Maximizing your advocacy with POPVOX
We get a lot of questions about what the best way is to advocate for a particular legislative position. The answer of course varies by issue, by whom the natural supporters are, and where the bill stands in the process. But in general, below is a quick-point-by-point on how an individual can best maximize the POPVOX platform. We're busy working on tools to make this easier in the future. In the meantime, please let us know in the comment section if you have specific questions.
Stage 1 - Demonstrate real grassroots muscle using POPVOX
- Find your bill.
- Choose to support or oppose and write a compelling, personal message to Congress.
- Share your message (or any others that you like) with your network via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. Ask everyone you know to take action. (There is a "share" link below every comment on POPVOX.)
- Tell appropriate organizations (of any size) to go take a position on the bill on POPVOX.
- As you drive input to POPVOX, your leverage increases -- Call your local* representative or Senator's office and say "have you seen the activity on X bill on POPVOX?"
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, noting sentiment, personal examples and comments on POPVOX.
Stage 2: Amplify your reach
- Write about the issue on a relevant discussion board and lead others to weigh in with POPVOX.
- Describe the issue in a blog post, telling others why you feel the way you do.
- If you are using a platform like Wordpress or Tumblr, you can embed a free POPVOX Write Congress Widget to drive your network to take action. (If I can do it, anyone can! :-) Here is what it looks like on my new Tumblr page.)
Stage 3: Target Key Votes
- Figure out who the key votes in Congress are on the issue (Check bill status to see what committee it has been referred to, note chairmen/women, ranking members.)
- Target your outreach to people who live in the districts* of those key votes -- have them Contact Congress through POPVOX (or a widget on your blog)
- Notify the local bloggers and press in the districts* of those key votes, quoting people from the local area
- Ask constituents* of those in key districts arrange a meeting at the district office to discuss the local impacts of the legislation.
- * Note the emphasis on constituents and recommendations that you only contact your Member of Congress. Our experience (and many studies) overwhelmingly show that Members of Congress only want to hear from their constituents. If you want to convince a Member of Congress of your position, convince their constituents and let THEM convince the Member.