On May 23rd at 5:00PM at Temple Israel Boston, TELEM teens from Y MORE (Youth of Massachusetts Organizing for a Reformed Economy) will return to the public state to fight for the issues that are of concern to them – primary among them youth jobs and clean air – in an Accountability Action!

 So make sure you’re up to speed on TELEM Organizing- read our “cheat sheet,” that we’ve broken down into five stages:

The first step in any organizing campaign is (1)listening, where the members of a community gather to tell stories about what issues are of most powerful importance to them. So the Y MORE teens began their organizing process by coming together in small groups, called (2)house meetings, to share stories. They talked about wanting to make change in their communities, and told stories that illustrated why they cared.

After dozens of house meetings, the teens engaged in a process of (3)interpretation, digesting the stories that were told and discerning the common themes that resonated throughout all. Then they embarked upon a rigorous phase of (4)research, to identify concrete political campaigns that could connect to the themes that they surfaced. They made phone calls and met in person with experts, and they analyzed the robustness of each campaign by considering the likely outcomes: 

          Is it winnable?

          Will it bring about real results?

          Will it provide lots of opportunities to develop teen leadership?


They came together for a deliberation, and after grappling with all sides of the campaigns, they agreed to focus on the following two issues:

1. Youth Jobs: pushing the state legislature as well as local businesses to increase employment opportunities for teens

2. Air Pollution: pushing local institutions to “retrofit” their buses and trucks in order to significantly reduce the amount of toxins that are emitted into the air

What remains is for the TELEM teens in Y MORE to move into the (5)ACTION phase! Stay tuned for their exciting victories.

Want more information about the Y More Accountability Action? Email TELEM Organizer Beth Reisfeldcheck out their event on Facebook, or our website at www.telemyouth.org!   

You can also read a blogpost by Jesse Weiss, a 12th grader at Beth El Temple Center, and see the organizing process from a student’s perspective.