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HR 3035: A Textbook Example of Successful Grassroots Advocacy

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POPVOX is neutral - we don’t take sides, we don’t endorse, we just get messages to Congress in the most effective way possible. Almost daily, we get questions about what makes up a great grassroots campaign -- how individuals and groups can truly reach Congress and have an impact, instead of just adding to the noise of the hundreds of millions of messages bombarding Congress each year.

The efforts of consumer and privacy advocates opposed to H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act, provide a unique success story. The bill was introduced on September 22, 2011. Consumer and privacy advocates rallied in opposition to the bill. On December 14, the bill's sponsor, Lee Terry, responded by sending a letter to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asking that his own legislation not be advanced.

Congressman Terry illustrated effectiveness of constituent input. The advocates leveraged tools like POPVOX to get the message out in just the right way to have major impact. And to his great credit, the bill’s sponsor, Lee Terry, listened.

How did they do it? A timeline of the efforts of the past three months present a textbook example of what a grassroots campaign should do: demonstrate support from real people, rally polifluentials and local press, engage with the official process, gain national attention, and effectively get their message to Congress.

Published in: News & Politics
  • POPVOX is neutral - we don’t take sides, we don’t endorse, we just get messages to Congress in the most effective way possible. Almost daily, we get questions about what makes up a great grassroots campaign -- how individuals and groups can truly reach Congress and have an impact, instead of just adding to the noise of the hundreds of millions of messages bombarding Congress each year.

    The efforts of consumer and privacy advocates opposed to H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act, provide a unique success story. The advocates leveraged tools like POPVOX to get the message out in just the right way to have major impact. And to his great credit, the bill’s sponsor, Lee Terry, listened. On December 14, he explained on his Facebook page: 'After listening to concerned constituents, today I have asked House leadership to not advance HR 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act.'

    How did they do it? A timeline of the efforts of the past three months present a textbook example of what a grassroots campaign should do: demonstrate support from real people, rally polifluentials and local press, engage with the official process, gain national attention, and effectively get the message to Congress.
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HR 3035: A Textbook Example of Successful Grassroots Advocacy

  1. 1. HR 3035:A Textbook Example ofSuccessful GrassrootsAdvocacy compiled by POPVOX.com
  2. 2. 1. Early awareness & engagement SEPT OCT NOV DEC 9/30/11 9/22/2011 National Assoc of Consumer Bill Advocates issues press release introduced opposing bill Coverage in tech press begins. 9/29/11 Citizens for Civil Discourse registers opposition on POPVOX.
  3. 3. 2. A call & funnel for action SEPT OCT NOV DEC 10/2/11 StopPoliticalCalls.org launches POPVOX widget to help people contact Congress, begins social media outreach. 10/3/11 10/3/11 5,725 people opposed Within one day, over 5,000 people send a message to Congress opposing the bill using POPVOX.
  4. 4. 3. Local media engagement SEPT OCT NOV DEC Editorials appear in newspapers across the country.
  5. 5. 4. State “grasstops” engagement SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/2/11 Indiana Attorney General holds press conference asking that people contact Congress on HR 3025 using POPVOX. Rather than deluge the members of Congress with telephone calls, though, Zoeller said hes asking people to instead register their views via the non-partisan website, Popvox, at https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/ hr3035.
  6. 6. 5. Broad coalition engagement SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/3/11 Consumer & privacy coalition send letter opposing bill. Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Minority Member Waxman: H.R. 3035 is not only unnecessary, it will effectively gut the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s essential protections against invasion of privacy, nuisance and harassing calls. We urge you to withdraw the bill. National Association of ConsumerAmericans for Financial Reform AdvocatesCenter for Media and Democracy National Consumer Law Center (on behalfCitizens for Civil Discourse (The of its low income clients)National Political Do Not Contact Privacy ActivismRegistry) Privacy Rights Now CoalitionConsumer Action Evan Hendricks, Publisher, PrivacyConsumer Federation of America TimesConsumer Watchdog U.S. Public Interest Research Group
  7. 7. 6. Growing constituent input SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/3-4/11 In days before hearing an additional 3,000+ people register opposition to the bill on POPVOX. 11/4/11 8,315 people opposed
  8. 8. 7. Engagement with Congressional process SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/5/11 Congressional hearing covered by CSPAN State representatives and consumer advocates inlcuded.
  9. 9. 8. Large advocacy organizations join SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/9/11 MoveOn, FreePress, DailyKos, Credo Action, launch petitions.
  10. 10. 9. National news coverage SEPT OCT NOV DEC 11/12/11 Hearing prompts national news coverage.
  11. 11. 10. Strong showing from all states SEPT OCT NOV DEC 12/7/11 Attorneys General from 54 states and territories send letter opposing HR 3035.
  12. 12. 11. Congress gets the message. Kills bill. SEPT OCT NOV DEC 12/14/11 The bill’s sponsor, Lee Terry, pronounces it dead.“We’re driving a stake through its heart... Dead. Done. Buried.” - Rep. Lee Terry “We have heard from our constituents. They are concerned about what they believe will happen should this legislation become law.” _ Rep. Lee Terry

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