The Academy collects great advice, best practices, organizing tools, and campaign materials to share with you. Here you’ll find a brief selection of resources to aid in your planning and implementation important work for change.
We hope you’ll find these materials useful as you undertake your own public policy issue campaign. Peruse our the library of materials below and check back often for updates!
Learn about government, policy-making process, and how to advocate for an issue you care about using the Real Clout publications collection. Bookmark the links, print and re-use chapters (with permission) or contact the firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your own copies you can dog-ear and carry around too.
The Real Clout Workbook
For grassroots advocates who care about changing local policy and for professional advocates and organizations participating in a state or local campaigns, The Real Clout Workbook will take you from the initial good idea stage through a series of strategic thinking and doing steps campaign-building steps. The Workbook also features tools and worksheets for every step.
The Real Clout Textbook
Real Clout is as a how-to manual for community activists seeking to understand what public policy is, who makes it, and how state and local government really works.
Lobbying on a Shoestring
Using the legislative process of Massachusetts, Lobbying on a Shoestring illustrates the general principles of building and executing an effective lobbying campaign.
If you missed an Academy training session you can still watch highlighted segments here. We’ll update with more videos after each recorded session, so check back.
The Mel King and Frances Fox Piven Tapes
The legendary Mel King talks about community, power, organizing, and politics. Watch some of his extraordinary teachings…PLUS more with powerful and moving clips of Lew Finfer on leadership and community advocate Ashley Rose, with a Spoken Word poem about change in Boston
Then watch Frances Fox Piven and Leaders and organizers from the Mass Welfare Rights Movement in the late 60s and early 70s tell their stories followed by members of Survival Inc tell how they are carrying on the Legacy.
Campaign Resources to Get You Started: From a Good Idea to Policy Change Issue
So there’s a problem you or your organization cares about or a bad policy that’s hurting people and you want to change it. Don’t just sit there fretting, get to it!
- Making Public Policy the Real Clout way with Judy Meredith ”Policy are rules made up by people in authority to control the behaviors of people in their (families) (workplaces) (communities) (states) (countries)”
- Real Clout’s Thee Rules of Lobbying with Judy Meredith ”Most public officials make their decisions in a vacuum without ever hearing from a constituent.”
The public policy priority setting tool helps you step back and identify your problem and the solution that’s most winnable and effective.
Fill-in-the-Blanks Rap Sheet
Imagine you happened to be standing next to your Senator on the elevator. You only have two minutes tops to explain why you’re at the Capitol. Use the Rap Sheet to develop a clear, compelling message about the problem and solution you care about.
Cycle of Organizing
Lew Finfer’s theory of organizing starts with listening. Next, challenge others to find a solution to an issue they care about, then act—do something—to get a reaction from decision-makers.
Campaign Budget Worksheet
Your network or organization will need some capacity to launch a policy change campaign. This worksheet will help you think about how to allocate the resources you have to specific campaign needs and help you identify fundraising needs.
Real Clout Presentation
A presentation and facilitator’s guide for engaging community or network members in efforts to develop a policy change campaign.
Don’t Do It Alone; Build Your Team: Guidance for Coalitions
When one person or organization speaks up for change, it’s something. But when many individuals and organizations speak up together, working toward the same goal, it’s something else! Identify others who have the most to gain or lose from your policy change campaign and work together.
Coalition Operations Planning Tool
What are your coalition partners agreeing to? Is there common understanding about the campaign goal and operating assumptions? Use this “About Time Campaign” Operations Planning Tool to get everyone on the same page.
Coalition Barriers and How to Overcome Them
Working with others can be rewarding and challenging. A coalition building tip sheet helps to navigate the pitfalls, from Tom Wolff
Now that you know what you’re setting out to accomplish, it’s time to get to work. Research decision makers, organize supporters, identify heroes, and start campaigning.
Policy Faces Book
Use this table to collect as much information as you can about your local public policymakers in a way that can be shared easily with your constituents. Use the details you collect to identify potential heroes or challengers to your issue.
Use this table to identify the decision-makers who have the authority to change the policy you care about. Then do more research to figure out where each key policymaker stands on your issue…this will help you be strategic in your legislative advocacy outreach.
Reality check! Every issue is important to the person who cares about it. But there’s a lot of competition in the political arena. Evaluate how much power you, your allies, and your issue have in the political world.
Checklist for a Community Meeting
Organizing a meeting of community supporters to meet with their local delegation of policymakers about an important issue is a critical tactic for any policy change. Decision-makers need to hear directly from their constituents who care. Use this checklist to make sure the logistics are covered for an informative, influential meeting.
Even in the midst of a frenetic campaign, don’t forget to stop for a moment and think systematically about every decision and strategic action. Be thorough and thoughtful, proactive and strategic along the way…and keep at it!
Power Prism Presentation
The Power Prism is an advocacy tool developed by Judy Meredith and Lori Fresina. Use the Power Prism presentation as a tool for SWOT style needs assessment throughout your campaign and for every day strategic doing. Practice using this campaign-tested tool for strategic planning as well as for SWOT style needs assessment throughout your campaign.
Legislative Heroes’ To-Do List/Contact Chart Administrative Heroes’ To-Do List/Contact Chart
For state-level policy change, your issue needs heroes in both the administrative and legislative branches. Use these checklists to help you cultivate those heroes. If you’re working on a local-level policy change, it’s the same idea…
Massachusetts Budget Process and How to Have Influence Along the Way
This easy-to read and understand chart helps the average advocate make sense of the Massachusetts state budget process and timeline and offers guidance on how to weigh in at opportune times. Thanks to our friends at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) and Children’s Hospital Boston for sharing this resource from their Legislative Advocacy Guide.
How a Bill Becomes Law in Massachusetts and How to Have Influence Every Step of the Way
Also from MPCC and Children’s Hospital Boston, these Massachusetts policy-making charts show how a bill becomes a law and gives examples for how to advocate for your bill along the way.
Do-It-Yourself, Handy-Dandy Tools to Make Your Own Campaign Materials
Throughout your issue campaign, there will be times you’ll need materials to help tell the stories of those who will be affected, call supporters to action, and to help inform the public and lawmakers about the issue you care about. Here are some do-it-yourself tools for making your own campaign materials.
Campaign Story Collection Tool
Create a story book for your campaign by collecting real stories of real people who care about the same issue as you do and who’s lives will be made better by the solution being proposed. For elected and appointed policymakers, a book of good stories about a critical mass of constituents with a fixable policy problem is an invitation to a Hero Opportunity.
Make Your Own Brochure
A simple trifold brochure describing the issue you care about, the policy change solution, and how to get involved is an easy handout to share with others who may want to join your campaign. These step-by-step instructions will help you create your own brochure.
Make Your Own Mini-Poster
Creating a mini-poster is an effective way of disseminating information about your public policy campaign as well as a way to recognize endorsers
and sponsors of the campaign.