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Criteria for Tactics, Considerations, A planning Method, Checklist, Using the Strategy Chart to Play. A Guide to tactics. Tactics must be based in strategy What works for one group may not work for another Remember important CRITERIA. Think Strategically .

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think strategically

Tactics must be based in strategy

What works for one group may not work for another

Remember important CRITERIA

Think Strategically
criteria for tactics

Focused on the Primary or Secondary Target of the Campaign

Puts power behind specific demand (example candlelight vigil to save whales?)

Meets organizational goals as well as issue goals (builds organization at the same time as winning the issue)

It is outside the experience of the target

It is within the experience and comfort zone of members

Criteria for tactics
considerations in popular tactics

Petition Drives

  • Petition Power comes from:
    • 1. Numbers
    • 2. Strategic Location and Timing
    • 3. Organized Follow-up
      • Elected officials (especially if victory was narrow)
      • Coming from right people (officials: voters, business owners: customers)
      • Petition presented just before election, not after
Considerations in popular tactics
petition tips

Short message

Large, legible names and signatures

Get contact info and volunteers

Quantity over quality (don’t spend time educating at this point)

Teamwork! Is more fun and builds confidence

Always make copies!

Petition Tips
letter writing

Mail in letters prior to meeting official AND hand over more at meeting to make a strong impression

  • If audience is sitting, use letters
    • This represents larger commitment from writer
Letter writing
letter writing tips

Sample text – no more than 3 sentences

  • Include return address
  • Address envelope, ask for and accept donations
  • Combine letter writing with selling something, and spread letter mailing out over a week’s time
Letter writing tips
turnout events

The CORE of organizing

  • For a community group, phoning is best
    • General Rule: of people who say YES to coming on 2nd call, ½ will actually come
Turnout events
turnout tips

Don’t start with “Hello, Ms. Garskof. You are on a list.”

Stress past connection

Mention a previous success

Indicate that person will play a role

Talk about why person is needed

Everyone will go together

Get definite commitment

Indicate a reminder and follow through

Turnout tips
turnout tips continued

Communicate message in 3 different ways:

    • Mailings
    • Email
    • Posters
    • Leaflets
    • Announcement at other community events
Turnout tips continued
  • At event, make effort to introduce everyone. Use nametags.
  • Make your events fun and exciting and get press!
  • Have something memorable that will be talked about in the future.
tips for visits with public officials

Try to meet with elected officials rather than appointed ones

  • Know most recent election results
  • Only recruit people you know/only have several spokespeople
  • Come with specific demand
  • Remember your forms of power:
    • Numbers, contributors, influential people, embarrass official for not acting in interest of community, official is yielding to pressure/money
    • Pin down official to a specific agreement
    • get another meeting if you can’t get agreement
Tips for Visits with public officials
tips for holding your own hearing

Remember to present the case, not all sides of it

Group must be 100+ members

Fill every seat and more

Get contact info from all in attendance

Prepare testimony in advance

Bring letters and petitions

Appoint one press person to give out release

Close with a rousing statement and give everyone something to do after the event

Tips for holding your own hearing
official hearing

Used to open debate, delay decision, create an arena to show strength

  • Try to get it on your turf when people can attend (neighborhood building at night?)
  • Official hearings are boring and you may end up waiting
  • Use humor if/when possible
    • Example: public housing tenants brought mice to City Council hearing
Official hearing
tips for attending an official hearing

Be identifiable as a group

Set up table for new supporters with info on issue

At very large events, bring “applause managers” so everyone knows who is in agreement

Give members talking points and assign when each will talk

Bring posters / large signs

If possible, get commitments on the spot (this works esp if audience is very large)

Tips for attending an official hearing
mass demonstrations

Must be increasing if continued

Should be combined with direct lobbying

Creates a strong recognizable reputation

Pick a good high-traffic location

Can be energizing for group

Marches, parades, rallies, picketing, sit-ins, vigils, street theater

Mass Demonstrations
accountability sessions

Meeting held with an elected official where you control agenda

Say why you want the official to support you

Panel of leaders make demands

Success is dependant on numerical strength shown in relation to election margin of victory

You want high numbers and/or representatives of high numbers on panel

Accountability Sessions
educational meetings and teach ins

Not only should this educate, but should get publicity and show strength

One speaker, give direction on what everyone can do

Not necessary to show other side

Remember to always take up collection with 5+ people

Educational meetings and teach-ins
civil disobedience and arrest

Never an end, but a way to move forward

  • Use careful strategy, make sure objectives match long-term goals
  • Effective when:
    • Constituency is comfortable
    • Visible leadership roles available for those who can’t participate
    • Tactic demonstrates power to target/secondary target (takes away something they need)
Civil disobedience and Arrest

To be successful, must be a moral issue of national or international importance

  • Product that:
    • Everyone buys frequently
    • Easily identifiable
    • Non-essential (or there is substitute)
    • Thread is more powerful than weapon- don’t threaten without intending on follow-through
the model is the architecture of the organization

Organizer must pay attention to the plan for building the structure of an organization

  • Organizers should have an idea of what the organization will look like and how it will function upon organizing.
    • Answer to “What,” not “How” or “Why”
      • Example: What is the model? We will have 30 individual members.
The Model is the Architecture of the organization
the 4 elements of the model

Function – what is it?

    • Win issues? Win elections?
  • Geographic Basis of Organization
    • Neighborhood? Housing development? Citywide?
  • Membership Basis
    • Individuals? Coalition?
  • Funding Base
    • Used to define model
    • Where does money come from?
The 4 elements of the model
model must be clear and internally consistant

Four Case Histories:

    • The Case of the Ambiguous Tenant Organization
    • The Case of the Superfluous Office
    • The Case of Statewide Coalition with Local Chapters
    • The Case of the Coalition That Started a Coalition
Model must be clear and internally consistant
the case of the ambiguous tenant organization

Housing organization- unclear about service model and organizing model

  • Man with problem came to organizer, was recommended to get Legal Assistance
  • 2 ways to handle this:
    • Organizing model: were others experiencing similar problems? All tenants should act
    • Service model: staff should have assisted with Legal Assistance
The case of the ambiguous tenant organization
the case of the superfluous office

Nat’l organization based on model of individual members in local chapters

Working on passage of nat’l legislation

Local chapters focused on corresponding districts

Decision to set up regional offices

Region has no political jurisdiction- no common targets

The Case of the Superfluous Office
the case of the superfluous office1

Problem was model vs. program

Program at regional level was not meaningful to reach local and state objectives

Members could not see the point in spending money on regional office- state perhaps?

The Case of the Superfluous Office
the case of the statewide coalition with local chapters

Model: Formal coalition membership of statewide citizen organizations

Function: pass legislation and elect legislators

Board set up local community chapters, local issues

Not consistent with original statewide objectives

Group must pick between state/local issues

The case of the statewide coalition with local chapters
the case of the coalition that started a coalition

Model: Informal coalition

Function: passing legislation

Created a new coalition for a specific issue

New coalition was successful and eventually wanted independence

Original coalition created an independent organization not tied to original goals

The case of the coalition that started a coalition
the case of the inconsistent board

Very informal coalition, community-based organization

Board members from previous and existing organizations and individuals not affiliated with anyone

Divisions over how/where to spend money

Membership must be considered- individual or organization (coalitions)

The case of the inconsistent board
thank you
Thank You

The End