Taking action can mean different things to different women, depending on their comfort level. For one, it may mean feeling re-engaged and reinvigorated by attending meetings while another may be picking up a signature orange protest sign and hitting the streets to get her point across. However our members decide to become involved, it’s all good.
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP
To be effective, we need to keep the drum beating consistently. That means making sure our messages are sent regularly, especially between elections. The Rule of Seven is an old marketing adage which says that someone needs to see or hear a message at least seven times before it starts to register, so recurring communications can become very effective. This also has the benefit of keeping our politicians on the hot seat as issues are kept front and center.
Have your voice be heard! Write those letters to the editor, to your state and U.S. representatives and senators, to your local city/town council members and your school boards. They do listen to what their constituents have to say! And, because they have bills on so many different subjects before them, they cannot be expected to be experts on every topic. You have the opportunity to educate them and give them the facts so they can vote in a way that embraces fiscal and personal responsibility.
Start a blog or Facebook page, start Twittering and/or email your friends, family neighbors and colleagues about issues that may affect them.
Share sound bites/things that have worked with the group, friends, family & circle of influence.
Share any information you have on legislation, issues, meetings or events with your group, friends, family, circle of influence & social media and get everyone you know out to voice their opinions. And don’t forget to share your views by calling into local or national radio shows!
What we’ve found is that most politicians (local, state and national) face little or no opposition to their spending schemes in most of their constituent meeting forums. It is quite a surprise when informed women show up to challenge them with (real) facts. Identify yourself as an Informed Women’s Network member at meetings (contact us if you’d like to purchase an official nametag) – we’ve found that someone who represents a larger group will sometimes command more attention.
START A CHAPTER!
Start an Informed Women’s Network or Achieve chapter where you live. We’ll provide everything you need to get started – you provide the venue and the energetic women! membership[@]informedwomen.org.
HIT THE STREETS!
Just as we see people standing on street corners holding signs for their candidates during election season, stage your own protest against fiscal tyranny. Is there a legislative bill you oppose or a local town issue that has you trying to desperately hang on to your pocketbook? Break out the signs, call the local media and get out there!
Sign up for our newsletter and to any state-centric newsletters of interest. POPVOX (popvox.com) is an interesting site which, as they say, “bridges the gap between the input the public wants to provide and the information Members of Congress want and need to receive.” It provides a weekly update of pending legislation and allows you to quickly send a note to your U.S. Representative or Senator.
BECOME A CANDIDATE!
We need you, your community needs you, your state needs you and your country needs you! As we work hard to restore some fiscal sanity to government, consider running for elected office, at any level – local, state or national. (P.S. One of the most important, yet often overlooked positions, in any community is a school board member. Schools almost always account for the lion’s share of a community’s budget and tax dollars are spent and wasted in the name of doing things “for the children.”)
WORK FOR A CANDIDATE!
One of the most effective ways of getting your candidate elected (especially for a local or statewide race) is canvassing, literally going door to door and advocating for them. People buy from people they know and trust, and people vote for candidates for the same reasons.
Other ways to help your candidate: Host a get-to-know the candidate event, donate to the cause, tell all your friends, family and circle of influence about them, put signs up all over town (make sure you know where they can be placed), offer to drive people to the polls, hold a sign on election day, take signs down after the race. Ask the candidate or his/her team where you can be of help – every campaign needs hardworking, passionate volunteers!
MOST IMPORTANTLY, VOTE!
Elections matter! Our great-grandmothers took to the streets to ensure that we women had the right to vote and our military heroes commit violence on our behalf to continue this incredible privilege. It’s our duty as Americans to exercise our right to vote, to elect leaders who will actually lead and make the tough decisions needed to provide a healthy and vibrant economy to leave our children and grandchildren.
Make sure you’re registered at your current address. Read up on local elections so you know when and where to vote on election day. Tell your friends about the importance of getting out to the polls, and offer to drive those who may need a ride.
And if you are going to be away on election day, make sure you vote by absentee ballot (that goes for kids off at college as well)!