Skip to main content

The One-Hour Activist: The 15 Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues and Candidates You Care About



The One-Hour Activist: The 15 Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues and Candidates You Care About

Christopher Kush

ISBN: 978-1-118-04089-8 January 2011 Jossey-Bass 256 Pages


No matter what your political persuasion, The One-Hour Activist is your guide to influencing lawmakers, candidates, and reporters. The One-Hour Activist reveals fifteen powerful, proven grassroots actions that persuade lawmakers and candidates to see things your way. Each action is designed to grab the attention of your representatives and build relationships that serve your issues over the long run. And each action takes less than an hour to complete, so you can make a difference without giving up your life! The One-Hour Activist is packed with insider advice from elected officials, professional organizers, lobbyists, and journalists who share state-of-the-art tips for getting your message across. Real-life examples of effective letters, e-mail, phone calls, public testimony, and news story pitches from concerned citizens just like you illustrate the actions.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

The Author xvii

Introduction: Democracy in Action xix

Part One: Gather Information and Strategize 1

ACTION 1 Learn How Grassroots Advocacy Works 3

ACTION 2 Pick Your Issues and Your Angle 17

ACTION 3 Identify Your Representatives 31

ACTION 4 Join an Interest Group 45

ACTION 5 Create a Legislative Agenda 53

ACTION 6 Analyze a Bill 61

ACTION 7 Conduct Opposition Research 73

Part Two: Contact Your Elected Officials 83

ACTION 8 Write an Effective Letter 85

ACTION 9 Send a Powerful E-Mail 97

ACTION 10 Make a Compelling Phone Call 105

ACTION 11 Persuade Others to Act 113

Part Three: Get Involved with Elections 119

ACTION 12 Get Out the Vote 121

ACTION 13 Contribute Money to Candidates Who Support Your Cause 131

Part Four: Work the News Media 143

ACTION 14 Start a Press Clippings File 145

ACTION 15 Write a Letter to the Editor 151

Part Five: Super-Powerful Actions That 159 Take a Little More Time

ACTION 16 Have a Face-to-Face Meeting with Your Representative 161

ACTION 17 Testify at a Public Hearing 175

ACTION 18 Participate in a Protest 185

ACTION 19 Volunteer for a Political Campaign 193

ACTION 20 Pitch a News Story or Interview 199

It’s Time for Action! 211