One of my main contentions is that Canada’s social change community is way out of balance, gravitating overwhelmingly to inside-the-office tactics and not getting out there and talking to enough people.
Which is why I get excited when I come across examples of groups who are prioritizing getting out there in a systematic way. I’ve written in the past about Dogwood, Lead Now and UBCc350, but also want to add to that list Ecology Ottawa.
That Canadians are still dumping raw sewage into our waterways is, in this millennium, a travesty, but because of that, a great issue to campaign on. Also, the potential to push out potty humour is hard to resist. (Remember Mr. Floatie?).
So, Ecology Ottawa is running a petition drive to stop the dumping of raw sewage into the Ottawa River, and this includes organizing community door-knocking so that it goes beyond the online converted and builds lists of new supporters.
Ecology Ottawa has also started to use Nation Builder, an affordable out-of-the-box integrated website and database that has features allowing you to facilitate offline organizing and to maintain relationships with your contacts. This is the kind of powerful tool that well-funded political parties used to have a monopoly on.
Overall, this is a great example to watch and to learn from – and if you are in Ottawa, to get involved with.