The original item was published from June 1, 2017 11:23 AM to June 2, 2017 10:32 AM
There is power in numbers and collective action. A single voice might not persuade a government body or organization to take action on an issue but six voices might. The first step in participatory democracy is to show up.
1. Define the issue - What do you want to happen/change?
2. Determine who has the power to make a decision on your issue and what the formal decision-making process is.
3. Identify the scale of the issue - one street, a whole neighborhood, city-wide, regional, state, federal.
4. Do some homework – Google experts in the field, gather relevant documents, check how other cities have dealt with this issue, review regulations, laws, ordinances, i.e., what journalists call “backgrounding.”
1. Identify opponents and understand their interests
2. Join forces with existing groups like a neighborhood association or other community-based group
3. Form your own group
• Seek out influential bloggers with similar interests who might support your cause or at least blog about it and publish contact info.
• Make phone calls & develop phone trees to find additional supporters
• Utilize the internet (email lists, Yahoo group, Facebook) to solicit support
• Thank people who help
GET THE WORD OUT, EDUCATE THE PUBLIC
1. Develop a clear, easy to understand message, one that clearly states the problem, the solution and specifies what action needs to be taken to achieve the solution
2. Set up a line of communication utilizing phone trees, social networks, email lists, etc.
3. Create a website
4. Appoint a spokesperson & develop a media strategy
• Get list of reporters at community/neighborhood and major newspapers and at the TV stations (contact ONI for some of its media lists)
• Keep them in the loop about your group’s activities and events, send them any news releases (building personal relationships with reporters always helps)
• Focus on those media that serve the scope your issue (e.g.) neighborhood, citywide, statewide, etc.
• Make presentations to other community groups
1. Tell your story—how you and others are affected by the issue—to elected officials or others who have decision-making power over your issue (city, county, Metro, state, federal)
2. Understand the decision-making process from start to finish at each of the above levels of government
GATHER RESOURCES/RAISE FUNDS TO GET JOB DONE
1. Identify necessary resources (cash, in-kind contributions of materials or services)
2. Develop plan for raising resources
• Direct appeal for funds/services; flyers, website, fundraising events.