So, what can advocates do other than protest?

Dan Harper challenged me — I forget if it was on his blog or mine — to name some options to protesting, since I think that most public protest today is ineffective, self-aggrandizing or both.

I mentioned this to John Wonderlich — one of my terribly clever office mates and Program Director of the Open House Project — at a post-work happy hour and he named a few. I didn’t blog on it then since I was maintaining a strict day job/blog divide. John, however, broadened the theme and posted it on his work blog. Some of his suggestions will come naturally to politically trained citizens. One in particular was new to me:

Comment on pending federal regulations. This is public, it’s online, and it’s underappreciated. Comments that disagree with immanent regulations don’t go without effect; future agencies will have more cover to overturn existing regulations given previous commentary.

Makes me think of where to comment first.

One Reply to “So, what can advocates do other than protest?”

  1. Thanks, Scott. I didn’t know about commenting online. I shall try it myself.

    But I am somewhat cynical about public comment, based on some recent experiences my significant other, a community activist, has had. She went to a public comment session hosted by a Government Agency, raised a valid point about a funding process, and was basically blown off. (The state of Massachusetts was more receptive when she went to them, and actually started something happening — they have some jurisdiction because this situation involved a municipal agency — but the Feds just totally didn’t care.) Call me cynical, but Bush & Co. have taken such an authoritarian path that I can’t imagine this administration pays much attention to any public comment.

    I’m happy to engage in public comment, but I doubt its efficacy. And as you and I both know, street protest doesn’t seem to work any more, and besides street protests have become caricatures of themselves. Herein lies my frustration….

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