Timeline

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Definition:

The process of intentionally arranging your tactics to build power over time

Key Principles

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  • Your timeline has to be believable.
  • Building power should be like a snowball rolling down a hill: It gathers momentum and grows bigger over time.
  • Through your timeline, you can tell a story about the campaign. There will be a beginning; moments of choices, challenges, outcomes; and peaks and moments to build.
  • Your timeline will be proactive (what you plan ahead), all the while looking for moments to be opportunistic (responding to the current moment in the moment).
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  • Each tactic builds our resources for the next time.
  • We have to be smart about preparing our organizing to last for the long haul. We think about timing because if we try to do everything right away, we'll exhaust ourselves and burn out our resources too quickly.

How to:

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  • Sometimes, you just have to choose a tactic and get started! There is no perfect first tactic. Choose a first tactic that will help you build power and will involve your community.
  • Other times, you can map out how your organizing should build over time with a timeline that includes peaks and valleys.
  • Your timeline has to consider both external factors (i.e., what you can't control or what your target has set as his or her schedule) and internal factors (i.e., proactive plans that you can make).
  • Your timeline also should consider how you can build your resources through your organizing over time. For example, you may not want to start out with a tactic that will take all of your resources.
  • The only useful timeline will be one that changes over time—leaders have to make decisions depending on current circumstances and change their timeline accordingly.

Take-Aways

 

  • 1. Your timeline will be proactive (what you plan ahead) and opportunistic (responding to the current moment in the moment).

 

  • 2. Your timeline should consider how you can build your resources through your organizing over time.

 

  • 3. The only useful timeline will be one that changes over time.

 

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