1st Edition

Persuading Local Government How to Organize and Implement Effective Advocacy Campaigns

By Herbert J. Rubin Copyright 2022
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a guide to becoming an empowered citizen, capable of achieving success when advocating with local government. Based on interviews with mayors, together with documentary evidence, analyses of public meetings, and the author’s own experience of advocacy, volunteering on city committees, and work on political campaigns, it describes how to advocate with local government officials, whom to contact, what to say when and where, and how to locate the facts, figures, and stories that can lend credence to an advocacy campaign. Guided by the ideas that persuasion efforts can succeed, are not difficult to undertake, and are in fact appreciated by public officials; that the system is open and that citizens have a fair chance of advancing their point of view; and that democracy depends upon citizen engagement, it presents concrete case studies in order to illustrate the guidance provided. With advice on how to organize and implement a successful advocacy campaign at a local level—and what to avoid—Persuading Local Government provides an antidote to the alienation of national politics, showing that local efforts at persuasion are meaningful and effect change on matters that affect people’s everyday lives.

    Section I: The Importance of Citizen Advocacy

    1. You Do Count: Influencing Local Government

    2. Stirring the Pot: Case Studies of Citizen Activism in Local Government

    3. Knowing Who is in Charge and What They Think: Targeting an Advocacy Message

    Section II: Preparation

    4. Beginning the Battle: Preparing for an Advocacy Campaign

    5. Considerations Before Advocating: Reflecting on Your Own Role

    6. The Road Map to Success: Understanding How Decisions Get Made and Whom to Persuade

    7. You Are a Researcher: Obtaining and Interpreting Background Information

    8. Hidden Treasurers in City Records: Information from and about the City

    Section III: Understanding How Policies and Decisions Come About

    9. The Road Map You Need: Understanding the Structure of Local Governments

    10. The Route Taken: Paths of Decision for Municipal Policies

    Section IV: Working on and Presenting Your Message

    11. The Rules of the Game: What Happens at the Different Venues at Which You Advocate

    12. Being an Orator: Thinking How to Structure What You Will Say

    13. Getting to the Telling Point: Advice About Wording Your Advocacy Message

    14. Poignant Phrases: Ways of Wording Oral and Written Presentations

    Concluding Thoughts

    15. Empowered Citizens: Concluding Thoughts on Being an Advocate


    Herbert J. Rubin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Northern Illinois University, USA. He is the author of Advocacy for Social Change: Coalitions and the Organizations That Lead Them and Renewing Hope within Neighborhoods of Despair: The Community-Based Development Model, and the co-author of Community Organizing and Development. He has served on and chaired numerous city committees and frequently advocates with city hall.