organizing as:
"...the mobilizing of volunteers. Staff roles are limited to helping volunteers become effective, to guiding the learning of leaders through the process, and to helping create the mechanism for the group to advocate on their own behalf. Community organizing almost always includes confrontation of some sort. The people who want something get themselves together to ask for it, often the people who could give them what they want get jumpy. Community organizing strategies include meeting with corporate or government decision-makers to hold them accountable for their actions, designing programs for others (not the group) to implement that meet the needs of the community, and aggressive group action to block negative developments or behaviors (highway construction that leads to neighborhood destruction, etc.)."
Organizing over the next year is going to look different until canvassing and community engagement can be done in person. In the meantime, FBC will make meaningful connections digitally with people who have the capacity. The workshop we are creating and developing over the next few months will attempt to provide DC residents with the tools to lead change in their communities.
Fair Budget Workshops
Fair Budget Mindfulness Series:
Before the pandemic, advocates had the option of separating work from home. Now, advocates are managing the difficulties of advocacy within their most personal spaces. The powerful work we're doing cannot be done well if we aren't taking care of ourselves.
In the spirit of wellbeing, FBC invites you to join us the last Wednesday of every month from 10AM - 11:AM am for a wellness hour where we'll provide music and space to just be. Hope to see you there.
The Fair Budget Workshop Series is apart of our digital organizing strategy, which will focus on the public education of DC residents. FBC's organizer will host a 60 minute equity or budget workshop on the last Wednesday of each month. The workshops will require a group of 10-12 members and constituents to actively engage with topics that impact our work in a safe learning environment. Workshops can also be requested in advance for member organizations.
What to expect:
Workshop Topics Available
Check out our recording of the Budget 101 workshop: https://youtu.be/UZwUCTYA49M
Email email@example.com for a Budget 101 for your group
Why Constituent Engagement?: Our coalition’s decision-making processes are deliberately focused on uplifting policy suggestions that come directly from impacted community members. Our decision-making rubric, which was co-constructed by the staff and Steering Committee, seeks to institutionalize both the relationship we want FBC to have with impacted community members, as well as our commitment to deconstructing the racist policies that continue to prioritize wealth and whiteness at the expense of low-income communities of color.
Constituent Engagement Goals:
One of our major organizational goals is increasing constituent engagement both within FBC, as well as in the larger DC advocacy community. Ultimately Fair Budget Coalition wants to have our annual Budget Report comprised of recommendations that come directly from impacted Black and other communities of color, who have been engaged throughout the process and have clear decision-making power. This will give greater value to the recommendations that FBC makes, and will ensure that directly impacted community members have their voices elevated within conversations where their fate is decided but they are often further marginalized.
These goals will be realized when community members are represented in all stages of advocacy -- from inception of policy asks to lobbying and testifying to community actions. We hope that through involvement within the coalition, our members can have an impact on pushing the larger advocacy community as a whole to be more accountable to the communities we often claim we represent. We seek to shift the power imbalance between white, paid advocates and low-income Black and other people of color whose voices are often excluded or tokenized within these spaces.
Our Models for Constituent Engagement:
Constituent Engagement Program: Bi-monthly meetings will continue to occur where members are able to share information, best practices and skill building on how they engage their constituents. Current members include: Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Miriam's Kitchen, DC Greens, Capitol Hill Group Ministry, Academy of Hope and DC Senior Advisory Coalition. Following the first year of the Constituent Engagement Program and debriefing with each organization that was involved, each organization expressed a desire to build a multi-issue group of constituents, thus came the Constituent Leadership Program.
Constituent Leadership Program: Working with the organizations involved within the Constituent Engagement Program, we begun to convene a cohort of constituents already engaged in advocacy from our CEP organizations. Within the CLP, constituents are able to dive deeper into the budget process, learn tactics and strategy for advocacy and organizing, as well as working as a decision making body within the FBC structure.
As we shift our programmatic work to better align to our rubric, it is more essential for us to support this work through a deeper involvement in constituent engagement. We see this work happening through dual processes of both continuing capacity building on an organizational level, as well as increasing our organizing capacity through supporting this new Constituent Leadership Program. While this program is still a new area for Fair Budget, we hope that the CLP as a key decision making body within the coalition pushed Fair Budget, and the DC advocacy community as a whole to reframe how we hold ourselves accountable to our community stakeholders.