At the 2011 Values Voter Summit (ValuesVoterSummit.org), Heritage Action for America (HeritageAction.com) held a breakout session on Policy, Action, and Accountability: How to Make a Difference on the Front Lines. Heritage Action's CEO Michael Needham gave the opening remarks. He was followed by their Political Director Russ Vought who spoke about Heritage Action's "Know, Grow, and Go" strategy for grassroots activism. Deputy Political Director Jessica Anderson wrapped up the session by talking about the tools and techniques that activists can use to expand their spheres of political influence.
- Part 1: Michael Needham of HeritageAction.com offers opening remarks and speaks about grassroots political action.
- Part 2: Russ Vought of HeritageAction.com speaks about his experience working on the Hill and what he and Heritage Action are doing to transform DC. Their activist centered approach is to reach grassroots supporters and make sure they: 1) Know, 2) Grow, and 3) Go. Understand the issues. Grow your network. And go and transform your community.
- Part 3: Jessica Anderson of HeritageAction.com speaks about influencing your sphere of influence. She emphasizes that you have to be strategic about what you do. She also reviews several strategies for getting your conservative message out in the press, with legislators, through social media, and through canvasing. They have also built a scorecard for congressional votes. Go to HeritageActionScorecard.com to see how your senators and representative stack up.
I only attended a couple of breakout sessions at the 2011 Values Voter Summit. The one that Heritage Action hosted about grassroots activism was quite good. If you only have time to watch one of the videos above, I think Jess Anderson's advice for grassroots activists provides the best practical tips for making a difference.
Here are a couple of quotes from the videos above:
- "We believe if we can create an army of principled activists, we can change the country." - Russ Vought
- "It really begins on the ground with political activism.... Your intentional act to bring about social, political, and environmental change--actually doing something... is what we want to capitalize on..." - Jess Anderson