Pamela Twiss – Organizing Director, Take Action Minnesota

St. Paul, MN

August 9, 2012

Talking with Pamela Twiss is like attending a clinic on how to build the strongest organization.  She is full of information and powerful ideas and the organization that she works for is backing it up with on the ground victories including playing a central role in defeating the anti-democratic Voter ID referendum that conservative forces tried to slip past Minnesota voters.

Take Action Minnesota is in my view one of the most complete community based organizations in the United States.  They are serious about building power and have put together an organization that double-dutches through many of the structural barriers and hang ups that can slow a good organization down.  In one day a group of Take Action Leaders and staff can provide a training on community building, register voters, collect donations for their Political Action Committee and staff a phone bank making calls for a statewide referendum.  All in the name of one goal but in reality it is the work of three separate organizations with different tactical responsibilities but the same mission and strategy – Put power in the hands of progressive Minnesotans through direct action.

In this edited bit of our conversation, I’ve clipped together bits of our conversation that focus on the different things that Take Action leaders and staff do to build their organization.  Little things like making sure that they never forget that meetings aren’t work, they launch work – to bigger things like training board members to become active in politics.  Check it out:

Lest you think Take Action is only about the practice of organizing.  It is important to note that they have an impressive list of concrete victories including recently defeating a state wide Voter ID referendum that would have had drastic impacts on the health of democracy in the state, and likely the nation.  They have delivered on healthcare, state budget issues and political campaigns as well.

If you live in Minnesota give these guys a call and get active!

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