The Education Liberator

Vol. 1, No. 2 October 1995

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Grass Roots

The most powerful political communication

By Jim Warren

Originally published in The Education Liberator, Vol. 1, No. 2, October 1995

Jim Warren publishes GovAccess, an electronic newsletter. The excerpts below are from issue #159, discussing "Net-based, Computer-aided, Grassroots Political Outreach and Action." While the context of the excerpts is political (and computer oriented), the suggestions below can be equally effective in "preparing the minds of people for change."

First and foremost, must be more interaction of the People with themselves — timely, massively, without paid professionals, at the grassroots level. Government will obediently follow — at least in this nation; at least, so far.


1. An initial activist posts a message espousing his/her cause and urging that everyone who might be willing to do some small bit to further that cause contact him/her.


2. The initial activist, or some other person, becomes the coordinator of the effort — or one of several or many. They collect and maintain lists of names and email addresses (a nontrivial task, I'll tell ya!) of those who volunteer, and organize and facilitate online discussions of action proposals. (This is not boss instructs peons; this is coordinated volunteer activism...and that's hard to do. Be aware!)


3. Effective political action MUST reach far beyond the net, but we can use the net and onliners' personal computers to massively empower that outreach [to:]


* Draft model "dear friend" letters - intended for the volunteers to copy, print on their own machines, and mail at their own expense to people they know. Personal advocacy from an acquaintance is ALWAYS THE MOST POWERFUL political communication! And computerized address books greatly facilitate this potent grassroots political action.


* Draft model "dear neighbor" letters — intended for the volunteers to reproduce and mail to people they don't know - both geographic neighbors and non-neighbor voters in the targeted campaign district. A well-stated brief statement, even from a stranger - as long as it appears to be from a private individual citizen rather than someone perceived as being a political hack — is the SECOND MOST POWERFUL political communication.


* Draft model "letters to the editor" with possible talking points and instructions about how to write a letter that will most-likely be published in the local daily or weekly newspaper. Send these to all the volunteers, along with the fax numbers and/or snailmail addresses for their newspapers.


* Draft talking points for radio-talkshow call-ins, and send them to the volunteers, along with details of all pertinent talkshows.



Jim Warren's GovAccess electronic newsletter is available free to anyone with email. To subscribe, send email to "majordomo @ well .com". The email text should be:

"subscribe GovAccess [YourEmailAddress]".

This article is copyrighted by the Alliance for the Separation of School & State. Permission is granted to freely distribute this article as long as this copyright notice is included in its entirety.

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