Last night I attended a seminar on how to be an activist. Unfortunately it fell flat. Before I start, allow me to say that if you are just getting interested in a cause or politics and you have no clue where to start, that this seminar will be beneficial to you. However if you are already active, promote a business, or sell yourself to the public, this is not for you.
It was like I was sitting in a Jr. High Civics class.
The opening lecture was by a Politician, Rep. Shari Weber. She was enthusiastic, and really getting us motivated. She was asked about the legality of the GM bankruptcy, and them closing dealerships. Since these dealerships are privately owned, she said that it was very illegal, and then said, "But it's happening, and look what road we have been going down." I almost felt like she was ready to give up, but then she started becoming angry. That gives you a bit of hope.
Then came the Political Science grads. Who I believe just graduated. It was difficult to pay attention to the first Lady. She spoke in a manner that screamed teen girl. She had yet to grow out of that, and it made it difficult to stay enthusiastic about it. I wasn't the youngest in the group, usually I am There were 2 other's that looked to be my age, and a 20 something year old was seated next to me. The rest of the room were older men and women, many of whom had protest back in 1969 as liberals, and who were now seated in this room to protest a more conservative ideal.
I also discovered that this wasn't sponsored by the Sam Adams Alliance, but by American Majority. A relatively new group, operating in only 7 states. But they do work closely with Sam Adams Alliance. The speakers kept reiterating that they were a bipartisan group, however a pamphlet I was given talked about conservatism only. I was concerned that maybe, because I am not a conservative that I was in the wrong place.
The first political science grad spoke about building a coalition and reaching your community. She spoke for 40 minutes, but I can break it down for you in a few sentences. First have a cause you are passionate about and then talk to other's about it. Find out the legalities of your area about establishing a coalition, then sell yourself and your opinions as much as possible. Carry a business card with you at all times to hand to other's as you network. And speak to every one in an 8th- to 12th grade level. Don't fret over if the person you are networking with has "connections" coalition start with the minority first, then the big wigs jump on the band wagon. Have set goals, and walk the walk, not just talk.
Then we were told how to organize meaningful events. I think I blackout at one point of the lecture. It is mainly about advertising your self and your cause. Write up invites, make sure dates don't conflict, delegate chores. And that small events are just as important as large ones.
We seemed to be encouraged to invite our local politicians over for a Candidate coffee. A way to help our candidate meet and greet the locals, and find out more about the politician.
At break it was mentioned that this lecture was missing something. I turned around and said, enthusiasm. It was a dry lecture, and we were about to find out how dry it was. Next came roles of the government.
I went a little mad during that lecture. You could not tell me that we really needed to sit through 20 minutes of government 101 in a group like this one. This weren't new hats sitting in that room. And I am sure you all know the roles of government, so I will not re-hash all of that for you.
Government accountability was next. The only helpful info that I could glean was the various resource one could go to on the web. Judgepedia, Ballotpedia, Sunshine review. For Kansas; Kanview, Flint hills center.
The highlight of the evening was meeting the founder of the Wichita Chapter of the 912ers. She was concerned about so few people showing up to there meetings. I had no idea that there was a Wichita Chapter. But now that I know, I will do my best to attend and get the word out to all of you. You can go to the state wide site to find a Kansas Chapter near you.
If you are not political, but are looking to start. If this is your first time speaking out and you are nervous or don't know how to begin, then this seminar would be good for you. However, if you, like me, have been active for years, just keep plugging away. Write to your officials, call them out on various new media sources, hold them accountable for their actions, or lack there of. And remember, they work for us. We pay their salary, they need to be reminded of that, and they need to listen to were we stand. Even if it isn't the popular view, tell them.