What is the role of an Issue Team?
Issue teams develop and share actions that can be taken by hundreds of Santa Cruz Indivisible members in order to influence the votes of our members of congress (MoC). By sharing its recommended actions, the issue team amplifies its voice at least one hundred times using SCI’s far reaching social media channels.
Each issue team focuses on a topical area in which to develop expertise and methods for continuously tracking legislation and identifying related news and events at all levels of government (federal, state, and local).
Ideally, an Issue Team is small group of people (4-6), who are laser-focused on a particular issue that they are passionate about. Issue teams will:
- Focus on surfacing the real information about an Issue.
- Identify the moving parts of the Issue and its’ participants.
- Identify the Actions necessary to apply leverage to the situation to achieve the desired outcome.
- Inform the SCI community of actions they can take and events they can attend.
- Amplify the situation and necessary actions and events, through SCI Press and/or Social Media support.
- Rinse and Repeat.
The goal of an issue team is to be active and healthy in developing and sharing actions that can be taken by hundreds of Santa Cruz Indivisible members. There are many ways to approach leadership of an issue team. It may be one person has the time and energy, or it should be shared among multiple people. If you are a group or team leader, and are adding co-leader(s), please notify Admin so we can add that person to our database (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Best practices for sustaining issue teams
Every team is different, and there is no one best way of organizing a team. Here are some suggestions that can help teams stay active.
- Co-leaders share the responsibilities and workload. This is very important if the leaders work, have families, or busy lives. Having a co-leader will relieve the pressure that can build up.
- Leaders have leadership skills and experience. The leader or co-leaders need to know how to run a meeting, how to communicate effectively, how to delegate tasks, and how to keep members engaged. SCI Facilitators are available to assist in building these skills.
- Three to six members in the team. Having a smaller team (less than 10) makes it easier to plan where to meet, track any assignments or other activity.
- Team meets at least one time per month. An established team meets a minimum of once a month with email contact in between. Meeting frequency is usually determined by how new and/or how busy the team is. If the team’s area of focus is prominent in the news or in congress, more frequent meetings are common.
- Team builds some food and fun into their activities. Getting together to socialize makes a significant difference in the enthusiasm, optimism, and confidence of the team. All three are needed for the well-being and longevity of the team.
- Willingness to try new things and seek assistance. Openness to new ideas is key to attaining the full potential of the issue team. Consider how your team can help engage others such as developing and delivering training or workshops. Perhaps your team should coordinate and sponsor community events including films, lectures, discussion groups; and more! If you realize that your team is not submitting many action items or participating in many activities; you can request help from an SCI facilitator.
- Team is productive. Successful issue teams organize themselves to be productive, and are producing and submitting action items in a timely manner. Teams should also evaluate how how well things are working within the team and adjust. Your team can decide to shrink or enlarge your team’s focus to be more effective.
- Team is dynamic. We are a volunteer organization run by people like you and me with jobs, families, and other obligations. It may be difficult for members to attend meetings of issue teams. There may be other ways the member can contribute to the team, e.g. research, write, and submit action items for the team on their own time.
Roles to consider for an Issue Team:
Facilitator (Optional/as necessary)
- Person to help facilitate the meetings and assist with identifying games plans, actions and events.
Issue Team Lead
- Plan meetings. This person will be responsible for finding a place/time for your next meeting and facilitating it. This person will always schedule the next deliverables (next meeting or action to be taken) before the end of the current meeting.
- Facilitate communication among members and partners.
- Be the primary “engine” to drive the process and make something happen.
- Submit information, actions, and events to SCI Calendar
Partnerships & Outreach
- Outreach to existing groups that are doing great work. “Strengthen the Strong” – Determine if it makes the most sense to simply provide people power to support existing organizations. Reach out to all potential partners and coordinate activities.
- Person to keep tabs on the announcements, events, positions of Members of Congress.
- Person to keep tabs on publications, tv and other media (both left and right), to surface accurate information and identify the “fake news” or “alt-facts” (lies).
NOTE: depending on the size and scale of the actions or strategies that your group decides to pursue collectively, you may want to consider assigning more than one person to anyone of the above rolls, or even a working group each of these roles together.
Issues Team Frequently Asked Questions