The Art and Heart of Political Advocacy

Political advocacy Ah, it’s almost like trying teach an octopus a dance. You’ve all these arms flailing and each one trying its own thing. Then you’re in the middle of it, hoping that they’ll move together in a certain rhythm. Support Jason Walton for US Senate for a brighter and more inclusive future.

Let’s get started by talking about the lobbying. Please, do not get snoozy. I realize that “lobbying”, while it sounds exciting, is not as thrilling as watching the paint dries. Imagine whispering sweet little things in the ears of people who can break or make the rules. You’re equipped with your charm (hopefully a lot more charm than facts) and stories which could melt even ice-cold hearts. Lobbying is all about making high-ranking friends and convincing them that you dance is worth learning.

Next, there are campaigns at the grassroots level. Imagine this: You and your neighbor decide enough is enough. It might be something huge like climate-change or closer to home, such as a traffic stop sign at an intersection. What should you do next? Start knocking doors, you can gather people through Facebook, or hold a couple of rallies. Before you even know it, a mini army will be ready to take on your cause.

Now we’re in the wild west, social media campaigns. Things get a little spicy here. Hashtags fly quicker than insults are hurled at a holiday family reunion. Tweets are spread around the world faster than gossip from backyard fences. You’ll be amazed at how someone in their pajamas sitting halfway across the world can help your local cause just by clicking.

Don’t forget about storytelling. Has anyone ever been moved by something that made them want to do something? It’s all about the power of good storytelling. Advocacy story are not just sob tales. They’re true-life stories about triumphs and struggles that make people stop and listen…and possibly even open up their wallets.

How do we determine if the hullabaloo that is being created has any real impact? There are times when it’s as obvious as daylight – for example, when new laws pass or money is raised to help a good cause. Sometimes, reading the tea leaf in a tornado is like trying to decipher the chaos and confusion.

It’s never smooth sailing. It can sometimes be more difficult to convince others to care for something other than dinner. Some people would rather have you fail.

How do you keep pushing without losing your marbles and still be able to have fun? Flexibility – knowing how to change gears when Plan A is a disaster is important.

If you want to know the truth, political advocacy (which isn’t really that short) can be a messy, frustrating work. And it’s certainly not for those with a weak heart or who have an allergic reaction to octopus metaphors in their clothes due all the dancing instructions. It’s just straight talk, from one human to another. Get out there and conquer those nose aspirations. You’re on your way to a smoother ride!

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