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Effective Activism and the Feeling of Ineffectiveness

By       Message Kathryn Smith     Permalink
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If you still think your own mainstream paper won't print what you have to say, try submitting positive solutions. Based on more than 100 letters to the editor printed in my name, editors are inclined to print solutions where attacks on negative things are turned down. In fact, when I submitted my election reform proposal, not one single newspaper turned it down.

You can also appeal to the smaller local newspapers and the college newsletter editors. Let's not forget how strategically smart it is to write to college editors: After all, college kids talk with their parents. This could be the smartest way to wake the slumbering giant. Because as those wearing blinders may turn away from the voice of reason, they are more inclined to listen to their kids, whom they love and respect. To appeal to them is key.

Let's please not forget that the job of letters editors, is to represent a wide cross-sector of public opinion. If they don't, they are not doing their job. Go ahead and submit another letter, bashing them for not printing a very important matter! I have seen letters posted to newspapers containing such reprimands, all the time. Call them personally, ask why it wasn't printed, and hold them to task! (Of course, they can't print every submitted letter, but to censor important information is a whole other matter). You could also just politely ask why it was not printed, to find out how you might edit it to their liking. Edit, resubmit, and bingo! You've got a winner, hopefully.

D) The Grassroots is more alive than it ever was, thanks in a way to Bush and his evil work (I hate to use that word "thanks" in relation to Bush, but you get my point).

Therefore, to contact Grassroots organization leaders is key to getting things done. We, as citizens, can organize with other friends to send individual but paralleled messages to grassroots organizations, asking them to take a certain key point to task.

The grassroots is where it's at, and that's where our strength lies! Keep joining, keep supporting, and keep writing to their leaders!

Below I am "trotting around" a diary I had posted previously with tips for writing letters to the editor.

I'll be interested in any further thoughts people might have for how we can be an effective voice at this time. Thank you all!

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Tips for Writing Letters to the Editor

Ideas; Letters To The Editor; Newspapers; Politicians; Writing by anamerican

on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:50:10 PM

A) Letters to the editor as most read pages of the newspaper
B)A wonderful website with extensive quotes from our founding fathers
C) Letter-to-the-editor parties
D) Letter-writing tips
E) Tips for getting published

: : : :

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According to and the ACLU, letters to the editor are the most-read pages in the newspaper, plus are read by politicians as indicators of public opinion. You never know who you are going to reach: A movie-maker? An activist organization which shares your ideas with others? It's a network out there, so your letters are a really good way to make a difference: Go for it!

"But I'm not that great a writer. My letter to the editor will never be printed".

And I am here to tell you that this is not my experience. I have penned so many letters to the editor that I've lost track, and about 70% have been printed. That is not meant to sound self-congratulatory: Far from it. Instead, my wish is to encourage people, stressing that it may be easier to be published than most people may think.

Editors are interested in representing a cross-sector of public opinion, to be as non-biased as possible. In my experience, they print letters which show a new "slice" on something: IE new insights, new interpretations of events, some research done, etc. Offering the hope is something which people really need to hear, making the best and most-likely-to-be-printed material of all. As well as the most effective!

If you are still running gun-shy of writing a letter yourself, consider a house party in which all present write letters. Participants can elect to read their letters out loud, getting feedback from the group. That way, not only do you end up with an edited letter, but you also know how the public is likely to react to your letter, based on the reaction from the group. This could be encouraging, very instructive and fun besides!

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Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Please encourage readers to submit letters to the editor, to effect change

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)

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