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Organizing Plan

We are currently in the second year of a project called “Our Communities, Our Water” where we have created a grassroots-organizing model that has brought the issue of control over our water into the light and public consciousness.

Our first two years of work in Massachusetts has encompassed the following:

  1. Screening the movie THIRST

THIRST takes a piercing look at the conflict between public and private stewardship, and the claim that water is a human right versus a commodity. Recently broadcast nationally on the PBS series, P.O.V., THIRST is a powerful look at the issue of water and who will control its future. After each screening there is a dialogue with a Massachusetts Global Action organizer, about what Massachusetts communities need to know about multinational corporations and the issue of maintaining local control over our resources. We have screened this movie (83) times so far as well as working to ensure that other organizations have access to this film so that they may conduct their own set of screenings.

  1. Surveying and Mapping the State of Massachusetts

We created a survey/questionnaire/indicator for statewide use in determining where cities/towns stand on the issue of water/wastewater privatization. This survey/questionnaire/indicator helped us determine which communities are currently privatized, and which communities are faced with this possibility in both the immediate and near future allowing us to determine where we need to be most pro-active in our organizing. This information is now available on a public website that allows local activists to easily access all the necessary information on their city/town along with information on other organizing resources that will help them with any local campaigns around the issue.

  1. Forums on “Globalization, Privatization, and Water: Our Needs, Their Profit”

A two-hour presentation and training on this issue has been presented at Universities all across Massachusetts. Each one has featured presentations from Massachusetts Global Action, and two other organizing partners, ˝ hour of Q & A’s, and then a ˝ hour of what we can do here in Massachusetts to maintain local control over our cities/towns natural resources.

  1. One day Conference on “Globalization, Privatization, and Water”

Our Massachusetts event in early 2005 pulled together (50) water activists from across the state to dialogue about this issue and to introduce the surveying, move towards the creation of water watch councils, and to review ideas for legislative support around this issue.

  1. 30-page Report on Water Privatization in Massachusetts

To support our work we have a 30-page report that relates the issue specifically to Massachusetts. This has been distributed to 5000 influential people in the state including elected officials, church leaders, editorial page writers and reporters, union organizers and community activists.

  1. Municipal Resolution

We have just added on this program work aimed at facilitating local municipal resolutions in support of public control of water resources. We see this as a valuable way to begin a pro-active discussion in communities across Massachusetts around the question of who will control water resources. (We did submit statewide legislation HB1333, last year but it has never gotten out of committee)

  1. New England Gathering of Water Workers and Water Activists.

We will hold a much larger and broader conference in September of 2006 at Umass/Amherst that will bring together water workers and water activists from all over New England, New York and Eastern Canada. (See MGA website for more information on this event as it develops)


MassGlobalAction • 33 Harrison Ave. 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111 • (t) 617-482-6300 (f) 617-482-7300