From:   J.A. Myerson <jesse.myerson@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Sunday, October 02, 2011 4:02:38 PM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   [september17discuss] Fwd: Volunteer coordination
 

Great ideas. Anyone want to liaise with her about implementation or whether some of these are already being done? I'm too out of the loop.

JAM

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Amy Offner <amy.c.offner@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 9:17 AM
Subject: Volunteer coordination
To: jesse.myerson@gmail.com
Cc: Austin Guest <guest.austin@gmail.com>, Matthew Skomarovsky <matthew@verypolite.com>, Yesenia Barragan <yb2221@columbia.edu>


Hi Jesse,

I'm following up on our conversation a few nights ago about creating a system for integrating short-term volunteers -- people who drop by for an hour or two and want to help out.  You asked for a proposal that you could take to the general assembly.  My friends Senia, Matthew, Austin, and I (all on this email) came up with the idea below and are happy to help implement it.  All of us work and can't be at the occupation all the time, but can contribute some time to getting this up and running.

The basic idea has two parts:

I. On the website, prominently list things that people can bring as donations, including:
- Materials to make noisemakers (empty laundry detergent bottles with pennies inside, etc.)
- Food, utensils, napkins
- Money
- A ream of paper to make leaflets
- Art supplies
- Hand sanitizer
- Umbrellas, ponchos
- If they have any credit card offers they received in the mail, bring the postage-paid return envelope.  People at the occupation can write a letter to the bank and drop it in the mail.

II. Expand the welcome booth on Broadway, and create a second one on the other side of the park.  Add a big sign overhead reading "Want to help out, but only have an hour? Be a short-term volunteer."  Have a 1-page handout ready with a list of things people can do.  The handout can also include a list of nearby public bathrooms and the name and contact information for one person from each working group.  At the table, there should also be supplementary materials needed for different tasks (materials listed below).  Tasks could include:

1. Phonebanking to enlist support from organizations and public figures.  Give volunteers a list to call, and a list of actions they can ask supporters to take -- for instance, add their name to a public list of supporters, speak or perform at an event, turn out members to an event, write a blog post or letter to the editor, make a donation, etc.  Groups to call: labor, immigrant, civil rights, civil liberties, LGBT, feminist, environmental, housing, and politically active religious and arts groups.

2. Phonebanking to solicit food donations from restaurants, supermarkets.

3. Leafleting at Zuccotti Park and bank offices in Lower Manhattan.

4. Photocopying leaflets

5. Cleaning

6. Calling public officials (local, state, and national) to express support for the protest and complain about police brutality.  Give people a list of numbers and suggested talking points.

7. Calling media to ask why they aren't covering the occupation.  Give people a list of numbers and suggested talking points.

8. Outreach to businesses around Zuccotti Park that might not understand what's going on but could become allies.

9. Making public art to spread the occupation's presence throughout the city.  For instance, if the table had a simple stencil design for posters reading "#OccupyWallStreet," short-term volunteers could make copies to take home, hang in their windows, and give to their neighbors to do the same.  Or provide templates to write acrostics about banks.

10. Holding umbrellas over people and equipment to allow work to continue in the rain

11. Calling high-level bank officials to express support for the occupation.  Give people numbers and suggested talking points.

12. Make T-shirts reading "I want this bank to pay its taxes.  #OccupyWallStreet."  Volunteers can put on a T-shirt, walk into a bank in the neighborhood, and do a variety of things (ask to speak to the CEO, ask to see the bank's financial statements, ask to open a checking account, whatever) until they get thrown out.

13. Buying food, umbrellas, ponchos

----

Thanks for everything you're doing.  Let us know what you think and how we can help.

Amy, Austin, Matthew, and Senia



--
J.A. Myerson
http://www.jamyerson.com
347.688.0241

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