Action Circles Webinar Series


Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process

Hear what Amy Johnson of the Parent Child Center Network, a longtime client of Action Circles, has to say about the Action Circles Model of Organizing! 

Action Circles is hosting weekly webinars every Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 PM (except for 9/1, which will be from 4:00 – 5:00 PM). Each webinar focuses on a different component of the Action Circles Model of Organizing that Amy Shollenberger has developed over many years. The model can be applied in many different ways, and has been tested in advocacy and political campaigns, fundraising efforts, and marketing plans. Participants will learn how to apply the following principles and methods of the Action Circles Model of Organizing to their own organizing:

Webinar schedule at a glance (all Webinars are Thursdays, 3:00 – 4:00 PM. Full webinar descriptions are below):
August 4th – Write Your Happy Ending
August 11th –  NO WEBINAR
August 18th – Candidate Events
August 25th – Action Circles Open Office Hours*
September 1st – Conduct a Power Analysis (starts at 4:00 PM)
September 8th – NO WEBINAR
September 15th – Learn the Basic Legislative Process
September 22nd – Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process
September 29th – Action Circles Open Office Hours*

*Action Circles Open Office Hours are an opportunity for advocates, activists and anyone else to virtually “stop by” our Office to ask questions, share thoughts, and think strategically about an issue or Campaign at your organization. There is no set agenda or topic for these webinar days, but rather, folks are encouraged to take advantage of this time dedicated for professional consultation based on YOUR needs!

Sign Up Today! 
The cost per webinar is $25, and participants can either sign up for single webinars or for the full series. All webinars in this series will be via zoom. Sign up below to RSVP!

Webinar Schedule:

Write Your Happy Ending 
Thursday, August 4th, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
A Happy Ending is a clear expression of how you will know when you have succeeded in achieving your goal(s). Writing your happy ending is sometimes the most difficult part of the advocacy process or Campaign, and it is also one of the most important steps. Having a clear Happy Ending established will allow you to ask the question “Does the action we want to take lead to the Happy Ending?”, which helps everyone involved develop sound strategy and make important decisions as they arise. Participants of this webinar will learn the basics of writing a Happy Ending. Amy Shollenberger will discuss the importance of knowing where you want to go and how this strategy allows you to achieve your goals more proactively, rather than reactionary. Participants will also get prompting questions that will help you start writing your Happy Ending. 

Candidate Events
Thursday, August 18th, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
This is an election year, and hosting an event that you can invite candidates to can be a powerful tool to build relationships with legislators and support for your issue in the Statehouse. If you host an event during an election season that any legislator is invited to, then you are required to invite all candidates for that District. Hosting such an event can help you to identify candidates who are interested in your organization or issue, hone your message and identify the top reasons why candidates would want to work with you, and start to identify legislative “Champions” for your issue. You should have minglers assigned for any Candidate Event – minglers are leaders in your organization who are responsible speaking to every single person at the event and inviting attendees to engage in your issue or Campaign in some tangible way. In this webinar, Amy Shollenberger will help participants think through all the elements of a Candidate Event, including choosing your minglers and making sure they are prepared, thinking about optimal times and locations for candidate events, and more!

Action Circles Open Office Hours
Thursdays, August 25th & September 29th, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
The Action Circles Open Office Hours are an opportunity for anyone to virtually “stop by” with our team to talk through legislative strategies or ask any questions you may have about the legislative process, budget process, or anything else! If you’re feeling stuck on what the next best move is for your campaign, or confused about the legislative process, then this is a great opportunity to brainstorm with other experienced advocates. People are welcome to join or leave the open office hour at any time throughout the hour.

Conduct a Power Analysis
Thursday, September 1st, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
An Action Circles Power Analysis is used to assess where your power comes from, where your opponents’ power comes from, who else might have power in the situation, and how you can shift the power to your advantage. A Power Analysis helps you to develop a strategy that leads to your HAPPY ENDING (Webinar #1). Participants of this webinar will get an overview of the different types of power we have identified over many years of experience and will learn how to use our “Power Wheel” activity to discover both your power and your opponents’ power, and how they overlap or contrast. There will also be an open discussion about the types of power, and whether there are any other types of power that people have experienced in their lives that is missing from our list. 

Learn the Basic Legislative Process
Thursday, September 15th, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Knowing the legislative process and the rules of the game will help you build a successful legislative strategy. In this webinar we’ll go over the state budget process and the basic steps a bill has to go through in order to be enacted into law, and highlight some key points to think about when you are building your strategy for either of those processes. Understanding the budget process is key to attaining or defending State funding through the Legislature, and to getting legislation passed that requires funding. You’ll also learn some “pro tips” and some “legislative lingo” so you can converse easily with the Statehouse regulars. 

Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process
Thursday, September 22nd, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Once you know the budget and legislative processes of the Vermont Statehouse, you can start to build an effective and successful strategy for your issue. In this webinar, we’ll go over some key considerations for you to think about as you build a strategy for moving a bill through the Statehouse or for securing state funding for your organization or Campaign. We will offer a structure for you to build your strategy upon, which will include the legislative steps necessary to take you from beginning to success for your issue.

Advocacy in a Hybrid World, January 7th
Federal Money and the State Budget Process, January 14th
Vermont Legislative Website 101, January 21st
Action Circles Open Office Hour, January 28th
Vermont Legislative Process, February 4th
Change Your Story with a Happy Ending, February 11th
Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process, February 18th
Action Circles Open Office Hour, February 25th
Accountability That Counts, March 11th
Invite, Support, Feedback Loop, March 18th
Action Circles Open Office Hour, March 25th
Build a Platform and Let Them Stand On It, April 8th
Power Analysis, April 15th
Fun Events, April 22nd
Action Circles Open Office Hour, April 29th

Interested in future webinars? Want to arrange a webinar for your team? Contact us!

Have a look at the modules we offer in the Action Circles Academy.