Some food for Thought...
By Malia Lazu
“I think we could learn a lot about how to build consistent civic engagement by looking at long-term relationships like my grandparents.”
We should equate campaigns to dating.
We all know how the first phase works in dating.
You begin dating, & you have so many things in common, you overlook what think to be
small differences. You make time for long dinners & longer conversation.
You see all the values you share & so many reasons why you’d be better together,
& then it happens. You choose to live your life together.
Now you have to go to work and pay the bills & build a home together.
The relationship gets real & it gets hard.
If civic organizations can hold the space for organizing when campaigns do come into town they can be absorbed by the on-going community efforts and feed into the on going business of hope & change. Campaigning is not organizing. McDonalds does provide food products to millions of Americans
but nobody pretends it’s the same as a home cooked meal.
Business trends of crowdsourcing are very exciting for the world of politics.
Crowdsourcing is a way to tap into the collective intelligence of people.
It allows you to get the involvement of your target audience
& create buy-in through their participation.
There are some great business models, such as www.threadless.com, that are worth exploring.
The basic idea at Threadless is that customers vote on the T-shirt design they feel should be produced.
The incentive of seeing your shirt mass-produced & sold encourages the designer to get people involved in the website so that they will vote for their design.
There is only one way to counter the effects of organized money: organized people.
The true keeper of this country’s democracy is its people, whether they decide to participate in the vote
or not. The ability to raise money is still considered the number one factor in
being able to win an election, but recently we have seen campaigns backed by informal
citizen groups show the potential of a people-powered campaign.
If you have actual relationships with people in your district you can create a
campaign that is fueled by sweat & shoe leather rather than money & consultants.
A people-powered campaign may not look as slick as a well-funded campaign, but being authentic and inclusive of your district will pay in creating a viable campaign.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.