Here’s a simple little lesson for Green Party of Canada Organizers, and activists of all stripes. If you want to built esprit de corps, and strengthen your organization, you should institute a monthly Pub Night. The fact of the matter is that for so many Green Party of Canada EDA’s, the membership meets on rare occasions to elect an executive, or sit around with a bunch of strangers in a Park having a potluck picinic. To be perfectly honest, these things aren’t a whole lot of fun, and they aren’t calculated to form any lasting bonds or camaraderie.
The most important thing I have ever seen done in the GPC is for an EDA, or group of Green Party members to institute a regular monthly Pub Night, or Meet’N’Greet. Generally the best time is for the first Tuesday, or Wednesday evening every month, at the same venue, at the same time. Consistency is the key. A small percentage of the group will be able to make it every month, but over the course of a year, everybody who maintains an active interest will show up once or twice.
The reason this is important is because this disparate group of people will need to come together every once in awhile, and create a Political Campaign. If they all have a sense of each other, and feel they are part of a group, then they will mesh together very quickly to get on with the job. Idea’s for campaigning will have been hashed out over time. Without the regular meeting, the membership has no feeling of belonging to the group, and will quite definitely drift away.
It is the easiest thing in the world to make happen. Find a nice little pub that is readily accessible to most of the membership. Ideally there will be a small patio, or room that you may ask the management to reserve for you on monthly basis. Most Pubs will be more than happy to accommodate you, as Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the beginning of the month are pretty dead for a pub.
You must ensure that there is at least one member of the executive there every single month to host the event, and not let it lapse. That’s important because consistency is what will win the day. Send out a reminder email 1 week before to 100% of the membership. Send a second reminder email the evening before. DO NOT fill these emails up with any other crap. Make it a simple invitation, with perhaps a sentence or two about an interesting conversation you had the month before, or something light and enjoyable sounding that will make more people want to come. It’s as simple as that. Only a small proportion of members will come, but over time, you will be amazed that the number of active members in your EDA will grow dramatically.
If you want to get it started now, call your executive, and ask them to get it started. If you promise a free beer to all paid up members at the first meeting, $20 minimum membership renewals being accepted, then lots of people will show up with a donation in hand, and you’ll have a great launch. Just don’t forget. Make politics fun, and your’ EDA will definitely grow strong. Hey, don’t take my word for it, call Robin Green, at the Beaches East-York EDA in, or Rob Rishchynshki at Parkdale-High Park in Toronto. Both of these EDA’s have been knit into strong groups through their pub nights.