The newsLINK Group - Grassroot Activism - The Art of Growing Change

Editorial Library Category: Automobile Topics: Grassroots Involvement, Associations Title: Grassroot Activism: The Art of Growing Change Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Associations are a natural for grassroots activism because, quite frankly, that’s the major reason why associations exist at all. Their purpose is to advocate for a group. They work because a group of people who share a common interest and an organization are more powerful than the same people minus the organization. Editorial: Grassroot Activism: The Art of Growing Change 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Anyone interested in any sort of activism should focus on political grassroots because the opportunities there can transform government on every level, from city government to federal government and everything in between. Why is grassroots activism effective? It’s simple. That’s where you can cause the most change. Associations are a natural for grassroots activism because, quite frankly, that’s the major reason why associations exist at all. Their purpose is to advocate for a group. They work because a group of people who share a common interest and an organization are more powerful than the same people minus the organization. Dealership associations are powerful because there are actually at least two organizations involved: each dealership is a business organization by itself, with its own political influence and power, and dealerships are often part of associations as well. Associations can often communicate an entire industry’s views to the politicians who represent them. Although associations have to follow state and federal restrictions about partisan activities, individual dealerships are free to lobby legislators and make hefty campaign donations. Organizations that have overlapping membership, therefore, are even more powerful than either one would be by itself. Does that power have any chance at making a difference? Yes. If you are like most people, you may hesitate to get involved because so many people look down on any kind of politics as being inherently dishonest. You might also hesitate because you don’t think you have a shot at bringing about any real changes to the existing system. The truth is that politics are a necessary part of modern life. We rely on each other to talk and get the things done in our neighborhoods, cities, states, and country. It’s not all that different from taking care of a home, when you think about it. If the dishes need to be washed, or a car is dirty, you take care of it. If a child needs a fresh diaper, you grab one and do what’s necessary. You wouldn’t say you don’t want to get involved because it’s too unpleasant. You deal with the problems and then move on. It’s the same with political involvement. As an association, acting sooner is better than acting later. The earlier you head off problems as a group, the easier they are to solve. Neglect the problems, though, and they only get worse. In politics, the work isn’t that bad: educating yourself so you can vote, and maybe volunteering some help wherever it seems you could do so most effectively. There are three reasons you should consider using your association to start a grass-roots effort: 1. It will be effective if it is done right. Few people participate in the political process, so those who do take a part have more influence than they would have otherwise. Activists have known this for years. Politicians already know that businesses and associations can be powerful. It’s only natural for them to listen to what these organizations have to say. The more powerful the association, the more intently politicians will listen. 2. Grass-roots efforts can do a good job of educating people, especially when your efforts are combined with mass media. By informing people about important issues, it becomes easier to involve those others about making changes. Most people suffer from information clutter — there is simply too much going on for people to be able to thoughtfully consider every piece of information that comes their way, and it can also be hard to know who to trust. An association’s grassroots effort can solve these problems, extracting the most important parts and deciding how to maximize results, and then giving that information to those who are interested. The

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