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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...
“You should be shy about stealing, not asking”

“You should be shy about stealing, not asking”

By Monica Gomez Growing up, my mom would teach us to speak up and to ask for help when we needed something. When we didn’t ask, she would say, “Te debería de dar pena robar, no preguntar.” (You should be shy about stealing, not asking.)  Even though I am not a shy person, I sometimes...
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,...
A Love for the Cause

A Love for the Cause

By Claudia K. Haro-Contreras Elotes, Churros, Raspados, Fruta Picada, Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, Paletas, and Quesadillas. There is no doubt that “The Mission” in San Francisco has it all. Hearing the “buenos dias” and “good morning” greetings while walking down Mission Street sure makes me feel homesick. I never imagined that working in such a...
TOLA Alums in Action

TOLA Alums in Action

Interview with Giuliana Martinez After graduating from The Organizing and Leadership Academy in 2014, Giuliana was hired as program coordinator for ‘Healthy Hearts SF’ in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. As part of the TOLA 6 class, Giuliana worked on the successful Berkeley vs Big Soda campaign, the first successful effort to tax...
Organizing is the Art of Discipline

Organizing is the Art of Discipline

By Mercedes Del Carmen Carreto Vasquez Organizing is an art and discipline is the tool that will help you create a masterpiece. Creativity seems to come from scattered thoughts, and as long as I remember, I have been creative. Learning to balance a sense of creativity with the need for discipline has been the biggest...
Self-Discovery in a Complex City

Self-Discovery in a Complex City

By Bobby Rodriguez Donoso One aspect of the TOLA program that I appreciate most is that fellows are not selected based solely on their experience in community organizing. Candidates are also evaluated on their personal attributes and qualities that can potentially make them an effective community organizer. Some of my peers in the program had...

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