Last night Network Delaware held its kick-off at CCAC on Market Street and over 240 people showed up to get involved!
Former mayoral candidate Eugene Young, who was 234 votes shy of winning the primary election, wants to channel the energy of his campaign back into Wilmington’s neighborhoods and beyond.
On Monday, Young launched Network Delaware, a statewide grassroots coalition of community organizers and leaders who plan to advocate for public policy and economic development.
“We don’t want it to stop with the election,” Young said. “We have an obligation to continue to find ways to be of service.”
The organization, also known as The Network, states it is made up of 100 active participants divided into six working groups: a door-to-door community organizing team, a public policy think tank, a leadership development training program, an economic opportunity incubator, a strategic non-violence training group and an electoral politics committee that would encourage citizens to run for office.
After last night, the number of active participants who signed up doubled! Take a look at this crowd – and these photos don’t show everyone, since we had people standing outside the room!
Photos provided by Elizabeth Lockman
Eugene Young addresses the crowd.
That’s a lot of people!
What an amazing event. The energy was contagious.
Network Delaware is comprised of six pillars:
This is the core of the Network since it focuses on building up capacity block-by-block in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. This pillar helps amplify existing public, private, and community efforts by connecting them with those we organize with in the neighborhood.
The purpose of this organization is to identify those community members who have a desire for change and engage them in leadership development opportunities so they can impact their own neighborhoods through new policies or businesses. This means moving them along their own leadership path from supporter to volunteer to leader.
Economic Opportunity Incubator
This pillar focuses on training new entrepreneurs, fostering cooperative workspaces where all employees are intimately responsible in the company’s success, and workforce development.In particular, we aim to spur economic opportunity in some of Delaware’s hardest hit neighborhoods.
Through specialized training and access to resources, along with with connecting community members with existing organizations, this pillar will grow new businesses. It will also help interested existing businesses transition to community cooperatives. This pillar could eventually grow to be a wider community workforce development initiative depending on needs in the community.
Electoral Politics Committee
The electoral politics committee focuses on building a robust structure to support candidates for local, state and federal offices. We will identify, recruit, and coordinate training and mentorship for candidates.
The committee is also tasked with creating and developing a voter-focused information hub, a “political profile” for each district, and a report card system of currently elected officials and their impact on Delaware. This pillar will also establish a comprehensive fundraising system and support the development of responsive political parties.
Leadership Development Pipeline
We need to create a sustainable “Leadership Development Pipeline” that builds up the next set of intersectional leaders (e.g. in organizing, research, communications, and democratic workspaces, etc.) and public servants for the common good. This means researching best practices for organizational development, inclusive workspaces, implementing justice, and hands-on training. This pillar will also focus on recruiting and retaining leaders for Network Delaware.
Public Policy and Research Institute
Network Delaware will create the first Delaware-based policy and research institute (e.g. on economics, education, criminal justice, etc.) that will research and advocate for sound public policy and progressive cross-issue solutions. We want to build a culture of institutional justice that has the capacity to change the way both local and state governments approach issues across the state and thereby ensure that everyone has ample pathways to success.
We will create a repository of the latest effective progressive state and local legislation from around the country. We will write and adapt these pieces of legislation to Delaware’s context. We will share and push this legislation through a range of mediums (e.g. direct advocacy, Op-Eds, accessible website, etc.).
Nonviolent Movement Building Group
The Strategic Nonviolence Team seeks to propel the analysis, skills, and vision to enact effective strategic nonviolence through the state and country. Specifically we will plan resistance to nationalistic, authoritarian, and undemocratic narratives and actions, while building a unifying vision.
We will foster a “hybrid” model of “momentum-driven organizing” between structure-based groups and mass nonviolent disruption. We will developed a clearly normed, disciplined, and decentralized network that is well-trained to implement their own creative and adaptive actions.
There’s something for everyone! For more information about NetworkDE, here’s the link to the website! Sign up to be part of this highly energized and motivated group of people today.