Being a Citizen Activist

 

We, as concerned citizens, direct our attention to government for two basic reasons we want to make something happen or we do not like what is happening or about to happen.

 

On one hand, you may want to kill a bill, remove an official or block a proposed regulation or, on the other, and more positive side, you might want to pass a bill, get a friend appointed to an important position, or get a favorable ruling from an administrative agency. Thus, it is important that we know not only the complexities of our government and how it works, but also how to address the issues that we are trying to influence.

 

  • Our Founding Fathers promoted the idea of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. As an American, we are blessed with the advantage to engage in politics. Our creative ideas can lead to legislative changes in local, state, and federal law.

 

  • Oftentimes, bad policies move quickly through the legislative process and good policies are defeated within a few days of being introduced. We must organize and voice our opposition or support for legislation. Our successful leadership should be carefully organized and well planned. It is critical to work within the political system to achieve the desired goal.

 

Understanding the psychological makeup of our Legislators and knowing their key staff members is vital to achieving success as an advocate. Although money still plays a major role in getting the attention of your legislator, it is not the only thing. Learning to be a good citizen activist and the essential building blocks to that activism makes the job of a potential activist/advocate easier. Federated Women wield their power through not only their numbers, but through their educated volunteerism, capable advocate and women who continually make a difference.

 

According to GOPAC, the conservative education and training center, there are "four stages of a citizen-activist" and, you, as the citizen activist may choose at which level you wish to exert your power.

This stage is vital to the continuing success of our democratic system. One can pick various ways to participate at this second stage by:

 

  1. Stage I: The Voter: The most important, least time consuming, and, without a vote, even the best candidate would not get elected. Not only do we ask all federated women to exercise their right to vote but to work fervently to "Get Out the Vote" of others.

  2. Stage II: The Volunteer

    • joining your local party

    • volunteering for a political or inititiave campaign

    • educating the public

    • registering voters

    • distributing fliers, yards signs

    • canvassing door-to-door

    • attending town hall meetings

    • getting out the vote on election day

    • writing letters to the editor

    • joining the Colorado Federation of Republican Women

  3. Stage III: The Leader! Run the campaign, be a party activist, build coalitions, work the media.

  4. Finally, Stage IV: The Candidate! Running for elective office is the height of citizen activism

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