Civic Engagement and Advocacy Blog

You Know Your Members Care... Now Make Them ACT!

Posted by Brent Willis on 11/19/12 1:53 PM

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Far too often, when people think about the "political process" they think of the Ivory Tower;Online Advocacy Software they think of stately, domed state houses or the Capitol Building sitting at the end of the long Washington Mall and of strange, arcane things happening behind closed doors, things that might have an effect on their lives in capacities ranging from speed limits to taxation to their medical care.

And, most assuredly, they believe they should have a role to play, but might think they can’t affect this mysterious process.

But guess what? That isn’t the case. Each and every American not only can have an effect on the so-called "political process," but indeed they do have one. And they should. And when banded together, they will.

Which is to say... YOU will, with political networks bolstered by online advocacy software.

We all know the broad strokes of how laws are passed: they are proposed, debated, re-written, debated, voted on and, if voted through, signed or vetoed, at which point they're often attacked or recycled, respectively only to start the cycle all over again! And that's the simplest version possible. If you feel like your one voice can have no major effect on this process, then think about this: your voice joined up with the voices of many can be lifted up into a roar the legislature will not be able to ignore.

All you have to do is bring people together who share the same views and values and pursue your goals together.

In the past, bringing people together was the hard part, and that's why grassroots movements have traditionally been seen as daunting undertakings by most otherwise politically motivated people. Today, though, you can make systems and technologies work to have a powerful influence over the political process in ways never before possible. It is faster and easier than ever before to really get involved and to have your voice heard, thanks to networking and engagement strategies and online advocacy software.

 



Don't worry, we're going to boil this down for you! To tighten up your community of like-minded, politically aware individuals, take a cue or two from the business world. These days, "employee engagement" is a hot button topic in executive suites. Essentially all it means, though, is coming up with ways to make employees more an integral part of an organization and giving them a clearer voice and more ways to participate. The "engaged" employee is something more than the "motivated" employee because they know that their hard work will not only result in benefits and rewards for them, but that it will also directly contribute to bettering the company as a whole and to any initiatives their company is involved in beyond the corporate world, such as volunteer work and charity work.

For the politically engaged person, this same model can be perfectly applied, but rather than more engagement with a company, they become more engaged with a cause. That can mean fighting an unjust bill or supporting a needed one. It can mean advocating for a certain candidate or against one seen unfit to hold a given office. It is far from our intention to tell you what your cause should be, but we are certainly cheerleaders for your getting involved in the political process in a manner you and your network sees as fit! 

First step? Make sure your network is woven together by the powerful threads of information.

‘Knowing’ is half the battle in life; it's 99% in politics. Too often lobbyists and special interest groups work behind the scenes to pump money into various political arenas and steer influence as they see fit. It can be hard to track their secretive activities, but the information is out there if you know where to look, and the more eyes you have searching, the more likely you are to know what is really behind any given political initiative, be it a new Proposition or Bill or the campaign of a congressional candidate.

Votility.com offers software and techniques that can be used to help your community (which can of course be constituted in myriad ways by any number of concerned individuals) find out the facts behind the politics, and even craft your own platforms that can be used to influence legislators or policymakers. We want the voice of a government "Of the People, By the People and For the People" to come FROM the people. From online advocacy software to information aggregation, the digital, "2.0" world of today has brought true democracy to the democratic process in that now any motivated group can come together more easily and draw strength from its numbers; strength that can have a real impact and can act as a counterweight to the current bloated and biased systems. And if terms like "online advocacy software" seem arcane, head to Votility.com today and get yourself into the process to see what all the buzz is about!

 

Brent Willis

Written by Brent Willis

People want to be heard other then just voting every 2,4, or 6 years. Groups that engage them and measure it are positioned to win the public policy battles of the future. My vision and mission is to revive the civic engagement of the American citizen in government relations; at the federal, state, and local level.

Topics: Member Engagement, Online Advocacy