The mission of the Massachusetts Policy and Organizing Leadership Academy (The Academy) is to help leaders and organizations effectively and confidently participate in public life and influence the advancement of social, economic and racial justice.
Relationships Matter

Relationships Matter

When two hill town girls from Western Massachusetts get together in Florida – they have fun. Jane Swift and I go way back to our roots in Western Mass, to small town politics, to shared values and commitment to social, racial and economic justice as we pursued our separate careers...
Celebrating National Adoption Day - Like many women in this lobbying business I started as a volunteer 45 years ago.

Celebrating National Adoption Day – Like many women in this lobbying business I started as a volunteer 45 years ago.

Like many women in this business, I started as a volunteer. I belonged to an adoptive parent group. We had decided to “do something” about an existing law that forbade the adoption of children across religious lines. Through our parent support network we had learned that more than a thousand...
What People Are Saying

What People Are Saying

More important than ever – positive policy change on the state level. Here’s what professional and volunteer lobbyists and organizers are saying about the newly-released 2018 edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring, by Judith C. Meredith and Margaret E. Monsell: Making effective and lasting change is harder than ever but...
New! 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring Is Here!

New! 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring Is Here!

Lobbying on a Shoestring offers a common-sense, practical approach to political action. Premised on the idea that real people should have a real impact on the development of public policy, this powerhouse of a paperback conveys truths about the legislative process and hard-won, strategic insights. The 2018 Revised Edition gets you...
A Found Poem:  from an official training PowerPoint for workers  who screen shelter applicants.

A Found Poem: from an official training PowerPoint for workers who screen shelter applicants.

THE CHILDREN AND I NEED SHELTER – LAST NIGHT WE SLEPT IN A CAR ( Massachusetts found poem)* Where were you sleeping before you slept in the car? How many nights have you spent in the car? Were your children with you? Do you own the car? Do you have the...
Organizing for Change - Reorganizing Your Internal Resources

Organizing for Change – Reorganizing Your Internal Resources

I bet you can think of 10 MORE reasons why your organization might not want to spend the time and energy to reorganize you existing resources in order plan and implement a campaign to promote positive policy change in your town, in your county or in your state. I can...
New Videos from Freedom House + past Highlights

New Videos from Freedom House + past Highlights

Parents on the March: Organizing for Quality Education in Boston Public Schools, June 2012   Gail Snowden, from Freedom House, hosted the recent session on organizing for quality education in Boston and introduces two of Boston’s greatest education advocates and organizers Rep. Byron Rushing and Sarah-Ann Shaw.      ...
The most fun message training ever.

The most fun message training ever.

What kind of story do you tell?  So far, the most “fun” on-site coaching event is a very lively, interactive message development session which  helps volunteer activists and professional advocates learn how to turn a Chicken Little story that people ignore, into a Little Train that Could story, that makes people want to...
What Does it Take to Promote Positive Change in Our Communities?

What Does it Take to Promote Positive Change in Our Communities?

Answer: One person or organization, willing to be a part of a greater network, fueled by a common vision for the right solution.  Individuals, organizations, communities learning from each other, drawing from a comprehensive library of public policy resources and organizing tools.  Leadership Academy Training Programs: Be part of the Academy’s...
Do you have Real Clout?

Do you have Real Clout?

There’s no secret for how to win the policy change you’re looking for, just a series of planning and organizing activities that add up to a campaign.  Start by learning how the policy-making process works: the Real Clout textbook was written to serve as a how-to manual for community activists who,...
Latest entries
Real Clout - an Introduction for Newcomers to the Public Policy Arena

Real Clout – an Introduction for Newcomers to the Public Policy Arena

I don’t think many people use power points any more unless they are briefing the President, but many folk learning the basic principles of advocacy have learned something from this one. Try it. you can find other helpful tools here let us know how you like it. This power point was developed from the book...
Ten years ago today we celebrated and then got right down to organizing health care reform.

Ten years ago today we celebrated and then got right down to organizing health care reform.

So, public policy advocates, what are you doing tomorrow? Planning to promote positive policy change in your state? You will find keys to building a winning public policy campaign in this little book Lobbying on a Shoestring Check out the introduction outlining the three rules of Lobbying and the Hero Opportunity
Keys to Winning Positive Policy Change in 2019 - Start Now!

Keys to Winning Positive Policy Change in 2019 – Start Now!

Here’s the Introduction to the 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring outlining the Three Rules of Lobbying and the Hero Opportunity
We could not reach consensus --

We could not reach consensus —

I may have been around tool long but I don’t remember this excuse……………. We could not reach consensus. We used to blame people.
4th Edition of Lobbying on Shoestring - looking for new and experienced lobbyists to share a story

4th Edition of Lobbying on Shoestring – looking for new and experienced lobbyists to share a story

We are looking for new and experienced lobbyist familiar with Lobbying on a Shoestring willing to share a lobbying story as a reviewer of the 4th Edition. Maybe we have been working side by side for years practicing a much misunderstood and maligned profession called “lobbying.” Maybe we worked together developing a strategic plan for...
Nobody said it was going to be easy  --the Speaker and the President cannot avoid conflict; they must confront it, resolve it, and take the blame for it

Nobody said it was going to be easy –the Speaker and the President cannot avoid conflict; they must confront it, resolve it, and take the blame for it

Closing days of a session are always a test of Leadership… from Chapter 2 of the draft 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring “Leadership, like other legislators, must be reelected. Because it is particularly embarrassing for a party leader to lose a local election, leaders listen to their constituents very closely and use the...
Highlighting Organizers - Lew Finfer

Highlighting Organizers – Lew Finfer

Lew Finfer from MCAN-PICO  Co Chaired the successful Raise up Massachusetts effort to get over a quarter of a million signatures to improve the lives of a million or so workers. In this picture,  Lew is wearing a pin from Martin Luther King’s last campaign. Lew is an organizer without peer in Massachusetts. Here is an...
On the Agenda at Last! Immigration Reform -- No Excuses

On the Agenda at Last! Immigration Reform — No Excuses

from Ali Noorani’s Huffington’s Post in part…. Less than a week to go till the March FOR America and the immigration blame game is kicking into full gear. Democrats are blaming Republicans, Republicans are blaming Democrats. Meanwhile, the DC punditry – aided and abetted by a front pageWashington Post story that doesn’t have a source to cite – is tripping...
TAX BREAKS for Ben Affleck. Tax hikes for everyone else.

TAX BREAKS for Ben Affleck. Tax hikes for everyone else.

Joan Vennochi does it again. A sharp spin on a current hot debate — in this case revenues  Here in part  TAX BREAKS for Ben Affleck. Tax hikes for everyone else. As he calls for $1.9 billion in new taxes, that proposal didn’t add up for Governor Deval Patrick. So, he’s also proposing to cap the film tax...

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