You Can Beat City Hall
Community support is important, because when large numbers of people turn up at council meetings, public hearings or local protests, decision-makers notice -- especially elected ones. Numbers may not tip the scale in your favor, but you'll have a better chance of having your concerns taken seriously if decision-makers know your community is united and prepared to fight a decision it opposes.
- It's easy to lose momentum during a long struggle. Hold regular meetings to report progress, share the latest news, make future plans, generally encourage one another and keep up the energy level of the troops.
- Build a local coalition that includes sympathetic government officials and administrators, neighborhood business owners and religious leaders, environmental activists, health experts, property owners, parent and school groups, interested teens and kids -- anyone who feels they have a stake and wants to get involved.
- Get to know the reporters who cover your town, or who are on the environment or health beat. Positive press on your issue can generate public support for you within your community and also influence decision-makers.
- Don't dismiss direct action. Marches, rallies, candlelight vigils and other nonviolent street protests are a good way to draw attention to your cause. The news media is often more likely to cover an issue if it's connected to an "event."
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