For this final Dogwood Organizing Newsletter in 2016, all you really need to know is in the stories and videos below. But here are a few highlights of what you did this year to make Dogwood stronger and better:
- Contributed to dozens of listening circles and came up with campaign ideas for Dogwood’s next 5-year strategic plan.
- Launched a new campaign to Ban Big Money in B.C. politics.
- Came out by the hundreds to tell powerful stories at every Kinder Morgan “review” panel town hall in the dog days of summer.
- Had 36 meetings with your elected representatives.
- Collected 12,481 new petition signatures.
- Recruited hundreds of new volunteers and team members.
- Patched through 209 phone calls from Dogwood supporters to their Liberal MP’s offices.
- Started new Dogwood teams in Nanaimo and at Simon Fraser University.
- Built the person-to-person connections that can withstand political betrayal, corporate greed and the forces of division and fear.
- Changed the world one conversation at a time.
There are not enough ways to say thank you for all that you give. With your strength, 2017 will be our biggest year yet at Dogwood. Together, I know we are up to the challenges ahead.
Here are shout outs from organizers to the superstars who rocked the world in 2016:
To Brenda Ross and Phyllis Ruthven, thank you for sticking it out in Delta and always taking initiative when opportunity knocks. Thanks to Tom Moody and Scott Van Denham for your dedication to organizing in New West and South Burnaby. Matthew Fitzpatrick, congratulations on an ever-growing SFU team, and thank you for all our discussions and jokes. To Mat Lyle and Ralph Maundrell in East Van, thank you for hosting the team in such a delicious way (the soup and pickles are always fantastic). Andrea Godding and Shayna Hornstein, thank you for being our rocks in the East Van community. And a final thank you goes out to Laura Marks for her commitment to keeping canvassing going in downtown Vancouver.
Thank you to organizers without existing teams to support them like Kristin, Jay, Robert and Adrienne in Gabriola, Sechelt, Ucluelet and Campbell River, who planned out suitable locations for the Day of Action and used Dogwood’s modified Knock the Block page to download the Let BC Vote pledge, then hit the streets with their neighbours, collected signatures, and uploaded data. It was remote organizing in action and an excellent team building exercise. In the Comox Valley, where the team had the luxury of planning out street theatre engagement with costumes and signs, special mention goes to Rick who provided sign infrastructure, Terry who coordinated post-event data entry and Will who made sure participants put the time in with clipboards in hand to talk with all those who passed through the busy downtown intersection.
I want to give a shout out to both old and new members of the Quadra, Fairview, South Van, and Kingsway teams – I think it’s wonderful that some people have been on teams for 4 years and others less than 4 weeks. Dynamic yet stable neighbourhood teams remind me that we are not in this work alone.
A special shout out to Quadra for the biggest local government relations meetings (9 people in David Eby’s office? Another 10 in Joyce Murray’s?), to Fairview for adapting after Jordan and Tyra left by bringing in new people and keeping the team going so well, to South Van for assembling the best food spreads for your monthly meetings, and to Kingsway for running your biggest canvass ever at the Kinder Morgan Day of Action! There are too many wonderful individuals to name.
Shout outs to: Lindsay in Wells who has singled-handedly gotten 10 per cent of the population of her town to sign! Stefanie in Chilliwack who brought LetBCVote pledge sheets to an event and got Grand Chief Stewart Philip to sign! Sheryl and Kim in Golden, bringing LetBCVote pledges to community events and talking to the newspaper. Rebecca in Langley who’s gotten more than 200 signatures on her own! Everyone is amazing!
A huge shout out to the South Vancouver Island Team and all the amazing people who make my job a dream. Thanks for the your dedication, hard work and friendship. Special thanks to our team leaders: Jane for stepping up this year and being such an incredible organizing force, Katherine for keeping the phones ringing, Francois for your talents finding such great people to work with us. Sue for your quiet work behind the scenes. Gail for leading the charge against Kinder Morgan in Sooke. Cam and Lane for keeping the flame alive at UVic, Kathryn for spearheading our new team in Nanaimo and to our new leaders Ian, Doug, Leslie and Carolyn, thanks for stepping up. Looking forward to achieving great things together in the New year.
Can’t say enough about my long term team members from across the North Shore. To Helen and Lucia, for being there since day one and always coming through to get the job done. To Roger, for passionate GR and eloquent letter-writing, drawing on your years of experience in Howe Sound and around B.C.. To Brandon Leitch, for getting to more canvasses than anyone else, in any kind of weather, in spite of being a student, holding down a part-time job, and relying on sketchy North Shore transit to get you to Dogwood events. And especially to our incredible team leaders: Sandy Rubin, for your steadfast ability to tackle any and all tasks, Nadine Sheppard for stepping forward this year with all of your great ideas and initiatives to become team lead in the Deep Cove community you hold so dear and Jackie Nelson, our new vibrant, dynamic and energetic leader in the Lonsdale area.
I’d love to name every volunteer on all of our teams! Working shoulder-to-shoulder with you is the most life-affirming part of my world. Love and thanks to each and every one of you for standing up for what you believe in, for the province we all love, and for contributing so greatly to our Dogwood community,