Laura & John Spottiswood
Our experience with the GLA classes was invaluable. It was tremendously educational and interesting and actually, a lot of fun. We met so many people that we continue to have contact with today. We learned to pinpoint a problem, whether it be in local government or at my job and find ways to go about taking action to make a change.
One of my biggest takeaways is learning to stay away from the capital letters and high emotional outbursts. This continues to be a struggle for me because I am overly emotional! I learned to focus my ideas and thoughts and communicate them effectively.
Since graduating from GLA we organized a repeal of an ordinance that had been passed on our local ballot the previous year, by putting a citizen’s petition on the ballot We organized using the skills we were taught in GLA and got the ordinance repealed. In doing so we connected with so many people in town and actually got some of them to run for local boards and helped them get elected.
Not only did we put a citizen’s petition on the ballot to repeal the ordinance, but we also put a citizen’s petition on the ballot to form a commission. That also passed and that commission has been formed and up and running for a few years. Out of that commission we organized an effort to start a Farmers Market in town. We are now in the midst of our 2nd season with the Farmers Market.
All of these efforts blossomed out of what we learned from GLA. We learned to network. We learned how to speak in public. We learned how to frame the situation to gain support. These skills are truly an effective way to make an impact.