by Katy Abram, Director of New Media
I just had a great conversation with one of our activists in the Southeast portion of the state. We were discussing an issue of concern to her and her grassroots group but she wasn’t sure how to organize members to gain traction. After a few minutes she relayed that she has a great relationship with her state representative and this representative could be swayed given enough pressure from the right.
This is a great learning moment. This freedom fighter has a great opportunity that she can easily take advantage of. My suggestion was to simply amplify her voice. But how does one do this? It’s simple. Take your top grassroots members who are very active. Then team them up with a buddy who may not be as active. Set up a schedule on the calendar for each team to visit their elected official on your particular topic of interest. The time frame could be over the course of a week, month or whatever the issue demands but the key is to “beat the drum” on your issue. Keep beating the drum and don’t stop. Your focus is two-fold: to educate your elected official and get your less active friends to create a relationship with the elected official. Once your friend becomes comfortable with the meetings they can then invite someone new too. This is where you are amplifying your voice!
In regards to being a resource of information typically the information your elected officials receive is obtained from a research committee that has been in place from one administration to another. They may or may not be of the left or right when it comes to ideology. You must be a new resource for your elected official on the topics that concern you.
Once you gain trust you will likely become a go to source from them. Some of our activists have such great working relationships with their elected officials that they have actually received calls from their representative asking for their opinion when a vote is about to take place.