I have been asked many times since becoming a councillor why I decided to run.
There are a few different reasons but it came down to ‘being the change I wanted to see in the world” and wanting to be an active part of local democracy as one thing has become crystal clear these last few years; the people in charge are no better equipped to make the decisions required than the rest of us. In fact, there is a strong argument to say they are far less qualified than the rest of us.
There is a reluctance to speak and, more importantly, to listen to people they don’t agree with but I want to ‘find the others’.
During our canvassing ‘find the others’ was my mantra to ease my racing heart when I knocked on a strangers door. Meet people, speak to them as humans, find out what they think and why. So it is with great excitement that we are having some training at our Ruddington branch on Monday July 8 to teach us how to bridge gaps and find common ground and it takes the form of 121 training.
What is 121 I hear you ask!?
The ‘121‘ meeting is an intentional conversation and is a central practice in community organising. Its main purpose is to build public relationships – including across unlikely boundaries. As members of the Ruddington Branch we need to build our own membership base, which is likely to be broad based and include people with a variety of backgrounds, characteristics and political views. We also need to build alliances and work together with people beyond the Labour Party in order to achieve meaningful change in the village and beyond.
A 121 meeting is intended to identify areas of common interest and to find out what really matters to members/activists (and other potential allies). A 121 can help us to identify talent and motivation in others. The 121 is personal, but it is political.
This training will provide some simple but powerful techniques and give you the confidence to engage in 121 meetings with other branch members to build the relationships within the branch; to reach out to members who are not currently active to see if we can encourage them to use their talents for the benefit of the branch; and to engage with other potential allies on issues that affect Ruddington.