Riverside Movement Building Electoral Organizing Training


Riverside has been very strongly affected by environmental issues, the economic downturn, and the deep state budget cuts, like so many other communities. Students, seniors, and working families have been especially hurt by budget cuts and the community programs that serve these people have been just as hard hit. The community members and organizations in Riverside had decided that the time was right to create change and come together to stay strong and protect their communities. They knew that they needed help to launch and sustain an effective electoral campaign that would not die after an election year, but was an ongoing effort that would build and strengthen the infrastructure of their organizations.

On October 17th, CAP and member groups CHIRLA and KRC went to Riverside to help jump start members and allies by holding a “Movement Building Electoral Organizing vs. Traditional Electoral campaign” training.  The training was attended by a very diverse array of groups. There was representation from the Labor community, Organizing for America, and various college student groups and networks. However, the majority of folks were from the strongly rooted community groups like the Riverside Latino Voter Network and the Riverside Neighborhood Coalition. They were all there because they wanted to figure out how they could work together in coalition and continue to build their skills to make the changes needed in their communities.

Riverside is made up of a very unique constituency because there is a large university in the community.  The UC Riverside students strongly desire to work in their communities and are passionate voices for change. But as they are four-year University students, they are likely to leave the community after their graduations. One important issue that emerged was that the students could not create sustainable campaign on their own.  This issue was discussed at the training, because there would be no real local power building if people didn’t invest in their communities for the long term. Strategy-wise, the students could be a strong element of the campaign, but they had to truly commit to working in conjunction with the anchored community groups in order to build power in their community.

This introductory training led to the conclusion that the Riverside community needed many resources in order to sustain the coalition and build their electoral work to empower their members. They plan to continue to meet and create a work plan to determine how CAP and other partners to best assist them in their journey for a better Riverside.

For more information on this work, contact Alicia Lepe at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it