This is the second in a series on creating a grassroots movement for immigration reform. Of course, this group formation is already happening and organizations concerned about immigration are proliferating throughout the country. There are old established groups like FAIR (now a distinguished hate group), NumbersUSA, Grassfire and so on. Then there are little state and local groups. In Maryland the grassroots group, Help Save Maryland, is on a roll and starting local chapters throughout the state. I suspect the same is happening from coast to coast.
It’s the local groups that are of interest to me here. In Step 1 (research) I pointed out the importance of getting your facts which you will use in various parts of this campaign, but it’s especially important for the group formation stage. You want to lead your fellow citizens and they will want to know that you know what you are talking about before they will follow.
Find like-minded people by talking to the people around you, in your neighborhood, town, at work. You will be surprised how many people across the whole political spectrum feel the way you do about the need for immigration reform. So, talk! Start sharing information about the issue and about the situation in your town or city. Identify those who are an impediment to reform and gather facts about the individuals, elected officials and groups that are blocking reform.
Have small meetings in peoples’ homes and make friends. This is very important because it’s going to get rough when the opposition attempts to divide you by tactics like the “racist” namecalling and you will need the moral support of your new friends.
Choose some reasonable political goals and divide the work load. Remember this is not about you, it’s about changing America, or better still restoring America.
I’ll talk more about the group action in coming posts on creating a movement, but do want to make this last point before this gets too long and no one reads it.
The more groups there are, the better off we will be! Look at the Enviromental movement as an example. There are hundreds and hundreds of groups promoting environmentalism across a wide spectrum and every one, large and small, has its own issues and concerns. Sometimes they get down and dirty with each other, but they all march in the same general direction. And, when the big issues come along, such as an important bill in Congress, they will meet and plan joint strategies. The message they send out is tailored to the interests of their members but it is generally the same message.
We need now to build coalitions. We need to continue our individual group projects, then groups large and small need to be connected so that communication can happen quickly. Someone needs to pull together, in one location, contact info. for all the groups, local, state and national (and don’t forget to link individual activists who might not have formed a group). Obviously when action is needed the word goes out and each group contact person sends the message to its members.
And, finally don’t forget to form coalitions with groups that have a tangential interest in immigration reform. Groups that come to mind are taxpayer groups, groups concerned with the spread of radical Islam, gun owner groups and so on.
Note: We have a new category called ‘creating a movement’.