Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Sound Off: Stand Up and Speak Out
This Sound Off was submitted by Terry Riley:
I have demonstrated at many events in Albuquerque. I have participated in the State Fair Parade, the Christmas Parade and I have demonstrated at the Balloon Fiesta. There is a degree of frustration when demonstrating. The people who oppose you do not give you a chance to explain why you feel the way that you do and the people who agree don't ask how they can join you and work toward solving the problem.
I can't afford to buy radio time, oh, and I can't afford to buy the US Senate or House. As you see I am pretty limited. I have attended meetings of some really neat orgainizations and I have tried to speak out and cheerlead people into getting involved, hopefully along the lines that I am working.
Please don't look at this as me trying to take credit for moving mountains all by myself. I am talking about how this effected me and what and how I did things.
On Saturday June 24th I tried something that I have never tried. I went to the Civic Plaza to the Summerfest. I walked through the crowd and handed out flyers that asked:
Want Cheap Gas?
Get Out Of Iraq!
Stay Out of Iran!
Before Iraq $1.55/gal!
On the back I listed the addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers of both of our Senators, Congresswoman Wilson and candidate for Congress AG Patricia Madrid. I also listed The Albuquerque Veterans for Peace, Stop the War Machine, Democracy for New Mexico and the Los Alamos Study Group as organizations that one should consider joining. I also listed several web sites that people could go for information - starting with the New Mexico Democratic Party followed by the New Mexico Republican Party. I want people to consider stepping up and speaking out to bring about the change that we need to save our country.
I passed out 80 of these flyers in about 20 minutes. I found 8 people who were not interested in looking at it, several of them seemed irritated by the information. Those are fantastic statistics. Eight out of eighty, that is 10%! That sample was totally random.
In order to get people activated we need to get information to as many people as possible and it has to be useable. The flyer has to identify the problem, explain an action, give locations or contact information and provide support. People are lazy or afraid or embarrased. We have to make it easy for people to stand up. It also helps to give an example or two of past successes to further encourage people.
The Paper Ballot Bill in the State Legislature and the Minimum Wage Increase in Albuquerque are very hard to argue with. Now you go for the close, get the sale, ask the person to come to the next meeting and become involved. Clearly state to a person who is considering that the movement cannot succeed if people wait until it is strong or wait to see who gets on board. Success will depend on THEM standing up and speaking out.
I would like to do a lot more of this and I need volunteers to work with me on this. Please contact me if you are interested at this email address.
Editor's Note: Sound Off is a sometimes feature on this blog that provides readers, candidates and others with an opportunity to submit a post. If you'd like to submit a Sound Off, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the top left-hand side of the main blog page.