Katie Farber is ranked #51 of 69

I am a lifelong Union member recently retired. I am active in politics and in workers' rights issues.

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My political story

I have worked to elect folks who shared my ideals. Doorknocking, phonebanking, putting up signs, marching in parades, rallying and moving others to action.

Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship

I use the information and skills that I attain to take action. I have worked for many years for social change through political and direct action. I am somebody who will put everything I learn to good use. Since I am retired now, my income is limited (but my time isnt) so I could use help to pay for the conference and lodging.

What first inspired me to get involved

At age 13, my father asked me if I had any suggestions for needs in our neighborhood that could be brought about by political action. I said I thought we should have additional street lights in our neighborhood. My dad attended our party caucus and told our future Alderman about this need. The Alderman was elected with my dad's help and we got the street lights--I made the connection.

The blog post I am most proud of

The action I was the proudest of was organizing a large rally (about 500 people) to assemble at work to promote a good union contract. The best part for me was a young person I had mentored organized the contingent of workers from my building and led them marching and chanting to the location about 4 blocks from our worksite. I had done this in the past, but gave it to my mentee, who excelled.

More about my political involvement

When I moved to the suburbs 12 years ago, I had a right wing conservative State Representative and a conservative State Senator. When I attended my Union's lobby day at the Capitol, I was treated rudely by my Senator and vowed to oust him. I got involved with my Party (DFL) Senate District and eventually became Chairperson of the district--grew the party and moved others to action--teaching them to doorknock and campaign. We elected Democrats that cycle--the first time in 50 years. I am currently involved with AFL/CIO retirees and AFSCME retirees. I continue to work on campaigns and mentor others. I use my network of friends and activists to "cross-activate" people by connecting people with like goals who may not have worked together before, e.g. my Union Council Veterans' Initiative and a friend who heads the Disabled American Veterans group in Minneapolis to get some equipment for Veterans.

How I've gotten others involved

My main strategy to move people to action is to have one on one conversations with them, usually in person to create a rapport. I model the behavior I would like to engage others in--I dont ask people to do anything that I have not done, or am currently participating in--I was trained by my Union to be an organizer and use those skills to "Agitate, Educate, Organize". I use Facebook to invite people who know and respect me to engage in activities and use e-mails sparingly--usually with a follow up phone call--it is one thing to change minds, but is is something else to move people to action, and that is my strong suit.

Why I think participation in the netroots is important

Netroots is able to attract the best of minds to share information on WHAT WORKS. I especially enjoyed hearing from organizations that test on language for campaign scripts and do research on what actually helps win elections (not just the same old thing). I also appreciated DFA action oriented plans--how to use what you learn to DO SOMETHING.

My Twitter manifesto on online activism

Online activism works best if the groundwork, rapport has already been established. preferably by one to one contact.

I am a

Grassroots Activist