and check out our web page at http://www.eff-austin.org.
Also check web pages for other orgs: http://www.eff.org,
http://www.cdt.org, http://www.vtw.org, http://www.epic.org, etc.
Here's some advice to consider when starting your own group (from Lebkowsky
-- Establish an online presence. Find an ISP or other system that will
provide a comp account.
-- Set up an email list (majordomo, listserv, etc.) for members and
-- Create a web page and perhaps a gopher. Include a membership form on the
-- Recruit members online and in meatspace. Keep dues low.
-- Organize your constituency online and offline; keep their loyalty; work
them into activity - you want activists, not lurkers.
-- Build resources for the public - especially an online library of
documents. Give back to the community that supports you in more ways than
-- Seek those with experience where you need it - communicating online,
dealing with policymakers, public relations, fundraising, design and
publication, legislative and legal analysis, fiscal management. Proceed to
learn these skills internally, as well.
-- Get to know the press. Learn to use the traditional media effectively.
-- Get to know the police. EFF-Austin has a police liaison (Bruce
Sterling). One of his jobs is to ensure that the police know who we are and
will call us for consultation.
-- Research, research, research. Learn your issues and their legalities
like the back of your hand. Become an authoritative voice on the matters
that concern your organization.
-- Educate legislators about the issues. Educate the press and public as well.
-- Take public positions. Craft statements, press releases and action
alerts. Keep your constituency and the public updated on hot issues.
-- Organize events to highlight the issues.
-- Work with, not against, other organizations. Build coalitions, work
-- Deal reasonably with criticism.
-- Minimize costs.
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