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The Troublemaker's Teaparty (PDF)
A Manual for Effective Citizen Action
Thousands of small groups with few resources spend large amounts of time trying to influence decision-makers. For the most part, these groups are made up of ordinary citizens driven by a desire to make a difference beyond their own lives. Governments and corporations call these people "troublemakers." Those who study complex problems ranging from health care to global warming say we need far more troublemakers, far more active citizens.
Unlike similar books that are aimed at non-profits with paid staff, The Troublemaker's Teaparty is specifically designed to help small, volunteer citizen groups. An invaluable resource, it answers the basic questions of citizen action: How to get others involved? How to respect different views, but work cooperatively? How to make progress when decision-makers refuse to listen? How to find the time and resources?
The Troublemaker's Teaparty starts where most people start-on small actions focused on local improvement-then shifts to larger actions that transcend place. It includes:
- How to create healthy group relationships.
- How to build local community.
- How to avoid the pitfalls that drive people back into private life.
- How to put the screws on government.
- How to use the media to get results.
- How to think strategically.
It also includes:
- Project design, planning and evaluation.
- Negotiating, campaign, and confrontational tactics.
- A summary of what works in social movements.
- New possibilities for direct action and web action.
Clear, concise, accessible, and down-to-earth, this will become the definitive citizen guide.
Charles Dobson has spent 15 years involved in community organizing, and authored one of the best on-line organizing manuals available. An advisor to The Media Foundation, he is an Associate Professor at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, principal of a public interest communications firm, and lives in Vancouver, BC.
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