Chris Pollina Candidate Questionnaire

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Nominated For: Internal Organizer

What is your organizing experience? What is your plan for growing power in 2019 should you be elected to your position?

While it’s not exactly organizing in the same capacity, my job as director of children’s programs at a Unitarian church is the most recent experience of “internal organizing” I have. I do a lot there, but the most relevant things are recruiting and training volunteers from within the congregation, welcoming and orienting new families to our church and getting them plugged into events, and tracking attendance. I’m also in a band with 11 other people and there’s actually a fair amount of internal organizing of that unit of people I’ve done over the past 12 years, such as dealing with conflicts, scheduling, juggling different priorities, facilitating meetings, delegating responsibilities so I don’t burn out, and so on. I’m still pretty new to organizing externally — in the past I’ve helped plan and stage a few protests in Seattle, and have organized a few fundraisers for various causes, but I’ve done more organizing work in the past few months with the immigration justice working group than I have in quite some time.

My plan for growing power in 2019 is basically to help do all I can to foster practices which make DSA a space that people will find out exists, feel welcomed to when they show up, and grow as organizers through their time here.

Why are you running? What do you want to accomplish, create, or change should you be elected?

To be honest, I was hesitant to run as I’m getting involved in organizing in the immigration justice working group and about to start doing organizing in North King County and don’t want to get totally bogged down in dealing with internal matters as at first they felt less important, a distraction from the things I was really enjoying learning more about and doing. Also, I was unsure about being in a leadership position after a relatively short time in the org — I’ve only been here since earlier this year. But a few things changed my mind.

First, I heard an interview with Yannis Varoufakis about how people shouldn’t be in leadership positions that *really want* to be in them, that it should be viewed as a job that needs to be done like taking out the garbage. That definitely resonated w/ me. Second, I was nudged by four folks on the local council to do it who I respect a lot and didn’t think would leave me holding a steaming bag of shit. Third, given the many years of experiences I have with welcoming people into an organization and creating systems to help create and sustain a network of volunteers working towards a common goal, I think I have something to offer which might be particularly important to DSA right now. A lot of folks left the LC this past year, and the first person that got me hooked into DSA organizing work, Diana, was one of those people. I don’t know the whole story, but I know sexism and a generally unhealthy internal culture has been a problem for many folks here and I don’t want to see that be the thing that fucks DSA. Basically I’d like to do what I can to help reinforce the immune system of this organization so that people don’t leave with a bad taste in their mouth and instead stay on and get more and more involved at destroying this bullshit system we live under.

Additional Statements

I think I’ve said my piece. If you have any other questions, I’m on slack — chris p — just hit me up. Thanks for reading 

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