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How To Be A Citizen Activist - Guide for Taking Political Action NOW

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How To Be A Citizen Activist -is a guide for Taking Political Action based on Nick Licata's book "Becoming a Citizen Activist." It has the areas and steps outlined in simple clear message for you to understand how to become an active citizen.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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How To Be A Citizen Activist - Guide for Taking Political Action NOW

  1. 1. How to Be A Citizen Activist Cliff’s Notes from “Becoming a Citizen Activist” by Nick Lacata
  2. 2. A step-by-step guide to becoming politically active
  3. 3. #1 Vote and help increase voter turnout
  4. 4. 4 ways to increase voter turn out
  5. 5. Same-day registration Way #1 to increase voter turn out
  6. 6. Mail-in Ballots Way #2 to increase voter turn out
  7. 7. More Choices in Candidates With Public Funding of Campaigns Way #3 to increase voter turn out
  8. 8. Put Public Spending on the Ballot Way #4 to increase voter turn out
  9. 9. #2 Get informed
  10. 10. 4 methods for getting good information
  11. 11. Seek reports, data and other information from organizations in other areas that have been successful in your cause. Method #1 for getting good information
  12. 12. National or International Organizations. Method #2 for getting good information Find out if there is a national or international organization that supports the cause. Seek information and data from the organization. Ask staff at the organization for advice for gathering data and information.
  13. 13. Gather data for your area. Method #3 for getting good information Search online. Get public records from government agencies. Go to the library to get help in gathering data and information.
  14. 14. Conduct an opinion poll. Method #4 for getting good information Use a pollster. Ask one question. Gather a random sample. (Cost for one question is often reasonable) If using convenience sample, compare to similar data gathered by a random sample.
  15. 15. #3 Win A Politician To Champion Your Cause
  16. 16. 5 steps winning a politician champion
  17. 17. Have a clear message & plan, and broadcast it. Step #1 to winning a politician champion
  18. 18. Go to public hearings and speak about your issue. Step #2 to winning a politician champion
  19. 19. Volunteer & donate to their campaign – and only theirs (focus your efforts). Step #3 to winning a politician champion
  20. 20. Organize with other citizen activists. Step #4 to winning a politician champion
  21. 21. Push other politicians to join your champion in support, especially when they are running for office. Step #5 to winning a politician champion
  22. 22. Once you win your champion: 1. Offer them a leadership role 2. Give them credit for wins (as long as they are committed to the cause) Caveat on winning a politician champion
  23. 23. 1. Always get a specific commitment each time you meet. 2. Bring the draft legislation with you (in addition to providing in advance of your meeting). 3. If they need time to review, review the legislation with them or ask to another appointment to review together. 4. Do not settle for a statement of support. Ask them to sponsor, second, or co-sponsor. 5. If they refuse to meet with you or to negotiate, picket or protest them to get their attention. Trouble shooting for winning a politician champion
  24. 24. #4 Great Media
  25. 25. 7 aspects of media for citizen action
  26. 26. Develop a short but broad mission Statement that clearly identifies what needs to be done. Media aspect #1 for citizen action
  27. 27. Have a great slogan. Media aspect #2 for citizen action
  28. 28. Have a clear plan of what should be done, including draft legislation, ready to go. Media aspect #3 for citizen action
  29. 29. Publish widely. Media aspect #4 for citizen action website blog you tube twitter infographics newsletters facebook (create a group) hand outs...
  30. 30. Get published widely. Media aspect #5 for citizen action Write & publish a book Write journal articles Write newspaper opinion pieces Radio & TV interviews Newspaper interviews Magazine interviews
  31. 31. Speak Media aspect #6 for citizen action Create speaking events – invite a keynote speaker Ask to speak at events Go to public hearings Get invited to speak at events
  32. 32. Spread the word. Media aspect #7 for citizen action Ensure the media is about your cause, not personality or ego. Make is easy for allies to advocate for the cause.
  33. 33. What to do with bad press: Media troubleshooting 1. Fully understand opponent’s position, interests & values. 2. Reply or write letter to the editor (or similar body) framing your cause. 3. Ask allies to respond as well.
  34. 34. Never lecture. Media caution Listen carefully for other’s interests. Frame the cause to their interests.
  35. 35. The magic recipe to overcoming government inertia: Media caveat Opposing parties agreeing to a common course of action.
  36. 36. #4 Create a Citizen Commission
  37. 37. 8 steps to creating a citizen commission
  38. 38. Step #1 creating a citizen commission Have a clear plan of what should be done, including draft legislation, ready to go.
  39. 39. Step #2 creating a citizen commission Learn from similar efforts. Get and share the reports, data and other information from other areas that have accomplished the goal of your cause.
  40. 40. Step #3 creating a citizen commission Band with the other individual advocates (like you) who are advocating for the cause.
  41. 41. Step #4 creating a citizen commission Create a group and give your group a name. (“Ad-hoc citizen commission on ___”)
  42. 42. Step #5 creating a citizen commission Invite organizations that are natural allies to join.
  43. 43. Step #6 creating a citizen commission Issue advisory statements to legislators and the media.
  44. 44. Step #7 creating a citizen commission Hold public forums.
  45. 45. Step #8 creating a citizen commission Ask a politician to recognize the citizen commission and officially ask for recommendations on programs, policies, appointments etc.
  46. 46. Caution creating a citizen commission Keep the commission open to people and organization working for the cause to ensure it is working on behalf of the people, and does not get derailed or become an exclusive club(not democratic).
  47. 47. Caveat on a citizen commission If a citizen commission or task force will not listen or is off-course, point to its shortcomings through the media or use the threat of public criticism to get their attention regarding your recommendations.
  48. 48. #5 Petition
  49. 49. 10 steps for petitions & initiatives
  50. 50. Step #1 for petitioning Specific Language – Have Model Legislation.
  51. 51. Step #2 for petitioning If you goal is to get on the ballot, have the correct forms and follow the correct procedure for signatures.
  52. 52. Step #3 for petitioning Hold regular (weekly) organizing meetings open to all.
  53. 53. Step #4 for petitioning Continually gather community-based support. Faith-based organizations Businesses Schools Nonprofits Community Organizations Authors, Artists, Others
  54. 54. Step #5 for petitioning Hold a rally (or many). Invite politicians and other great speakers. Ask all who attend for specifics: 1.Sign the petition 2.Come to the next demonstration 3.Organize their friends 4.Come to a community organizing meeting
  55. 55. Step #6 for petitioning Once you have media attention, invite people to specific places to sign the petition (online or on the ground).
  56. 56. Step #7 for petitioning March, Sit In & Demonstrate. Find creative ways to exercise 1st amendment rights to assembly.
  57. 57. Step #8 for petitioning Have fun at the protests & rallies. Marathon games Dancing, singing Poetry slams Fun contests (get prizes from supporting businesses)
  58. 58. Step #9 for petitioning Hold a public hearing. The citizen’s commission can request the cause’s champion politician to spearhead the hearing. Ensure the purpose, venue, time, process are clear and that there is an experienced facilitator.
  59. 59. Step #10 for petitioning Introduce legislation to body of law. Or get it on the ballot, and then continue to raise awareness and gain support.
  60. 60. Once your legislation is adopted. Advocate for an office or cabinet with full time paid employees and a budget. Advocate for advisory role in appointing officials and determining program, policies and projects.
  61. 61. And Celebrate successes! little ones and big ones
  62. 62. More tools for social change and a new economic paradigm at www.happycounts.org

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