Archives for Organization

Mobilizing Conservatives for Action

mobilization 2An old Chinese proverb says that “To know and not to do is not to know”.

The whole point of identifying and informing conservatives politically is so that they can ultimately have an impact on something they care about. It’s one thing to get people riled up about something, but it’s another (more effective) thing to point them towards an outlet.

In other words, mobilizing conservatives for a specific shared purpose.

Organize to Mobilize:

An essential element of mobilization is organization.  Once you’ve got a group of people identified and informed around a particular issue, the larger the group (or the scope of action), the more you need to break things up into manageable chunks that specific people can be responsible for.  The same goes for areas you might be working on or want to keep tabs on, (such as different state or local government meetings, etc.).

When you keep things simpler and smaller, you keep it more organized. 

People may have good intentions, but they’re more likely to “do” when someone is specifically tasked with following up with them. They will feel more accountable to do what they’ve said they would.

Find a Trigger:

Depending on what issue (or issues) you’re involved with, this could be specific government meetings (such as a local school board), a petition effort to change text books, a fight over a local bond referendum, or lobbying state legislators over a specific piece of legislation.

A trigger needs to be directly and understandably relevant to the overall reason people are involved to begin with.  They need to be able to directly see and understand how taking a specific action will have an impact on the thing they care about.

The more specific, simple and direct the “triggers” are the better results you’ll see.

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People are busy.  Part of the reason they’ll join with you and others is that doing so provides them a service, or a “shorthand” way of letting someone else do the investigating into what needs to be done, how, when and where. So give it to them.

They’re ready to take action.  Just make an effort to give them the details.

Five Tools for Conservative Grassroots Organization

grassroots organizationGrassroots organizing is no different than pretty much anything else in life.  If you’re serious about doing anything, you need to make sure you have the right tools to get the job done.

Here’s a handy list of five of the most basic tools you should have at your disposal if you’re going to try and build a grassroots organization at the precinct level that can truly have an impact on the things you care about.

1) A list of all registered voters in your precinct

It’s hard to identify and organize if you don’t know who the registered voters are, (or aren’t), and in order to do that you need a recent copy of the voter registration list for your precinct (or whichever precinct you’re working in).

You can get this from your local election (or voter registration) board.

2) “Prospect” lists

Just like in sales, you make your job of finding the people you’re looking for easier if you have a “warm” list of prospects.

Conservative issue petitions, surveys or membership lists from conservative churches make great “prospect” list for potential conservative activists and voters.  They will make it easier for you to identify registered (and unregistered) conservatives by cross-referencing them with voter registration lists.

The result is that you know who lives in which precincts, and who is registered to vote and you could possibly approach about getting involved in your efforts.  You also find out who isn’t registered, so you can get them registered in the future.

3) Blank voter registration forms

Call your local voter registration office and get copies of your state’s voter registration form, (you may even be able to download it online, depending on where you live). You want enough copies for all of those unregistered conservatives you identified from your “prospect” lists.

If people aren’t registered, they can’t vote.  And if they don’t vote, they don’t count.

4) A map of the precinct

Having a map makes it easier to get an idea of who is where and how to get to them. You should be able to get this from your local planning commission or voter registration office, (or if not, they will probably know where you can).  Try to get one with street lines and names overlaid on it, to make it easier for you to use.

Remember, precincts are the building blocks of all other election districts, so you want to make sure your efforts revolve around individual precincts.

5) A political events calendar

Identifying conservatives and organizing them is one thing, but it is also important to keep them informed.  Set up a calendar to keep track of the dates of party primaries, general elections, special elections, school board, local council elections and meetings, as well as local political party meetings.

Let your people know what’s going on and how they can get involved.

Bottom line: do the basics

This is just a basic list, but that’s the point.  It’s “basic”.  Don’t get too distracted by anything that would keep you from focusing on the basics until you get them done.

(Find out more about grassroots organization in my training series!)

How conservatives can impact the political system

keys to impacting political systemSo, you want to make a difference in the political system on the things you care about?  But how should you go about it?

When it comes to being effective politically, there’s no great mystery.  But there are some time tested basics to successfully impacting the political system.

Generally speaking, there are three keys to impacting the political system:

  1. Identify and organize your supporters
  2. Inform them
  3. Mobilize them

Without identified people that are willing to help, you have no organization.

Without information, people will not know how to proceed, let alone when, where or why.

And without mobilization towards a given objective, an organization lacks a reason to exist and will quickly fade away.

These three simple steps constitute the fundamentals of successful grassroots politics at every level and can help you build a successful local organization from the ground up.  Embrace them and you’ll be on the path to achieving your goals.

So how do you get started?

Your first order of business is to identify a small core group of people who share your views and a vision for what you want to do.

Think of it as a sort of “steering committee”.  When small groups come together and direct their energies in pursuit of a common goal, leverage and synergies are achieved.  They begin to feed from one another and keep each other enthused.

Get together and discuss the different areas each of you would like to focus on and what you believe is important. Develop a consensus and then decide who will do what.

Then pool your resources.

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Get more tips like these in my “Grassroots 101 Training Series“.  Check it out!