The first step to effectiveness in the public policy arena is to “get organized.” Individuals can make a difference, as individuals, but we actually do live, as Bob Dylan says, in a “political world.” The institutions upon which we rely, including government, are shaped by our joint actions. If you care about a public policy issue, get together with others who care about the same thing. Then, get the facts. Know what you want, and make a plan. Margaret Mead has said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” I’m with Margaret.
I also want to associate myself with our Commander in Chief. President Obama is the first President in our history to have been, explicitly, a “community organizer.” He still is a “community organizer,” if you think about it, and what a tough community to get organized!
At the local level, where land use decisions have such a profound impact on the future of our communities, it’s easier to get organized than at the national level; it’s easier to have an impact.
I said “easier,” not “easy;” but it can be done. And it has been done. And it must be done!