YOU make public policy.

I’m an activist. Not a great one, not very visible, but  I figure , I live in America, I pay taxes,  and  our elected officials are supposed to represent ME and my views.  Now,  some of our elected officials think we elect THEIR views…so you have to elect the person who holds the views you hold.  That means doing a bit of research…but I digress.

You really have to ‘organize’ and get with people who hold similar views…to make progress.  However, I know that  the subtle things you do make an impact.

Over  30 years ago, I  worked with 0thers on a campaign called ‘Mobilization for Animals’. This was in about 1983. Our immediate mission was shutting down regional primate centers (affiliated with universities) which housed animals undergoing very painful, inhumane experiments.  We also addressed how zoos were run, circuses,  the wearing of fur, how farm animals were treated, taking of habitat, product testing on animals,hunting, steel jaw traps  the breeding of pet animals like livestock.if  an animal was being exploited,we  ‘vowed’ to  address these issues.
We didn’t immediately get the primate centers shut down, but here’s what we did do:

Wearing of fur became very …gauche.We changed the  public mindset.

Circuses & zoos  started reforming, developing better habitats,not keeping animals  if they could not provide stress-free environments, ans most small circuses shut down. Circe De Soleil—with no animals,became very popular.

Product testing—now cruelty free products have major market share for  virtually all consumable products.

Exploitation of animals…we still have a long way to go, as so many are still abused for  food and entertainment, but  Temple Grandin was able to get  humane slaughter houses built.

Recycling— due to the cost of  importing raw materials, and the  cost of  siting landfills, more Americans are comfortable using  products made from recycled materials than they were  30 years ago…thus creating jobs and saving habitat for wildlife. However, we have to remain vigilant.

Puppy mills…that is, people breeding pet dogs as livestock  just to sell as a product—we have a very long way to go on this one. witness then many pet shops in malls, selling over priced, physically ill pets to  very rich, impulsive idiots who haven’t a clue about how they are going to take care of the puppy, but trust the sellers.

I was asked by a friend to join the board of a NEW recycling center in my area.  We needed an entity to collect   recyclable waste, and a means to promote the idea.
this was in 1985 or so.  Now, most people are recycling something.

In  1990, I was  riding public transportation to school, and a fellow passenger commented on the ‘Dolphin Safe Tuna’ pin (handed out by Starkist at a rally)  that I had on my bag. “Do you really think it is dolphin safe?”  he asked. I said, “I’m not sure, but the  point is that people like you and me contacted them, wrote them letters (this was before the internet) & told them we were concerned, and they are responding to the public, They know we are watching.”

And that’s the point. Now, with the internet, it is easier to make an impact.  I really applaud all the petition sites…because it is a form of reverse marketing back to the  entities—be they politicians or corporations—that really have so much influence over us.  In just a few days time, we can really influence those that put forth a bad idea that  we, regular folks, care about what they are doing.

There are many books on organizing for political or social change, but  2 very good ones are “Made to Stick,” by the Heath brothers, and “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Please join  Facebook, and you will be forwarded all sorts of petitions,a nd  some of them have a great impact.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: