Take Action

The only way to implement the change we believe in is to have the power to do so.

The way we have the power is to win elections. Let’s get started…

Get Prepared.

Step one – roll up your sleeves. This is hard work but it must be done in order to stand up for the values we believe in and protect our liberty, equality and opportunity. Understand that the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Be firm yet courteous, and stay focused!

Get informed about the issue(s) you care about. Determine how many hours a week or month you’re able to devote to advocating on behalf of these issues.

Identify all of your representatives at the local, county, state and federal level.

Here are some helpful websites:

Get Engaged.

Sign up for your elected officials’ email updates to stay up-to-date on their policy positions and local events. Develop a contact list for each representative and their staff.

Pay attention to local elections from School Board and City Council races to County Commissioner, County Clerks and state legislative races, as well as other statewide races like Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Treasurer.

Volunteer, phone bank or knock doors for organizations or for candidates who work on issues you care about.

Research and support companies and organizations whose missions share your values and philosophies. Voice your support for these socially-conscious companies on social media and with your donations. For example, if you value independent investigative journalism, consider supporting media outlets who are engaging in this kind of reporting. Or if you already do, ask your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.

Tell your story. If you have a personal experience with a specific policy (i.e. Affordable Care Act), let your representative know – even the ones who may already support that specific policy.

Get Involved. Develop a Plan of Action.

Face-to-Face Meetings:

Determine when your representative will be in their district office and meet with them directly. Prepare questions and a single ask ahead of time. If you’re only able to meet with a staffer, take the opportunity and follow up relentlessly until your question is answered or your request is fulfilled.

Calls:

Contact the people who represent you. Elected officials respond better to THEIR constituents. Focus on a specific issue with a single question or ask. Know who you’re talking to in each office and keep a record of each conversation. Calls should be coordinated and consistent (daily/weekly) in order to get their attention and keep the pressure on.

Events:

Identify where and when your representatives will be holding town hall meetings and other types of events (i.e. ribbon cuttings, telephone town halls, other community meetings). Several group members should attend with prepared questions. Take pictures or video if appropriate and share afterward if necessary. Use social media to document your experience.

Social Media:

Use social media to organize your group and to follow up with photos, videos, messaging and more.

Rapid Response:

Provide quick feedback to a change in policy position, vote, or statement by your representatives. You can use social media to keep the pressure on, ask questions or correct the record.

And repeat…

Deploying just one of these tactics once won’t get the job done. The point is for you to catch the attention of your representatives and keep the pressure on. Until your question is answered, your request fulfilled, or the policy changed – don’t let up!

Organize with Others.

Start talking with your friends, family, co-workers, faith leaders, neighborhood, and community to get them engaged. Make a goal to talk with or write a letter or postcard to five new people each week who you have never discussed politics with before. It may be uncomfortable at first but you may discover new allies who are as passionate and ready for action as you.

Establish a small but local group (within a congressional district or state senate district) that will be dedicated to tracking developments in Washington DC and on the local level, coordinating advocacy efforts, and keeping the pressure on to hold your representatives accountable.

Learn how to be an effective communicator. Make sure you have the facts and develop talking points that are appropriate for a variety of mediums (i.e. a letter to the editor vs. calling in to a radio talk show).

Also, see below for a list of tips and contact information for submitting letters to the editor, where and how to post comments and blog posts, and calling local radio stations.

Host a house party. Invite acquaintances, neighbors, friends and co-workers who share an interest in getting more involved. Use the opportunity to discuss goals, messaging and tactics. Think about inviting your local officials to attend your house party.

Get involved in other local community groups such as neighborhood association boards and school boards. Get involved with the local Democratic Party, become a precinct captain, attend meetings, educate yourself on the party process, and network with others who share the same goals and values.

Create a reoccurring day of action. This could include a weekly rally at the state capitol or an impromptu drop-by at your U.S. Senator’s office. This was a successful tactic for a group of religious progressives in North Carolina. Click here to learn more.

Connect with national groups that have local chapters to connect and organize others. Use their resources to schedule local trainings about issue organizing, sign up for legislative alerts, and to learn how to recruit and prepare future candidates. Here are some national advocacy groups to help you connect with others:

Run for office. Our democracy is in constant need of new leaders with fresh ideas. There are a variety of organizations that can help you get started, including RunForOffice.org, a free service that provides tools to help a first-time candidate launch a successful campaign.

Whatever you choose to do, your efforts must be sustained to make change. You must stand up and be heard, get involved and stay involved, and bring others with you.

Additional Resources

Letters to the Editor

All letters to the editor should include your full name, address, daytime phone number, and email. Anonymous letters, candidate endorsements, advertisements or chain letters will not be considered. Timely topics of local interest are typically given first preference. Keep in mind, an individual writer is usually limited to one letter in a 30-day period. Attachments are discouraged. Emailed submissions with the letter to the editor pasted in the body of the email is preferred. Longer guest commentaries are also accepted and will run longer in length (about 500-650 words).

Denver Post

Colorado Springs Gazette

  • Maximum length: 300 words
  • Candidate endorsements, advertisements, or chain letters are not accepted.
  • Submit letters online.
  • Email submissions: opinion@gazette.com
  • Questions? (719) 636-0266

Boulder Daily Camera

  • Maximum length: 300 words
  • Submit letters online.
  • Email submissions: openforum@dailycamera.com
  • Questions? (303) 442-1202

Aurora Sentinel

Grand Junction Sentinel

Comment lines:

Television:

NBC 9 News (KUSA)

  • newstips@9news.com / viewerfeed-
    back@9news.com
  • (303) 871-1491

CBS 4 News (KCNC)

7 News (KMGH)

FOX 31 Denver (KDVR)

Channel 2 (KWGN)

Radio:

Colorado Public Radio (90.1 FM)

KOA News Radio (850 AM)

  • Talk Line: (303) 713-8585

KHOW (630 AM)

  • Talk Line: (303) 713-8255

KNUS News/Talk (710 AM)

  • Talk Line: (303) 696-1971

For additional questions, please contact Clinton Thomas, Campaign Manager for Perlmutter for Congress at clinton@perlmutterforcolorado.com or (303) 459-4729.