Door-to-door
More Than Statistics

More Than Statistics

By Sharon Merino What does it entail to give oneself to the cause? It means long hours, stress, frustration, and little sleep, but most of all hope — hope that all the hard work will pay off; hope that you will meet your goals; and hope that the work will truly impact everyone you spoke...
Organizing is a Lifestyle

Organizing is a Lifestyle

By Harold Dela Cruz You’ve probably all thought about doing something in your lifetime that will change the world. But what does it take to create lasting change in a community? And what are some of the challenges? Participating in the Organizing and Leadership Academy (TOLA) has shown me that positive change is incredibly difficult...
Conquering Fear - An Organizer's Story

Conquering Fear – An Organizer’s Story

By Grace Luk On my first day of TOLA, I was faced with one of the most nerve-racking tasks: canvassing and approaching strangers. Clipboard in hand, I became one of those people I often ignore on sidewalks persuading others to sign a petition, or support a cause. My job was to educate the community about...
Rearranging Meaning

Rearranging Meaning

By Kyle Peerless I am so grateful for the TOLA program. The curriculum and guest speakers we are exposed to in conjunction with our campaign work allow us to develop skills to become effective at connecting with people in a way that provides perspective and inspiration, and the impetus to take action against injustice. In...
We’re the TOLA Fellows. We Organize.

We’re the TOLA Fellows. We Organize.

By Geovanni Gomez Aurora, Harold, Grace, Monica, Sharon, Roger, Claudia, Geo, Kyle. We’re the TOLA fellows. We remind each other every day why we do the work we do. The campaign: pushing through a soda tax in 2 different cities. The work: on the ground conversations. Human interactions to convey the importance of the campaign,...
Watch NEW Berkeley vs Big Soda Film!

Watch NEW Berkeley vs Big Soda Film!

In November 2014, Berkeley became the first US city to pass a measure taxing distributors of soda and other sugary drinks. One year later, Berkeley’s soda tax has generated over $1.5 million for community nutrition and health efforts! Concerned about skyrocketing type 2 diabetes rates among children, many communities throughout the United States and the...
Part II - TOLA Alums on Presidential Campaign Trail

Part II – TOLA Alums on Presidential Campaign Trail

Interview of Mary Janet Ramos, TOLA 7 Q: Tell us about your involvement with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Nevada?  A: As a field organizer, I was responsible for daily voter contact outreach including attending community events, doing door to door work, and organizing daily phone banks. Every day I had conversations with people in...
Part I - TOLA Alums on Presidential Campaign Trail

Part I – TOLA Alums on Presidential Campaign Trail

Interview of Lynn Wiggins Q: Tell us about your involvement in the Bernie Sanders campaign in Nevada?  A: I was a Field Organizer in Northern Las Vegas on the Bernie Sanders campaign, responsible for organizing Nevada Assembly Districts 7 and 17, a total of 68 precincts. Q: What inspired you to work on a presidential...
Beyond Labels: A Young Organizer's Journey

Beyond Labels: A Young Organizer’s Journey

By Gabriela Andrade When I first heard about TOLA, I knew I had to apply. I was hungry for a program that could teach me the how, the why, and the who of organizing. Before TOLA, my experience as an organizer consisted of shadowing other organizers without fully understanding what I was doing or how...
A Game Changing Community

A Game Changing Community

By Deyanira Nava After three short weeks, I have found that TOLA keeps pushing us to step outside our comfort zones. With only one week of curriculum and canvassing work under our belts, we headed to Watsonville, California, to raise awareness of the health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.   In my previous work with...
Fighting Big Soda

Fighting Big Soda

By Lisa Alvarado The Berkeley vs Big Soda tax measure is more far reaching than simply taking a stand against sugary beverages.  If Measure D passes, it has the potential to affect families like mine in monumental ways. My parents struggled with their weight throughout my childhood. My mother drank about 4 sodas a day — with...
Power of Listening

Power of Listening

By Joyce Ganthavorn There’s a Fred Ross Sr. axiom that says, “When you are tempted to make a statement, ask a question.” In TOLA we have been learning about the value of listening. Although I think all of The Organizing and Leadership Academy Fellows are great listeners, the program is challenging us to take our...

Copyright © 2011 TOLA. All rights reserved.