Network Delaware: Startup Nonprofit Aims To Empower Communities

Network Delaware: Startup Nonprofit Aims To Empower Communities

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A new nonprofit based out of Wilmington is planning to bring some major changes to Delaware. Network Delaware, also known as “The Network,” aims to build a grassroots coalition of community organizers and leaders to advocate for sound public policy, issue campaigns, and economic development opportunities that will bring real, sustainable change across the state.

Eugene Young, runner-up in the Wilmington mayoral primary, will announce the soft launch of Network Delaware during a kickoff party on Monday at the Christina Cultural Arts Center on Market Street.

“This is all about grassroots advocacy,” said Young. “There are a lot of people who are looking for opportunities to get involved, who want to become more engaged and make a difference. But too many people feel like they’ve been locked out the decision-making process. The Network will bring people together and provide opportunities to advocate for issues that will make a change in their communities.”

Young will also serve as Chair of the Network Delaware board of directors.

Mission and Vision of the Network. The Network’s vision is to propel innovative justice throughout our communities and expand the rights and achievements of all people. The Network’s mission is to leverage citizen-led community empowerment, research analysis, and leadership development to enact lasting socioeconomic change.

What is The Network? Network Delaware is a community-led 501 (c) (3) nonprofit social advocacy organization with an affiliated 501 (c) (4) that will engage in political advocacy. Network Delaware is structurally organized into six working groups to encourage social change in many areas of society, including:

  • a door-to-door community organizing team,
  • a public policy “think tank”,
  • a leadership development training program,
  • an economic opportunity incubator,
  • a strategic non-violence training group,
  • and an electoral politics committee.

Who is The Network? Network Delaware currently has over 100 active participants who are the backbone of the organization. Network Delaware has also organized an interim board of directors:

  • Board Chair – Eugene Young, Advocacy Director at the Delaware Center for Justice
  • President – Drew Serres, Former Campaign Coordinator at Eugene Young for Mayor
  • Vice President – Pamela Foster, IT Business Process Manager at DuPont
  • Treasurer – Mary Anne Edwards, Retired healthcare executive and nonprofit manager
  • Secretary – Bryan Payne, Emergency Communications Manager at a national nonprofit

Why now? Currently, there are many opportunities for people to volunteer or support other projects, but very few community-led advocacy and public policy initiatives. Network Delaware aims to give people the tools, analysis, and vision to affect real change in their neighborhoods. These initiatives are setup to support those in the community who otherwise would think that political, economic, and social change is for the “experts” rather than everyday citizens.

What are the goals? Over the next few years, Network Delaware will:

  • To make a tangible difference in people’s daily lives.
  • To exhibit a high degree of legitimacy and inspiration among citizens, public officials, community organizations, the media, and other institutions.
  • To foster an action-oriented culture throughout Delaware that significantly engages communities.
  • To be a model that can be replicated nationally and globally.
  • To meaningfully bring about systemic justice.