Lobbying is traditionally how people are empowered to influence political change. Politicians will hear from lobbyists representing people's issue when they have enough of their constituents behind them. Although not as powerful and pro-active as direct democracy processes, lobbying is the other main option available short of civil disobedience and protest. Marches and protests are the ultimate natural contingency when politicians do not represent us and lobbying fails. We do have the ability to mobilize people behind anti-corruption candidates in every state and this should be our primary critical mass action when initaitive, referendum, recalls and citizen grand jury processes are not available.
Ultimately, the power of citizen's ballot access is the strongest show of civil disobedience but not all Counties and States are treated equal. Only 24 states have state wide constutional amendment initiative rights. Initiatives are stronger than any March or Protest beause rather than agressivly demanding law changes, we can assertively create them ourselves with a popular vote. Otherwise, when initiative rights are not available, we have to get creative and look at other options.
Public outreach, critical mass actions, educational projects and running for office are all other possibilities. Lobbying is necessary where states lack access to direct democracy tools. Lobbying is how you hold your representative accountable by showing them that their constituents in their districts want them to perform certain actions on our behalf such as voting a certain way on a bill or introducing a bill.
In order to be successful, we need to represent constituents of all districts across our states, to put simultaneous pressure on other representatives who will have to vote on the same bill to get it through the house. Lobbying is the ballot access networks last method of action when all other direct democracy is unavailable, however, we can get creative, and make sure the politicians know what we want, one way or another.
- Letter Bomb and Phone Jam - where all activists, in solidarity, write letters, to pack their congressional representatives mail box with complaints, sending a combined, more powerful message, followed by a sustained phone jam, with everyone on the same day calling to let them know what the people want and desire.
- Direct Lobbying - sending paid professional citizen representatives, with stacks of non-binding but influential signatures from voters in their district in support of issues that matter the most to them. This relies on door to door fundraising and outreach and other organizational efforts. Activism Truth will provide the tools and training to ensure this process is effective in putting pressure on all representatives from the local city councils to our State legislature.
- Peaceful Assembly - Organize marches and sit-in's where the politicians gather, and we let them hear us, following all civil guidelines and laws. Occupy movement was a great show for mass peaceful assembly but now is the time to focus on assembly demanding the right to the citizen's initiative process as a priority.
- Posting Signs - By directing people to educational resources and websites, "info bombing", when done right, is also a popular alternative tool in raising awareness. This can be done online but makes the most difference when used to build the local community for other critical mass actions.
These techniques are a must for States that do not have ballot access, however they can also be used in all States. Everyone in every State must find a role to play in helping to end corruption in government and these strategies will work. They have worked in the past and they will work now if we act.