Western Colorado Congress is a grassroots, democratic organization dedicated to challenging injustice by organizing people to increase their power over decisions that affect their lives. WCC’s community groups and members work together to create healthy, sustainable communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship and a truly democratic society.
In the late 1970s, local citizens groups sprouted across the Western Slope of Colorado in response to threats to their local communities – coal and molybdenum mining, oil shale development, and plans for powerlines were a few of the concerns. As the scope of their concerns broadened, members of these local groups decided to band together to create a unified citizens voice. From these groups and their members, the Western Colorado Congress formed in 1980. Because Western Colorado Congress takes on such a variety of issues, it has come to mean different things to different people. However, WCC has always maintained its commitment to organizing citizens on issues that directly affect their lives. Our vision is a Western Slope that works for everybody, and community leaders and movements that are empowered to keep it that way.
True Grassroots Democracy
Forward-Looking Leadership and Civic Engagement
Political Power, Not Partisanship
Our Theory of Change
All too often, people feel like they can’t change anything: “What can one person do?” The system marginalizes us, divides and conquers us. WCC flips that script, employing community organizing and leader development to enable people to build and exert their collective political power. We don’t deliver services or run programs; rather, we seek to address root causes by changing policies and power structures through strategic campaigns.
In all societies and in all times, there’s an inevitable tendency for power to become concentrated in the hands of a few. We believe that the best way to check this tendency is by organizing people at the grassroots level to increase their power over the decisions that affect their lives, and by developing community leaders to maintain this work over the long term. We believe that this rebalancing of power not only ensures a fairer and more compassionate society, but also makes democracy work better and increases individual freedom and social stability.
Community organizing brings people together – first they see that they’re not alone, and then learn that they can join with others to gain real political power (which is simply the ability to make change). In an age dominated by social media and superficial clicktivism, community organizing fills a need for authentic civic engagement and good old-fashioned human interaction.
Our organizers provide members with leadership and skills training, then empower them to create their own campaigns, formulate strategy, and serve as spokespeople. Their campaigns grow organically and build community buy-in and pride. In this way, we seek to make positive change, strengthen democracy, and develop citizen-leaders who will become the decision-makers of the future.
Our campaigns cover a variety of issues, but what unites them is that they’re designed to build a permanent movement that challenges unfair power structures and advances the cause of social, economic and environmental justice.
Our Staff Team
Montrose/Ouray Community Organizer
Garfield County Community Organizer
Mesa County Organizer
Office & Membership Coordinator
Our Board of Directors
Uncompahgre Valley Association
WCC of Mesa County
Grand Valley Citizens Alliance
Ridgway-Ouray Community Council