Those who are looking for an opportunity to turn their political dissatisfaction into local change have the chance to get organized on February 20, when the Action Group Network hosts a meeting at Marathon Music Works.
The Action Group Network coordinates collectives of 10 to 50 people who pool their energy to tackle a specific task, like fundraising for a particular piece of legislation or campaigning for a local election. Spurred by the results of the presidential election, the network has accumulated over 10,000 participants across 120 national groups.
“We don’t dictate agendas or actions for our groups or members,” Autumn Dorn, the program director, explains. “What we try to do is motivate people to get involved with issues that are important to them, train them to organize, then align them with local and national organizations that can help them be most effective. We provide toolkits, resources, and policy information. Political action starts at the local level and our goal is to empower people to make a difference in their communities.”
By the end of the year, the Action Group Network expects to visit every state in the country. For Tennessee, that meant making Nashville a priority.
“We are very excited to come to Nashville, which along with being the state capital, is also seeing a surge in activism and civic engagement,” says Dorn.
The network was founded by Beau Willimon, a screenwriter most famous for his work on The Ides of March and Netflix’s House of Cards. Willimon will be at the meeting in Nashville to offer his take on strategies for local groups and to hear about what changes need to take place here.
“While we will have reps from major organizations speaking about their work, it’s also an opportunity for members of the community to share issues that are important to them or work they are doing,” Dorn says. “We introduce people to groups in their area and will organize new action groups, identifying those who volunteer to be group leaders and connecting them with people who want to work together.”
While there’s little doubt that the agenda will focus on ways to confront the actions of President Trump and other conservative politicians, the Action Group Network welcomes all those who want to channel their frustrations into tenable change.
“Whatever your political beliefs, this is a time when we all need to be engaged and in touch with our community,” says Dorn. “The health of our democracy depends on an active citizenry and we can’t leave it to someone else to do this work for us any longer.”
To RSVP for the meeting, visit the Action Group Network’s website.